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Conquering and Ruling Premodern Afghanistan

Conquering and Ruling Premodern Afghanistan

(p.66) Chapter Two Conquering and Ruling Premodern Afghanistan
Thomas Barfield
Princeton University Press

This chapter examines Afghanistan's premodern patterns of political authority and the groups that wielded it. During this period nation-states did not exist and regions found themselves as parts of various empires. During its premodern history, the territory of today's Afghanistan was conquered and ruled by foreign invaders. Located on a fracture zone linking Iran in the west, central Asia in the north, and south Asia in the east, it was the route of choice for armies moving across the Hindu Kush (or south of it) toward the plains of India. For the same reason, empires based in India saw the domination of this region as their first line of defense. This chapter focuses on how (and what kinds of) territory was conquered, how conquerors legitimated their rule, and the relationship of such states with peoples at their margins.

Keywords:   premodern Afghanistan, political authority, imperialism, foreign invaders, conquerors

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