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This paper examines the word carzimasium found in Liudprand of Cremona’s Antapodosis. It is introduced as a Greek name for a certain type of a eunuch. For various historians of economy carzimasium was interpreted as denoting the geographic origin of the slaves, but look at the philological works shows that there is another explanation. I propose that carzimasium is a word coming Semitic languages and thus could be seen as an argument against the thesis of Michael Toch, who argues that Jews did not participate in the slave trade in the Middle Ages.

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  • 1 On Liudprand see : Sutherland 1988; and Huschner 2003; for recent scholarship : Sivo 1997; Grabowsk (...)
  • 2 On this see : Rentschler 1981, p. 14.
  • 3 Relatio De Legatione Constantinopolitana c. 29; cf. Tougher 2008, p. 103 and note 69 there. Liudpra (...)
  • 4 This story was even noted by well known radical historian Jeffrey Jerome Cohen (and his collaborati (...)

1Liudprand of Cremona1 is known for his lurid style full of anecdotes and criticism towards the Byzantine Empire. While this opinion is mainly based on the reading Relatio de Legatione Constantinopolitana, some argue that a similarly negative view of the Emperors of the East is to be found in Liudprand's earlier work, the chronicle of Europe : Antapodosis2. It is also well known that Liudprand, in his attacks, many times uses the figure of a eunuch. The castrated male is an exemplification of the Byzantium, or to be clear, of what Liudprand thought about it. It goes without question that he is highly critical of the disfigured men3. Possibly the only neutral note where eunuch appears in his works is to be found on the pages of book VI of Antapodosis (chapter 6 to be exact). Liudprand relates there how he took with him to a diplomatic mission to Constantinople four eunuchs as gifts for the Emperor. These eunuchs were called by Liudprand : carzimasium4. This short information was of high importance for economic historians who studied the slave trade in the medieval Mediterranean. I want to shed a new light on what Liudprand wrote and how to understand it. In my opinion it will have some repercussions toward the understanding of the trade routes and who were the people who sold these slaves. I want to show that the word Liudprand uses to describe the child-eunuchs he gave emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus - carzimasium - is a technical name for a special type of a eunuch. The etymology of this word points - to its Jewish origins. In the text, first will be described the traditional interpretation of carzimasium, proposed mainly by historians of economy. Then there will be a short presentation of some modern views on the slave trade and the role of Jews in it. Finally, I will present the proper, in my opinion, interpretation of origins of the term carzimasium and what it means for the history of slave trade. To begin and to study these subjects in a proper manner it is vital to read Liudprand's text closely.

  • 5 Antapodosis VI.2.

2Therefore this study starts with a quote from Liudprand's text done in extenso. It comes from the relation from his first diplomatic mission to Constantinople in 949. Berengar II sent him, upon instigation of Liudprand's stepfather to explain the situation of Lothar, son of Hugh of Arles. The embassy was a reply to the questions made by the Byzantine diplomats, wanting to know what happened to Lothar, formally the king of Italy. It had been heard by Byzantines that he was stripped of power. This was important for Constantine Porphyrogenitus, because his son Romanos was married to Bertha (Eudochia), Lothar’s sister5.

  • 6 mendatio plenam, Antapodosis VI.6; Liudprandus Cremonensis, 1998, p. 147; Liudprand of Cremona 2007 (...)
  • 7 Liudprand here writes that he will write how Berengar reacted to this and this was to show how bad (...)

3In the story Liudprand wrote, he was not provided by Berengar II with any gifts to be presented to the emperor. He only had a letter, which he claims to be « full of lies »6. Other diplomats whom Liudprand met (Liutefred from Otto I and an unnamed from Spain) had with them – it is implied – expensive and prestigious presents for the emperor. Liudprand, who, as he writes himself, was very loyal to Berengar, decided to present his own gifts (modest as they were) as coming from Berengar7.

4When Liudprand describes the gifts the text is as follows :

  • 8 Optuli autem loricas optimas VIIII, scuta optima cum bullis deauratis VII, coppas argenteas deaurat (...)

I offered, therefore, nine excellent breastplates, seven excellent shields with gilt bosses, two gilt silver cups, swords, spears, skewers, and four carzimasia slaves, to this emperor the most precious of all these things. For the Greeks call a child-eunuch, with testicles and penis cut off, a carzimasium. The merchants of Verdun do this on account of the immense profit they can make, and they are accustomed to bring them to Spain8.

