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Elteber (Old Turkic: Old Turkic letter R2.svgOld Turkic letter B2.svgOld Turkic letter T2.svgOld Turkic letter L2.svgOld Turkic letter I.svg, elteber[1]) was the client king of an autonomous but tributary tribe or polity in the hierarchy of the Turkic khaganates and Khazar Khaganate.

In the case of the Khazar Khaganate, the rulers of such vassal peoples as the Volga Bulgars (only until 969, after that they were independent and created a powerful state), Burtas and North Caucasian Huns were titled elteber or some variant such as Ilutwer, Ilutver (North Caucasian Huns), Yiltawar or İltäbär (Volga Bulgaria) (until 969). An Elteber (Almış) is known to have met the famous Muslim traveller Ibn Fadlan and requested assistance from the Abbasids of Baghdad.

The earliest extant mention of the term is for a ruler of the North Caucasian Huns in the 680s, referred to in Christian sources from Caucasian Albania as Alp Ilutuer. The title was also mentioned in Letter to Kültegin in 732. It was used by rulers of pre-Islamic Volga Bulgaria during the period of their vassalage to the Khazars.

See alsoEdit


  • Kevin Alan Brook. The Jews of Khazaria. 2nd ed. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc, 2006.
  • Douglas M. Dunlop. The History of the Jewish Khazars, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1954.
  • Peter B. Golden. Khazar Studies: An Historio-Philological Inquiry into the Origins of the Khazars. Budapest: Akademia Kiado, 1980.
  • Norman Golb and Omeljan Pritsak, Khazarian Hebrew Documents of the Tenth Century. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, 1982.