Importance of Nomads in Eurasian History - Thomas Barfield
History of Central Asia
History of Central Asia , history of the area from prehistoric and ancient times to the present. In its historical application the term Central Asia designates an area that is considerably larger than the heartland of the Asian continent. Were it not for the awkwardness of the term, it would be better to speak of Central Eurasia, comprising all those parts of the huge Eurasian landmass that did not develop a distinctive sedentary civilization of their own. The equation so often propounded—of the civilized with the sedentary and the barbarian with the nomad —is misleading, however. The most significant distinction between the two groups in Eurasia lies probably in the successful attempt of the civilized to alter and command the physical environment , whereas the barbarian simply uses it, often in a masterly fashion, to gain an advantage.
Literary sources on the ancient Iranian nomads of Central Asia. The term 'T¯ ura'1 is the name by which the Central Asian nomadic tribes were in one of the.
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Throughout more than two millennia, the extensive droughty areas in East Asia were occupied by pastoral nomads. A long history exists of hybridity between steppe and agricultural areas. The ancient nomads had a specific pastoral economy, a mobile lifestyle, a unique mentality that assumed unpretentiousness and stamina, cults of war, warrior horsemen, and heroized ancestors that were reflected, in turn, in both their verbal oeuvre heroic epos and their arts animal style. They established vast empires that united many peoples. In the descriptions of settled civilizations, the peoples of the steppe are presented as aggressive barbarians. However, the pastoral nomads developed efficient mechanisms of adaptation to nature and circumjacent states.
Forgot password? Don't have an account? This chapter examines the ethnic and cultural identities and migration routes of nomadic tribes in Central Asia. It explains that the migration of Central Asian nomads, particularly into Transoxiana, can be divided into two categories. One is the long trans-regional route ascribable to the migration of the Yuezhi tribe from the valley of Gansu to the territory north of the Oxus River, and the other is the local migration attributed to the tribes such as the Dahae, Sakaraules, and Appasiakes. The chapter suggests that the events which determined nomad migration are connected with the history of the northern and western borders of Han China in the second century BC.
The history of Central Asia concerns the history of the various peoples that have inhabited Central Asia. The lifestyle of such people has been determined primarily by the area's climate and geography. The aridity of the region makes agriculture difficult and distance from the sea cut it off from much trade. Thus, few major cities developed in the region. Nomadic horse peoples of the steppe dominated the area for millennia. Relations between the steppe nomads and the settled people in and around Central Asia were marked by conflict.