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To which address would you like to send the catalogue? Please enter your address manually. First name. Address search. If necessary, please enter e. County optional. Postal Code. Search for another address. I prefer to enter my address manually optional. Considering that spread of the name Bosnia was connected to the political expansion, might the appearance and continuation of Bosnia as a country be related to the pre- mises of the same political structure?

The complete sentence, where Konstantinos tells about Bosnia, is as fo- llows: This sentence is open to speculation and says nothing obvious about political relationship of Bosnia with Serbia. The former might be both a part of the la- tter, or an independent country created by Slavic nations like the Pagani. Contribution to the Debates on the Origin of the Medieval Bosnian Salinas, which was included among the cities in Serbia, is modern Tuzla of Bosnia.

This means, Serbian and Croatian states were neighbors in Northern Bosnia, too. Therefore, at least half of the current Bosnia once be- came part of the Serbian princedom. In addition, Konstantinos tells about Bosnia in the Chapter 32, which is dedicated to Serbs and their countries. What is more, Serbian or Croa- tian hegemony in Bosnia does not show that its people was of Serbian and Croatian stock. However, Konstantinos gives interesting data on the ethnic groups of the re- gion, and well analyzing them we can deduce whether early Bosnia was a country and its inhabitants were an ethnie or ethnos.

Historians, who rely on the fact that the Pagani deals with piracy on the Dalmatian islands10, unanimously think that they were the Slavic group, which is known as Neretljani Neretvans , and which lived in Western Herzegovina Kon- stantinos also includes some Dalmatian cities and islands in the country of the Pagans But a detail given in another place contradicts the Emperor himself in de- scribing the country of the Pagans.

According to this account, Slavs conve- rted to Christianity, but Pagans living in a mountainous and remote place resisted to it Western Herzegovina, where Neretvans used to live, is by no means mountainous, and to the contrary, is the most level land in the region. There is a plain from the coast to the city Mostar. This area is not only accessible, but also the most accessible part of the Dalmatian coastal region. In succeeding years, in these regions Christianity was the weakest, and Bo- gomilism the most powerful.

Therefore, the pagans resisting to Christianization were probably the peo- ple, who used to live where later Bogomilism-based Bosniac nation eme- rged. Any connection of the pirate Pagans, Neretvans, to them does not seem very likely. Otherwise, we have to suppose a political formation in a long stripe from Central Bosnia to the coast along the Neretva valley. We do not have any data to confirm it. So, here are two possibilities: Konstantinos ma- kes a mistake, as he does often, and either is confused of the two groups, or unifies the two.

Any alliance of temporary nature between Bosnians and Neretvans, as well as the fact that the both coincidentally might have resisted to Christianization, would lead to such a perception, unifying their stories. In all cases, the fact that the Emperor does not give clear information about Bosnia shows his lack of information. Otherwise, it would be very mean- ingless to tell a lot about small places like Trebinje, and to say almost nothing about who used to live in Bosnia, which is a region in his literature.

Just as, he would tell about Bosnian parts of the Serbo-Croatian border, be- sides the Dalmatian ones. That he takes borders of the province of Dalmatia before the Avaro-Slavic invasion to Danube is another mistake of Kon- stantinos.

Dalmatia used to finish where Bosnia used to finish in east and north, that is, on the rivers Sava and Drina. Thus, we can understand why Konstantinos cannot put the region of Bosnia and the mountainous Pagania together. So, we have two points to be considered together: Konstantinos etymologizes the word pa- 14 DAI, p.

This is a Byzantine custom. For example, Serbs were called even in the 13th century Tribali17, a small tribe that had lived in the same region almost years ago. Since we know which parts of Bosnia were under Serbian and Croatian control in those days, we have no other choice except locating Pagans in Central Bosnia, re- maining between the two invading neighbors.

Political Processes by the Independent State The withdrawal of the Rome from the borders about the mid-Danube ranges and loss of parts of Pannonnia begins with the Sarmatic age Then the Goths running away from the Huns and the Huns themselves, who then ba- sed in Pannonnia, became lords of the region. Bosnia was under Byzantine administration when Avar raids started in the second half of the 6th century. Avars had the most important role in Slavicization of the Balkans Thus, a permanent and powerful central administration was founded by Avars.

It seems they held very high ranks within the state, which may be a factor in their endeavor of seizing the throne in Given the fact that the Avars had no much human resource, Kutrigurs must have held a great part of 16 DAI, p. In addition to the 10 thousand soldiers, who invaded Bosnia and Dalmatia, their families must have also come, at least partially, and therefore, not only an administrative and military class, but also an important number of civil Ku- trigur population settled in Bosnia.

In this regard, two Greeks sources from the 15th century mention Kudugers living in Herzegovina. The country of Sandalj was the stronghold of resistance to Christianity in the last years of the Bosnian kin- gdom, which then accepted Catholicism as official religion and started to su- ppress its Bogomil citizens.

This can be compared to the case under the Khan Omurtag in the Danubian Bulgar kingdom, where Slavic masses were easily and rapidly Christianized, which caused reaction of Bulgars, still keeping their Turkic identity, and which ultimately led to a Bulgaro-Slavic internal strife.

Suddenly coll- apse of this state at the end of the 8th century left Bosnian begs with Avaric and Bulgaric origin stateless. According to N. It is not well known to what degree the powers that destroyed the Avar State, Bulgars and Franks, controlled Bosnia.

