Rus Campaigns in Tabaristan in the Second Half of the 9th – Early 10th Century: Route and Place in International Relations (on Materials of Ibn Isfandiyār)
The route and place in international relations of the Rus campaigns in Tabaristan, which took place in the second half of the 9th – early 10th century, are studied in the paper. Attention is also paid to the issue of the place of those military actions in Rus-Khazars relationships.
During the studied period, the Khazar Khaganate remained the leading state in the region. The getting of the Rus to the Caspian Sea was possible only with the consent of the rulers of the Khazar Khaganate.
The passage of the Rus into this region is associated with the emergence of the Volga trade route. However, they used this way only from Ladoga to Volga Bulgaria. No reliable sources are telling about the Rus moving along the Volga between Volga Bulgaria and Khazaria during the 9th – 10th centuries.
It can be said with high probability that the Rus came to the Caspian Sea from the Black Sea, over the Sea of Azov, the Don, and the Volga, and the starting point for mentioned campaigns should be considered the Middle Dnipro region, where not later than the early 10th century the center of princely power appeared in Kyiv.
There is no direct link between those actions and the Rus-Byzantine treaties, and the enemies of the Rus in the region were more often Muslim rulers who were not in direct confrontation with Constantinople or could act as potential allies of the Byzantine Empire. The first campaign of the Rus was directed against Hasan ibn Zayd, the Shiite ruler of Tabaristan. The latter acted against the caliphs of Baghdad, having captured terraria through which the paths of Rus merchants passed. Expeditions of 909/910 and 910/911 years caused the clashes between the Rus and the forces of the Samanid emirs in Tabaristan. We cannot say for sure whether those attacks were politically motivated, but they were stopped after mending differences between Khazaria and the Central Asian emirs.
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