This article was also presented by the author as a class, as part of the RTF Lecture Series “The Renaissance Principle Across the Ages“. With the fires of potential global war once again erupting across the Middle East, and with obvious anti-jewish rage amplifying to an extreme degree, I would like to take a moment to follow up on a previous essay titled '
Great history lesson.
And drum roll . . . .
How can the state of Israel openly call for the genocide of Palestinian people and then proceed to completely destroy Palestinian homes and lands with thousands of deadly bombs? Why did all the leaders of the white west frantically travel to Israel last week to show their support, even as the Israeli military had already killed thousands of Palestinian civilians–including one thousand children–in one week. How can Israel act with such impunity but it is never treated as the criminal state that it is? Why is it that, instead of being threatened with sanctions or foreign military intervention, Isreal is receiving all the support, the fealty, and money for its genocide against Palestinians? What is it about Israel that it can perpetuate a holocaust against Palestinians in view of the entire world and get away with it?
What is Israel and why does it find so much support among the imperialist West?
One word: Zionism.
Zionism is a nationalist political movement that sought to create a physical homeland for Jewish people, presumably on the site of their historic homeland. But this site, chosen and given to them by the British, was already populated by hundreds of thousands of Palestinian people who had lived on the land for thousands of years. But with the help of Europeans and the U.S., the Zionists were able to kill and displace the hundreds of thousands of Palestians, taking over their land to establish the state of Israel. The Palestinians that survived the Nakba were relocated to massive refugee camps, or placed in open air prisons controlled by the brutal racist colonial power that Israel had become. In other words, Zionism’s very existence and maintenance depends explicitly on the continuing subjugation of millions of Palestinians.
But Zionism’s existence also depends on upholding white supremacy. In 1896, Theodr Herzl, the father of Zionism described the purpose for Europe of a state of Israel in these words: “There we should also form a portion of the rampart of Europe against Asia, an outpost of civilization as opposed to barbarism. We should remain a neutral state in intimate connection with the whole of Europe, which would guarantee our continued existence.” Today we see how, in the face of yet another Israeli genocidal and white supremacist attack on Palestinians, European leaders are guaranteeing its continued existence. Zionism is white supremacy’s last stand.
To be congratulated Matt - I am on a massive education journey thanks to you and your enthusiasm for history. Although my heads spins after each of your interviews or sessions I make my poor husband sit through with me so we can have discussions afterwards. That way I hope I am reenforcing some of your material. I don’t know how you do it. But if anyone ever asked me who I would have at a dinner for 6 p, you and Cynthia would be my first on the list.
Thank you Matthew!!
This is intriguing, fascinating work. I understand a lot has been lost to history, but do you have an idea why Venetian authority targeted Jewish populations so harshly? What was the impetus for these actions after years of harmony? Is it as simple as dividing up regional groups of people through religion and ethnicity to maintain power? Or was it more vindictive?
I should add this: (Many times what's missing is just as, or more important that what's included.)
In this article it simply states that Khazar King Bulan converted to Judaism around 750, as a matter-of-fact and nothing more to it. "Bulan was the Khazar king who led the conversion of the Khazars to Judaism". The date of his reign is unknown, as the date of the conversion is hotly disputed, though it is certain that Bulan reigned some time between the mid-8th and the mid-9th centuries. Nor is it settled whether Bulan was the Bek or the Khagan of the Khazars. This I do not know about. But I do not believe in the population's wholesale conversion to Judaism, not like the Russians did to Orthodox, although even that took generations.
It is not mentioned at all that at the Beginning of the Ninth Century, one of the beks, Obadia, committed a coup d'état. (Nor how he financed that?) He deprived the Khazar Kagan of actual power, leaving him as the formal head of state, under house arrest, and retaining the title "bek" only for internal use, in relations with foreigners he referred to himself as the king (malik). Really amazing story that the Kagon was brought out once a year on a holiday to assure the people their king was still in power.
