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.
Jeff Eden, Ph.D. (2016), Harvard University, is Assistant Professor of History at St. Mary's College of Maryland. He is the author of
Slavery and Empire in Central Asia (Cambridge, 2018) and
The Life of Muhammad Sharif (Vienna, 2015).
ForewordAcknowledgmentsA Note on Transliteration
The Setting 3
Notes on the Manuscript, the Transcription, and the Translation
The Translation 5
The Narrative and Its Meanings Bibliography The Manuscript: Transcription The Manuscript: Facsimile
All readers interested in Silk Road civilizations; mysticism; folklore and mythology; saints and shrine culture; the Uyghurs; Sufism; and Central Asian history and literature.