Τρίτη, 13 Δεκεμβρίου 2016

The diffusion of Mediterranean culture and civilisation in Prehistoric and Ancient China

Ares (Αρης) is the Greek god of war. He is one of the Twelve Olympians , and the son of Zeus and Hera. In Greek literature, he often represents the physical or violent and untamed aspect of war, in contrast to his sister the armored Athena , whose functions as a goddess of intelligence include military strategy and generalship. The Greeks were ambivalent toward Ares: although he embodied the physical valor necessary for success in war, he was a dangerous force, "overwhelming, insatiable in battle, destructive, and man-slaughtering." His sons Phobos (Fear) and Deimos (Terror) and his lover, or sister, Enyo (Discord) accompanied him on his war chariot. In the Iliad , his father Zeus tells him that he is the god most hateful to him. An association with Ares endows places and objects with a savage, dangerous, or militarized quality. His value as a war god is placed in doubt: during the Trojan War , Ares was on the losing side, while Athena, often depicted in Greek art as holding Nike (Victory) in her hand, favored the triumphant Greeks. Ares plays a relatively limited role in Greek mythology as represented in literary narratives, though his numerous love affairs and abundant offspring are often alluded to. When Ares does appear in myths, he typically faces humiliation. He is well known as the lover of Aphrodite , the goddess of love, who was married to Hephaestus , god of craftsmanship. The most famous story related to Ares and Aphrodite shows them exposed to ridicule through the wronged husband's clever device. The counterpart of Ares among the Roman gods is Mars , who as a father of the Roman people was given a more important and dignified place in ancient Roman religion as a guardian deity . During the Hellenization of Latin literature, the myths of Ares were reinterpreted by Roman writers under the name of Mars. Greek writers under Roman rule also recorded cult practices and beliefs pertaining to Mars under the name of Ares. Thus in the classical tradition of later Western art and literature, the mythology of the two figures becomes virtually indistinguishable. Aryan" is a term meaning "noble" which was used as a self-designation by Indo-Iranian people. The word was used by the Indic people of the Vedic period in India as an ethnic label for themselves, as well as to refer to the noble class and geographic location known as Āryāvarta where Indo-Aryan culture was based. The closely related Iranian people also used the term as an ethnic label for themselves in the Avesta scriptures, and the word forms the etymological source of the country Iran. It was believed in the 19th century that it was also a self-designation used by all Proto-Indo-Europeans , a theory that has now been abandoned. Scholars point out that, even in ancient times, the idea of being an "Aryan" was religious, cultural and linguistic. The English word "Aryan" is borrowed from the Sanskrit word ārya, meaning "noble" or "noble one". However, as a translation of Latin Arianus (derived from Old Persian ariya), Arian has "long been in English language use". It was reintroduced into English with the new spelling by William Jones in the 18th century. Philologist J.P. Mallory argues that "As an ethnic designation, the word [Aryan] is most properly limited to the Indo-Iranians, and most justly to the latter where it still gives its name to the country Iran (from the Avestan genitive plural airyanam through later Iranian eran to iran). Graeco-Aryan (or Graeco-Armeno-Aryan) is a hypothetical clade within the Indo-European family, ancestral to the Greek language , the Armenian language , and the Indo-Iranian languages. Graeco-Aryan unity would have become divided into Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian by the mid 3rd millennium BC. Conceivably, Proto-Armenian would have been located between Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian , consistent with the fact that Armenian shares certain features only with Indo-Iranian (the satem change) but others only with Greek ( s > h ). Graeco-Aryan has comparatively wide support among Indo-Europeanists for the Indo-European Homeland to be located in the Armenian Highland. Early and strong evidence was given by Euler's 1979 examination on shared features in Greek and Sanskrit nominal flection. Used in tandem with the Graeco-Armenian hypothesis, the Armenian language would also be included under the label Aryano-Greco-Armenic , splitting into proto-Greek/Phrygian