Re: About red hair - Khazars/Scythians
- View SourceMany medieval writers attested to the Khazars' Turkic origins
including Theophanes, al-Masudi, Rabbi Yehudah ben Barzillai,
Martinus Oppaviensis, and the anonymous authors of the Georgian
Chronicle and Chinese chronicle T'ang-shu. The Arabic writer al-
Masudi in Kitab at-Tanbih wrote: "...the Khazars... are a tribe of
the Turks." (cited in Peter Golden, Khazar Studies, pp. 57-58). T'ang-
shu reads: "K'o-sa [Khazars]... belong to the stock of the Turks."
(cited in Peter Golden, Khazar Studies, p. 58). In his Chronographia,
Theophanes wrote: "During his [Byzantine emperor Heraclius] stay
there [in Lazica], he invited the eastern Turks, who are called
Chazars, to become his allies." (cited in Theophanes, The Chronicle
of Theophanes Confessor, translated by Cyril Mango and Roger Scott,
1997, p. 446).
However, the Khazars probably did mix with other outside groups (even
King Joseph of the Khazars married an Alan (Ossetian) princess), and
the Khazars were a diverse community, probably with all sorts of hair
colors including red and black.
Ibn-Said al-Maghribi describes the Khazars as follows: "As to the
Khazars.... their complexions are white, their eyes blue, their hair
flowing and predominantly reddish, their bodies large and their
natures cold. Their general aspect is wild." (D.M. Dunlop, "The
History of the Jewish Khazars", Schocken , page 11).
On the other hand, Al-Istakhri said that the Khazars have black hair
(Dunlop, page 96).
Kevin Alan Brook
Author, The Jews of Khazaria (1st ed., Jason Aronson, 1999)