Sogdia

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Sogdia

Sogdiana, c. 300 BC.
Languages Sogdian language
Religions Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Manichaeism, Nestorian Christianity
Capitals Samarkand, Bukhara, Khujand, Kesh
Area Between the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya
Existed
Sogdians on an Achaemenid Persian relief from the Apadana of Persepolis, offering tributary gifts to the Persian king Darius I, 5th century BC

Sogdiana (/ˌsɔːɡdiˈænə, ˌsɒɡ-/) or Sogdia (/ˈsɔːɡdiə, ˈsɒɡ-/; Old Persian: Suguda-; ‹The template Lang-zh is being considered for merging.›  Chinese: 粟特 sùtè, صُتْ) was the ancient Indo-European civilization of an Iranian people that at different times included territory located in present-day Tajikistan and Uzbekistan (such as Samarkand, Bukhara, Khujand, Panjikent and Shahrisabz). Sogdiana was also a province of the Achaemenid Empire, eighteenth in the list on the Behistun Inscription of Darius the Great (i. 16). Sogdiana is "listed" as the second of the "good lands and countries" that Ahura Mazda created. This region is listed second after Airyanem Vaejah, "homeland of the Aryans", in the Zoroastrian book of Vendidad, indicating the importance of this region from ancient times.[1]

The Sogdian states, although never politically united, were centered on the main city of Samarkand. Sogdiana lay north of Bactria, east of Khwarezm, and southeast of Kangju between the Oxus (Amu Darya) and the Jaxartes (Syr Darya), embracing the fertile valley of the Zeravshan (ancient Polytimetus). Sogdian territory corresponds to the modern provinces of Samarkand and Bokhara in modern Uzbekistan as well as the Sughd province of modern Tajikistan. During the High Middle Ages Sogdian cities included sites stretching towards Issyk Kul such as that at the archeological site of Suyab. Sogdian, an Eastern Iranian language, is no longer a spoken language yet its direct descendant Yaghnobi is still spoken by the Yaghnobis of Tajikistan.

Sogdians also lived in Imperial China and rose to special prominence in the military and government of the Chinese Tang Dynasty (618 - 907 AD). Their merchants and diplomats traveled as far west as the Byzantine Empire. They played an important part as middlemen in the trade route of the Silk Road. While originally following the faiths of Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism from Persia, Buddhism from India, and Nestorian Christianity from West Asia, the gradual conversion to Islam among the Sogdians and their descendants began with the Muslim conquest of Transoxiana in the 8th century.

Name[edit]

Detail of a copy of the Ambassadors' Painting from Afrasiyab, Samarkand, showing men on a camel, 7th century AD

Oswald Szemerényi devotes a thorough discussion to the etymologies of ancient ethnic words for the Scythians in his work "Four old Iranian ethnic names: Scythian – Skudra – Sogdian – Saka". In it, the names of Herodotus and the names of his title, except Saka, as well as many other words for "Scythian," such as Assyrian Aškuz and Greek Skuthēs, descend from *skeud-, an ancient Indo-European root meaning "propel, shoot" (cf. English shoot).[2] *skud- is the zero-grade; that is, a variant in which the -e- is not present. The restored Scythian name is *Skuda (archer), which among the Pontic or Royal Scythians became *Skula, in which the d has been regularly replaced by an l. According to Szemerényi, Sogdiana was named from the Skuda form. Starting from the names of the province given in Old Persian inscriptions, Sugda and Suguda, and the knowledge derived from Middle Sogdian that Old Persian -gd- applied to Sogdian was pronounced as voiced fricatives, -γδ-, Szemerényi arrives at *Suγδa as an Old Sogdian endonym.[3] Applying sound changes apparent in other Sogdian words and inherent in Indo-European he traces the development of *Suγδa from Skuda, "archer," as follows: Skuda > *Sukuda by anaptyxis > *Sukuδa > *Sukδa (syncope) > *Suγδa (assimilation).[4]

History[edit]

Gold coin of Diodotus c. 250 BC.

Achaemenid Period[edit]

Cyrus the Great conquered Sogdiana while campaigning, and it likely remained under Persian control until the reign of Artaxerxes II in 404 BCE. Rebellious states of the Persian Empire took advantage of the weak Artaxerxes II, and some, such as Egypt, were able to regain their independence. Persia's massive loss of Central Asian territory is widely attributed to the ruler's lack of control. However, Unlike Egypt, which was quickly recaptured by the Persian Empire, Sogdiana remained independent until it was conquered by Alexander the Great.

