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Sundiata

The Greco Bactrian Kingdom (and something on the Indo Greek Kingdoms)

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Long term goals: The Greco Bactrian Kingdom of 1000 cities...

One of the richest and most powerful Hellenistic states, if only for a brief 131 years (256 BC - 125 BC). A precursor to the Indo Greek Kingdom (180 BC - 10 AD). They're quite interesting, representing the most Eastern extent of Greek rule after Alexander's conquest. A vast Kingdom encompassing Bactria, Sogdiana and Ferghana, as well as parts of Persia and the Punjab. Syncretizing Greek religion with Bactrian and Iranian influences, and partly converting to Buddhism and Zoroastrianism. Mixing Achaemenid and Greek architecture. Influencing artistic developments in India and China. Multi-ethnic and multi-cultural, with Greek kings ruling alongside local kings. They fought a major war with the Seleucids. They bordered, and had generally good relations with the Maurya Dynasty. They also bordered the Han Chinese! And there seems to have been conflict between them or the Yuezhi (proto-Kushans, similar to Xiongnu) in or around the Tarim Basin in Xinjiang, the Western most part of modern day China. The Han Chinese proceeded to a full on invasion of the Greek cities in Ferghana in the wake of the fall of Greco Bactrian Hegemony after the invasions of the nomadic Yuezhi. This Greek-Chinese war is dubbed the War Of The Heavenly Horses. The Chinese referred to the Greeks as Dayuan (Great Ionians)...

As the Scythians connect the West to the East through the extensive contact with the Xiongnu over the Eurasian steppe, the Greco Bactrians connect the East to the West through the contact with China over the Tarim Basin, establishing the beginnings of the Silk Road.

A pretty decent general introduction: 

 

Greek-Chinese war.

 

Isn't this stuff delicious? Like finger licking delicious??

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The region have an amazing history of successive civilizations. 

- Andronovo and Bactria–Margiana cultures during the prehistory. 

- The Scythians,  the Saka, the Dahae and the Parni for the iron age. 

- The Achaemenid Persians. 

- The Macedonian Empire and its successor in Persia, the Seleucids. 

- The Bactrian independancy and the rise of the Mauryan empire. 

- The split between the Indo-Greek and greco-bactrians. 

- The installation of the Indo-Scythians kingdom. 

- The rise of the Parthians in the west and the split with the Indo-Parthian dynasty in the east. 

- The arrival of the Tocharoi of Strabo, the Yuezhi. The foundation of the Kushan nomad empire which took the control of the region. 

- The reversal of the Parthians by the Sassanians in the west, the rise of the Xionites and Kidarites in the North and the expansion of the Gupta empire in the South. 

- The foundation of the Hephtalite empire. 

- The rise of the Göktürk ant the Islamic conquest for the post-Roman era. 

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@Genava55 true, the history of that region is amazing! Ancient Bronze Age urban societies and all... The climate was also somewhat wetter +2000 years ago, so it would have been a lot greener back in the day. A sort of heavenly place, according to many accounts.

The ancient city of Balkh (Bactra) really fascinates me. Some mighty impressive city walls:

630135474_Picture1.png.29554e13253ede93d50b47fc7864418b.png367043537_WallsofBalkh.jpg.429805a233a074b33f893b95b236f89c.jpgIMG_0332.thumb.JPG.2b5102006090e127f4c8238149cd0fff.JPG

 

The late medieval history of the region is also pretty amazing. You forgot to mention the Timurid Empire :P, centred on Bactria/Sogdiana. It was Huge! Founded by Timur Lenk (Tamerlane), a decadent self-invisioned "heir" to the Mongol Empire.

1403198145559.thumb.jpg.8ade0de2cefb67e30e5774f9068f6b80.jpg

 

He made Samarkand his capital and built a really nice mosque there, the Bibi-Khanym Mosque, still standing today (after restorations):

1872_Vereshchagin_Triumphierend_anagoria.thumb.JPG.3353b4b2c3b6e29cf009668809ea69b0.JPG

Uzbekistan-Samarkand-75-Registan-LFincher-800-pixels.jpg.d5c0921bf1cc1bd24866f52339d9c9bf.jpg

 

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I didn't forgot. I stopped on purpose because the list was long enough :P

There are others funny cultures like the Khazar khaganate, an empire with nomadic origin but with their elites converted to judaism at some point  Their empire reached the Aral sea.

