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The Languages of the Silk Route

Author(s): János Harmatta
Subject(s): History, Language studies, Geography, Regional studies, Ancient World, Historical Linguistics, Sociolinguistics
Published by: Akadémiai Kiadó
Keywords: Sogdian; Gāndhār; Khwarezmian; Persian; Syrian; Silk Route;

Summary/Abstract: The Seleucid rulers and the Graeco-Bactrian kings already realized the great possibilities of the commercial relations between China and Central Asia on the one hand, and between Central Asia and Europe on the other hand. Later, the Chinese Han Empire extended its supremacy over the Tarim Basin and opened the “Silk Routes”, both the northern and the southern ones, foe the caravan trade. The necessity of language communication in long-distance trade favoured the use and spread of some languages both along the continental “Silk Routes” and the maritime one. Thus became at first the Sogdian and the Gāndhār Prakrit, later the Khwarezmian, the Persian and the Syrian and after the Mongolian conquest the Cumanian, the Uyghur the Armenian and the Russian languages of the “Silk Route”.

  • Issue Year: 47/2003
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 81-88
  • Page Count: 8
  • Language: Hungarian