Hellenistic period[edit]

A now independent and warlike Sogdiana[5] formed a border region insulating the Achaemenid Persians from the nomadic Scythians to the north and east.[6] The Sogdian Rock or Rock of Ariamazes, a fortress in Sogdiana, was captured in 327 BC by the forces of Alexander the Great; after an extended campaign putting down Sogdian resistance and founding military outposts manned by his Macedonian veterans, Alexander united Sogdiana with Bactria into one satrapy. The military power of the Sogdians never recovered. Subsequently Sogdiana formed part of the Hellenistic Greco-Bactrian Kingdom, founded in 248 BC by Diodotus, for about a century. Euthydemus I seems to have held the Sogdian territory, and his coins were later copied locally. Eucratides apparently recovered sovereignty of Sogdia temporarily. Finally the area was occupied by nomads when the Scythians and Yuezhis overran it around 150 BC.

Battle of Sogdiana[edit]

Barbaric copy of a coin of Euthydemus I, from the region of Sogdiana. The legend on the reverse is in Aramaic script.

In 36 BC

...[a] Han expedition into central Asia, west of the Jaxartes River, apparently encountered and defeated a contingent of Roman legionaries. The Romans may have been the enslaved remnants of Crassus' army, defeated by the Parthians and forced to fight on their eastern frontier. Sogdiana (modern Bukhara), east of the Oxus River, on the Polytimetus River, was apparently the most easterly penetration ever made by Roman forces in Asia. The margin of Chinese victory appears to have been their crossbows, whose bolts and darts seem easily to have penetrated Roman shields and armour.[7]

This interpretation has been disputed by Schuyler V. Cammann.[8]

Sogdians along the Silk Road[edit]

A Chinese Eastern Han (25-220 AD) ceramic statuette of a Sogdian caravan leader of the Silk Road, wearing a distinctive Sogdian cap
A grey pottery figurine of a Sogdian groom, Chinese Tang Dynasty, 7th century AD
Sogdian men feasting and eating at a banquet, from a wall mural of Panjakent, Tajikistan, 7th century AD

Most merchants did not travel the entire Silk Road but would trade goods through middlemen based in oasis towns such as Khotan or Dunhuang. The Sogdians, however, established a trading network across the 1500 miles from Sogdiana to China. In fact, the Sogdians turned their energies to trade so thoroughly that the Saka of the Kingdom of Khotan called all merchants suli, "Sogdian", whatever their culture or ethnicity.[9] Sogdian contacts with China were initiated by the embassy of the Chinese explorer Zhang Qian during the reign of Emperor Wu in the former Han dynasty, 141–87 BC. He wrote a report of his visit to the Western Regions in Central Asia and named an area of Sogdiana, "Kangju".

Following Zhang Qian's embassy and report, commercial Chinese relations with Central Asia and Sogdiana flourished,[10] as many Chinese missions were sent throughout the 1st century BC: "The largest of these embassies to foreign states numbered several hundred persons, while even the smaller parties included over 100 members... In the course of one year anywhere from five to six to over ten parties would be sent out."[11]

Sogdians played a major role in facilitating trade between China and Central Asia along the Silk Roads as late as the 10th century; their language became a lingua franca of trade, and in the 7th century the Buddhist pilgrim Xuanzang noted with approval that little boys were taught to read and write at the age of five, though their skill was turned to trade, disappointing the scholarly Xuanzang. Xuanzang also recorded the Sogdians working in other capacities, as farmers, carpetweavers, glassmakers, and woodcarvers.[12]

Trade and diplomacy with the Byzantine Empire[edit]

Sogdians donors to the Buddha (fresco, with detail), Bezeklik, eastern Tarim Basin, China, 8th century
Further information: First Perso-Turkic War

