Central Asia / KHORASAN
CKM 2018-19 / Aziz Yardımlı

 
 

Central Asia / KHORASAN







  Central Asia / KHORASAN

Khorasan

Khorasan (W)


Map of Greater Khorasan


Khorasan
(sometimes called Greater Khorasan) is a historical region lying in northeast of Greater Persia, including part of Central Asia and Afghanistan. The name simply means “East, Orient” (literally “sunrise”) and loosely includes the territory of the Sasanian Empire north-east of Persia proper.

During the Islamic period, Khorasan along with Persian Iraq were two important territories. The boundary between these two was the region surrounding the cities of Gurgan and Qumis (modern Damghan). In particular, the Ghaznavids, Seljuqs and Timurids divided their empires into Iraqi and Khorasani regions.

The main cities of Khorasan in the Islamic period were Mashhad and Nishapur (now in northeastern Iran), Merv and Nisa (now in southern Turkmenistan), Balkh and Herat (now in Afghanistan) and Bukhara and Samarkand (now in Uzbekistan). The term Khorasan tended to further extend from these urban centers into the rural regions of their respective west, east, north and south. Sources from the 10th-century onwards refer to areas in the south of the Hindu Kush as the Khorasan Marches, forming a frontier region between Khorasan and Hindustan.

 





History

History (W)

Central and North Asia, 250 BC-1 AD
(LINK: 1000 BC-1 AD)


Before the region fell to Alexander the Great in 330 BC, it was part of the Persian Achaemenid Empire and prior to that it was occupied by the Medes. The land that became known as Khorasan in geography of Eratosthenes was recognized as Ariana by Greeks at that time, which made up Greater Iran or the land where Zoroastrianism was the dominant religion. The southeastern region of Khorasan fell to the Kushan Empire in the 1st century AD. The Kushan rulers built a capital in modern-day Afghanistan at Bagram and are believed to have built the famous Buddhas of Bamiyan. Numerous Buddhist temples and buried cities have been found in Afghanistan. However, the region of Khorasan remained predominantly Zoroastrian but there were also Manichaeists, sun worshippers, Christians, Pagans, Shamanists, Buddhists, Jews, Hindus and others. One of the three great fire-temples of the Sassanids "Azar-burzin Mehr" is situated near Sabzevar in Iran. The boundary of the region began changing until the Kushans and Sassanids merged to form the Kushano-Sassanian civilization.

Sasanian era

During the Sasanian era, likely in the reign of Khusrow I, Persia was divided into four regions (known as kust Middle Persian), Khwārvarān in the west, apāxtar in the north, nīmrūz in the south and Khurasan in the east. Since the Sasanian territories were more or less remained stable up to Islamic conquests, it can be concluded that Sasanian Khorasan was bordered to the south by Sistan and Kerman, to the west by the central deserts of modern Iran, and to the east by China and India.

Arab conquest

The first movement against the Arab conquest was led by Abu Muslim Khorasani between 747 and 750. He helped the Abbasids come to power but was later killed by Al-Mansur, an Abbasid Caliph. The first independent kingdom from Arab rule was established in Khorasan by Tahir Phoshanji in 821, but it seems that it was more a matter of political and territorial gain. Tahir had helped the Caliph subdue other nationalistic movements in other parts of Persia such as Maziar's movement in Tabaristan.

Other major independent dynasties who ruled over Khorasan were the Saffarids from Zaranj (861-1003), Samanids from Bukhara (875-999), Ghaznavids from Ghazni (963-1167), Seljuqs (1037-1194), Khwarezmids (1077-1231), Ghurids (1149-1212), and Timurids (1370-1506).

 



 

Cultural importance of Horasan

Cultural importance of Horasan (W)

Cultural importance


Khorasan has had a great cultural importance among other regions in Greater Iran. The literary New Persian language developed in Khorasan and Transoxiana and gradually supplanted the Parthian language. The New Persian literature arose and flourished in Khorasan and Transoxiana where the early Iranian dynasties such as Tahirids, Samanids, Saffirids and Ghaznavids (a Turco-Persian dynasty) were based.The early Persian poets such as Rudaki, Shahid Balkhi, Abu al-Abbas Marwazi, Abu Hafas Sughdi, and others were from Khorasan. Moreover, Ferdowsi and Rumi were also from Khorasan.


Until the devastating Mongol invasion of the thirteenth century, Khorasan remained the cultural capital of Persia. It has produced scientists such as Avicenna, Al-Farabi, Al-Biruni, Omar Khayyam, Al-Khwarizmi, Abu Ma’shar al-Balkhi (known as Albumasar or Albuxar in the west), Alfraganus, Abu Wafa, Nasir al-Din al-Tusi, Sharaf al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī, and many others who are widely well known for their significant contributions in various domains such as mathematics, astronomy, medicine, physics, geography, and geology. Khorasan artisans contributed to the spread of technology and goods along the ancient trade routes and decorative objects have been traced to this ancient culture, including art objects, textiles and metalworks. Decorative antecedents of the famous "singing bowls" of Asia may have been invented in ancient Khorasan.

