The Land and the People in History

  • Anthony Hyman


It is the geographical situation more than any other factor which has ensured Afghanistan’s continuing importance in Asian history, for it lies across the Asian land routes like a mountainous crossroads — picturesquely described as a ‘roundabout of the Ancient World’ (Arnold Toynbee). Neither the land nor its peoples can be understood without reference to the three great Asian regions against each of which Afghanistan has its borders; related to each and yet distinct — central, south and west Asia; that is, the vast steppelands of central Asia, the subcontinent of India and the Middle East.


Minority Ethnic Group Muslim Scholar Folk Religion External Enemy Sufi Order 
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    Olaf Caroe, The Pathans (1985) p. 25.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    H. K. Kakar, Government and Society in Afghanistan (Austin, USA, 1979) for a full study of Amir Abdur Rahman’s reign.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Major-General Sir H. Rawlinson, England and Russia in the East (1875, new edition 1970) p. 355.Google Scholar
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    See further J. Spain, The Way of the Pathan (1962).Google Scholar
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    Among sources consulted are J. Anderson and R. Strand (eds), Ethnic processes and intergroup relations in contemporary Afghanistan (New York, 1978) and F. Barth, ‘Pathan Identity and its maintenance’, in F. Barth (ed.), Ethnic groups and boundaries (1970).Google Scholar
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© Anthony Hyman 1992

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  • Anthony Hyman

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