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India

Subject: History

The world's largest democracy has a rich and diverse culture. Now, it is also achieving more rapid economic growth India's vast territory can be divided into three main regions ...

India

India   Reference library

Rebecca Darley

The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity

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Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018

... and Ceylon Understanding references to ‘India’ in Late Roman texts is complicated by the flexible use of this term by contemporary authors. ‘India’ might denote any region south and/or east of the Red Sea, including China , Ethiopia ( Aksum ), the Indian subcontinent, and South-East Asia. Rufinus of Aquileia ’s account in his Ecclesiastical History of the conversion of Aksum to Christianity by the brothers Frumentius and Aedesius makes this especially clear in his account of the brothers setting out on a voyage to India (= India) before being...

India

India   Reference library

Rebecca Darley and István Perczel

The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity

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2018

... and south Asia , Christianity in A settled Christian presence in south India , with some spread to Sri Lanka (Ceylon) and further east, is securely attested from the 6th century , but communities had probably existed in India from at least the 4th century . Modern communities, concentrated in Kerala (South India) and called S. Thomas, Syrian, or Māppiḷa Christians, claim a 1st-century conversion by S. Thomas, though the Acts of Thomas ( ATh ) are concerned mainly with areas further north. The Acts , composed wholly or partially in the 3rd...

Meropius

Meropius   Reference library

Oliver Nicholson

The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity

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2018

... Greek philosopher from Tyre who travelled to India under Constantine I . He put in at Aksum , and was killed, but the king took his two young kinsmen into his court. One of them, Frumentius , was eventually consecrated by Athanasius as the first Christian bishop in Aksum. Oliver Nicholson PLRE I,...

Faxian

Faxian (337–c.422)   Reference library

Susan Whitfield

The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity

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2018

...of whom remained in India. On his return, Faxian translated texts until his death. His report gives very brief details of the places and peoples he encountered and the perils of travel—especially by sea—but concentrates on Buddhist events, monasteries and shrines, clergy and practices. He gives distances in terms of days or local measures. He also lists some of the works he obtained. Susan Whitfield ed. (annotated with ET) J. Legge , A Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms; being an account by the Chinese monk Fâ-Hien of his travels in India and Ceylon ( a.d ....

Wizārišn ī Catrang ud Nihišn ī Nēw-Ardašīr

Wizārišn ī Catrang ud Nihišn ī Nēw-Ardašīr   Reference library

William Malandra

The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity

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2018

...of Chess and the Arrangement of Backgammon ) A late Sasanian Pahlavi text, which tells how, during the reign of Khosrow I , the King of India sent the game of chess to the Persian court challenging him to explain its play. A Persian sage, said to be Bozorgmihr (MP Wuzurgmihr-ī Bōxtagān), worked it out easily and Khosrow won a lavish prize. Then the same sage invented backgammon, which was sent to India with a similar challenge. The Indians were stymied and had to pay double. The text contains Persian vocabulary for the chess pieces. William...

barbat

barbat   Reference library

The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity

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2018

...A short-necked, pear-shaped lute, a predecessor of the oud, with four strings tuned in fourths; said by Ferdowsi (Firdausi) to have come to the Persian Empire from India during the reign of Bahram V Gur and closely associated with Persian minstrelsy from before the Arab conquest and with the semi-legendary figure of Barbad . AJH EncIran III/7 (1988) s.v. barbat, 758–9 (J. During). H. G. Farmer , Studies in Oriental Musical Instruments (repr. 1977),...

Xuanzang

Xuanzang (596/602–664)   Reference library

Mark Dickens

The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity

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2018

... to India through Central Asia in search of Buddhist scriptures which could be used in the reform of Chinese Buddhism. Leaving Chang’an (Xi’an) in 629 , Xuanzang travelled north of the Tarim basin , through Hami, Turfan , Kucha, and Aqsu, over the Tien Shan range to Issyk-Köl, where he met the Western Türk Khagan . He then passed through Talas , Chach , Samarkand , Kesh, and Tirmidh , across the Oxus and into Tukharistan , visiting Kunduz, Balkh , and Bamiyan before crossing the Hindu Kush, thence into Gandharan territory and finally India. On...

diplomacy, Aksumite

diplomacy, Aksumite   Reference library

David Phillipson

The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity

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2018

... and the Roman Empire and Aksum is attested in both directions, its primary subject matter being both religious and political. Recognition of such contacts in Roman records is hindered by Roman use of the term ‘India’ to refer both to the south Asian peninsula and to the Horn of Africa ( see Ethiopia ): some embassies recorded as to or from ‘India’ may therefore represent contact with the Aksumite kingdom. Since Rome could make no claim to political authority over Aksum, some diplomatic contacts used the Patriarch of Alexandria as an intermediary, as in...