There is no re- cord on their entry in Bosnia. A temporary reconstruction of Byzantine administration can be estimated. In the days of Mikhael II , Dalma- tian cities and inner regions became independent by making use of the inter- nal and external difficulties that Byzantium faced Pagans are mentioned among those declaring independence.

This makes Byzantium the third force, except local formations, squandering the Avar inheritance. Franks see- king to dominate also on the Croats, after destroying the Avar state, forced Ljudevit, then Croatian prince, to flee in The latter killed ruler of the place, where he took refuge, and replaced him. He tried to establish diplo- matic relationship with Franks from that country.

Almost all historians agree that the place he fled was Central Bosnia Both Frank annals and the chronicle of Ljudevit gave this account. The word knez intimates a state, independent or autono- mous. That is, Bosnia was a state at the beginning of the 9th century. Among the Slavic states winning independence in the time of Mikhael II, as ment- ioned by Konstantinos, only that of Pagans suits to Bosnia. Thus, Pagans seem more to be Bosniacs, rather than Neretvans.

The difficulty here is that the vast region from Drina to the river Vrbas had yet no a general name in the 9th century. Bosnia was the name of a small land, central part of the region from Drina to Vrbas, and from Sava to Ne- retva. Konstantinos seems to be in difficulty in describing this region. Frank annals, however, solve this problem with a term, which they loaned from Byzantium. A Frank source mentions Knez Ratimir, who was ruling Skla- vinia in Sklavinia is clearly Bosnia, because Frank sources mention lands of Croats and Serbs with their names.

It cannot be the Slavonija region, Croatian soil north of Sava, because it was under Frank rule at that time. There is no other possibility in the region, other than Bosnia. Ljudevit was also killed, and the Bosnian State continued likely with its own rulers.

After slavicization was completed and the peninsula got an ethnic stability with new faces, Slavs were called according to their states or regions in 25 N. Thus, sklavinia got out of usage. For instance, Kon- stantinos himself does not use it. As an exception, lands of the Slavic colonies in Peloponnes were for a long time called so, because those Slavs kept their independence more than the others, but could not set up a state, and thus, receive a convenient political name for themselves.

Usage of this term in Frank annals for Bosnia can also be explained with the absence of a territorial name. That is, early medieval Bosnia was only one of the equals in what is today Bosnia. Spectrum of Konstantinos in telling about the region can also be interpreted as that Bosnia was yet too small in the 10th century; thus Byzantium did not pay much attention to it.

But it was no more, at least, a sklavinia. In the following century, Bosnia would be one of the determining forces in the Balkans, according to Byzantine diplomacy. Thus, it becomes clear that Bosnia had an independent political for- mation, at least in its nucleus land, after the withdrawal of the Avar power.

There are clues to make sure that this formation continued more than three centuries, by the midth century, when the first known Bosnian ban lived, of course with some interruptions. These kind of interruptions affected the neighboring Croatian and Serbian states more. Hard debates begin from the point of evolution of the Bosnian state tradition. One side tries to delay formation of the state here to very late times, and shows it as a newcomer in regard to the neighbors.

But there had been Bosnian bans from the Avar time on, and they were of Avaric origin Political deve- lopment of Bosnia started simultaneously with that of Serbs and Croats. Interferences of foreign powers to the latter two caused interruptions even in the existence of their states. Bosnia, contrary to them, did not face those kind of interferences and threats, thanks to its defensive advantages Here are two certain cases: Administration of Bosnia by another state did not interrupt the institution of banate.

Briefly, from the days when Bosnia lost its ties with the Avar state, there had been a Bosnian state, as a political structure, of sometimes independent, and sometimes autonomous character. After his victory, the Croatian king became owner of Bo- snia, even though for a very brief period Another temporary lord of Bosnia was Samuil the Macedonian, who tried to revive the Bulgarian Empire swa- llowed by Byzantium in Samuil, who enjoyed a surprising popular su- pport after his rebellion in , and who unexpectedly became ruler of a great state, established the greatest Yugoslav state throughout history.

This polity lasted only by the year , and included all South Slavic groups except Croats and Slovenes. But Bosnia, Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia saved their state status as vassals, while Bulgaria and Macedonia were directly taken into the thema organization Mihajlo, his son and successor, punished the three neighbors collaborating with Konstantinopolis by seizing and annexing them So, a period of Montenegrin hegemony began in Bo- snia, but again of temporary nature.

A fact here forces one to grill the so- called vassal status of Bosnia before Byzantium. The emperor had to pay a heavy sum of money to the ban of Bosnia to provide his support against Mo- ntenegro.

Bosnia was probably more powerful after repulsing Montenegrins. Cro- atia unified with Hungary with an agreement Pacta Conventa signed in , which caused very strong protests of Byzantium claiming that Hun- gary had annexed the lands essentially belonging to Konstantinopolis. Se- vere wars and campaigns directed to both Hungary and the tiny South Slavic states followed these protests.

Bosnians were allies of Hungarians in these long-lasting struggles. Byzantine authors Niketas Khoniates and Ioannes Ki- nnamos mention him Some historians claim that this man was indeed Ban Kulin, and that Byzantine authors dropped the consonant l while writing Bankilin os However, it is hard to think so because of two reasons: Firstly, both of the authors, contemporaries of the events, could not make the same mistake.

And, secondly, Ban Kulin was on Bosnian throne between and Sources, however, do not mention such an old Ban Kulin. Another difficulty is in explaining the name Bankin in any of the regional languages. Like Bankin, he was also together with Hungarians to fight Byzantium. And similar to Bankin, he is also mentioned as an ally, not vassal, of the Hungarian king The Empire, however, could not again set up centralized administration, and lo- cal rulers remained.

