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Mess about Yddish and Crimean Goths

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  • Serge Chernush
    Some words on gotho-khazar relations and jewish diaspora in Crimea in VIII-X cc AD. Since the second half of seventh century when Khazars appeared at the
    Message 1 of 1 , May 6, 2005
      Some words on gotho-khazar relations and jewish diaspora in Crimea in VIII-X cc AD.

      Since the second half of seventh century when Khazars appeared at the Crimean peninsula, they
      gradually advanced from Bospor to the west. This process was described from archaeological
      point of wiev by Ph. D. Igor Avenirovich Baranov in his study "Tavrika v epohu rannego
      srednevekovja" (Tavrica in early medieval epoch- Crimean variant of Saltov-Mayak culture).
      The map of saltovian "ail" - temporary nomadic settlements in Crimea supplied with Baranov's
      monography clearly shows that areas inhabited by christian alano-gothic population (South-West
      and South Coast) and khazarian bulgars (Centre and East, especially Kerch peninsula) did not
      intersect. As in this period was of certain weakness for Byzantium, khasars succeded to conquer
      some gothic Klimatai at the South Littoral and in middle flow of rivers Belbek, Kacha, Alma,
      Bodrak.
      Crisis broke out by the end of eighth century, when Khazars had captured Doros-Mangup. As a
      result Christian population of Gothia revolted in 787 year AD under leadership of bishop St.
      John the Gothic. The leaders of rebels were the local iconolatrian party, which was in an
      opposition to official iconoclastic doctrine dominating in Kherson and at the most territory of
      Byzantine influence. In such conditions anti-Khazar reconquest was condemned to fail, because
      there were no hope to get Byzantine support to the rebellion with anti-government motto. For the
      details you must turn tu vita of St. John (Canonized by Orthodox Church).
      I'd like stress that local population was not extreamly hostile to nomadic invaders - in Crimea
      started christianisation of bulgars. In places where they settled soon spacious basilicae emerged
      (Tepsen', Bakla etc). Presence of Saltovian culture in Dori country tends to infinitesimal - rare
      (not to say unic) occasional finds of typical saltovian cermics on settlements and pieces of belt
      garniture in catacumb cemetries. I know only two real saltovian traces here. First fortification A
      VIII on Chamnu-burun (Mangup-Theodoro) wich was rebuild using original saltovian techics -
      masonry is laid directly on the ground (like whitestone fortresses on Don) even with tamga-
      shaped signs on blocs. Second is branding-iron set with analogous signs found at Mangup
      plateau in treasure-complex with two pairs of characteristic saltovian stirrups. No doubt in both
      cases we see evidences of khazarian harrison. Technique of masonry at Suren fortress on Belbek
      bears some specific features and its attribution is disputable.
      So, look at this Crimean khazars - nomadic bulgars in the stage of sedentarization and slightly
      christianized. When Thema of Klimates was established and greek and gothic troops (one
      molibdobule from Chersonesos mentioned TAGMA GOTHIKON) kicked out khasarian
      administration fron Crimea is it credible that they migrated to West? To the contrary - exists
      many arguments that thay joined local ethnogenesis.
      May be there was some jewish communities in this time acting as medium?. Very intriguing!
      No traces. Peut etre only at Bosporus or Cherson. For what reason they must be speaking gothic?
      Crimean Goths at this time seemed very similar to Tolkiens Rohirrim - not wealthy but brave
      land of halfnomadic cattle- and hors-breeders covered with dense net of shelters and fortresses.
      Doros-Mangup - being the capital for this time even had not been covered by soil. Fortified
      perimeter of bare rock surface at the top of mountain 583 m in height surrounded by precipices
      up to 70 m on the long and steep slopes covered by crushed stone. In the centre of plateau single
      fundamental building - enormous basilica build by Justinian I. Terrible cold wind in winter,
      burnig heat and duzzling scorching limestone in summer. Ballistarii, gothic warrors with
      artificially deformed sculls armed with long swords, heavy spears and complex bows of hunnic
      type as the only human beings seeng for months. We meet very high percentage of sceletons
      with traces of battle injuries ( anthropologist - criminalist Leonid Ponomarjov even made
      special exposition in Crimean medicine institute for traumatologists).
      Where can we find more suitable place for establishing jewish colony?
      Single known important marketplace - Parthenit between Byzantine fortresses Aluston (now
      Alushta) and Gorzubitae (now Gurzuf) was the center of anti-khazar revolt. Exactly here St. John
      found monastery of St. Apostles Peter and Paul an here he will late been burried. There for
      centures stayed center of Gothic episcopy (survived to XIX century). So Parthenite also not fits.
      There is some myths about Karaites as a descendants of jewis khazars in Crimea. As far as it
      connected with Goths in next posting I will send a report at XIII Congress of Jewis Studies in
      Jerusalem by head of Mangup expedition Alexander Herzen.
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