Psalter world map, circa 1260
Gog and Magog are placed
in the region of Russia or Mongolia
While the branches stemming from the families that produced Mithraism, namely the House of Commagene, of Herod, Emesa, and the Claudio-Julian line, would produce the leading families of Europe, through the intermarriage of the Saxons and the descendants of Charlemagne, these bloodlines would receive another important infusion during the Crusades. It was the intermarriage, through that pivotal period, of this Mithraic bloodline with the various aristocratic houses of Armenia, and related branches of Eastern European aristocracies, of Poland, Bulgaria and Hungary, descended from the enigmatic Khazars of southern Russia, that would ignite the activities of occult organizations, all notoriously associated with the Holy Grail, and whose most feared symbol was the skull and crossbones.
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, written in the ninth century AD, begins by saying that the Britons, like the Saxons, came from Armenia and the Picts of Scotland from the south of Scythia. The idea that the Scots came from Scythia is found in most legendary accounts and also in unedited versions of the Venerable Bede. It was their counterparts, who chose to remain behind in the Don River Basin, who converted to Judaism in the eighth century AD, and who were known as Khazars. Therefore, these various peoples all descend from the Scythian tribes, who first appeared in Europe in the seventh century BC, when they crossed the Araxes River, the ancient name of the Aras River in Armenia, the area where the Israelites were last known before departing for Europe.
In the article in the November 2001 issue of The American Journal of Human Genetics, Ariella Oppenheim, of the Hebrew University of Israel, wrote that her new study revealed that Jews have a closer genetic relationship to populations in the northern Mediterranean, including Kurds, Anatolian Turks, and Armenians, than to populations in the southern Mediterranean, like Arabs and Bedouins.
The Armenians traditionally identify themselves as descendants of Ashkenaz, the son of Magog. However, both Armenian and Georgian historians also record that after the destruction of the first Temple, Nebuchadnezzar transported numbers of Jewish captives, not only to Babylon, but also to Armenia and the Caucasus.
Tigranes II the Great
There is little likelihood of the these “Lost Tribes” retaining their identity. Rather, by the end of the fourth century BC, some Armenian cities had large Jewish populations. The medieval Armenian historian Moses of Khorene, wrote that King Tigran II the Great, king of Armenia in the first century BC, settled thousands of Jews from Syria and Mesopotamia in Armenian cities. It appears that some of these earliest Jewish settlers later converted to Christianity. Josephus wrote that Judean Jews were taken by the Armenian king Artavazd II, and resettled in Armenia, again during the first century B.C.E., but some years after Tigranes’ resettlement.
Researcher Kevin Alan Brook suggests that one possible avenue for the transmission of Armenians genes to Ashkenazi Jewry might be the aristocracy of the ancient kingdom of Adiabene, who converted to Judaism in the first century AD. According to Josephus, Monobazus:
...the king of Adiabene, who had also the name of Bazeus, fell in love with his sister, Helena, and took her to be his wife, and begat her with child. But as he was in bed with her one night, he lad his hand upon his wife’s belly, and fell asleep, and seemed to hear a voice, which bid him to take his hand off his wife’s belly, and not hurt the infant that was therein, which by God’s providence, would be safely born, and have a happy end.
The child’s name was Izates, and when he was older, a Jewish merchant named Ananias acquainted him with the religion of Judaism, with which he became deeply interested. His mother, Queen Helena, had been previously won over to Judaism without his knowing it. Upon ascending the throne, on the death of his father, Izates discovered the conversion of his mother, and he himself intended to convert to Judaism, and even to accept circumcision. He was, however, dissuaded from it by both his teacher Ananias, and by his mother, but was ultimately persuaded thereto by another Jew, Eleazar.