5Among the listed items the one that takes the central place are the slaves. I want to concentrate here on the word used to denote the four young eunuchs : carzimasium. Eunuchs to be given as a gifts were, as it seems from the text, of very expensive type. This was because of special way they were castrated. Not only their testicles were removed, but also penises and all this was done when they were children. Liudprand writes that this type of eunuch was known by Byzantines as carzimasium.

  • 9 Chiesa 1994. Chiesa’s opinion about the nature of the manuscript is not unopposed. It was criticise (...)
  • 10 Liudprand of Cremona, Clm 6388, fol. 84v.

6Before we continue the discussion it is important to look at Liudprand's text once more. One of the manuscripts containing Antapodosis has, as Paolo Chiesa has shown in his study, a special status. The text is Clm 6388, currently in the possession of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. According to Chiesa, the production of this manuscript was personally overseen by Liudprand himself. It was not only corrected by him, but more importantly, he was supposed to write in this manuscript Greek words9. This was done in Antapodosis in a very interesting manner, in the main text they were written in Greek alphabet, with a translation into Latin above and a transliteration next to it. Having this knowledge, it is interesting to point out that carzimasium was written using only the Latin alphabet and without any translation10. That is not all, according to Paolo Chiesa it was Liudprand who wrote the whole part of the text, where carzimasium appears.

7What does it mean for our discussion ? It appears that Liudprand only heard this word and he could not understand it. He could mishear it, but on the other hand he seems rather confident in using it. Also, importantly, he is clear in understanding it as a specific name.

  • 11 Theophanes Continuatus 1838, p. 145 line 19 (Theophanes Continuatus 1863, col. 160C). Baldwin 1980, (...)

8Having this established we can move into the discussion. Carzimasium is a somewhat peculiar word. The only source for it is Liudprand's chronicle. Barry Baldwin wrote in his short study on the subject, that it was never attested in any Greek source. According to him, it might come from χαρτζιμασ, which is (again) only to be found in Theophanes Continuatus III.43, where it probably was a different word for a eunuch11.

  • 12 There are many different versions how the word Khwarezm was written. It seems also, that sometimes (...)
  • 13 Jacob 1891, p. 9.

9Economic historians and those interested in this subject proposed their own etymology of the word. It began in the 19th century, when Georg Jacob connected the word used by Liudprand to Khwarezm (Jacob uses the form Khârizm12). Jacob wrote that it was well known that the slaves were the main export of that land13, so the connection between the word denoting slaves and the name of the land of their origin would be perfectly understandable,. What is not explained is why it applied only to child-eunuchs and not to all slaves.

  • 14 Browe 1936, p. 4 note 14.
  • 15 Kuefler 1996, p. 301 note 127.

10We will not find an answer to this in Peter Browe's well known book about eunuchs. He wrote there that this expression meant the eunuch whose both penis and testicles had been removed. The word carzimasium was created after Khwarezm (Khârizm) but Browe did not follow on this. He also provided the Greek version of the word : χαρτζαμάδαντεσ14. It seems that this interpretation was established through his study. Mathew Stephen Kuefler who wrote on the subject of castration and eunuchs read and used Browe's book, also when he referenced Liudprand's carzimasium15. What he wrote is of special interest here, as Kuefler accepted Browe's interpretation and at the same time noted that he was unable to confirm the use of the word. His problem with finding anything on the word is somewhat understandable when his text is read closely. Kuefler slightly changes the spelling of carzimasium. He wrote it as kartzamadantes which he intended as a transliteration of Browe’s χαρτζαμάδαντεσ.

  • 16 Tuchel 1998, p. 55.
  • 17 Bauer - Rau 2002, p. 491 note 8.

11Jacob-Browe's interpretation dominated the way scholars read Liudprand's text. Carzimasium became an established word, perfectly understood by those who used this part of Antapodosis. Therefore it is not strange that Susan Tuchel in her monumental work on castration wrote that the slaves taken by Liudprand to Constantinople came from Khwarezm16. She did not read Jacob's or Browe's book for this interpretation. Instead it came from the footnote in the bilingual (Latin-German) edition of Liudprand’s works, which is used extensively by German historians. The footnote in question points to Jacob’s book as the source of the information about the understanding of carzimasium17.

  • 18 For this and many other examples see Ashtor 1970, p. 190-2; cf. Gil 1974, p. 311 and note 47 there. (...)
  • 19 Lévi-Provençal 1950, p. 125 note 2.

