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Series:

Sandrine Ruhlmann

For Mongols, sharing food is more than just eating meals. Through a process of “opening” and “closing”, on a daily basis or at events, in the family circle or with visitors, sharing food guarantees the proper order of social relations. It also ensures the course of the seasons and the cycle of human life. Through food sharing, humans thus invite happiness to their families and herds. Sandrine Ruhlmann has lived long months, since 2000, in the Mongolian steppe and in the city. She describes and analyzes in detail the contemporary food system and recognizes intertwined ideas and values inherited from shamanism, Buddhism and communist ideology. Through meat-on-the-bone, creamy milk skin, dumplings or sole-shaped cakes, she highlights a whole way of thinking and living.

Studies in Armenian Art

Collected Papers

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Nira Stone

Edited by Michael E. Stone and Asya Bereznyak

Nira Stone (1938-2013) was a scholar of Armenian and Byzantine Art. Her broad and close acquaintance with the field of Armenian art history covered many fields of Armenian artistic creativity. Nira Stone made notable contributions to the study of Armenian manuscript painting, mosaics, and other forms of artistic expression. Of particular interests are her researches on this art in its historical and religious contexts, such as the study of apocryphal elements in Armenian Gospel iconography, the place of the mosaics of Jerusalem in the context of mosaics in Byzantine Palestine, and of the interplay between religious movements, such as hesychasm, and Armenian manuscript painting.

Thus Spake the Dervish

Sufism, Language, and the Religious Margins in Central Asia, 1400-1900

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Alexandre Papas

Thus Spake the Dervish explores the unfamiliar history of marginal Sufis, known as dervishes, in early modern and modern Central Asia over a period of 500 years. It draws on various sources (Persian chronicles and treatises, Turkic literature, Russian and French ethnography, the author’s fieldwork) to examine five successive cases, each of which corresponds to a time period, a specific socially marginal space, and a particular use of mystical language. Including an extensive selection of writings by dervishes, this book demonstrates the diversity and tenacity of Central Asian Sufism over a long period. Here translated into a Western language for the first time, the extracts from primary texts by marginal Sufis allow a rare insight into their world.

The original French edition of this book, Ainsi parlait le dervice, was published by Editions du Cerf (Paris, France).

Language Contact in Siberia

Turkic, Mongolic, and Tungusic Loanwords in Yeniseian

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Bayarma Khabtagaeva

This monograph dicsusses phonetic, morphological and semantic features of the ‘Altaic’ Sprachbund (i.e. Turkic, Mongolic and Tungusic) elements in Yeniseian languages (Kott, Assan, Arin, Pumpokol, Yugh and Ket), a rather heterogeneous language family traditionally classified as one of the ‘Paleo-Siberian’ language groups, that are not related to each other or to any other languages on the face of the planet.
The present work is based on a database of approximately 230 Turkic and 70 Tungusic loanwords. A smaller number of loanwords are of Mongolic origin, which came through either the Siberian Turkic languages or the Tungusic Ewenki languages. There are clear linguistic criteria, which help to distinguish loanwords borrowed via Turkic or Tungusic and not directly from Mongolic languages.
One of the main outcomes of this research is the establishment of the Yeniseian peculiar features in the Altaic loanwords. The phonetic criteria comprise the regular disappearance of vowel harmony, syncope, amalgamation, aphaeresis and metathesis. Besides, a separate group of lexemes represents hybrid words, i.e. the lexical elements where one element is Altaic and the other one is Yeniseian.
This book presents a historical-etymological survey of a part of the Yeniseian lexicon, which provides an important part of the comparative database of Proto-Yeniseian reconstructions.

Edited by Robert McChesney and Mohammad Mehdi Khorrami

This book comprises English translations of Nizhādnāmah-i Afghān (Afghan Genealogy) and Taẕakkur al-Inqilāb (Memoir of the Revolution), the culminating works of Fayż Muḥammad Kātib Hazārah’s monumental history of Afghanistan, Sirāj al-tawārīkh (The History of Afghanistan). Nizhādnāmah-i Afghān, a detailed guide to all the ethnic and religious communities in Afghanistan in the first third of the 20th century, is the first locally-produced ethnography by a modern Afghan scholar. The Taẕakkur al-Inqilāb is Fayz Muhammad’s journalistic record of seven of the nine months of Amīr Ḥabīb Allāh Kalakānī’s reign in 1929. Together with The History of Afghanistan these works offer an incomparable resource for the history of Afghanistan from the mid-18th to the mid-20th centuries.