Shortly after the smuggling of silkworm eggs into the Byzantine Empire from China by Nestorian Christian monks, the 6th-century Byzantine historian Menander Protector writes of how the Sogdians attempted to establish a direct trade of Chinese silk with the Byzantine Empire. After forming an alliance with the Sassanid ruler Khosrow I to defeat the Hephthalite Empire, Istämi, the Göktürk ruler of the Turkic Khaganate, was approached by Sogdian merchants requesting permission to seek an audience with the Sassanid king of kings for the privilege of traveling through Persian territories in order to trade with the Byzantines.[13] Istämi refused the first request, but when he sanctioned the second one and had the Sogdian embassy sent to the Sassanid king, the latter had the members of the embassy poisoned to death.[13] Maniah, a Sogdian diplomat, convinced Istämi to send an embassy directly to Byzantium's capital Constantinople, which arrived in 568 and offered not only silk as a gift to Byzantine ruler Justin II, but also proposed an alliance against Sassanid Persia. Justin II agreed and sent an embassy to the Turkic Khaganate, ensuring the direct silk trade desired by the Sogdians.[14][13]

Central Asian role[edit]

Sogdian coin, 6th century. British Museum.
Chinese-influenced Sogdian coin, Kelpin, 8th century. British Museum.

Subsequent to their domination by Alexander, the Sogdians from the city of Marakanda (Samarkand) became dominant as traveling merchants, occupying a key position along the ancient Silk Road. Their language became the common language of the Silk Route and they played a role in the cultural movements of philosophies and religion, such as Manicheism, Zoroastrianism, and Buddhism into the east as well as the movement of items of trade. The Chinese Sui Shu (Book of Sui) describes Sogdians as "skilled merchants" who attracted many foreign traders to their land for engaging in commerce.[15] They were described by the Chinese as born merchants, learning their commercial skills at an early age. It appears from sources, such as documents found by Sir Aurel Stein and others, that by the 4th century they may have monopolized trade between India and China. A letter written by Sogdian merchants dated 313 AD and found in the ruins of a watchtower in Gansu was intended to be sent to merchants in Samarkand, warning them that after Liu Cong of Han Zhao sacked Luoyang and the Jin emperor fled the capital, there was no worthwhile business there for Indian and Sogdian merchants.[16] Furthermore, in 568 AD a Turko-Sogdian delegation travelled to the Roman emperor in Constantinople to obtain permission to trade and in the following years commercial activity between the states flourished.[17] Put simply, they dominated trade along the Silk Route from the 2nd century BC until the 10th century.[9]

Suyab and Talas were the main Sogdian centers in the north that dominated the caravan routes of Central Asia.[when?][citation needed] Their commercial interests were protected by the resurgent military power of the Göktürks, whose empire has been described as "the joint enterprise of the Ashina clan and the Soghdians".[18][19][20] Sogdian trade, with some interruptions, continued into the 9th century. In the 10th century Sogdiana was incorporated into the Uighur Empire, which until 840 encompassed northern Central Asia. This khaganate obtained from China enormous deliveries of silk in exchange for horses. Also at this time caravans of Sogdians traveling to Upper Mongolia are mentioned in Chinese sources.[citation needed]

During the 5th and 6th century many Sogdians took up residence in the Hexi corridor where they retained autonomy in terms of governance and had a designated official administrator known as a sabao, which suggests their importance to the socioeconomic structure of China. The Sogdian influence on trade in China is also made apparent by a Chinese document which lists taxes paid on caravan trade in the Turpan region and shows that twenty-nine out of the thirty-five commercial transactions involved Sogdian merchants, and in thirteen of those cases both the buyer and the seller were Sogdian.[21] Trade goods brought to China included grapes, alfalfa, and Sassanian silverware, as well as glass containers, Mediterranean coral, brass Buddhist images, Roman wool cloth, and Baltic amber. These were exchanged for Chinese paper, copper, and silk.[9]

The An Lushan rebellion was supported by many Sogdians, and in its aftermath many of them were slain or changed their names to escape their Sogdian heritage, meaning little is known about the Sogdian presence in North China since that time.[22]

Sogdian merchants, generals, and statesmen of Imperial China[edit]

The stone tomb gate and couch of An Jia, Northern Zhou period Sogdian nobleman, excavated from Xi'an; An Jia held the title of Sar-pav of Tongzhou prefecture and was in charge of commercial affairs of foreign merchants from Middle Asia, who made businesses in China; the stone gate is flanked by two lions and the horizontal tablet is carved with sacrificial scene of Zoroastrianism

