Posted on March 22, 2016
Politics :: A 10th-century Arab’s depiction of Ancient Russia (Page 8 of 8)
It is the custom of the king of the Rus to have with him in his palace four hundred men, the bravest of his companions and those on whom he can rely. Occasionally he has intercourse with one of them in the presence of his companions of whom we have spoken, without coming down from the throne. These are the men who die with him and let themselves be killed for him….These four hundred men sit about the king’s throne, which is immense and encrusted with fine precious stones. When he needs to answer a call of nature, he uses a basin….The cloth of these lands and localities is famous, especially that of their capital, which is called Kyawh. Famous and noted cities of the Rus are Crsk and Hrqh.
Despite its mystery and lack of certainty in terms of the ethnic cultures subjected to his observations, as well as his religious and ethnic bias and probable second-hand credibility, the journals of Ahmad ibn Fadlan and other Arab and Iranian Muslim scholars give us among the first depictions of the pre-Christian Finns, Slavs, and possibly Hungarians over a millennium before our time.
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. With him on the throne sit forty female slaves destined for his bed