Izates was succeeded by his brother, Monobazes II, who, according to Jewish tradition, as recorded in the Jewish Encyclopedia, was the son of Agrippa II and Helena. Monobazes II himself had a son, named Izates II, who married Cleopatra, the granddaughter of Mark Antony and Cleopatra, and sister to Ptolemy King of Mauritania, who had been married to Drusilla, before she divorced him for Felix Antonius. Their granddaughter, Awde of Osrhoene, married Mithridates Arshakuni, the son of Vologaeses I of Parthia, the great-grandson Antiochus I of Commagene, and from him were descended the kings of Armenia and Parthian and Sassanid Empires of Persia. The grandson of Awde and Mithridates Arshakuni, Vologaeses V “Great King” of Parthia, married the daughter of Pharamenses III, who was a descendant of Alexander the Great, as well as Cleopatra and Mark Antony. Their son was Chosroes I “the Great” Arshakuni, King of Armenia, who ruled from 197 to 238 AD, the father of Tiridates II of Armenia.
from Chinese manuscript
Tiridates II of Armenia married Soshandukht, from the Empire of the Kushans, in northwestern India, which was a stronghold of the Manichaeism, a religion that would feature prominently in the Eastern bloodlines, and which would, through their intermarriage with the West, go on to influence the Holy Grail. Manichaeism was founded by an individual named Mani, born near Baghdad in 214 AD, to a family related to the Persian royal house.
According to the Fihrist of Ibn al-Nadim, Mani was brought up within the sect of the Elkasites, a Christian baptismal sect with Gnostic tendencies, resembling that of the Essenes, known as the Mughtasilah, that is, “those who wash”, or “baptize”, “themselves”. The Mughtasilah may have been related to the Mandaeans. Mandaeans do not recognize Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad, but acknowledge instead John the Baptist, whom they revere as one of their greatest teachers. Scholars believe they originated in a Jewish-Gnostic group from Jordan, who emigrated to Babylonia in the first or second century AD, and among those still in Iraq, are Gnostic books preserved dating from seventh or eighth century. The Mughtasilah, like the Mandaeans, wore white and performed baptisms. They dwelled in east Judea and northern Mesopotamia, from where the Mandaeans migrated to southern Mesopotamia, according to their legends.
However, Mani protested against his upbringing, and around 240 AD, he began to propagate his own teachings, and became renowned for his spiritual healing and exorcisms. His followers proclaimed him “the new Jesus” and even credited him with a virgin birth. Mani regarded Zoroaster, Buddha, and Jesus as his forerunners and declared that he, like them, had received essentially the same enlightenment from the same source. His teachings were a fusion of Gnosticism, with aspects of Zoroastrian and Mithraic traditions, purporting that the creator god was evil.
According to the Kephalaia, Mani spent many years in attendance of Shapur I, the Emperor of the Sassanid Empire, and many years preaching in Persia, Parthia and Adiabene. Shapur I was the second ruler of the Sassanian Empire of Persian, established by his father, Ardashir, which replaced the Parthians. Ardashir, the father of Shapur, was a descendant Antiochus I of Commagene. He married Ziyanak Arshakuni, a descendant of Monobazes of Adiabene, through her father, Artabanus IV Arshakuni, King of Media, the brother of Chosroes I “the Great” of Armenia. Under the leadership of Ardashir I, they created an empire that was constantly changing in size as it reacted to Rome, to Byzantium to the west, and to the Kushans of Afghanistan to the east.
Shapur I of Persia
At the time of Shapur I, in the last half of the third century AD, the empire stretched from Georgia in the north, to Oman in Arabia in the south, to the Indus river in the east, and to the upper Tigris and Euphrates river valleys in the west. Shapur I founded the city of Gondeshapur, in which became the center of ancient sciences. A school was set up, the Academy of Gondeshapur, on the model of that at Alexandria, in which medicine, mathematics, astronomy, and logic were taught, mostly from Greek texts translated into Syriac, but also elements of Indian and Persian sciences were included.
According to Alexander of Lycopolis, who wrote in the fourth century, Mani, as a member of court of Shapur I, and accompanied him on his campaigns. Mani made excursions to the Kushan Empire, in what is today Pakistan and northwestern India, when Shapur I extended his authority eastwards into the region, where the previously autonomous Kushans were obliged to accept his suzerainty. The Kushan Empire, which stretched from Tajikistan to the Caspian Sea to Afghanistan, and down into the Ganges river valley, became a stronghold of Mani’s religion, and a base for missionary expeditions into Central Asia.
