The western steppelands of Central Eurasia, stretching from the Danube, through the modern Ukraine and southern Russia, to the Caspian, have historically been the meeting ground of Inner Asian pastoral nomads and the agrarian societies of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. This volume deals, firstly, with the interaction of the nomads with their sedentary neighbours - the Kievan Rus’ state and the medieval polities of Transcaucasia, Georgia in particular - in the period from the 6th century to the advent of the Mongols. Second, it looks at questions of nomadic ethnogenesis (Oghuz, Hungarian, Qipchaq), at the evolution of nomadic political traditions and the heritage of the Turk empire, and at aspects of indigenous nomadic religious traditions together with the impact of foreign religions on the nomads - notably the conversion of the Khazars to Judaism. A number of articles focus on the Qipchaqs, a powerful confederation of complex Inner Asian origins that played a crucial role in the history of Christian Eastern Europe and Transcaucasia and the Muslim world between the 11th and 13th centuries.
Table of Contents
Contents: Foreword; PEOPLES AND CULTURES: Imperial ideology and the sources of political unity amongst the pre-Cinggisid nomads of Western Eurasia; Turkic calques in medieval Eastern Slavic; Khazaria and Judaism; NOMADS AND THEIR NEIGHBOURS: The Turkic peoples and Caucasia; The migrations of the Oguz; The question of the Rus' Qaganate; Aspects of the nomadic factor in the economic development of Kievan Rus'; The Cernii Klobouci; The Qipchaqs: The Qipcaqs of medieval Eurasia: an example of stateless adaptation in the Steppes; The Polovci Dikii; Cumanica I: the Qipcaqs in Georgia; Cumanica II : the Ã–lberli (Ã–lperli): the fortunes and misfortunes of an inner Asian nomadic clan; Cumanica III: Urusoba; Wolves, dogs and Qipcaq religion; Index.
'Golden's study touches upon the earliest history of Russia, Ukraine, Persia, Ottoman Turkey, and the Caucasus. In a field that has relatively little published, the compilation of these articles into a single volume is a great benefit.' The Russian Review 'This latest addition to Variorum's collection is to be applauded and will further make Peter Golden's contributions to Eurasian studies more readily available to students and scholars of this and related fields.' BSOAS 'This volume of collected essays by Peter B. Golden represents a prestigious addition to Ashgate's Variorum series, and should be welcomed by all historians of medieval Asia and Russia... The articles that relate to specific, and yet broad-ranging historical problems are paragons of erudition and scholarly brilliance... I recommend this book warmly to everyone who takes medieval Eurasian history seriously, and invite readers to reflect on the degree of scholarship required to make even minute progress in this field, which is, not surprisingly, as sparsely inhabited as the steppe region itself. The kind of knowledge that Peter Golden displays in his work cannot be replicated on the basis of today's academic training, and, sadly, one must concede that research of a standard comparable to this collection may well be unattainable in the future.' Central Asiatic Journal 'One of the leading scholars of the pre-Mongol history of the Western Eurasian Steppe and the surrounding areas, [Peter Golden] is the predominant historian and philologist in this field writing in English... Prof. Golden's research is firstly based on a thorough and deep study of virtually all of the relevant sources for the period, stretching from Arabic, Persian, Aramaic and Hebrew, through Old Slavic, Turkic, and Mongolian, to Chinese and other languages. This is buttressed by a systematic and profound reading of modern studies in a myriad of languages. Time and again I am amazed by the extent of the author's reading of Russian language scholarship, which for some of us is unfortunately a closed book... I highly recommend the volume to all those interested in learning more about the background to the Mongol expansion of the thirteenth century and their subsequent period of widespread political control.' Mongolian Studies