Slavery in eastern Iranian regions: the case of late antique Bactria


This presenation addresses Bactrian document and their importance for understanding socio-political history of late antique Bactria. The documents were written in Bactrian, the only Middle Iranian language written in the Greek alphabet. They were found in northern part of the Hindukush in modern Afghanistan, a region that roughly covered late antique Bactria. The documents are now preserved in various collections around the world. In this talk, I will briefly speak about the documents and then focus on the slavery reflected in these documents.


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About the speaker

Said Reza Huseini is Research Fellow at Kings College, Cambridge. Growing up in Afghanistan, a country disrupted by war for the last four decades, his journey of education and research is set against an experience of forced migration. He studied history at JNU in New Delhi before moving to Leiden University with a Cosmopolis scholarship. There, for his second MA in history, he researched the historical and cultural interconnectivity between Iran, India and Central Asia. Reza’s doctoral dissertation, undertaken at Leiden University, investigated the diverse and dynamic processes of the Arab Muslim conquests of Bactria in the seventh and eighth centuries. To do so, he worked with a range of Arabic and non-Arabic documentary (including Bactrian and Sogdian) and literary sources together with other sources of material culture to analyse the consolidation and naturalisation of Arab Muslim rule in eastern Iranian regions. Currently, he is working on his new project, “The Mughals’ Mongols: A Sixteenth Century Indian Version of Mongol History.” His publication includes early Islamic Khurasan and early Modern India.