Thus, the Manuel rule also did not interrupt the Bosnian statehood. Moreover, Bosnia had a land as vast as Croatia and Serbia, the two powerful neighbors had. Eastern confines were for a long time on Drina. The city Rama and surroundings, mentioned within the Hungarian realm in decrees of the latters, were also taken into composition of Bosnia For the period from those days on, nobody reject statehood of Bosnia.

Qualification of the State and the Ruling Dynasty The socio-political structure that Bosnia had was reflected on the basis of the state, and a medieval feudal state with all relevant institutions, but anyway different from its neighbors, was shaped. As a powerful centralized authority was out of question, administrative division of the country and division of the administrative ranks and tasks took place within the status quo.

The banate of Bosnia, the most important and powerful one, unified the other ba- nates to establish the Bosnian state In regard to the state mechanism, The medieval Bosnian state can be vie- wed as a union of volunteers and a federation in proper sense. This was totally product of a popular mentality and tradition, as stated; oth- erwise the royal power was never able to realize a military or political centralization by its own efforts and sources.

Since the state was a union, its administrative mechanism was shapen in accordance with it. Neither king, nor his son knew who would be the next king. Stanak elected Bosnian kings, but among only and conditionally members of the dynasty. Dethronement or even execution of the kings, not doing well their duties, was not so rare From this aspect, political structure of the Bosnian state is associated with Turkic states, espe- cially with the Khazar qaganate, which applied the steppe tradition to a settled and semi-nomad society.

King or Stanak could not change them, or even confiscate their lands So, the Bosnian state was based on two essences: The need for defence is something very relative and subjective. A local ruler might change his side in a case he believed he could get more benefits from another side, mostly neighboring country. Just as, history of Croato-Bosnian relationships in the Middle Ages is, in a sense, history of exchange of feudal forces and rulers.

According to E. It is possible to start the state in those centuries, but he does not explain on which sources and thoughts he bases the claim that the Kotromanids were ever rulers of the state. We can refer to the view of N.

That is, the administrators of Avar and Bulgar -Kutrigur- stock were appointed by the Avar state, and their descendants ruled Bosnia by the end of the state. In fact, this idea is not well challenged, except a case to be discussed below. Seven of them were bans, and seven kings. There was a queen, also. Origins of the Kotromanids As stated before, we have no clear information about the origins of the Ko- tromanids. Sources point to existence of a small polity between Sarajevo and Zenica.

It seems this polity continued from the very beginning upto the kno- wn periods, under various circumstances and status; and there is no account about change of line of its rulers. According to above-mentioned Mauro Or- bini, who firstly claimed an origin for the Kotromanids, the king of Hungary sent one of his commandants called Kotroman the German to govern Bosnia, after demise of Ban Kulin.

Finding Bosnia without any ruler and defence, Kotroman easily seized it, and the king appointed him new ban of Bosnia A document intimating such a case was found in the archives of Dubrovnik. This is a diplomatic note of the city government of Dubrovnik sent to Bo- snian king in It reminds that the friendship between Bosnia and Dubrovnik had a very rich past, that previous Bosnian rulers appreciated importance of Dubrovnik, that this view took its roots from Kotroman the Goth, ancestor of the Bosnian kings, who provided help of Hungarian king, then his relative, to Bosnia, and who established very good relationships with Dubrovnik, by regarding the latter city as his dome Mauro Orbini likely used this document or any narration or belief in his thesis.

Relying on his claims, many historians, mainly Germans, accepted in advance that Kotromanids were of German origin. However, this suffix is not peculiar to the Ge- rman language, and some other information that we have contradicts with the Dubrovnik letter.

In accordance with the ban and king lists, the first Ko- troman must be Stjepan I Kotroman suceeding Prijezda, if they had come from abroad. Kulin Ban died in Stjepan I Kotroman was throned c. Be- tween the two is a great interval of time. Tvrtko, the legendary Bosnian king of the late 14th century, states in a decree that his uncle so his father also, 49 Orbini, Kraljevstvo Slovena, , p.

Stjepan I. Therefore, the first Kotroman known to us was of the same family as the previous kings and bans. A document from the archives of the Papacy takes this to earlier dates.

By confirming this, Tvrtko I tells in another letter that his family had ruled Bosnia from its appearance as a country on Continuation of Hungaro-Bosnian wars for centuries prove this fact. In this context, he points also to the fact that the medieval Bosnian polity emerged in this region.

However, such a phonetic development has no any parallel in linguistic history of this region, and is very hard to explain linguistically. If the place name kept its form for such a long time, a family name generated from that word, especially name of the royal dynasty, would naturally have kept the original form. In his opinion, the narration about Kotroman, the German coming from Hungary, does not get along well with historical facts, 52 E.

Indeed, Orbini points to a historical fact with the narration of imported German, but makes a mistake in dating. He sent one of his comm. This man was likely from the ruling family, and not certainly from the eta generaoux.

That is, Bosnian crown was interferred and changed by a German, and not with a German With the full enlightenment of this event, a very obscure period in Bosnian history would be explained. What about the 17 years between them? Thus, we can conclude, not with certainity for now, that the ban or one of the bans in those years was somebody called Kotroman.

Succeeding Bosnian rulers, it seems, used his name in their surnames. Therefore, the German theory loses its base. The claims about Serbian or Croatian origin of the Kotromanids stem from the assumption that Bosnian people was just Serbs or Croats.