12The proposition that Liudprand's word came from the name Khwarezm, as it was noted above, is in some extent based on the knowledge about the role of this land in the slave trade. For example, it was attested by Ibn Rusteh that Khwarezm had an important role in the Slave trade with Muslim Spain18. Therefore it is not so strange that economic historians gladly followed Jacob-Browe's line of interpretation. Évariste Lévi-Provençal stated clearly that for him carzimasium is a transcription of the Arab khwarizmi, which means an inhabitant of Khwarizm (« habitant du Khwarizm »). Therefore this name basically meant a slave from Khwarizm19.

  • 20 Verlinden 1955, p. 715-7; such trade route seems improbable. The Khazar merchants were known to buy (...)
  • 21 Verlinden 1979, p. 164. Cf. Lombard 1953, p. 13, 23 and, plate 1 (after p. 28).

13There were some other propositions that were based in its core on Jacob-Browe's interpretation. One of the most eminent scholars of the slave trade, Charles Verlinden, had a new, quite novel idea coming straight from Lévi-Provençal's conclusions. The difference between them lies in the way Verlinden reconstructed the trade route. He understood carzimasium as a slave destined to Khwarezm, not a slave coming from there. These slaves were to be castrated in Verdun and later on transported by Jewish merchants (so called Radhanites) to the East through Constantinople20. On other occasion Verlinden followed that with the explanation that Liudprand mistook carzimasium for a Greek name. This mistake was easy to explain for Verlinden, as in his envisaged slave trade route the living merchandise was taken to its final destination through Constantinople and Liudprand saw it as a Greek name, while it was the calling of destination of trade. In this text he also again underlined that carzimasium had to mean someone going to rather than coming from Khwarezm21.

  • 22 Lewicki 1964, p. 191. See also Ibn Hurdādbeh 1956, p. 94 note 2, where Lewicki discusses from philo (...)

14There is also a somewhat different attempt to explain the meaning of carzimasium, that is based on Jacob's proposition. It is to be found in the works of a Polish orientalist Tadeusz Lewicki. He wrote that Carzimasium came from « Chwãrezmijczyk (Chorezmijczyk) ». This could be seen as denoting someone from Khwarezm. The difference between Lewicki and Lévi-Provençal or Verlindend is that for him carzimasium was to be created not from the name of the originators of the slaves, nor their final buyer, but from the name of those who castrated them22. While his proposition is interesting, it never became popular.

  • 23 There are more than one cities called as Verdun. While most read this as Verdun over the river Meus (...)
  • 24 Sabbe 1934, p. 182-3. About the trade role of Verdun see Ashtor 1970, p. 182. See there also p. 185 (...)
  • 25 Irsigler 2007, p. 15.
  • 26 Hirschmann 1996, p. 304-11. On Jews see footnote 1474 on p. 304.

15Having established the common interpretation of the name, we can move to the second subject of our discussion. In the sometimes elaborate vision of the slave trade, one element is perfectly clear and known : the role of Verdun23 in the slave trade. It can be said with confidence, that this city was one of the centres of the slave trade and the place where they were to be castrated before sending further to Spain24. As it happens on many occasions, there are some voices of dissent. We can point at Franz Irsigler25 and more importantly Frank G. Hirschamnn, upon whose strong opinion Irsigler based his approach to the topic. Hirschmann quite skilfully shows that the whole construction of what the trade looked like is made on assumptions, not on sources. His criticism is concentrated on the inclusion of the Jews into the slave trade. He also noted his doubts about the impression that Verdun was something like a centre of castration, where the best in this field worked. Still, and this is important to us, while expressing scepticism about various elements of the reconstruction of the slave trade, he had to accept the overall view that the city was a part of the slave trade route26.

  • 27 Roth 1994, p. 154; cf. Rotman 2009, p. 73.
  • 28 Al-Gāhiz 1956, p. 166-9.

16It should be noted, that Arabic sources from the tenth century point at other cities where castration was undertaken. One of them was Pechina and it seems that at least for some of the Arabic authors it was in Spain that all of the castration was made27. Still, it should be remembered that from reading Abū ‘Uthman ‘Amr ibn Bahr al-Kinānīal-Basrī (known as al-Jāḥiẓ) book Kitab al-Hayawan one could easily get the impression that the process of castration in Muslim lands was mainly done on adult males. While al-Jāḥiẓ writes that the Slav castrated young was (it appears, after growing up) good at catching birds, most of his text is concerned with those castrated as adults28.