The Khazar tribal leaders, beks and tarkhans didn't believe a thing and defended the old order, and a cruel civil war with a religious overtones blazed for a long time in the steppes between the Volga and Don. The winner was the one who had the money, i.e., the supporters of the new order.
At first Khazar tsars bribed allies among nomadic tribes: Magyars, Oguzes and Pecheneg, setting them against each other, and then, in the X century, they had passed to use of mercenaries: the Russ and Slavs, for war against Muslims, and Ars highlanders from Daylam and Mazanderan, who insisted the right not to fight against co-religionists, Islam; but for suppression of pagans and Christians, and their own populations. So a government was created that did not reflect the interests of the people, but regarded them as one more source of taxed income. We know neither the details of the coup, nor the twists and turns of the civil war of the early ninth century, as the available sources cover this problem too sparingly.
That brings extreme doubt to this paragraph from the article:
"Another distinguishing feature of Khazaria was its unique judicial system which wisely represented the diverse faiths which sought refuge in this Jewish land. Khazaria had become renowned for its tolerance and openness (the majority of the population were a mix of Christian, Muslim and Pagan though only the King and his court were Jewish). 10th century Persian historian Abu al-Istakhri described the Khazarian Supreme Court of Justice whose judges comprised two Christians, two Muslims, two Jews and one Pagan stating: “The king has 7 judges [hukkan] from the Jews, Christians, Muslims and Idolators. When the people have a lawsuit, it is they who judge it. The parties do not approach the king himself but only these judges.”
It sounds great for our contemporary audiences. But I don't think the Khazar elites cared anything for their citizens. There may have been courts? The level of justice is unknown.
Just to continue a little; I could dig into the different sections you offered. But I think no one is coming back here so late after the initial post. I will add one caution that the Carolinians were not such a civilizing force.
Charlemagne the son of Pippin the short, became the king of the Franks in 768. (He was a devout Catholic and the Pope consecrated him as king). So I doubt that he ever defied the pope, about the Jews or anything else. Charlemagne built churches and scholars came from afar to council him. It’s said that "Charlemagne laid the base for unity of ideas (western concepts) throughout western Europe".
Some attempt to restore order was the policy of the early Carolinians: It was Pepin the Long, Charles Martel, and Pepin the Short, who stopped the Arab onslaught and allied themselves with the pope. Their efforts culminated in the empire of Charlemagne, which collapsed under his grandchildren. Everything in this empire was imported. Ideology from Byzantium, education from Ireland, military technology (the cavalry) from the Avars, medicine from the Spanish Arabs and Jews. All of this together is called the Carolingian Renaissance.
The Carolingian Empire is viewed in traditional historiography as a French dynasty, with the counting of kings beginning with Charlemagne. A more thorough conception was offered by Augustin Thierry, the French historian 1795 - 1856, who pointed out that the Carolingians exercised their dominion in the territory of modern France exclusively by brute force. Brittany, Aquitaine, Provence and Burgundy only recognized the Carolinian power because they were defeated, powerless to assert their independence. Conversely, the Eastern Franks, the ancestors of the Francons, were inseparably linked to the Carolingians. Thus, this dynasty and the ethnic group that supported it, "the Franks", should be attributed to the Germanic oppressors, the super-ethnos of the Great Migration. So it is, and from this point of view their German military successes can be easily explained.
But against the general background of the waning passionate energy of the Germanic settlers mixed with the descendants of the Gallo-Romans, the bunch of vigilantes gathered around Charles Martell, Pepin the Short, and Charlemagne, were a force; only because their opponents were even weaker. The Christian Carolingians destroyed the independence of Provence (737-739), destroyed Aquitaine (760-768), destroyed Lombardy (774), Bavaria (788), the Saxon tribe (797).
(For instance, from the gigantic timeline in your en-academic.com link, it says in 782 - Charlemagne kills 4,500 unarmed prisoners in Saxony.)