Kotro- manids were natives of Bosnia in these views, too. But such a thesis that Bosnians were indeed Serbs and Croats, is wrong and meaningless from the very beginning, as above-stated. Thus, we will not deal with these ideas. After fixing that this dynasty was native of Bosnia, it is very easy to tie their far ancestors to Avars and Bulgars. No historian rejects this fact. There is no record on changing of these local rulers by foreign po- wers. That the two institutions survived even so long, by the midth cen- tury in Bosnia, and for banate by the fall of the Habsburg Empire in Croatia, and their direct reflections in the 20th century58, indicates in a sense that not only order and institutions, but also power of local dynasties were continuous.

The little banate of Bosnia, composed of the lands on the Sara- jevo-Visoko-Zenica line, was one of them. So, we have assumptions that mostly the descendants of the Avar and Bulgar officials and commandants ruled Bosnia by the fall of the state. Owners of high ranks from other ethnic origins, mainly Slavs, are never excluded in this theory.

Etymologizing the word Kotroman would help us go further in fixing identiy of the dynasty. It is very hard to explain this word or its components in Slavic.

Thus, due to lack of a substantial Slavic expla- nation, the Germanic theory has got some base. A few ethimologies are based on the toponyms Kotor-, but these have linguistic difficulties, and do not well illuminate the problem, as there are a lot of Kotors in the region from Montenegro to Austria.

Almost all of them may be canditates to be homeland of the Kotromanids. Just as, some German scholars related the Bosnian dynasty to the settlement Kotrou to the southeast of Austria, and claimed that they had found a new proof for the German theory We guess and know that there were Avars and Bulgars in Bosnia, not only members of the administrative and military cadres, but also among the population. Thus, their remnants in toponyms should also be traced. Scho- larship, which worked on Iliric, Latin and Slavic names, still remains passive in dealing with, at least, Avaric linguistic remnants.

Thus we should give more importance to searching relics of Avars and Bul- gars, who lived in Bosnia, and who were assimilated among Slavic masses in the course of time. In modern Turkish, the same verb is used as kotarmak. This meaning is still kept in many Turkic dialects, especially in Kyrgyz. In Turkish, losing some other meanings, it became ku- durmak to become rabid, to be beside oneself with anger.

There are also examples as anthroponym. For instance, in the Migration Legend of Uyghurs, one of the five children having born out of the holy light is called Kutur Tigin. This meaning is kept in Common Turkic, too But, our Kotor should not have such a meaning, in contrary to the suggession of Tekin. But we do not necessarily tie this word to the verb kutur-. Almost all Turkic languages have this word in different forms such as kotaz, kodas, kotos, kutaz, kotaz, kotuz That is, the simple word is Kotor.

In this sense, Kotur may be the tribal name occuring in the Great Bulgaria: As for the syllable or suffix —man in Kotroman, this is a productive suffix used mostly in stressing adverbs in Turkic as in the examples kocaman, koloman, toraman, kopraman, ataman, etc.

In addition, this suffix is widely used in making ethnonyms: Thus, the word Kotroman in Turkic is proper equivalent of the Bosnian word Kotorac. Even if we ignore the possibility of a local Bosnian dynasty taking its roots from the Avar time, now there is the Hungarian factor in this region.

Conclusion Bosnia is situated in a region, where the Eurasian and Mediterranean worlds, the Balkans and Central Europe, East and West meet, cross and confront. This position have led the country to be continuously troubled. This ann- oyance was reflected on its political culture, and the concepts of state and country did not develop for a long time.

After the fall of the Avar Empire, Bosnia found itself between superpowers of that time, and this started or accelerated the process of making of Bosnian political culture, which can be briefed as a reaction to outside world. Bosnia decided to belong to itself, no more to anybody else, and developed its own state.

This preferance nece- ssitated continuous struggle with and a talentful diplomacy between Byzan- tium and Hungary. State tradition is an advanced level in social development, but acqua- intance with this tradition and concept was not always sufficient to establish or have a state, even up to the modern times.

There needed people having legitimacy to rule. This was a more strictly applied rule in the Medieval.


In Bosnia, only Kotromanids were legitimate rulers. Feudal structure was very powerful in Bosnia in its decentralist sense. Kings often had no power to struggle with local rulers. Especially in the late years of the state, kings were many times defeated and captivated by different cliques, some of which controlled all the country, but nobody except Kotromanids could dare to sit on the throne.

In neighboring Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro, there was no such continuous dynasty.

There dynasties were started by a capable man, and ended also by another powerful man or family. The most important reason was that these states were interferred by neighboring empires Byzantium, Bulgaria, Hungary and Franks very often and for long dura- tions. In Bosnia this was not the case. It had only one dynasty in the Me- diveal. Legitimacy of this dynasty can be compared to that of the Hungarian Arpad family.

As that family of Bulgaric origin appointed by the Khazar qagan to govern Hungarians, the Kotromanids, another Bulgaric family app- ointed by the Avar qagan to rule Bosnia, were also exalted by their people, identified with the state and became legendary.

Jenkins, Washington, V, Beograd, Karatay et al , I, Ankara, , pp. Besim Atalay, 4th ed. İklil Kurban, Ankara, Cyril Mango, Washington, Denis Sinor, İstanbul, VEGO, M. Koca et al , II, Ankara, Klyashtorny During the last several decades the fund of ancient Turk runic inscriptions from the Talass province of Kirgizstan has been considerably expanded due to new finds.