  • 29 See for older, but overall more convincing assessment of the problem : Gieysztor 1979, p. 489–522. (...)
  • 30 Cf. Kowalska 1998, p. 84; Nazmi 1998, p. 189-90; one example would be Ibrahim ibn Qasim al-Qarawi k (...)
  • 31 Toch 2013, p. 178-90 (quote from Ibrahim ibn Jacob on p. 182).

17Recently Michael Toch made additional, independent from Hirschmann's, arguments against the idea that the Jews participated in the slave trade. He argues that the sources we have on this subject were misinterpreted and in some cases twisted to prove that the Jews had an important role in this trade. According to Toch, if Jews even participated in the slave trade, it was rather limited to few instances in a large commerce. In many cases his arguments are convincing and when he wrote about Verdun he rightfully notes that Liudprand does not mention Jews in his account. Nevertheless, on the whole, he is far less convincing and it is not difficult to argue with his vision,29 especially as there are many Arabic sources confirming the participation of Jews in this trade that should be looked upon and discussed more30. Sometimes it seems also that Toch only glosses over a problem. For example this is the case of the relation of Ibrahim ibn Jacob, a Jewish merchant who travelled to Slavic lands in tenth century. Toch writes that according to Ibrahim, Western Jews did not participate in this trade and those who did were (quoting Ibrahim's text) « from the lands of the Turks »31.

  • 32 Kowalski 1946, where this is noted in polish translation of Arabic text on p. 49 and in Latin one ( (...)
  • 33 Nazmi 1998, p. 174-7, 191.
  • 34 For example Jankowiak 2013, p. 140-1 and Adamczyk 2014, p. 161. Both take the identification of Tur (...)

18This demands some explanation, who were those Turks ? While Toch does not divulge into this problem, Tadeusz Kowalski, who edited the Ibrahim's text for Monumenta Poloniae Historica, wrote that we should understand this expression as denoting Hungary, land not from the distant East, but much closer to the centre of Europe32. Yet recently, Ahmed Nazmi's book about the economic relations between Slavic lands and Arabs led to sense of doubt about this identification. His text suggests that those « Turks » were Khazars, not Hungarians. While his arguments are convincing, he does not give a conclusive statement, whether they are one or the other33. This is a problem, as it is clear from the works of other economic historians who use the identification made by Kowalski as an argument about the shape of trade34. Sadly, throughout Toch's book there is a feeling that he is unaware of the controversy and while probably he is correct in his interpretation of Ibrahim’s text, there should be said more about it before he made his statement.

19We therefore see that the proper interpretation of carzimasium is very important for historians of economy. It could be argued that the differences in how it was interpreted created two competing visions of the slave trade. At the same time, Liudprand's text was used to wrongfully see Verdun as a Jewish centre for castration of slaves. The realisation that Liudprand never wrote about Jews in this context here was also one of the arguments for claims that Jews had no role in the trade.

20After providing this broad background it can now be explained why there is a need to have another look at the term carzimasium. While the identification with Khwarezm became a cornerstone for a very vibrant discussion, it was done without consulting the philologists. Here I will show why it is vital to do so even when discussing the slave trade.

21The first step on the road to recognising carimasium is to underline, what has already been mentioned. The word is a technical term. It is not a name used for all eunuchs. Not even for all, who had their penises and testicles cut off. Liudprand clearly writes that it applied to castrated children.

  • 35 Koder - Weber 1980, p. 45.
  • 36 Sophocles 1900, p. 631.

22Having this in mind we move to a text by Johannes Koder in a short, but interesting book about Liudprand. His work was a glossary of the Greek words used by Liudprand and it seems obvious that among many words there should be a place for carzimasium35. The reader will find it, but in a somewhat strange version, as Koder wrote it using the Greek letters. In his text, Koder uses the same version of the words as Browe. But the really important thing is a reference made there. Koder pointed to the well-known and fundamental lexicon of Greek language of the Roman and Byzantine times written by Evangelinus Apostolides Sophocles36.

  • 37 Liddell - Scott 1996, p. 979.
  • 38 Jastrow 1903, p. 1408. I would like to thank Professor Hanna Zaremska for pointing me at Jastrow’s (...)

23When we look into Sophocles book we find that when writing about carzimasium he made a reference not only to the Continuation of Teofanes, but also added some of his own reflections on the subject of this word. The best would be to quote him : « the radical portion of this word is found in Shemitic קץד = κοπτω ». This is a very important realisation, as κοπτω means, according to Liddell and Scott’s dictionary : cut, strike or shake37. To follow that, according to Marcus Jastrow קץר (which transliterates to roughly to qṣr) means to cut, to reap, to shorten, be brief, to be short, to be shortened and short38.

