سغد

از ویکی‌پدیا، دانشنامهٔ آزاد
پرش به ناوبری پرش به جستجو
فارسیEnglish
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نقشه سغد در سال ۳۰۰ پیش از میلاد

زبان سغدی
ادیان مزداپرستی، بودایی‌گری، مانوی‌گری و مسیحیت[۱]
مراکز سمرقند، بخارا، خجند، شهرسبز
منطقه میان آمودریا و سیر دریا
تاریخ قرن ششم ق.م. تا قرن یازدهم پس از میلاد
واحد پول سکه‌های ایرانی و سکه‌های چینی[۲][۳]

سغد (به سغدی: soɣd) یک تمدن باستانی ایرانی در فرارود بود که مرزهای آن امروزه در کشورهای تاجیکستان، شمال افغانستان، شرق ازبکستان و قزاقستان واقع است. سغد پس از ایران‌ویج دومین سرزمین باشکوهی بود که توسط اهورامزدا خلق شد.[۴] این منطقه که توسط کوروش بزرگ به شاهنشاهی هخامنشی ضمیمه شده بود، در فهرست شهربانی‌های هخامنشیان در سنگ‌نبشته بیستون به عنوان هشتمین سرزمین ذکر شده‌است. پس از آن، در جریان اردوکشی اسکندر پس از یک مقاومت خونین در سال ۳۲۸ پیش از میلاد فتح شد و پس از مرگ جهانگشای مقدونی برای مدت کوتاهی تحت فرمان سلوکیان بود. سپس به دولت بلخ ضمیمه گردید و بعد از آن که برای مدت کوتاهی در اردوکشی مهرداد یکم به ایران شرقی بخشی از شاهنشاهی اشکانی بود، توسط کوشانیان فتح شد. پس از تجزیه شاهنشاهی کوشانی به دست ساسانیان، دولت ساسانی برای مدت یک قرن این منطقه را زیر فرمان خود داشت و در نهایت با حملات هپتالیان آن را از دست دادند. با سقوط هپتالیان، دولت‌های سغدی به دست‌نشانده خانات گوک‌ترکان تبدیل شدند.

سرزمین سغد در شمال شرقی شاهنشاهی هخامنشی

سغد گرچه در بیشتر تاریخ خود معمولاً بخشی امپراتوری‌های بزرگتر بود، اما در تمام این مدت توسط دولت‌شهرهای کوچک اداره می‌شد که بزرگ‌ترینشان سمرقند بود. سغد در شمال بلخ و شرق خوارزم بود و به دلیل وجود رود زرافشان، منطقه بسیار حاصل خیزی بود. امروزه سغد برابر با استان‌های سمرقند و بخارا در ازبکستان و استان سغد در تاجیکستان است.

زبان سغدی، یکی از زبان‌های ایرانی شرقی، زبان رایج در این منطقه در دوران باستان بود و به عنوان زبان میانجی در آسیای میانه و راه ابریشم و البته میان ایرانیان و چینیان عمل می‌کرد. همچنین سغدی زبان درباری خانات گوک‌ترک نیز بود. این زبان امروزه از بین رفته‌است اما یغنابی که در نوشته‌های آکادمیک به آن سغدی نو می‌گویند، هنوز در بخش‌هایی از تاجیکستان صحبت می‌شود.

بازرگانان سغدی در دوران باستان بسیار مشهور بودند و تجارت ساسانی بسیار به آنان وابسته بود؛ منابع باستانی حضور آنان از چین تا روم را تأیید می‌کنند، به خصوص در چین که سغدیان در دوران تانگ در این کشور نقش بسیار مهمی را ایفا کردند. دین اصلی سغدیان مزدیسنا بود اما مانوی‌گری، بودایی‌گری و مسیحیت نستوری در میان آنان رایج بود. با فتح فرارود در سده هشتم میلادی توسط مسلمانان، این دین رفته جایگزین ادیان دیگر شد و در نهایت در پایان دوران سامانی - که خود دولتی به مرکزیت سغد بود - اکثریت سغدیان اسلام آورده بودند. همچنین با اسلامی‌سازی این منطقه - که توسط دولت پارسی‌زبان سامانی انجام شد - زبان سغدی نیز رفته رفته از بین رفت و جای خود را به زبان پارسی داد.

مهم‌ترین شهرهای سغد بخارا، سمرقند، خجند‎، شهرسبز و پنجکنت‎ بودند که امروزه نیز اکثریت جمعیت آنان را تاجیکان تشکیل می‌دهند و زبان رایج در این شهرها پارسی تاجیکی است.[۵]

نام[ویرایش]

به عقیده اسوالد زمرنی، نام سغد از ریشه نیاهندوایرانی *skeud- آمده‌است که در لغت به معنای «پیش راندن» یا «شلیک کردن» است. این واژه در زبان سکایی به شکل Skuda به نام سکاها تبدیل شده‌است که در زبان یونانی به ریخت Skuthēs درآمده‌است. زمرنی معتقد است که واژه سغد (پارسی باستان: Suguda) نیز از همین ریشه است.[۵]

تاریخ[ویرایش]

پیش از تاریخ[ویرایش]

قرن‌ها پیش از یکپارچه شدن سغد و سایر نقاط جهان ایرانی در زمان هخامنشیان، این منطقه میزبان یک تمدن شهرنشین عصر برنز بوده‌است. شواهد باستان‌شناسی نشان می‌دهد که نخستین تمدن عصر برنز در این منطقه و آغاز شهرنشینی در آن، به هزاره چهارم پیش از میلاد بازمی‌گردد که مربوط به سرزم در تاجیکستان کنونی است. همچنین در منطقه بلنغور در کشور کنونی ازبکستان نیز بقایای یک تمدن مربوط به سده پانزدهم پیش از میلاد کشف شده‌است.[۶][۷]

سغدی‌ها در تخت جمشید

سغد هخامنشی[ویرایش]

در جریان فتوحات کوروش بزرگ در آسیای میانه، منطق سغد نیز در میان سال‌های ۵۴۶ تا ۵۳۹ پیش از میلاد فتح شد که این مسئله در تاریخ هرودوت نیز ذکر شده‌است.[۷][۸] در دوران داریوش یکم، زبان آرامی و سکه‌های هخامنشی در این منطقه رواج یافتند و همچنین یک یگان سغدی نیز به ارتش هخامنشی اضافه شد.[۹] بر اساس نوشته‌های یونانی، می‌دانیم این گروه از سربازان سغدی در حمله خشایارشا به یونانی شرکت داشته‌اند.[۱۰][۱۱] یک سنگ‌نبشته پیدا شده در شوش ذکر می‌کند که دیوارهای یک قصر به وسیله سنگ‌های لاجورد که از سغد آورده شده بودند، تزیین شده‌است.[۱۰]

سرباز سغدی در مقبره اردشیر سوم

باوجود اینکه نام سغد در میان ساتراپی‌های هخامنشی در سنگ‌نبشته بیستون ذکر شده‌است، اما در نوشته‌های باستانی نامی از هیچ‌کدام از ساتراپ‌های سغد نیامده‌است.[۱۲] تاریخ‌دانان معاصر بر این عقیده هستند که بلخ و سغد - که در بیستون نیز نامشان پشت سر هم ذکر رفته‌است - توسط یک ساتراپ اداره می‌شدند. همچنین از آنجایی که بلخ منطقه‌ای بود که شاهنشاهان هخامنشی معمولاً پسران کوچک‌ترشان را برای اداره آن منطقه انتخاب می‌کردند، این مسئله چندان دور از ذهن نیست.[۷]

سغد احتمالاً تا سال ۴۰۰ پیش از میلاد تحت کنترل هخامنشیان باقی ماند[۱۳] و در آن زمان بود که شورشی در آن منطقه روی داد که منجر به استقلال سغد شد. احتمالاً وقایع پرآشوب آغاز شاهنشاهی اردشیر دوم، این فرصت را برای سغدیان فراهم کرده‌است. در این دوران همچنین مصر نیز بر شاه بزرگ شورید و استقلال خود را پس گرفت. اما برخلاف مصریان که مدتی بعد دوباره تحت فرمان شاهنشاهی هخامنشی درآمدند، سغد تا زمان فتح منطقه توسط اسکندر مستقل باقی ماند.[۱۳]

در دوران هخامنشی، اکثر سغدیان به شکل عشایری زندگی می‌کردند، با این حال آغاز دوره طلایی تجارت سغد از همین زمان به مرور آغاز گردیده‌است. همچنین می‌دانیم که آغاز شهرنشینی سغدیان نیز در دوران هخامنشی بوده‌است.[۱۴][۱۵]

حمله اسکندر و پس از آن[ویرایش]

چپ: ابریشم سغدی متعلق به قرن هفتم میلادی
راست: یک جام شراب نقره‌ای سغدی، مربوط به قرن هفتم

داریوش سوم پس از شکست در برابر اسکندر، به سمت ایران شرقی رهسپار شد تا سپاه جدیدی را گرد آوری کرده و بار دیگر با فاتح مقدونی روبرو شود. اما در جریان همین سفر، توسط بسوس، شهربان سغد و بلخ دستگیر و سپس کشته شد.[۱۶][۱۷][۱۸] بسوس سپس با نام اردشیر پنجم تاج‌گذاری کرد و خود را شاهنشاه نامید. او یک مقاومت مردمی در برابر اسکندر را رهبری کرد اما در نهایت شکست خورد و کشته شد. پس از پیشروی اسکندر به ایران شرقی، منطقه سغد در سال ۳۲۷ فتح شد.[۱۹] در جریان همین اردوکشی بود که وی با وخشه‌ارته، یکی از اشراف سغد، ملاقات کرده و مدتی کوتاهی بعد با دختر او روخشنه ازدواج کرد.[۲۰] روخشنه که در زمان مرگ اسکندر باردار بود، اسکندر چهارم را به دنیا آورد که البته مدتی بعد توسط سرداران اسکندر کشته شد.[۲۱]

پس از فتح تمام سغد، اسکندر سغد و بلخ را به عنوان یک ساتراپی جدید در یکدیگر ادغام کرد. سپیتامنه، یکی از اشراف سغدی، با تیره‌های سکایی متحد شد و بر اسکندر شورید. اما جهانگشای مقدونی موفق گردید تا شورش وی را سرکوب کند.[۲۲] پس از شکست در یکی از نبردها، همسر سپیتامنه به او خیانت کرد و وی را به اسکندر تحویل داد که منجر به مرگ سپیتامنه شد.[۲۳] پس از پایان این شورش، اسکندر از سربازانش خواست تا با زنان اشرافی ایرانی ازدواج کنند تا مقدونیان در جامعه ایرانی پذیرفته شوند[۲۰][۲۴] که همین مسئله باعث شد تا دختر سپیتامنه، یعنی آپامه، با سلوکوس یکم ازدواج کند.[۲۵] این شهبانوی سغدی شاه آینده سلوکی را نیز به دنیا آورد. سال‌ها بعد، سلوکوس سه شهر جدید را به افتخار آپامه آپامیا نامید.[۲۵][۲۶]

سغدی‌ها پس از شورش‌هایشان در دوران اسکندر، دیگر نتوانستند قدرت نظامی گذشته خود را بازیابی کنند. این منطقه برای مدت خیلی کوتاهی بخشی از امپراتوری سلوکی بود اما در نهایت توسط شاه بلخ، دیودوت یکم، فتح شد و برای یک قرن بخشی از پادشاهی یونانی بلخ بود.[۲۷][۲۸] همچنین ساتراپ سغد، اوتیدم یکم، توانست تا بلخ را فتح کند و با کنار زدن جانشینان دیودوت یکم، سلسله جدیدی را در دولت یونانی بلخ بنا نهد.[۲۹]

چند دهه بعد، در ۱۴۵ پیش از میلاد، منطقه سغد تحت کنترل یوئه‌چی‌ها و سکاها درآمد. آنان تا سال ۴۰ پیش از میلاد به تقلید شاهان بلخ سکه می‌زدند اما با ظهور شاهنشاهی نیرومند کوشانی در بلخ (که سغد را نیز به قلمروی خود ضمیمه کرد)، شروع به ضرب سکنه با فرم منحصر به فرد خود کردند.[۳۰]

راست: ادای احترام دو سغدی به بودا
چپ : آرامگاه یک سغدی که نامش به چینی «ان جیا» ضبط شده‌است، در شی‌آن امروزی

سغد و راه ابریشم[ویرایش]

