Events

Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane

January 14, 2014 // 4:00pm5:30pm
In this sweeping and richly illustrated history, S. Frederick Starr tells the fascinating but largely unknown story of Central Asia's medieval enlightenment through the eventful lives and astonishing accomplishments of its greatest minds--remarkable figures who built a bridge to the modern world. Because nearly all of these figures wrote in Arabic, they were long assumed to have been Arabs. In fact, they were from Central Asia--drawn from the Persianate and Turkic peoples of a region that today extends from Kazakhstan southward through Afghanistan, and from the easternmost province of Iran through Xinjiang, China.
 
Lost Enlightenment recounts how, between the years 800 and 1200, Central Asia led the world in trade and economic development, the size and sophistication of its cities, the refinement of its arts, and, above all, in the advancement of knowledge in many fields. Lost Enlightenment chronicles this forgotten age of achievement, seeks to explain its rise, and explores the competing theories about the cause of its eventual demise. Informed by the latest scholarship yet written in a lively and accessible style, this is a book that will surprise general readers and specialists alike.
Location: 
6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
 
Event Speakers List: 
  • S. Frederick Starr // Former Short-Term Scholar
    Founding Chairman, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, Johns Hopkins University, and former Director, Kennan Institute
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