  • 39 Trapp - Hörandner - Diethart 1994, p. 768.
  • 40 Trapp - Hörandner - Diethart 1994, p. 768 (see noted examples there). Cf. Russo 2012, p. 254.It is (...)

24As we see all these explanations of the word could easily be connected with the process or the effect of the castration. This is not the only place where philologists took interest into carzimasium. When we look into Lexikon zur byzantinischen Gräzität we find Liudprand's word. Its spelling was slightly changed by the authors into a form of χαρτζιμασ. In the lexicon there is a very interesting proposition of the etymology of this word. Authors of the Lexikon proposed that it was created from Arabic qaras which means : cut off (abschneiden)39. This would quite clearly fit Sophocles view about Semitic root of the word carzimasium. We should also note that the authors of this lexicon also recognised the word χαρτζιμοσ, which not only means a eunuch, but is also far better attested40.

  • 41 Baldwin 1980, p. 266 note 3.
  • 42 Watson 1992, p. 262 and note 54 there.

25This has to be followed by another philological comment. Liudprand used carzimasium as an expression denoting a castrated child. Baldwin in his article not only connected the word with χαρτζιμασ, but also marked Liudprand’s word as a diminutive. He pointed out in a footnote that the suffix -ιον had such a meaning in late Greek41. The Latin version was either –ium or –io. It might be also worthwhile to add that Plautus uses the former when writing about a female and latter about a male42. This would fit in many ways to the gender-ambiguous nature of eunuchs. Thus the word carzimasium should be read as « little carzimas », or to go further « little shortened » which fits perfectly Liudprand's calling so the child-eunuchs.

26What does it mean for the larger discussion of carzimasium presented above ? It appears that the economic historians, by not looking into what philologists wrote about this strange word, created larger than life interpretations. Sadly, when confronted with what we can find in dictionaries and works of philologists it becomes clear that it is wrong to follow Verlinden's and others vision of the slave trade routes. Those should be reconsidered and corrected, as one of the important elements of the recreation comes from the wrong etymology of one word from Liudprand of Cremona's Antapodosis.

  • 43 See Mez 1937, p. 353-4.
  • 44 Arab terminology for eunuchs is additional small argument in discussion. Words khasi or khadim used (...)

27It is also worth pointing out, that while Lexikon zur byzantinischen Gräzität claimed the Arabic origin of carzimasium, there is no reason to see it as a word coming directly from the Jews. What should be noted is that it was prohibited in Islam to castrate; therefore the people who made this procedure should be either Christians of Jews43. Thus it would not even be strange if the merchant was an Arab, but the terminology used was of Jewish origin44. In such view, what would carzimasium mean ? The translation would come as shortened or as cut. When we remember that it was clearly a technical term, not a general one denoting all castrated men, it would lead to an interesting conclusion. We would have a slave terminology rooted in Jewish language; therefore it would be improbable if there was, as Toch claims, no Jewish participation in the trade.

28This leaves us with only one question. Why Liudprand wrote, that it was how Byzantines call such type of a eunuch ? On the premise he should write that it was a name given to them by the Jewish merchants and/or castrators. Nevertheless, as it is clear from the manuscript, Liudprand never read it, nor did actually know how to write it down. It is possible then, that when he bought these slaves, he was informed that they are known as carzimasium and he assumed that it was a Greek name. More so, it seems, looking at Teofanes and χαρτζιμοσ, which is very similar sounding to carzimasium, that in fact the discussed name was used in Byzantium. It would not be strange if Byzantines took a name known from merchants and after greecization its sound adopted it as a technical term. This would be strengthened by the addition of a clearly Greek suffix marking it as a diminutive.

29Concluding, in Liudprand of Cremona's Antapodosis we find a name that not only denotes, but actually means a child-eunuch. Its origin is probably in Jewish language, which is a strong evidence for the Jewish participation in the slave trade.

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Notes

1 On Liudprand see : Sutherland 1988; and Huschner 2003; for recent scholarship : Sivo 1997; Grabowski 2013.For edition of his works : Liudprandus Cremonensis 1998; cf. also the older edition : Liudprand von Cremona 1915. See also Liutprando de Cremona 2007. For the English translation by Paolo Squatriti see : Liudprand of Cremona 2007.The references to Liudprand works will be made using their Latin titles and chapter numbers. When there will be a quotation, a page number from Chiesa’s edition be provided and appropriate page number from Squatriti’s translation.Version of this paper was read at the seminar of Department of Medieval Studies of The Tadeusz Manteuffel Institute of History (Polish Academy of Sciences).