Along with the already known texts on separate rocks1 several short graffiti were found, significant both from the point of view of cultural history because inscriptions of this kind testify to the relatively widespread use of this kind of runic script among the Turkish-speaking inhabitants of Tien Shan in the early medieval period as well as from the historical- linguistic perspective for these incriptions contain lexemes, the semantic range of which is not always quite clear.

Until recent only four Turk runic inscriptions from the Tereksaj ravine were known2. Several Sogdian inscriptions were found nearby. In the autumn of three more rock inscriptions were found by the expedition of the Institute of History and the Institute of Language and Literature of the Kyrgiz Academy of sciences directed by I. Kozhomberdiev and Ch. One inscription was in Sogdian studied by V. Novye arheologicheskie nahodki v Auleatinskom uezde.

Protokoly i soobstcheniya Turkestanskogo kruzhka lyubitelej arheologii. Year 3. Tashkent, ; M. K istorii otkrytiya drevneturetskih nadpisej v Srednej Azii. Materialy Uzkomstarisa, fasc. Epigrafika Kirgizii. Frunze, fasc. Frunze, , p. Drevnie nadpisi v ustchelyah Kulan-saj i Terek-saj. Materialy po obstchej tyurkologii i dunganovedeniyu.

Epigrafika Kirgizii, fasc. IV, 1, 2. Klyashtorny Livshits , two other inscriptions were written in runic script submitted to the author of the present article for investigation. Both inscriptions were carved on a low rock, on its south-east side facing the Kuru-Bakajyr river the Suuluu-Bakajyr basin appoximately 2,5 km above its mouth. Among the numerous petroglyphs covering the surface of the rock there are images of humans in mushroom-shaped hats, of archers, ibexes, stags, wolves and ulars.

The first inscription is written in one line, 14 cm long, in the upper corner of the south-east side of the rock. It contains six characters about 3 cm high fig. It is quite well preserved, so the letters can be easily distinguished. Its palaeography is the same as of other Talass runic inscriptions; the initial q in the word qut is reversed, which is a common feature in the Enisej and Talass runic epigraphy. The reading: The word qut in runic texts probably had a more limited semantic range than in the Ancient Uighur literature.

The second runic inscription was carved in the lower part of the same rock. It is one line of five characters 11 cm long, the height of the letters is about 6 cm. It is drawn in rather shallow strokes upon the uneven eroded surface of the stone.

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Its palaeography makes us date it to a later period than the first inscription. Wiesbaden, , S. Iranian contacts of the Turks in pre-Islamic times. Oslo, , p.

It is one of the rare cases when a Sogdian word is written in Turkish runic script: Here the word was obviously written as a name or a part of a name, being a calque loan-translation of the name-title arslan so widespread in the Karluq-Qarahanid environment. Not only the choice of the alphabet but also the form of linguistic adaptation shows that the author of the graffiti was a Turk, and that the inscription can not be dated earlier than the late 9th or 10th century. Livshits and P.

Lurie for consultation. Klyashtorny Fig. His gift for illuminating the past has earned the gratitude of the scho- larly community, but has also touched this author personally, leaving the indelible and treasured memory of an early evening walk through Leningrad during which he vividly recreated for an awed graduate student the city and culture of Sankt Petersburg.

History and Dating of the Sealings The coming to light of what now are more than Bactrian documents, most of them written in Graeco-Bactrian cursive script, has generated much excitement. Not only have the documents expanded our knowledge of the Bactrian language significantly, they have helped to shed light on the poli- tical history of a region of northern Afghanistan — the source of the docu- ments — as well as on the legal and economic practices that prevailed there1.

Most relevant for those of us who study seals and their usage, the documents provide valuable information on sealing practices and expand the corpus of images and glyptic styles. Even more important, the imagery on the sealings offers invaluable information about the society and religious beliefs of the peoples who inhabited the region.

Since the early s, the documents have been acquired by several dealers and collectors, but the largest collection is 1 Sims-Williams a; Sims-Williams b. Judith A.

Lerner that of Dr. David Nasser Khalili2. An overview of the clay sealings in his co- llection, some of which still sealed the documents at the time of acquisition, is the subject of this paper.

With one exception, which is on cloth, the documents are written on pa- rchment or leather3. Of the inventoried documents in the collection, 41 were either still sealed or had one or more of their sealings attached or asso- ciated with them in some way. In addition, there are 19 loose sealings — that is, sealings that cannot be matched with a particular document.

In all, there are 86 clay sealings, all individual lumps of clay that bear, with one exce- ption, the impression of a single seal. These 86 sealing, however, represent the impressions of approximately 81 different seals as some seals are repre- sented by more than one impression some are in such poor condition that it is difficult, if not impossible, to identify their motifs. Although these and the other Bactrian known documents are without provenance, on the basis of internal evidence Nicholas Sims-Williams has attributed the majority of them to the former kingdom of Rob, which occupied the vicinity around mo- dern-day Rui and Samangan in the Northern Hindukush that is, in the area between Balkh and Bamyan 4.

He has also been able to provide dates for the documents, ranging from to CE. Sims- Williams ; M. Riaz Babar Collection, Peshawar Pakistan: Sims-Williams b. I wish to express my gratitude to Dr. Khalili for allowing me to study and publish the sealings and to Dr. I also thank Prof. Nicholas Sims-Williams for his generosity in sharing with me his readings and dating and for his great patience in answering my many questions about the documents.

