LOST ENLIGHTENMENT CENTRAL ASIAS GOLDEN AGE FROM THE ARAB CONQUEST TO TAMERLANE

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Lost Enlightenment

Author : S. Frederick Starr
ISBN : 0691157731
Genre : History
File Size : 76.37 MB
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""Lost Enlightenment" brilliantly re-creates for us the world of Central Asia, which for centuries was not a backwater but a center of world civilization. With a sure mastery of the large historical sweep as well as an eye for detail, Fred Starr has written an important book that will be a resource for years to come."--Francis Fukuyama, author of "The Origins of Political Order" "For more than three hundred years the Islamic world exercised the scientific and philosophical mastery of Europe. With compelling urgency and lucidity, "Lost Enlightenment" tells the story of the rise and tragic demise of this golden age of Islamic learning in Central Asia. It is a story whose lesson we should never be allowed to forget."--Anthony Pagden, author of "The Enlightenment: And Why It Still Matters" "From 800 to 1200, Central Asia was the world's most advanced civilization in the sciences, mathematics, medicine, law, and art. Starr's "Lost Enlightenment" thoughtfully explains this astonishing evolution and its end."--Henry A. Kissinger "Fred Starr makes the most persuasive case yet that medieval Central Asia was a major center of civilization and high culture--and what a picture emerges."--Richard W. Bulliet, Columbia University "Drawing on his vast knowledge and experience of Central Asia, Fred Starr provides a brilliant account of the history and culture of the land that produced some of the greatest Islamic scholars, scientists, saints, artists, and architects. Thanks to this book, the Central Asian enlightenment is no longer as lost as some might think."--Seyyed Hossein Nasr, George Washington University "A delight to read, this is a fine survey of the intellectual and cultural history of Central Asia by a distinguished historian. By showing the remarkable discoveries in astronomy, mathematics, medicine, and other fields made by Central Asians from the earliest times, "Lost Enlightenment" is certain to surprise many readers by challenging traditional misconceptions of the region. The book's biographical approach makes for lively reading. Anyone interested in the Silk Roads will find it enthralling."--Morris Rossabi, author of "The Mongols: A Very Short Introduction" "This ambitious and much-needed book will be an eye-opener for many readers. S. Frederick Starr shows that Central Asia, often viewed today as a backwater, produced some of the most outstanding minds of the Middle Ages."--Peter B. Golden, author of "Central Asia in World History"
Category: History

Lost Enlightenment

Author : S. Frederick Starr
ISBN : 9781400848805
Genre : History
File Size : 52.79 MB
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In this sweeping and richly illustrated history, S. Frederick Starr tells the fascinating but largely unknown story of Central Asia's medieval enlightenment through the eventful lives and astonishing accomplishments of its greatest minds--remarkable figures who built a bridge to the modern world. Because nearly all of these figures wrote in Arabic, they were long assumed to have been Arabs. In fact, they were from Central Asia--drawn from the Persianate and Turkic peoples of a region that today extends from Kazakhstan southward through Afghanistan, and from the easternmost province of Iran through Xinjiang, China. Lost Enlightenment recounts how, between the years 800 and 1200, Central Asia led the world in trade and economic development, the size and sophistication of its cities, the refinement of its arts, and, above all, in the advancement of knowledge in many fields. Central Asians achieved signal breakthroughs in astronomy, mathematics, geology, medicine, chemistry, music, social science, philosophy, and theology, among other subjects. They gave algebra its name, calculated the earth's diameter with unprecedented precision, wrote the books that later defined European medicine, and penned some of the world's greatest poetry. One scholar, working in Afghanistan, even predicted the existence of North and South America--five centuries before Columbus. Rarely in history has a more impressive group of polymaths appeared at one place and time. No wonder that their writings influenced European culture from the time of St. Thomas Aquinas down to the scientific revolution, and had a similarly deep impact in India and much of Asia. Lost Enlightenment chronicles this forgotten age of achievement, seeks to explain its rise, and explores the competing theories about the cause of its eventual demise. Informed by the latest scholarship yet written in a lively and accessible style, this is a book that will surprise general readers and specialists alike. Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.
Category: History