Spoiler

 

image.png.e47e37cebff3eb54e338900b86682b26.pngimage.png.a7acdbd8d07a7f0ba6620cfc0c102ca8.png

:D

 

Edited by Genava55
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52 minutes ago, Genava55 said:

I didn't forgot. I stopped on purpose because the list was long enough :P

Hahaha

 

53 minutes ago, Genava55 said:

 There are others funny cultures like the Khazar khaganate, an empire with nomadic origin but with their elites converted to judaism at some point  Their empire reached the Aral sea. 

 

I know right, Turkic Nomads, converting to Judaism and establishing the only Jewish Empire in history, on the Pontic steppe... One of those untold histories...

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1 hour ago, Lion.Kanzen said:

Khazar becomes some controversial because WW2 racial theories and other Nazi stuff.

Not only, a lot of religious conspiracy involves Jews. Even before the WW2 (the Protocols of Zion is good example of fake conspiracy). But I don't think it is the place to discuss about it.

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49 minutes ago, Genava55 said:

Not only, a lot of religious conspiracy involves Jews. Even before the WW2 (the Protocols of Zion is good example of fake conspiracy). But I don't think it is the place to discuss about it.

Me neither.

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Simply because there were a lot of anti-Semitic aspects in 20th century (and generally throughout history) does not mean that the topic should not be mentioned.  As there seems to be no  racist comments, I only find that it does a disservice to the Khazars and Jews to actively not mention them just because of the controversies.  

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4 hours ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

Simply because there were a lot of anti-Semitic aspects in 20th century (and generally throughout history) does not mean that the topic should not be mentioned.  As there seems to be no  racist comments, I only find that it does a disservice to the Khazars and Jews to actively not mention them just because of the controversies.  

If I m not wrong they should be part of Millennium 1th part. The Khazars must be in. I hope Hebrews, Israelites and Judaites will be in Aristeia as finish faction someday. Or the temple from Jesus time (Herodian temple) must be part of the game.

By other way all Turkish-Mongol people must be in our mods they have a rich story around great empires. Xiongnu, Avars, Huns, early Turks...

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21 hours ago, Lion.Kanzen said:

Khazar becomes some controversial because WW2 racial theories and other Nazi stuff.

 

19 hours ago, Genava55 said:

Not only, a lot of religious conspiracy involves Jews. Even before the WW2 (the Protocols of Zion is good example of fake conspiracy). But I don't think it is the place to discuss about it.

 

Quote

Me neither.

 

hold_my_beer.jpg.6660a4d1a102e98928c2b489413ebaa1.jpg

 

It actually has very little to do with Nazism, and everything to do with the Khazar Hypothesis of Ashkenazi Ancestry, and the possible implications for political Zionism. Some of the prominent proponents of the theory were/are actually Jewish themselves. This Khazar Hypothesis states that the Ashkenazim are largely, or in part descended from Khazar Jews. This potentially undermines one of the fundamental pillars upon which the modern state of Israel is founded, as it questions the Middle Eastern origin of many of the European Jews. ("one nation solemnly promised to a second nation the country of a third."). 

Therefore people studying, or even discussing the theory are automatically branded anti-semitic, for political reasons. Of course, the fact that there are also anti-semites promoting the theory doesn't help either...

That having said, genetic studies don't really seem to back up the Khazar Hypothesis. Any admixture seems to have been marginal. Although I'm very confused what exactly they were testing Ashkenazim genes against, because ancient Khazar ethnicity is exceedingly obscure, complicated and heterogenous... If they don't know who the ancient Khazars were from a genetic/ethnic point of view, how in the world do they test the Hypothesis (no verification samples)? 

Anyway, it seems obvious that all the historical Jewish populations of the world, including Ashkenazim are at least somewhat related to each other, as well as to the people of their host-countries, as well as to the Arabs of North Africa and the Levant, including Palestinians. Anybody making absolute claims about Ashkenazim solely being descendants from Khazars, or Central/East Europeans vs Ashkenazim solely being descendants from levantine Jews, is bound to be wrong. Genes and population movements are always really complicated. 

