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The Hephthalite Khanate (also spelled Ephthalites) was a Central Asian nomadic confederation of the AD 5th–6th centuries whose precise origins and composition remain obscure. According to Chinese chronicles, they were originally a tribe living to the north of the Great Wall and were known as Hoa or Hoa-tun.[1] Elsewhere they were called White Huns, known to the Greeks as Hephthalite and the Indians as the Sveta Huns/Turushkas.[2] It is likely that they spoke an East Iranian language.[3][4][5]


Although the Hephtalite empire was known in China as Yanda (??), Chinese chroniclers recognized this designated the leaders of the empire. The same sources document that the main tribe called themselves Uar (?).[6] The modern Chinese variation Yanda has been given various Latinised renderings such as "Yeda", although the more archaic Korean pronunciation "Yeoptal" ?? is more compatible with the Greek Hephthal and is certainly a more archaic form.

According to B.A. Litvinsky, the names of the Hephtalite rulers used in the Shahnameh are Iranian.[7] According to Xavier Tremblay, one of the Hephthalite rulers was named Khingila, which has the same root as the Sogdian word xn?r and the Wakhi word xi?g?r, meaning "sword". The name Mihirakula is thought to be derived from Mithra-kula which is Iranian for "Relier upon Mithra", and Toram?na is also considered to have an Iranian origin. Accordingly, in Sanskrit, "Mihirakula" would mean from the "Kul (family or race) of Mihir (Mithra or Sun)". Janos Harmatta gives the translation "Mithra's Begotten" and also supports the Iranian theory.[8]


There are several theories regarding the origins of the White Huns, with the "Turkic"[9][10] and "Indo-European Iranic"[11][12][13] theories being the most prominent.

For many years, scholars suggested that they were of Turkic stock,[10] and it seems likely that at least some groups amongst the Hephthalites were Turkic-speakers.[9] In 1959, Kazuo Enoki proposed that they were probably East Indo-Iranians as some sources indicated that they were originally from Tokharestan, which is known to have been inhabited by Indo-Iranian people in antiquity.[3] Richard Frye is cautiously accepting of Enoki's hypothesis, while at the same time stressing that the Hephthalites "were probably a mixed horde".[14] More recently Xavier Tremblay's detailed examination of surviving Hephthalite personal names has indicated that Enoki's hypothesis that they were East Iranian may well be correct, but the matter remains unresolved in academic circles.[4]

According to the Encyclopaedia Iranica and Encyclopaedia of Islam, the Hephthalites possibly originated in northeastern Iran and northwestern India.[15][16] They apparently had no direct connection with the European Huns, but may have been causally related with their movement. It is noteworthy that the tribes in question deliberately called themselves Huns in order to frighten their enemies.[17]

Some White Huns may have been a prominent tribe or clan of the Chionites. According to Richard Nelson Frye:

Just as later nomadic empires were confederations of many peoples, we may tentatively propose that the ruling groups of these invaders were, or at least included, Turkic-speaking tribesmen from the east and north. Although most probably the bulk of the people in the confederation of Chionites and then Hephtalites spoke an Iranian language... this was the last time in the history of Central Asia that Iranian-speaking nomads played any role; hereafter all nomads would speak Turkic languages.[18]


The 6th-century Byzantine historian Procopius of Caesarea (Book I. ch. 3), related them to the Huns in Europe:

The Ephthalitae Huns, who are called White Huns [...] The Ephthalitae are of the stock of the Huns in fact as well as in name, however they do not mingle with any of the Huns known to us, for they occupy a land neither adjoining nor even very near to them; but their territory lies immediately to the north of Persia [...] They are not nomads like the other Hunnic peoples, but for a long period have been established in a goodly land.[19]

Scholars believe that the name Hun is used to denote very different nomadic confederations. Ancient Chinese chroniclers, as well as Procopius, wrote various theories about the origins of the people:

  • They were descendants of the Yuezhi or Tocharian tribes who remained behind after the rest of the people fled the Xiongnu;
  • They were descendants of the Kangju;
  • They were a branch of the Tiele; or
  • They were a branch of the Uar.

    They were first mentioned by the Chinese, who described them as living in Dzungaria around AD 125[citation needed]. Chinese chronicles state that they were originally a tribe of the Yuezhi, living to the north of the Great Wall, and subject to the Rouran (Jwen-Jwen), as were some Turkic peoples at the time. Their original name was Hoa or Hoa-tun; subsequently they named themselves Ye-tha-i-li-to (?????, or more briefly Ye-tha ??),[20] after their royal family, which descended from one of the five Yuezhi families which also included the Kushan.

    They displaced the Scythians and conquered Sogdiana and Khorasan before AD 425. After that, they crossed the Syr Darya (Jaxartes) River and invaded Persia. In Persia, they were initially held off by Bahram Gur but around AD 483–85, they succeeded in making Persia a tributary state by defeating the Sassanid forces at the Battle of Herat where they killed the Sassanid king, Peroz I.[21] After a series of wars in the period AD 503–513, they were driven out of Persia and completely defeated in AD 557 by Khosrau I. Their polity thereafter came under the Göktürks.