بیشتر بازرگانان مجبور به طی کردن همه راه ابریشم نبودند، زیرا می‌توانستند با واسطه‌هایی که در شهرهایی نظیر ختن و دون‌هوانگ وجود داشتند، به تجارت محصول خود بپردازند. با این حال، سغدی‌ها یک راه تجاری ۱۵۰۰ مایلی از سغد تا چین ایجاد کرده بودند. در واقع، بازرگانان سغدی به اندازه‌ای فعالیت بالایی در این راه داشتند که سکاهای پادشاهی ختن به همه بازرگانان، صرف نظر از اینکه اهل کجا هستند، «سولی» که به معنای سغدی است، می‌گفتند.[۳۱] برخلاف سایر امپراتوری‌ها و دولت‌های باستانی، سغد مرزهای مشخصی نداشت و از شبکه‌ای از دولت-شهرها ایجاد شده بود و علاوه بر خاک اصلی ایران، با سرزمین‌هایی نظیر امپراتوری روم، هند، هندوچین (آسیای جنوب شرقی) و چین در ارتباط بود.[۳۲] نخستین ارتباط سغدی‌ها با دولت چین در زمان سفر جهانگرد چینی، ژانگ شیان در دوران امپراتور وو (۱۴۱–۸۷ پیش از میلاد) شکل گرفت. ژانگ در گزارشی به دولت هان از سرزمین‌های آسیای میانه نوشت و سغد را «کانگجو» نامید.[۳۳]

چپ: یک بزم سغدی، قرن هفتم، پنجکنت، تاجیکستان
راست: حمله ببر به یک سوار سغدی

پس از همین سفر ژانگ بود که تجارت چین با آسیای میانه آغاز گردید و زمینه‌ساز سفرهای پرتعداد تجار چینی به سغد و آسیای میانه شد.[۳۴] تاریخ‌نگار چینی یعنی سیما شیان در کتاب شیجی خود که در سال ۹۴ پیش از میلاد نوشته شده‌است، می‌گوید: «بزرگ‌ترین گروه فرستاده شده به دولت‌های خارجی بالغ بر چند صد عضو دارد و کوچک‌ترین آن‌ها دست‌کم صد نفره است… در طول یک سال، تقریباً پنج تا ده گروه به سوی دولت‌های خارجی فرستاده می‌شوند».[۳۵] در همین دوران بود که سغدی‌ها به واسطه میان تجارت ابریشم بین امپراتوری هان و شاهنشاهی ایران تبدیل شدند.[۳۶] آن‌ها دست‌کم تا قرن دهم میلادی دارای نقش بسیار پراهمیتی در تجارت راه ابریشم داشتند و زبان سغدی نیز حداقل تا قرن چهارم میلادی مهم‌ترین زبان راه ابریشم بود.[۳۷][۳۸]

سردیس یک موبد زرتشتی در لباس بلخی، پیدا شده در سغد

به نظر می‌رسد که تسلط بازرگانان سغدی‌ها بر راه ابریشم دست‌کم پس از حمله اسکندر مقدونی به منطقه آغاز شده باشد. این بازرگانان - که به نظر می‌رسد بیشترشان اهل شهر مرکنده (marakanda، یا همان سمرقند) بوده‌اند - همچنین نقش بسیار مهمی در گسترش ادیان مختلف در سرزمین‌های راه ابریشم مانند چین نیز بازی کردند.[۳۹] در «کتاب سوئی» که یک کتاب تاریخی چینی است، سغدی‌ها «بازرگانان ماهر توصیف شده‌اند که بسیاری از تجار خارجی را برای تجارت به سرزمین خود جذب می‌کردند.[۴۰] چینی‌ها دربارهٔ آنان می‌گفتند که سغدی‌ها تاجر متولد می‌شوند و مهارت‌های بازرگان بودن را در سن بسیار کم فرا می‌گیرند. از یافته‌های باستان‌شناسی، مانند مدارکی که توسط اورل اشتاین کشف شده‌است، اینگونه پیداست که در قرن چهارم میلادی، تجارت میان هند و چین در انحصار سغدی‌ها بوده‌است. یک نامه که به زبان سغدی نوشته شده و مربوط به سال ۳۱۳ میلادی است، در خرابه‌های برجی در گانسو (امروزه واقع در چین) پیدا شده‌است و به نظر می‌رسد که قرار بوده به بازرگانان مستقر در شهر سمرقند ارسال شود. در این نامه نوشته شده که پس از غارت شهر لیویانگ توسط رهبر قبایل شیونگ‌نو که منجر به ترک این شهر توسط امپراتور چین شده‌است، دیگر هیچ سودی در تجارت با دودمان جین برای سغدی‌ها و هندی‌ها وجود ندارد.[۱۱][۴۱] به صورت کلی، سغدی‌ها از دوم پیش از میلاد تا آغاز قرن دهم پس از میلاد، همیشه نقش بسیار مهمی در اتفاقات راه ابریشم بازی می‌کردند.[۳۱][۴۲]

چپ: تندیس چینی از یک ساربان سغدی، قرن سوم
راست: یک سغدی مسئول تیمار اسب. چین، قرن هفتم

سویاب و تالاس (که امروز در کشور قرقیزستان واقع شده‌اند) مهم‌ترین مراکز کاروان‌رو در شمال سغد در قرون ششم تا هشتم میلادی بوده‌اند.[۴۳] در این دو قرن، تجار سغدی از حمایت نظامی سربازان گوک‌ترک برخوردار بودند. در واقع، خانات گوک‌ترک بر پایه فعالیت اقتصادی سغدی‌ها و فعالیت نظامی مردان قبیله آشینا بنا شده بود.[۴۴][۴۵][۴۶] می‌دانیم که تجارت سغدی‌ها در طول قرن نهم میلادی نیز به شیوه گذشته برقرار بوده‌است. در این دوره، گزارشی ثبت شده که یکی از خان‌های ترک اهل مغولستان به نام قاپاغان قاغان به سغد حمله کرده‌است و شتر، نقره، طلا و تعدادی زیادی زن از سغد غارت کرده و با خود به مغولستان برده‌است.[۴۷] در قرن نهم، سغد توسط خانات اویغور فتح می‌شود. اویغورها به چینی‌ها اسب تحویل می‌دادند و در ازای آن از چینی‌ها ابریشم می‌گرفتند. سپس، ابریشم‌ها را در اختیار سغدی‌ها قرار می‌دادند تا توسط آن‌ها به مسلمانان و رومی‌ها فروخته شود.[۴۸] همچنین اویغورها به واسطه سغدی‌ها با دین‌های رایج در سغد مانند مانوی‌گری، بودایی‌گری و مسیحیت نیز آشنا شدند و آن‌ها را پذیرفتند. پتر بی. گلدن می‌نویسد که اویغورها نه تنها باورهای دینی و الفبای نوشتاری را از سغدی‌ها تقلید کردند، بلکه سغدی‌ها را به چشم استادهای خود می‌نگریستند و عناوین و مقام‌های درباری خود را در اختیار آنان قرار می‌دادند.[۴۹] همچنین می‌دانیم که جغرافی‌دانان مسلمان در قرن دهم میلادی به نوشته‌ها و اسناد خانات اویغور که به زبان سغدی نوشته شده بودند، دسترسی داشتند. پس از سقوط خانات اویغور در ۸۴۰، تجارت سغد وارد یک بحران شد. مدتی بعد، امپراتوری سامانی در سغد ظهور کرد و امیران سامانی به عنوان اربابان جدید راه ابریشم جایگزین سغدی‌ها شدند.[۴۵]

چپ: یک مجسمه چینی که یک سغدی را نشان می‌دهد
راست: تندیسی چینی از یک تاجر سغدی در شمال چین

طی قرون پنجم و ششم میلادی، تعداد زیادی از سغدی‌ها در دالان هشی (منطقه‌ای تجاری و نظامی در فلات تبت. امروزه واقع در شمال جمهوری خلق چین) ساکن شدند. دولت چین به آنان خودمختاری کامل داد و به نظر می‌رسد که آنان سیستم اداری خود را طرح‌ریزی کرده‌اند که در منابع چینی به آن «سابائو» گفته شده‌است. این مسئله از دید تاریخ‌نگاران معاصر به عنوان نشانه‌ای از اهمیت سغدی‌ها در ساختاری اجتماعی-اقتصادی چین دیده می‌شود. اسنادی که در تورفان پیدا شده‌اند نیز دلیل دیگری بر اهمیت آنان در چین است. از سی و پنج کاروان تجاری که در این اسناد به آن‌ها اشاره شده، بیست و نه تای آنان سغدی هستند. در سیزده مورد از این اسناد، هم خریدار و هم فروشنده سغدی بوده‌اند.[۵۰] سغدی‌ها از چینی‌ها ابریشم، مس و و کاغد خریداری می‌کردند و در عوض به آنان انگور، محصولات ساخت شیشه ایرانی، مرجان مدیترانه‌ای، پشم رومی، کهربای بالتیکی، یونجه و تصاویر بودا را می‌فروختند.[۳۱] یک جهانگرد چینی به نام شوان‌زانگ که برای زیارت مناطق مقدس بودایی از سغد عبور می‌کرده، از این نوشته که پسران سغدی از سن پنج سالگی آموزش می‌بینند که بخوانند و بنویسند. با این حال، شوان‌زانگ با ناامیدی می‌نویسد که «آنان از این استعدادشان تنها برای تجارت استفاده می‌کنند». وی همچنین نوشته که سغدی‌ها در صنایعی مانند شیشه‌سازی، قالیبافی و منبت‌کاری نیز مهارت دارند.[۵۱]

روابط با امپراتوری روم شرقی[ویرایش]

چپ: یک سکه سغدی متعلق به قرن ششم میلادی
راست: یک سکه سغدی که به شکل سکه‌های چینی ضرب شده

اطلاعات دربارهٔ سغدیان در دوره اشکانی بسیار کم است اما با ظهور ساسانیان بار دیگر سغدیان بر پهنه تاریخ پدیدار می‌شوند. اینگونه که پیداست، ساسانیان منطقه سغد را در سال ۲۶۰ میلادی به شاهنشاهی خود ضمیمه کرده بودند و در سنگ‌نبشته شاپور یکم در کعبه زرتشت نیز نام سغد در میان استان‌های ایرانشهر دیده می‌شود. با این حال این منطقه در جریان حملات هپتالیان و کیداریان در سده چهارم و پنجم میلادی از کنترل شاهنشاهی ساسانی خارج می‌شود.[۵۲][۵۳]

پس از جریان تحریم شدن امپراتوری روم توسط شاهنشاهی ایران از تجارت ابریشم و جریان دزدیدن تخم‌های کرم ابریشم از چین توسط دو راهب مسیحی و انتقال آنان به روم، تاریخ‌نگار رومی قرن ششم، مناندرِ محافظ، از این می‌گوید که تاجران سغدی تلاش تا به صورت مستقیم با امپراتوری بیزانس به تجارت ابریشم چینی بپردازند.[۳۶] گفته شده که سغدیان به خان گوکترک یعنی ایستمی خان پیشنهاد داده‌اند که اجازه شاهنشاه ساسانی برای عبور و مرور تاجران سغدی از قلمروی وی برای رسیدن به بیزانس را کسب کند، اما این مسئله باعث عصبانیت شاهنشاه ایران شده‌است و وی سفیر سغدی که به دربارش آمده بود را کشت.[۳۶] پس از این اتفاق، مانیاه، یک دیپلمات سغدی از ایستمی خان درخواست کرد تا سفیری را به قسطنطنیه بفرستد و به اتفاق روم، اتحادی علیه ساسانیان تشکیل دهند. سفیر خان در سال ۵۶۷ به دربار روم رسید و ژوستین دوم، امپراتور روم، نه تنها قبول کرد تا سفیری به دربار ایستمی خان بفرستد، بلکه قبول کرد تا به صورت مستقیم و بدون عبور از مرزهای ایران، با سغدیان به تجارت ابریشم بپردازد.[۳۶][۵۴][۵۵]

اما اینگونه که از تعداد سکه‌های بیزانسی پیدا شده در آسیای میانه و چین پیداست، این تجارت چندان خوب پیش نرفته‌است.[۵۶]

بازرگانان، سرداران و دولت‌مردان سغدی در دربار تانگِ چین[ویرایش]

فتح سغد توسط مسلمانان[ویرایش]

زبان و فرهنگ[ویرایش]