Aside from Sogdians of Central Asia who acted as middlemen in the Silk Road trade, other Sogdians settled down in China with their families for generations. Although many Sogdians had fled Luoyang following the collapse of the Jin Dynasty's control over northern China in 311 AD, some Sogdians continued living in Gansu.[16] Sogdian families living in Gansu created funerary epitaphs explaining the history of their illustrious houses. For instance, a sabao (from Sanskrit sarthavaha, meaning caravan leader)[14] from Anxi (wester Sogdiana or Parthia) who lived in Jiuquan during the Northern Wei (386 - 535 AD), was the ancestor of An Tugen, a man who rose from a common merchant to become a top ranking minister of state for the Northern Qi (550 - 577 AD).[15] Valerie Hansen asserts that around this time and extending into the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907 AD), the Sogdians "became the most influential of the non-Chinese groups resident in China," settling throughout Chinese territory, marrying Chinese women, purchasing land, with newcomers living there permanently instead of returning to their homelands in Sogdiana.[15] They were concentrated in large numbers around Luoyang and Chang'an, but also Xiangyang in Hubei, building Zoroastrian temples to service their commmunities once they reached the threshold of roughly 100 households.[15] From the Northern Qi to Tang periods, the leaders of these communities, the sabao, were incorporated into the official hierarchy of state officials.[15] Their burial practices blended both Chinese forms such as carved funerary beds with Zoroastrian sensibilities in mind, such as separating the body from both the earth and water.[23]

In addition to being merchants, monks, and government officials, Sogdians also served as soldiers in the Tang military.[24] An Lushan, whose father was Sogdian and mother a Gokturk, rose to the position of a military governor (jiedushi) in the northeast before leading the An Lushan Rebellion (755 - 763 AD), which split the loyalties of the Sogdians in China, with some following him and others siding with the Tang.[24] Sogdians continued as active traders in China following the defeat of the rebellion, but many of them were compelled to hide their ethnic identity. A prominent case was An Chongzhang, Minister of War and Duke of Liang, who in 756 requested of Emperor Suzong of Tang to allow him to change his name to Li Baoyu, due to his shame in sharing the same surname with the rebel leader.[24] This change of surnames was enacted retroactively for all of his family members, so that his ancestors would also be bestowed the surname Li.[24]

During the Tang and subsequent Five Dynasties and Song Dynasty, a large community of Sogdians also existed in the multicultural entrepôt of Dunhuang, Gansu, a major center of Buddhist learning and home to the Buddhist Mogao Caves.[25] Although Dunhuang and the Hexi Corridor were captured by the Tibetan Empire after the An Lushan Rebellion, in 848 the ethnic Han Chinese general Zhang Yichao (799-872) managed to wrestle control of the region from the the Tibetans during their civil war, establishing the Guiyi Circuit under Emperor Xuānzong of Tang (r. 846-859).[26][27] Although the region occasionally fell under the rule of different states, it retained its multilingual nature as evidenced by an abundance of manuscripts (religious and secular) in Chinese and Tibetan, but also Sogdian, Khotanese (another Eastern Iranian language native to the region), Uyghur, and Sanskrit.[28]

From the Chinese surnames listed in the Tang-era Dunhuang manuscript Pelliot chinois 3319V (containing the following text: 石定信右全石丑子石定奴福延福全保昌張丑子李千子李定信), the names of the Nine Zhaowu Clans (昭武九姓), the prominent ethnic Sogdian families of China, have been deduced.[29] Of these the most common Sogdian surname throughout China was Shi (i.e. 石), whereas the surnames Shi (i.e. 史), An (mentioned above), Mi (i.e. 米), Kang, Cao, and He appear frequently in Dunhuang manuscripts and registers.[30] The influence of Sinicized and multilingual Sogdians during this Guiyijun (歸義軍) period (c. 850 - c. 1000 AD) of Dunhuang is evident in a large number of manuscripts written in Chinese characters from left to right instead of vertically, mirroring the direction of how the Sogdian alphabet is read.[31] Sogdians of Dunhuang also commonly formed and joined lay associations among their local communities, convening at Sogdian-owned taverns in scheduled meetings mentioned in their epistolary letters.[32]

Arab Muslim conquest of Central Asia[edit]