    The Hephtalites also invaded the regions of present-day Afghanistan and Pakistan, continuing deep into Northern India and succeeded in extending their domain to include the Western India. They were driven out of India in 528 AD by a Hindu coalition consisting of Gupta emperor Narasimhagupta and the king Yashodharman from Malwa.[1]

    Procopius claims that the White Huns lived in a prosperous territory, and that they were the only Huns with fair complexions. According to him, they did not live as nomads, did acknowledge a single king, observed a well-regulated constitution, and behaved justly towards neighboring states. He also describes the burial of their nobles in tumuli, accompanied by their closest associates. This practice contrasts with evidence of cremation among the Chionites in Ammianus and with remains found by excavators of the European Huns and remains in some deposits ascribed to the Chionites in Central Asia. Scholars believe that the Hephthalites constituted a second "Hunnish" wave who entered Bactria early in the fifth century AD, and who seem to have driven the Kidarites into Gandhara.[16]

    Newly-discovered ancient writings found in Afghanistan reveal that the Middle Iranian Bactrian language written in Greek script was not brought there by the Hephthalites, but was already present from Kushan times as the traditional language of administration in this region. There is also evidence of the use of a Turkic language under the White Huns. The Bactrian documents also attest several Turkic royal titles (such as Khagan), indicating an important influence of Turkic people on White Huns, although these could also be explained by later Turkic infiltration south of the Oxus.[16]

    According to Simokattes, they were Chionites who united under the Hephthalites as the "(Wusun) vultures descended on the people" around AD 460.


    The main religion in the Hephthalite empire was Buddhism.[22] Balkh had some 100 Buddhist monasteries and 3,000 monks. "Outside the town was a large Buddhist monastery, later known as Naubahar"[23] Termez had 10 sangharamas (monasteries) and perhaps 1,000 monks.[23]

    According to Xuanzang the capital of Chaghaniyan had five Buddhist monasteries[23]

    Mihirakula, one of the last Hephthalite rulers, embraced Hinduism and was a worshipper of Shiva.[24]

    White Huns in South Asia

    In the northwest of the Indian subcontinent, the Hephtalites were not distinguished from their immediate Chionite predecessors and are known by the same name as Huna (Sanskrit: Sveta-H?na, White Huns). The Huna had already established themselves in Afghanistan and the modern North-West Frontier Province of present day Pakistan by the first half of the fifth century, and the Gupta emperor Skandagupta had repelled a H?na invasion in 455 before the Hephthalite clan came along.

    The Hephthalites with their capital at Bamiyan continued the pressure on ancient India's northwest frontier and broke east by the end of the fifth century, hastening the disintegration of the Gupta Empire. They made their capital at the city of Sakala, modern Sialkot in Pakistan, under their Emperor Mihirakula. They were driven out of India in AD 528 by a Hindu coalition consisting of Gupta emperor Narasimhagupta and the king Yashodharman from Malwa.[1]

    After the sixth century, little is recorded in ancient India about the Hephthalites, and what happened to them is unclear.


    The last Hephthalite King, Yudhishthira, ruled until about 670, when he was replaced by the Turk Shahi dynasty.[25]

    Hephthalites are among the ancestors of modern-day Pashtuns and in particular of the Abdali Pashtun tribe.[26] According to the academic Yu. V. Gankovsky,

    The Pashtuns began as a union of largely East-Iranian tribes which became the initial ethnic stratum of the Pashtun ethnogenesis, dates from the middle of the first millennium CE and is connected with the dissolution of the Epthalite (White Huns) confederacy. [...] Of the contribution of the Epthalites (White Huns) to the ethnogenesis of the Pashtuns we find evidence in the ethnonym of the largest of the Pashtun tribe unions, the Abdali (Durrani after 1747) associated with the ethnic name of the Epthalites — Abdal. The Siah-posh, the Kafirs (Nuristanis) of the Hindu Kush, called all Pashtuns by a general name of Abdal still at the beginning of the 19th century.[27]

    Contemporary literature

    Umberto Eco's novel Baudolino makes reference to the "White Huns", portrayed as a fearsome warrior race.

    Eric Flint's Belisarius series makes frequent reference to Ye Tai warriors.

    Timurid dynasty

    The Timurids (Persian: ?????????), self-designated Gurk?n? [2][3][4] (Persian: ????????), were a Persianate,[5][6] Central Asian Sunni Muslim dynasty of Turco-Mongol lineage[6][7][8][9] whose Timurid Empire included the whole of Iran, modern Afghanistan, and modern Central Asia, as well as large parts of contemporary Pakistan, Mesopotamia, Anatolia and the Caucasus. It was founded by the militant conqueror Timur (Tamerlane) in the 14th century.

    The Timurids lost control of most of Persia to the Safavid dynasty in 1501, but members of the dynasty continued to rule parts of Central Asia, sometimes known as the Timurid Emirates. In the 16th century, the Timurid prince Babur, ruler of Ferghana, invaded present-day Pakistan and North India and founded the Mughal Empire. This came to rule most of North India until its decline after Aurangzeb in the early 18th century,[10] and was formally dissolved by the British Raj after the Indian rebellion of 1857. Later princes of the dynasty predominantly used the title Mirza to show descent from the Amir.[11]


    The origin of the Timurid dynasty goes back to the Mongol tribe known as Barlas, who were remnants of the original Mongol army of Genghis Khan.[6][12][13] After the Mongol conquest of Central Asia, the Barlas settled in what is today southern Kazakhstan, from Shymkent to Taraz and Almaty, which then came to be known for a time as Moghulistan - "Land of Mongols" in Persian - and intermingled to a considerable degree with the local Turkic and Turkic-speaking population, so that at the time of Timur's reign the Barlas had become thoroughly Turkicized in terms of language and habits.