تاریخ‌دانان امروزی قرن ششم میلادی را اوج فرهنگ سغدی می‌دانند. در این دوران، سغدی‌ها به طرز چالش‌ناپذیری نقش بازرگانان آسیای میانه را داشتند و بخش بزرگی در منطقه و بیرون مرزهای سغد، از نظر دینی و هنری تحت تأثیر فرهنگ آنان و نیازمند به کالاهای بازرگانان سغدی بود.[۵۷] در قرون وسطی، دره زرافشان نام سغدی خود، سمرقند، را به کل منطقه داد.[۵۸] دانشنامه بریتانیکا از این می‌گوید که در دید جغرافی‌دانان مسلمان، دره زرافشان یکی از چهار منطقه حاصل‌خیز جهان بود.[۵۸] بسیاری از شهرها و مناطق در اطراف سغد، نام‌های سغدی گرفتند. به عنوان مثال، دولت-شهر لولان واقع در حوضه تاریم، توسط ساکنانش کروراینا نامیده می‌شد که یک نام یونانی بود،[۵۹] اما چند قرن بعد و در سده هفتم میلادی، راهب بودایی اهل چین، شوانزانگ، این شهر را نافوپو (納縛溥) نامیده‌است کهبه عقیده هیسائو ماتسودا، این واژه ریخت چینی واژه سغدی نوآپه (navapa، به معنای «آب نو») است و این خود نشان‌گر افزایش تأثیر فرهنگی سغد در منطقه بوده‌است.[۶۰]

هنر[ویرایش]

نقش افراسیاب که مربوط به سده ششم یا هفتم میلادی است و در سمرقند پیدا شده‌است، یکی از بهترین نمونه‌های بازمانده از هنر سغدی است. نقش افراسیاب صحنه‌ای از زندگی روزمره مانند ورود سفیران خارجی را نشان می‌دهد و در ویرانه‌های یک خانه که به نظر متعلق به شخص اشرافی یا سلطنتی بوده‌است، پیدا شده‌است. مشخص نیست که این خانه کاخ رسمی یا دربارِ فرمانروای سمرقند بوده یا خیر.[۶۱] قدیمی‌ترین نمونه پیدا شده از هنر سغدی به نقاشی‌های دیواری پنجکنت که در تاجیکستان پیدا شده‌است، بازمی‌گردد که متعلق به قرن پنجم میلادی است.[۶۲] هنر سغدی علاوه بر اینکه می‌تواند به درک زندگی روزمره سغدیان کمک کند، به تاریخ‌نگاران در رابطه با درک باورهای دینی آنان نیز یاری می‌رساند. به عنوان مثال، مشخص است که سغدی‌ها برخی از ایزدان ایرانی را با هنر بودایی تلفیق کرده‌اند. در معبد بودایی که در هفت‌آب پیدا شده‌است، یک پلاک برنزی به دست آمده که بر روی آن یک ایزد و یک ایزدبانو دیده می‌شود که هیچ ارتباطی با بودایی‌گری ندارند.[۶۳]

زبان[ویرایش]

چپ: کتیبه خانات گوگ‌ترک، نوشته شده به زبان سغدی
راست: قرارداد فروش یک برده پانزده ساله در ازای پنج سکه چینی

سغدی‌ها به یک زبان ایرانی شرقی که به آن سغدی (به سغدی: soɣdyāu) گفته می‌شد، سخن می‌گفتند. این زبان به دیگر زبان‌های ایرانی شرقی مانند باختری، خوارزمی، سکاییِ ختنی و زبان‌های امروزی مانند آسی و پشتو نزدیک بود.[۵۲][۶۴] با این حال، گستره زبان سغدی به خود سغد محدود نبود. این زبان، زبان رایج مناطقی مانند دولت-شهر تورفان (در شمال غربی چین امروزی) نیز بود[۶۴] و حتی سنگ‌نبشته‌ای مربوط به سال ۵۸۱ میلادی در مغولستان به زبان سغدی پیدا شده‌است که مربوط به یکی از خان‌های خانات گوک‌ترک است. سغدی زبان رسمی خانات گوک‌ترکان بود.[۵۵][۶۴]

این زبان در دوران‌های مختلف تاریخِ باستان با سه الفبای مختلف نوشته می‌شد: الفبای سغدی، الفبای سوریایی و الفبای مانوی. هر سه این دبیره‌ها از الفبای آرامی که الفبای پهلوی و فارسی-عربی و… نیز از آن گسترش پیدا کرده‌اند، گرفته شده‌اند.[۶۵][۶۶] در دوره اسلامی، سغدی‌ها خط عربی را برای نوشتن زبان خود سازگار نمودند. در قرن هشتم، اویغورها با استفاده از الفبای سغدی شیوه‌نگارش جدیدی برای زبان خود ایجاد کردند که بعدها الفبای مغولی که در قرن سیزدهم و در دوره امپراتوری مغول از آن استفاده می‌شد، از این خط گسترش پیدا کرد.[۶۷]

زبان سغدی که در دوران باستان و قرون وسطی به آن گویش می‌شد، امروزه از بین رفته‌است. با این حال، یغنابی‌ها که در استان سغدِ تاجیکستان زندگی می‌کنند، هنوز به یکی از لهجه‌های آن سخن می‌گویند.[۵۳][۶۸] لهجه یغنابی از زبان سغدی که در غرب فرغانه گویش می‌شد، گرفته شده‌است.[۶۹]

با اسلامی‌سازی منطقه و رواج زبان پارسیِ دری، این زبان رفته رفته جایگزین زبان سغدی شد. سامانیان که در سغد امپراتوری خود را بر پا کردند، به زبان پارسی دری سخن می‌گفتند و همین مسئله به سرعت رواج پارسی افزود. با این حال، هنوز تعداد زیادی از واژه‌های سغدی در لهجه تاجیکیِ پارسی - که خود از زبان‌های ایرانی غربی است - دیده می‌شود.

باورهای دینی[ویرایش]

دین‌های متفاوتی در میان سغدیان رواج داشته‌است؛ گرچه بر اساس شواهد باقی‌مانده، زرتشتی‌گری دین اکثریت مردم منطقه بوده‌است. به‌عنوان مثال، در نقاشی‌های دیواری‌ای که در سمرقند، بنجکنت و… پیدا شده‌است، صحنه‌هایی از پیشکش و نذورات دینی در آتشکده دیده می‌شود. در تورفان، گرچه سغدیان مرده‌های خود را به شکل چینی‌ها به خاک سپرده‌اند، اما پیداست که هنوز سنت‌های زرتشتی خود را حفظ کرده‌اند. آنگونه که پیداست، آن‌ها ابتدا جسد مرده‌ها به مانند سایر زرتشتیان در برابر هوای آزاد قرار می‌دادند تا تن آنان نسیب طبیعت شده و سپس استخوان‌هایشان را به خاک می‌سپردند.[۷۰] مزداپرستی تا زمان فتح اسلامی منطقه دین غالب مردم سغد بود و سپس آنان رفته رفته به اسلام گرویدند.[۷۱]

در نوشته‌های مذهبی سغدی که در چین کشف شده‌است، بیشتر آثار دربارهٔ بودایی‌گری (ترجمه شده از آثار چینی)، مانوی‌گری و مسیحیت نسطوری هستند اما نوشته‌های زرتشتی نیز به تعداد اندکی پیدا شده‌اند. هرچند نوشته‌های زرتشتی در میان آثار به جا مانده اندکند، اما بیشتر آرامگاه‌های سغدی در چین شکل زرتشتی خود را حفظ کرده‌اند؛ با این حال با آرامگاه‌های پیدا شده در خودِ سغد نسبتاً متفاوت هستند زیرا ایرانی و مزدایی بودن آرامگاه‌های پیدا شده در سغد بسیار آشکار است.[۷۲]

با همه این‌ها، سغدیان یک نمونه کامل از تکثرگرایی دینی هستند. اکثر نوشته‌های مذهبی سغدی مربوط به بودیسم هستند و سغدیان مهم‌ترین مترجمان آثار بودایی به زبان چینی بوده‌اند. با این وجود، به نظر نمی‌رسد که بودایی‌گری در خود سغد ریشه دوانده باشد.[۷۳] هرچند در شمال تورفان نوشته‌های مسیحی و در کوچو نوشته‌های مانوی هم پیدا شده‌است.[۷۴] قابل ذکر است که می‌دانیم با ظهور ساسانیان در ایران، گرایش به مزداپرستی در سغد نیز مجدداً افزایش یافته‌است.[۷۵] از سده چهارم میلادی به بعد، آثاری از زائران سغدی که برای دیدن مکان‌های مقدس بودایی سفر می‌کردند نیز به جا مانده‌است. آن‌ها بودا را به تصویر می‌کشیدند و به امید اینکه بودا از آنان دفاع کند، نام کامل خودشان را بر روی آن می‌نوشتند.[۷۶]

همچنین مانوی‌گری هم در میان سغدیان رواج نسبی‌ای داشته‌است و اویغورها نیز بعدها این دین را از مردم سغد فرا گرفتند. در واقع اویغورها به سغدیان برای فروش ابریشمی که از چین وارد می‌شده‌است، نیاز فراوانی داشتند و به دلیل همین روابط، این دین در میان آنان نیز رایج گردیده‌است.[۴۸] گرچه، در میان نوشته‌های سغدی به جا مانده، نوشته‌های مانوی به مانند نوشته‌های بودایی، پرتعداد نیستند.[۷۷] اویغورها همچنین بودایی‌گری را نیز از سغدیان آموختند و این مسئله از دیوارنگاره‌های برجا مانده در سین‌کیانگ هویداست.[۷۸][۷۹]

در کنار ایزدانی که ذکر آنان در پورانه‌ها رفته‌است، حداقل پنج ایزد هندوی دیگر نیز در سغد پرستندگان خود را داشته‌اند.[۸۰] برهما، ایندرا، شیوا، نارایانا و بیشامن. برهما، ایندرا و شیوا در زبان سغدی نام‌های مخصوص خود را داشته‌اند که به ترتیب زروان، ادباد و ویشپارکار بوده‌اند. ایزدبانویی که در هنر سغدی در حال راندن یک شیر به تصویر کشیده‌است، ممکن است دورگا، از ایزدبانوان هندو، باشد. در آثار مربوط به قرن هشتم میلادی که در پنجکنت پیدا شده‌اند، شیوا، برهما و ایندرا در کنار آتشکده دیده می‌شوند.[۸۰]

از میان مسیحیان سغدیِ چین، می‌توان به ان ینا از اهالی بخارا که به دلیل سنگ‌نبشته‌هایش شناخته می‌شود اشاره کرد. همچنین نام تعدادی کشیش مسیحیِ سغدی نیز در نوشته‌های چینی دیده می‌شود که البته نام ایرانیِ آنان دانسته نیست.[۸۱][۸۲][۸۳] مارکوپولو، جهان‌گرد ونیزی که در قرن سیزدهم از چین بازدید کرده‌است، در نوشته‌های به تعداد زیادی از کلیساهایی که در این کشور وجود دارد، اشاره کرده‌است. این ادعای او با توجه به نوشته‌های چینی قرن چهاردهم تأیید می‌شود. به عنوان مثال، در تواریخ چینی آمده‌است که یک مرد سغدی به نام مار سرگیس از اهالی سمرقند شش کلیسای نسطوری در قرن سیزدهم میلادی بنا کرده‌است.[۸۴] کتاب مقدس نیز در دوران یزدگرد دوم ساسانی از سوریانی به سغدی ترجمه شده‌است که یکی از قدیمی‌ترین ترجمه‌های جهان به‌شمار می‌رود.[۸۵]

بازرگانی و تجارت برده[ویرایش]

راست: بازسازی پوشش مردانه سغدی در قرون وسطی، از موزه ملی تاجیکستان

چپ:بازسازی پوشش زنانه سغدی، موزه ملی تاجیکستان

تاریخ‌نگاری مدرن[ویرایش]

تاریخ‌نگار و چین‌شناس فرانسوی، پاول پیوت در سال ۱۹۱۶ با استفاده از متون خطی دودمان تانگ که در دان‌هوانگ و گانسو کشف گردیده‌اند، عنوان داشت که یک مستعمره‌نشین سغدی در شمال غربی چین وجود داشته که به عقیده او، مرکز گسترش بودایی‌گری و مسیحیت نسطوری در چین بوده‌است.[۸۶] متفکر ژاپنی، کوابارا، شخص دیگری بود که در سال ۱۹۲۶ به مطالعه حضور سغدی‌ها در چین پرداخت. هفت سال بعد، نویسنده چینی، شیانگ‌دا در نوشته‌ای تأثیر سغدی‌ها بر روی زندگی اجتماعی و دینی چینی‌ها در پایتخت دودمان را بررسی کرد.[۸۶] در سال ۱۹۵۲، چین‌شناس کانادایی ادوین جی. پالیبلنک مقاله‌ای را منتشر کرد که در آن عنوان شده بود که یک مستعمره‌نشین سغدی در منطقه هو از فلات اوردوس تأسیس شده بوده‌است.[۸۶] تاریخ‌نگار ژاپنی، اکدا آن، دیگر کسی بود که به واکاوی تاریخ سغد پرداخت. او در سال ۱۹۶۵ حضور سغدی‌ها در دان‌هوانگ از قرن هفتم میلادی و نقش مزدیسنا و بودایی‌گری در زندگی روزمره آنان را بررسی کرد.[۸۷] یوشیدا یاتوکا و کاگیاما استوکو، دو متفرکر ژاپنی، به پردازش نام‌های سغدی در منابع چینی پرداختند و موفق شدند تا با موفقیت ۴۵ نام سغدی که در نوشته‌های چینی نامشان ضبط شده بود را باموفقیت بازسازی کنند. در این تحقیق آمده‌است که این نام‌ها در منطقه تورفان کاملاً رایج بوده‌اند.[۸۸]

برجسته‌ترین سغدی‌ها[ویرایش]

سغدی‌ها در تاریخ شرق و غرب آسیا، به‌طور مشخص چین و ایران، نقش پر رنگی ایفا کرده‌اند. در زیر فهرستی از برجسته‌ترین شخصیت‌های سغدی دیده می‌شود. بسیاری از این نام‌ها، شکل چینی‌شده نام اصلی اهالی سغد هستند و نمی‌توان به شکل اصلی ایرانی آن‌ها پی برد. «ان» و «کنگ» دو نام خانوادگی هستند که در منابع چینی از آن‌ها برای اشاره به سغدی‌ها به کار رفته‌است.

