We learn about the campaign from the mouth of the authoritative Arab, inhabitant of Baghdad, al-Masudi. He's got a beautiful formation, made a tour of all the broad lands of the Muslim world, from the Emir of Cordoba, North Africa to the conquered Armenia, Persia, India fabulous. There is a version that has visited Al Masudi and China. As a result of his own travels, he wrote 20 books (some of them consisted of several volumes), to the chagrin of all this wealth come down to us only two books (summary of 2-compositions — "Chronicles" and "Middle of the Book", 2nd — is "The Book of warnings and review").
About the campaign 912 reported in the abstract, and according to Masudi, the Russian army on 500 barges (they had a seating capacity of 40-100 soldiers) asked permission from the Khazar Kagan Bek pass into the Caspian Sea. In exchange for the return promised to give half of the production, in other words, the cause of which has induced this army to go to battle, that was weighty, were ready to give a huge share of the Khazars. The cases in the period between Rus and the Khazars were tense: Prophetic Oleg freed from the power of the Khazar land Vyatichi, Radimiches, northerners. Khazaria in response declared a blockade of trade with southern countries Russes, Russian and Muslim negociant had to detour through the land of the Volga Bulgar. But in a straight fight the Khazars did not dare, Oleg fighters have repeatedly thrashed them, because immediately beat, without preparatory training, with a strong army, they could not. Kagan Bey gave permission to pass the flotilla Russ.
There is no clear route we do not know, we can only imagine that they immediately went down the Volga to the Caspian Sea, or, according to Masudi, the Sea of Azov (where they could come on the Dnieper — the Black Sea) they climbed the Don, crossed the Volga and through the capital of the Khazars — Itil — entered the Caspian Sea.
The reason for the campaign
Russ not only did business with the lands adjacent to the Caspian Sea — happened and looted the coastal town of settlement. Thus, in 909, 16 rooks Russ squad landed on the peninsula Abeskun Astrabad in the Gulf, the settlements of the island were looted. In the year 910 Russes burned the town of Sari in Mazendarane (Persia), the inhabitants driven away. In the end, the locals attacked the night at the coast caravan Russes. Were it nahodniki, or it was the other squad, is unclear. The caravan was destroyed, those rooks, who were able to get away from the coast, met and killed a flotilla ruler Transcaucasian countries Shirvan Shirvanshakh Ali ibn al Gaytama.
Russ in that period of history did not differ humility and mercy, because of Russian blood had to answer in his own blood. In the words of the anonymous author of the "Assembly of the stories," in 1126, these stories were treated to more of early days: "… if anyone sheds the blood of Virus, they will not rest until revenge. And if you give them whole world, they still do not desist from it. "
Russ crashed on the shores of the Caspian Sea, the wrath of their god of war Perun — their troops stormed Gill, Dale, a town Tabaristan, Abeskun Peninsula, an area of contemporary Azerbaijan — "oil country", attacked and Ardebil. Local residents were not able to provide decent resistance — Arab armies were defeated by the governor of Armenia and Azerbaijan, INB-ALIS Saja, defeated Russ troops deylimitov (Highlanders from the southern shores of the sea). Blood was flowing everywhere, fiercely suppressed resistance, loot and captives were brought to the islands off the coast of the country's oil.
Shirvanshah Ali ibn Al Ghaith with its own fleet, enhanced merchant ships with volunteers, tried to hit back, but the whole fleet, coupled with the very Shirvanshah went to the bottom — to feed the fish. Russ did not quit after the first victories — a few months they were complete masters of this land. Moved back Rooks, full booty and captives.
The last fight Russian squads
The Khazar elite wanted revenge for the earlier defeat, well, want to pick up all the prey, and not just half of it. Immediately kill the Russian squad rulers of the Khazars could not have a very strong army Russes. They let them into the Caspian Sea, and prepared a deadly trap: the way back was blocked strapped with all the Khazar forces, including the Muslim al-Guard arsiev, armor-clad cavalry — archers and spearmen. Thrown into battle and urban militia — Muslims seething with vengeance for the destruction of the brothers in the faith.
Russ not disgraced own honor and took unequal battle, it lasted day or three, and the river turned crimson with the blood of a huge number of victims. The prisoners were not Khazars — who died in battle, who drowned, according to the Khazars, but Russ killed 30 thousand, and about 5 thousand Russes broke up the ring of death on the river. They threw down the court and tried to get away land, but the rest of the troops was destroyed by the allies of the Khazars (or, more precisely, the vassals) — Burtases and Bulgar army. It is clear that the number of Russian forces were probably exaggerated, but still it was a terrible blow to Russia, and when the troops will go to Hazar Svyatoslav Kanagat, you can be sure that they will keep in my head and that bloody battle, cowardly betrayal of Khazar rulers who violated his word. What does this lesson? Do not believe the opponents!
There is a version that is in this terrible battle died majestic Prince of Russia — Oleg Wise is consonant with the symbolism of Pushkin:
From the head of a dead deathly snake,
Hissing, meanwhile, crept;
As a dark ribbon round the foot is entangled,
And cried at one point stung Prince.
Russian genius at the beginning of "Song of Wise Oleg" announced the cause of hatred Khazars to Oleg: "Their Selonians and fields of exuberant foray dooming it to fire and blades." According to another version, according to the views of S. E and V. Tsvetkov Kozhinova there Prophetic Oleg son died — some prince Oleg II.
Kozhinov V. history Russia and the Russian word. Moscow, 2001.
Prozorov L. Caucasian limit Russia. M., 2011.
Plant SE Russian history. Prince. 1. Moscow, 2003.