In Islamic theology, jurisprudence and philosophy, and in Hadith collection, many of the greatest Islamic scholars came from Khorasan, namely Abu Hanifa, Imam Bukhari, Imam Muslim, Abu Dawood, Al-Tirmidhi, Al-Nasa'i, Al-Ghazali, Al-Juwayni, Abu Mansur Maturidi, Fakhruddin al-Razi, and others. Shaykh Tusi, a Shi'a scholar and Al-Zamakhshari, the famous Mutazilite scholar, also lived in Khorasan.

 



 

📹 Borodin, Polovtsian dances (MÜZİK VİDEO)

Borodin, Polovtsian dances (LINK)

Alexander Borodin

Alexander Borodin


Polovtsian dances with Chorus

Orchestral Pictures from Russia,
USSR Symphony Orchestra,
Evgeny Svetlanov 1998 Musical Heritage Society

Alexander Porfiryevich Borodin (1833-1887) was a Russian Romantic composer of Georgian origin. He was one of the prominent 19th-century composers known as The Mighty Handful, a group dedicated to producing a uniquely Russian kind of classical music, rather than imitating earlier Western European models. Borodin is best known for his symphonies, his two string quartets, the tone poem In the Steppes of Central Asia and his opera Prince Igor.

 

Polovtsian Dances (W)

The Polovtsian Dances, or Polovetsian Dances (Russian: Половецкие пляски, tr. Polovetskie plyaski from the Russian "Polovtsy"—the name given to the Kipchaks and Cumans by the Rus' people) form an exotic scene at the end of act 2 of Alexander Borodin's opera Prince Igor.

The work remained unfinished when the composer died in 1887, although he had worked on it for more than a decade. A performing version was prepared by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Alexander Glazunov, appearing in 1890. Several other versions, or "completions", of the opera have been made. The dances are performed with chorus and last between 11 and 14 minutes. They occur in act 1 or act 2, depending on which version of the opera is being used. Their music is popular and sometimes given in concert as an orchestral showpiece. At such performances the choral parts are often omitted. The opera also has a "Polovtsian March" which opens act 3, and an overture at the start. When the dances are given in concert, a suite may be formed: Overture – Polovtsian Dances and March from Prince Igor.



Polovstian Dances, Borodin, Prince Igor. Full Version HQ

Polovtsian Dances

Polovtsian Dances (W)

Slavewomen:
Fly on the wings of the wind
To our native land, dear song of ours,
There, where we have sung you at liberty,
Where we felt so free in singing you.
There, under the hot sky,
The air is full of bliss,
There to the sound of the sea
The mountains doze in the clouds;
There the sun shines so brightly,
Bathing the native mountains in light,
Splendid roses blossom in the valleys,
And nightingales sing in the green forests.
And sweet grapes grow.
You are free there, song,
Fly home,

Polovtsians
Sing songs of praise to the Khan! Sing!
Praise the power and valor of the Khan!
Praise the glorious Khan!
He is glorious, our Khan!
In the brilliance of his glory,
The Khan is equal to the sun!
There is none equal to the Khan in glory, none!
The Khan female slaves praise the Khan,
Their Khan!

Konchak [the Khan]
Do you see the captives
From the distant sea;
Do you see my beauties,
From beyond the Caspian Sea?
Oh, tell me, friend,
Tell me just one word:
If you want to,
I will give you anyone of them.

Polovtsians
Sing songs of praise to the Khan! Sing!
Praised be his generosity, praised be his mercy!
Praise him!
To his enemies the Khan is merciless
He, our Khan!
Who may equal the Khan in glory, who?
In the brilliance of his glory,
He is equal to the sun!
Our Khan, Khan Konchak, is equal
In glory to his forefathers!
The terrible Khan Konchak is equal
In glory to his forefathers!
Glorious is our Khan Konchak!
Glory, glory!

All the Slaves
(Repeats the opening stanza)

Polovtsians
Our Khan, Khan Konchak, is equal
In glory to his forefathers!
The grim Khan Konchak is equal
In glory to his forefathers!
Glory, glory to Khan Konchak!
Khan Konchak!
With your dancing entertain the Khan,
Dance to entertain the Khan, slaves!
Your Khan!
Dance to entertain the Khan, slaves!
Your Khan!
With your dancing entertain the Khan!
Entertain with dancing!
Our Khan Konchak!