Metrodorus

Metrodorus   Reference library

David Natal

The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity

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2018

...A philosopher during the reign of Constantine I ( Jerome , Chron . 232h Helm). Of Persian origin, Metrodorus travelled to India , where he taught the construction of water mills and baths . He won the respect of the Brahmans in this way and was granted access to their shrines, where he stole many pearls and precious stones . Metrodorus also received precious gifts from the King of India for Constantine. However, after returning to Constantinople he offered the presents to the emperor in his own name, and added that the Persians had...

Kidarites

Kidarites   Reference library

Alexander Angelov

The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity

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2018

...ruler Grumbates supported the Sasanians against the Romans; the death of his son at the siege of Amida in 359 is described by Ammianus Marcellinus (XIX, 1, 7–11). By the 410s, the Kidarites had conquered Gandhara, but the Guptas successfully blocked their expansion into India in the 450s. The Sasanians attacked Kidarite Bactria in 442, and the Persian Shah Peroz (r. 459–84 ) conquered Bactria in 467. Peroz’s Hephthalite allies conquered Kidarite Gandhara soon afterwards. Alexander Angelov E. V. Zeimal , ‘The Kidarite Kingdom in Central Asia’, in...

Anonymi Cosmographia

Anonymi Cosmographia   Reference library

Roger Scott

The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity

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2018

...Cosmographia ( c. 700 ) Otherwise known as the Ravenna Cosmography , a list of places from India to Ireland in twelve sections, compiled by an anonymous cleric in Ravenna . Generally it is less useful than other itineraries but for Britain it contains several hundred unique names though the corrupt text makes identification difficult. Roger Scott ed. J. Schnetz , Itineraria Romana , vol. 2: Ravennatis Anonymi Cosmographia et Guidonis Geographica (1942, repr. 1990). L. Dillemann , La Cosmographie du Ravennate (Collection Latomus, 1997),...

chess

chess   Reference library

Touraj Daryaee

The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity

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2018

... (MP čatrang ) Board game originally invented in India . It emerged in its final form, with two sides but without the dice with which it was originally played, in the Sasanian period. The earliest manual for the game of chess, the Wizārišn ī Catrang ud Nihišn ī Nēw-Ardašīr , is in Middle Persian and was composed in the 6th century under Khosrow I Anoshirvan . The game is likened to a war; by playing it one becomes ready for battle. The earliest surviving chess pieces come from the same era. Touraj Daryaee EncIran V/4 (1991) s.v. chess, i. The...

Maphrian

Maphrian   Reference library

Hidemi Takahashi

The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity

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2018

...the annoyance of their Church of the East (‘ Nestorian’ ) counterparts. The seat of the Maphrian, originally in Takrit, was transferred to Mosul in 1156. The original maphrianate was suppressed in 1860, but the title is now used by the head of the Syrian Orthodox Church in India . Hidemi Takahashi GEDSH s.v. Maphrian, 264–5 (Kiraz). J.-M. Fiey , ‘Les Diocèses du “Maphrianat” syrien (629–1860)’, Parole de l’Orient 5 (1974), 133–64, 331–93; 8 (1977/8),...

anwa’

anwa’   Reference library

A. Richard Heffron

The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity

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2018

...the term to describe the phenomenon of an asterism setting in the West as its opposite was rising in the East at dawn (Lane, ArabLex I, 2861–3). The anwa’ were equated with the 28 lunar stations ( manazil al-qamar ) of the lunar Zodiac , believed to be borrowed from India . Each naw’ lasted thirteen days, except for one of fourteen days to complete the solar year. A. Richard Heffron Ibn Qutaybah , Kitab al-Anwa’ fi Mawasim al-‘Arab (1988). D. M. Varisco , ‘The Origin of the Anwa’ Tradition’, StudIsl 74 (1992),...