Charlemagne took Barcelona from the Arabs (801) and defeated the Avars (802-803). But in all with the exception of the last two operations, these were victories over their own people: "the Germans beating the Germans settlers." And under Charlemagne's successors even these successes were nullified: the Danube and Elbe valleys were taken over by the Slavs, the "Spanish Brand" was separated from the empire, and the latter disintegrated into its component parts. Your article claims that the collapse came under the later intrigues of Venice which had managed to get Charlemagne’s small-minded grandchildren to fall into civil war breaking the Carolingian Empire with the 842 Oath of Strasbourg into conflicting regions that later came to become the borders of modern Europe. The Oaths of Strasbourg were a military pact made on 14 February 842 by Charles the Bald and Louis the German against their older brother Lothair I, the designated heir of Louis the Pious, the successor of Charlemagne. One year later the Treaty of Verdun would be signed, with major consequences for Western Europe's geopolitical landscape.
The first place after the collapse of the Carolingian Empire was taken by the Germans. Where were the Venetians in this power struggle? The German kings Heinrich Ptitzeloff and Otgon the Great stopped the Hungarian raids, thus ensuring the economic growth of Germany on both sides of the Rhine. The borders of their domain were the Elbe and Rhone, and in Italy they inherited the iron crown of the Lombards. Otgon II tried to wrest southern Italy from the Byzantines, but unsuccessfully, and then the French Normans took over the initiative. But they too fell victim to the Germans in 1194, but this was later. All of them are our Christian heritage though.
In my study of ancient history, there is NOTHING BACK THERE worth emulating for the future. My optimism cannot be based on ancient history, from any period.
Thanks Matt for all your tireless work.
Hello Matt, sorry I am late.
I see all the rich links that you have provided. They're a huge resource, and it may take months or years to digest them all. So may I assume that some of these resources are the basis for this article? Like Pierre Beaudry, for example, and others. I would have to read them.
I too have studied Khazaria, but more narrowly from a Russian student of Mikhail Artamonov, the discoverer of Khazar Sarkel. This student was acknowledged in the Academic.com link, but then he was not listed as a Russian Archeologist in the following link. Why not?
I have studied the works of Lev Gumilev intently, although virtually none of his works have been translated into English. I wonder why? He has been called anti-Semitic for his writing on Khazaria. He did not paint the rosy picture of The Ecumenical Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Confucian Alliance, that many more famous authors promoted. By the way, very few of his dozens of works talk about people of Jewish extraction, maybe only this one on Khazaria. Even now I am uploading 5 chapters of his diaries of 6 expeditions to discover Khazar ruins from 1959 to 1966. He was the first to find them after the Sarkel find, and inspired by his teacher Artamonov, and I take Gumilev as an authority.
I have translated and edited many of his voluminous works. They're published on my site, and I have a couple of his major works in the line-up. So, am I too narrowly focused? Do I have a bias because of all the translation work I have done on this one guy? You be the judge, if you are interested, it is all there. (I know that you are way too busy.)
Your article and sources seem to have an interpretation that the great trade routes were a civilizing force and brought great well-being for long peaceful periods, and even religious tolerance. These features may have coincided at times, but what was the causative part? I can't help jumping to the conclusion that this article is the ancient justification for the current capitalist tenancy to beat down trade barriers, and force feed their products (their unemployment), onto the (colonialized) third world. "Free-Trade" and "Democracy" go together, or some such??
Although I believe you have a basic optimism about certain past periods, and you hope that building on those past "good times", can bring forward an improved future. (I could list some of your older works, but I have not followed your work as of late.) Optimism is good of course, if based on solid ground.
I have come to the opposite conclusion. The Great Silk Road was a game of the oligarchs. The only thing you could ship across Asia on a 200 day, one-way trip were luxury goods. All people from Rome onward were infected by lice. Silk is a finely woven fabric that would block out the lice. When we hear the word silk, we think of the beautiful colors and designs, and the rich people who wanted to have these artistic-things. Nothing of the sort. I totally doubt there was any color at all to the raw silk of this trade.
