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“Israel perceives [the Babylonian Radhanite state of] Azerbaijan as an advanced satellite state for Mossad”

The truth in Armenia EXPOSED after midnight attack on sovereign soil |

Hundreds of soldiers and civilians have been killed in Armenia in a conflict with Azerbaijan. Armenia is now asking Russia for assistance due to a long-standing treaty. We break down the timing of this attack and the implications for the rest of the world. Journalist Kevork Almassian joins us to break it all down.

Editor’s Note: Both Armenia and Azerbaijan formed the southern most boundaries of the Khazarian Empire (c. 650–969), and were therefore under the banking and merchant control of the pagan Babylonian Radhanites, just when the Seljuk Turks were capturing Babylon and the Radhanites were rebranding themselves as “Ashkenazi” and opening a northern route for the Silk Road through Khazaria, centered in Atil, today named Astrahan (mouth of the Volga River emptying into the Caspian Sea). Today this region is called the Crimea.

Castration and sale of Rus men into Islamic slavery by Babylonian Radhanites

Babylonian Radhanites, millennial pagans who sacrifice children, embraced false “Jewish” messiah’s Sabbatai Zevi (1626-1676)  and  Jacob Frank (1726-1791) a century later.

Radhanite bankers and merchants in ancient Europe would import Rus slaves into Spain, castrate them, then resell them into slavery in Islamic countries

Editors. (Jan. 17, 2015). Reports of the Slavs From Muslim Lands Part II – Radhanites, Eunuchs and the Rus. In Nomine Jassa. Reproduced for educational purpose. Fair Use relied upon. Fair Use relied upon. Source: ]

“All the Saqaliba [Slav] eunuchs in the world come from al-Andalus [Iberian peninsula, Spain, Portugal].  They are castrated near this country.  The [cutting] operation is performed by Jewish merchants [Radhanites].” 

The Hidden Hand of History: Babylonian Radhanites (sometimes called crypto-Jews; we call them Fake Jews), worshippers of usury, Mammon, Moloch and Baal

Kabbalist Jacob Frank (1726-1791)

Claimed to be the messianic reincarnation of Sabbatai Zevi; claimed to be part of a trinity (Jacob Frank, Adam Weishaupt, AM Rothschild); funded by Amschel Mayer Rothschild; helped start the freemason Illuminati in line with Frankism and Western esotericism; destruction of civilization; Rothschild sent JJ Astor, Paul Warburg, Jacob Schiff to America to privitize US banking and destroy the American Republic

Kabbalist Rabbi Sabbatai Zevi (1626-1676)  

Ibn Khordadbeh (820-913 A.D.) et al

Persian geographer, historian, postmaster, and spymaster

“All the Saqaliba [Slav] eunuchs in the world come from al-Andalus [Iberian peninsula, Spain, Portugal].  They are castrated near this country.  The [cutting] operation is performed by Jewish merchants [Radhanites].”

Besides ibn Khordadbeh, the Radhanites are mentioned by name only by a handful of sources. Ibn al-Faqih’s early tenth century Kitab al-Buldan (“Book of the Countries”) mentions them, but much of ibn al-Faqih’s information was derived from ibn Khordadbeh’s work. Sefer ha-Dinim, a Hebrew account of the travels of Yehuda ben Meir of Mainz [late 10th early 11th century. authority in religious decisions. Judah seems to have been one of the founders of the scientific study of the Talmud in France.  Mainz (Frankfurt), Germany (Gutenberg Press) ], named Przemyśl and Kiev as trading sites along the Radhanite route. In the early twelfth century, a French-Jewish trader named Yitzhak Dorbelo wrote that he travelled with Radhanite merchants to Poland.

(Michael McKibben sang huge concerts in Przemyśl, then on the USSR-Polish border when he was with Living Sound!)

Fig. 3: Living Sound concert, Przemyśl, Poland (Sep. 22, 1975). Photo: Sacrosong, Ruth Vesanen.

Author of: The Book of Roads and Kingdoms is a 9th-century geography text by the Persian geographer Ibn Khordadbeh

This is the Arab historian who has provided the most complete description of the Radanites. He was born in ca. 820 A.D. probably in Baghdad and certainly grew up in Baghdad/Babylon. Most historians use his writings a touch point for their research.

