Heritage of Central Asia: From Antiquity to the Turkish Expansion / Edition 1

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After the breakup of the Soviet Union, the peoples of Central Asia are seeking to rediscover their heritage, which blends cultural elements from Iran, China, and India. Central Asia in ancient and medieval times was the crossroads of civilization, connecting China with the West. This book provides a concise, authoritative history of the region that includes modern Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, and Xinjiang. The author, who has made many visits to the region and lived in Tajikistan, draws on sources in several Central Asian languages, as well as materials from the fields of archaeology, art history, linguistics, ethnography, and folklore. What we now call Central Asia was part of the empires conquered by Cyrus, Alexander the Great, Timur, and their successors during antiquity and the Middle Ages. At the turn of the millennium, Central Asia became the Turkish center of rule. After the Turkish expansion, political rule belonged to the Turks, but the culture remained Iranian. Over the course of centuries, ancient polytheistic religions gave way to Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, and Islam, and merchants founded trading empires around the legendary silk route.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558761117
  • Publisher: Wiener, Markus Publishers, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/28/1995
  • Series: Princeton Series on the Middle East
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 1,012,176
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Ch. 1 Geographic Realities 11
Ch. 2 Peoples, Languages, Customs and Beliefs 29
Ch. 3 Before History 51
Ch. 4 Zoroaster's Cult 65
Ch. 5 Achaemenid Centralization 75
Ch. 6 Alexander and the Heritage of Hellenism 97
Ch. 7 Greco-Bactrians and Parthians 109
Ch. 8 Nomadic Interlude 119
Ch. 9 The Forgotten Kushans 131
Ch. 10 The Silk Route 151
Ch. 11 The Buddhist East 159
Ch. 12 Return of the Nomads 167
Ch. 13 The Merchant World of the Sogdians 183
Ch. 14 Caliphs and Kaghans 199
Ch. 15 The Iranian-Islamic Ecumene 219
Ch. 16 The Present is Born 233
Appendix 1: The Literary Sources 241
Appendix 2: Geographical Names 243
Appendix 3: Local rulers in Bukhara and Samarkand 246
Appendix 4: Deities in Sogdiana 247
Appendix 5: The Languages of Central Asia 248
Appendix 6: Coinage in Transoxiana 251
Index 253
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