Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book.
|Country:||United Arab Emirates|
|Published (Last):||7 January 2009|
|PDF File Size:||11.89 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||7.37 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read.
Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. This book traces the history of the ancient Khazar Empire, a major but almost forgotten power in E. Europe, which in the Dark Ages became converted to Judaism.
To the general reader the Khazars, who flouri This book traces the history of the ancient Khazar Empire, a major but almost forgotten power in E. To the general reader the Khazars, who flourished from the 7th to 11th century, may seem remote today. At about the time that Charlemagne was Emperor in the West.
They were instrumental in stopping the Muslim onslaught against Byzantium, the eastern jaw of the gigantic pincer movement that in the West swept across N.
As Koestler points out, the Khazars were the 3rd World of their day. Rejecting both, they converted to Judaism. He produces a large body of meticulously detailed research. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To ask other readers questions about The Thirteenth Tribe , please sign up. See 1 question about The Thirteenth Tribe…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews.
Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Arthur Koestler is a magnificent journalist. He can reach a wide range of documents, and give comparative reports, thanks to his proficiency in many languages.
It acted as a buffer protecting Byzantium against invasions by the lusty barbarian tribesmen of the northern steppes— Bulga Arthur Koestler is a magnificent journalist. It acted as a buffer protecting Byzantium against invasions by the lusty barbarian tribesmen of the northern steppes— Bulgars, Magyars, Pechenegs, etc.
At about the same time the threat to Europe in the east was hardly less acute The victorious Muslims were met and held by the forces of the Khazar kingdom It can It is perhaps not surprising, given these circumstances, that in — after a resounding Khazar victory over the Arabs— the future Emperor Constantine V married a Khazar princess. Thus begins the book about Khazar Turks.. It tells about the story of an old old Turkish tribe that converted to Jewish faith, and moved in to the Slavic regions of Europe first, but than in time in to all Europe.
The hypothesis is stated as; most Jews in the world today are of Khazar origin. The stream moved in a consistently westerly direction, from the Caucasus through the Ukraine into Poland and thence into Central Europe. When that unprecedented mass-settlement in Poland came into beng, there were simply not enough Jews around in the west to account for it; while in the east a whole nation was on the move to new frontiers.
It would of course be foolish to deny that Jews of different origin also contributed to the existing Jewish world-community. The numerical ratio of the Khazar to the Semitic and other contributions is impossible to establish. But the cumulative evidence makes one inclined to agree with the concensus of Polish historians that "in earlier times the main bulk originated from the Khazar country"; and that, accordingly, the Khazar contribution to the genetic make-up of the Jews must be substantial, and in all likelihood dominant.
In addition to the information on history of religious faiths, I learned very interesting facts about my ancestors well at least a section of them ; such as being ruled by a Kagan Hakan a spiritual-wise leader and Beg a governor-leader at the same time names still used prominently at those European geographic areas.
Why very smart people are not liked and tortured to death. Why there are still so many cultural similarities between Jewish people and us. The actual meaning of black Turks and white Turks. And many more. Although it is a small book, it took me a while to read, going back and forth between sources for verification and history brush-up, however it was very much worth all the effort.
View all 4 comments. It has been a long and bumpy ride. Even with a basic knowledge of the great migrations you are left hung out to dry when Koestler takes you through Central Europe, The Great Steppes and Asia in the pursuit of the origins of the Khazars and how they influenced their part of the world for nearly years.
Looking out the window from the Koestler carriage while traveling through time and space is certainly interesting, a lot of effort and scholarship has been put into the work. The number of sourc It has been a long and bumpy ride. The number of sources cited is immense, a thoroughbred and comprehensive set of appendixes on linguistics and explanations of why the sources are credible is included.
The talent and the works of Koestler in his lifetime is extraordinary, but also his controversial views and here we see one of these.
By and large the case is built on the fact that a loosely connected tribal empire, The Khazars, converted to Judaism for sociopolitical reasons — being hammered on from the southeast by Islam and from the west by the Roman Catholic empires, and not willing to chose either side, they picked a wildcard and went with Judaism.
Depending on school of Judaism, you may become a Jew by proper conversion or by matrilineal and patrilineal descent, which leaves the question of why it would be so important to determine an alternative origin of the Ashkenazi Jews open.
However, it remains a thesis, and a thesis which is disputed wildly from all sides of the arena. The discussion is interesting from an academic point of view but bears no significance to anything out there in the real world. View all 6 comments. When this book came out it caused a big controversy although I'm not quite sure how anybody could rationally critique what Koestler put forth here.
It really strikes me as odd when Jews like to refer to themselves as a race, which is a card they like to play when its to thier advantage, when there are Jews from literally every race on the planet.
So my point being, to call the Jews a race, or to say that there is any chance that any but a tiny percentage of them have even the slighest chance that they have some lineage with the Jews of the old Testament is ludicrous. If they want to call themselves the chosen of the Yahweh demon thats their own business I suppose but when fables and historical falsehoods are used as justifications for global political maneuverings that more often than not have seriously negative ramifications for the majority of the people on this planet then I begin to have a problem with it.
Because there was often crusades and warfare between the Muslims in the middle east and the Christians to the north the Khazars chose a religion that would allow them to play both sides of the card and not have to choose sides when problems arose.
You also get a lot of interesting general history of the area that the Khazars came out of using various sources, in particular Ibn Fadlan who is best known for his writings on the Viking Rus that were in that area during the time he was. Overall this is one of the better books you can read if you are studying Ashkenazi Jews.