    Additionally, by adopting Islam, the Central Asian Turks and Mongols adopted the Persian literary and high culture[14] which had dominated Central Asia since the early days of Islamic influence. Persian literature was instrumental in the assimilation of the Timurid elite to the Perso-Islamic courtly culture.[15]

    Rise and fall

    Timur conquered large parts of Transoxiana (in modern day Central Asia) and Khorasan (parts of modern day Afghanistan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan) from 1363 onwards with various alliances (Samarkand in 1366, and Balkh in 1369), and was recognized as ruler over them in 1370. Acting officially in the name of the Mongol Chagatai ulus, he subjugated Transoxania and Khwarazm in the years that followed and began a campaign westwards in 1380. By 1389, he had removed the Kartids from Herat and advanced into mainland Persia. Timur had many successes in Persia: the capture of Isfahan in 1387, the removal of the Muzaffarids from Shiraz in 1393, and the expulsion of the Jalayirids from Baghdad. In 1394/95, he triumphed over the Golden Horde and enforced his sovereignty in the Caucasus. He subjugated Multan and Dipalpur in modern day Pakistan in 1398, and in modern day India left Delhi in such ruin that it is said for two months "not a bird moved wing in the city".[16] In 1400/01 he conquered Aleppo, Damascus and eastern Anatolia; in 1401 he destroyed Baghdad and in 1402 triumphed over the Ottomans at Ankara. In addition, he transformed Samarkand into a major capital. An estimated 17 million people may have died from his conquests.[17]

    Timur appointed his sons and grandsons to the main governorships of the different parts of his empire, and outsiders to some others. After his death, the family quickly fell into disputes and civil wars, and many of the governorships became effectively independent. However, Timurid rulers continued to dominate Persia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and much of Central Asia, though the Anatolian and Caucasian territories were lost by the 1430s. Timur gave the north Indian territories to a non-family member—a governor who founded the Sayyid dynasty of the Sultanate of Dehli—who remained vassals for a period but became essentially independent. Due to the fact that the Persian cities were desolated by wars, the seat of Persian culture was now in Samarkand and Herat. These cities became the center of the Timurid renaissance.[8]

    After the end of the Timurid Empire in 1506, the Mughal Empire was later established in Afghanistan and India by Babur in 1526, who was a descendant of Timur through his father and possibly a descendant of Genghis Khan through his mother. The dynasty he established is commonly known as the Mughal Dynasty. By the 17th century, the Mughal Empire ruled most of India, but later declined during the 18th century. The Timurid Dynasty came to an end in 1857, after the Mughal Empire was dissolved by the British Empire and Bahadur Shah II was exiled to Burma.


    Although the Timurids hailed from the Barlas tribe which was of Turkicized Mongol origin,[18] they had embraced Persian culture,[19] converted to Islam and resided in Turkestan and Khorasan. Thus, the Timurid era had a dual character,[8] which reflected both the Turco-Mongol origins and the Persian literary, artistic, and courtly high culture of the dynasty.[14][14][20]

    During the Timurid era, Central Asian society was bifurcated and had divided the responsibilities of government and rule into military and civilian along ethnic lines. At least in the early stages, the military was almost exclusively Turko-Mongolian, and the civilian and administrative element was almost exclusively Persian. The spoken language shared by all the Turko-Mongolians throughout the area was Chaghatay. The political organization hearkened back to the steppe-nomadic system of patronage introduced by Genghis Khan.[21] The major language of the period, however, was Persian, the native language of the T?j?k (Persian) component of society and the language of learning acquired by all literate and/or urban people. Already Timur was steeped in Persian culture[22] and in most of the territories which he incorporated, Persian was the primary language of administration and literary culture. Thus the language of the settled "diwan" was Persian, and its scribes had to be thoroughly adept in Persian culture, whatever their ethnic origin.[23] Persian became the official state language of the Timurid Empire[14][20] and served as the language of administration, history, belles lettres, and poetry.[24] The Chaghatay language was the native and "home language" of the Timurid family[25] while Arabic served as the language par excellence of science, philosophy, theology and the religious sciences.[26]

    Persian: Persian literature, especially Persian poetry occupied a central place in the process of assimilation of the Timurid elite to the Perso-Islamic courtly culture.[27] The Timurid sultans, especially Š?hrukh M?rz? and his son Mohammad Taragai Olo? Beg, patronized Persian culture.[14] Among the most important literary works of the Timurid era is the Persian biography of Timur, known as "Zafarn?meh" (Persian: ????????), written by Sharaf ud-D?n Al? Yazd?, which itself is based on an older "Zafarn?meh" by Niz?m al-D?n Sh?m?, the official biographer of Timur during his lifetime. The most famous poet of the Timurid era was N?r ud-D?n J?m?, the last great medieval Sufi mystic of Persia and one of the greatest in Persian poetry. In addition, some of the astronomical works of the Timurid sultan Ulugh Beg were written in Persian, although the bulk of it was published in Arabic.[28] The Timurid ruler Baysun?ur also commissioned a new edition of the Persian national epic Sh?hn?meh, known as Sh?hn?meh of Baysun?ur, and wrote an introduction to it. According to T. Lenz:[29]

    “It can be viewed as a specific reaction in the wake of Timur's death in 807/1405 to the new cultural demands facing Shahhrokh and his sons, a Turkic military elite no longer deriving their power and influence solely from a charismatic steppe leader with a carefully cultivated linkage to Mongol aristocracy. Now centered in Khorasan, the ruling house regarded the increased assimilation and patronage of Persian culture as an integral component of efforts to secure the legitimacy and authority of the dynasty within the context of the Islamic Iranian monarchical tradition, and the Baysanghur Shahnameh, as much a precious object as it is a manuscript to be read, powerfully symbolizes the Timurid conception of their own place in that tradition. A valuable documentary source for Timurid decorative arts that have all but disappeared for the period, the manuscript still awaits a comprehensive monographic study."

