The Epigraphic Tradition Between the Ghaznavids and the Ghurids: Evidence from Ghazni and Bust/Lashkari Bazar

Abstract : This paper explores aspects of continuity and change in the content of monumental inscriptions ascribed to the Ghaznavid and Ghurid periods. This review is mainly based on the epigraphic materials retrieved from Ghazni and Bust/Lashkari Bazar, where the two dynasties ruled from the late 10th to the early 13th century, and where French and Italian archaeological missions conducted researches in the 1950s and 1960s. A large part of the materials collected during those excavations and surveys remains understudied and deserves fresh examination. This paper takes into account inscriptions recorded in civic, religious and funerary contexts, as well as inscribed architectural objects decontextualized and re-used in post-Mongol monuments. Three main issues will be addressed: the display of more or less extended titulatures as testimonies to a royal patronage; the recurrence of Quranic quotes and religious formulae; the use of Persian expressions complementing the more common Arabic ones. The fragmentary nature of a number of the inscriptions as well as the uncertainties related to their original context, raise critical methodological concerns and call for caution in the chronological attribution of undated documents. Nevertheless, the adoption of a comparative perspective brings out the persistence of specific epigraphic practices, as well as shifts that may reflect social and political transformations. Some details also point out that certain kinds of inscribed monuments were related to 'private' patronage and devotional practices. This evidence suggests that, notwithstanding the reversals of the ruling power, the urban elites might have been involved in the transmission of the epigraphic tradition and practice.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - 11:34:35 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, June 4, 2019 - 6:58:01 PM

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Viola Allegranzi. The Epigraphic Tradition Between the Ghaznavids and the Ghurids: Evidence from Ghazni and Bust/Lashkari Bazar. Indo-Ghuria: Continuities and Ruptures in 12th-13th-Century South and Central Asia, Manan Ahmad, Alka Patel (Columbia University), Aug 2017, New York, United States. ⟨hal-01585958⟩

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