S. Frederick Starr is the founding chairman of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute/Silk Road Studies Program, a research and policy centre affiliated with Johns Hopkins's School of Advanced International Studies and the Institute for Security and Development Policy in Stockholm. A past president of Oberlin College and the Aspen Institute, he began his career in classical archaeology, excavating at Gordium in modern Turkey and mapping the Persian Royal Road.This is the story of remarkable people, astonishing achievements and eventful lives, of a culture that lay the foundations for the modern world - a rich, exciting and largely forgotten history In this sweeping and richly illustrated history, S. Frederick Starr tells the fascinating but largely unknown story of Central Asia's medieval enlightenment through the eventful lives and astonishing accomplishments of its greatest minds and remarkable figures who built a bridge to the modern world. Lost Enlightenment recounts how, between 800 and 1200, Central Asia led the world in trade and economic development, the size and sophistication of its cities, the refinement of its arts and, above all, in the advancement of knowledge in many fields. It chronicles this forgotten age of achievement, seeks to explain its rise, and explores the competing theories about the cause of its eventual demise. Informed by the latest scholarship, yet written in a lively and accessible style, this is a book that will surprise general readers and specialists alike.