and "Armeno-Aryan" (ancestor of Armenian and Indo-Iranian). In the context of the Kurgan hypothesis, Greco-Aryan is also known as "Late PIE" or "Late Indo-European" (LIE), suggesting that Greco-Aryan forms a dialect group which corresponds to the latest stage of linguistic unity in the Indo-European homeland in the early part of the 3rd millennium BC. By 2500 BC, Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian had separated, moving westward and eastward from the Pontic Steppe , respectively. If Graeco-Aryan is a valid group, Grassmann's law may have a common origin in Greek and Sanskrit. Note, however, that Grassmann's law in Greek postdates certain sound changes that happened only in Greek and not Sanskrit, which suggests that it cannot strictly be an inheritance from a common Graeco-Aryan stage. Rather, it is more likely an areal feature that spread across a then-contiguous Graeco-Aryan–speaking area after early Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian had developed into separate dialects but before they ceased being in geographic contact. Graeco-Aryan is invoked in particular in studies of comparative mythology , e.g. by West (1999) and Watkins (2001). Ariana , the Latinized form of the Ancient Greek Αρ(ε)ιανή Ar(e)ianē (inhabitants: Ariani ; Αρ(ε)ιανοί Ar(e)ianoi ), was a general geographical term used by some Greek and Roman authors of the ancient period for a district of wide extent between Carmenia and the Indus River, but more than likely covered Afghanistan, Pakistan , as well as small parts of Iran , Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. At various times, various parts of the region were governed by the Persians (the Achaemenids from 550 to 330 BC, the Sasanians from 275 to 650 AD and the Indo-Sasanians from 345 to 450 AD), the Macedonians (the Seleucids from 330 to 250 BC, the Greco-Bactrians from 250 to 110 BC and the Indo-Greeks from 155 to 90 BC), Iranian peoples from Persia and Central Asia (the Parthians from 160 BC to 225 AD, the Indo-Scythians from 90 BC to 20 AD, the Indo-Parthians from 20 to 225 AD and the Kushans from 110 BC to 225 AD), the Xionites (the Kidarites from 360 to 465 AD and the Hephthalites from 450 to 565 AD) and Ancient Panjabis (the Mauryans from 275 to 185 BC). The term Arya is used 36 times in 34 hymns in the Rigveda. According to Talageri (2000, The Rig Veda. A Historical Analysis) "the particular Vedic Aryans of the Rigveda were one section among these Purus , who called themselves Bharatas. " Thus it is possible, according to Talageri, that at one point Arya did refer to a specific tribe. While the word may ultimately derive from a tribal name, already in the Rigveda it appears as a religious distinction, separating those who sacrifice "properly" from those who do not belong to the historical Vedic religion , presaging the usage in later Hinduism where the term comes to denote religious righteousness or piety. In RV 9 .63.5, ârya "noble, pious, righteous" is used as contrasting with árāvan "not liberal, envious, hostile". Arya and Anarya are primarily used in the moral sense in the Hindu Epics. People are usually called Arya or Anarya based on their behaviour. Arya is typically one who follows the Dharma. The word ārya is often found in Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain texts. In the Indian spiritual context it can be applied to Rishis or to someone who has mastered the four noble truths and entered upon the spiritual path. According to Nehru , the religions of India may be called collectively ārya dharma, a term that includes the religions that originated in India. The word Arianus was used to designate Ariana, the area comprising present Herat in the western part of Afghanistan and ancient India. In 1601, Philemon Holland used 'Arianes' in his translation of the Latin Arianus to designate the inhabitants of Ariana. This was the first use of the form Arian verbatim in the English language. In 1844 James Cowles Prichard first designated both the Indians and the Iranians "Arians" under the false assumption that the Iranians as well as the Indians self-designated themselves Aria . The Iranians did use the form Airya as a designation for the "Aryans," but Prichard had mistaken Aria (deriving from OPer. Haravia) as a designation of the "Aryans" and associated the Aria with the place-name Ariana (Av. Airyana), the homeland of the Aryans. The form Aria as a designation of the "Aryans" was, however, only preserved in the language of the Indo-Aryans. The term "Aryan" came to be used as the term for