Manichaeism spread with rapidly throughout both the east and west. By 354 AD, Hilary of Poitiers wrote that the Manichaean faith had a significant following in southern France. Its most famous adherent was St. Augustine, who was a Manichean before his conversion to Christianity. The Manichaean faith was also widely persecuted. The faith maintained a sporadic and intermittent existence in west Mesopotamia, Africa, Spain, France, North Italy, the Balkans for a thousand years, and flourished for a time in the land of its birth Persia. In 1000 AD, the Arab historian Al-Biruni wrote: “The majority of the Eastern Turks, the inhabitants of China and Tibet, and a number in India belong to the religion of Mani”.
When Shapur I died, sometime between 270 and 273 AD, and was succeeded by his son Hormizd, Mani received from him the same permission to teach that Shapur had granted him. But after only a year in power, Hormizd died, and he was in turn succeeded by another of Shapur’s sons, Bahram. Soon after his accession, Bahram caused Mani to be crucified, had the corpse flayed, the skin stuffed, and hung up at the city gate.
Persecution of the Paulicians
from the Chronicle of John Skylitzes
Manicheanism was the source of an important Gnostic heresy in Armenia, called Paulicianism, whose eventual spread into Europe signaled the birth of the Illuminati conspiracy in that part of the world. This cult penetrated first into the Balkans, to influence the aristocratic families of Eastern Europe. These families derived their origin from the enigmatic Khazars, that Turkic peoples of southern Russia, descendants of the Scythians, who converted to Judaism in the eighth century AD. They were thus an important link in the transference of the inheritance of the so-called Lost Tribes, and the Armenian influence, to Western Europe.
During the important era of the Crusades, it was their intermarriage with their counterparts among the Saxons, and another important faction of the Mithraic bloodline, whose primary representative was Charlemagne, that they transmitted Paulician influence to southern France. As Catharism, this creed would become the secret Gnostic doctrine of that family, identified collectively by the symbolism of the Holy Grail, or known as the Order of the Rose, and being the hidden power behind the vairous pernicious organizations, beginning with the Knights Templar, leading to the Rosicrucians, Freemasons, and finally the Illuminati.
The earliest accounts of the introduction of Christianity into Armenia date from the first century A.D. when it was first preached by two Apostles of Jesus, St. Bartholomew and St. Thaddeus. The Armenian Apostolic Church, sometimes incorrectly called the Armenian Orthodox Church, has been around since the days of the apostles and therefore makes the claim of being one of the oldest denominations in Christianity. Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as its State religion, in 301 AD, when St. Gregory the Illuminator converted Tiridates III “the Great”, King of Armenia, the grandson of Tiridates II, and members of his court.
According to a Manichean Sogdian text, a younger contemporary of Mani, brought Manichean beliefs to Armenia. There, where there was already a significant Christian community, in the second half of the 3rd century AD, Manichaeism influenced the formation of the sect of the Paulicians. The sect emerged under the dynasty of the Mamikonians, a noble family which dominated Armenia, between the fourth and eighth centuruies, whose heralic symbol was the double-headed eagle.
The dynasty was incepted when Narses Souren I “the Great” Pahlav, a direct descendant of Tiridates II, married Sandoukht, the daughter of Vardan I. According to Moses of Khorene, an Armenian historian of the fifth century AD, the tale of the Mamikonians’ origin begins with a rebellion of two Chinese brothers, who were princes, against the Chinese emperor in the early part of the third century AD. The brothers, Mamik and Konak, fought against the Chinese emperor but lost. They fled to the land of the Kushans, then under the influence of Manichaeism, and sought the refuge of the Persian king, which would have been Shapur. The Chinese emperor demanded the rebels be returned to China, or Persia would face war with the Chinese. The Persian king, not wanting to kill the brothers, but also wanting to avoid conflict with the Chinese emperor, instead sent them west to Armenia, resulting in peace again between China and Persia.
The name “Paulicians” was derived from their respect for the Paul of Tarsus, whose Letters they honoured, in addition to the Gospel of Luke, though otherwise rejecting the Old Testament and the Letters of St. Peter. In the ninth century AD, Photius related that it was a certain Manichee woman, named Kallinike, who sent her two sons Paul and John to Armenia, to propagate this heresy.
