Mongols, Turks, and Others: Eurasian Nomads and the Sedentary World

Mongols, Turks, and Others: Eurasian Nomads and the Sedentary World

Mongols, Turks, and Others: Eurasian Nomads and the Sedentary World

Mongols, Turks, and Others: Eurasian Nomads and the Sedentary World

Synopsis

The interaction between the Eurasian pastoral nomads - most famously the Mongols and Turks - and the surrounding sedentary societies is a major theme in world history. Nomads were not only raiders and conquerors, but also transmitted commodities, ideas, technologies and other cultural items. At the same time, their sedentary neighbours affected the nomads, in such aspects as religion, technology, and political culture. The essays in this volume use a broad comparative approach that highlights the multifarious nature of nomadic society and its changing relations with the sedentary world in the vicinity of China, Russia and the Middle East, from antiquity into the contemporary world.

Excerpt

This volume is based on the work of a research group on “The Interaction of Nomadic Conquerors with Sedentary People in China and the Middle East, ” which was active in the Spring of 2000 at the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. We are grateful to the current Director of the IAS, Prof. B.Z. Kedar, and the Executive Director, Ms. Pnina Feldmann, for their encouragement and assistance. We would also like to extend our thanks to the then Director, Prof. Alex Levitski, and Executive Director, Ms. Liebe Maimon, for all of their support, which enabled us to carry out our work. Special thanks are also due to our colleague Prof. David Shulman, who earlier served as Director of the IAS, and gave us sound advice and encouragement at a preliminary stage. We are also happy to take the opportunity to express our gratitude to the staff at the IAS for all of their assistance and good cheer: Shani Freiman, Batya Matalov, Dalia Aviely, Smadar Danziger, Annette Orrelle. Finally, it is a pleasant duty to thank several of our colleagues who read various sections of this work in manuscript and made valuable comments: Israel Eph/al, Steven Kaplan, Nimrod Luz, Yuri Pines, Gideon Shelach, Michael Zand and the anonymous reviewer for Brill.

Most papers collected here were given at the weekly seminars of the group or during the conference “Euroasian Nomads and the Outside World” that was held on 4–5 June 2000 at the IAS. Nicola Di Cosmo and Liu Yingsheng have replaced their original papers with new ones. Askold I. Ivantchik kindly answered our late invitation to contribute a paper, to help round out the volume. We are also thankful to Kenneth H. Shapiro, whom we have not met and who was neither at the research group nor conference, for co-authoring the paper with Anatoly Khazanov. All authors are to be thanked for their cooperation and good will at what was an unexpectedly lengthy editorial process.

R.A. and M.B. Jerusalem Spring 2004 . . .

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