the newly discovered Indo-European languages , and, by extension, the original speakers of those languages. In the 19th century, "language" was considered a property of "ethnicity", and thus the speakers of the Indo-Iranian or Indo-European languages came to be called the " Aryan race", as contradistinguished from what came to be called the " Semitic race". While the original meaning of Indo-Iranian *arya as a self-designator is uncontested, the origin of the word (and thus also its original meaning) remains uncertain. Indo-Iranian ar- is a syllable ambiguous in origin, from Indo-European ar- , er- , or or- . No evidence for a Proto-Indo-European (as opposed to Indo-Iranian) ethnic name like "Aryan" has been found. The word was used by Herodotus in reference to the Iranian Medes whom he describes as the people who "were once universally known as Aryans".  The meaning of 'Aryan' that was adopted into the English language in the late 18th century was the one associated with the technical term used in comparative philology, which in turn had the same meaning as that evident in the very oldest Old Indic usage, i.e. as a (self-) identifier of " (speakers of) North Indian languages ". This usage was simultaneously influenced by a word that appeared in classical sources (Latin and Greek Ἀριάνης Arianes , e.g. in Pliny 1.133 and Strabo 15.2.1–8), and recognized to be the same as that which appeared in living Iranian languages, where it was a (self-)identifier of the " (speakers of) Iranian languages ". Accordingly, 'Aryan' came to refer to the languages of the Indo-Iranian language group, and by extension, native speakers of those languages. Afanasevo culture (3500 BCE - 2500 BCE) was an early Indo-European migration to Minusinsk Basin and the Altai Mountains from the pontic steppes during Eneolithic period. They are believed to have spoken Tocharian languages , an extinct branch of Indo-European language. Genetic studies conducted by Allentoft et al. (2015) and Haak et al. (2015), found that Afanasevo were genetically identical to Yamnaya people. Afanasevo were later replaced by second wave of Indo-European migrations from Andronovo culture. The Sintashta culture (2100 BCE – 1800 BCE) is a Bronze Age archaeological culture of the northern Eurasian steppe on the borders of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The Andronovo culture (1800–1400 BC) is a collection of similar local Bronze Age Indo-Iranian cultures that flourished in the western Siberia and west Asiatic steppe. The Indo-Iranian branch went south, forming the Iranian people and the Indo-Aryan migration into India forming the Indo-Aryan people. Closely related to the Indo-Aryans were the Mitanni , who founded a kingdom in the Middle East. According to genetic study conducted by Allentoft et al. (2015), Sintashta culture and Andronovo culture is derived from the Corded Ware culture. Genetic studies conducted by Keyser et al. (2009), Wilde et al. (2014) and Allentofte et al. (2015) reported high prevalence of people with characteristics such as light eyes and blond hair in Andronovo and Sintashta, indicating ancestry derived from late Corded Ware culture. According to genetic study conducted by Keyser et al. (2009), nine out of ten male skeletons from the Andronovo culture horizon carried Y-DNA R1a1a (M17) Mummies in the Tarim Basin also proved to carry R1a1a Tarim Basin mummies were found to be genetically related to Andronovo culture, rather than to Afanasevo or Yamnaya. The term Neolithic Revolution was coined in 1923 by V. Gordon Childe to describe the first in a series of agricultural revolutions in Middle Eastern history. The period is described as a "revolution" to denote its importance, and the great significance and degree of change affecting the communities in which new agricultural practices were gradually adopted and refined. The beginning of this process in different regions has been dated from 10,000 to 8,000 BC in the Fertile Crescent. Northern China appears to have been the domestication center for foxtail millet (Setaria italica) and broomcorn millet (Panicum miliaceum) with evidence of domestication of these species approximately 8,000 years ago. These species were subsequently widely cultivated in the Yellow River basin (7,500 years ago). Rice was domesticated in southern China later on. Soybean was domesticated in northern China 4500 years ago. Orange and peach also originated in China. They were cultivated around 2500 BC. The dispersal of Neolithic culture from the Middle East has recently been associated with