Reviews

Sinologist historian A. Sh. Kadyrbaev proposes an overview of the diffusion of Persian, Turkic and Arabic languages and knowhow in the Yüan Empire, insisting on the exceptional openness of China to the promotion of peoples from Inner Asia under the Mongol rule. Paragraphs are devoted to the social and political roles played by Muslim literati and technicians ― as well as by wrestlers from Khurasan and Iraq ― in the twelfth and thirteenth-century Mongol courts of China and Inner Asia, according to major Muslim chroniclers like Juwayni and Rashid al-Din, to Chinese chronicles like the Yuan-shi, the Shin Yuan-shi and the Min-shi, and to a lesser degree to recent Chinese historical research. The author casts light to figures and families of Muslim-background protagonists like mid-thirteenth-century Persian builders of Khanbaliq (present-day Beijing) Yadgar and his son Muhammad-Shah. The remaining part of the study is devoted to Muslim direct contributions to the Chinese development of astronomy, medicine, geography, military techniques, shipbuilding, and navigation, through data of the Yuan-shi, of the Min-shi, and of Rashid al-Din and Ibn Battuta.

Stéphane A. Dudoignon, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: II-4.3.E-423