The contents of this article should be considered a work-in-progress. Unique in the collection is a Buddhist text that is also written on cloth. Other documents come from a region further to the northwest and other areas Sims-Williams , p. While the letters are each sealed with a single seal, presumably that of the writer, the legal documents typically have multiple sealings: For a le- tter, the clay sealing is attached to a strip of leather or parchment which was cut along the bottom edge of the document without being completely deta- ched from it, and was then wrapped around the rolled document Fig.

On other letters the sealed part of the document is secured by a string or thong inserted through a hole in the parchment or leather; the clay sealing is then attached to the string or thong7.

A different format obtains for many of the legal documents. The text is written in duplicate on a single sheet Fig 2a. The upper or closed copy is rolled and tied with strings or thongs inserted through holes pierced in the space between the two copies. The lower or open copy, meant to be read, can be loosely rolled or folded; should this open copy be damaged or changed, the sealed upper one could be consulted8.

As many as five clay sealings, one beside each string-hole, are attached to the strings or thongs9. The sealed do- cument, then, has the sealed roll on top and the open copy below, right way up so that it can be read. On documents that name more than one co- 6 For the publication of the Khalili legal and economic documents, see Sims-Williams b; a second volume containing translations of the letters is forthcoming.

Mugh, but they are legal documents Frumkin , Pls. Katalog vystavki, Dushanbe , No. Should the agr- eement need to be adjudicated, the clay envelope could be broken to reveal the untampered original document see Collon , pp. This, in turn, recalls the hollow clay balls from Susa, impressed with cylinder seals, which contained tokens sym- bolizing merchandise and quantity, and were used during the second half of the 4th mill- ennium BCE and apparently accompanied consignments of goods in case of dispute about the shipment Collon, pp.

However, more than five sealings are attested in the documents. This duplicate system of writing and sealing a legal document is Greek but is well attested in the ancient world, from Hellenistic and Roman Egypt and the Near East, including Iran The individual seals were each pressed into a more-or-less circular lump of clay so that the resulting sealing is somewhat circular or disc-like in sha- pe.

The size of the sealings range from approximately 1. The reverse surfaces of the sealings are typically flat, usually showing a part of the string or thong. This is in contrast to the concave backs of some Sasanian sealings or bullae which sealed bundles of flattened scroll sections or a single scroll As far as known, the names of the seal-owners are never written on the reverse and the maximum number of sealings attested for this format is three see Sims-Williams b, p.

By Roman times in Egypt the double document is rare, but an ex- ample is a Latin deed of sale written on papyrus on the 24th of May, AD, that bears seals of seven signatories, the parties in the transaction and the witnesses Pattie and Turner , No. Examples from Iran are three parchment documents, spanning the 1st centuries BCE-CE and concerning the sale of the same vineyard, two in Greek and the other in Parthian, that were discovered near Avroman in Kurdistan.

One of them had reached London with the uppermost version of the text still tightly rolled up and held by string on the right side. Two oval sealings — much abraded — remained on the document, which, to count the number of holes in the blank space between the upper and lower versions, originally bore nine seal impressions Minns , pp.

The names of the contracting parties and wit- nesses seem to have been written vertically on backs, in the manner of the Bactrian docu- ments; see also Gropp , pp. The terminology of the impressed pieces or lumps of clay used to seal and authenticate documents and parcels is quite fluid. These seals may have been considerably older — true heirlooms — or borrowed for the purpose of signing the contract. Another feature of the documents is the use of seals that are blank on the impressed surface but are in the shape of a fingernail.

These two aspects of the Bactrian sealings will be discussed below. A variety of styles can be distin- guished: Such a range of types and styles is not surprising with a group of seals a- ssociated with documents that span more than four centuries, but it is rem- arkable about this collection is that a single contract typically bears several impressions that represent seals of very different styles and presumably of very different origins.

N Frye distingu- ishes bullae from sealings based on whether they served to seal documents or merchandise , p. Clearly, agreement on terminology is necessary among those who study seals and their impressions.

Lerner shows a nearly frontal male head with short hair and a beard, wearing a pearl earring and a torque Fig. The contractor is identified in the document as Shar-wanind, but the inscription on the seal bears the name, Suluhan. This seems to be a borrowed or heirloom seal. The seal, then, either belonged to an anc- estor of Shar-wanind and is thus some generations older than the late 4th-ce- ntury date of the transaction, or is borrowed — a seemingly casual signatory method The general physiognomy and almost frontal view is characteristic of a seal in the British Museum, which P.

Callieri associates with the Kiderites and assigns to the end of the 4th or beginning of the 5th century The adjacent sealing on Document C belongs to one of the witnesses, most likely the first named in the deed, Ormuzd Burzaduran Fig. The clean-shaven profile bust with its closely cropped hair, bound with a diadem with short ties, is based on contemporary coin and medallion types of 4th- 15 Collon , p.

For additional discussion of people using seals that belonged to others fathers, wives or mothers, professional associates , see I. This seal might be cont- emporaneous with the document, that is, with the late 4th century, although it could just as well be have been carved in the late 3rd or early 4th. The persistence of older imagery along with western imagery, as well as of seals of distinctly different stylistic origins, is exemplified by Document J, a contract for the download of an estate and dated by Sims-Williams to Fig.

Five sealings secure the document, two belonging to the con- tractors and three to the witnesses. The shape of the chin, pro- minence of the eyes and flattened head are characteristically Hephthalite In contrast are the western-style seals of the other two witnesses. The first of these fourth from the left reveals an especially strong link with the classical world with its graceful figure turning in space as it places its weight on one leg and raises its arms as if playing a flute Fig.

