Sogdians: Silk Road Traders

The Sogdians were originally an eastern Iranian civilisation but were later concentrated in Central Asia, with Samarkand as the main city. Literally straddling the ancient silk roads, many became traders and settled in communities throughout Asia, but especially in China. Wherever they went, they took their language, culture and traditions with them. In the 8th century their civilisation became eclipsed by the Muslim conquests in the West and by their association an unsuccessful rebellion in China.

EXCELLENT INTRODUCTION The Sogdians Influencers on the Silk Roads Illustrated text to an exhibition at the Freer Gallery, Washington DC

Ashurov, B., ‘Sogdian Christian texts: socio-cultural observations’,  Archiv orientální83(1) 2015 pp.53-70.

Ashurov, B. Tarsākyā: an analysis of Sogdian Christianity based on archaeological, numismatic, epigraphic and textual sources. PhD Thesis. SOAS, London, 2013, 229pp

Ashurov, B., Religions and Religious Space in Sogdian Culture: A View from Archaeological and Written Sources, Sino-Platonic Papers, 306, 2020

Compareti, M., ‘Classical Elements in Sogdian Art: Aesop’s Fables Represented in the Mural Paintings at Penjikent’,  Iranica Antiqua47, 2012, 303-316.

Compareti, M., ‘The role of the Sogdian colonies in the diffusion of the pearl roundels pattern’, Ērān ud Anērān, Webfestschrift 2003.

Dien, A.E., ‘The tomb of the Sogdian master Shi: Insights into the life of a Sabao’, The Silk Road7, 2009, .42-50.

Frye, R. and Litvinsky, B., ‘The Northern Nomads, Sogdiana and Chorasmia’, History of Humanity3, 1994.467-672

Gayibov, B., ‘About to the Question of the Main Origin of Sogdian Rulers’, International journal of Humanities & Social Science Studies3, ????, .235-242.

Grenet, F., ‘Religious diversity among Sogdian merchants in sixth-century China: Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Manichaeism, and Hinduism’, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East27(2) 2007.463-478.

Grenet, F., ‘The Pre-Islamic Civilization of the Sogdians (seventh century BCE to eighth century CE): A Bibliographic Essay (studies since 1986)’ The Silk Road1(2), 2003, 28-36.

Grenet, F., Riboud, P. and Yang, J., 2004. ‘Zoroastrian Scenes on a Newly Discovered Sogdian Tomb in Xi&aposan, Northern China’, Studia iranica33(2), pp.273-284.

Gulácsi, Z. and BeDuhn, J., ‘The religion of Wirkak and Wiyusi: the Zoroastrian iconographic program on a Sogdian sarcophagus from sixth-century Xi’an’, Bulletin of the Asia Institute26, 2012 pp.1-32.

Henning, W.B., ‘Sogdian tales’, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies11(3), 1945, 465-487.

Liu, C. ‘Sogdian Traders Along the Silk Road: Causes for Their Commercial Success’, Communications in Humanities Research, 4,1, 2023, 26-34.

Livshits, V.A., ‘Sogdian Sānak, a Manichaean Bishop of the 5th–Early 6th Centuries’, Bulletin of the Asia Institute14, 2000, 47-54.

Lurje, P.B., ‘Buddhist Indian Loanwords in Sogdian and the Development of Sogdian Buddhism’, Entangled Religions11(6) 2021

Ôsawa, T., 2006. ‘Aspects of the relationship between the ancient Turks and Sogdians-Based on a stone statue with Sogdian inscription in Xinjiang’, Ērān ud Anērān. Webfestschrift 2003

Reck, C., ‘The Sogdians and Their Religions in Turfan: Evidence in the Catalogue of the Middle Iranian Fragments in Sogdian Script of the Berlin Turfan Collection’, Entangled Religions11(6) 2021

Sims-Williams, N., “The Sogdian epitaph of Shi Jun and his wife’, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies84(3), 2021, 505-513.

Skaff, J.K., ‘The Sogdian trade diaspora in East Turkestan during the seventh and eighth centuries’, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient46(4), 2003, 475-524.

Slautina, M. ‘Telling the Sogdian Story: Sogdians, the Cultural Bees of Central Asia’,

de la De la Vaissière, É, ‘The Rise of the Sogdian Merchants and the Role of the Huns: The historical importance of the Sogdian Ancient Letters’ in S. Whitfield(ed)  The Silk Road: Trade, Travel, War and Faith, 2004, 19-23.

de la De la Vaissière, É., ‘Sogdians in China: A Short History and Some New Discoveries’, The Silk Road1(2), 2003, .23-27.

Wertmann, P., Wagner, M. and Tarasov, P., ‘Sogdian careers and families in sixth-to seventh-century northern China: a case study of the Shi family based on archaeological finds and epitaph inscriptions’, The history of the family22(1), 2017 103-135.

Xinjiang, R., ‘New Light on Sogdian Colonies along the Silk Road. Recent Archaeological Finds in Northern China’,  Akademie der Wissenschaften: Berichte und Abhandlungen10, 2006147-164.

Yakubovich, I., ‘Sogdian etymological notes’, Acta Orientalia64(2), 2011, 161-181.

Yatsenko, S., e.a. ‘Sogdian Costume in Chinese and Sogdian Art of the 6th–8th Centuries’, Serica–Da Qin Studies in Archaeology, Philology and History of Sino-Western Relations (Selected Problems), 2012101-14.

Yoshida, Y., ‘Relationship between Sogdiana and Turfan during the 10th–11th centuries as reflected in Manichaean Sogdian texts’, Journal of the International Silk Roads Studies1, 2017.113-25.