Transl(iter)ation games

During the course of the 20th century, the official alphabet of the Azerbaijani language changed multiple times— from an Perso-Arabic script used before 1922, to one version of a Latin script used from ’22-’39, and then several iterations of Cyrillic between ’39 and ’91, and finally a new Latin script after the fall of the Soviet Union. Every day in Baku, though, I walk past this … Continue reading Transl(iter)ation games

The Caspian Path: Early archaeology

In 1722, Peter the Great led a Russian military campaign southwards along the western shores of the Caspian Sea through Dagestan and Azerbaijan towards Persia. This was the start of the short-lived Russo-Persian war (1722-23) that ended with Russian territorial gains in the Caucasus and heightened Russian-Ottoman tensions. Along on the journey with Peter the Great’s army was Dimitrie Cantemir, a polymath scholar, historian and twice … Continue reading The Caspian Path: Early archaeology