Hellenistic Residue in Central Asia under Islamic Regimes
By Xinru Liu
Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in History and Archaeology, Vol. 2 (2004)
Abstract: Islamic scholars in the Middle Age translated many Greek, Persian, and Sanskrit literature into Arabic. Among the many scholars who contributed to scholarship in the Islamic world, Central Asia produced many outstanding ones during the Middle Age. In this essay, the author hypothesizes that the Hellenistic tradition in Afghanistan and the Transoxiana region never totally diminished. In spite of the many invasions and immigrations passing through the region and political and religious changes there, Greek, Persian, and Indian academic traditions survived. From the mid-8th to the mid-11th centuries, the land of cultural crossing nurtured many versatile brains who either went to Baghdad or stayed there to explore knowledge. Some of them made essential contributions to the culture of the Islamic world, and left great legacies to the intellectual history of the entire world.