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North of the Don and extending to the banks of the Dnieper were the tents and hunting-grounds of the MAGYARS or Hungarians.1 The continuous history of this Finnish people, who lived by hunting and fishing, begins in the ninth century, and if we think we can recognise it under other names in the days of Attila and the early migrations, our conclusions are more or less speculative. It is, however, highly probable that the Magyars had lived or wandered for centuries in the regions of the Volga, had bowed to the sway of the great Hun, and had been affected by the manners of their Turkish neighbours. They spoke a tongue closely akin to those of the Finns, the Ostyaks, the Voguls, and the Samoyeds, but it is likely that even before the ninth century it had been modified, in its vocabulary, by Turkish influence.1 A branch of the people penetrated in the eighth century south of the Caucasus, and settled on the river Cyrus, east of Tiflis and west of Partav, where they were known to the Armenians by the name of Sevordik or "5 "Black children.' These Black Hungarians, in the ninth century, destroyed the town of Shamkor, and the governor of Armenia repeopled it with Khazars who had been converted to Islam (A.D. 854-855).


On the northern shore of the Sea of Azov, and extending towards the Dnieper, was the land of the Inner or BLACK BULGARIANS, which thus lay

1 For criticism of the Arabic sources (Gurdizi, etc.) see Westberg, op. cit. 20 sqq., Beitr. i. 24 sqq. Marquart, (op. cit. 30-31, 516) places the Hungarians between the Don and the Kuban, but his interpretation has been refuted by Westberg.

2 Regino, s.a. 889, p. 132, ed. Kurze. This is an insertion of Regino in his general description which is transcribed from Justinus, ii. 1-3.

3 Marquart finds their ancestors in the Akatzirs (cp. Priscus, fr. 8 in F.H.G. iv. 89; Jordanes, Get. c. 5) and the Unigurs (op. cit. 40 sqq.); but see the important work of K. Némäti, Nagy-Magyarország ismeretlen történelmi okmánya (1911), where the passage in the Origines of Isidore of Seville (ix. 2, § 66, in Migne, P.L. 82, 334) is fully discussed. He likewise identifies them with the Unigurs.

4 Cp. Marquart, 53. The basis of the Hungarian language was Ugrian,

between the Magyars and the

but it was profoundly modified by Turkish. The well-known able attempt of Vámbéry to prove that it was originally a Turkish tongue (in his A magyarok eredete) has not convinced me, nor has it persuaded Marquart, who has pertinent observations on the subject (49).

5 Constantine, Cer. 687 eis TOÙS Y ἄρχοντας τῶν Σερβοτιῶν (leg. Σεβορτίων, Marquart) τῶν λεγομένων μαῦρα παιδία. Hence Marquart explains Zaßápтo ǎopaλo, said in De adm. imp. 169 to be the old name of the Hungarians, as "the lower Sevordik" (op. cit. 39-40); -ordik, children, he considers only an Armenian transformation by popular etymology of Orgik Ugrians. See also W. Pécz in B.Z. vii. 201-202, 618-619.

6 For this we have the good authority of Baladhuri, who calls the Sevordik Savardi. Marquart, ib. 36.

7 See above, p. 337.

Goths. The lower Dnieper seems to have formed the western boundary of the Khazar Empire, but their influence extended up that river, over some of the Eastern Slavs. The Slavs round Kiev1 paid at one time tribute to the Chagan, who perhaps ensured them against the depredations of the Magyars.

On the central Volga was the extensive territory of the BURDAS,2 who were subject to the Khazars, and formed a barrier against the Outer Bulgarians, their northern neighbours, whose dominion lay on the Volga and its tributary the Kama, including the modern province of Kasan.3

If the Burdās served the Khazars as a barrier against the northern Bulgarians, they were also useful in helping to hold the PATZINAKS in check. This savage people possessed a wide dominion between the Volga and the Ural; their neighbours were, to the north-west the Burdās, to the north the Kipchaks, to the east the Uzes, to the south-west the Khazars. It would seem that some of their hordes pressed early in the ninth century, west of the Volga, into the basin of the Don, and became the formidable neighbours of the most easterly Slavonic tribes.1

§ 3. The Russians and their Commerce

Such, in the early part of the ninth century, was the general chart of the Turkish Empire of the Khazars, their clients, and their neighbours. Before we consider the import of this primitive world for the foreign policy of the Roman Empire, it is necessary to glance at yet another people, which was destined in the future to form the dominant state in the region of the Euxine and which, though its home still lay beyond

1 The Poliane; see below, p. 412. Constantine, De adm. imp. 75, mentions that Kiev was called Sambatas (which has not been satisfactorily explained; cp. Westberg, K. anal. ii. 12; Marquart, 198). The capital of the Slavs, called Jirbab or Hruab by Ibn Rusta (179), Jiraut by Gurdizi (178), is probably Kiev, and Westberg (ib. 24) would read in the texts Chûyab.

