Saturday, December 04, 2004

"They danced their dances with obscene acts..."

A description of the Khazars (in this context possibly meaning the Huns?) from "The History of the Caucasian Albanians" by Movses Dasxuranci(a.k.a. Moses Kałankatuaçi; tr. C.J.F. Dowsett,Oxford, 1961), written around 1000AD.

(stolen mercilessly from the excellent idiocentrism and found via languagehat).

"thumb-cutters" and the Turkish Khazars. The Khazars: "bestial, gold-loving tribes of hairy men.... an ugly, insolent, broadfaced, eyelashless mob in the shape of women with flowing hair....demented in their satanically deluded tree-worshipping errors in accordance with their northern dull-witted stupidity, addicted to their fictitious and deceptive religion....There we observed them on their couches like rows of heavily laden camels. Each had a bowl full of the flesh of unclean animals, and dishes containing salt water into which they dipped their food, and brimming silver cups and beakers chased with gold which had been taken from the plunder from Tiflis. They also had drinking horns and gourd-shaped utensils from which they lapped their broth and similar greasy, congealed, unwashed abominations. Two or three of them to one cup, they greedily and bestially poured neat wine into their insatiable bellies which had the appearance of bloated goatskins..... Possessing completely anarchical minds, they stumble into every sort of error, beating drums and whistling over corpses, inflicting bloody sabre and dagger cuts on their cheeks and limbs, and engaging naked in sword fights – oh hellish sight! – at the graves, man against man and troop against troop, all stripped for battle..... They danced their dances with obscene acts, sunk in benighted filth and deprived of the sight of the light of the creator.... They were also incontinent sexually, and in accordance with their heathen, barbarous customs they married their father's wife, shared one wife between two brothers, and married several women."
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