Reviews

These two short articles deal with the Oghuz (Arabic/Persian: Ghuzz), the famous Turkish tribe which became the spearhead of the Saljuq conquest in the mid-eleventh century.  In the Encyclopaedia of Islam (2nd ed., vol. 3, Leiden: Brill, 1965), the subject had been dealt with by Claude Cahen.  The Encyclopaedia Iranica has chosen to make two articles by two different authors.  The first part by P. Golden deals with the Oghuz before their contact with Islam (a subject deliberately ignored by Cahen).  As always, Golden’s article is very clear and precise.  However, it is also very short and therefore should be read along with the same author’s much longer contribution “Toghuzghuz” in the Encyclopaedia of Islam (2nd ed., vol. 10, 2002).  The second part of the article, by C. E. Bosworth, deals with the historical role played by the tribe in the world of Islam, from the first contacts in the eighth century to the end of the thirteenth century (the Ghuzz do not appear in the sources afterwards).  This part does not add much to Cahen’s article.  Besides, it overlaps also the general history of the Saljuqs, a topic thoroughly investigated by the author forty years ago, but which had suffered since from a total lack of interest by both Western and Iranian scholars (though it has been much more in favour in Turkey).  From this viewpoint this article reflects well the state (or rather: the inertia) of research in the field.  The bibliography mentions Sümer’s article “Oğuzlar”, but not his book (same title) published in Istanbul in 1994.  A recently released Turkish monograph deals with the Ghuzz after their revolt against Sanjar: E. Ayan, Büyük Selçuklu İmparatorluğu’nda Oğuz İsyanı, Istanbul: Kitabevi Yayınları, 2007.

David Durand-Guédy, French Institute of Research in Iran, Tehran
CER: I-3.1.B-170