Institut für Iranistik / Institute of Iranian Studies Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften
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Open Questions on Nomad-Sedentary Relations in Iran
Seminar mit Prof. Beatrice Manz, Tufts University (USA)
09.05.2012, 14:00
Seminarraum 1 (Parterre), Zentrum Asienwissenschaften und Sozialanthropologie
Apostelgasse 23, 1030 Wien

When writing about nomads in Iran we suffer from a severe shortage of source material.  When nomads were not engaged in war they were rarely mentioned in the sources.  Thus scholars have drawn conclusions about important processes on the basis of scanty and indirect evidence. Beatrice Manz wants to examine three loosely related issues: first, the theory of a “nation in arms,” in which every adult male was a potential soldier; second, discussions of sedentarization of nomadic societies, and the evidence adduced for this; third, the relationship of agriculture and pastoralism in a regional context.
On all of these questions she suggests we admit our ignorance and start again.


Beatrice Forbes Manz is Professor of History at Tufts University, where she teaches the history of the Middle East and Central Asia.  Since writing The Rise and Rule of Tamerlane (Cambridge University Press, 1989) she has published Power, Politics and Religion in Timurid Iran (Cambridge University Press, 2007), which received the Houshang Pourshariati Iranian Studies Book Award. Her major research interest lies in the relationship between pastoral nomads and settled populations during the Mongol and post-Mongol periods.  Other publications include an edited book, Central Asia in Historical Perspective (Westview Press, 1995) and numerous articles on ideology, historiography and political practice in the Mongol and Timurid periods.  She is currently writing a survey history of nomads in the Middle East from the rise of Islam to the present entitled Nomads in the Middle East, for the Cambridge series, “Themes in Islamic History.”












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