SILK WAS A TAX! on the Chinese peasants. 50 million Chinese peasants got ABSOLUTELY NOTHING from the silk trade. The Chinese rulers started giving silk to the Steppe Tribes for better horses. The Chinese horses were almost like mules, and could not win a battle against the high bred horses of the steppes, even if they outnumbered them by many times over.
The steppe people (I don't say which ones, because Huns, Turks, Mongols, they all kept this going). They had so much silk they were making Yurts out of it, then they discovered they could sell it to the Mesopotamian kings. The silk started moving west from there, trading hands in a long chain of the trade route.
What went in the other direction? Rich furs from Eastern and Northern Europe were shipped to the east.
FURS WERE A TRIBUTE TO KIEVAN RUS. The hunter trappers got ABSOLUTELY NOTHING from their furs nor from the silk trade route. It was a rich man's game in which they transformed free tributes into riches. To say that this trade brought peace to the world is more than distorted. It brought continuous war: because Slavic tribes had to be conquered annually to force them to pay more tribute.
That totally ignores the SLAVE TRADE. This trade had high and low periods but it started around 200 AD and didn't really end until 1,400 AD. Americans think only of black Africa, Not At All. Slaves were captured all over Eastern Europe and from the Slavic Tribes. The sequence was "make a battle" with someone you could easily beat. KILL every living male. Capture all the women and sell them into gang-rape brothels. Capture all the children and sell them as slaves.
THIS WAS THE MAIN PRODUCT OF THE SILK TRADE ROUTE. It would be too difficult to send 100's of children on a 200 day trek to China, but slaves traded all throughout the hands of slave-traders, and were sold in Spain, Northern Africa, Egypt and Mesopotamia and Persia. For instance:
"Janissary, members of an elite corps in the standing army of the Ottoman Empire, at first staffed by Christian-born youths drafted mainly from the Balkans". DRAFTED! What a laugh. They were captured slaves, after their mother and father were murdered. Babies who knew nothing else than military killing. Their ultimate glory was to be gored by a sword at age 26. Was this the peace that the great trade routes brought as a civilizing force and brought great well-being for long peaceful periods, and even religious tolerance?! Wowee! Stand truth on its head , why not?
All of Eurasia was hacked up into mini-fiefdoms, and competing Empires, and the shifting misfortunes of continuous WAR. All of these forces needed a Mercenary Army to survive. The great expense of that army meant that to keep it financed there always had to be war for someone else to plunder, (and more slaves). This you have to understand. Later money lenders would finance the mercenaries, but then they had to be paid back with interest. Go get more slaves. It went on for centuries.
There are some incredible distortions above. LIKE: "Al Masudi reported his Meadows of Gold that the Jewish Khazars had established an incredible military alliance with the Islamic Abbasid Dynasty who supplied an army of 10 000 Muslim soldiers to the Jewish Khazars". (Then to say: This incredible safeguard was a creative flank which brought the self-interests of both cultures together in ways that made orchestrated imperial conflict nearly impossible.) Wow, that's so nice!
So here is the million dollar question. Why did the Jewish Khazars not have a standing army of their own citizens? Answer; they did not allow any citizen to process any weapons at all, because there would be an immediate uprising. The ruling class was so completely separate from the "The Ecumenical-Jewish-Christian-Muslim-Confucian Alliance" blah blah. The Muslim soldiers were the police force that mercilessly suppressed the population. Four thousand Khazar families controlled most of the silk route for centuries. With these incredible riches they had the highest paid mercenary army in the world.
They brought in Russian mercenaries if they had to fight with Islamic people. The world was a 1,000 years of closed society and zero opportunity. To be a mercenary was the only way out. After each successful battle the soldiers were give a few days to plunder and raze the city, they could kill anyone, and rape any girl they could catch. I'll point you to the Khazaria record:
Though I typically learn a great deal by reading your work, this was so incomprehensible to me that I could not get through it. Meanwhile, it directly contradicts most everything else I have read and been told by modern scholars of that time.
