This book is about Steppe Eurasia and China, Persia, Byzantium, as well as the 'Inside' and 'Outside' Other. This dual approach helps the reader to better understand the attitudes of the Steppe to both the southern sedentary empires (in this book, the 'Outside' Other) and to the women and shamans/magicians within the nomadic confederations (in this book, the 'Inside' Other), in the so-called 'Golden Age' of the Steppe Empire, e.g. between the sixth and ninth/tenth centuries.The result is a new and vivid picture of the Steppe's attitudes to 'otherness' and 'usness'. The book covers not only a long period of time, but also a vast territory, from Mongolia to the Black Sea and South-Eastern Europe. It studies many peoples and societies and their images of the 'Other', interpreted through different approaches and methodologies.
Tsvetelin Stepanov, Ph.D. (1997) in History, St Kliment Ohridski University, Bulgaria, is Associate Professor at the Centre for Cultural Studies, St Kliment Ohridski University. He has published extensively on the history and culture of Mediaeval Bulgaria and the Eurasian Steppes.
Table of contents
Illustrations ... vii
Maps ... ix
Acknowledgements ... xiii
Introduction ... 1
Chapter I. The ‘Outside’ Other ... 13
I.1. The Other is ‘locked behind walls’, or about the role of the initial visual demarcation ... 13
I.2. About freedom and otherness and the signs and images of usness and otherness ... 40
I.3. World religions and otherness ... 64
Chapter II. The ‘Inside’ Other ... 85
II.1. The female otherness (combining bow and ‘female work’, or between order and chaos) ... 86
II.2. Smiths and shamans/magicians/koloburs, or the inevitable but necessary otherness ... 110
II.3. The Otherness of those (aristocrats) professing non-state religion ... 119
Conclusion ... 127
Bibliography ... 131
Index ... 147
All those interested in history and culture of Central Asia, Bulgaria, Byzantium and Khazaria, the problems of 'Otherness', as well as cultural anthropologists and scholars and students in religious studies.