The founder of the sect was Constantine-Silvanus, who hailed from Mananalis, a dualistic community near Samosata, the capitol of Cilicia. The enemies of the Paulicians accused them constantly of gross immorality, even at their prayer-meetings. They believed in a distinction between the God who made and governs the material world, and the “God of heaven” who created souls, who alone should be worshipped, in other words, Lucifer. Therefore, like all Gnostic sect before them, they thought all matter to be corrupt. For the Paulicians, Christ was an angel sent into the world by their “God”. Jesus’ real mother was not the Virgin Mary, but the heavenly Jerusalem. This idea mirrors one found in the Kabbalah, where the “Shekhina”, or “beloved” in the Song of Solomon, is equated with the “congregation of Israel”. Jesus’ work, they claimed, consisted only in his teaching that to believe in him saves men from judgment.
Adherents of the Paulician sect fled, with the Armenian Paul at their head, to Episparis, in the Armenian district Phanaroea, the best part of Pontus, according to Strabo. Pontus was a name applied, in ancient times, to extensive region in the northeast of Asia Minor, now Turkey, the greater part of which lay within the immense region of Cappadocia, which in early ages extended from the borders of Cilicia to the Black Sea.
But some of the Paulicians, it would seem, found their way to the land of the Khazars, who were then warring against the Arabs in the same region. The Khazars were sometimes credited with Armenian origin. This is stated by the seventh-century Armenian bishop and historian Sebeos, and the fourteenth century Arab geographer Dimashqi. The Cambridge Document, discovered by Solomon Schechter in the late nineteenth century, and also known as the Schechter Letter, the Schechter Text, and the Letter of an Anonymous Khazar Jew, discusses how Jewish men fled either through or from Armenia into the Khazar kingdom in ancient times, escaping from “the yoke of the idol-worshippers”.
Like the Armenians, the Khazars were identified with Gog and Magog. They were regarded as descendants of Japheth, Noah’s third son, and connected with the Torgom-Togarmah and Ashkenaz of the Old Testament. The “Ashkuza” of the Akkadians have also been linked to a branch of the Turks, also related to the Huns, called Oghuz, to which the Khazars belonged. The Khazars occupied the exact area of the Scythians, and the word “Ashkenaz” is thought to have originally applied to the Scythians (Ishkuz), who were called Ashkuza in Assyrian inscriptions. Lake Ascanius and the region Ascania in Anatolia derive their names from this group.
Therefore, it has been claimed that the Khazars derived from both the Edomites and the so-called “Lost Tribes”. Like their Edomite ancestors, the Khazars were also red-headed, and came to be known as “Red Jews”. According to Raphael and Jennifer Patai, in The Myth of the Jewish Race:
...one should remember that the Khazars were described by several contemporary authors as having a pale complexion, blue eyes, and reddish hair. Red, as distinguished from blond, hair is found in a certain percentage of East European Jews, and this, as well as the more generalized light coloring, could be a heritage of the medieval Khazar infusion.
In particular, the Khazars were said to descend from the Tribe of Simeon, who had been assimilated into the Edomites. According to Eldad ha-Dani, a Jewish traveller of the ninth century, the Khazars were remnants of Simeon and Manasseh. The tribe of Zebulon, on the other hand, he explained, occupies the land extending from the province of Armenia to the River Euphrates. Likewise, one version of the Letter of King Joseph, also known as the Khazar Correspondence, reported that the Khazars had a tradition that they were descended from the Tribe of Simeon. The Cochin Scroll also maintains that the Khazars were descended from Simeon and Menasseh.
According to the Schechter Letter, after the Jews from Armenia and Persia had eventually assimilated almost totally with the nomadic Khazars, a strong war-leader arose, named Bulan, who succeeded in having himself named ruler of the Khazars. Sabriel, who happened to be remotely descended from the early Jewish settlers, and his wife Serakh, convinced him to adopt Judaism, in which his people followed him.
