The Persianate World (Paperback)

The Frontiers of a Eurasian Lingua Franca

By Nile Green (Editor)

University of California Press, 9780520300927, 368pp.

Publication Date: April 9, 2019

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Persian is one of the great lingua francas of world history. Yet despite its recognition as a shared language across the Islamic world and beyond, its scope, impact, and mechanisms remain underexplored. A world historical inquiry into pre-modern cosmopolitanism, The Persianate World traces the reach and limits of Persian as a Eurasian language in a comprehensive survey of its geographical, literary, and social frontiers. From Siberia to Southeast Asia, and between London and Beijing, this book shows how Persian gained, maintained, and finally surrendered its status to imperial and vernacular competitors. Fourteen essays trace Persian’s interactions with Bengali, Chinese, Turkic, Punjabi, and other languages to identify the forces that extended “Persographia,” the domain of written Persian. Spanning the ages of expansion and contraction, The Persianate World offers a critical survey of both the supports and constraints of one of history’s key languages of global exchange.

About the Author

Nile Green holds the Ibn Khaldun Endowed Chair in World History at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of Sufism: A Global History and Terrains of Exchange: Religious Economies of Global Islam and editor of Afghanistan’s Islam: From Conversion to the Taliban.


Praise For The Persianate World: The Frontiers of a Eurasian Lingua Franca

"Disassociated from methodological nationalist agendas, the collection presents a comprehensive overview of the contributions and constraints of cosmopolitanism in the Persianate world, spanning from the Ottoman Empire, the Caucasus, Central Asia, India, China, and of course, Iran."

— Middle East Journal