[Ibn Khordadbeh (820-913 A.D.). (Accessed Oct. 27, 2022). Biography, fullname Abu’l-Qasim Ubaydallah ibn Abdallah ibn Khordadbeh. Wikipedia.]

Note his profession at one point.

“When Ibn Khordadbeh became of age, he was appointed as the [POSTMASTER GENERAL of] caliphal postal and intelligence service in the central province of Jibal, and eventually in Samarra and Baghdad.”

“postal and intelligence” was already a combined task. The British Post Office managed all the Marconi Wireless domestic theft, while MI6 handled it outside of Britain.

“he indicates the location of the different countries/regions/cities direction-wise with reference to the Ka`ba, its four walls representing the four main directions. In the next four sections, he describes the countries lying to the East, West, North and the South (of Baghdad) respectively along with the cities, caravan routes, and the journeying stages thereof.”

The Book of Roads and Kingdoms is a 9th-century geography text by the Persian geographer Ibn Khordadbeh. It maps and describes the major trade routes of the time within the Muslim world, and discusses distant trading regions such as Japan, Korea, and China. It was written around 870 CE, while its author was Director of Posts and Police for the Abbasid province of Djibal. The work uses much of the Persian administrative terms and gives considerable attention to pre-Islamic Iranian history, uses “native Iranian cosmological division system of the world”. These all show “the existence of Iranian sources at the core of the work”. Another source of influence on the KMMS was Claudius Ptolemy, and Greek history.

The King of Iraq, whose commonly called Quisra, [was called] Sahansah, the King of ar-Rum, commonly referred to as Quaisar [Caesar], is called Basil, the kings of the Turks, at -Tubat and al-Hazar [are] all [called] Haqan [khagan/khan] with the exception of the King al-Harluh, who they call Gabgujah.  The King as-Sin [is called] Bagbur.  They are all descendants of Afaridun.  The greatest king of India [is called] Balhara which means the “king of kings”.  The other rulers of India include: Gaba, king al-Taqan, king al-Gurz, Gaba and Rahma and king Qamrub. King az-Zabag [is called] al-Fungab, the king of Nubia [is called] Qabil, the king of Abissinia [is called] an-Nagasi, the king of the islands of the Eastern Sea [is called] al-Maharag, king as-Saqalib [of the Slavs] [is called] Qnaz [knyaz].

From the Western Sea there come Slavic, Byzantine [ar-Rum], Frankish and Langobard eunuchs, as well as Byzantine and Andalusian slave women and beaver pelts and other furs.  From among the fragrances [they bring] al-mama and from medicines – mastic.  From the depths of that sea near Francia they harvest bussed which is commonly called corral.

The distance of the entire Strait, from the Khazar Sea to the Syrian Sea is 320 miles.  There sail through it [i.e., the the Strait of Bosphorus] ships from the islands of the Khazar Sea and those parts and there sail it upwards [in the other direction, ships] coming from the Syrian Sea towards al-Qustantinija [Constantinople].

Reports of the Slavs From Muslim Lands Part II – Radhanites, Eunuchs and the Rus   

Ibrahim Ibn Ya’qub wasn’t the only traveler from the Muslim world to note the Slavs.  There were a number of others – we will bring you those reports over time beginning with four that are descriptive of the activities of certain early medieval trading groups.

One such group are the Radhaniya (RadaniaRadhaniyya or Radanites in English) – a group of Jewish merchants that traversed the medieval world crossing boundaries between the Franks, Muslims, Byzantines, the Rus and the Slavs.  In fact, they were able to reach Mesopotamia, Arabia, Persia, Central Asia’s various –stans, India, perhaps Mongolia and even China.

Radanite merchants at an unspecified Antiochian tavern (their Saqaliba slave-to-be is seen growing into his role by serving warm handtowels)

As far as we can tell the Radhanites were principally traders carrying Western goods such as brocade, beaver pelts, marten, furs, swords but also (newly minted) eunuchs and, it appears, children – all to be sold into slavery.  From the East they came back with musk, aloe wood, camphor, cinnamon, celadon, silk (this was before the Italians took over production) and other products of the Orient.  In a way they were a more modest precursor to the Hanseatic League, the British East India Company or today’s corporations – a trading guild (or perhaps just a loose network of trading associates) whose members likely served as both merchants, explorers and, likely, spies for the local potentates.  It is possible that Ibrahim Ibn Ya’qub was also a “member” of this group – we will likely never know for sure (the fact that, when visiting Germany, he was surprised to see some of the Eastern wares and coins in the local markets, e.g., in Mainz – suggests that perhaps he was more of a diplomat traveler than a trader himself).

