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Sacred Landscape in Medieval Afghanistan: Revisiting the Faḍā"il-i Balkh (Oxford Oriental Monographs)

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en Limba Engleză Carte Hardback – 12 Dec 2013
This book is about a sacred place called Balkh, known to the ancient Greeks as Bactra. Located in the north of today's Afghanistan, along the silk road, Balkh was holy to many. The Prophet Zoroaster is rumoured to have died here, and during late antiquity, Balkh was the home of the Naw Bahār, a famed Buddhist temple and monastery. By the tenth century, Balkh had become a critical centre of Islamic learning and early poetry in the New Persian language that grewafter the Islamic conquests and continues to be spoken in Iran, Afghanistan and parts of Central Asia today.In this book, Arezou Azad provides the first in-depth study of the sacred sites and landscape of medieval Balkh, which continues to exemplify age-old sanctity in the Persian-speaking world and the eastern lands of Islam generally. Azad focuses on the five centuries from the Islamic conquests in the eighth century to just before the arrival of the Mongols in the thirteenth century, the crucial period in the emergence of Perso-Islamic historiography and Islamic legal thought. The book traces thedevelopment of 'sacred landscape', the notion that a place has a sensory meaning, as distinct from a purely topographical space. This opens up new possibilities for our understanding of Islamisation in the eastern Islamic lands, and specifically the transition from Buddhism to Islam. Azad offers anew look at the medieval local history of Balkh, the Faḍā"il-i Balkh, and analyses its creation of a sacred landscape for Balkh. In doing so, she provides a compelling example of how the sacredness of a place is perpetuated through narratives, irrespective of the dominant religion or religious strand of the time.
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Specificații

ISBN-13: 9780199687053
ISBN-10: 0199687056
Pagini: 240
Ilustrații: 13 colour plates, 7 b/w in-text figures, 3 maps
Dimensiuni: 144 x 222 x 23 mm
Greutate: 0.46 kg
Editura: Oxford University Press
Colecția OUP Oxford
Seria Oxford Oriental Monographs

Locul publicării: Oxford, United Kingdom

Recenzii

a thoroughly well-researched study that will bring significant new light to an area of Central Asia, which has been neglected in modern scholarship and will provide further impetus to the study of medieval Perso-Islamic historical writing.
This is a work of major importance for scholars ... The achievement of the author is in her meticulous analysis.
a richly documented, penetrating study of aspects of religious and cultural life in one of the great cities of the Islamic East.
Sacred Landscape in Medieval Afghanistan integrates an erudite textual analysis with a multilayered history of urban space and the people who endowed it with meaning. In Azad's hands, the city of Balkh comes alive, as do the concerns of its medieval inhabitants ... One finishes [the book] with an appreciation for Balkh as place, a site endowed with layers of meaning that have inspired pride and pilgrimage for centuries.
an important contribution to our understanding of the history of medieval Balkh.

Notă biografică

Arezou Azad is Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Birmingham. She is the founder and co-Director of the Balkh Art and Cultural Heritage project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust and based at the University of Oxford. She received her D.Phil. from the University of Oxford in 2010. She has published several articles on medieval Balkh and the Faḍā"il-i Balkh, the city's earliest surviving local history of which she is preparing a revisedPersian edition and English translation. Prior to joining academia, she served as a peacekeeper and development worker for the United Nations and non-governmental organisations in a number of countries, including Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil and Timor-Leste.