2 Ibn Rusta and Gurdizi, 158 sqq. For the orthography see Westberg, K. anal. ii. 14. He distinguishes the Burdas from the Mordvins, and shows that the river Burdās means the central course of the Volga, not a

tributary (ib. 19, and i. 385). Cp. Masudi (Sprenger) 412, and see Marquart, xxxiii. and 336.

3 From their chief town, Bulgar, the Bulgarians could sail down the Volga to Itil in less than three weeks (Ibn Fadhlan, 202).

4 For the boundaries of the Patzinaks according to the early Arabic source of the ninth century, see Westberg, K. anal. ii. 16 sqq., Beitr. i. 212-213. The Patzinaks or Pechenegs were known to the Slavs as the Polovtsi, the name they bear in the Chronicle of Pseudo-Nestor.

the horizon of Constantinople and Itil, was already known to those cities by the ways of commerce. The RUSSIANS or Rūs were Scandinavians of Eastern Sweden who, crossing the Baltic and sailing into the Gulf of Finland, had settled on Lake Ilmen, where they founded the island town, known as Novgorod, the Holmgard of Icelandic Saga, at the point where the river Volkhov issues from the northern waters of the lake.1 They were active traders, and they monopolized all the traffic of north-eastern Europe with the great capitals of the south, Constantinople, Baghdad, and Itil. Their chief wares were the skins of the castor and the black fox, swords, and men. The Slavs were their natural prey; 2 they used to plunder them in river expeditions, and often carry them off, to be transported and sold in southern lands. Many of the Slavs used to purchase immunity by entering into their service. The Russians did not till the soil, and consequently had no property in land; when a son was born, his father, with a drawn sword in his hand, addressed the infant: "I leave thee no inheritance; thou shalt have only what thou winnest by this sword." They were, in fact, a settlement of

1 The following account of the Russians and their commerce is derived from the early Arabic source and from the somewhat later book of Ibn Khurdadhbah, as elucidated by Westberg, K. anal. ii. 23 sqq. and i. 372 sqq. As for the Scandinavian (Swedish) origin of the Russians (Rūs 'Pús), the evidence is overwhelming, and it is now admitted by all competent investigators. The theory that they were Slavs-of which Ilovaiski was the ablest exponent-was crushingly refuted by Pogodin, Kunik, and Thomsen. The Norman " or " Varangian" question which raged in Russia at one time is no longer sub iudice. For a full examination of the data, the English reader should consult Thomsen's Ancient Russia (see Bibliography, ii. 5). The theory propounded by Vasil'evski, in his old age, that the Russians were (Crimean) Goths, and that 'Pús is a corruption of ταυ-ροσ-κύθαι, may be mentioned as a curiosity.

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2 The general disposition of the Slavonic tribes, as the Russians found them, seems to have been as follows: the Krivichi (Kpißırçal, Constantine,

De adm. imp. 79), south of Novgorod, towards Smolensk; the Viatichi, on the river Oka, south of Moscow; the Radimishchi, on the river Sozh', east of the Dnieper; the Siever, on the river Desna, which joins the Dnieper north of Kiev; the Poliane ("plainmen "), probably west of Kiev ; the Drievliane ("men of the woods"; Aepßλevivo, Const. op. cit. 166), perhaps north of the Poliane; the Dregovichi (Δρουγουβῖται, ib. 79), between the rivers Pripet and Düna; also the Tiver'tsi, on the Dniester (whom Schafarik, ii. 133, finds in Constantine, ib., reading των Τεβερβιάνων for TV TE B.); their neighbours the Uglichi (identified by Schafarik with Constantine's Ovλrîvo, ib. 166); the Bujani, so called from their habitation on the river Bug. Schafarik (ii. 113) explains Constantine's Δενζανῖνοι (loc. cit.) as Luchane, whom he considers a portion of the Krivitsi. The localities of these tribes are mainly determined by the data in Pseudo-Nestor. See further Schafarik, ii. sect. 28, and cp. the relevant articles in Leger's Index to his Chronique de Nestor.

