Tuesday, January 12, 2021

From Bactria to Taxila: A database of resources on Hellenistic and Imperial Central Asian studies

[First posted in AWOL 24 July 2012, updated 12 January 2020]

From Bactria to Taxila: A database of resources on Hellenistic and Imperial Central Asian studies
By Antoine Simonin

NOTE: Articles, sources and reviews added now every three days since March 2013.

The web is a fantastic tool, whose applications and implications are progressing at an exponential rate. So are the studies on Hellenistic and Imperial Central Asia, that really have begun to develop in the 70s and are increasing since the last twenty years. Websites dealing with ancient Central Asia exist, as well as digitized version of books, articles and reviews on the subject. But, even at the dawn of the “semantic web”, they are dispatched and thinly spread, the consequences being a great difficulty for everyone to find them and, often, the frustration to find digitized sources in a later stage, way after it would be needed.

The work presented here is made of the will to resolve this problem. This blog will mostly function like a portal: internet ressources will be listed in a large bibliography, with incorporated links to their current location on the web. This site will not host books neither articles. In this way, if an author wants to remove its work from the net, he won’t have to pay attention of this website. It’s also a way to thank those authors for their work, by repercuting in the statistics of their homepage the amount of views that can bring our website.

The main focus of the works presented here is what lays between Eastern Iranian plateau to the West and the Ganges Valley to the East, the Russian steppes to the North and the Indian Ocean to the South. This area don’t show any geographical unity, but shall be taken as one entity to understand what happened during Hellenistic and Imperial times in Antiquity. The chronological timeframe will mostly be from the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC to the Sassanian uprising in 224 AD.

Most of the work will come from databases like Persee, Encyclopaedia Iranica Online or homepage of specialists. Partially available work like in GoogleBooks are also now being added, with the google-g-logo-2012 symbol next to.


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