View all 3 comments. Nov 29, Jan-Maat added it Shelves: 20th-century , religion , europe. Sometimes you can find odd things in libraries, sometimes you wonder how some books even got published in the first place to get into those libraries. Well known controversialist and dead person Arthur Koester wrote this as a non-fiction account of the conversion of the Khazars to Judaism, which one of the many curious events which have occurred in history. He argued that these converts became the ancestors of East European Jews after the end of the Khazar hegemony on the steppe to the North of Sometimes you can find odd things in libraries, sometimes you wonder how some books even got published in the first place to get into those libraries.
He argued that these converts became the ancestors of East European Jews after the end of the Khazar hegemony on the steppe to the North of the Caspian and Black Seas. At the time of writing it was too early for the kinds of genetic analysis available today view spoiler [ although how would you establish what a Khazar genetic heritage would look like when themselves very obscure, I don't know if there are many if any unambiguously Khazar graves hide spoiler ] and archaeological evidence was not utilised in this book.
On one level it is a fairly nice idea, the line from the Khazar steppe to the historical Pale from Ukraine to Poland and Lithuania is a far shorter one than the one from the eastern Mediterranean, On another we know very little about the Khazars - did they all become Jewish or just their chiefs or their Khan - and what did it mean to be a Jewish Khazar?
On a more significant level view spoiler [ for readers hide spoiler ] this book is far less interesting, clever or source aware than The Dictionary of the Khazars in either its male or female editions Feb 23, Bob Newman rated it liked it.
I read it in Rarotonga in a suitably exotic place to read a serious book on a rather exotic topic. I returned to it 24 years later, though I long ago disagreed with the author's main conclusions.
In the first pages, Koestler describes the history of a long-vanished, Turkic people called the Khazars, whose ruler, faced with pressure from both Muslim Hold the Strudel and Pass the Baklava Back in the s, Arthur Koestler, author of "Darkness at Noon", wrote this amazing innovative book. In the first pages, Koestler describes the history of a long-vanished, Turkic people called the Khazars, whose ruler, faced with pressure from both Muslim and Christian nations around them, took the radical step of converting to Judaism.
As this is one of the very few instances if not the single one in history of such a royal move, the Khazars have attracted scholarly attention ever since, particularly, but not only, from Jews.
Indeed, you can log on to a Khazar Studies website today. For another, less factual view of this interesting tribe, you can read Milorad Pavic's poetic, absurdist novel "Dictionary of the Khazars". In any case, Koestler's history makes fascinating reading, containing accounts by ancient Arab travelers, stories of Jewish crusaders in northern Iraq and descriptions of Khazar links to Vikings, Byzantium, Islam, and the Magyars. I have no professional historical knowledge of how accurate it all is, but if I were awarding stars for good writing in the field of history, I'd give five here.
In the remainder of the book, Koestler constructs an argument for the Eastern European Jews being the descendants of those Khazars. He asks where the Khazars all disappeared to.
He says population statistics from the period bear evidence that there could not have been so many Jews to be killed by the brutal Bogdan Khmielnitsky in the great massacres of in Ukraine unless the Khazars had become the Polish-Ukrainian Jews by then.
The Thirteenth Tribe: The Khazar Empire and its Heritage
The Khazar Empire and Its Heritage. By Arthur Koestler. New York: Random House. There are few more fertile fields for controversy than the ethnic background and makeup of European Russia, though for true connoisseurs of academic mayhem I can also strongly recommend the Caucasus. In his latest book Arthur Koestler plunges into both these professorial battlegrounds with great courage and an astonishing measure of success. Aided by much careful research and a penetrating intelligence, he successfully dispels the prevailing aura of scientific and ideological humbug and emerges from the fray with a new, tenable and highly intriguing theory. How, one feels bound to ask, did the Russians ever emerge from this unpromising racial tangle?
The Thirteenth Tribe
His premise, that the bulk of European Jewry, the Ashkenazim, are genetically the descendants of the This book traces the history of the ancient Khazar Empire, a major but almost forgotten power in Eastern Europe, which in A. I think I read this 30 years back but it makes Koestler wrote Darkness at Noon, which centers on the destructiveness of politics, The Act of Creation, a book about creativity, and The Ghost in the Machine, which bravely attacks behaviorism. Arthur Koestler died in London on March 3,
The Thirteenth Tribe is a book by Arthur Koestler , in which the author advances the thesis that Ashkenazi Jews are not descended from the historical Israelites of antiquity, but from Khazars , a Turkic people. Koestler hypothesized that the Khazars who converted to Judaism in the 8th century migrated westwards into Eastern Europe in the 12th and 13th centuries when the Khazar Empire was collapsing. His stated intent was to make antisemitism disappear by disproving its racial basis. Popular reviews of the book were mixed, academic critiques of its research were generally negative, and Koestler biographers David Cesarani and Michael Scammell panned it. Koestler advances the thesis that Ashkenazi Jews are not descended from the historical Israelites of antiquity, but from Khazars , a Turkic people originating in and populating an empire north of and between the Black Sea and Caspian Sea. Koestler's hypothesis is that the Khazars — who converted to Judaism in the 8th century — migrated westwards into current Eastern Europe primarily Ukraine , Poland, Belarus , Lithuania , Hungary and Germany in the 12th and 13th centuries when the Khazar Empire was collapsing. At the end of the book's last chapter, Koestler summarizes its content and his intentions as follows: "In Part One of this book I have attempted to trace the history of the Khazar Empire based on the scant existing sources.