the distribution of human genetic markers. In Europe, the spread of the Neolithic culture has been associated with distribution of the E1b1b lineages and Haplogroup J that are thought to have arrived in Europe from North Africa and the Near East respectively. In Africa, the spread of farming, and notably the Bantu expansion, is associated with the dispersal of Y-chromosome haplogroup E1b1a from West Africa. The Neolithic age in China can be traced back to about 10,000 BC. Early evidence for proto-Chinese millet agriculture is radiocarbon-dated to about 7000 BC. The earliest evidence of cultivated rice, found by the Yangtze River, is carbon-dated to 8,000 years ago. Farming gave rise to the Jiahu culture (7000 to 5800 BC). At Damaidi in Ningxia, 3,172 cliff carvings dating to 6000–5000 BC have been discovered, "featuring 8,453 individual characters such as the sun, moon, stars, gods and scenes of hunting or grazing." These pictographs are reputed to be similar to the earliest characters confirmed to be written Chinese. Chinese proto-writing existed in Jiahu around 7000 BC, Dadiwan from 5800 BC to 5400 BC, Damaidi around 6000 BC and Banpo dating from the 5th millennium BC. Some scholars have suggested that Jiahu symbols (7th millennium BC) were the earliest Chinese writing system. Excavation of a Peiligang culture site in Xinzheng county, Henan , found a community that flourished in 5,500 to 4,900 BC, with evidence of agriculture, constructed buildings, pottery, and burial of the dead. With agriculture came increased population, the ability to store and redistribute crops, and the potential to support specialist craftsmen and administrators. In late Neolithic times, the Yellow River valley began to establish itself as a center of Yangshao culture (5000 BC to 3000 BC), and the first villages were founded; the most archaeologically significant of these was found at Banpo , Xi'an. Later, Yangshao culture was superseded by the Longshan culture, which was also centered on the Yellow River from about 3000 BC to 2000 BC. Bronze artifacts have been found at the Majiayao culture site (between 3100 and 2700 BC). The Bronze Age is also represented at the Lower Xiajiadian culture (2200–1600 BC) site in northeast China. Sanxingdui located in what is now Sichuan province is believed to be the site of a major ancient city, of a previously unknown Bronze Age culture (between 2000 and 1200 BC). The site was first discovered in in 1929 and then re-discovered in 1986. Chinese archaeologists have identified the Sanxingdui culture to be part of the ancient kingdom of Shu , linking the artifacts found at the site to its early legendary kings. The Xia dynasty of China (from c. 2100 to c. 1600 BC) is the first dynasty to be described in ancient historical records such as Sima Qian's Records of the Grand Historian and Bamboo Annals. Although there is disagreement as to whether the dynasty actually existed, there is some archaeological evidence pointing to its possible existence. Writing in the late 2nd century BC, Sima Qian dated the founding of the Xia dynasty to around 2200 BC, but this date has not been corroborated. Most archaeologists now connect the Xia to excavations at Erlitou in central Henan province, where a bronze smelter from around 2000 BC was unearthed. Early markings from this period found on pottery and shells are thought to be ancestral to modern Chinese characters. With few clear records matching the Shang oracle bones or the Zhou bronze vessel writings, the Xia era remains poorly understood. According to mythology, the dynasty ended around 1600 BC as a consequence of the Battle of Mingtiao. Archaeological findings providing evidence for the existence of the Shang dynasty, c. 1600–1046 BC, are divided into two sets. The first set, from the earlier Shang period, comes from sources at Erligang, Zhengzhou , and Shangcheng. The second set, from the later Shang or Yin period, is at Anyang, in modern-day Henan , which has been confirmed as the last of the Shang's nine capitals (c. 1300–1046 BC). The findings at Anyang include the earliest written record of Chinese past so far discovered: inscriptions of divination records in ancient Chinese writing on the bones or shells of animals — the so-called " oracle bones ", dating from around 1500 BC. 31 kings reigned over the Shang dynasty. During their reign, according to the Records of the Grand Historian , the capital city was moved six times. The final (and most important) move was to Yin in 1350 BC which led to the dynasty's golden age. The term Yin dynasty has been