The fluid posture is typical of many classical gems; in particular, similar flute-players appear in glyptics and other art from the first-century CE Rome A popular image on Sasanian seals, the style, however, is not Sasanian, but Hellenized. This manner of rendering the human figure is typical of Ba- ctria, and can be paralleled by two seals collected by Sir John Marshall, and now in the Peshawar Museum Returning to the first two seals on Document J, those of the contractors, the most notable feature is that impression is in the shape of a fingernail and 18 See P.

Kent, The Roman Imperial Coinage, vol. The Family of Constantine I. Berhard-Walchner et al. Compare with cat 2. Marshall, who was Director-General of Archaeology in India , deposited his large collection in It is likely that most of the seals come from the North-West o f the Indian subcontinent where he did much of his work; that there are Sasanian as well as Roman-style examples among them attests to the great portabi- lity of seals both in ancient and modern times.

Lerner is otherwise blank Fig. On other contracts, such sealings are even more fingernail-like in shape These are not actual fingernail impressions, as among other things, a part of the thumb joint would be impressed in the clay, but stylized fingernail impressions, deliberately carved into seals and used, I believe, by those contractors who did not have their own seal.

Perhaps a blank, fing- ernail-shaped seal was kept by whatever authority oversaw or was present at the drawing up of these contracts and was lent to a contractor who did not have his own seal. Absent from this collection of sealings are those that are identifiably Sasa- nian in style or origin. Emmerick and P. This is the last paragraph of the lower open copy of the contract; it does not appear in the upper sealed version.

Lukonin dates the appearance of this type of support to not earlier than the 5th century Borisov and Lukonin , p. Visible are the foreparts of the horse, its left foreleg raised and bent inwards, and the right leg of its rider. This image of mounted horseman is widespread in the West, as well as in Sasanian Iran, and is also a common coin type in Afghanistan and Trans- oxiana Although Document P is dated to , such drapery treatment for an equ- estrian figure calls to mind the royal horsemen on the Sasanian rock reliefs of the 3rd century In contrast to the use of wings, a version of the leaf support it is taken over by the Hephthalites for use on coins and seals Lerner , p.

Vanden Berghe. A Sasanian relief near Pul-i Khumri Baghlan Province, Afghanistan , showing a third-century king slaying a rhinoceros, has recently been made known by Frantz Grenet. Although some distance to the northeast of Rob Samangan Province , both regions belonged to the northern part of Kushanshahr, the Sasanian conquest of which, Grenet thinks, the relief commemor- ates.

The king sits astride his horse as he slays a rhinoceros; behind him are two other hor- semen. Could our sealing reflect these equestrian images, which, we now know, was not confined to Iranshahr? I am very grateful to Prof. Grenet for sharing with me his thoughts about the relief and a photograph before its publication.

The fourth and fifth seal-owners who served as witnesses both of whose sealings are now missing were the tarkhan Khusrau and the overseer of the market of the khars of Rob, Deb-raz Sims-Williams a, pp. Root , p.

Evidence of gods having their own personal seals is found in first millennium BCE Babylonia and Assyria. At least in one case, the seal was kept not in the temple but in the City Hall where state documents were written, sealed and stored Collon , p. Study of the sealings — as well as the contents of the documents themselves — allows us to reconstruct the history and culture of this time and, as Boris Marshak has brilliantly done so with that of Sogdiana, to begin to give life to the society and religious beliefs of the people who inhabited the kingdom of Rob.

Further, the sealings and documents may off- er a firmer cultural context for the rock-cut sanctuary of Dokhtar-i Noshir- wan, situated at Nigar in the mountains south of Rob, with its imposing pai- ntings of an eclectic style and iconography Gyselen, ed.

Au carrefour des reli- gions. Borisov and V. Sasanidskie Gemmy, Leningrad Alram and D. Klimburg-Salter, eds. Coins, Art and Chronology. Collon, First Impressions.

FRYE Boussac and A. Invernizzi, eds.

GROPP Frye, ed. Sasanian Remains from Qasr-i Abu Nasr. Seals, Sealings and Coins, Cambridge, Massachusetts, , pp. HUFF Lerner and P. Pattie, and E. The Written Word on Papyrus. Lerner ROOT Sancisi- Weerdenburg, A. Kuhrt and M. Root, eds. Continuity and Change: New Light on Afghanistan. The Decipherment of Bactrian. Christian and C. Benjamin, Realms of the Silk Roads: Ancient and Modern.

Bactrian Documents from Northern Afghanistan I: Sims-Williams and F. The legal and economic documents that have been published in Sims-Williams b are referred to in that volume both by a letter designation and by the original accession number, so that DOC C is also DOC Letter with single sealing DOC Reverse showing the names of the contractors and witnesses.

Sealings that belonged to DOC document C. DOC 7C. DOC 7D. DOC 7E. Fig, 5: DOC 7A. DOC 7B. Loose sealing, DOC Lerner Fig. According to inscribed tomb tablets, the four occupants were members of Shi family, whose ancestors had immigrated to China from the kingdom of Shi, i.

These tombs are well-known as the only family graveyard of Sogdian descendants unearthed from China1. It is notable that four imitations of western gold coins were found in these tombs, among which one is identified as the imitation of a Sasanian gold coin, while the others are imitations of Byzantine solidi.

In , a genuine solidus was also found in the same family graveyard, from the tomb of Shi Daluo d. These solidi and imitations were placed in the mouths of the deceased or near their heads. Moreover, each tomb contains only one gold coin, implying they were deli- berately and regularly placed in the tombs. These imitations can be classified into two categories. The first group can be identified with their originals.