  • اسکندر چهارم، پسر اسکندر مقدونی از همسر سغدی‌اش، روخشنه. او برای مدت کوتاهی به عنوان فرمانروای امپراتوری اسکندر برگزیده شد و سپس توسط سرداران فاتح مقدونی به قتل رسید.
  • ان لوشان (روخشان؟)، از سرداران دودمان تانگ بود که به دلیل جنگیدن برای دفاع از مرزهای چین بین سال‌های ۷۴۱ تا ۷۵۵ در چین به شهرت زیادی دست پیدا کرد. او سپس شورش ان لوشان را به راه انداخت و خود را امپراتور چین نامید. وی دو سال امپراتور دودمان یان بود. باوجود اینکه دودمان تانگ با موفقیت یان را سرکوب و منقرض کرد، اما این نبردها تا حد زیادی منجر به تضعیف امپراتوری تانگ شد.
  • ان چینگ‌شو، پسر ان لوشان
  • ان چونگ‌هوی، از وزیران دومان تانگ متاخر
  • ان چونگ‌جین، از ژنرال‌های دوران پنج سلسله در چین
  • ان چونگ‌رونگ، از دیگر ژنرال‌های دوران پنج سلسله چین
  • آنتیوخوس یکم، دومین شاه امپراتوری سلوکی که از آپاما، همسر سغدی سلوکوس یکم متولد شد.
  • آپاما، دختر اسپنتمان و همسر سلوکوس یکم
  • آزانس (آزانه؟)، از فرماندهان سپاه ایران در دومین حمله به یونان
  • دیواشتیچ، فرمانروای پنجکنت در قرن هشتم میلادی
  • فازنگ، یک راهب بودایی و از همراهان شوان‌زانگ
  • غورک، فرمانروای سمرقند در قرن هشتم
  • کنگ سنگ‌هوی (به ویتنامی: کنگ تانگ‌هوی)، یک راهب بودایی که در دوران سه پادشاهی در ویتنام زندگی کرده‌است.
  • کنگ جینگ، از دولت مردان دودمان مینگ. با توجه به نام خانوادگی‌اش، او را سغدی می‌پندارند.
  • افشین، از سرداران ایرانی خلافت عباسیان. او به عنوان فرمانروای دست‌نشانده عباسیان بر اسروشنه حکومت می‌کرد و برای جنگیدن با بابک خرمدین در تاریخ شناخته شده‌است.
  • کید نصر بن عبدالله که در منابع اسلامی به «الصغدی» معروف است. او به عنوان فرماندار مصر در دوران عباسی خدمت می‌کرد
  • ان چونگ‌ژانگ، از ژنرال‌های دودمان تانگ که علیه ان لوشان جنگید.
  • مالک ابن کیدر، ژنرال خلافت عباسی در قرن نهم
  • مظفر ابن کیدر، پسر کیدر نصر و فرماندار مصر عباسی
  • وخشه‌ارته، از سرداران هخامنشی که در به قتل رسیدن داریوش سوم دست داشت. او پدر روخشنه و پدرزن اسکندر مقدونی بود.
  • روخشنه، شاهدخت سغدی که با اسکندر مقدونی ازدواج کرد.
  • اسپیتمان، سردار سغدی که به همراه سغدی‌ها و بلخی‌ها شورشی علیه اسکندر مقدونی را رهبری کرد.
  • ترخون، فرمانروای سمرقند در قرن هشتم
  • ابولساج دیوداد، از شاهزادگان سغدی که در خلافت عباسی خدمت کرد. نسل ساجیان به او می‌رسید.

جستارهای وابسته[ویرایش]

منابع[ویرایش]

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  48. ۴۸٫۰ ۴۸٫۱ Liu, Xinru, "The Silk Road: Overland Trade and Cultural Interactions in Eurasia", in Agricultural and Pastoral Societies in Ancient and Classical History, ed. Michael Adas, American Historical Association, Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2001, p. 169.
  49. Peter B. Golden (2011), Central Asia in World History, Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, p. 47, شابک ‎۹۷۸-۰-۱۹-۵۱۵۹۴۷-۹.
  50. J. Rose, 'The Sogdians: Prime Movers between Boundaries', Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, vol. 30, no. 3, (2010), p. 416
  51. Wood 2002:66
  52. ۵۲٫۰ ۵۲٫۱ Mark J. Dresden (1981), "Introductory Note," in Guitty Azarpay, Sogdian Painting: the Pictorial Epic in Oriental Art, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, p. 5, شابک ‎۰-۵۲۰-۰۳۷۶۵-۰.
  53. ۵۳٫۰ ۵۳٫۱ Mark J. Dresden (2003), "Sogdian Language and Literature", in Ehsan Yarshater, The Cambridge History of Iran, Vol III: The Seleucid, Parthian, and Sasanian Periods, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 1217, شابک ‎۰-۵۲۱-۲۴۶۹۹-۷.
  54. Liu, Xinru, "The Silk Road: Overland Trade and Cultural Interactions in Eurasia", in Agricultural and Pastoral Societies in Ancient and Classical History, ed. Michael Adas, American Historical Association, Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2001, p. 168.
  55. ۵۵٫۰ ۵۵٫۱ Mark J. Dresden (1981), "Introductory Note," in Guitty Azarpay, Sogdian Painting: the Pictorial Epic in Oriental Art, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, p. 9, شابک ‎۰-۵۲۰-۰۳۷۶۵-۰.
  56. de Crespigny, Rafe (2007), A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms (23–220 AD), Leiden: Koninklijke Brill, p. 600, شابک ‎۹۷۸-۹۰-۰۴-۱۵۶۰۵-۰.
  57. Luce Boulnois (2005), Silk Road: Monks, Warriors & Merchants, Odyssey Books, pp 239–241, شابک ‎۹۶۲-۲۱۷-۷۲۱-۲.
  58. ۵۸٫۰ ۵۸٫۱ Wikisource-logo.svg Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Sogdiana". دانشنامه بریتانیکا (11th ed.). انتشارات دانشگاه کمبریج.
  59. Kazuo Enoki (1998), "Yü-ni-ch'êng and the Site of Lou-Lan," and "The Location of the Capital of Lou-Lan and the Date of the Kharoshthi Inscriptions," in Rokuro Kono (ed.), Studia Asiatica: The Collected Papers in Western Languages of the Late Dr. Kazuo Enoki, Tokyo: Kyu-Shoin, pp 200, 211–57.
  60. Christopoulos, Lucas (August 2012), "Hellenes and Romans in Ancient China (240 BC – 1398 AD)," in Victor H. Mair (ed), Sino-Platonic Papers, No. 230, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, University of Pennsylvania Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, pp 20–21 footnote #38, ISSN 2157-9687.
  61. A. M. Belenitskii and B. I. Marshak (1981), "Part One: the Paintings of Sogdiana" in Guitty Azarpay, Sogdian Painting: the Pictorial Epic in Oriental Art, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, p. 47, شابک ‎۰-۵۲۰-۰۳۷۶۵-۰.
  62. A. M. Belenitskii and B. I. Marshak (1981), "Part One: the Paintings of Sogdiana" in Guitty Azarpay, Sogdian Painting: the Pictorial Epic in Oriental Art, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, p. 13, شابک ‎۰-۵۲۰-۰۳۷۶۵-۰.
  63. A. M. Belenitskii and B. I. Marshak (1981), "Part One: the Paintings of Sogdiana" in Guitty Azarpay, Sogdian Painting: the Pictorial Epic in Oriental Art, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, pp 34–35, شابک ‎۰-۵۲۰-۰۳۷۶۵-۰.
  64. ۶۴٫۰ ۶۴٫۱ ۶۴٫۲ Tafazzoli, A. (2003), "Iranian Languages," in C. E. Bosworth and M. S. Asimov, History of Civilizations of Central Asia, Volume IV: The Age of Achievement, A.D. 750 to the End of the Fifteenth Century, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited, p 323.
  65. Tafazzoli, A. (2003), "Iranian Languages," in C. E. Bosworth and M. S. Asimov, History of Civilizations of Central Asia, Volume IV: The Age of Achievement, A.D. 750 to the End of the Fifteenth Century, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited, pp 325–26.
  66. Mark J. Dresden (1981), "Introductory Note," in Guitty Azarpay, Sogdian Painting: the Pictorial Epic in Oriental Art, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, pp 5–6, شابک ‎۰-۵۲۰-۰۳۷۶۵-۰.
  67. Tafazzoli, A. (2003), "Iranian Languages," in C. E. Bosworth and M. S. Asimov, History of Civilizations of Central Asia, Volume IV: The Age of Achievement, A.D. 750 to the End of the Fifteenth Century, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited, p 325.
  68. Paul Bergne (15 June 2007). The Birth of Tajikistan: National Identity and the Origins of the Republic. I.B.Tauris. pp. 6–. ISBN 978-1-84511-283-7.
  69. Mark J. Dresden (1981), "Introductory Note," in Guitty Azarpay, Sogdian Painting: the Pictorial Epic in Oriental Art, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, pp 2 & 5, شابک ‎۰-۵۲۰-۰۳۷۶۵-۰.
  70. Hansen, Valerie (2012), The Silk Road: A New History, Oxford University Press, p. 98, شابک ‎۹۷۸-۰-۱۹-۹۹۳۹۲۱-۳.
  71. Tobin 113–115
  72. Grenet, Frantz (2007). "Religious Diversity among Sogdian Merchants in Sixth-Century China: Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Manichaeism, and Hinduism". Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Duke University Press. 27 (2): 463–478. doi:10.1215/1089201x-2007-017.
  73. A. M. Belenitskii and B. I. Marshak (1981), "Part One: the Paintings of Sogdiana" in Guitty Azarpay, Sogdian Painting: the Pictorial Epic in Oriental Art, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, p. 35, شابک ‎۰-۵۲۰-۰۳۷۶۵-۰.
  74. J. Rose, 'The Sogdians: Prime Movers between Boundaries', Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, vol. 30, no. 3 (2010), pp. 416–7
  75. Liu, Xinru, "The Silk Road: Overland Trade and Cultural Interactions in Eurasia", in Agricultural and Pastoral Societies in Ancient and Classical History, ed. Michael Adas, American Historical Association, Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2001, p. 168.
  76. Liu, Xinru (2010), The Silk Road in World History, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, p 67–8.
  77. Dresden, Mark J. (2003), "Sogdian Language and Literature", in Ehsan Yarshater, The Cambridge History of Iran, Vol III: The Seleucid, Parthian, and Sasanian Periods, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 1224, شابک ‎۰-۵۲۱-۲۴۶۹۹-۷.
  78. Gasparini, Mariachiara. "A Mathematic Expression of Art: Sino-Iranian and Uighur Textile Interactions and the Turfan Textile Collection in Berlin," in Rudolf G. Wagner and Monica Juneja (eds), Transcultural Studies, Ruprecht-Karls Universität Heidelberg, No 1 (2014), pp 134–163
  79. "A Mathematic Expression of Art: Sino-Iranian and Uighur Textile Interaction and the Turfan Textile Collection in Berlin | Gasparini | Transcultural Studies". Heiup.uni-heidelberg.de. 2014-01-03. Retrieved 2017-07-25.
  80. ۸۰٫۰ ۸۰٫۱ Braja Bihārī Kumar (2007). "India and Central Asia: Links and Interactions," in J.N. Roy and B.B. Kumar (eds), India and Central Asia: Classical to Contemporary Periods, 3–33. New Delhi: Published for Astha Bharati Concept Publishing Company. شابک ‎۸۱-۸۰۶۹-۴۵۷-۷, p. 8.
  81. Nicolini-Zani, Mattco (2013). Tang, Li; Winkler, Dietmar W., eds. From the Oxus River to the Chinese Shores: Studies on East Syriac Christianity in China and Central Asia (illustrated ed.). LIT Verlag Münster. ISBN 3-643-90329-4.
  82. S.V.D. Research Institute, Monumenta Serica Institute (2009). Monumenta Serica: Journal of Oriental Studies, Volume 57. H. Vetch. p. 120. The first one is the funerary inscription of another Bukharan Christian, who died during the Jinglong JptH era (707–710) in Guilin ££^, southern China, and whose name was An Yena^Wffi (see Jiang Boqin 1994). The second is the epitaph of the Sogdian gentleman Mi Jifen ^Iffi^ (714–805) from Maymurgh; in his study Ge Chengyong has discovered that Mi's son was a Christian monk and that his family was therefore most probably Christian, too (see Ge Chengyong 2001). Generally ...
  83. Nicolini-Zani, Matteo (2006). La via radiosa per l'Oriente: i testi e la storia del primo incontro del cristianesimo con il mondo culturale e religioso cinese (secoli VII-IX). Spiritualità orientale. Edizioni Qiqajon, Comunità di Bose. p. 121. ISBN 8882272125. ... di almeno un testo cristiano in cinese, il rotolo P. 3847, contenente la traduzione cinese dell'inno siriaco Gloria in excelsis Deo, di cui fu redatta anche una traduzione sogdiana(giunta a noi in frammenti) a Bulayìq (Turfan). L'unico elemento che ci conferma, infine, una assai probabile presenza cristiana in quest'epoca nel sud della Cina, legata ai commerci marittimi, è il ritrovamento presso Guilin (odierno Guangxi) dell'epitaffio funebre del cristiano An Yena, morto tra il 707 e il 709.
  84. Emmerick, R. E. (2003) "Iranian Settlement East of the Pamirs", in Ehsan Yarshater, The Cambridge History of Iran, Vol III: The Seleucid, Parthian, and Sasanian Periods, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp 275.
  85. Dresden, Mark J. (2003), "Sogdian Language and Literature", in Ehsan Yarshater, The Cambridge History of Iran, Vol III: The Seleucid, Parthian, and Sasanian Periods, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp 1225–1226, شابک ‎۰-۵۲۱-۲۴۶۹۹-۷.
  86. ۸۶٫۰ ۸۶٫۱ ۸۶٫۲ Rong, Xinjiang, "New light on Sogdian Colonies along the Silk Road: Recent Archaeological Finds in Northern China (Lecture at the BBAW on 20th September 2001)", in Berichte und Abhandlungen (17 December 2009); 10, S. , p. 148.
  87. Rong, Xinjiang, "New light on Sogdian Colonies along the Silk Road: Recent Archaeological Finds in Northern China (Lecture at the BBAW on 20th September 2001)", in Berichte und Abhandlungen (17 December 2009); 10, S. , pp 148–9.
  88. Hansen, Valerie (2012), The Silk Road: A New History, Oxford University Press, p. 98, شابک ‎۹۷۸-۰-۱۹-۹۹۳۹۲۱-۳.