What the origin of the name is another mystery [likely propaganda] (Frankish, Rhodan River? The city of al-Rayy/Rhages in Persia? Rhadan, a province in Persia or Mesopotamia? Do they have anything to do with the Slavic Rodanice? Or Rod-a-niya (as in, ominously (!), ‘destroyer’ of the ‘clan’)?) and much ink has been spilled on this topic… (Moshe Gil’s “Jews in Islamic Countries in the Middle Ages” contains some of the latest attempts at shedding light on this).

As regards slaves, the Radhanites themselves being principally intermediaries dealing in all kinds of merchandise, were not the ones who would capture human cargo – rather for that they relied on wars, the various local monarchs and raiders.  We must remember that slavery never died out with the collapse of the Roman Empire and as the Franks and then the newly-added Saxons began to fight the Polabian Slavs, a surplus of prisoners of war would most profitably be disposed off by selling them into slavery.  In this fashion your enemies would never be heard from again and you would make a lot of money – a win win so to speak.

Similarly, local monarchs were no doubt to cash in on the action and send some of their political opponents on long-deserved vacations (see Bretislav in Bohemia who permitted the slave trade in Prague some one hundred years after the official adoption of Christianity).  Finally, you had the various raiding nomads who continued to plague Ukraine and Russia much as the various Scythian and Sarmatian tribes before or the Mongols, Turks and Tartars after.

One such group was the south-Caspian based Khurasan.  But another one that we now come to, one that monopolized all channels of commerce (downstream and upstream, so to speak) were the Rus warrior-merchants – most likely Varangians (much more on that later).  Their reach was more limited than that of the Radhanites but they also penetrated far: first on the Dnieper then into the Black Sea  and then all the way to Constantinople; or, sometimes, on the Volga to the Caspian Sea and all the way to Baghdad.

Rus merchant teaching discipline to a soon to be not-so-unruly Slavic captive (circa A.D. 902)

Unlike the Radhanites, the Rus captured their wares at their point of origin and delivered them all the way down to the final end users.  They sold beaver and black fox pelts, as well as swords but also Slavs.  They traveled through the Khazar Khaganate and the Byzantine Empire selling some of their goods there and paying customs duties to the local rulers as they traveled even further.  While the Radhanites were likely to have to hire guards for their long voyages, the Rus were both merchants and guards.  They liked to do things on their own and, one may conjecture, that the Rus’ ultimate decision to get themselves “invited” to rule the Slavs (after first being thrown out) as Nestor in his PVL so diplomatically puts it, was simply an attempt to formalize the Rus-Slav relationship in a legal framework of “ownership” so as to enable the Rus to collect their bounty directly without having to resort to bothersome raiding activity.

It is also noticeable that, as the furs, swords, honey, wax, amber and Slavic slaves were sent to the East, the traders brought (in addition to bartered goods) tons of Abbasid silver dirham coins back with them, fueling the economic revitalization of Europe previously suffering the doldrums of trading collapse that occurred in the wake of the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

The first report comes from Ibn Khurradadhbih (c 820 – c 911) and was written sometime between 840s-880s, however, it may be that what he describes relates to an earlier period perhaps in the beginning of the IX century.  Ibn Khurradadhbih was in the intelligence business working as a spymaster in the Persian province of Jibal (his official title being the director of the Abbasid Bureau of Posts and Intelligence).  He was a friend of the caliph Mu’tamid.  He is also the author of “The Book of Roads and Kingdoms” and that is where we find this first report.

The second report is one by Ibn al-Faqih (c 903?) of Hamadan (we have no idea who he was) and has been dated to 903.  Ibn al-Faqih almost certainly copied portions of the earlier Ibn Khurradadhbih report as will become clear to the readers.  It appears that what little survives of his writings is in the form of shorter versions that come from a monumental treatise which, alas, has been lost to us (it seems).  Faqih’s report is also curious because, while the first report (which predates Rurik’s takeover of Slavic tribes of later Russia), arguably, describes the Rus and the Slavs as separate [but maybe not see below] , the latter report calls apparently the same people just Slavs.