2 On this see : Rentschler 1981, p. 14.

3 Relatio De Legatione Constantinopolitana c. 29; cf. Tougher 2008, p. 103 and note 69 there. Liudprand in his attacks follows the much older tradition. See for example Leo the Deacon (I.2) information about Constantine Gongyles, who « was a eunuch of the bedchamber, an effeminate fellow from Paphlagonia » and was commander of an army, whom Leo criticized for his ineptitude and cowardice (Leo the Deacon 2005, p. 59), see also Leo the Deacon III.3-5 (p. 38-43); a praise of someone, that he is quite skilled even through he is a eunuch is seen in IV.7-8 (p. 65-8), V.4 (p. 81).Liudprand in other place wrote about a certain eunuch – a commander of the Byzantine soldiers – who was captured by the Saracens. Afterwards they executed all his men, but decided not to kill him explaining that it would be disrespectful to them to kill a eunuch (Relatio De Legatione Constantinopolitana c. 43), cf. Tougher 2008, p. 116, note 178 on p. 116 states that the commander in question was patrikios Niketas, brother of the protovestiarios Michael.

4 This story was even noted by well known radical historian Jeffrey Jerome Cohen (and his collaborative group of disputants on now defunct webpage of Georgetown University known as Interscripta). Cohen et al. were of an opinion that eunuchs were presented in highly negative light by Liudprand and they could be seen as a way of attacking the Eastern Empire. The mentioned story above was seen by them as not fitting the paradigm. Cohen et al. 1996, p. 6-8.

5 Antapodosis VI.2.

6 mendatio plenam, Antapodosis VI.6; Liudprandus Cremonensis, 1998, p. 147; Liudprand of Cremona 2007, p. 198.

7 Liudprand here writes that he will write how Berengar reacted to this and this was to show how bad ruler he was. Sadly, Antapodosis ends in the middle of the embassy and therefore we do not have this narration.

8 Optuli autem loricas optimas VIIII, scuta optima cum bullis deauratis VII, coppas argenteas deauratas II, enses, lanceas, verua, manicipia IIIIor carzimasia, imperatori nominatis omnibus preciosiora. Carzimasium autem Greci vocant amputatis virilibus et virga puerum eunuchum; quod Verdunenses mercatores ob inmensum lucrum facere et in Hispaniam ducere solent. Antapodosis VI.6; Liudprandus Cremonensis, 1998, p. 147-8; Liudprand of Cremona 2007, p. 199.

9 Chiesa 1994. Chiesa’s opinion about the nature of the manuscript is not unopposed. It was criticised by Hartmut Hoffmann and Peter Schreiner wrote extensively against the proposition that it was Liudprand, who wrote the Greek letters. Nevertheless Chiesa’s arguments are commonly accepted. Hoffmann 2001, p. 49-57; and Schreiner 2003, p. 305–17.

10 Liudprand of Cremona, Clm 6388, fol. 84v.

11 Theophanes Continuatus 1838, p. 145 line 19 (Theophanes Continuatus 1863, col. 160C). Baldwin 1980, p. 266.

12 There are many different versions how the word Khwarezm was written. It seems also, that sometimes there is confusion over what it meant between the Khazars who were living on the banks of Black Sea and the Kharezm describing the country known as Khwarizm or sometimes Hwarizm, which was located to the south of the Aral Sea.To make thing somewhat confusing, there were, it seems, close relations between Khwarezm and Khazars and even one of Khazar kings had a name Halis, which means Khwarezmian. See Lewicki 1949, p. 333.

13 Jacob 1891, p. 9.

14 Browe 1936, p. 4 note 14.

15 Kuefler 1996, p. 301 note 127.

16 Tuchel 1998, p. 55.

17 Bauer - Rau 2002, p. 491 note 8.

18 For this and many other examples see Ashtor 1970, p. 190-2; cf. Gil 1974, p. 311 and note 47 there.It should be noted, that recently, using archaeological findings, Marek Jankowiak argued that till the late tenth century there was no strong connection between, what he described as the two main routes/systems of slave trade, one leading to the East from Rus, Central Poland, Pomerania and Scandinavia; and the other leading West from Bohemia and Western Slavic lands. Jankowiak 2013, p. 142If Jankowiak is right, then carzimasium could only be based on Khwarezm on a condition that there was a direct trade route between Khwarezm and Byzantium. While it is possible that such a route existed, there is Ibn-Hwqal's claim that slaves coming from Bulgār, who were imported into Muslim world through Hurāsān (most probably Khazars), were to have their genitalia intact. To make matter more complicated, some sources mention Armenia as a place where slaves were castrated for trade in Arab world, Nazmi 1998, p. 194-5 and p. 71 for identification of Hurāsān.Thus the information about slave trade is far from conclusive and this is a topic that should be studied more.

