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Sacred Landscape in Medieval Afghanistan – Revisiting the Faḍāʾil-i Balkh - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Sacred Landscape in Medieval Afghanistan: Revisiting the Faḍāʾil-i Balkh

Arezou Azad


This book is about a sacred place called Balkh, in today’s Afghanistan, known to the ancient Greeks as Bactra. The book offers a new look at the medieval local history of Balkh, the Faḍāʾil-i Balkh, and analyses the creation of a sacred landscape. Fundamentally, the book argues that the example of Balkh helps us to answer the fascinating question, ‘What makes a place holy?’ It shows that sacredness of place is perpetuated through narratives, irrespective of the dominant religion or religious strand of the time. Located in the north of today’s Afghanistan, along the Silk Road, Balkh was holy to ... More

Keywords: Islam, sacred space, landscape, Afghanistan, Iran, Central Asia, historiography, Persian literature, Buddhism, scholarship, medieval urban history

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780199687053
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199687053.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Arezou Azad, author
Lecturer in Medieval History, University of Birmingham and Leverhulme Research Officer, University of Oxford