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How important is the role of Bactrian sources in the study of the history of the Sogdian state that existed in our country in the early Middle Ages?

    When determining sources directly related to the history of the Sogdian Confederation, and determining the level of reliability of information, it is also important in what environment they were created. A number of studies have been carried out on the analysis of sources in the Sogdian, Chinese, Arabic-Persian and ancient Turkic languages, containing relatively extensive information on the history of the Sogdian confederation. Analysis of sources in other languages, in particular Bactrian (the term "Bactria" was used to express a geographical meaning. To distinguish it from a geographical meaning, it was considered appropriate to use the term "Bactrian" to express the language and script) is excluded. The study of these sources is important in the study of some features of the history of the Sogdian confederation. Because on this basis the primary and secondary sources of the history of Sogd are determined, and the degree of dependence of information on real historical processes is also reflected. In addition, sources in different languages ​​are an important factor determining the extent to which historical processes are objectively reflected by one or another affiliation of the authors (for example, ethnic or political). It is also important to try to investigate the problem on the basis of Russian-language editions of Bactrian language sources, reflecting some aspects of the history of the Sogdian confederation, which can be effectively used to illuminate the regions. The Bactrian language and the Greek script based on it (later, in the II-I centuries BC, the Bactrians developed their script based on the Greek alphabet), is one of the areas adjacent to the territory of the distribution of the Sogdian language. Due to their geographical position, the southern regions of Sogd in the early Middle Ages bordered on Tokharistan (historical Bactria), and the history of these regions is connected with each other. However, information relating to the history of Sogd is not found in many Bactrian sources. For example, Bactrian documents, known as "Fragments of the Berlin Hephthalite", found by A. von Le Coq in 1905 in the oasis of the Tuyok River (Turfan / East Turkestan), Bactrian religious documents of the Cushon era, found in Surkh-Kotal in 1957 1959 Andre Marik, Religious documents discovered in the ruins of the Karatep temple of Old Termez in 1962, samples of Bactrian writing discovered by the Soviet-Afghan expedition in the ruins of the city of Dilberjin in Northern Afghanistan in 1973-1974, do not contain any information about the Sogdian confederation. Most of them are religious. An important event was the discovery of documents in the Bactrian language, found on the territory of historical Tokharistan in the 90s of the twentieth century. These sources, studied by the Iranologist N. Sims-Williams, are mostly translated into English, partly into Russian, the Bactrian documents have not been completely translated into other languages. Some of the English translations of Bactrian documents have also been published in Uzbek. Specialists assert that these Bactrian documents were compiled in 639, 678, 681, 702. The documents covered legal matters such as sale, lease, commitment, letter of guarantee. The structure of documents in Bactrian is also notable for its similarity with documents in Mug-Sogdian. They also contain components such as the entry formula for the document, its purpose, witnesses to when the document was drawn up, and the date it was drawn up. Perhaps the management of court affairs under the kaganate was controlled by the central government. Some information about the titles of the rulers of the Sogdian confederation is given from Bactrian documents. For example, the title har or xār, mentioned in documents, is similar to the ancient Iranian word khšāthriya - “ruler” and is pronounced as [əxšēth] in the Sogdian language “ikhshid”. Even though these two terms are written, they are used to mean the same thing, this is a historical fact. From here came the opinion of scientists on this matter. For example, according to M. Iskhakov, the title, which was understood as ihrid as the title of the rulers of Tokharistan in the early Middle Ages, is actually read in paleographic sources. However, the letter -r- in this title should be read as -sh- in the Southern Sughd region. Such a rare paleographic phenomenon was caused by the influence of the Greco-Bactrian script used in the neighboring South Sogd of Tokharistan (Bactria). In Bactrian Greek writing, the letter resh was used to represent the shin. The phonological significance of this is that these sounds change position and in pronunciation one has a narrow noise interval and the other a trembling pronunciation. In Bactrian Greek writing, the adopted palaeographic method, such as the use of resh for shin, seems to have influenced the practice of "national" Sogdian writing in the southern region for a time. However, this practice has not become widespread. Therefore, the term ihrid should historically be considered a local variant of the term ihshid. The Bactrian documents contain information about the awarding of titles by the Turkic Khagans to several local rulers. In these documents, the title of Eltabar, presented by the Turkic kagans to the rulers under the kaganate, as well as tudun, kagan, tarkhan and dozens of other ancient Turkic titles, which were supervisory deputies of the kaganate. The source mentions that these titles were used in the administration of the Khaganate. This reinforces the question of the connection of these titles with the history of the Sogdian confederation. Several documents written in the Bactrian language have been found in the Sogd region itself. In particular, from the ruins of Penjikent, the words written on the label, and a number of ceramic products, samples of Bactrian writing on the wall paintings of Afrosiab were discovered and studied. Most of these Bactrian sources are related to the economy and trade, and they can only be used as ancillary information in covering the history of the confederation. Thus, written monuments in the Bactrian language relating to the history of Sogd are of great source study significance. Their authors focused on the history of Sogd, listing the peoples and countries that were under the control of states such as the Hephthalites and the Turkish Khaganate, while highlighting the course of events. They do not talk about the foundations of the confederation, its coinage, state symbols, etc. Not a single historical work has been preserved in the Bactrian language. The Bactrian documents are still little known to the scientific community, and the study of some features of the problem under study is possible only as a result of their complete translation into Russian, English and other languages ​​of the world.


Dоvudkhоn Ahmаdov,

Master of Samarkand State University.