Edited by Sundiata
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6 hours ago, Sundiata said:

It actually has very little to do with Nazism, and everything to do with the Khazar Hypothesis of Ashkenazi Ancestry, and the possible implications for political Zionism. Some of the prominent proponents of the theory were/are actually Jewish themselves. This Khazar Hypothesis states that the Ashkenazim are largely, or in part descended from Khazar Jews. This potentially undermines one of the fundamental pillars upon which the modern state of Israel is founded, as it questions the Middle Eastern origin of many of the European Jews. ("one nation solemnly promised to a second nation the country of a third.").  

Therefore people studying, or even discussing the theory are automatically branded anti-semitic, for political reasons. Of course, the fact that there are also anti-semites promoting the theory doesn't help either...

That having said, genetic studies don't really seem to back up the Khazar Hypothesis. Any admixture seems to have been marginal. Although I'm very confused what exactly they were testing Ashkenazim genes against, because ancient Khazar ethnicity is exceedingly obscure, complicated and heterogenous... If they don't know who the ancient Khazars were from a genetic/ethnic point of view, how in the world do they test the Hypothesis (no verification samples)? 

Anyway, it seems obvious that all the historical Jewish populations of the world, including Ashkenazim are at least somewhat related to each other, as well as to the people of their host-countries, as well as to the Arabs of North Africa and the Levant, including Palestinians. Anybody making absolute claims about Ashkenazim solely being descendants from Khazars, or Central/East Europeans vs Ashkenazim solely being descendants from levantine Jews, is bound to be wrong. Genes and population movements are always really complicated. 

Well, it is mostly a matter of political interest and all the studies on this hypothesis are really subjective, therefore hard to interpret. As you said, there are several oversimplifications of their population history and all the conclusions are not really scientific nor historic. From my perspective, the simple fact to justify or to deny the right of a population over a territory by their supposed genetic origin is dull.

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All the theological debate on just war starting with St. Augusta has devolved to might makes right :omg:

Enjoy the Choice :)

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1 hour ago, Genava55 said:

From my perspective, the simple fact to justify or to deny the right of a population over a territory by their supposed genetic origin is dull.

Irredentism can be an ugly thing...

 

1 hour ago, Genava55 said:

Well, it is mostly a matter of political interest and all the studies on this hypothesis are really subjective, therefore hard to interpret. As you said, there are several oversimplifications of their population history and all the conclusions are not really scientific nor historic.

Even the different types of genetic studies are so varied and difficult to interpret, even by the experts. Different researchers can sometimes come up with wildly differing conclusions from one and the same study. There are just too many factors. Samples are often suspiciously small, ignore "outliers", use questionable "proxy populations", focus too strongly on lineal descendants, and ignore collateral kin and stuff like that... Then there's wild card concepts like genetic drift, which can cause gene variants to disappear and completely obscure certain ancestries, or "cause initially rare alleles to become much more frequent and even fixed", resulting in the possible "over-estimation" of certain ancestries. Genetic studies are interesting, but they're also a mess...

 

51 minutes ago, Loki1950 said:

All the theological debate on just war starting with St. Augusta has devolved to might makes right :omg:

Right back where we started... Has it ever really been any different though? 

 

 

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27 minutes ago, Lion.Kanzen said:

Some radicals mixes cultural with genetic, like those support Aryan theory and commit the mistake to think Germanic are same as Indo-European.

https://www.quora.com/Are-Aryan-people-the-same-as-Indo-Europeans

 

In the same register:

The past as propaganda: totalitarian archaeology in Nazi Germany
http://karant.pilsnerpubs.net/files/Propaganda.pdf

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47 minutes ago, Genava55 said:

In the same register:

The past as propaganda: totalitarian archaeology in Nazi Germany
http://karant.pilsnerpubs.net/files/Propaganda.pdf

Yes the problem was since 19 century from scholars. So the later politics of National socialist and another movements.

---The propaganda is term to used in ideology / politic context only.---

 

Quote
Harold Zwanepol, former Natural Selection Intervention Specialist
 
 
 
 

Aryan is a name which was once used by some Indo-Iranian people for themselves. It was a cultural term and never delineated a specific ethnic group.

Due to mis-interpretation by some western scholars, the name was taken to be synonomous with proto-Indo-Europeans. This error formed the basis of Hitler’s ‘Aryan’ mythology of a race of blond-haired, blue eyed people.

Due to the confusion caused by the 19th century scholars and the events of the 20th century, the term Aryan is now used only in the context of linguistics.

The Indo-Iranic (Aryan) people were a subset of the Indo-Europeans. The two terms are related but not synonymous.

