Reviews

This short and panoramic philological study based on the works by eleventh-century CE authors Mahmud Kashghari and Yusuf Khwass Hajib ambitions to provide a sketch of the state apparatus of the Qarakhanids through an analysis of the successive or simultaneous titles of its rulers of varied ranks (with particular interest in those of jabghu, khan and buyuk khan, taksin and bik), of the geographic entities composing its territory (il/yurt; wilayat; shahr/tuman; qishlaq), and of the latter’s respective rulers (ilaqkhan for the first; tegin for the second; hakim, ra’is and muhtasib for the shahr or tuman; tuzun for villages — the latter was also fulfilling the function of the main mirab, and was being sometimes assisted by a chuban). The main dignities of the empire are also passed in review, from the yughrush (a title given to members of the government) to the hajib (a denomination associated with most prominent intellectual and spiritual authorities), from the qapugh bashi (identified as a chief warden of the palace) to the aghichi (treasurer, a term bearing testimony of the significance of silk [aghi] as a currency in the earliest times of the Qarakhanid period) and the yalafar or yalawach (ambassador). The diversity of practices covered by these denominations brings the author to underline the composite character of the Qarakhanid state, which prospered during a long period of time at the crossroads of the steppe and oases worlds.

Stéphane A. Dudoignon, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: II-3.4.B-258