military merchants-it is said their numbers were 100,000living by plunder and trade. They had a chief who received a tithe from the merchants.1


The Russian traders carried their wares to the south by two river routes, the Dnieper and the Volga. The voyage down the Dnieper was beset by some difficulties and dangers.2 The boats of the Russians were canoes, and were renewed every year. They rowed down as far as Kiev in the boats of the last season, and here they were met by Slavs, who, during the winter had cut down trees in the mountains and made new boats, which they brought down to the Dnieper and sold to the merchants. The gear and merchandise were transhipped, and in the month of June they sailed down to the fort of Vytitshev, where they waited till the whole flotilla was assembled.5 South of the modern Ekaterinoslav the Dnieper forces its way for some sixty miles through high walls of granite rock, and descends in a succession of waterfalls which offer a tedious obstacle to navigation. The Slavs had their own names for these falls, which the Russians rendered into Norse. For instance, Vinyi-prag' was translated literally by Baru-fors, both names meaning "billowy waterfall," and this "force" is still called Volnyi, "the billowy." In some cases the navigators, having unloaded the boats, could guide them through the fall; in others it was necessary to transport them, as well as their freights, for a considerable distance. This passage could not safely be made except in a formidable com

1 The Arabic writers designate him the Chagan of the Russians, and so he is called (chacanus) in Ann. Bert., s.a. 839. This Turkish title was evidently applied to him by the Khazars, and was adopted from them by the Arabs and perhaps by the Greeks (in the letter of Theophilus to Lewis?).

2 The following account is derived from Constantine, De adm. imp. c. 9. Though composed at a later time, when the Patzinaks were in the neighbourhood of the Dnieper, it obviously applies to the earlier period

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Chernigov, Vyshegrad, and Teliutsa (Liubech), but it is uncertain whether any of these settlements were prior to the settlement at Kiev.

6 There are eleven porogi (waterfalls extending over the whole bed of the river), of which Constantine enumerates seven, and six zabori (only partial obstructions).

7 The fifth in Constantine's enuneration: Βουλνηπράχ, Βαρουφόρος (volna is the Russian, bára the Old Norse, for "wave"). All the names are not quite so clear, but they have been explained, some with certainty, others probably, by Thomsen, op. cit. Lect. ii. These double names are one of the most important items in the overwhelming evidence for the fact that the Russians were Scandinavians.

pany; a small body would have fallen a prey to predatory nomads like the Hungarians and the Patzinaks. On reaching the Black Sea, they could coast westwards to Varna and Mesembria, but their usual route was to Cherson. There they supplied the demands of the Greek merchants, and then rounding the south of the peninsula, reached the Khazar town of Tamatarkha, where they could dispose of the rest of their merchandise to the Jewish traders, who in their turn could transport it to Itil, or perhaps to Armenia and Baghdad. But the Russians could also trade directly with Itil and Baghdad. The Volga carried them to Itil, where they lodged in the eastern town; then they embarked on the Caspian Sea and sailed to various ports within the Saracen dominion; sometimes from Jurjan they made the journey with camels to Baghdad, where Slavonic eunuchs served as their interpreters.

This commerce was of high importance both to the Emperor and to the Chagan, not only in itself, but because the Emperor levied a tithe at Cherson on all the wares which passed through to Tamatarkha, and the Chagan exacted the same duty on all that passed through Chamlich to the dominion of the Saracens. The identity of the amount of the duties, ten per cent, was the natural result of the conditions..

§ 4. Imperial Policy.

The Russian Danger

The first principle of Imperial policy in this quarter of the world was the maintenance of peace with the Khazars. This was the immediate consequence of the geographical position of the Khazar Empire, lying as it did between the Dnieper and the Caucasus, and thus approaching the frontiers of the two powers which were most formidable to Byzantium, the Bulgarians and the Saracens. From the seventh century, when Heraclius had sought the help of the Khazars against Persia, to the tenth, in which the power of Itil declined, this was the constant policy of the Emperors. The Byzantines and the Khazars, moreover, had a common interest in the development of commerce with Northern Europe; it was to the advantage of the Empire that the Chagan should exercise an effective control over his barbarian neighbours, that his influence should be felt in the basin of the Dnieper, and that

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