synonymous with the Shang dynasty in history, although it has lately been used to refer specifically to the latter half of the Shang dynasty. Chinese historians living in later periods were accustomed to the notion of one dynasty succeeding another, but the actual political situation in early China is known to have been much more complicated. Hence, as some scholars of China suggest, the Xia and the Shang can possibly refer to political entities that existed concurrently, just as the early Zhou is known to have existed at the same time as the Shang. Although written records found at Anyang confirm the existence of the Shang dynasty, Western scholars are often hesitant to associate settlements that are contemporaneous with the Anyang settlement with the Shang dynasty. For example, archaeological findings at Sanxingdui suggest a technologically advanced civilization culturally unlike Anyang. The evidence is inconclusive in proving how far the Shang realm extended from Anyang. The leading hypothesis is that Anyang, ruled by the same Shang in the official history, coexisted and traded with numerous other culturally diverse settlements in the area that is now referred to as China proper. The word "chariot" comes from the Latin carrus , itself a loanword from Gaulish. A chariot of war or one used in military parades was called a car . In ancient Rome and some other ancient Mediterranean civilizations, a biga required two horses, a triga three, and a quadriga four. The horse chariot was a fast, light, open, two-wheeled conveyance drawn by two or more horses that were hitched side by side, and was little more than a floor with a waist-high guard at the front and sides. It was initially used for ancient warfare during the Bronze and Iron Ages; but, after its military capabilities had been superseded by cavalry, as horses were gradually bred to be bigger, the chariot was used for travel , in processions, for games , and in races . The critical invention that allowed the construction of light, horse-drawn chariots was the spoked wheel. The earliest spoke-wheeled chariots date to ca. 2000 BCE in Mesopotamia. The use of chariots peaked around 1300 BCE. Chariots had lost their military importance by the 1st century CE, but chariot races continued to be popular in Constantinople until the 6th century.The earliest archaeological evidence of chariots in China, a chariot burial site discovered in 1933 at Hougang, Anyang in Henan province, dates to the rule of King Wu Ding of the late Shang Dynasty (c. 1200 BCE). Oracle bone inscriptions suggest that the western enemies of the Shang used limited numbers of chariots in battle, but the Shang themselves used them only as mobile command-vehicles and in royal hunts. During the Shang Dynasty, members of the royal family were buried with a complete household and servants, including a chariot, horses, and a charioteer. A Shang chariot was often drawn by two horses, but four-horse variants are occasionally found in burials. Jacques Gernet claims that the Zhou dynasty , which conquered the Shang ca. 1046 BCE, made more use of the chariot than did the Shang and "invented a new kind of harness with four horses abreast". The crew consisted of an archer, a driver, and sometimes a third warrior who was armed with a spear or dagger-axe. The earliest bronze artifacts have been found in the Majiayao culture site (between 3100 and 2700 BC), and from then on, the society gradually grew into the Bronze Age. Bronze metallurgy in China originated in what is referred to as the Erlitou period, which some historians argue places it within the range of dates controlled by the Shang dynasty. Others believe the Erlitou sites belong to the preceding Xia dynasty. The U.S. National Gallery of Art defines the Chinese Bronze Age as the "period between about 2000 BC and 771 BC," a period that begins with the Erlitou culture and ends abruptly with the disintegration of Western Zhou rule. Though this provides a concise frame of reference, it overlooks the continued importance of bronze in Chinese metallurgy and culture. Since this is significantly later than the discovery of bronze in Mesopotamia, bronze technology could have been imported rather than discovered independently in China. While there may be reason to believe that bronzework developed inside China separately from outside influence, the discovery of Europoid mummies in Xinjiang suggests a possible route of transmission from the West. The Shang Dynasty of the Yellow River Valley rose to power after the Xia Dynasty. While some direct information