    Chagatay: The Timurids also played a very important role in the history of Turkic literature. Based on the established Persian literary tradition, a national Turkic literature was developed in the Chagatay language. Chagatay poets such as M?r Al? Sher Naw?'?, Sultan Husayn B?yqar?, and Z?her ud-D?n B?bur encouraged other Turkic-speaking poets to write in their own vernacular in addition to Arabic and Persian.[8][30][31][32] The B?burn?ma, the autobiography of B?bur (although being highly Persianized in its sentence structure, morphology, and vocabulary),[33] as well as M?r Al? Sher Naw?'?'s Chagatay poetry are among the best-known Turkic literary works and have influenced many others.

    During the reign of the Timurids, the golden age of Persian painting was ushered.[34] During this period — and analogous to the developments in Safavid Persia — Chinese art and artists had a significant influence on Persian art.[8] Timurid artists refined the Persian art of the book, which combines paper, calligraphy, illumination, illustration and binding in a brilliant and colourful whole.[35] It was the Mongol ethnicity of the Chaghatayid and Timurid Khans that is the source of the stylistic depiction Persian art during the Middle Ages. These same Mongols intermarried with the Persians and Turks of Central Asia, even adopting their religion and languages. Yet their simple control of the world at that time, particularly in the 13–15th centuries, reflected itself in the idealised appearance of Persians as Mongols. Though the ethnic make-up gradually blended into the Iranian and Mesopotamian local populations, the Mongol stylism continued well after, and crossed into Asia Minor and even North Africa.

    In the realm of architecture, the Timurids drew on and developed many Seljuq traditions. Turquoise and blue tiles forming intricate linear and geometric patterns decorated the facades of buildings. Sometimes the interior was decorated similarly, with painting and stucco relief further enriching the effect.[7] Timurid architecture is the pinnacle of Islamic art in Central Asia. Spectacular and stately edifices erected by Timur and his successors in Samarkand and Herat helped to disseminate the influence of the Ilkhanid school of art in India, thus giving rise to the celebrated Mughal (or Mongol) school of architecture. Timurid architecture started with the sanctuary of Ahmed Yasawi in present-day Kazakhstan and culminated in Timur's mausoleum Gur-e Amir in Samarkand. Timur's Gur-I Mir, the 14th-century mausoleum of the conqueror is covered with ‘’turquoise Persian tiles’’[36] Nearby, in the center of the ancient town, a Persian style Madrassa (religious school)[36] and a Persian style Mosque[36] by Ulugh Beg is observed. The mausoleum of Timurid princes, with their turquoise and blue-tiled domes remain among the most refined and exquisite Persian architecture.[37] Axial symmetry is a characteristic of all major Timurid structures, notably the Sh?h-e Zenda in Samarkand, the Musallah complex in Herat, and the mosque of Gowhar Sh?d in Mashhad. Double domes of various shapes abound, and the outsides are perfused with brilliant colors. Timur's dominance of the region strengthened the influence of his capital and Persian architecture upon India.[38]

    Tahirid dynasty

    The Tahirid dynasty (Persian: ????? ????????) was a Persian[2] dynasty that governed the Abbasid province of Khorasan from 821 to 873, and the city of Baghdad from 820 until 891. The dynasty was founded by Tahir ibn Husayn, a leading general in the service of the Abbasid caliph al-Ma'mun. Their capital in Khorasan was initially located at Merv, but later moved to Nishapur. The Tahirids enjoyed a high degree of autonomy in their governance of Khorasan, although they remained subject to the Abbasid caliphate and were not independent rulers.[3]

    Governors of Khorasan

    The founder of the Tahirid dynasty was Tahir ibn Husayn, a general who had played a major role in the civil war between the rival caliphs al-Amin and al-Ma'mun. He and his ancestors had previously been awarded minor governorships in eastern Khorasan for their service to the Abbasids.[2] In 821, Tahir was made governor of Khorasan, but he died soon afterwards. The caliph then appointed Tahir's son, Talha, whose governorship lasted from 822–828.[4] Tahir's other son, Abdullah, was instated as the wali of Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula, and when Talha died in 828 he was given the governorship of Khorasan. Abdullah is considered one of the greatest of the Tahirid rulers for the dynasty[5] witnessed in his reign flourishing agriculture in his native land of Khorasan, popularity among the populations of the eastern lands of the Abbasid caliphate and extending influence due to his experience with the western parts of caliphate.[6]