 

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I found the article. And were I read this was the first time was in a blog about late colonialism in Africa.

Now returning to topic is necessary differentiate between aspects of this regional faction.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-Aryan_migration

Then the origin of Bactria as place

Quote

Bactria (/ˈbæktriə/); or Bactriana was a historical region in Central Asia. Bactria proper was north of the Hindu Kush mountain range and south of the Amu Darya river,[1] covering the flat region that straddles modern-day Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. More broadly Bactria was the area north of the Hindu Kush, west of the Pamirs and south of the Tian Shan with the Amu Darya flowing west through the center.

Bronze age.(late)

Quote

The early Greek historian Ctesias, c. 400 BC (followed by Diodorus Siculus), alleged that the legendary Assyrian king Ninus had defeated a Bactrian king named Oxyartes in c. 2140 BC, or some 1000 years before the Trojan War. Since the decipherment of cuneiform script in the 19th century, however, which enabled actual Assyrian records to be read, historians have ascribed little value to the Greek account.

According to some writers[who?], Bactria was the homeland of Indo-Iranians who moved southwest into Iran and the northwest of the Indian subcontinent around 2500–2000 BC. Later, it became the northern province of the Achaemenid Empire in Central Asia.[5] It was in these regions, where the fertile soil of the mountainous country is surrounded by the Turan Depression, that the prophet Zoroaster was said to have been born and gained his first adherents. Avestan, the language of the oldest portions of the Zoroastrian Avesta, was one of the old Iranian languages, and is the oldest attested member of the Eastern Iranian languages.

 

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49 minutes ago, Lion.Kanzen said:

Some radicals mixes cultural with genetic, like those support Aryan theory and commit the mistake to think Germanic are same as Indo-European.

https://www.quora.com/Are-Aryan-people-the-same-as-Indo-Europeans

Wow, it just hit me why the ancient region of Ariana (which includes Bactria) was named as such... 

 

1 hour ago, Genava55 said:

The past as propaganda: totalitarian archaeology in Nazi Germany
http://karant.pilsnerpubs.net/files/Propaganda.pdf

Interesting read...It always surprises me how complacent so many people are when they believe that the lies will benefit them. 

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image.thumb.png.dea419d034c4245f45f9ac7039e68935.png

This important take a look to understand this Indo-European relationship.

1 hour ago, Sundiata said:

Interesting read...It always surprises me how complacent so many people are when they believe that the lies will benefit them. 

Their try to take many aspect to their convenience. The propaganda was a fruit of several generation, several ages, wars, to give form of Nat-So Neo-Nat.

---------

==Off topic sub theme about origin of myth of Aryans==

Spoiler

 

Some authors give a deep origin since early Western time with Greeks and Romans and their contact with their north neighbors.

This was in a blog (Spanish)about the racism(against them) an antithesis. but I was investigate some additional sources , their origins, and mostly of cases in the history. And many time was based in a misconception , in this case Tacitus.

 

https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2008/02/ancient-text-has-long-and-dangerous-reach/

Here is the equivalent to that part of the article.

This is the original. With the long thematic since modern ages to current age.

https://lasmentirasdelracismo.wordpress.com/2016/01/13/6-3-el-mito-rubio-y-la-creacion-de-la-raza-nordica/

Quote

Much of this hypothesis arose from the analysis of ancient texts resurrected by Herder

Quote

"For my part, I agree with those who think that the Germania tribes are free from all contamination from mixed marriages with foreign nations and that they appear as a distinct, unmixed race like no other. Therefore, the same physical peculiarities are also seen throughout the population. They all have intense blue eyes, red hair, enormous corpulence, suitable only for occasional efforts. They are unable to do a difficult job. They cannot suppress their impulses nor the cold and hunger of the climate of their land.

Tacitus. The Agrícola and Germania, A. J. Church and W. J. Brodribb, 2012

https://books.google.hn/books?id=hdd6aNunLeYC&pg=PA291&lpg=PA291&dq=herder+tacitus&source=bl&ots=M5rcDsSk6H&sig=yHKMQ-KdLNcutlccy88fzP-PEQg&hl=es-419&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiX9ar02ZHfAhUSmuAKHbssBn8Q6AEwB3oECAIQAQ#v=onepage&q=herder tacitus&f=false

J Gottfried Herder

 

Edited by Lion.Kanzen
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