Empires Of The Silk Road

Author : Christopher I. Beckwith
ISBN : 1400829941
Genre : History
File Size : 35.5 MB
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The first complete history of Central Eurasia from ancient times to the present day, Empires of the Silk Road represents a fundamental rethinking of the origins, history, and significance of this major world region. Christopher Beckwith describes the rise and fall of the great Central Eurasian empires, including those of the Scythians, Attila the Hun, the Turks and Tibetans, and Genghis Khan and the Mongols. In addition, he explains why the heartland of Central Eurasia led the world economically, scientifically, and artistically for many centuries despite invasions by Persians, Greeks, Arabs, Chinese, and others. In retelling the story of the Old World from the perspective of Central Eurasia, Beckwith provides a new understanding of the internal and external dynamics of the Central Eurasian states and shows how their people repeatedly revolutionized Eurasian civilization. Beckwith recounts the Indo-Europeans' migration out of Central Eurasia, their mixture with local peoples, and the resulting development of the Graeco-Roman, Persian, Indian, and Chinese civilizations; he details the basis for the thriving economy of premodern Central Eurasia, the economy's disintegration following the region's partition by the Chinese and Russians in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and the damaging of Central Eurasian culture by Modernism; and he discusses the significance for world history of the partial reemergence of Central Eurasian nations after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Empires of the Silk Road places Central Eurasia within a world historical framework and demonstrates why the region is central to understanding the history of civilization.
Category: History

The Rise And Rule Of Tamerlane

Author : Beatrice Forbes Manz
ISBN : 0521633842
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 22.94 MB
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The first full study of the great nomad conqueror, Tamerlane.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

The History Of Central Asia

Author : Christoph Baumer
ISBN : 9781780760605
Genre : History
File Size : 66.41 MB
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An illustrated history of one of the most compelling and mysterious regions on earth. It is a unique travelogue and resource and will appeal to scholars and students of antiquity, history, archaeology and religious studies. The epic plains and arid deserts of Central Asia have witnessed some of the greatest migrations, as well as many of the most transformative developments, in the history of civilization. Christoph Baumer's ambitious treatment of the region charts the 3000-year drama of Scythians and Sarmatians; Soviets and transcontinental Silk Roads; trade routes and the transmission of ideas across the steppes; and, the breathless and brutal conquests of Alexander the Great and Chinghiz Khan.
Category: History

Everyday Life In Central Asia

Author : Jeff Sahadeo
ISBN : 9780253013538
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 45.51 MB
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For its citizens, contemporary Central Asia is a land of great promise and peril. While the end of Soviet rule has opened new opportunities for social mobility and cultural expression, political and economic dynamics have also imposed severe hardships. In this lively volume, contributors from a variety of disciplines examine how ordinary Central Asians lead their lives and navigate shifting historical and political trends. Provocative stories of Turkmen nomads, Afghan villagers, Kazakh scientists, Kyrgyz border guards, a Tajik strongman, guardians of religious shrines in Uzbekistan, and other narratives illuminate important issues of gender, religion, power, culture, and wealth. A vibrant and dynamic world of life in urban neighborhoods and small villages, at weddings and celebrations, at classroom tables, and around dinner tables emerges from this introduction to a geopolitically strategic and culturally fascinating region.
Category: Social Science

Tamerlane Sword Of Islam Conqueror Of The World

Author : Justin Marozzi
ISBN : 9780007369737
Genre : History
File Size : 25.72 MB
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A powerful account of the life of Tamerlane the Great (1336-1405), the last master nomadic power, one of history’s most extreme tyrants, and the subject of Marlowe’s famous play. Marozzi travelled in the footsteps of the great Mogul Emperor of Samarkland to write this wonderful combination of history and travelogue.
Category: History