Third, as it seems to topically fit in here, we include a report by Ibn Hawqal (a traveler and geographer born in Nisibis c 920 – c 988; edited Istakhri’s Book of Roads and Kingdoms which was in turn an edition of Ibn Khurradadhbih’s version) regarding the trade in slaves and Slavic eunuchs which was written sometime before the year 988.  We note that there had been Slavs around his home town of Nisibis (albeit in a military capacity) already a century and a half before his writings.

Finally, we present a report on the Rus and Slavs by Ibn Rusta (circa 903), a native of Isfahan and an author of a multi-volume encyclopedia of geography and history.

In terms of the organization, we start with reports on the Radhaniya and their trade routes, follow it up with a note on the eunuch trade and then go into the excerpts dealing with the Rus and the Slavs.

We note, up front, that the name for Slavs in Arabic is Saqaliba.  Finally, note too that where possible we provide current place names but only once – if you can’t locate these in the text above then we didn’t provide any corresponding contemporary names (meaning you should know where the place is or what it is without help from us).

Ibn Khurradadhbih on the al-Radhaniya

The routes of the Jewish merchants called al-Radhaniya; these merchants they speak Arabic, Persian, Greek, Latin, Frankish, Andalusian and Slavic.  They journey from west to east, from east to west, traveling by land and by sea.  From the west they export eunuchs [more on that later – these were largely Slavic captives brought to Al-Andalus], young girls and boys, brocade, beaver pelts, marten and other furs and also swords.”

“They set sail from Firanja [the land of the Franks?] on the Mediterranean coast and then head for Farama in Egypt [Tell el-Farama, on the Mediterranean Coast, in the delta north of Suez].  There they transfer their merchandise to the backs of camels and travel to Qulzum [former Clysma, at the southern end of the Suez Canal] on the Red Sea, a distance of 25 forsakes [parsecs?].  They sail [from Qulzum] down the  Red [Eastern] Sea to al-Jar, the port of Medina, and to Jiddah/Gudda [Jeddah], the port of Mecca.  Then they continue on to Sindh [in Pakistan], India and China.”

“They return from China with musk, alloe wood, camphor, cinnamon and other eastern products, docking again at Qulzum, then proceed to Farama, from where they again set sail on the Mediterranean [Western] Sea.”

“Some of them head for Constantinople to sell their goods to the Byzantines.  Others go to the palace of the King of Franks.  Sometimes these Jewish merchants set sail on the Mediterranean from the land of the Franks to Antioch [then in Muslim hands before a reconquista in 969 by the Byzantines; now under Turkish administration].  They then proceed overland to al-Jabiya on the Euphrates, a journey of three days [somewhere in Syria – East of Antioch].  They sail down the Euphrates to Baghdad, then down the Tigris to al-Ubulla [East of Basra in the Tigre-Euphrates delta, served as the Persian Gulf “gateway” to India], from where they sail  the Arabian Gulf to Oman, Sindh, India and China. All these lands are connected to one another.”

The overland routes of the Radhaniya are as follows; the Jewish merchants also follow a land route.  Merchants departing from Spain or France sail to as-Sus al-aqsa [southern Morocco] and then to Tangier, from where they set off for Ifriqiyya [Tunisia/Tripolitania] and then to Misr the Egyptian [capital].  From there they head towards Ramla [today’s Israel?], visit Damascus, Kufa [on the Euphrates in Iraq], Baghdad and Basra [southern Iraq], then cross the Ahwaz [in Persia], Farz [Persia], Kirman [Kerman, Persia], Sindh and India, and finally arrive in China.”

“Sometimes they take a route north of Rome, heading for Khamlij [likely Atil close to the Caspian Sea shore] via the lands of the Saqaliba (Slavs).  Khamlij is a Khazar capital [city?].  They sail the Caspian Sea, make their way to Balkh [in Bactria – today’s Afghanistan], from there to Ma wars annahr [Transoxiana or Bactria, e.g, where the city of Samarkand is], then to the yurt [Wurt] of the Toghuzghuz [somewhere in Uighur countries or Mongolia – Toquz Oghuz means the (Turkish) Nine Tribes] and there to China.”