Further information: Battle of Talas

The Islamic Umayyad Caliphate (661-750) initiated the Muslim conquest of Sogdia during the early 8th century. The initial conquest was carried out by Qutayba ibn Muslim (669-716), the Umayyad-appointed governor of Greater Khorasan, in alliance with the local ruler of Balkh.[33] However, when his successor Al-Jarrah ibn Abdallah governed Khorosan (717-719), many native Sogdians who had converted to Islam began to revolt when they were no longer exempt from paying the tax on non-Muslims, the jizya (with a new law stating that proof of circumcision and literacy in the Quran was necessary for new converts).[34] With the aid of Turkic peoples, the Sogdians were able to expel the Umayyad Arab garrison from Samarkand and Umayyad attempts to restore power there were rebuffed until the arrival of Sa'id ibn Amr al-Harashi (fl. 720-735). The Sogdian ruler (i.e. ikhshid) of Samarkand, Gurak, who had previously overthrown the pro-Umayyad Sogdian ruler Tarkhun in 710, decided that resistance against al-Harashi's large Arab force was pointless and thereafter persuaded his followers to declare allegiance to the Umayyad governor.[34] Divashtich (r. 706-722), the Sogdian ruler of Panjakent, led his forces to the Zarafshan Range (near modern Zarafshan, Tajikistan), whereas the Sogdians following Karzanj, the ruler of Pai (modern Kattakurgan, Uzbekistan), fled to the Principality of Farghana, where their ruler at-Tar (or Alutar) promised them safety and refuge from the Umayyads. However, at-Tar secretly informed al-Harashi of the Sogdians hiding in Khujand, who were then slaughtered by al-Harashi's forces after their arrival.[35]

A Tang Dynasty Chinese ceramic statuette of a Sogdian merchant riding on a Bactrian camel
Chinese Tang Dynasty era statues of Sogdian merchants

Language and culture[edit]

Sogdians, depicted on a Chinese Sogdian sarcophagus of the Northern Qi era, 6th century

The 6th century is thought to be the peak of the Sogdian culture, judging by its highly developed artistic tradition. By this point, the Sogdians were entrenched in their role as the central Asian traveling and trading merchants, transferring goods, culture and religion.[36] The Afrasiab painting of the 7th century in Samarkand is a rare surviving example of Sogdian art. Even in the Middle Ages, the valley of the Zarafshan around Samarkand retained the Sogdian name, Samarkand. Arabic geographers reckoned it as one of the four fairest districts in the world.

Language[edit]

Further information: Sogdian alphabet

The Sogdians spoke an Eastern Iranian language called Sogdian, closely related to Bactrian, another major language of the southern part of Central Asia in ancient times. Sogdian was written in a variety of scripts, all of them derived from the Aramaic alphabet. The Yaghnobi people living in the Sughd province of Tajikistan still speak a dialect of the Sogdian language.[37] The great majority of the Sogdian people assimilated with other local groups such as the Bactrians, Chorasmians, and in particular with Persians and came to speak Persian, and in 819 AD founded the Samanid Empire in the region. They are among the ancestors of the modern Tajiks. Numerous Sogdian cognates can be found in the modern Tajik language, although the latter is a Western Iranian language.

Clothing[edit]

Early medieval Sogdian costumes can be divided in two periods: Hephtalitic (5th and 6th centuries) and Turkic (7th and early 8th centuries). The latter did not become common immediately after the political dominance of the Gökturks but only in c. 620 when, especially following Western Turkic Khagan Ton-jazbgu's reforms, Sogd was Turkized and the local nobility was officially included in the Khaganate's administration.[38]

For both sexes clothes were tight-fitted, and narrow waists and wrists were appreciated. The silhouettes for grown men and young girls emphasized wide shoulders and narrowed to the waist; the silhouettes for female aristocrates were more complicated. The Sogdian clothing underwent a thorough process of Islamization in the ensuing centuries, with few of the original elements remaining. In their stead, turbans, kaftans and sleeved coats became more common.[38]

Religious beliefs[edit]

The Sogdians were noted for their tolerance of different religious beliefs. Zoroastrianism was the dominant religion among Sogdians and remained so until after the Islamic conquest, when they gradually converted to Islam, as is shown by Richard Bulliet's "conversion curve".[39] The Sogdian religious texts found in China and dating to the Northern Dynasties, Sui, and Tang mostly are Buddhist (translated from Chinese sources), Manichaean and of Nestorian Christianity, with only a small minority of Zoroastrian texts.[40] But tombs of Sogdian merchants in China dated to the last third of the 6th century show predominantly Zoroastrian motifs or Zoroastrian-Manichaean syncretism, while archaeological remains from Sogdiana appear fairly Iranian and conservatively Zoroastrian.[40]

