Table of Contents


    David O. Morgan

    (Mong. Chinggis), probably born in 1167 in northeastern Mongolia, d. 1227, founder of the Mongol empire, the most extensive land empire known to history. Čengīz’s achievement, though hardly positive from the point of view of Persia, was by no means wholly a military and a destructive one. In the 1250s, a relatively coherent Mongol kingdom, the Il-khanate, was set up under Čengīz’s grandson Hülegü.

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    Sara Khalili

    the first novel published in English by noted modernist writer Shahriar Mandanipour.


    Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak

    (sānsūr) in Persia; censorship has been exercised in most societies, including Persia, by the religious establishment, by the political authority, and by unofficial groups.


    Firuz Tawfiq, Daniel Balland

    (Pers. sar-šomārī). No census for the purpose of ascertaining the population and acquiring statistical data was taken in Persia until the present century.

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  • CENSUS i. In Iran

    Fīrūz Tawfīq

    No census for the purpose of ascertaining the popu­lation and acquiring statistical data was taken in Persia until the present century, but information about num­bers of persons or families was sometimes collected for the purpose of fixing tax dues or conscript quotas. 

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  • CENSUS ii. In Afghanistan

    Daniel Balland

    The first national census of Afghanistan was not conducted until 1979, but the idea of such a survey had already taken root during the reign of Šēr-ʿAlī Khan in the 19th century, due to new taxation regulations.

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    Multiple Authors

    This series of articles covers Central Asia. 

  • CENTRAL ASIA i. Geographical Survey


    The central expanse of the Asian continent, the land mass situated approximately between 55° and 115° E and 25° and 50° N, comprises two geographically distinct areas.

  • CENTRAL ASIA ii. Demography

    Richard H. Rowland

    The combined population of the Uzbek, Kirgiz, Tajik, and Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republics totals more than 30 million people, one tenth of the population of the Soviet Union.

  • CENTRAL ASIA iii. In Pre-Islamic Times

    Richard N. Frye

    The main evidence for the history of Central Asia before the coming of Islam comes from archeological excavations, while written sources con­tain little information.

  • CENTRAL ASIA iv. In the Islamic Period up to the Mongols

    C. E. Bosworth

    In early Islamic times Persians tended to identify all the lands to the northeast of Khorasan and lying beyond the Oxus with the region of Turan, which in the Šāh-nāma of Ferdowsī is regarded as the land allotted to Ferēdūn’s son Tūr.

  • CENTRAL ASIA v. In the Mongol and Timurid Periods

    Bertold Spuler

    At the death of Čengīz (Chinggis) Khan in 624/1227 the territory he had conquered was divided between his sons.

  • CENTRAL ASIA vi. In the 16th-18th Centuries

    Robert D. McChesney

    In the 16th-17th centuries Central Asia, includ­ing Transoxania, Greater Balḵ, and Ḵᵛārazm, witnessed a neo-Chingizid (Jochid) political revival, spearheaded by the ʿArabshahid/Shibanid (Shaibanid) lineage in Ḵᵛārazm and the Abulkhairid/Shibanid and Toqay-Timurid lines in Transoxania and Greater Balḵ. In the main, political life was shaped by the neo-Chingizid appanage system of state and its internal dynamic.

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  • CENTRAL ASIA vii. In the 18th-19th Centuries

    Yuri Bregel

    By the beginning of the 12th/18th century Central Asia was in a state of a deepening political and economic crisis.

  • CENTRAL ASIA viii. Relations with Persia in the 19th Century

    Abbas Amanat

    The question of Central Asia in the 13th/19th century, from the Persian point of view, was a promi­nent one not only because of Persian territorial claims over Marv, Ḵīva, Saraḵs, and other peripheral regions, but also because of the threat of the Turkmen frontier tribes of Tekka, Yomūt, and Gūklān to the security of Khorasan, Astarābād, and Māzandarān.

  • CENTRAL ASIA ix. In the 20th Century

    Edward Allworth

    Technology brought by the Russian military and the colonial administration from Europe included advanced arms and material, as well as railroad, telegraph/telephone, and printed com­munication.

  • CENTRAL ASIA x. Economy Before the Timurids

    Peter B. Golden

    Climate and geography have, of course, in large measure determined economic pursuits in pre-industrial times.

  • CENTRAL ASIA xi. Economy from the Timurids until the 18th Century

    Robert D. McChesney

    The economy of Central Asia after the fall of Central Asia to the descendants of Čengīz Khan and during their rule was centered on agriculture, but with important contributions from pastoralism, especially the breeding and export of horses.

  • CENTRAL ASIA xii. Economy in the 19th-20th Centuries

    Ian Matley

    When the Russians arrived in Central Asia in the 1860s they found a predominantly agrarian economy. The main grain crops were wheat, barley, and sorghum.

  • CENTRAL ASIA xiii. Iranian Languages

    Ivan M. Steblin-Kamenskij

    Central Asia was the ancient homeland of the Iranians and therefore also of the Iranian languages.