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

17 - Irano-Turkish Relations in the Late Sasanian Period

from PART 4 - IRAN AND HER NEIGHBOURS
Summary
Firdausi's Shāh-nāma, completed at the beginning of the 11th century AD and incorporating epic material from earlier times, describes the battles between two equally courageous peoples, the Iranians and the Turanians. In the region of the upper Oxus a kingdom had been founded by the so-called Hephthalites. In 565 AD Hephthalites were defeated by joint forces of Sasanians and Turks, Chinese sources are still found referring to a "king of the Hephthalites", although since their defeat the Hephthalites appear to have been subjected to a Turkish overlord. More important for the study of Turkish culture are the Sakas (Scythians) whose language was also Middle Iranian. One branch of the Sakas who founded a kingdom in Khotan, who were in the Tarim basin, were zealous Buddhists who may have been converts from Zoroastrianism. Another people of the same language group of great importance for the culture of the Turks are the Sogdians.
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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
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521200929
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