Ibn al-Faqih on the al-Radhaniya

“Someone tells that it is stated in the Torah that Rayy [Persian, close to the Caspian Sea] is one of the ports of the earth and the place of commerce for mankind.  [note that ray – also is Slavic for paradise]  … Rayy has a fine climate and its buildings are marvelous.  It is the gate of commerce, the refuge of those seeking liberty, the bridegroom of the Earth [?], the highway of the world.  It lies mid-way between Khurasan [northeast Persia], Jurjan [aka Gurgan in Persia on the Southeastern coast of the Caspian Sea] , Iraq and Tabaristan [Tapuria on the southern Caspian Sea].  It is the most beautiful creation on Earth.  It has the Surr and Sarban [presumably meaning those of the Pashtuns but there is always the question of the origin of the Serbs] quarters, and to it flows merchandise from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Khurasan, Khazaria and the country of the Burjan [Bulgar – probably of the Volga variety].”

[here the account begins to resemble what we know from Ibn Khurradadhbih]

“Merchants sail from east to west and west to east, carrying brocades and fine quality silk from the land of the Franks to al-Farama.  Then they sail from Qulzum and cross the sea to China, carrying these products.  Then they carry cinnamon and celadon and all the products of China until they come back to Qulzum and cross to al-Farama.  These are Jewish merchants.  They speak Persian, Greek, Arabic and Frankish.  They embark from al-Farama and sell the musk and aloes wood as well as everything they have brought with them from the kingdom of the Franks.  Then they come to Antioch, then go to Baghdad and then to al-Ubulla.” [ on the Tigris River, south of Badhdad ]

Ibn Hawqal on the Trade in Eunuchs 

“The country of the Saqaliba [country of the Slavs] is so immense that on the East side it delivers slaves to Korassan, whereas on the West side it sends them to Andalusia.  The Andalusians buy them in Galicia, in France, in Lombardy and in Calabria so as to make the eunuchs, and thereafter they ferry them over to Egypt and Africa.  All the Saqaliba [Slavic] eunuchs in the world come from Andalusia.”

“A well-known export from al-Andalus [Iberian peninsula, Spain, Portugal]  is slaves, boys and girls captured in France and Galicia, as well as eunuchs from the Saqaliba.  All the Saqaliba eunuchs in the world come from al-Andalus.  They are castrated near this country.  The [cutting] operation is performed by Jewish merchants [Radhanites].  The Saqaliba [Slavs] are descended from Japheth [one of the three sons of Noah].  Their country is vast and extend over a very great length.  Raiders from Khurasan [or Khorassan]reach them through the territory of the Bulghars.  They are led in captivity to that province., their manhood left intact, their bodies unmutilated.  The territories of the Saqaliba are immense.  The arm of the sea which extend from the Ocean into the lands of Gog and Magog crosses their territory all the way to a point west of Trebizond [Trabzon, east of Paphlagonia on the Black Sea in today’s Turkey] then to Constantinople, thus dividing it into two halves.  One of these, throughout all its length is raided by the warriors of Khurasan, who live on its borders, while the northern regions are invaded by raiders from al-Andalus via Galicia, France, Lombardy* and Calabria.”

In another translation this text continues “so as to make the eunuchs, and thereafter they ferry them over to Egypt and Africa.” [See Ibn Khurradadhbih above on the same route]

Finally, he also says of the people of Khwarezm or Chorasmia: [East of the Caspian Sea, into Sogdia]

“Their entire wealth comes from trading with the Turks and from livestock.  One imports to them the greater part of the Slavic and Khazar slaves and slaves from the bordering lands in addition to Turkish slaves and furs from the Korsak foxes, sables, foxes, beavers and other types of furs.”

* Incidentally, Lombardy meant all of northern Italy all the way to Rome. In fact, in the Life of Saint Zachary we have, under the year 747, an entry indicating that it was the Venetians who acquired slaves here and then delivered them to Saracen countries.  When the papal and imperial edicts forbade this practice, the Venetians began to use Adriatic and Mediterranean pirates to acquire slaves and hand them over to the Venetians.  Many of these slaves came from the Eastern shores of the Adriatic where we know slaves were traded as late as the 15th century in, for example, Dubrovnik.  However, in case  you ask, it is highly unlikely that it is for this reason that those Slavs living in the area became known as the Servi as that name appears in many places and predates the events described here.