پیوند به بیرون[ویرایش]

Sogdia
Sogdiana-300BCE.png
Sogdiana, c. 300 BC, then under the Seleucid Empire, a diadochi state to the empire created by Alexander the Great
Languages Sogdian language
Religions Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Manichaeism, Nestorian Christianity[1]
Capitals Samarkand, Bukhara, Khujand, Kesh
Area Between the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya
Existed 6th century BC to 11th century AD
Currency Imitations of Sassanian coins and Chinese cash coins as well as "hybrids" of both.[2][3]

Sogdia (/ˈsɒɡdiə/) (Sogdian: soɣd) or Sogdiana was an ancient Iranian civilization that at different times included territory located in present-day Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, such as Samarkand, Bukhara, Khujand, Panjikent, and Shahrisabz. Sogdiana was also a province of the Achaemenid Empire, eighteenth in the list on the Behistun Inscription of Darius the Great (i. 16). In the Avesta, Sogdiana is listed as the second best land that the supreme deity Ahura Mazda had created.[4] It comes second, after Airyanem Vaejah, "homeland of the Aryans", in the Zoroastrian book of Vendidad, indicating the importance of this region from ancient times.[5][6] Sogdiana was first conquered by Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Achaemenid Empire. The region would then be annexed by the Macedonian ruler Alexander the Great in 328 BC. The region would continue to change hands under the Seleucid Empire, Greco-Bactrian Kingdom, Kushan Empire, Hephthalite Empire, and Sasanian Empire.

The Sogdian states, although never politically united, were centred on the main city of Samarkand. Sogdiana lay north of Bactria, east of Khwarezm, and southeast of Kangju between the Oxus (Amu Darya) and the Jaxartes (Syr Darya), embracing the fertile valley of the Zeravshan (ancient Polytimetus).[7] Sogdian territory corresponds to the modern provinces of Samarkand and Bokhara in modern Uzbekistan as well as the Sughd province of modern Tajikistan. During the High Middle Ages, Sogdian cities included sites stretching towards Issyk Kul such as that at the archeological site of Suyab. Sogdian, an Eastern Iranian language, is no longer a spoken language, but its direct descendant, Yaghnobi, is still spoken by the Yaghnobis of Tajikistan. It was widely spoken in Central Asia as a lingua franca and even served as one of the Turkic Khaganate's court languages for writing documents.

Sogdians also lived in Imperial China and rose to special prominence in the military and government of the Chinese Tang dynasty (618–907 AD). Sogdian merchants and diplomats traveled as far west as the Byzantine Empire. They played an important part as middlemen in the trade route of the Silk Road. While originally following the faiths of Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, Buddhism, and to a lesser extent, Nestorian Christianity from West Asia, the gradual conversion to Islam among the Sogdians and their descendants began with the Muslim conquest of Transoxiana in the 8th century. The Sogdian conversion to Islam was virtually complete by the end of the Samanid Empire in 999, coinciding with the decline of the Sogdian language, as it was largely supplanted by Persian.

Name

Detail of a copy of the Ambassadors' Painting from Afrasiyab, Samarkand, showing men on a camel, 7th century AD

Oswald Szemerényi devotes a thorough discussion to the etymologies of ancient ethnic words for the Scythians in his work Four Old Iranian Ethnic Names: Scythian – Skudra – Sogdian – Saka. In it, the names provided by the Greek historian Herodotus and the names of his title, except Saka, as well as many other words for "Scythian," such as Assyrian Aškuz and Greek Skuthēs, descend from *skeud-, an ancient Indo-European root meaning "propel, shoot" (cf. English shoot).[8] *skud- is the zero-grade; that is, a variant in which the -e- is not present. The restored Scythian name is *Skuda (archer), which among the Pontic or Royal Scythians became *Skula, in which the d has been regularly replaced by an l. According to Szemerényi, Sogdiana (Old Persian: Suguda-; Uzbek: Sug'd, Sug'diyona; Persian: سغدSoġd; Tajik: Суғд, سغد Suġd; Chinese: 粟特 Mandarin sùtè; Ancient Greek: Σογδιανή) was named from the Skuda form. Starting from the names of the province given in Old Persian inscriptions, Sugda and Suguda, and the knowledge derived from Middle Sogdian that Old Persian -gd- applied to Sogdian was pronounced as voiced fricatives, -γδ-, Szemerényi arrives at *Suγδa as an Old Sogdian endonym.[9] Applying sound changes apparent in other Sogdian words and inherent in Indo-European he traces the development of *Suγδa from Skuda, "archer," as follows: Skuda > *Sukuda by anaptyxis > *Sukuδa > *Sukδa (syncope) > *Suγδa (assimilation).[10]

History

Prehistory

Centuries before the conquest of Sogdiana by the Achaemenid Empire of Persia, Sogdiana possessed a Bronze Age urban culture that was gradually displaced by the Indo-European migrations of the Iron Age. This large-scale migration included Eastern Iranian speaking peoples such as the Sogdians.[11] The original Bronze Age towns appear in the archaeological record beginning with the settlement at Sarazm, Tajikistan, spanning as far back as the 4th millennium BC and then at Kök Tepe, near modern-day Bulungur, Uzbekistan, from at least the 15th century BC.[12]

Achaemenid period

Sogdians on an Achaemenid Persian relief from the Apadana of Persepolis, offering tributary gifts to the Persian king Darius I, 5th century BC
Sogdian soldier circa 338 BCE, tomb of Artaxerxes III.

Achaemenid ruler Cyrus the Great conquered Sogdiana while campaigning in Central Asia in 546–539 BC,[13] a fact mentioned by the ancient Greek historian Herodotus in his Histories.[11] Darius I introduced the Aramaic writing system and coin currency to Central Asia, in addition to incorporating Sogdians into his standing army as regular soldiers and cavalrymen.[14] A contingent of Sogdian soldiers fought in the main army of Xerxes I during his ultimately failed invasion of Greece in 480 BC.[6][15] A Persian inscription from Susa claims that the palace there was adorned with lapis lazuli and carnelian originating from Sogdiana.[6]

Given the absence of any named satraps (i.e. Achaemenid provincial governors) for Sogdiana in historical records, modern scholarship has concluded that Sogdiana was governed from the satrapy of nearby Bactria.[16] The satraps were often relatives of the ruling Persian kings, especially sons who were not designated as the heir apparent.[11] Sogdiana likely remained under Persian control until roughly 400 BC, during the reign of Artaxerxes II.[17] Rebellious states of the Persian Empire took advantage of the weak Artaxerxes II, and some, such as Egypt, were able to regain their independence. Persia's massive loss of Central Asian territory is widely attributed to the ruler's lack of control. However, unlike Egypt, which was quickly recaptured by the Persian Empire, Sogdiana remained independent until it was conquered by Alexander the Great. When the latter invaded the Persian Empire, Pharasmanes, an already independent king of Khwarezm, allied with the Macedonians and sent troops to Alexander in 329 BC for his war against the Scythians of the Black Sea region (even though this anticipated campaign never materialized).[17]

During the Achaemenid period (550–330 BC), the Sogdians lived as a nomadic people much like the neighboring Yuezhi, who spoke Bactrian, an Indo-Iranian language closely related to Sogdian,[18] and were already engaging in overland trade. Some of them had also gradually settled the land to engage in agriculture.[19] Similar to how the Yuezhi offered tributary gifts of jade to the emperors of China, the Sogdians are recorded in Persian records as submitting precious gifts of lapis lazuli and carnelian to Darius I, the Persian king of kings.[19] Although the Sogdians were at times independent and living outside the boundaries of large empires, they never formed a great empire of their own like the Yuezhi, who established the Kushan Empire (30–375 AD) of Central and South Asia.[19]

Hellenistic period

Left image: The Sampul tapestry, a woolen wall hanging from Lop County, Xinjiang, China, showing a possibly Greek soldier from the Greco-Bactrian kingdom (250–125 BC), with blue eyes, wielding a spear, and wearing what appears to be a diadem headband; depicted above him is a centaur, from Greek mythology, a common motif in Hellenistic art[20]
Right image: painted clay and alabaster head of a Zoroastrian priest wearing a distinctive Bactrian-style headdress, Takhti-Sangin, Tajikistan, 3rd–2nd century BC
Left image: a gold coin of Diodotus, c. 250 BC
Right image: a barbaric copy of a coin of Euthydemus I, from the region of Sogdiana; the legend on the reverse is in Aramaic script.