Sogdiana played an important role in the religious and cultural development of central Asia.[further explanation needed][citation needed] The Sogdians' main religion was Zoroastrianism. We know this due to some examples of material evidence. For instance, the discovery of murals depicting votaries making offers before fire-holders and ossuaries from Samarquand, Panjikent and Er-Kurgan held the bones of the dead in accordance with Zoroastrian ritual.

However, the Sogdians epitomized the religious plurality found along the trade routes. The largest body of Sogdian texts are Buddhist, and Sogdians were among the principal translators of Buddhist sutras into Chinese. However, Buddhism did not take root in Sogdiana itself. Additionally, the Bulayiq monastery to the north of Turpan contained Sogdian Christian texts and there are numerous Manichaean texts in Sogdiana from nearby Qocho.[41] The reconversion of Sogdians from Buddhism to Zoroastrianism coincided with the adoption of Zoroastrianism by the Sassanid Empire of Persia.[14]

The Sogdians also practiced the faith of Mani, Manichaeism, a faith that they spread to the Uyghurs. The Uyghur Khaganate (744-840 AD) developed close ties to Tang China once they aided the Tang in supressing the rebellion of An Lushan and his Göktürk successor Shi Siming, establishing an annual trade relationship of one million bolts of Chinese silk for one hundred thousand horses.[42] The Uyghurs relied on Sogdian merchants to sell much of this silk further west along the Silk Road, a symbiotic relationship that led many Uyghurs to adopt Manichaeism from the Sogdians.[42] Muslim geographers of the 10th century draw upon Sogdian records dating to 750–840. After the end of the Uyghur Empire, Sogdian trade underwent a crisis. What followed from Muslim Central Asia was the Samanids, who resumed trade on the northwestern road leading to the Khazars and the Urals and the northeastern one toward the nearby Turkic tribes.[19]

Apart from the Puranic cults mentioned above, five Hindu gods were known to have been worshipped in Sogdiana, namely Brahma, Indra, Mahadeva (Shiva), Narayana and Vaishravana, who had the Sogdiana names of Zravan, Adabad and Veshparkar respectively. The four-armed goddess riding the lion may be Durga. Portable fire altars associated with Mahadeva-Veshparkar, Brahma-Zravan and Indra-Abdab found in an 8th-century mural at Panjakent also deserves special mention.[43]

Commerce and sex trade[edit]

A contract from the Tang dynasty Astana site that records the purchase of a 15-year-old slave for six bolts of plain silk and five Chinese coins.

Sogdian merchants and Chinese merchants traded in Turpan in the Tang dynasty period. In 639 a female Sogdian was sold to a Chinese man and this was recorded in an Astana cemetery legal document written in Sogdian. Khotan and Kucha were places where women were sold. The selling of slaves increased by a humongous amount as recorded in the records of Turfan according to Wu Zhen.[44][45] In 639 a Sogdian slave girl was sold.[46]

Sogdian slave girls and their Chinese male owners made up the majority of Sogdian female-Chinese male pairings, while free Sogdian women were the most common spouse of Sogdian men with a minority of Chinese women paired to a few elite Sogdians. Sogdian man-Sogdian female pairings made up 18 out of 21 marriages which still remain in documents found today.[47][45]

40 silk bolts were paid by 唐榮 Tang Rong of Chang'an for a girl aged 11 to Mi Lushan, a slave dealing Sogdian in 731. A Xizhou person, a Tokharistani, and 3 Sogdians verified for the sale of the girl[48][45]

Modern historiography[edit]