 

 



 



 



📹 Borodin, In the Steppes of Central Asia (MÜZİK VİDEO)

Borodin, In the Steppes of Central Asia (L)

Alexander Borodin


In the Steppes of Central Asia

Orchestral Pictures from Russia,
USSR Symphony Orchestra,
Evgeny Svetlanov 1998 Musical Heritage Society

 




  Samarkand

Samarkand

Samarkand (W)

Samarkand is a city in modern-day Uzbekistan, and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Central Asia. There is evidence of human activity in the area of the city from the late Paleolithic era, though there is no direct evidence of when Samarkand was founded; some theories propose that it was founded between the 8th and 7th centuries BC. Prospering from its location on the Silk Road between China and the Mediterranean, at times Samarkand was one of the greatest cities of Central Asia.

By the time of the Achaemenid Empire of Persia, it was the capital of the Sogdian satrapy. The city was taken by Alexander the Great in 329 BC, when it was known by its Greek name of Marakanda.  

The city was ruled by a succession of Iranian and Turkic rulers until the Mongols under Genghis Khan conquered Samarkand in 1220. Today, Samarkand is the capital of Samarqand Region and Uzbekistan's second largest city.

The city is noted for being an Islamic centre for scholarly study. In the 14th century it became the capital of the empire of Timur (Tamerlane) and is the site of his mausoleum (the Gur-e Amir). The Bibi-Khanym Mosque, rebuilt during the Soviet era, remains one of the city's most notable landmarks. Samarkand’s Registan square was the ancient centre of the city, and is bound by three monumental religious buildings. The city has carefully preserved the traditions of ancient crafts: embroidery, gold embroidery, silk weaving, engraving on copper, ceramics, carving and painting on wood. In 2001, UNESCO added the city to its World Heritage List as Samarkand – Crossroads of Cultures.

 

 



Samarkand

Samarkand (B)


Samarkand, Uzbek Samarqand, city in east-central Uzbekistan that is one of the oldest cities of Central Asia. Known as Maracanda in the 4th century BCE, it was the capital of Sogdiana and was captured by Alexander the Great in 329 BCE. The city was later ruled by Central Asian Turks (6th century ce), the Arabs (8th century), the Sāmānids of Iran (9th-10th century), and various Turkic peoples (11th-13th century) before it was annexed by the Khwārezm-Shāh dynasty (early 13th century) and destroyed by the Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan (1220). After it revolted against its Mongol rulers (1365), Samarkand became the capital of the empire of Timur (Tamerlane), who made the city the most important economic and cultural centre in Central Asia.

 




  Bukhara

Bukhara

Bukhara (W)

Bukhara is a city in Uzbekistan. Bukhara is a city-museum, with about 140 architectural monuments.

People have inhabited the region around Bukhara for at least five millennia, and the city has existed for half that time. The mother tongue of the majority of people of Bukhara is Tajik. Located on the Silk Road, the city has long served as a center of trade, scholarship, culture, and religion.

 

 



History of Bukhara

History of Bukhara (W)

Located on the Silk Road, the city has long been a center of trade, scholarship, culture, and religion. During the golden age of the Samanids, Bukhara became a major intellectual center of the Islamic world, second only to Baghdad.


Bukhara has been one of the main centres of world civilisation from its early days in 6th century BCE.
From the 6th century CE, Turkic speakers gradually moved in. Its architecture and archaeological sites form one of the pillars of Central Asian history and art. The region of Bukhara was a part of the Persian Empire for a long time. The origin of many of its current inhabitants goes back to the period of Aryan immigration into the region.

The Samanid Empire seized Bukhara, the capital of Greater Khorasan, in 903 CE. Genghis Khan besieged Bukhara for fifteen days in 1220 CE. As an important trading centre, Bukhara was home to a community of medieval Indian merchants from the city of Multan (modern-day Pakistan) who were noted to own land in the city.


History of Bukhara (W)

The history of Bukhara stretches back for millennia. The origin of its inhabitants goes back to the period of Aryan immigration into the region. The city itself, currently the capital of the Bukhara Province (viloyat) of Uzbekistan, is about two and a half thousand years old. Located on the Silk Road, the city has long been a centre of trade, scholarship, culture, and religion. During the golden age of the Samanids in the 9th and 10th centuries CE, Bukhara became the intellectual centre of the Islamic world. UNESCO has listed the historic centre of Bukhara, which contains numerous mosques and madrassas, as one of the World Heritage Sites.


Bukhara functioned as one of the main centres of Persian civilization from its early days in the 6th century BCE
Turkic speakers gradually moved in from the 6th century CE. The city's architectural and archaeological sites form one of the pillars of Central Asian history and art. The region of Bukhara long formed part of the Persian Empire.

 









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