The rediscovery of Sogdian, lingua franca of the Silk Road

Abendveranstaltung

03. Mai 2019

Akademiegebäude am Gendarmenmarkt, Einstein-Saal, Jägerstraße 22/23, 10117 Berlin

Sogdiana has been known since antiquity and became familiar to the Greeks in the 4th century B.C.E. and were well-known to the Chinese as traders. This talk will concentrate on the first discoveries of documents and inscriptions in Sogdian and their decipherment and on some of the earliest texts and those which shed light on the history of the Sogdian trade networks in the first millennium C.E.

The rediscovery of Sogdian, lingua franca of the Silk Road
The rediscovery of Sogdian, lingua franca of the Silk Road

The name of the Sogdiana, the region around Samarkand in present-day Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, and of its people, the Sogdians, has been known since antiquity. In the west, Sogdiana became familiar to the Greeks at the time of its conquest by Alexander the Great in the 4th century B.C.E., while in the east, the Sogdians were well-known to the Chinese as a race of traders. In both China and the west, the classical texts continued to be read, so that the name of the Sogdians was never forgotten, but their language, once a lingua franca of the Silk Road, fell into total oblivion.
In the first part of the talk, Nicholas Sims-Williams concentrates on the beginnings of Sogdian studies, a little over a hundred years ago: the first discoveries of documents and inscriptions in the Sogdian language; the decipherment of the scripts in which they were written; and the identification of the language as Sogdian. In the second part, he describes some of the most interesting Sogdian documents and inscriptions, in particular the earliest texts and those which shed light on the extent and history of the Sogdian trade networks in the first millennium C.E.

 

Eine Veranstaltung im Rahmen der Vortragsreihe des Zentrums Grundlagenforschung Alte Welt: „Sprachen und Kulturen in der Spätantike im Nahen Osten und an der Seidenstraße“.

 

Um Anmeldung bis zum 25.04. unter diesem Link 

 

 

 

Begrüßung und Einführung

Tonio Sebastian Richter

Akademiemitglied, FU Berlin

 

The Rediscovery of Sodigan, Lingua Franca of the Silk Road

Nicholas Sims-Williams

School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

 

Der Eintritt ist frei. Eine Anmeldung ist erforderlich.

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