    Abdullah died in 845 and was succeeded by his son Tahir (II). Not much is known of Tahir's rule, but the administrative dependency of Sistan was lost to rebels during his governorship. Tahirid rule began to seriously deteriorate after Tahir's son Muhammad ibn Tahir became governor, due to his carelessness with the affairs of the state and lack of experience with politics. Oppressive policies in Tabaristan, another dependency of Khorasan, resulted in the people of that province revolting and declaring their allegiance to the independent Zaydi ruler Hasan ibn Zayd in 864.[7] In Khorasan itself, Muhammad's rule continued to grow increasingly weak, and in 873 he was finally overthrown by the Saffarid dynasty, who annexed Khorasan to their own empire in eastern Persia.[8]

    Governors of Baghdad

    Besides their hold over Khorasan, the Tahirids also served as the military governors (ashab al-shurta) of Baghdad, beginning with Tahir's appointment to that position in 820. After he left for Khorasan, the governorship of Baghdad was given to a member of a collateral branch of the family, Ishaq ibn Ibrahim, who controlled the city for over twenty-five years.[9] During Ishaq's term as governor, he was responsible for implementing the Mihna (inquisition) in Baghdad.[10] His administration also witnessed the departure of the caliphs from Baghdad, as they made the recently-constructed city of Samarra their new capital.[11] When Ishaq died in 849 he was succeeded first by two of his sons, and then in 851 by Tahir's grandson Muhammad ibn Abdullah.[12]

    Abdullah played a major role in the events of the caliphate in the 860s, giving refuge to the caliph al-Musta'in and commanding the defense of Baghdad when it was besieged by the forces of the rival caliph al-Mu'tazz in 865. The following year, he forced al-Musta'in to abdicate and recognized al-Mu'tazz as caliph, and in exchange was allowed to retain his control over Baghdad.[13] Violent riots plagued Baghdad during the last years of Abdullah's life, and conditions in the city remained tumultuous after he died and was succeeded by his brothers, first Ubaydullah and then Sulayman.[14] Eventually order was restored in Baghdad, and the Tahirids continued to serve as governors of the city for another two decades. In 891, however, Badr al-Mu'tadidi was put in charge of the security of Baghdad in place of the Tahirids,[12] and the family soon lost their prominence within the caliphate after that.[7]


  • 1. a b c Columbia Encyclopedia
  • 2. [1], Berzin Archives
  • 3. a b Enoki, Kazuo: "On the Nationality of the White Huns", Memoirs of the Research Department of the Tokyo Bunko, 1959, No. 18, p. 56. Quote: "Let me recapitulate the foregoing. The grounds upon which the White Huns are assigned an Iranian tribe are : (1) that their original home was on the east frontier of Tokharestan ; and (2) that their culture contained some Iranian elements. Naturally, the White Huns were sometimes regarded as another branch of the Kao-ch’e tribe by their contemporaries, and their manners and customs are represented as identical with those of the T’u-chueh, and it is a fact that they had several cultural elements in common with those of the nomadic Turkish tribes. Nevertheless, such similarity of manners and customs is an inevitable phenomenon arising from similarity of their environments. The White Huns could not be assigned as a Turkish tribe on account of this. The White Huns were considered by some scholars as an Aryanized tribe, but I would like to go further and acknowledge them as an Iranian tribe. Though my grounds, as stated above, are rather scarce, it is expected that the historical and linguistic materials concerning the White Huns are to be increased in the future and most of the newly-discovered materials seem to confirm my Iranian-tribe theory." here or "Hephtalites" or "On the Nationality of the Hephtalites".
  • 4. a b Xavier Tremblay, Pour une histore de la Sérinde. Le manichéisme parmi les peoples et religions d’Asie Centrale d’aprés les sources primaire, Vienna: 2001, Appendix D «Notes Sur L'Origine Des Hephtalites” , pp. 183-88 «Malgré tous les auteurs qui, depuis KLAPROTH jusqu’ ALTHEIM in SuC, p113 sq et HAUSSIG, Die Geschichte Zentralasiens und der Seidenstrasse in vorislamischer Zeit, Darmstadt, 1983 (cf. n.7), ont vu dans les White Huns des Turcs, l’explication de leurs noms par le turc ne s’impose jamais, est parfois impossible et n’est appuyée par aucun fait historique (aucune trace de la religion turque ancienne), celle par l’iranien est toujours possible, parfois évidente, surtout dans les noms longs comme Mihirakula, Toramana ou ???????? qui sont bien plus probants qu’ ??- en ???????. Or l’iranien des noms des White Huns n’est pas du bactrien et n’est donc pas imputable à leur installation en Bactriane […] Une telle accumulation de probabilités suffit à conclure que, jusqu’à preuve du contraire, les Hepthalites étaient des Iraniens orientaux, mais non des Sogdiens.» Available here or here
  • 5. Denis Sinor, "The establishment and dissolution of the Türk empire" in Denis Sinor, "The Cambridge history of early Inner Asia, Volume 1", Cambridge University Press, 1990. p. 300:"There is no consensus concerning the Hephthalite language, though most scholars seem to think that it was Iranian."
  • 6. Enoki, K. "The Liang shih-kung-t'u on the origin and migration of the Hua or Ephthalites," Journal of the Oriental Society of Australia 7:1-2 (December 1970):37-45
  • 7. B.A. Livinsky, "The Hephthalites", in History of Civilizations of Central Asia, Vol. 3. South Asia Books; 1 edition (March 1999). pg 135
  • 8. Janos Harmatta, "The Rise of the Old Persian Empire: Cyrus the Great," AAASH (Acta Antiqua Acadamie Scientiarum Hungaricae 19, 197, pp. 4-15.
  • 9. a b David Christian A History of Russia, Inner Asia and Mongolia (Oxford: Basil Blackwell) 1998 p248
  • 10. a b "White Huns", Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia
  • 11. M. A. Shaban, "Khurasan at the Time of the Arab Conquest", in Iran and Islam, in memory of Vlademir Minorsky, Edinburgh University Press, (1971), p481; ISBN 0-85224-200-X.
  • 12. "The White Huns - The Hephthalites", Silk Road
  • 13. Enoki Kazuo, "On the nationality of White Huns", 1955
  • 14. R. Frye, "Central Asia in pre-Islamic Times", Encyclopaedia Iranica
  • 15. G. Ambros/P.A. Andrews/L. Bazin/A. Gökalp/B. Flemming and others, "Turks", in Encyclopaedia of Islam, Online Edition 2006
  • 16. a b c A.D.H. Bivar, "Hephthalites", in Encyclopaedia Iranica, Online Edition.
  • 17. M. Schottky, "Iranian Huns", in Encyclopaedia Iranica, Online Edition
  • 18. Robert L. Canfield, Turko-Persia in Historical Perspective, Cambridge University Press, 1991, p. 49
  • 19. Procopius, History of the Wars. Book I, Ch. III, "The Persian War"
  • 20. "Ephtalites", Classic Encyclopædia Britannica, 1911
  • 21. David Christian (1998). A history of Russia, Central Asia, and Mongolia. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, ISBN 0-631-20814-3.
  • 22. Al-Hind, the Making of the Indo-Islamic World: Early medieval India. André Wink, p. 110. E. J. Brill.
  • 23. a b c Litvinovsky, Boris Abramovich. History of civilizations of Central Asia, Volume 3. UNESCO; published by Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 149.
  • 24. Grousset, Rene (1970)). The Empire of the Steppes - A History of Central Asia. Rutgers. p. 71. ISBN 0-8135-0627-1.
  • 25. Encyclopedia of ancient Asian civilizations By Charles Higham , Page141
  • 26. http://www.diss.fu-berlin.de/diss/servlets/MCRFileNodeServlet/FUDISS_derivate_000000007165/01_Text.pdf?hosts=
  • 27. Gankovsky, Yu. V., et al. A History of Afghanistan, Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1982, pg 382

