History of Civilizations of Central Asia

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The age of achievement A.D. 750 to the end of the fifteenth century

icon4.gif (76 octets) Part Two:
The achievements

C.E. Bosworth

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Summary :

Volume IV, Part One, of this History covered the dynastic, political and military history of Central Asia. Part Two covers the cultural achievements of the various peoples of this immense region: arts and crafts, languages, scripts, literature, architecture, music, science, medicine and technology. The borders of the Central Asian heartland of steppes, desert and forests fluctuated over the period 750–1500. At first, the Islamic faith and culture had to compete with older established faiths in Central Asia such as Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, Christianity and Buddhism. For over four centuries, the advance of Islam was gradual, but it was to have far-reaching consequences as it extended north-eastwards. During the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, Islam and Islamic culture achieved dominance over all its rivals in Transoxania and the area to its north and also established a firm footing in north-western India and southwards through the subcontinent.

Thus arose a unique moment in history for the interchange of ideas and aspects of material culture, in which Central Asia acted as an intermediary. The faiths of the West and the South, of the Near East, of the Iranian world and the Indian, now had an impact on the lands further east and north. In the reverse direction, commerce, highly skilled crafts such as ceramics, and technological achievements such as silk production and woodblock printing, spread from China to the Islamic world and thence to Europe.

C. E. Bosworth

icon4.gif (76 octets) Table of Contents


icon4.gif (76 octets)  Table of Contents

Description of the project
The late M. S. Asimov,
President of the International Scientific Committee

Members of the International Scientific Committee

List of contributors

Note on transliteration and style for names

C. E. Bosworth

Chapter 1 The development of education: maktab, madrasa, science and pedagogy

Part One The Islamic lands and their culture
A. K. Mirbabaev

Part Two The search for knowledge through translation: translations of Manichaean, Christian and Buddhist literature into Chinese, Turkic, Mongolian, Tibetan and other languages
P. Zieme

Part Three Early Buddhism in Tibet and the educational role of the monasteries
Wang Furen

Chapter 2 Religions and religious movements

H.-J. Klimkeit

Part One Religions in the Central Asian environment
R. Meserve

Part Two Manichaeism and Nestorian Christianity
H.-J. Klimkeit

Part Three The advent of Islam: extent and impact
E. E. Karimov

Part Four Non-Islamic mystic movements in Hindu society
C. Shackle

Chapter 3 Works on hadîth and its codification, exegesis and theology

Part One The contribution of eastern Iranian and Central Asian scholars to the compilation of hadîths
A. Paket-Chy

Part Two Qur’anic exegesis
C. Gilliot

Chapter 4 Legal, political and historical sciences

Part One Legal and political sciences in the eastern Iranian world and Central Asia in the pre-Mongol period
C. E. Bosworh

Part Two Arabic, Persian and Turkish Historiography in the eastern Iranian world
C. E. Bosworth

Part Three Arabic, Persian and Turkish historiography in Central Asia
R. N. Frye

Part Four Historiography among the Mongols
Sh. Bira

Chapter 5 Philosophy, logic and cosmology
M. Dinorshoev

Chapter 6 Mathematical sciences

Part One Introduction: the mathematicians and their heritage
Q. Mushtaq

Part Two The mathematical sciences
J. L. Berggren

Chapter 7 Astronomy, astrology, observatories and calendars
A. Akhmedov

Chapter 8 Geodesy, geology and mineralogy. Geography and cartography. The Silk Route across Central Asia

Part One Geodesy and mineralogy, Geography and cartography
S. Maqbul Ahmad

Part Two The Silk Route across Central Asia
K . Baipakov

Chapter 9 Alchemy, chemistry, pharmacology and pharmaceutics

Part One Alchemy and chemistry in Islamic Central Asia
A. Abdurazakov

Part Two Tibetan and Mongolian pharmacology
Ts. Haidav

Chapter 10 Physics and mechanics. Civil and hydraulic engineering. Industrial processes and manufacturing, and craft activities
D.R. Hill

Chapter 11 Natural life and the manmade habitat in Central Asia
A. R. Mukhamejanov

Chapter 12 Medical and veterinary sciences

Part One Medicine, pharmacology and veterinary science in Islamic eastern Iran and Central Asia
L. Richter-Bernburg

Part Two Medicine and pharmacology: Chinese, Indian, Tibetan and Graeco-Arab influences
H. M. Said

Chapter 13 Language situation and scripts

Part One Iranian languages
A. Tafazzoli

Part Two Old Turkic and Middle Turkic languages
D. Sinor

Part Three Pre-Mongol and Mongol writing systems
G. Kara

Part Four The Tibetan script
G. Kara

Part Five Arabic
S. Blair

Chapter 14 The linguistic sciences

Part One Lexicography
V. A. Kapranov

Part Two Encyclopaedias
Z. Vesel

Chapter 15 Oral tradition and the literary heritage

Part One Persian literature
A. Afsahzod

Part Two Literature of the Turkic peoples
A. Kayumov

Part Three Tibetan and Mongolian literature
G. Kara

Part Four The literatures of north-western India
C. Shackle

Part Five The Kyrgyz epic Manas
R. Z. Kydyrbaeva

Chapter 16 Arts and crafts

Part One Arts and crafts in Tansoxania and Khurasan
A. A. Hakimov

Part Two Turkic and Mongol art
E. Novgorodova

Part Three Hindu and Buddhist arts and crafts: tiles, ceramics and pottery
A. H. Dani

Chapter 17 Arts of the book and painting

Part One Arts of the book and miniatures
M. M. Ashrafi

Part Two The development of calligraphy
P. Soucek

Chapter 18 Urban development and architecture

Part One Transoxania and Khurasan
G. A. Pugachenkova

Part Two Southern Central Asia
A. H. Dani

Part Three Eastern Central Asia
Liu Yingsheng

Chapter 19 Music and musicology, theatre and dance

Part One Music in the Buddhist and pre-Buddhist worlds
B. Lawergren

Part Two Music in the Islamic environment
E. Neubauer

Part Three Festivals, drama and the performing arts in Khurasan and Transoxania
M. H. Kadyrov

C. E. Bosworth


Bibliography and references