In God S Path

Author : Robert G. Hoyland
ISBN : 9780199916368
Genre : History
File Size : 61.66 MB
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In just over a hundred years--from the death of Muhammad in 632 to the beginning of the Abbasid Caliphate in 750--the followers of the Prophet swept across the whole of the Middle East, North Africa, and Spain. Their armies threatened states as far afield as the Franks in Western Europe and the Tang Empire in China. The conquered territory was larger than the Roman Empire at its greatest expansion, and it was claimed for the Arabs in roughly half the time. How this collection of Arabian tribes was able to engulf so many empires, states, and armies in such a short period of time is a question that has perplexed historians for centuries. Most recent popular accounts have been based almost solely on the early Muslim sources, which were composed centuries later for the purpose of demonstrating that God had chosen the Arabs as his vehicle for spreading Islam throughout the world. In this ground-breaking new history, distinguished Middle East expert Robert G. Hoyland assimilates not only the rich biographical and geographical information of the early Muslim sources but also the many non-Arabic sources, contemporaneous or near-contemporaneous with the conquests. The story of the conquests traditionally begins with the revelation of Islam to Muhammad. In God's Path, however, begins with a broad picture of the Late Antique world prior to the Prophet's arrival, a world dominated by the two superpowers of Byzantium and Sasanian Persia, "the two eyes of the world." In between these empires, in western (Saudi) Arabia, emerged a distinct Arab identity, which helped weld its members into a formidable fighting force. The Arabs are the principal actors in this drama yet, as Hoyland shows, the peoples along the edges of Byzantium and Persia--the Khazars, Bulgars, Avars, and Turks--also played important roles in the remaking of the old world order. The new faith propagated by Muhammad and his successors made it possible for many of the conquered peoples to join the Arabs in creating the first Islamic Empire. Well-paced and accessible, In God's Path presents a pioneering new narrative of one the great transformational periods in all of history.
Category: History

The Mongols And The Islamic World

Author : Peter Jackson
ISBN : 9780300227284
Genre : History
File Size : 60.82 MB
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An epic historical consideration of the Mongol conquest of Western Asia and the spread of Islam during the years of non-Muslim rule The Mongol conquest of the Islamic world began in the early thirteenth century when Genghis Khan and his warriors overran Central Asia and devastated much of Iran. Distinguished historian Peter Jackson offers a fresh and fascinating consideration of the years of infidel Mongol rule in Western Asia, drawing from an impressive array of primary sources as well as modern studies to demonstrate how Islam not only survived the savagery of the conquest, but spread throughout the empire. This unmatched study goes beyond the well-documented Mongol campaigns of massacre and devastation to explore different aspects of an immense imperial event that encompassed what is now Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Afghanistan, as well as Central Asia and parts of eastern Europe. It examines in depth the cultural consequences for the incorporated Islamic lands, the Muslim experience of Mongol sovereignty, and the conquerors’ eventual conversion to Islam.
Category: History

The Revolt Of 1916 In Russian Central Asia

Author : Edward Dennis Sokol
ISBN : 9781421420516
Genre : History
File Size : 59.74 MB
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During the summer of 1916, approximately 270,000 Central Asians—Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Tajiks, Turkmen, and Uzbeks—perished at the hands of the Russian army in a revolt that began with resistance to the Tsar’s World War I draft. In addition to those killed outright, tens of thousands of men, women, and children died while trying to escape over treacherous mountain passes into China. Experts calculate that the Kyrgyz, who suffered most heavily, lost 40% of their total population. This horrific incident was nearly lost to history. During the Soviet era, the massacre of 1916 became a taboo subject, hidden in sealed archives and banished from history books. Edward Dennis Sokol’s pioneering Revolt of 1916 in Russian Central Asia, published in 1954 and reissued now for the first time in decades, was for generations the only scholarly study of the massacre in any language. Drawing on early Soviet periodicals, including Krasnyi Arkhiv ( The Red Archive), Sokol’s wide-ranging and exhaustively researched work explores the Tsarist policies that led to Russian encroachment against the land and rights of the indigenous Central Asian people. It describes the corruption that permeated Russian colonial rule and argues that the uprising was no mere draft riot, but a revolt against Tsarist colonialism in all its dimensions: economic, political, religious, and national. Sokol’s masterpiece also traces the chain reaction between the uprising, the collapse of Tsarism, and the Bolshevik Revolution. A classic study of a vanished world, Sokol's work takes on contemporary resonance in light of Vladimir Putin’s heavy-handed efforts to persuade Kyrgyzstan to join his new economic union. Sokol explains how an earlier Russian conquest ended in disaster and implies that a modern conquest might have the same effect. Essential reading for historians, political scientists, and policymakers, this reissued edition is being published to coincide with the centennial observation of the genocide.
Category: History