Sunday, December 31, 2017

Eurasian Empires in Late Antiquity: Rome, China, Iran, and the Steppe

Nicola Di Cosmo & Michael Maas

Cambridge University Press

Publication Date:
January 2018


Empires and Exchanges in Eurasian Late Antiquity offers an integrated picture of Rome, China, Iran, and the Steppes during a formative period of world history. In the half millennium between 250 and 750 CE, settled empires underwent deep structural changes, while various nomadic peoples of the steppes (Huns, Avars, Turks, and others) experienced significant interactions and movements that changed their societies, cultures, and economies. This was a transformational era, a time when Roman, Persian, and Chinese monarchs were mutually aware of court practices, and when Christians and Buddhists criss-crossed the Eurasian lands together with merchants and armies. It was a time of greater circulation of ideas as well as material goods. This volume provides a conceptual frame for locating these developments in the same space and time. Without arguing for uniformity, it illuminates the interconnections and networks that tied countless local cultural expressions to far-reaching inter-regional ones.

Table of Contents:

Part I. Historical Thresholds:

1. How the steppes became Byzantine: Rome and the Eurasian Nomads in historical perspective 
Michael Maas

2. The relations between China and the steppe from the Xiongnu to the Türk Empire 
Nicola Di Cosmo

3. Sasanian Iran and the projection of power in Late Antique Eurasia: competing cosmologies and topographies of power 
Matthew P. Canepa

4. Trade and exchanges along the silk and steppe routes in Late Antique Eurasia 
Richard Lim

5. Sogdian merchants and Sogdian culture on the silk road 
Rong Xinjiang 榮新江

6. 'Charismatic' goods: commerce, diplomacy, and cultural contacts along the silk road in Late Antiquity 
Peter Brown

7. The synthesis of the Tang Dynasty: the culmination of China's contacts and communication with Eurasia 
Valerie Hansen

8. Central Asia in the Late Roman mental map, second to sixth centuries 
Giusto Traina

Part II. Movements, Contacts, and Exchanges:

9. Genetic history and migrations in Western Eurasia 
Patrick Geary

10. Northern invaders: migration and conquest as scholarly topos in Eurasian history 
Michael Kulikowski

11. Chinese and inner Asian perspectives on the history of the Northern dynasties (386–589 CE) in Chinese historiography 
Luo Xin 羅新

12. Xiongnu and Huns: archaeological perspectives on a centuries-old debate about identity and migration 
Ursula Brosseder

13. Ethnicity and empire in the Western Eurasian Steppes 
Walter Pohl

14. The languages of Christianity on the silk roads and the transmission of Mediterranean culture into central Asia 
Scott Fitzgerald Johnson

15. The spread of Buddhist culture to China between the third and seventh century 
Max Deeg

16. The circulation of astrological lore and its political use between the Roman East, Sasanian Iran, Central Asia, and the Türks 
Frantz Grenet

17. Luminous markers: pearls and royal authority in Late Antique Iran and Eurasia 
Joel Walker

Part III. Empires, Diplomacy, and Frontiers:

18. Byzantium's Eurasian policy in the age of the Türk Empire 
Mark Whittow

19. Sasanian Iran and its northeastern frontier: offense, defense, and diplomatic 
Daniel T. Potts

20. Infrastructures of legitimacy in inner Asia: the Early Türk Empires 
Michael R. Drompp

21. The stateless Nomads of Central Eurasia 
Peter B. Golden

22. Aspects of elite representation among the sixth- to seventh-century Türks 
Sören Stark

23. Patterns of Roman diplomacy with Iran and the steppe peoples 
Ekaterina Nechaeva

24. Collapse of a Eurasian hybrid: the case of the Northern Wei
Andrew Eisenberg

25. Ideological interweaving in Eastern Eurasia: simultaneous kingship and dynastic competition 
Jonathan Karam Skaff

26. Followers and leaders in northeastern Eurasia, ca. seventh to tenth centuries
Naomi Standen

Averil Cameron.

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