A now independent and warlike Sogdiana, led at first by Bessus, the Achaemenid satrap of Bactria and claimant to the throne after assassinating Darius III in his flight from the Macedonian Greek army,[21][22] formed a border region insulating the Achaemenid Persians from the nomadic Scythians to the north and east.[23] The Sogdian Rock or Rock of Ariamazes, a fortress in Sogdiana, was captured in 327 BC by the forces of Alexander the Great, the basileus of Macedonian Greece and conqueror of the Persian Achaemenid Empire.[24] Oxyartes, a Sogdian nobleman of Bactria, had hoped to keep his daughter Roxana safe at the fortress of the Sogdian Rock, yet after its fall Roxana was soon wed to Alexander as one of his several wives.[25] Roxana, a Sogdian whose name Roshanak means "little star",[26][27][28] was the mother of Alexander IV of Macedon, who inherited his late father's throne in 323 BC (although the empire was soon divided in the Wars of the Diadochi).[29]

After an extended campaign putting down Sogdian resistance and founding military outposts manned by his Macedonian veterans, Alexander united Sogdiana with Bactria into one satrapy. The Sogdian nobleman and warlord Spitamenes (370–328 BC), allied with Scythian tribes, led an uprising against Alexander's forces. This revolt was put down by Alexander and his generals Amyntas, Craterus, and Coenus, with the aid of native Bactrian and Sogdian troops.[30] With the Scythian and Sogdian rebels defeated, Spitamenes was allegedly betrayed by his own wife and beheaded.[31] Pursuant with his own marriage to Roxana, Alexander encouraged his men to marry Sogdian women in order to discourage further revolt.[25][32] This included Apama, daughter of the rebel Spitamenes, who wed Seleucus I Nicator and bore him a son and future heir to the Seleucid throne.[33] According to the Roman historian Appian, Seleucus I named three new Hellenistic cities in Asia after her (see Apamea).[33][34]

The military power of the Sogdians never recovered. Subsequently, Sogdiana formed part of the Hellenistic Greco-Bactrian Kingdom, a breakaway state from the Seleucid Empire founded in 248 BC by Diodotus I, for roughly a century.[35][36] Euthydemus I, a former satrap of Sogdiana, seems to have held the Sogdian territory as a rival claimant to the Greco-Bactrian throne; his coins were later copied locally and bore Aramaic inscriptions.[37] The Greco-Bactrian king Eucratides I may have recovered sovereignty of Sogdia temporarily. Finally the area was occupied by nomads when the Scythians and Yuezhis overran it around 145 BC. From then until about 40 BC the Yuezhi tepidly minted coins imitating and still bearing the images of the Greco-Bactrian kings Eucratides I and Heliocles I, yet soon afterwards they began minting unique coins bearing the faces of their own rulers as a prelude to asserting themselves as a world power under the Kushan Empire.[38]

The American historian Homer H. Dubs offered the suggestion that a lost legion from the Roman army of Crassus that fought at Carrhae encountered and even fought a Chinese army of the Han Dynasty in the region:

... [In 36 BC a] Han expedition into central Asia, west of the Jaxartes River, apparently encountered and defeated a contingent of Roman legionaries. The Romans may have been the enslaved remnants of Crassus' army, defeated by the Parthians and forced to fight on their eastern frontier. Sogdiana (modern Bukhara), east of the Oxus River, on the Polytimetus River, was apparently the most easterly penetration ever made by Roman forces in Asia. The margin of Chinese victory appears to have been their crossbows, whose bolts and darts seem easily to have penetrated Roman shields and armour.[39]

However, this interpretation has been disputed by scholars such as Schuyler V. Cammann.[40]

Central Asia and the Silk Road

Left image: a Sogdian silk brocade textile fragment, dated c. 700 AD
Right image: and a Sogdian silver wine cup with mercury gilding, 7th century AD
Left image: A Chinese Eastern Han (25–220 AD) ceramic statuette of a Sogdian caravan leader of the Silk Road, wearing a distinctive Sogdian cap
Right image: A grey pottery figurine of a Sogdian groom, Chinese Tang Dynasty, 7th century AD

Most merchants did not travel the entire Silk Road but would trade goods through middlemen based in oasis towns such as Khotan or Dunhuang. The Sogdians, however, established a trading network across the 1500 miles from Sogdiana to China. In fact, the Sogdians turned their energies to trade so thoroughly that the Saka of the Kingdom of Khotan called all merchants suli, "Sogdian", whatever their culture or ethnicity.[41] Unlike the empires of antiquity, the Sogdian region was not a territory confined within fixed borders, but rather a network of city-states, from one oasis to another, linking Sogdiana to Byzantium, India, Indochina and China.[42] Sogdian contacts with China were initiated by the embassy of the Chinese explorer Zhang Qian during the reign of Emperor Wu (r. 141–87 BC) of the former Han dynasty. Zhang wrote a report of his visit to the Western Regions in Central Asia and named the area of Sogdiana as "Kangju".[43]

Left image: Sogdian men feasting and eating at a banquet, from a wall mural of Panjakent, Tajikistan, 7th century AD
Right image: Detail from another wall mural from Panjakent, 7th century AD, showing tigers attacking a man riding a war elephant

Following Zhang Qian's embassy and report, commercial Chinese relations with Central Asia and Sogdiana flourished,[44] as many Chinese missions were sent throughout the 1st century BC. In his Shiji published in 94 BC, Chinese historian Sima Qian remarked that "the largest of these embassies to foreign states numbered several hundred persons, while even the smaller parties included over 100 members ... In the course of one year anywhere from five to six to over ten parties would be sent out."[45] In terms of the silk trade, the Sogdians also served as the primary middlemen between the Chinese Han Empire and the Parthian Empire of the Middle East and West Asia.[46] Sogdians played a major role in facilitating trade between China and Central Asia along the Silk Roads as late as the 10th century, their language serving as a lingua franca for Asian trade as far back as the 4th century.[47][48]

Left image: Sancai-glazed figurine depicting a Sogdian holding a wineskin, Chinese Tang dynasty, c. 675–750 AD
Right image: ceramic figurine of a Sogdian merchant in northern China, Tang Dynasty, 7th century AD
Left image: Sogdian coin, 6th century, British Museum
Right image: Chinese-influenced Sogdian coin, from Kelpin, 8th century, British Museum

Subsequent to their domination by Alexander the Great, the Sogdians from the city of Marakanda (Samarkand) became dominant as traveling merchants, occupying a key position along the ancient Silk Road.[49] They played an active role in the spread of faiths such as Manicheism, Zoroastrianism, and Buddhism along the Silk Road. The Chinese Sui Shu (Book of Sui) describes Sogdians as "skilled merchants" who attracted many foreign traders to their land to engage in commerce.[50] They were described by the Chinese as born merchants, learning their commercial skills at an early age. It appears from sources, such as documents found by Sir Aurel Stein and others, that by the 4th century they may have monopolized trade between India and China. A letter written by Sogdian merchants dated 313 AD and found in the ruins of a watchtower in Gansu was intended to be sent to merchants in Samarkand, warning them that after Liu Cong of Han Zhao sacked Luoyang and the Jin emperor fled the capital, there was no worthwhile business there for Indian and Sogdian merchants.[15][51] Furthermore, in 568 AD a Turko-Sogdian delegation travelled to the Roman emperor in Constantinople to obtain permission to trade and in the following years commercial activity between the states flourished.[52] Put simply, the Sogdians dominated trade along the Silk Road from the 2nd century BC until the 10th century.[41]

Suyab and Talas in modern-day Kyrgyzstan were the main Sogdian centers in the north that dominated the caravan routes of the 6th to 8th centuries.[53] Their commercial interests were protected by the resurgent military power of the Göktürks, whose empire was built on the political power of the Ashina clan and economic clout of the Sogdians.[54][55][56] Sogdian trade, with some interruptions, continued into the 9th century. For instance, camels, women, girls, silver, and gold were seized from Sogdia during a raid by Qapaghan Qaghan (692–716), ruler of the Second Turkic Khaganate.[57] In the 10th century Sogdiana was incorporated into the Uighur Empire, which until 840 encompassed northern Central Asia. This khaganate obtained enormous deliveries of silk from Tang China in exchange for horses, in turn relying on the Sogdians to sell much of this silk further west.[58] Peter B. Golden writes that the Uyghurs not only adopted the writing system and religious faiths of the Sogdians, such as Manichaeism, Buddhism, and Christianity, but also looked to the Sogdians as "mentors" while gradually replacing them in their roles as Silk Road traders and purveyors of culture.[59] Muslim geographers of the 10th century drew upon Sogdian records dating to 750–840. After the end of the Uyghur Empire, Sogdian trade underwent a crisis. Following the Muslim conquest of Transoxiana in the 8th century, the Samanids resumed trade on the northwestern road leading to the Khazars and the Urals and the northeastern one toward the nearby Turkic tribes.[55]

During the 5th and 6th century many Sogdians took up residence in the Hexi Corridor where they retained autonomy in terms of governance and had a designated official administrator known as a sabao, which suggests their importance to the socioeconomic structure of China. The Sogdian influence on trade in China is also made apparent by a Chinese document which lists taxes paid on caravan trade in the Turpan region and shows that twenty-nine out of the thirty-five commercial transactions involved Sogdian merchants, and in thirteen of those cases both the buyer and the seller were Sogdian.[60] Trade goods brought to China included grapes, alfalfa, and Sassanian silverware, as well as glass containers, Mediterranean coral, brass Buddhist images, Roman wool cloth, and Baltic amber. These were exchanged for Chinese paper, copper, and silk.[41] In the 7th century the Chinese Buddhist pilgrim Xuanzang noted with approval that Sogdian boys were taught to read and write at the age of five, though their skill was turned to trade, disappointing the scholarly Xuanzang. He also recorded the Sogdians working in other capacities such as farmers, carpetweavers, glassmakers, and woodcarvers.[61]

Trade and diplomacy with the Byzantine Empire

Historical knowledge about Sogdia is somewhat hazy during the period of the Parthian Empire (247 BC – 224 AD) in Persia.[62][63] The subsequent Sasanian Empire of Persia conquered and incorporated Sogdia as a satrapy in 260,[62] an inscription dating to the reign of Shapur I noting that its limits formed the northeastern Sasanian borderlands with the Kushan Empire.[63] However, by the 5th century the region was captured by the rival Hephthalite Empire.[62]

Shortly after the smuggling of silkworm eggs into the Byzantine Empire from China by Nestorian Christian monks, the 6th-century Byzantine historian Menander Protector writes of how the Sogdians attempted to establish a direct trade of Chinese silk with the Byzantine Empire. After forming an alliance with the Sasanian ruler Khosrow I to defeat the Hephthalite Empire, Istämi, the Göktürk ruler of the Turkic Khaganate, was approached by Sogdian merchants requesting permission to seek an audience with the Sassanid king of kings for the privilege of traveling through Persian territories in order to trade with the Byzantines.[46] Istämi refused the first request, but when he sanctioned the second one and had the Sogdian embassy sent to the Sassanid king, the latter had the members of the embassy poisoned.[46] Maniah, a Sogdian diplomat, convinced Istämi to send an embassy directly to Byzantium's capital Constantinople, which arrived in 568 and offered not only silk as a gift to Byzantine ruler Justin II, but also proposed an alliance against Sassanid Persia. Justin II agreed and sent an embassy to the Turkic Khaganate, ensuring the direct silk trade desired by the Sogdians.[46][64][65]

It appears, however, that direct trade with the Sogdians remained limited in light of the small amount of Roman and Byzantine coins found in Central Asian and Chinese archaeological sites belonging to this era. Although Roman embassies apparently reached Han China from 166 AD onwards,[66] and the ancient Romans imported Han Chinese silk while the Han-dynasty Chinese imported Roman glasswares as discovered in their tombs,[67][68] Valerie Hansen (2012) wrote that no Roman coins from the Roman Republic (507–27 BC) or the Principate (27 BC – 330 AD) era of the Roman Empire have been found in China.[69] However, Warwick Ball (2016) upends this notion by pointing to a hoard of sixteen Roman coins found at Xi'an, China (formerly Chang'an), dated to the reigns of various emperors from Tiberius (14–37 AD) to Aurelian (270–275 AD).[70] The earliest gold solidus coins from the Eastern Roman Empire found in China date to the reign of Byzantine emperor Theodosius II (r. 408–450) and altogether only forty-eight of them have been found (compared to thirteen-hundred silver coins) in Xinjiang and the rest of China.[69] The use of silver coins in Turfan persisted long after the Tang campaign against Karakhoja and Chinese conquest of 640, with a gradual adoption of Chinese bronze coinage over the course of the 7th century.[69] The fact that these Eastern Roman coins were almost always found with Sasanian Persian silver coins and Eastern Roman gold coins were used more as ceremonial objects like talismans confirms the pre-eminent importance of Greater Iran in Chinese Silk Road commerce of Central Asia compared to Eastern Rome.[71]