about the Shang Dynasty comes from Shang-era inscriptions on bronze artifacts, most comes from oracle bones turtle shells, cattle scapulae, or other bones – which bear glyphs that form the first significant corpus of recorded Chinese charactersThe Yuezhi or Rouzhi were an ancient Caucasian people first reported in Chinese histories as nomadic pastoralists living in an arid grassland area in the western part of the modern Chinese province of Gansu, before the 2nd century BCE. After a major defeat by the Xiongnu in the 2nd century BCE, the Yuezhi split into groups that emigrated in different directions. The Lesser Yuezhi reportedly moved south, towards the Tibetan Plateau. The Greater Yuezhi migrated northwest into the Ili Valley (borders of China and Kazakhstan), where they reportedly displaced elements of the Sakas (Scythians). They were driven from the Ili Valley by the Wusun and migrated southward to Sogdia and, later, Bactria, where they displaced the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom. The Greater Yuezhi were consequently often identified with the Tókharioi (Τοχάριοι) and Asii or Asioi mentioned in classical European sources. During the 1st century BCE, one of the five major Yuezhi tribes in Bactria, the Kushanas began to subsume the other tribes and neighbouring peoples. The subsequent Kushan Empire, at its peak in the 3rd century CE, stretched from Turfan in the Tarim Basin, in the north to Pataliputra on the Gangetic plain of India in the south. The Kushanas played an important role in the development of trade on the Silk Road and the introduction of Buddhism to China. The Wusun ("grandchildren/descendents of the crow/raven ") were an Indo-Europea nomadic steppe people mentioned in Chinese records from the 2nd century BC to the 5th century AD. The Wusun originally lived between the Qilian Mountains and Dunhuang (Gansu) near the Yuezhi. Around 176 BC the Yuezhi were raided by the Xiongnu, subsequently attacking the Wusun, killing their king and seizing their land. The Wusun prince was subsequently adopted by the Xiongnu ruler and made a Xiongnu general and leader of the Wusun. After the Yuezhi around 162 BC were driven into the Ili Valley of Zhetysu , Dzungaria and Tian Shan formerly inhabited by the Sai (Scythians ), the Wusun resettled Gansu as vassals of the Xiongnu. In 133-132 BC, the Wusun drove the Yuezhi from the Ili Valley and settled the area. They subsequently became close allies of the Han dynasty and a powerful force in the region for several centuries. Pressured by the Rouran, the Wusun are last mentioned by the Chinese as having settled the Pamir Mountains in the 5th century AD. They possibly became subsumed into the later Hephthalites. The Tocharians or Tokharians were Indo-European peoples who inhabited the medieval oasis city-states on the northern edge of the Tarim Basin (modern Xinjiang, China) in ancient times. Their Tocharian languages , a branch of the Indo-European family, are known from manuscripts from the 6th to 8th centuries AD, after which they were supplanted by the Turkic language of the Uyghur Kingdom of Qocho which invaded Tarim Basin. These people were called "Tocharian" by late-19th century scholars who identified them with the Tókharoi described by ancient Greek sources as inhabiting Bactria. Although this identification is now generally considered mistaken, the name has become customary. Some scholars have linked the Tocharians with the Afanasevo culture of eastern Siberia (c. 3500 – 2500 BC), the Tarim mummies (c. 1800 BC) and the Yuezhi of Chinese records, most of whom migrated from western Gansu to Bactria in the 2nd century BC and then later to the northwestern Indian subcontinent where they founded the Kushan Empire. According to Douglas Q. Adams , the Tocharians may have called themselves ākñi , meaning "borderers, marchers".  Müller called the languages " Tocharian " (German Tocharisch), linking this toxrï with the ethnonym Tókharoi (Τόχαροι, Ptolemy VI, 11, 6, 2nd century AD) applied by Strabo to one of the Scythian tribes that overran the Greco-Bactrian kingdom (Afghanistan -Pakistan ) in the second half of the 2nd century BC. The Tocharians, living along the Silk Road, had contacts with the Chinese, the Persians, the Indians and Turkic tribes. They adopted Buddhism, which, like their alphabet, came from northern India in the 1st century of the 1st millennium, through the proselytism of Kushan monks. The Kushans and the Tocharians seem to have played a part in the Silk Road transmission of Buddhism to China. Protected by