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Series:

Diana Lange

Diana Lange's patient investigations have, in this wonderful piece of detective work, solved the mysteries of six extraordinary maps of routes across Tibet, clearly hand-drawn in the late 1850s by a local artist, known as the British Library's Wise Collection. Diana Lange now reveals not only the previously unknown identity of the Scottish colonial official who commissioned the maps from a Tibetan Buddhist lama, but also the story of how the Wise Collection came to be in the British Library. The result is both a spectacular illustrated ethnographic atlas and a unique compendium of knowledge concerning the mid-19th century Tibetan world, as well as a remarkable account of an academic journey of discovery. It will entertain and inform anyone with an interest in this fascinating region. This large format book is lavishly illustrated in colour and includes four separate large foldout maps.

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Etan Kohlberg

Edited by Amin Ehteshami

In Praise of the Few: Studies in Shiʿi Thought and History is a selection of Etan Kohlberg’s research on Shiʿi Islam over a period of fifty years. It includes previously published articles, revised dissertation chapters, and a full bibliography of the author’s work. Divided into two parts, the collection begins with chapters from Kohlberg’s Oxford doctoral dissertation (1971) and related articles that investigate Sunni and Shiʿi views on the Prophet’s Companions and debates concerning the extent of their authority as sources of religious knowledge. Part Two traces the doctrinal and historical developments pertaining to various dimensions of Imāmī Shiʿi intellectual tradition such as theology, hadith, law, jurisprudence, and exegesis.

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Edited by Mehrdad Fallahzadeh and Forogh Hashabeiky

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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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.