The Oasis of Bukhara, Volume 1

Population, Depopulation and Settlement Evolution

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Rocco Rante

In The Oasis of Bukhara: Population, Depopulation and Settlement Evolution, Rocco Rante, archaeologist at the Louvre Museum, presents the results of a large-scale and ambitious regional archaeological investigation of the oasis of Bukhara, corresponding to the delta of the Zerafshan River, from the end of the 1st millennium BCE to the Timurid period. Rante reports the conclusions of several studies of the oasis, realised with the collaboration of distinguished specialists, and covers topics such as human migration, water and the city, urban development and changes in human behaviour. He also revisits the history of this part of Central Asia, providing new historical and cultural insights arising out of the intense archaeological activities undertaken in the field. The volume is co-published by Brill, Leiden, and the Louvre Museum, Paris.

Warrior Saints of the Silk Road

Legends of the Qarakhanids

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Jeff Eden

For generations, Central Asian Muslims have told legends of medieval rulers who waged war, died in battle, and achieved sainthood. Among the Uyghurs of East Turkistan (present-day Xinjiang, China), some of the most beloved legends tell of the warrior-saint Satuq Bughra Khan and his descendants, the rulers of the Qarakhanid dynasty. To this day, these tales are recited at the saints' shrines and retold on any occasion.
Warrior Saints of the Silk Road introduces this rich literary tradition, presenting the first complete English translation of the Qarakhanid narrative cycle along with an accessible commentary. At once mesmerizing, moving, and disturbing, these legends are essential texts in Central Asia's religious heritage as well as fine, enduring works of mystical literature.

The Adventures of Shāh Esmāʿil

A Seventeenth-Century Persian Popular Romance

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Barry Wood

The Adventures of Shāh Esmāʿil recounts the dramatic formative years of the Safavid empire (1501–1722), as preserved in Iranian popular memory by coffeehouse storytellers and written down in manuscripts starting in the late seventeenth century. Beginning with the Safavids’ saintly ancestors in Ardabil, the story goes on to relate the conquests of Shāh Esmāʿil (r. 1501–1524) and his devoted Qezelbāsh followers as they battle Torkmāns, Uzbeks, Ottomans, and even Georgians and Ethiopians in their quest to establish a Twelver Shiʿi realm. Barry Wood’s translation brings out the verve and popular tone of the Persian text. A heady mixture of history and legend, The Adventures of Shāh Esmāʿil sheds important light on the historical self-awareness of late Safavid Iran.

The Persianate World

Rethinking a Shared Sphere

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Edited by Abbas Amanat and Assef Ashraf

The Persianate World: Rethinking a Shared Sphere is among the first books to explore the pre-modern and early modern historical ties among such diverse regions as Anatolia, the Iranian plateau, Central Asia, Western Xinjiang, the Indian subcontinent, and southeast Asia, as well as the circumstances that reoriented these regions and helped break up the Persianate ecumene in modern times. Essays explore the modalities of Persianate culture, the defining features of the Persianate cosmopolis, religious practice and networks, the diffusion of literature across space, subaltern social groups, and the impact of technological advances on language. Taken together, the essays reflect the current scholarship in Persianate studies, and offer pathways for future research.

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Edited by David Horton Smith, Alisa Moldavanova and Svitlana Krasynska

The Nonprofit Sector in Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia (EERCA), edited by David Horton Smith, Alisa V. Moldavanova, and Svitlana Krasynska, uniquely provides a research overview of the nonprofit sector and nonprofit organizations in eleven former Soviet republics, with each central chapter written by local experts. Such chapters, with our editorial introductions, present up-to-date versions of works previously published in EERCA native languages. With a Foreword by Susan Rose-Ackerman (Yale University), introductory and concluding chapters also explain the editors’ theoretical approach, setting the whole volume in several, relevant, larger intellectual contexts, and summarize briefly the gist of the book. The many post-Soviet countries show much variety in their current situation, ranging from democratic to totalitarian regimes.