They are also similar to genuine solidi in weight and diameter the standard solidus has a weight of 4. The second group can hardly be traced to the original models. They are struck as bracteates on a very thin flan unstamped 1 See Luo Feng, The weight is less than 2 grams and the di- ameter is that of a genuine solidus. Notably, most imitations of Byzantine gold coins from the heartland of China show direct or indirect connections with Sogdian descendants.

Besides the above-mentioned Shi family tombs, an imitation solidus was unearthed from the tomb of Anpu and his wife near Luoyang in Anpu himself once assumed the office of Greater Head in the six-bar- barians-counties Liu hu zhou which saw flourishing Sogdian communities before the mid Tang period3.

Chaoyang, Liaoning province, where another imitation was unearthed4, was called Yingzhou during the Tang period and was the hometown of An Lushan and Shi Siming, the famous Sogdian leaders of the An Shi Revolt5. Nevertheless, the imitation solidus from the Hejiacun treasure hoard unearthed in was found together with many foreign gold and silver coins in a pottery jar, whose owner may have been Li Xian, the Zhanghuai prince6.

This inference is strengthened by looking at their locations in comparison with that of Sasanian silver coins from the tombs of Chinese elites and Sogdian descendants of the same period.

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In the tomb of Shi Wushe d. Also at Guyuan, we find the tomb of Liang Yuanzhen d. Liang Yuan- zhen, like the members of Shi family, came from a prestigious local family. The tomb of Liang, however, contained only one hundred and four specimens 2 Luoyang wenwu gongzuodui, Luoyang Longmen Tang Anpu fufu mu The tomb of Apu and his wife in Longmen, Luoyang , Zhongyuan wenwu, March, , p. These coins were scattered on the bed of the coffin, upon which the dead man lay.

This arrangement further shows that Chinese elites did not employ we- stern gold and silver coins as a personal burial article. On the contrary, this custom is more likely to associate with Sogdian descendants in China9. Archeological evidence from the Sogdian territory also shows a similar funeral custom. A number of genuine and imitation solidi were found in tombs dating to the period between the sixth century and the eighth century CE. According to the catalogue prepared by Dr.

Naymark, three specimens among a total of 41 genuine and imitation Byzantine coins can be defined as the burial articles next to skin. Two of them no. Returning to finds in China, the time at which the imitation Byzantine coins appear is also worthy of notice. One Sasanian silver coin was unearthed from the tomb of Shi Shewu d. Beginning with the tomb of Shi Suoyan d. Except for the imitation Sasanian gold coin from the tomb of Shi Tie- bang, the rest are all imitations of solidi Judging from the official titles that they assumed, Shi Shewu and Shi Suoyan were both in the rank of the fourth class office.

Starting from Shi Kedan, the official positions of the Shi family members gradually declined. We therefore have to face this que- stion: The more reasonable answer seems to be that genuine solidi, precious diplomatic gifts from the steppe, could not reach the hands of middle-rank officials. Therefore, Shi Shewu had no choice but to 9 In the earlier periods, like Northern Zhou and Sui, some relatives of the Royal family and high officials employed Byzantine gold coins as funeral articles, however, this group is of exclusively genuine solidi and absence of Sasanian silver coins.

See Lin Ying, The gold coins of Kaghan: Naymark , p. In the early Tang period, imitations of Byzantine gold coins started to come to Guyuan. Thus, in the tombs of Shi family, gold imitation coins replaced silver coins. The dates of other tombs where imitation solidi are found show a similar time span, i. For instance, Anpu was buried in CE the third year of Jinglong ; the tomb in Chaoyang, Liaoning province is dated to the time around CE the fourth year of Wude. The specimen from the Hejiacun hoard is dated earlier than the end of 8th century Nevertheless, it quite possibly belonged to the coin collection of prince Zhanghuai and could reach the hand of prince Zhanghuai before he was exiled in CE.

Therefore, two questions are raised by the above analysis: Why did imi- tations of Byzantine gold coins appear in the seventh century CE? This custom is referred to as obulus by archae- ologists, originating from the ancient Greek habit of laying a small silver coin obol in the mouth of the deceased as the ferry charge to Charon, the god who transports the dead to the nether world Noticeably, many excavations show that obulus was an enduring burial custom in Sogdiana That coins not only circulated in the economic field, but also were widely distributed in the tombs, leads us to consider the significance of coin in Sogdian thinking.

The high social position of wealthy merchants is shown in Sogdian paintings of the time. The worship of wealth in the Sogdian community is also recorded in Chi- nese sources.

An Lushan traded secretly with the Hu merchants from several prefectures dao. A million of precious exotics were conveyed to his seat each year. When the merchants arrived, Lushan took on his barbarian dress and sat in a we- ll-decorated barbarian chair. He burned the joss sticks and displayed the tre- asures, commanding a hundred barbarians to stand on his left and right sides. The crowd of barbarian people prostrated themselves at the feet of him, pra- ying to their god for happiness.

Lushan then set out numerous sacrificial animals.Protokoly i soobstcheniya Turkestanskogo kruzhka lyubitelej arheologii. Noticeably, many excavations show that obulus was an enduring burial custom in Sogdiana In medieval ages on the distance of 4 farsakhs from Marw city in Khorasan was situated the village named Balashjird. In Bibl. EMP International. However, the author overlooks, that Egypt was named so only in Tibetian map, and maybe also by the Iranians of early Par- thian epoch.

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