Arthur Koestler, in The Thirteenth Tribe, popularized the theory that the majority of European Ashkenazi Jews are in fact not descended from the ancient inhabitants of Israel, but from Khazarian converts to Judaism. The term “Ashkenaz” describes a relatively compact area of Jewish settlement in northwestern Europe, including northeastern France and northern Germany, where Jewish settlement is documented dating back to at least the sixth century AD. The traditional explanation of East European Jewish origins was that most Ashkenazi Jews reached Poland and Russia from Germany, and Germany from France.
Modern genetic studies, however, have proven Koestler’s theory incorrect. Studies of mitochondrial DNA have demonstrated that Ashkenazi Jewish communities in Europe were composed mostly through intermarriage of Jewish men with women of European descent. The reason is that Radhanites, Persian Jewish merchants, had migrated to Poland or Germany or France, since the fifth century AD, where they mostly married into those communities for hundreds of years. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Science report, appears to bear out that Ashkenazi Jews must have arrived in Eastern Europe, not from the west and southwest, but from the south and east, that is, via northern Italy and the Balkans, Asia Minor and the Greek Byzantine empire, the Volga kingdom of the Khazars, or a combination of all three.
The non-Israelite haplogroups include Q, which is typically Central Asian, and R1a1, which is typically Eastern European. Q is considered by researcher Doron Behar to constitute a minor founding lineage among Jewish populations. Approximately five to ten percent of Ashkenazi Jews today are in this haplogroup, and it originated in Central Asia. It is an extremely rare haplogroup in both Europe and the Middle East, found only Scandinavia, and the few countries that Khazars were known to have migrated to, like Poland, Hungary and Lithuania.
However, it has also been found that about half of Ashkenazi Levites possess Eastern European non-Israelite haplotypes belonging to the R1a1 haplogroup, which is typically Eastern European. The Levites are particularly interesting because, among them, it is the Cohens, or Kohamin, for whom the office of priest has traditionally been reserved. Levitical status is generally determined by oral tradition, passed from father to son, with children being Levites if their father and grandfather was. Until the eighteenth century in Europe, many Cohens could accurately trace their lineage back to a verifiable Kohamin such as Ezra. Today, families may verify their priestly lineage via the tombstones of deceased ancestors, as the universal symbol of the hands arranged for the Priestly Blessing. This is the hand gesture porpularized as Spock’s Vulcan salute in Stark Trek. Some scholars maintain, however, that because of the destruction of Jerusalem’s temple and the unavailability of lineage records, there is now no way to establish who is a Levite reliably.
Levites in Orthodox Judaism continue to have additional rights and obligations compared to lay people, although these responsibilities have diminished with the destruction of the Temple. Orthodox Judaism maintains a belief in and hope for a restoration of a Third Temple in Jerusalem, and Kohanim are regarded as retaining their original sanctity, and some elements of their original roles and responsibilities, and having a status of waiting in readiness for future service in a restored Temple. Some Orthodox Jews have founded schools to train priests and Levites in their respective roles.
The R1a1 haplogroup is almost never found among Sephardic Levites, and may have been introduced into the Ashkenazi Levite lines by Slavs, or Khazars who converted to Judaism.
R1a1 is all over Armenia, Georgia, and Eastern Europe in general, including the Sorbs, the Poles, and many people of central Europe. It’s also found in Finland, and many R1a1 people went west to Scotland and Scandinavia. Interestingly, the R1a1 was introduced only 900-1000 years ago into only the Ashkenazi Levite male population.
The irony, of course, is the R1a1 Kurgans who are the founders of this haplogroup are considered the epitome of Indo-Europeanism. The homeland of the Indo-Europeans is the steppes north of the Black Sea, right where the Khazarian Empire was located. But the problem is that not only were Khazars most likely significantly R1a in their ancestry, but most Eastern Europeans are also R1a.
The finding raises the question of how the signature became so widespread among the Levites, an ancient caste of hereditary Jewish priests. The genetic signature occurs on the male or Y chromosome and comes from a few men, or perhaps a single ancestor, who lived about 1,000 years ago, just as the Ashkenazim were beginning to be established in Europe. It has been proposed that the ancestor who introduced it into the Ashkenazi Levites could perhaps have been from the Khazars.