Fantastic, deep dive into history that should be compulsory reading and watching in all universities!
Fascinating and impressive work which was tarnished with the name-calling of Icke. Why?
Meanwhile the Ukrainians have lost hundreds of thousands of men.
So much death and bloodshed. Not to mention an estimated 17 million dead from the clot shot. The globalists are on a roll.
This article looks to be really good, and I shall return to it shortly. The title itself, the first few premises are fundamentally illuminating, as is the hopeful nature of the proposition that such understanding can be helpful to the evoloving "multipolar world," whoever that is. For what world is without mythological identity? And which one can be adequately described with such reductionist scientific language as "multipolarity?"
I look forward to studying this article in more depth.
For now, I leave you with a link to my own recent effort. My response to a critical comment at the end may perhaps be more interesting to you than the rest of the piece:
Great Article, Matt - as expected
Interesting parallels comes to mind:
"Yusuf (Joseph) had launched a coup in 524 followed by a persecution of Christians living in and around Yemen. This attack on Christians (if it was true) resulted in a total war of annihilation of Yusuf and the end to the Himyarite kingdom."
o This particular event, if true, smells and correlate with the Zionist Israelis of today against Palestinians and most likely will lead to the full distraction of the state of Israel as we know it.
o Perhaps, the result will bring remaining Ashkenazi Jews back to its original lands – Ukraine as we know it today. Of course, this only will be possible if both ongoing conflicts, Russia – Ukraine – Russia removes present regime and its influence and Israel, continues to set itself trapped in the geopolitical abyss and continue its inhuman activities, and fanatical agenda which will result in the uprising of the entire Muslim-Arab world – 7 million Israeli jews vs. 2 + billion Muslims - the end result is clear!
o The parallels and direct connection between the two present “hot-zones” is pretty clear, even in the historical context mentioned below: “Whatever happened to cause the weakening and ultimate collapse of Khazaria under Kiev Rus invasions in 969...“ - the battle is nicely depicted in dedicated poem by A.S. Pushkin which you can find here: https://aleksandr-pushkin.su/pesn-o-veshhem-olege/?utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fsearch.brave.com%2F
Again, thank you for all you do!
Mr. Matt . It was a very smart BS about the Khazars and Jews . You conveniently not mentioned the most popular Christian religion Manichaeism because it would not fit with your St Augustine's Doctrine . The Khazar Empire was created by the Khorasmian Magi priesthood in order to counter the Muslim barbarism . Just one time the garbage Muslims killed 400 thousand Khorasmians .This I can tell you because my ancestors were from the Khazar land . Only the Khagan and his closest relatives were forced to convert to Judaism under the punishment of being lobotomized . You can bullshit many but not everybody .
A Raiz de tudo.... Obrigado!
Incisive and carefully documented geopolitical analysis by Richard Medhurst pertaining to the building of the Ben Gurion Canal linking the Eastern Mediterranean to the Gulf of Aqaba.
The Ben Gurion Canal Project was initially a “secret” (classified) U.S. project formulated in 1963 by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory LLNG, a strategic think tank (focussing on nuclear radiation) on contract with the U.S Department of Energy. The LLNG project was formulated in response to the nationalization of the Suez Canal in July 1956 by President Gamal Abdel Nasser (1956-1970). Its intent was to bypass the Suez Canal.
According to the “classified” document prepared by the LLNG (1963) quoted by Business Insider, July 2023, a strategic plan was envisaged:
“to blast an alternative Suez Canal through Israel using 520 nuclear bombs”.
The plan consisted in using 520 buried nuclear explosions “to help in the excavation process through the hills in the Negev Desert. The document was declassified in 1993”. I have not been able to consult the “declassified” LLNG document.
The declassified document is acknowledged in Richard Medhurst’s video.