Cover Osteuropa 8-9/2007

In Osteuropa 8-9/2007
Teil des Dossiers Zentralasien

Civilisations and Steppe Empires
Central Asia’s Cultural Realm

Bert Fragner

Deutsche Fassung


For ages, Central Asia has been an area of structured multi-culturalism. The tension – sometimes symbiosis – between highly specialised, cattle-breeding equestrian nomadic life and sedentary high culture has shaped the physiognomy of Central Asia up to modern times. Violent conflicts led to mass migration covering large areas. Symbiosis pro-duced the legendary Silk Road, a highpoint of transcultural coexistence. Since the 18th century, however, specific aspects of the region have been transformed, first as the western part of Central Asia fell under Chinese rule, and then as the eastern part came under Russian rule in the 19th century. The borders of the contemporary nation-states are thus the product of imperial competition and Soviet nationality policy.

(Osteuropa 8-9/2007, pp. 27–52)