19 Lévi-Provençal 1950, p. 125 note 2.

20 Verlinden 1955, p. 715-7; such trade route seems improbable. The Khazar merchants were known to buy slaves in Central and Eastern Europe and transport them to the Caliphate. It would be strange that slaves be transported through all Europe, while they could easily be taken directly to the final destination. The difficulty of proper castration does not seem as a valid explanation for seeing Verdun as viable point on a trade route between Central and Eastern Europe on one side and Khwarezm on the other. Verlinden repeated this interpretation in Verlinden 1970, p. 15; McCormick 2001, p. 760.Ibn Hawqal wrote about the extensive trade network that connected the Muslim world with Slavic lands. He was to claim that most castrated Slavs were coming from Spain, where this procedure was to be made. What makes his account not fitting Verlinden's proposition, is that the trade route he implies was coming through Maghreb. There is no place for Constantinople on it. Lewicki 1949, p. 365; cf Kowalska 1998, p. 84, 89.On the other hand Ibn Chordadhbeh wrote that Rhadanites were dealing among other things in slave trade from Western Europe to the East, particularly to Egypt. It should be noted that Ibn Chordadhbeh describes a very extensive trade network that encompasses all lands between Spain and China. Ibn Hurdādbeh 1956, p. 74-5. Lewicki, 1952, p 485. We need also to add Lévi-Provençal noted in his book that those slaves were taken from land beyond Khwarizm, castrated in Spain and then exported to Egypt, Lévi-Provençal 1950, p. 124, note 2. This he based on Al-Muqaddasi's (Lévi-Provençal writes him al-Makdisi) relation.It is well attested, that Jewish merchants traded with nearby Khazars and were present in their lands, see Lewicki 1979, p. 393-4. We should also be aware, that while most slaves from Slavic lands that came to Mesopotamia from north of it, it was not only way possible. There are some cases of slaves being traded to Iberia and from there through Maghreb and Egypt finally came to the Middle East – Mesopotamia. See, Lewicka-Rajewska 2004, p. 66. She follows Lewicki 1952, p. 484-7.

21 Verlinden 1979, p. 164. Cf. Lombard 1953, p. 13, 23 and, plate 1 (after p. 28).

22 Lewicki 1964, p. 191. See also Ibn Hurdādbeh 1956, p. 94 note 2, where Lewicki discusses from philological point of view the identification of carzimasium with Chorezm. He writes that the Arabic Q.r.z.m (meaning Chorezm) could be read as Qarizm, which could easily be a source for carzimasium.

23 There are more than one cities called as Verdun. While most read this as Verdun over the river Meuse, it is possible – and some argue more fitting – to point at modern Verdun-sur-le-Doubs. See Toch 2013, p. 183 note 18. Toch here bases his assumption on Aronius – Dresdner - Lewinski, 1902, no. 127, p. 55. It should be mentioned that these authors were not first to see it this way. They direct readers to older work, where it was first proposed. It was Karl Dietrich Hüllmann’s book. While he proposes this identification of Verdun, he also does not rule out a possibility, that it was a mistake and Liudprand thought here about Verona. Hüllmann 1826, p. 84, note 90.

24 Sabbe 1934, p. 182-3. About the trade role of Verdun see Ashtor 1970, p. 182. See there also p. 185-6; Lombard 1953, p. 17-8. The role of Verdun in the trade of slaves was also discussed in : Verlinden 1955, p. 217, 222; for the reconstruction of the trade route from Verdun to Muslim Spain see p. 223-4. On Verdun see also Trabelsi 2012, p. 54-5; Olivia Remie Constable notes that there is no Arabic source that would confirm the role of Verdun, Constable 1996, p. 205, note 171. On the other hand in the life of John of Gorze there is mentioned that he travelled to Cordoba with merchants from Verdun, cf : Stein 1922, p. 108-9.

