Contesting Empires: Sogdiana, Bactria and Gandhara between the Sasanians, the Tang, Turkic rulers, the Umayyads and the early Abbasids (ca. 600-1000 CE)
In the mid-seventh century, the regions of Sogdiana, Bactria and Gandhara witnessed continuous contests between different political powers: the Sasanians, the Tang dynasty of China, the Turkic rulers and the early Muslim empires of the Umayyads and the early Abbasids. Each side attempted to expand or consolidate its political and military control over these regions. With the expansion or contraction of any of these powers, the political map of these regions also changed. The shift of frontiers between these powers had complex impacts, both at the centres and the peripheries of the empires. As a result, it encouraged or forced local elites to define and redefine their inter-regional relations, and also their relations with those greater political powers.
This workshop aims to bring together both senior and junior scholars who have expertise in the study of conflict and interaction between the early Islamic Caliphate, Turko-Iranian authorities and the Tang dynasty of China, over the regions of Sogdiana, Bactria and Gandhara between ca. 600-1000 CE. The workshop aims to address questions such as:
- How did the political powers expand their control over these regions? What was the nature of their expansion?
- What kind of strategies did they conduct? How did they execute them?
- How did these powers affect the political, administrative and the cultural landscape of these regions?
- How did the local and regional elites respond? How did they navigate between these powers? What kind of strategies did they use to retain and/or promote their socio-political positions in this diverse political environment?
Confirmed speakers and attendees
- Arezou Azad
- Peter Frankopan
- Robert Haug
- Joe Cribb
- Reza Huseini
- Shuqi Jia
- Jialong Lui
- Pavel Lurje
- Gabrielle van den Berg
- Elena Paskaleva
- Petra Sijpesteijn