Sogdian merchants, generals, and statesmen of Imperial China

Left image: kneeling Sogdian donors to the Buddha (fresco, with detail), Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves, near Turpan in the eastern Tarim Basin, China, 8th century
Right image: the stone tomb gate and couch of An Jia (安伽), a Northern Zhou (557–581 AD) period Sogdian nobleman,[72] excavated from Chang'an (modern Xi'an), China; An Jia held the title of Sar-pav of Tongzhou prefecture and was in charge of commercial affairs of foreign merchants from Middle Asia, who made businesses in China; the stone gate is flanked by two lions and the horizontal tablet is carved with a sacrificial scene in accordance with Zoroastrianism

Aside from the Sogdians of Central Asia who acted as middlemen in the Silk Road trade, other Sogdians settled down in China for generations. Although many Sogdians had fled Luoyang following the collapse of the Jin Dynasty's control over northern China in 311 AD, some Sogdians continued living in Gansu.[51] Sogdian families living in Gansu created funerary epitaphs explaining the history of their illustrious houses. For instance, a sabao (薩保, from Sanskrit sarthavaha, meaning caravan leader)[64] from Anxi (western Sogdiana or Parthia) who lived in Jiuquan during the Northern Wei (386 – 535 AD), was the ancestor of An Tugen, a man who rose from a common merchant to become a top ranking minister of state for the Northern Qi (550 – 577 AD).[50] Valerie Hansen asserts that around this time and extending into the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907 AD), the Sogdians "became the most influential of the non-Chinese groups resident in China," settling throughout Chinese territory, marrying Chinese women, purchasing land, with newcomers living there permanently instead of returning to their homelands in Sogdiana.[50] They were concentrated in large numbers around Luoyang and Chang'an, and also Xiangyang in present-day Hubei, building Zoroastrian temples to service their communities once they reached the threshold of roughly 100 households.[50] From the Northern Qi to Tang periods, the leaders of these communities, the sabao, were incorporated into the official hierarchy of state officials.[50] Their burial practices blended both Chinese forms such as carved funerary beds with Zoroastrian sensibilities in mind, such as separating the body from both the earth and water.[73]

Two Buddhist monks on a mural of the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves near Turpan, Xinjiang, China, 9th century AD. Albert von Le Coq (1913) assumed the blue-eyed, red-haired monk was a Tocharian,[74] modern scholarship however identified similar Caucasian figures of the same cave temple (No. 9) as ethnic Sogdians,[75] who were a minority in Turpan during the Tang Dynasty in 7th–8th century and Uyghur rule (9th–13th century).[76]

In addition to being merchants, monks, and government officials, Sogdians also served as soldiers in the Tang military.[77] An Lushan, whose father was Sogdian and mother a Gokturk, rose to the position of a military governor (jiedushi) in the northeast before leading the An Lushan Rebellion (755 – 763 AD), which split the loyalties of the Sogdians in China.[77] The An Lushan rebellion was supported by many Sogdians, and in its aftermath many of them were slain or changed their names to escape their Sogdian heritage,[78] so that little is known about the Sogdian presence in North China since that time.[79] Sogdians continued as active traders in China following the defeat of the rebellion, but many of them were compelled to hide their ethnic identity. A prominent case was An Chongzhang, Minister of War, and Duke of Liang who, in 756, asked Emperor Suzong of Tang to allow him to change his name to Li Baoyu because of his shame in sharing the same surname with the rebel leader.[77] This change of surnames was enacted retroactively for all of his family members, so that his ancestors would also be bestowed the surname Li.[77]

During the Tang and subsequent Five Dynasties and Song Dynasty, a large community of Sogdians also existed in the multicultural entrepôt of Dunhuang, Gansu, a major center of Buddhist learning and home to the Buddhist Mogao Caves.[80] Although Dunhuang and the Hexi Corridor were captured by the Tibetan Empire after the An Lushan Rebellion, in 848 the ethnic Han Chinese general Zhang Yichao (799–872) managed to wrestle control of the region from the Tibetans during their civil war, establishing the Guiyi Circuit under Emperor Xuānzong of Tang (r. 846–859).[81][82] Although the region occasionally fell under the rule of different states, it retained its multilingual nature as evidenced by an abundance of manuscripts (religious and secular) in Chinese and Tibetan, but also Sogdian, Khotanese (another Eastern Iranian language native to the region), Uyghur, and Sanskrit.[83]

From the Chinese surnames listed in the Tang-era Dunhuang manuscript Pelliot chinois 3319V (containing the following text: 石定信右全石丑子石定奴福延福全保昌張丑子李千子李定信), the names of the Nine Zhaowu Clans (昭武九姓),[76] the prominent ethnic Sogdian families of China, have been deduced.[84] Of these the most common Sogdian surname throughout China was Shi (石, generally given to those from Chach, modern Tashkent), whereas the surnames Shi (史, from Kesh, modern Shahrisabz), An (安, from Bukhara), Mi (米, from Panjakent), Kang (康, from Samarkand), Cao (曹, from Kabudhan, north of the Zeravshan River), and He (何, from Kushaniyah) appear frequently in Dunhuang manuscripts and registers.[76][85] The influence of Sinicized and multilingual Sogdians during this Guiyijun (歸義軍) period (c. 850 – c. 1000 AD) of Dunhuang is evident in a large number of manuscripts written in Chinese characters from left to right instead of vertically, mirroring the direction of how the Sogdian alphabet is read.[86] Sogdians of Dunhuang also commonly formed and joined lay associations among their local communities, convening at Sogdian-owned taverns in scheduled meetings mentioned in their epistolary letters.[87] Sogdians living in Turfan under the Tang dynasty and Gaochang Kingdom engaged in a variety of occupations that included: farming, military service, painting, leather crafting and selling products such as iron goods.[76] The Sogdians had been migrating to Turfan since the 4th century, yet the pace of migration began to climb steadily with the Muslim conquest of Persia and Fall of the Sasanian Empire in 651, followed by the Islamic conquest of Samarkand in 712.[76]

Arab Muslim conquest of Central Asia

Left image: a lion motif on Sogdian polychrome silk, 8th century AD, most likely from Bukhara
Right image: a caftan worn by a horseman along the Silk Road, 8th–10th century AD, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Qutayba ibn Muslim (669–716), Governor of Greater Khorasan under the Umayyad Caliphate (661–750), initiated the Muslim conquest of Sogdia during the early 8th century, with the local ruler of Balkh offering him aid as an Umayyad ally.[63][88] However, when his successor Al-Jarrah ibn Abdallah governed Khorosan (717–719), many native Sogdians, who had converted to Islam, began to revolt when they were no longer exempt from paying the tax on non-Muslims, the jizya, because of a new law stating that proof of circumcision and literacy in the Quran was necessary for new converts.[63][89] With the aid of Turkic peoples, the Sogdians were able to expel the Umayyad Arab garrison from Samarkand and Umayyad attempts to restore power there were rebuffed until the arrival of Sa'id ibn Amr al-Harashi (fl. 720–735). The Sogdian ruler (i.e. ikhshid) of Samarkand, Gurak, who had previously overthrown the pro-Umayyad Sogdian ruler Tarkhun in 710, decided that resistance against al-Harashi's large Arab force was pointless and thereafter persuaded his followers to declare allegiance to the Umayyad governor.[89] Divashtich (r. 706–722), the Sogdian ruler of Panjakent, led his forces to the Zarafshan Range (near modern Zarafshan, Tajikistan), whereas the Sogdians following Karzanj, the ruler of Pai (modern Kattakurgan, Uzbekistan), fled to the Principality of Farghana, where their ruler at-Tar (or Alutar) promised them safety and refuge from the Umayyads. However, at-Tar secretly informed al-Harashi of the Sogdians hiding in Khujand, who were then slaughtered by al-Harashi's forces after their arrival.[90]

A Tang Dynasty Chinese ceramic statuette of a Sogdian merchant riding on a Bactrian camel

The Umayyads fell in 750 to the Abbasid Caliphate, which quickly asserted itself in Central Asia after winning the Battle of Talas (along the Talas River in modern Talas Oblast, Kyrgyzstan) in 751 against the Chinese Tang Dynasty. This conflict incidentally introduced Chinese papermaking to the Islamic world.[91] The cultural consequences and political ramifications of this battle meant the retreat of the Chinese empire from Central Asia. It also allowed for the rise of the Samanid Empire (819–999), a Persian state centered at Bukhara (in what is now modern Uzbekistan) that nominally observed the Abbasids as their overlords, yet retained a great deal of autonomy and upheld the mercantile legacy of the Sogdians.[91] Yet the Sogdian language gradually declined in favor of the Persian language of the Samanids (the ancestor to the modern Tajik language), the spoken language of renowned poets and intellectuals of the age such as Ferdowsi (940–1020).[91] So too did the original religions of the Sogdians decline; Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Manichaeism, and Nestorian Christianity disappeared in the region by the end of the Samanid period.[91] The Samanids were also responsible for converting the surrounding Turkic peoples to Islam, which presaged the conquest of their empire in 999 by an Islamic Turkic power, the Kara-Khanid Khanate (840–1212).[92]

During the early 13th century Khwarezmia was invaded by the early Mongol Empire and its ruler Genghis Khan destroyed the once vibrant cities of Bukhara and Samarkand.[93] However, in 1370 Samarkand saw a revival as the capital of the Timurid Empire. The Turko-Mongol ruler Timur forcefully brought artisans and intellectuals from across Asia to Samarkand, transforming it not only into a trade hub but also one of the most important cities of the Islamic world.[94]

Language and culture

The 6th century is thought to be the peak of Sogdian culture, judging by its highly developed artistic tradition. By this point, the Sogdians were entrenched in their role as the central Asian traveling and trading merchants, transferring goods, culture and religion.[95] During the Middle Ages, the valley of the Zarafshan around Samarkand retained its Sogdian name, Samarkand.[7] According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, medieval Arab geographers considered it one of the four fairest regions of the world.[7] Where the Sogdians moved in considerable numbers, their language made a considerable impact. For instance, during China's Han dynasty, the native name of the Tarim Basin city-state of Loulan was "Kroraina," possibly from Greek due to nearby Hellenistic influence.[96] However, centuries later in 664 AD the Tang Chinese Buddhist monk Xuanzang labelled it as "Nafupo" (納縛溥), which according to Dr. Hisao Matsuda is a transliteration of the Sogdian word Navapa meaning "new water."[97]

Art

The Afrasiab paintings of the 6th to 7th centuries in Samarkand, Uzbekistan offer a rare surviving example of Sogdian art. The paintings, showing scenes of daily life and events such as the arrival of foreign ambassadors, are located within the ruins of aristocratic homes. It is unclear if any of these palatial residences served as the official palace of the rulers of Samarkand.[98] The oldest surviving Sogdian monumental wall murals date to the 5th century and are located at Panjakent, Tajikistan.[99] In addition to revealing aspects of their social and political lives, Sogdian art has also been instrumental in aiding historians' understanding of their religious beliefs. For instance, it is clear that Buddhist Sogdians incorporated some of their own Iranian deities into their version of the Buddhist Pantheon. At Zhetysu, Sogdian gilded bronze plaques on a Buddhist temple show a pairing of a male and female deity with outstretched hands holding a miniature camel, a common non-Buddhist image similarly found in the paintings of Samarkand and Panjakent.[100]

Language

Left image: The "Bugut" inscription of Mongolia, written shortly after 581 AD in the Sogdian alphabet,[101] and commissioned by the Turkic Khaganate to relate the history of their ruling Gokturk khans
Right image: a contract written in Chinese from the Tang dynasty in Turpan that records the purchase of a 15-year-old slave for six bolts of plain silk and five Chinese coins, dated 661 AD

The Sogdians spoke an Eastern Iranian language called Sogdian, closely related to Bactrian, Khwarazmian, and the Khotanese language Saka, widely spoken Eastern Iranian languages of Central Asia in ancient times.[62][101] Sogdian was also prominent in the oasis city-state of Turfan in the Tarim Basin region of Northwest China (in modern Xinjiang).[101] Judging by the Sogdian Bugut inscription of Mongolia written c. 581, the Sogdian language was also an official language of the Turkic Khaganate established by the Gokturks.[65][101]

Sogdian was written largely in three scripts: the Sogdian alphabet, the Syriac alphabet, and the Manichaean alphabet, each derived from the Aramaic alphabet,[102][103] which had been widely used in both the Achaemenid and Parthian empires of ancient Iran.[14][104] The Sogdian alphabet formed the basis of the Old Uyghur alphabet of the 8th century, which in turn was used to create the Mongolian script of the early Mongol Empire during the 13th century.[105]

The Yaghnobi people living in the Sughd province of Tajikistan still speak a dialect of the Sogdian language.[63][106] Yaghnobi is largely a continuation of the medieval Sogdian dialect from the Osrushana region of the western Fergana Valley.[107] The great majority of the Sogdian people assimilated with other local groups such as the Bactrians, Chorasmians, and in particular with Persians and came to speak Persian. In 819 the Persians founded the Samanid Empire in the region. They are among the ancestors of the modern Tajiks. Numerous Sogdian cognates can be found in the modern Tajik language, although the latter is a Western Iranian language.