[Ibn Hawqal concludes this chapter with a piece of good news]

Ibn Hawqal – an eternal optimist

“Captives from these regions are still plentiful [!]”

Ibn Khurradadhbih on Rus Merchants

The routes of the Rus merchants are as follows; the Rus, one of the Saqaliba people, journey from the farthest reaches of Saqlab [the land of the Slavs] to the eastern Mediterranean and there sell beaver and black fox pelts, as well as swords.  The Byzantine ruler levies a ten percent tax on their merchandise.  On their return they go by sea to Samkarsh, the city of the Jews [Tamatarkha, former Greek colony on the Black Sea off of the Crimea; then in the Khazar Khaganate – today in Russia], and from there make their way back to Slavic territory [?].  They also follow another route, descending the Don (Tanais) River, the river of the Saqaliba, and passing by Khamlij, the capital/city of the Khazars, where the ruler of the country also levies a ten percent tax on them.  There they embark upon the Caspian Sea, heading for a point they know.  This sea is 500 forsakes [parsecs?] long [in diameter].  Sometimes they transport their merchandise on camel back from the city of Jurjan to Baghdad.  There Slavic speaking eunuchs interpret for them.  They [the Rus] pretend to be Christians and, like them [Christians] only pay a poll tax.”

Ibn al-Faqih on Rus Merchants

“Regarding the Saqalib merchants, they bring fox and beaver pelts from the depths of their country to the Mediterranean, where the Byzantine king imposes a ten percent tax on them.  Then they go by sea to “Samkarsh of the Jews” [Tamatarkha, former Greek colony on the Black Sea off of the Crimea; then in the Khazar Khaganate – today in Russia].  From there, they either go on to the Saqaliba or take the way from the sea of the Saqaliba to the river of the Saqaliba (Don or Volga?), until they come to the gulf of the Khazars, where the ruler imposes a tax off ten percent.  Then they go to the sea of Khurasan (the Caspian Sea), usually disembarking at Jurjan, where they sell all their goods, which are then sent to Rayy, and the most amazing thing si that this is the emporium of the world.”

Ibn Rusta on the Rus (and Slavs)

“The Rus (Rusiya) live on an island in a lake.  This island is three days’ march across and consists of forests and thickets.  It is pestilential and the soil is so damp that when a man steps on it, it quivers underfoot.  They have a ruler called khagan Rus.  The Rus raid the Saqaliba, sailing in their ships until they come upon them.  They take them captive and sell them in Khazaran and Bulkar (Bulghar).  They have no cultivated fields and they live by pillaging the land of the Saqaliba.”  [the island may be at Gorodische where Volkhov comes out of Lake Ilmen – aka [?] Holmgarthr]

A Note on the Global Slav Trade

It is clear that various raiding parties of slavers but also of traders drove into Slavic lands from both West and East.  The people captured were then taken to processing centers – such as Prague and then towards slave markets of al-Andalus or similar establishments in the Middle East.

Saint Adalbert (Voytech) recommends the freeing of slaves to Boleslav II of Prague – slave traders  sporting fashionable hats – slaves sporting leashes – source “Gniezno doors” reliefs

Saint Adalbert (Voytech) recommends the freeing of slaves to Boleslav II of Prague – slave traders  sporting fashionable hats – slaves sporting leashes – source “Gniezno doors” reliefs

Some were castrated and sold off as eunuchs – note, for example, the above reference about Slavic eunuchs serving interpreters in Baghdad.  Some remained in Spain.  Others were taken far into Muslim lands (e.g., the above mentioned Slavic eunuchs serving as interpreters in far off Baghdad), perhaps as far as the Arabian peninsula and, maybe, even further onto India and China.

Some Slavic eunuchs thrived in their new environs functioning as dispassionate schemers and machers

Some Slavic eunuchs thrived in their new environs functioning as dispassionate schemers and machers

Of course for the wheels of medieval globalization to turn you needed a number of factors to work just right.

