Samarkand and Soghd During the Abbasid Period: Political and Social History

Karev, Yuri. 2015. Samarqand et le Sughd à l’époque ‘abbasside: Histoire politique et sociale. (Cahiers de Studia Iranica 55). Paris. Peeters.

During the Abbasid period (750-820), the vast territories beyond the Amu Darya river (the Mawara’annahr), conquered by the Umayyad generals in the first half of the eighth century, entered definitively into the cultural sphere of Islam. The comparative analysis of medieval Arabic, Persian, and Chinese sources, supplemented by materials from unpublished manuscripts, as well as the latest results yielded by archaeological excavations at Samarkand, have made it possible to establish a fine-grained chronology of this turning point in the history of Central Asia. Examined in this new light are complex and irreversible processes that resulted in a changed political and religious fabric, transformations of the Sogdian and Muslim elite, and the evolution of the state’s system of controlling territories on its borders, within a context of confrontations and diplomatic relations between the caliphate, the Tang empire in China, and the Turks.

For more information, see the Table of Contents of this volume.