The Sogdian Descendants in Mongol and post-Mongol Central Asia: The Tajiks and Sarts

  • LEE, JOO-YUP (University of Toronto)
  • Published : 2020.06.15


This paper is devoted to the examination of the identity of the Sogdian descendants and their historical role in the second millennium CE. More specifically, it discusses the Sogdian connection to the later Iranic-speaking peoples of Central Asia, namely, the Sarts and the Tajiks. It then discusses the symbiotic relationship between the Sogdian descendants and the Mongols and the Mongol descendants (Chaghatays and Uzbeks) in Central Asia. In sum, this paper argues that the Sogdians did not perish after the Arab conquest of Central Asia in the eighth century CE. They survived under new exonyms Sart and Tajik. Like the Sogdians in pre-Islamic Central Asia, the Tajiks or Sarts played important historical roles in the Mongol and post-Mongol states of Central Asia, maintaining a symbiotic relationship with the nomad elites.