  • 1. Turchin, Peter; Adams, Jonathan M.; Hall, Thomas D (December 2006). "East-West Orientation of Historical Empires". Journal of world-systems research 12 (2): 219–229. ISSN 1076–156x. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
  • 2. Zahir ud-Din Mohammad (2002-09-10). Thackston, Wheeler M.. ed. The Baburnama: Memoirs of Babur, Prince and Emperor. Modern Library Classics. ISBN 0-375-76137-3. "Note: Gurk?n? is the Persianized form of the Mongolian word "qürügän" ("son-in-law"), the title given to the dynasty's founder after his marriage into Genghis Khan's family."
  • 3. Note: Gurg?n, Gurkh?n, or Kurkh?n; The meaning of Kurkhan is given in Clements Markham's publication of the reports of the contemporary witness Ruy González de Clavijo as "of the lineage of sovereign princes".
  • 4. Edward Balfour The Encyclopaedia Asiatica, Comprising North India, Eastern and Southern Asia, Cosmo Publications 1976, S. 460, S. 488, S. 897
  • 5. Maria Subtelny, "Timurids in Transition", BRILL; illustrated edition (2007-09-30). pg 40: "Nevertheless, in the complex process of transition, members of the Timurid dynasty and their Turko-Mongol supporters became acculturate by the surrounding Persinate millieu adopting Persian cultural models and tastes and acting as patrons of Persian culture, painting, architecture and music." pg 41: "The last members of the dynasty, notably Sultan-Abu Sa'id and Sultan-Husain, in fact came to be regarded as ideal Perso-Islamic rulers who develoted as much attention to agricultural development as they did to fostering Persianate court culture."
  • 6. a b c B.F. Manz, "T?m?r Lang", in Encyclopaedia of Islam, Online Edition, 2006
  • 7. a b Encyclopædia Britannica, "Timurid Dynasty", Online Academic Edition, 2007. (Quotation:...Turkic dynasty descended from the conqueror Timur (Tamerlane), renowned for its brilliant revival of artistic and intellectual life in Iran and Central Asia....Trading and artistic communities were brought into the capital city of Herat, where a library was founded, and the capital became the centre of a renewed and artistically brilliant Persian culture...)
  • 8. a b c d e "Timurids". The Columbia Encyclopedia (Sixth ed.). New York City: Columbia University. Retrieved 2006-11-08.
  • 9. Encyclopædia Britannica article: Consolidation & expansion of the Indo-Timurids, Online Edition, 2007.
  • 11. Titles of the imperial Line
  • 12. "Timur", The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, 2001-05 Columbia University Press, (LINK)
  • 13. "Consolidation & expansion of the Indo-Timurids", in Encyclopædia Britannica, (LINK)
  • 14. a b c d e B. Spuler, "Central Asia in the Mongol and Timurid periods", published in Encyclopædia Iranica, Online Edition, 2006/7, (LINK): "... Like his father, Ol?? Beg was entirely integrated into the Persian Islamic cultural circles, and during his reign Persian predominated as the language of high culture, a status that it retained in the region of Samarqand until the Russian revolution 1917 [...] ?oseyn B?yqar? encouraged the development of Persian literature and literary talent in every way possible ..."
  • 15. David J. Roxburgh. The Persian Album, 1400-1600: From Dispersal to Collection. Yale University Press, 2005. pg 130: "Persian literature, especially poetry, occupied a central in the process of assimilation of Timurid elite to the Perso-Islamicate courtly culture, and so it is not surprising to find Baysanghur commissioned a new edition of Firdawsi's Shanama
  • 16. Volume III: To the Year A.D. 1398, Chapter: XVIII. Malfúzát-i Tímúrí, or Túzak-i Tímúrí: The Autobiography of Tímúr. Page: 389 (please press next and read all pages in the online copy) (1. Online copy, 2. Online copy) from: Elliot, Sir H. M., Edited by Dowson, John. The History of North India, as Told by Its Own Historians. The Muhammadan Period; published by London Trubner Company 1867–1877. (Online Copy: The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians. The Muhammadan Period; by Sir H. M. Elliot; Edited by John Dowson; London Trubner Company 1867–1877 - This online Copy has been posted by: The Packard Humanities Institute; Persian Texts in Translation; Also find other historical books: Author List and Title List)
  • 17. Selected Death Tolls: Timur Lenk (1369–1405)
  • 18. M.S. Asimov & C. E. Bosworth, History of Civilizations of Central Asia, UNESCO Regional Office, 1998, ISBN 92-3-103467-7, p. 320: "... One of his followers was [...] Timur of the Barlas tribe. This Mongol tribe had settled [...] in the valley of Kashka Darya, intermingling with the Turkish population, adopting their religion (Islam) and gradually giving up its own nomadic ways, like a number of other Mongol tribes in Transoxania ..."
  • 19. Lehmann, F.. "Zaher ud-Din Babor — Founder of Mughal empire". Encyclopædia Iranica (Online ed.). New York City: Columbia University Center for Iranian (Persian) Studies. pp. 320–323. Retrieved 2006-11-07. ""... His origin, milieu, training, and culture were steeped in Persian culture and so Babor was largely responsible for the fostering of this culture by his descendants, the Mughals of India, and for the expansion of Persian cultural influence in the Indian subcontinent, with brilliant literary, artistic, and historiographical results ...""