In 1916 the French Sinologist and historian Paul Pelliot used Tang Chinese manuscripts excavated from Dunhuang, Gansu to identify an ancient Sogdian colony south of Lop Nur in Xinjiang (Northwest China), which he argued was the base for the spread of Buddhism and Nestorian Christianity in China.[49] In 1926 Japanese scholar Kuwabara compiled evidence for Sogdians in Chinese historical sources and by 1933 Chinese historian Xiang Da published his "Tang Chang'an and Central Asian Culture" detailing the Sogdian influence on Chinese social religious life in the Tang-era Chinese capital city.[49] The Canadian Sinologist Edwin G. Pulleyblank published a 1952 article demonstrating the presence of a Sogdian colony founded in Six Hu Prefectures of the Ordos Loop during the Chinese Tang period, comprised of Sogdians and Turkic peoples who migrated from the Mongolian steppe.[49] The Japanese historian Ikeda On wrote an article in 1965 outlining the history of the Sogdians inhabiting Dunhuang from the beginning of the 7th century, analyzing lists of their Sinicized names and the role of Zoroastrianism and Buddhism in their religious life.[50]

Notable Sogdians[edit]

Silk road figure head, probably Sogdian. Musée Cernuschi, Paris.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ "Avesta: Vendidad (English): Fargard 1". Avesta.org. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  2. ^ Szemerényi 1980, pp. 45–46.
  3. ^ Szemerényi 1980, pp. 26–36.
  4. ^ Szemerényi 1980, p. 39.
  5. ^ Independent Sogdiana: Lane Fox (1973, 1986:533) notes Quintus Curtius, vi.3.9: with no satrap to rule them, they were under the command of Bessus at Gaugamela, according to Arrian, iii.8.3.
  6. ^ "The province of Sogdia was to Asia what Macedonia was to Greece: a buffer between a brittle civilization and the restless barbarians beyond, whether the Scyths of Alexander's day and later or the White Huns, Turks and Mongols who eventually poured south to wreck the thin veneer of Iranian society" (Robin Lane Fox, Alexander the Great (1973) 1986:301).
  7. ^ R. Ernest Dupuy and Trevor N. Dupuy, The Harper Encyclopedia of Military History from 3500 B.C. to the Present, Fourth Edition (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1993), 133, apparently relying on Homer H. Dubs, "A Roman City in Ancient China", in Greece and Rome, Second Series, Vol. 4, No. 2 (Oct. 1957), pp. 139–148
  8. ^ Schuyler V. Cammann, review of Homer H. Dubs, A Roman City in Ancient China in The Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 21, No. 3 (May 1962), pp. 380–382. See also reply by Dubs in The Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 22, No. 1 (November 1962), pp. 135–136.
  9. ^ a b c Wood, Francis (2002). The Silk Road: Two Thousand Years in the Heart of Asia. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. pp. 65–68. ISBN 978-0-520-24340-8. 
  10. ^ C. Michael Hogan, Silk Road, North China, The Megalithic Portal, ed. Andy Burnham
  11. ^ Shiji, trans. Burton Watson
  12. ^ Wood 2002:66
  13. ^ a b c Howard, Michael C., Transnationalism in Ancient and Medieval Societies, the Role of Cross Border Trade and Travel, McFarland & Company, 2012, p. 133.
  14. ^ a b c Liu, Xinru, "The Silk Road: Overland Trade and Cultural Interactions in Eurasia", in Agricultural and Pastoral Societies in Ancient and Classical History, ed. Michael Adas, American Historical Association, Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2001, p. 168.
  15. ^ a b c d e Howard, Michael C., Transnationalism in Ancient and Medieval Societies, the Role of Cross Border Trade and Travel, McFarland & Company, 2012, p. 134.
  16. ^ a b Howard, Michael C., Transnationalism in Ancient and Medieval Societies, the Role of Cross Border Trade and Travel, McFarland & Company, 2012, pp 133-34.
  17. ^ J. Rose, 'The Sogdians: Prime Movers between Boundaries', Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, vol. 30, no. 3, (2010), p. 412
  18. ^ Wink, André. Al-Hind: The Making of the Indo-Islamic World. Brill Academic Publishers, 2002. ISBN 0-391-04173-8.
  19. ^ a b de la Vaissiere, Etienne (July 20, 2004). "Sogdian Trade". Encyclopedia Iranica. Retrieved 2011-11-04. 
  20. ^ Stark, Sören. Die Alttürkenzeit in Mittel- und Zentralasien. Archäologische und historische Studien (Nomaden und Sesshafte, vol. 6). Reichert, 2008 ISBN 3-89500-532-0.
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Sources[edit]

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External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°24′N 69°24′E / 40.4°N 69.4°E / 40.4; 69.4