Central Asian Studies Lecture
Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age
from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane
Professor S. Frederick Starr (Central Asia-Caucasus Institute and Silk Road Studies Program, Washington)
Date: Wednesday 28 May 2014
Time: 15:00 BST
Venue: Room 2:1 (2nd Floor)
The Institute of Ismaili Studies, 210 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DA, UK
About the Lecture
Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to
Tamerlane, provides a comprehensive picture of the great era of enlightenment
that occurred in Central Asia, ca. 800-1200 CE.
Since many of the writers whom Professor Starr presents in this book wrote in Arabic,
it has been incorrectly assumed that they were Arabs. However, Starr shows that many
of them were in fact Persians or Turkic peoples from Central Asia. In this lecture,
Professor Starr will sketch the overall contours of this remarkable age of ideas and indicate the role played by the Ismailis in the advancement of knowledge, and how opposition to the Ismailis led eventually to a general attack on rational enquiry, science and philosophy.
About the Lecturer
Professor S. Frederick Starr is the founding chairman of the Central Asia -Caucasus
Institute and Silk Road Studies Program, a joint transatlantic research and policy centre
affiliated with Johns Hopkins University-SAIS in Washington and the Institute for Security
and Development Policy in Stockholm. His research on the countries of Greater Central
Asia, their history, development and internal dynamics has resulted in twenty three books and over 200 published articles.