25 Irsigler 2007, p. 15.

26 Hirschmann 1996, p. 304-11. On Jews see footnote 1474 on p. 304.

27 Roth 1994, p. 154; cf. Rotman 2009, p. 73.

28 Al-Gāhiz 1956, p. 166-9.

29 See for older, but overall more convincing assessment of the problem : Gieysztor 1979, p. 489–522. Still, it seems that Toch's argumentation expressed throughout his career is gaining higher ground, see for example Holo 2009, p. 192-3.

30 Cf. Kowalska 1998, p. 84; Nazmi 1998, p. 189-90; one example would be Ibrahim ibn Qasim al-Qarawi known thanks to al Maqqari, see Jacob 1891, p. 13. Note, Pascual Gayangos' abriged English translation does not mention Jews there, see Maqqarī 1840, p. 75-6.

31 Toch 2013, p. 178-90 (quote from Ibrahim ibn Jacob on p. 182).

32 Kowalski 1946, where this is noted in polish translation of Arabic text on p. 49 and in Latin one (made by Marian Plezia) on p. 146. The explanation for such interpretation is given in note 35 on p. 74. In short, Arabian geographers use often to name Hungarians the word Turks. Geographers are important here, as the text of Ibrahim's relation is known through the text of well known historian and geographer Al-Bakri who lived in eleventh century. On the quality of Kowalski's edition see : Zaborski 2008, p. 25-40.It should be added that according to Lewicki, in the other known adaptation of Ibrahim's text, quoted in the work of al-Himjarī from fifteenth century, it is clear that it is not about Khazars or other Eastern people, but Hungarians. This is of course an interpretation of interpretation and should be treated with a grain of salt. Lewicki 1971, p. 698-700.

33 Nazmi 1998, p. 174-7, 191.

34 For example Jankowiak 2013, p. 140-1 and Adamczyk 2014, p. 161. Both take the identification of Turks with Hungary for granted and there is hardly any doubt about it expressed in their texts.

35 Koder - Weber 1980, p. 45.

36 Sophocles 1900, p. 631.

37 Liddell - Scott 1996, p. 979.

38 Jastrow 1903, p. 1408. I would like to thank Professor Hanna Zaremska for pointing me at Jastrow’s work. Letter’s order change that would lead from qṣr to carzimas could be expected, as in the Greek the combination sr was avoided. I consulted it with Monika Mikuła and Professor Mikołaj Szymański.

39 Trapp - Hörandner - Diethart 1994, p. 768.

40 Trapp - Hörandner - Diethart 1994, p. 768 (see noted examples there). Cf. Russo 2012, p. 254.It is also worth to look at the examples provided in Lexikon as all are from the text from ninth to tenth century AD. One of them is scholia in Lucian’s De Dea Syria. In some of them it is stated that in the times scholia were written, the Galli (eunuchs) were known as χαρτζιμος. The editor, Hugo Rabe, marked this as appearing in two main manuscripts containing the scholia : Harleianus 5694 and Coislinianus gr. 345. In the footnotes, he adds that it also appears in Vat.1325, but there is a note, that in this manuscript and in Coislinianus gr. 345 the word is spelled : χαρτζιμας while the editor goes for χαρτζιμους, Rabe 1906, p. 187 line 19.Therefore, it is possible that this was one word, which by a writers’ mistake became two.

41 Baldwin 1980, p. 266 note 3.

42 Watson 1992, p. 262 and note 54 there.

43 See Mez 1937, p. 353-4.

44 Arab terminology for eunuchs is additional small argument in discussion. Words khasi or khadim used and translated as a eunuch should be a better source for Greek name, than verb qaras. More so, the eunuch with both penis and testicles cut was mostly known as madjbūb (there are also different names, but less common), which definitively shows a different etymology than carzimasium. On khadim see Cheikh Moussa 1982, from p. 188 and especially p. 212-4; Cheikh Moussa 1985; Ayalon 1985. It should be noted, that these were not the only names used to denote eunuchs, cf. Ibn Hurdādbeh 1956, p. 95. Generally on eunuch in Muslim world see Pellat 1979.

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Référence électronique

Antoni Grabowski, « Eunuch between economy and philology. The case of carzimasium », Mélanges de l’École française de Rome - Moyen Âge [En ligne], 127-1 | 2015, mis en ligne le 02 février 2015, consulté le 23 octobre 2017. URL : http://mefrm.revues.org/2408 ; DOI : 10.4000/mefrm.2408

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Antoni Grabowski

a.t.grabowski@student.uw.edu.pl

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