Through the infiltration of Armenian Jews, the double-headed eagle of the Mamikonians, became their heraldic symbol the Khazars. The striking or rising eagle, Togrul or Togarmah, meaning “the powerful eagle”, represents for Khazars the messenger and mediator of Tängri, meaning “The Lord-God-The sun”. It also represents the sacred royal imperial power, in Hebrew Malchut Ha-Shmayim, since more than three thousand years, and is the heraldic symbol of the two merged royal clans, in Hebrew Ha-Shechina, and Turkic Ashina. Thus it is the very emblem of any Khagan, meaning “King of Kings, Emperor”, of Khazars.
Magyars led by Arpad
arriving in Danubian Basin, by Arpad Feszty
At its height, the Khazarian empire covered an area of the Ukraine, southern Russia to the Caucasus, and the western portions of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to the Aral Sea. The town of Kiev, meaning “the site at the shore”, at the Dnepr river, had been founded by the Khazars around the beginning of the eighth century AD, as a trading and administrative center in the western part of the Khazarian empire. However, a mounted force Viking force, known as the Kievan Rus, lead by prince Svyatoslav, in a treacherous collaboration with Byzantium, succeeded in penetrating the Khazarian empire, and destroying their capital Itil in 967 AD. Svyatoslav was the great-grandson of Halfdan Frodason King of Denmark, in turn descended from Odin, and whose mother was Hilda of the Vandals. Hilda’s father was Hilderic of the Vandals, whose mother was Eudoxia of Rome, the great-great-granddaughter of Constantine.
The resulting dispersal of the Khazars penetrated into the nations of Poland, Bulgaria, and the Magyars of Hungary, who were vassals of the Khazars. At the end of the ninth century AD, the Khanagate of the Khazars had appointed a man named Arpad, to be the leader of the kingdom of Hungary, formed by seven Magyar and three Khazar tribes under his leadership. According to an early Greek document, Arpad and the Magyar clan was Manichean in religion.130 And, as recounted in the Gesta Hungarorum, Latin for “The Deeds of the Hungarians”, a record of early Hungarian history, written by the unknown author around 1200 AD, the Magyars were Scythians, originally descended from Magog:
Scythia, which is called Hungary upon the [river] Don, is quite a vast land. Its eastern border stretches from the northern region to the Black Sea. Behind it runs the Don river with its enormous marshlands, where there are enough martens not just to lavishly clothe the noblemen and the lower ranking people, but also the herdsmen, swineherdsmen, and shepherds. The land is rich in gold and silver, and its rivers offer pearls and semi-precious stones. Scythia’s eastern neighbours were the nations of Gog and Magog, who were cut off from the world by Alexander the Great. The dimensions of the Scythian land are extremely large. The people inhabiting it are still customarily called Don-Hungarians; they have never been under the yoke of any ruler. The Scythians are, namely, an ancient nation which has power over the east. Scythia’s first king was Magog, son of Japheth, and the nation obtained its name “Magyar” from him.
The Gesta goes on to explain that, from Magog’s descendants there came Attila the Hun, in 451 AD, from Scythia to Pannonia, with an enormous army, driving out the Romans and conquering the land. In the year 819 AD, it continues, Ogyek, the commander of Scythia and also descendant of Magog, decided to marry a woman named Emesh. During her pregnancy, Emesh saw a supernatural vision, in the shape of a turul, which landed on her body and made her pregnant. The Turul, like the Turkic Toghrul of the Khazars, is a giant mythical eagle, a messenger of god in Hungarian mythology, who sits on top of the tree of life, along with the other spirits of unborn children in the form birds. Turul is often replaced by the sun in illustrations of the tree of life. Since a dream in Hungarian is called álom, the boy was named Almos, the father of Arpad.
Ancient Turul hawk of the Magyars
Arpad and his clan began a push westward, eventually settling in what is today Hungary, where a unified Magyar state was established by Arpad’s great-grandson Geza, in 971. Although still a pagan, when he became ruler, an alliance was concluded between the Holy Roman Empire and Byzantium in 972, forced Geza to convert to Christianity, to secure a lasting peace for Hungary. Although Geza was baptized in 985, it is doubtful his conversion was sincere, for according to the Bishop of Merseburg, he continued to worship pagan gods.
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