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History of Civilizations of Central Asia

Volume III - The crossroads of civilizations: A. D. 250 to 750

Readers will discover through this six-volume work cultures that flourished and vanished from the dawn of civilization to the present time and how the history of the ancient and medieval world was shaped by the movements of peoples in this heartland of Eurasia, stretching from the Caspian Sea to the borders of China.

In this third volume covering the flourishing period from the third to the eighth century A.D., scholars describe the powerful role played by the Sasanian state in Iran, the Gupta empire in India and the T'ang dynasty in China. Waves of nomadic migrations and the formation of steppe empires left their mark on political and social life. This multi-ethnic society had its roots in the great religious traditions of Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, Christianity and Shamanism. The islamization of a great part of the region brought fundamental changes to all aspects of life. Intensive trade along the Silk Route encouraged cultural and scientific exchanges, making this period one of impressive artistic and intellectual creativity.

Editor

B. A. Litvinsky,  Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russian Federation

Co-editors

Zhang Guang-da, Department of History, Beijing University, Beijing, People's Republik of China

R. Shabani Samghabadi, National University of Iran, Teheran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Summary:

This was a period which witnessed not only complex political events due to the arrival of warring dynasties and to ethnic movements, but also far-reaching social, economic and cultural upheaval. An epoch of rich and powerful empires such as the Sasanians in Iran and the T'ang in China. There were also waves of nomadic migrations and the constitution of steppe empires which swept over these sedentary populations and not only left their imprint on political and social life but frequently added a new ethnic component to the population. These multiethnic and multicultural societies had their roots in great religious traditions such as Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, Christianity and Shamanism. The advent of Islam in the region at the end of this period brought fundamental changes to all aspects of life.

Table of Contents

 

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UNESCO Publishing
History of Civilizations of  Central Asia. Volume I - III. Paris: UNESCO Publishing 1992 - 1996.
History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume I - III. Paris: UNESCO Publishing 1992 - 1996.