Nezak

Nezak (710)   Reference library

Mark Dickens

The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity

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Current Version:
2018

...Nīzak or Tarkhan Tirek?’, JAOS 98 (1977), 323–32. H. A. R. Gibb , The Arab Conquests in Central Asia (1923), 32–9. F. Grenet , ‘Regional Interaction in Central Asia and Northwest India in the Kidarite and Hephthalite periods’, in N. Sims-Williams , ed., Indo-Iranian Languages and Peoples (2002), 203–24. S. Kuwayama , ‘The Hephthalites in Tokharistan and Northwest India’, Zinbun 24 (1989),...

Silk Road

Silk Road   Reference library

Mark Dickens

The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity

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Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018

...Road connected Central Asia to surrounding regions. Leading south from Yarkand through the Karakorum to India was an important route used by traders and Buddhist pilgrims. Meanwhile, at Kashgar, two routes led either north-west through the Farghana Valley or south-west to Balkh . From Farghana, one could turn north to Chach and the steppe beyond or south to Samarkand , Bukhara , and Merv . From Balkh, routes led west to Merv or south-east into India. Once in Iranian territory, the route headed steadily westward through Meshed, Nishapur , Rayy , ...

Ethiopia

Ethiopia   Reference library

David Phillipson

The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity

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Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018

...understood. David W. Phillipson F. Anfray , Les Anciens Éthiopiens: siècles d’histoire (1990). A. Dihle , ‘The Conception of India in Hellenistic and Roman Literature’, PCPS 190 (1964), 15–23. R. Fattovich , ‘The Development of Ancient States in the Northern Horn of Africa, c. 3000 bc – ad 1000’, Journal of World Prehistory 23 (2010), 145–75. G. Hatke , Aksum and Nubia (New York, 2013). P. Mayerson , ‘A Confusion of Indias’, JAOS 113 (1993), 169–74. S. C. Munro-Hay , Aksum: An African Civilisation of Late Antiquity (1991). Phillipson , ...

gardens and orchards, Persian

gardens and orchards, Persian   Reference library

Matthew Canepa

The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity

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Current Version:
2018

...to the importance of gardens in Persia. Their quadripartite design and water channels influenced Islamic gardens. Late Sasanian palaces contained elaborate formal gardens often with cosmological symbolism. Khosrow II was captured in a palace garden known as the ‘Garden of India’ ( Tabari , V, 1043). There were probably gardens at the Taq-e Kesra at Ctesiphon , Bisotun, Qasr-e Shirin , and Taq-e Bostan . Zoroastrianism considered cultivating the land to be a holy act and harming it a sin ( Menog-e Xrad , 5, 1–13). Ammianus Marcellinus (XXIII, 6,...

al-Hajjaj b. Yusuf

al-Hajjaj b. Yusuf (661–714)   Reference library

Nicola Clarke

The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity

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2018

...manner of opposition during his tenure, including several Kharijite revolts and the rebellion of Ibn al-Ash‘ath, and through his allies ( Qutayba b. Muslim ) and his kin (Muhammad b. al-Qasim), he was connected with the expansion of the empire in Central Asia and northern India . As a prominent representative of the Umayyad regime, he was a controversial figure both at the time and (especially) after the dynasty’s fall in 750, attracting much polemical coverage. Nicola Clarke EI 2 vol. 3 (1971) s.v. al-Ḥadjdjādj, 824–32. al-Baladhuri , Ansab...

fables, Persian

fables, Persian   Reference library

William Malandra

The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity

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Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018

..., entitled Kalīla wa-Dimna . The preface describes how the King of Persia Khosrow I Anoshirvan (531–78) wished to obtain a copy of the famed Pañcatantra which was said to be scrupulously guarded by the Indian monarch. Khosrow dispatched a learned physician named Barzoe to India to secure, by hook or by crook, a copy of the text. Barzoe accomplished his mission, returning to the Persian Empire with the Pañcatantra , which he translated into Pahlavi. It is not clear to what extent the introduction of the Kalila wa-Dimna is a translation of the...

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