John Man

Obscure Empires Brought to Light

The History of Central Asia: The Age of Islam and the Mongols

By

I B Tauris 382pp £30 order from our bookshop

Once upon a time, over a millennium ago, Central Asia was so vast and forbidding that the cultures on its edge knew almost nothing about it. Wildernesses of desert, mountain and grassland divided east from west. But in around AD 800 it began to open up. During the following centuries, it seethed with rival cultures, religions and empires, all emerging, expanding, sinking and dying like cells in a 6,000-kilometre Petri dish, with many an unforeseeable consequence along the way.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • sorry I can’t spell fluttering. I was agitated.,
    • Probably try and get an announcement out later, for all these male writers who think of fluttering inner muscle sheaths...,
    • He felt the muscles far inside her flutteriung around him,
    • Next week sees return, and we've got discounted tickets on offer, right here: ,
    • We're rarely topical - tricky as a monthly magazine - but we've an article this month all about Laurence Binyon, po… ,
    • "We will remember them" - who wrote those words, and why have them become our terms of memorial? ,
    • RT : Wow. We're over the moon with this stunning piece on My Cat Yugoslavia, 'a truly extraordinary novel.'… ,