the Taklamakan Desert from steppe nomads, elements of Tocharian culture survived until the 7th century, when the arrival of Turkic immigrants from the collapsing Uyghur Khaganate of modern-day Mongolia began to absorb the Tocharians to form the modern-day Uyghur ethnic group during the Islamicisation and Turkicisation of Xinjiang. The Asii, Osii, Ossii, Asoi, Asioi, Asini or Aseni were an ancient Indo-European people of Central Asia , during the 2nd and 1st Centuries BCE. Known only from Classical Greek and Roman sources, they were one of the peoples held to be responsible for the downfall of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom. Modern scholars have attempted to identify the Asii with other peoples known from European and Chinese sources including the: Yuezhi, Tocharians, Issedones/Wusun and/or Alans. The Hephthalites, Ephthalites, or Ye-tai were a confederation of nomadic and settled people in Central Asia who expanded their domain westward in the 5th century. It is not clear whether the Hephthalites or a related people, the Xionites, were synonymous with the White Huns (Sanskrit Sveta Huna). At the height of its power in the first half of the 6th century, the Hephthalite Empire controlled territory in present-day Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan , Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan , India and China. The stronghold of the Hephthalites was Tokharistan on the northern slopes of the Hindu Kush , in what is present-day northeastern Afghanistan. By 479, the Hephthalites had conquered Sogdia and driven the Kidarites westwards, and by 493 they had captured parts of present-day Dzungaria and the Tarim Basin in what is now Northwest China. India was invaded during the 5th century by a people known in South Asia as the Hunas possibly an alliance broader than the Hephthalites and/or Xionites. The Hunas were initially defeated by Emperor Skandagupta of the Gupta Empire. By the end of the 5th century, however, the Hunas had overrun the part of the Gupta Empire that was to their southeast and had conquered Central and North India. Gupta Emperor Bhanugupta defeated the Hunas under Toramana in 510. The Hunas were driven out of India by the kings Yasodharman and Narasimhagupta , during the early 6th century. The 6th-century Byzantine historian Procopius of Caesarea, related them to the Huns in Europe: The Ephthalitae Huns, who are called White Huns. The Ephthalitae are of the stock of the Huns in fact as well as in name, however they do not mingle with any of the Huns known to us, for they occupy a land neither adjoining nor even very near to them; but their territory lies immediately to the north of Persia. They are not nomads like the other Hunnic peoples, but for a long period have been established in a goodly land. They are the only ones among the Huns who have white bodies and countenances which are not ugly. It is also true that their manner of living is unlike that of their kinsmen, nor do they live a savage life as they do; but they are ruled by one king, and since they possess a lawful constitution, they observe right and justice in their dealings both with one another and with their neighbours, in no degree less than the Romans and the Persians. The last Hephthalite King, Yudhishthira, ruled until about 670, when he was replaced by the Kabul Shahi dynasty. Hephthalites are believed to be among the ancestors of modern-day Pashtuns and in particular of the Abdali Pashtun tribe. According to the academic Yu. V. Gankovsky: The Pashtuns began as a union of largely East-Iranian tribes which became the initial ethnic stratum of the Pashtun ethnogenesis , dates from the middle of the first millennium CE and is connected with the dissolution of the Epthalite (White Huns) confederacy. Of the contribution of the Epthalites (White Huns) to the ethnogenesis of the Pashtuns we find evidence in the ethnonym of the largest of the Pashtun tribe unions, the Abdali (Durrani after 1747) associated with the ethnic name of the Epthalites Abdal. The Siah-posh , the Kafirs (Nuristanis) of the Hindu Kush , called all Pashtuns by a general name of Abdal still at the beginning of the 19th century. The Hephthalites could also have been ancestors of the Abdal tribe which has assimilated into the Turkmens and Kazakhs . In India, the Rajputs formed as a result of merging of the Hephthalites and the Gurjars with population from northwestern India.

Πηγή: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aryan












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