Clothing

Left image: a male mannequin showing the medieval-era clothing for Sogdian men from Panjakent, Tajikistan National Museum, Dushanbe
Right image: a female mannequin showing the medieval-era clothing for Sogdian women from Afrasiyab (Samarkand), Tajikistan National Museum, Dushanbe

Early medieval Sogdian costumes can be divided in two periods: Hephtalitic (5th and 6th centuries) and Turkic (7th and early 8th centuries). The latter did not become common immediately after the political dominance of the Gökturks but only in c. 620 when, especially following Western Turkic Khagan Ton-jazbgu's reforms, Sogd was Turkized and the local nobility was officially included in the Khaganate's administration.[108]

For both sexes clothes were tight-fitted, and narrow waists and wrists were appreciated. The silhouettes for grown men and young girls emphasized wide shoulders and narrowed to the waist; the silhouettes for female aristocrats were more complicated. The Sogdian clothing underwent a thorough process of Islamization in the ensuing centuries, with few of the original elements remaining. In their stead, turbans, kaftans, and sleeved coats became more common.[108]

Religious beliefs

Sogdians, depicted on a Chinese Sogdian sarcophagus of the Northern Qi Dynasty (550–577 AD)
Left image: An 8th-century Tang dynasty Chinese clay figurine of a Sogdian man wearing a distinctive cap and face veil, possibly a camel rider or even a Zoroastrian priest engaging in a ritual at a fire temple, since face veils were used to avoid contaminating the holy fire with breath or saliva; Museum of Oriental Art (Turin), Italy.[109]
Right image: Chinese Tang Dynasty era statues of Sogdian merchants
Sogdians in a religious procession, a 5th–6th-century tomb mural discovered at Tung-wan City.

The Sogdians practiced a variety of religious faiths. However, Zoroastrianism was most likely their main religion as demonstrated by material evidence. For instance, the discovery of murals depicting votaries making offers before fire-holders and ossuaries from Samarkand, Panjakent and Er-Kurgan held the bones of the dead in accordance with Zoroastrian ritual. At Turfan, Sogdian burials shared similar features with traditional Chinese practices, yet they still retained essential Zoroastrian rituals, such as allowing the bodies to be picked clean by scavengers before burying the bones in ossuaries.[76] They also sacrificed animals to Zoroastrian deities, including the supreme deity Ahura Mazda.[76] Zoroastrianism remained the dominant religion among Sogdians until after the Islamic conquest, when they gradually converted to Islam, as is shown by Richard Bulliet's "conversion curve".[110]

The Sogdian religious texts found in China and dating to the Northern Dynasties, Sui, and Tang are mostly Buddhist (translated from Chinese sources), Manichaean and Nestorian Christian, with only a small minority of Zoroastrian texts.[111] But tombs of Sogdian merchants in China dated to the last third of the 6th century show predominantly Zoroastrian motifs or Zoroastrian-Manichaean syncretism, while archaeological remains from Sogdiana appear fairly Iranian and conservatively Zoroastrian.[111]

However, the Sogdians epitomized the religious plurality found along the trade routes. The largest body of Sogdian texts are Buddhist, and Sogdians were among the principal translators of Buddhist sutras into Chinese. However, Buddhism did not take root in Sogdiana itself.[112] Additionally, the Bulayiq monastery to the north of Turpan contained Sogdian Christian texts and there are numerous Manichaean texts in Sogdiana from nearby Qocho.[113] The reconversion of Sogdians from Buddhism to Zoroastrianism coincided with the adoption of Zoroastrianism by the Sassanid Empire of Persia.[64] From the 4th century onwards, Sogdian Buddhist pilgrims left behind evidence of their travels along the steep cliffs of the Indus River and Hunza Valley. It was here that they carved images of the Buddha and holy stupas in addition to their full names, in hopes that the Buddha would grant them his protection.[114]

The Sogdians also practiced the faith of Mani, Manichaeism, a faith that they spread to the Uyghurs. The Uyghur Khaganate (744–840 AD) developed close ties to Tang China once they aided the Tang in suppressing the rebellion of An Lushan and his Göktürk successor Shi Siming, establishing an annual trade relationship of one million bolts of Chinese silk for one hundred thousand horses.[58] The Uyghurs relied on Sogdian merchants to sell much of this silk further west along the Silk Road, a symbiotic relationship that led many Uyghurs to adopt Manichaeism from the Sogdians.[58] However, evidence of Manichaean liturgical and canonical texts of Sogdian origin remains fragmentary and sparse compared to their corpus of Buddhist writings.[115] The Uyghurs were also followers of Buddhism. For instance, they can be seen wearing silk robes in the praṇidhi scenes of the Uyghur Bezeklik Buddhist murals of Xinjiang, China, particularly Scene 6 from Temple 9 showing Sogdian donors to the Buddha.[75][116]

In addition to Puranic cults, there were five Hindu deities known to have been worshipped in Sogdiana.[117] These were Brahma, Indra, Mahadeva (Shiva), Narayana, and Vaishravana; the gods Brahma, Indra, and Shiva were known by their Sogdian names Zravan, Adbad and Veshparkar, respectively.[117] Durga, a mother goddess in Shaktism, may be represented in Sogdian art as a four-armed goddess riding atop a lion.[117] As seen in an 8th-century mural from Panjakent, portable fire altars can be "associated" with Mahadeva-Veshparkar, Brahma-Zravan, and Indra-Abdab, according to Braja Bihārī Kumar.[117]

Among the Sogdian Christians known in China from inscriptions and texts were An Yena, a Christian from An country (Bukhara). Mi Jifen a Christian from Mi country (Maymurgh), Kang Zhitong, a Sogdian Christian cleric from Kang country (Samarkand), Mi Xuanqing a Sogdian Christian cleric from Mi country (Maymurgh), Mi Xuanying, a Sogdian Christian cleric from Mi country (Maymurgh), An Qingsu, a Sogdian Christian monk from An country (Bukhara).[118][119][120]

When visiting Yuan-era Zhenjiang, Jiangsu, China during the late 13th century, the Venetian explorer and merchant Marco Polo noted that a large number of Christian churches had been built there. His claim is confirmed by a Chinese text of the 14th century explaining how a Sogdian named Mar-Sargis from Samarkand founded six Nestorian Christian churches there in addition to one in Hangzhou during the second half of the 13th century.[121] Nestorian Christianity had existed in China earlier during the Tang Dynasty when a Persian monk named Alopen came to Chang'an in 653 to proselytize, as described in a dual Chinese and Syriac language inscription from Chang'an (modern Xi'an) dated to the year 781.[122] Within the Syriac inscription is a list of priests and monks, one of whom is named Gabriel, the archdeacon of "Xumdan" and "Sarag", the Sogdian names for the Chinese capital cities Chang'an and Luoyang, respectively.[123] In regards to textual material, the earliest Christian gospel texts translated into Sogdian coincide with the reign of the Sasanian Persian monarch Yazdegerd II (r. 438–457) and were translated from the Peshitta, the standard version of the Bible in Syriac Christianity.[124]

Commerce and slave trade

A Sogdian gilded silver dish with the image of a tiger, with clear influence from Persian Sasanian art and silverwares, 7th to 8th centuries AD
Silk road figure head, probably Sogdian, Chinese Sui Dynasty (581–618), Musée Cernuschi, Paris

Slavery existed in China since ancient times, although during the Han dynasty the proportion of slaves to the overall population was roughly 1%,[125] far lower than the estimate for the contemporary Greco-Roman world (estimated at about 15% of the entire population).[126][127] During the Tang period slaves were not allowed to marry a commoner's daughter, were not allowed to have sexual relations with any female member of their master's family, and although fornication with female slaves was forbidden in the Tang code of law it was widely practiced.[128] Manumission was also permitted when a slave woman gave birth to her master's son, which allowed for her elevation to the legal status of a commoner, yet she could only live as a concubine and not as the wife of her former master.[129]

Sogdian and Chinese merchants regularly traded in slaves in and around Turpan during the Tang dynasty. Turpan under Tang dynasty rule was a center of major commercial activity between Chinese and Sogdian merchants. There were many inns in Turpan. Some provided Sogdian sex workers with an opportunity to service the Silk Road merchants, since the official histories report that there were markets in women at Kucha and Khotan.[130] The Sogdian-language contract buried at the Astana graveyard demonstrates that at least one Chinese man bought a Sogdian girl in 639 AD. One of the archaeologists who excavated the Astana site, Wu Zhen, contends that, although many households along the Silk Road bought individual slaves, as we can see in the earlier documents from Niya, the Turpan documents point to a massive escalation in the volume of the slave trade.[131] In 639 a female Sogdian slave was sold to a Chinese man as recorded in an Astana cemetery legal document written in Sogdian.[132] Khotan and Kucha were places where women were commonly sold, with ample evidence of the slave trade in Turfan thanks to contemporary textual sources that have survived.[133][134] In Tang poetry Sogdian girls also frequently appear as serving maids in the taverns and inns of the capital Chang'an.[135]

Sogdian slave girls and their Chinese male owners made up the majority of Sogdian female-Chinese male pairings, while free Sogdian women were the most common spouse of Sogdian men. A smaller number of Chinese women were paired with elite Sogdian men. Sogdian man-and-woman pairings made up eighteen out of twenty-one marriages according to existing documents.[134][136]

A document dated 731 AD reveals that precisely forty bolts of silk were paid to a certain Mi Lushan, a slave dealing Sogdian, by a Chinese man named Tang Rong (唐榮) of Chang'an, for the purchase of an eleven-year-old girl. A person from Xizhou, a Tokharistani (i.e. Bactrian), and three Sogdians verified the sale of the girl.[134][137]

Modern historiography

In 1916 the French Sinologist and historian Paul Pelliot used Tang Chinese manuscripts excavated from Dunhuang, Gansu to identify an ancient Sogdian colony south of Lop Nur in Xinjiang (Northwest China), which he argued was the base for the spread of Buddhism and Nestorian Christianity in China.[138] In 1926 Japanese scholar Kuwabara compiled evidence for Sogdians in Chinese historical sources and by 1933 Chinese historian Xiang Da published his Tang Chang'an and Central Asian Culture detailing the Sogdian influence on Chinese social religious life in the Tang-era Chinese capital city.[138] The Canadian Sinologist Edwin G. Pulleyblank published an article in 1952 demonstrating the presence of a Sogdian colony founded in Six Hu Prefectures of the Ordos Loop during the Chinese Tang period, composed of Sogdians and Turkic peoples who migrated from the Mongolian steppe.[138] The Japanese historian Ikeda On wrote an article in 1965 outlining the history of the Sogdians inhabiting Dunhuang from the beginning of the 7th century, analyzing lists of their Sinicized names and the role of Zoroastrianism and Buddhism in their religious life.[139] Yoshida Yutaka and Kageyama Etsuko, Japanese ethnographers and linguists of the Sogdian language, were able to reconstruct Sogdian names from forty-five different Chinese transliterations, noting that these were common in Turfan whereas Sogdians living closer to the center of Chinese civilization for generations adopted traditional Chinese names.[76]

Notable Sogdians

A minted coin of Khunak, king of Bukhara, early 8th century, showing the crowned king on the obverse, and a Zoroastrian fire altar on the reverse
Ethnic Yaghnobi children of Tajikistan; the Yaghnobi people speak a language that is a direct descendant of medieval Sogdian.[63]
Pranidhi scene, temple 9 (Cave 20) of the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves, Turfan, Xinjiang, China, 9th century AD, with kneeling figures praying in front of the Buddha who Albert von Le Coq assumed were Persian people (German: "Perser"), noting their Caucasian features and green eyes, and comparing the hat of the man on the left (in the green coat) to headgear worn by Sasanian Persian princes.[140] However, modern scholarship has identified praṇidhi scenes of the same temple (No. 9) as depicting Sogdians,[75] who inhabited Turfan as an ethnic minority during the phases of Tang Chinese (7th–8th century) and Uyghur rule (9th–13th century).[76]

Diaspora areas

See also

References

Citations

  1. ^ Jacques Gernet (31 May 1996). A History of Chinese Civilization. Cambridge University Press. pp. 286–. ISBN 978-0-521-49781-7.
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External links

Coordinates: 40°24′N 69°24′E / 40.4°N 69.4°E / 40.4; 69.4