  • 20. a b Mir 'Ali Shir Naw?i (1966). Muhakamat Al-Lughatain (Judgment of Two Languages). Robert Devereux (ed.). Leiden: E.J. Brill. OCLC 3615905. LCC PL55.J31 A43. "Any linguist of today who reads the essay will inevitably conclude that Nawa'i argued his case poorly, for his principal argument is that the Turkic lexicon contained many words for which the Persian had no exact equivalents and that Persian-speakers had therefore to use the Turkic words. This is a weak reed on which to lean, for it is a rare language indeed that contains no loan words. In any case, the beauty of a language and its merits as a literary medium depend less on size of vocabulary and purity of etymology that on the euphony, expressiveness and malleability of those words its lexicon does include. Moreover, even if Naw?'?'s thesis were to be accepted as valid, he destroyed his own case by the lavish use, no doubt unknowingly, of non-Turkic words even while ridiculing the Persians for their need to borrow Turkic words. The present writer has not made a word count of Nawa'i's text, but he would estimate conservatively that at least one half the words used by Nawa'i in the essay are Arabic or Persian in origin. To support his claim of the superiority of the Turkic language, Nawa'i also employs the curious argument that most Turks also spoke Persian but only a few Persians ever achieved fluency in Turkic. It is difficult to understand why he was impressed by this phenomenon, since the most obvious explanation is that Turks found it necessary, or at least advisable, to learn Persian - it was, after all, the official state language - while Persians saw no reason to bother learning Turkic which was, in their eyes, merely the uncivilized tongue of uncivilized nomadic tribesmen."
  • 21. Babur, Emperor of Hindustan (2002). The Baburnama: Memoirs of Babur, Prince and Emperor. translated, edited and annotated by W.M. Thackston. Modern Library.
  • 22. Gérard Chaliand, Nomadic Empires: From Mongolia to the Danube translated by A. M. Berrett, Transaction Publishers, 2004. pg 75
  • 23. Beatrice Forbes Manz. The Rise and Rule of Tamerlane. Cambridge University Press, 1999. pg 109: "...In Temür's government, as in those of most nomad dynasties, it is impossible to find a clear distinction between civil and military affairs, or to identify the Persian bureaucracy solely civil, and the Turko-Mongolian solely with military government. It is in fact difficult to define the sphere of either side of the administration and we find Persians and Chaghatays sharing many tasks. (In discussiong the settled bureaucracy and the people who worked within it I use the word Persian in a cultural rather than ethnological sense. In almost all the territories which Temür incorporated into his realm Persian was the primary language of administration and literary culture. The language of the settled population and the chancery ("diwan") was Persian, and its scribes had to be thoroughly adept in Persian culture, whatever their ethnic origin.) Temür's Chaghatay emirs were often involved in civil and provincial administration and even in financial affairs, traditionally the province of Persian bureaucracy...."
  • 24. B.F. Manz, W.M. Thackston, D.J. Roxburgh, L. Golombek, L. Komaroff, R.E. Darley-Doran (2007). "Timurids". Encyclopaedia of Islam (Online Edition ed.). Brill Publishers. ""During the Timurid period, three languages, Persian, Turkish, and Arabic were in use. The major language of the period was Persian, the native language of the Tajik (Persian) component of society and the language of learning acquired by all literate and/or urban Turks. Persian served as the language of administration, history, belles lettres, and poetry.""
  • 25. B.F. Manz, W.M. Thackston, D.J. Roxburgh, L. Golombek, L. Komaroff, R.E. Darley-Doran (2007). "Timurids". Encyclopaedia of Islam (Online Edition ed.). Brill Publishers. "What is now called Chaghatay Turkish, which was then called simply türki, was the native and 'home' language of the Timurids..."
  • 26. B.F. Manz, W.M. Thackston, D.J. Roxburgh, L. Golombek, L. Komaroff, R.E. Darley-Doran (2007). "Timurids". Encyclopaedia of Islam (Online Edition ed.). Brill Publishers. ""As it had been prior to the Timurids and continued to be after them, Arabic was the language par excellence of science, philosophy, theology and the religious sciences. Much of the astronomical work of Ulugh Beg and his co-workers... is in Arabic, although they also wrote in Persian. Theological works... are generally in Arabic."
  • 27. David J. Roxburgh. The Persian Album, 1400-1600: From Dispersal to Collection. Yale University Press, 2005. pg 130: "Persian literature, especially poetry, occupied a central in the process of assimilation of Timurid elite to the Perso-Islamicate courtly culture, and so it is not surprising to find Baysanghur commissioned a new edition of Firdawsi's Shanameh
  • 28. B.F. Manz/W.M. Thackston/D.J. Roxburgh/L. Golombek/L. Komaroff/R.E. Darley-Doran; "Timurids", in Encyclopaedia of Islam; Brill; Online Edition (2007): "... As it had been prior to the Timurids and continued to be after them, Arabic was the language par excellence of science, philosophy, theology and the religious sciences. Much of the astronomical work of Ulugh Beg and his co-workers [...] is in Arabic, although they also wrote in Persian. Theological works [...] are generally in Arabic. ..."
  • 29. "Baysonghori Shahnameh" in Encyclopædia Iranica by T. Lenz
  • 30. Persian Paintings
  • 31. MSN Encarta. Islamic Art and Architecture.
  • 32. Art Arena. Persian art - the Safavids
  • 33. Stephen Frederic DaleThe Garden of the Eight Paradises: Babur and the Culture of Empire. BRILL, 2004. pg 150
  • 34. New Orient, By Czechoslovak Society for Eastern Studies, Czechoslovak Society for Eastern Studies, 1968. pg 139.
  • 35. John Onians, Atlas of World Art, Laurence King Publishing, 2004. pg 132.
  • 36. a b c John Julius Norwich, Great Architecture of the World, Da Capo Press, 2001. pg 278.
  • 37. Hugh Kennedy, "The Great Arab Conquests: How the Spread of Islam Changed the World We Live In", Da Capo Press, 2007. pg 237
  • 38. Banister Fletcher, Dan Cruickshan, "Sir Banister Fletcher's a History of Architecture ",Architectural Press, 1996. pg 606

