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Jackson Melvin

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In 62 7 CE, a nomadic army exploded through the Caspian Gates and into the northernmost lands of the Sasanian Empire (in present day Dagestan and Azerbaijan). Our principal historian, Movses Dasxuranc'i (also called Movses Kagankatvac'i) calls them Khazars, and he may well be correct. 1 But they were certainly a part of the Western Turkic KJ1aganate, invading at the behest of the great TongYabghu Khagan. According to Movses, the attack was exceedingly brutal, with the Turks, in their "universal wrath," slaughtering men. women, and children "like shameless and ravenous wolves."2 This was no random attack. It was the opening salvo of a grand invasion, planned in concert by the Roman forces of Emperor Hcraclius. In time, this invasion would reverse the course of the brutal war between the Romans and Sasanians, allowing the Romans to reclaim their eastern provinces, for all the good that would do them. After all, shortly afterwards would come another nomadic invasion from the south, ushering in the Caliphates of the Arabs.

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