Atil or Itil
ATIL or ITIL
ATIL or ITIL (Turkish "river"), the *Khazar capital on the Volga (itself also called Atil or Itil). According to the Murūj al-Dhahab of the Arab historian al-Masʿūdī, the Khazar capital was transferred from *Samandar to the site on the Volga during the first Arab invasions of the Caucasus (seventh century). Accounts of the Arab-Khazar wars in the seventh and eighth centuries refer to al-Bayḍāʿ, apparently the early Arabic name for the capital of the Volga. Surviving descriptions of Atil date from the ninth and tenth centuries. It was then a double town, the western part of which, on the right bank of the Volga, was walled, and consisted chiefly of felt tents with a few clay houses. Some accounts mention that the citadel stood on an island. The minaret of the Friday Mosque of the Muslims of Atil is said to have been higher than the castle. Numerous Christians lived in Atil, under the jurisdiction of their bishop. The eastern commercial part of the town, on the left bank of the Volga, is not described in detail. The double town is referred to by several Turkish names: Sarighshin (from which the later Saqsin is probably derived), the first part of which (cf. sari, "yellow") presumably refers to the same feature as indicated by the Arabic name al-Bayḍāʿ, "the white"; and, for the other half, Khanbaligh or Khamlikh (Khamlij). It appears a mistake to interpret the latter as "town of the Khan"; Sarighshin evidently refers to the western half and Khanbaligh to the eastern half of the town. The exact site of Atil cannot at present be determined, but it is placed by M. Artamonov at approximately 87 mi. (144 km.) above *Astrakhan in the region of Yenotayevka-Selitryanoye. L.N. Gumilev, who with others made an archaeological survey of this locality in 1959, found no traces of Atil.
V. Minorsky, Ḥudūd al-ʿĀlam (1937), 451–4 (E.J.W. Gibb Memorial, 11); Dunlop, Khazars, index; A.N. Poliak, Kazariyyah (19513), 278–94 (includes bibliography); M.I. Artamonov, Istoriya Khazar (Rus., 1962), 385–99; G. Moravcsik, Byzantinoturcica, 2 (Ger., 1958), 78–79; Roth, Dark Ages, index.
[Douglas Morton Dunlop]
"Atil or Itil." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 13, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/atil-or-itil
"Atil or Itil." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved February 13, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/atil-or-itil
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.