  • 1. Bosworth, C. E. (1975), "The Tahirids and Saffarids", in Frye, R. N., The Cambridge History of Iran, Volume 4: From the Arab Invasion to the Saljuqs, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, p. 91.
  • 2. a b Bosworth, "The Tahirids and Saffarids," p. 91.
  • 3. Bosworth, "The Tahirids and Saffarids," p. 90.
  • 4. Bosworth, C. E., "Tahirids", in Encyclopaedia of Islam, Vol. X, Ed. P. J. Bearman, T. Bianquis, C. E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W. P. Heinrichs, (Brill, 2000), p. 104.
  • 5. Bosworth, "Tahirids," p. 104.
  • 6. Hammuda, Abdul Hamid, H. The History of Independent Islamic States:Tarikh Adduwal Al-Islamiyyah Al-Mustaqillah, al-Dar al-Thaqafiyyah lil-Nashr, Cairo, 2010, p.30-40
  • 7. a b Bosworth, "Tahirids," p. 105.
  • 8. see Hammuda
  • 9. Bosworth, Clifford Edmund (1996), The New Islamic Dynasties, New York: Columbia University Press, pp. 168-9.
  • 10. Turner, John P., "Ishaq ibn Ibrahim," in Medieval Islamic Civilization, Volume 1, Ed. Josef W. Meri (Routledge 2006), p. 402.
  • 11. Gordon, Matthew S. (2001), The Breaking of a Thousand Swords: A History of the Turkish Military of Samarra (A.H. 200-275/815-889 C.E.), Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, p. 47 ff.
  • 12. a b c Bosworth, New Islamic Dynasties, pp. 168-9.
  • 13. Kennedy, Hugh (2001), The Armies of the Caliphs: Military and Society in the Early Islamic State, London: Routledge, pp. 135-9.
  • 14. Yar-Shater, Ehsan (1985-2007), The History of al-Tabari, Vols. 1-40, Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, v. XXXV p. 124 ff.; v. XXXVI pp. 3-5, 13 ff.
  • 15. Kraemer, Joel L (1989), Foreword, in Ehsan Yar-Shater (Ed.), The History of al-Tabari, Volume XXXIV: Incipient Decline, Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, p. xxviii.

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