To others, their new circumstances proved more of a shock

To others, their new circumstances proved more of a shock

First, as elsewhere in history where slavery comes up, you had to have a bunch of relatively hapless people who were isolated and ignorant of the wider world – preferably not speaking the language of the lands they were heading to.  These could be locals but, importantly, they could be strangers as in prisoners of war from other countries.

Second, you had to have brigand-raiders that would carry off the cargo.  These included the various Arabs (and Muslims in general), the Rus, the Avars, likely also – at least initially – the Magyars (Hungarians then called the “Turks”) and the already mentioned Khurasan.  As mentioned already, a great force in this trade seem to have been the Franks and, especially, the Saxons, who after (and during) their conversion to Christianity found a new cause in establishing marches for the Franks* among the various border tribes of the Slavs – their excursions into Polabian Slav lands were reminiscent of the later Reisen of the Teutonic Knights through the lands of the Old Prussians.

* The brutalization of the Saxons by the Franks – especially under the monstrous Charlemagne -may have contributed to their subsequent brutalization of the Slavs – no doubt psychologists might have something to say about this.

Khurasan raiders looking for slaves in a smoldering Slav village

Khurasan raiders looking for slaves in a smoldering Slav village

Third, things, no doubt, went more smoothly if you had coopted the local elites into this business.  These rulers and traders may have been looking for ways to boost their income and the rise of the various local standing “armies” may, perhaps, at least in part, been fueled by human chattel.  Further, the extensive presence of Arab coinage from this time in Central and Eastern Europe may too attest to this phenomenon.

What can’t escape notice is that it was the continued willingness of Europeans to sell their countrymen (though not always countrymen, e.g., Franks selling Saxons, Franks and Saxons selling Slavs, one Slavic tribe selling members of another Slavic tribe) into slavery, that was a driver of this process (as much a backbone of this slave trade as the willingness of African chieftains to do the same a few hundred years later).  This point of “Christians” selling other Christians to “Jews” was raised by Bishop Agobard of Lyons while otherwise complaining (including about the fact that Jewish preachings were better received – by Christians – than Christian ones) to Louis the Pious (in 826-827) (though the bishop did not similarly object to the sale of pagan slaves – perhaps he felt that would weaken his argument to a Christian ruler or perhaps he cared less).*  More than a century later, in 948, Bishop Liutprand reports that the town of Verdun was a center of castration as the residents could make more money selling eunuchs to Al-Andalus rather than “regular” slaves.**   Later, further East, Thietmar reports of the accusations of selling people (“to the Jews” – again, presumably, the act of selling your own to others seemed worse) being lobbied against Margrave of Meissen, Gunzelin of Kuckenburg in 1009.   See also the Life of Saint Adalbert.  Another slave-dealing report dates even to the much-later times of Boleslaw III Wrymouth (of Poland).  In each of those reports Jewish merchants are mentioned but we know that it was the Czech rulers who sold Poles, Pomeranian dukes who sold Obodrites (to Poles, Sorbs and Czechs), etc.  In fact, another Spanish-Jewish traveler, Benjamin of Tudela, makes the following observation (as late as the 1170s):  “Thence extends the land of Bohemia, called Prague.  This is the commencement of the land of Slavonia, and the Jews who dwell there call it Canaan, because the men of that land [the Slavs] sell their sons and their daughters to the other nations.”  While Benjamin’s sources here “may not have been entirely objective,” all evidence indicates that the maligned “Jews” – presumably, meaning the Radhanite merchants – served the same middleman role in the trade of human chattel as in the international trade of their other wares.  While the Radhanites’ behaviour was clearly terrible by today’s (Western) standards, the role of the sellers and buyers who happened to be “Christian” and “Muslim” (though some “ultimate” buyers may have been Jewish) sometimes seems to be ignored – which is, let’s just say, “odd” (thus no one seems to be blaming the “Swedes” for the acts of the Rus slave raiders even though they actually enslaved free people in the first place; same for the Franks and Saxons or other fellow Slavs)).  Without excusing anyone’s behaviour, one has to say that the slave trade was an acceptable practice of the times. (Whether Benjamin’s sources’ reference to Canaan originated from a different background is another story).

