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Journal Title: Vestnik Volgogradskogo Gosudarstvennogo Universiteta. Seriâ 4. Istoriâ, Regionovedenie, Meždunarodnye Otnošeniâ

ISSN: 1998-9938 (Print); 2312-8704 (Online)

Publisher: Volgograd State University

Society/Institution: Volgograd State University

LCC Subject Category: History (General) and history of Europe: History of Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics | Political science: International relations

Country of publisher: Russian Federation

Language of fulltext: Russian

Full-text formats available: PDF



Aleksey S. Shchavelev (Department of History of Byzantium and Eastern Europe, Institute of World History, RAS, Moscow, Russian Federation)


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 7 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Introduction. The article aims to analyze the possible dating of letters from the archive, which belonged to Hasdai ibn Shaprut, the grandee of the court of the first two caliphs of the Cordoba from the Umayyad dynasty. These letters are the key source for the political and diplomatic history of Europe in the 10th century. Methods. For the first time, the whole letters and separate passages, related to the Khazar project of Hasdai ibn Shaprut, hav been analyzed from the viewpoint of absolute and relational chronology. So, the investigation is based on methods of epistolography and chronology, the epistemological aim is the reconstruction of the interval date of the complex of letters. Analysis. Many of the present dates of letters and the identification of addressees adopted in historiography are based on outdated or erroneous arguments. Hasdai’s letters were sent to Byzantine rulers Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, his son Roman II and Roman’s wife Anastasia-Theophano. A significant marker is the mention of the book of Josippon, which was written in 953. Most likely, Hasdai ibn Shaprut became interested in Khazaria not earlier than the 950s, and this actualized his interest to Byzantium, which had regular trade and diplomatic contacts with Khazars. In the mid or the end 960s, after the walloping of Khazaria, Hasdai’s interest in it had to be extinguished. Results. The main body of the collection of letters from the Hasdai ibn Shaprut’s archive can be dated by the mid 950s – the first half of the 960s. As far as the remains of one personal archive are concerned, earlier dates of letters are certainly unlikely.