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  • Print publication year: 1983
  • Online publication date: March 2008


In the case of one Iranian settlement in Central Asia that attained great fame in the first millennium AD. There were two great kingdoms in east of the Pamirs: Khotan and Shan-shan. Most of the knowledge of the political history of Khotan derives from Chinese sources. After a period of intermittent Chinese influence, Khotan could be described as "a pleasant and prosperous kingdom, with a numerous and flourishing population" by the Chinese pilgrim Fa-hsien, who arrived in Khotan about AD 400 on his way to India in search of Buddhist scriptures. The local literature of Khotan is wholly Buddhist but is not confined to translations of Buddhist texts. It is as a consequence of the reassertion of Chinese power in the Tarim basin under the T'ang dynasty. Even more widely scattered throughout Central Asia than the Sakas were the Iranian-speaking people known as Sogdian.
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The Cambridge History of Iran
  • Volume 3: The Seleucid, Parthian and Sasanid Periods, Part 1
  • Edited by E. Yarshater
  • Online ISBN: 9781139054942
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