* The council of Meaux-Paris in 845-846 did express concern about some pagan slaves: “(LXXVI) Ut mercatores huius regni, christiani sive Iudei, mancipia pagana, quę per tot populos et civitates fidelium transeuntes ad manus infidelium et sevissimorum hostium nostrorum perducunt , ex quo et ipsi infelices servi, qui, si a christianis emerentur, poterant salvari, miserabiliter pereunt et inimicorum regni maximus numerus augetur, coerceantur a piis principibus nostris et intra christianorum fines vendere conpellantur, ne tam horrenda crudelitate et aperta infidelitate et animarum dampnis deus exasperetur et vires hostibus augeantur.

** “Carzimasium autem Greci vocant amputatis viribilus et virga puerum eunuchim; quod Verdunenses mercatores ob immensum lucrum facere, et in Hispaniam ducere solent.” (Liutprand, Antapodosis, seu rerum per Europam gestarum, 6, 6)

Fourth, you had to have initial processing centers such as Prague and other places – maybe in Khazaria or Rus.  We know that Prague got rather rich on these kinds of transactions and when wealth is involved, morals, too often give way to rationalization. As per Ibrahim Ibn Ya’qub: “The Rus and the Saqaliba go [to Prague] from Cracow, to trade, and so do Muslim merchants from the lands of the Turks, as well as Turks and Jews, with [mathaquil al-marqatiyya [?] weights [?]].  They carry away slaves, tin and various kinds of furs.”

Fifth, you had to have distribution centers closer to ultimate markets – e.g., in Andalus where the final product would be prepared for retail (e.g., the castration business above) – then sold off to customers or shipped even further.

Sixth, you had to have a shipping/distribution network of traders/merchants who would be willing to take on such cargo – such as that of the Rus or of the more specialized al-Radhaniya (which, along with its successors, continued in the business well into the middle ages in Bohemia, Poland and Germany).

Of course, most importantly, you also had to have a willing buyer in need of soldiers, sex slaves or servants.

Slavic slaves offered something for everyone

Slavic slaves offered something for everyone

While slaves were clearly not the only export of Slavic lands and neither were Slavs the only slaves (see reference above to French and Spanish child slaves) of the time, the extent of this trade seems to suggest that significant parts of the non-Slavic world may today have Slavic ancestors (unless, of course, the arrivals were eunuchs).  It is no wonder that the Latin word servitor was replaced at this time by slave.

The unpleasant fate of those people who were, in effect, outmatched from birth by these global networks so as to be stolen from their families and their lands, forever, and sent to places that neither they nor any of their countrymen (including their initial wholesellers) likely ever dreamt of, suggests that, perhaps, at least in some cases, Slavic state formation may have been a defense mechanism against this kind of human poaching.

We also note that, at least some of the warrior slaves or, perhaps, eunuchs may well have accepted their fate and, in relative terms, prospered in their new “homelands.”  As mentioned before, there is at least one report of a Slav warrior band revolt somewhere in today’s Morocco where the mutineers set up their own town – known as the “village of the Slavs”.  We will return with some positives of what happened to some of these peoples in the future (there are a number of interesting reports!).

Obviously the fate of those who were brought in (male, female and, worst of all, children) to satisfy the prurient or deviant desires of local elites was, ahem, not so pleasant even if some may have ultimately won freedom somehow (some may have escaped).

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The end of the Radhanite age

The fall of the Tang Dynasty of China in 908 and the destruction of the Khazar Khaganate some sixty years later led to widespread chaos in Inner Eurasia, the Caucasus and China. Trade routes became unstable and unsafe, a situation exacerbated by Turkic invasions of Persia and the Middle East, and the Silk Road largely collapsed for centuries. Moreover, the fragmentation of the Islamic world (and to a lesser extent, Christendom) into small states provided more opportunities for non-Jews to enter the market. This period saw the rise of the mercantile Italian city-states, especially Genoa, Venice, Pisa, and Amalfi, who viewed the Radhanites as unwanted competitors.

The economy of Europe was profoundly affected by the disappearance of the Radhanites. For example, documentary evidence indicates that many spices in regular use during the early Middle Ages completely disappeared from European tables in the 900s. Jews had previously, in large parts of Western Europe, enjoyed a virtual monopoly on the spice trade.