Friday, September 25, 2015

History Documentary: The Persian Empire. Cyrus the Great of Persia, History documentary

The Persian Empire is any of a series of imperial dynasties centered in Persia (now Iran). The first of these was established by Cyrus the Great in 550 BC, with the Persian conquest of Media, Lydia and Babylonia. Persian dynastic history was interrupted by the Islamic conquest (651 AD) and later by the Mongol invasion. The main religion of ancient Persia was Zoroastrianism, but after the 7th century this was replaced by Islam. In the modern era, a series of Islamic dynasties ruled Persia independently of the universal caliphate. Since 1979 Persia (Iran) has been an Islamic republic.
Credits: Wikipedia

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Hittites of Hattusha: History Documentary, the Hittites

The Hittites (/ˈhɪtaɪts/) were an Ancient Anatolian people who established an empire centred on Hattusa in north-central Anatolia around 1600 BC. This empire reached its height during the mid-14th century BC under Suppiluliuma I, when it encompassed an area that included most of Asia Minor as well as parts of the northern Levant and Upper Mesopotamia. After c. 1180 BC, the empire came to an end during the Bronze Age collapse, splintering into several independent "Neo-Hittite" city-states, some of which survived until the 8th century BC.

The Hittite language was a distinct member of the Anatolian branch of the Indo-European language family. They referred to their native land as Hatti. The conventional name "Hittites" is due to their initial identification with the Biblical Hittites in 19th century archaeology.

Despite the use of Hatti for their core territory, the Hittites should be distinguished from the Hattians, an earlier people who inhabited the same region (until the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC) and spoke a language possibly in the Northwest Caucasian languages group known as Hattic.

The Hittite military made successful use of chariots. Although belonging to the Bronze Age, they were the forerunners of the Iron Age, developing the manufacture of iron artifacts from as early as the 18th century BC, when the "man of Burushanda"'s gift of an iron throne and iron sceptre to the Kaneshite king Anitta was recorded in the Anitta text inscription.

After 1180 BC, amid general turmoil in the Levant conjectured to have been associated with the sudden arrival of the Sea Peoples, the kingdom disintegrated into several independent "Neo-Hittite" city-states, some of which survived until as late as the 8th century BC. The history of the Hittite civilization is known mostly from cuneiform texts found in the area of their kingdom, and from diplomatic and commercial correspondence found in various archives in Egypt and the Middle East.
Credits: Wikipedia
The Hittite Empire, ca. 1400 BC (shown in Blue).

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Pannonian Avars: History Documentary. The Avar Khaganate, full documentary: The Avars

Europeans destroyed Avaria in AD 807, but Hungarians in Pressburg total destroyed the paneuropeans in AD 907, and gave back the hunnic dominance to the basin...

Warrior with captive, from a golden ewer of the Treasure of Nagyszentmiklós. There is no agreement as to whether he represents an Avar, a Bulgar or a Khazar warrior.

The Pannonian Avars /ˈævɑrz/ were a group of Eurasian nomads of the early Middle Ages of uncertain origins, who established the Avar Khaganate, which spanned the Pannonian Basin and considerable areas of Central and Eastern Europe from the late 6th to the early 9th century. They were ruled by a khagan, who led a tight-knit entourage of professional warriors.

Although the name Avar first appeared in the mid-5th century, the Pannonian Avars entered the historical scene in the mid-6th century, having formed as a mixed band of warriors in the Pontic-Caspian steppe who wished to escape the rule of the Göktürks who called them "Pseudo-Avars" and Varchonites.

Avar linguistic affiliation is uncertain and may be tentatively deduced from a variety of sources, betraying a variety of languages spoken by ruling and subject clans. Proposals by scholars include Oghur Turkic, Tungusic, Caucasian, Mongolic and Iranian.However, over time, Proto-Slavic became the lingua franca of the Avar Khaganate.
Credits: Wikipedia

Friday, September 4, 2015

Kievan Rus: Old Russia, Rus History. The Varangians and Rus' princes, Rurik (Old Norse: Hrörekr). History Documentary: The Varangians and the Rus.

Kievan Rus: Old Russia, Rus History. The Varangians and  Rus' princes, Rurik (Old Norse: Hrörekr). History Documentary: The Varangian and the Rus.

Map showing the major Varangian trade routes: the Volga trade route (in red) and the trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks (in purple). Other trade routes of the 8th–11th centuries shown in orange.
Generally speaking, the Norwegians expanded to the north and west to places such as Ireland, Scotland, Iceland and Greenland; the Danes to England and France, settling in the Danelaw (northern/eastern England) and Normandy; and the Swedes to the east, founding the Kievan Rus, the original Russia. However, among the Swedish runestones which mention expeditions over seas, almost half tell of raids and travels to western Europe. And in todays Sweden it has been found more Arabic coins from the Viking age then the Arabs has found themself from this era plus there has been found tonnes of viking treasures in todays Sweden which made the areas in todays Sweden to among the most riches places on earth during the viking age. So its easy due archeology to track the Varangian Rus til todays Sweden. But also, according to the Icelandic sagas, many Norwegian Vikings went to eastern Europe.  The names of Scandinavian kings are known only for the later part of the Viking Age. Only after the end of the Viking Age did the separate kingdoms acquire distinct identities as nations, which went
hand in hand with their Christianization. Thus the end of the Viking Age for the Scandinavians also marks the start of their relatively brief Middle Ages.

According to the Primary Chronicle, compiled in Kiev about 1100-1200 Ad, one group of Varangians was Rus' people. Their name became that of the land of Rus' this happened because one of Rus' princes, Rurik (Old Norse: Hrörekr) had been recognized by several East Slavic and Finno-Ugric peoples as their ruler, founding the Rurikid Dynasty, which later would rule over Rus' and after its fall over Russia for many centuries. Rurik first came to Staraya Ladoga in
862 and then moved his capital to Novgorod in 864, while his relative Oleg (Old Norse: Helgi) conquered Kiev in 882 and established the state of Kievan Rus', later inherited by Rurik's son Igor (Old Norse: Ingvarr).
Sviatoslav was the first ruler of Rus' who is recorded in the Primary Chronicle with a name of Slavic origin (as opposed to his predecessors, whose names are ultimately derived from Old Norse). This name is however not recorded in other medieval Slavic countries. Even in Rus', it was attested only among the members of the house of Rurik, as were the names of Sviatoslav's immediate successors: Vladimir, Yaroslav, Mstislav). Some scholars speculate that the
name of Sviatoslav, composed of the Slavic roots for "holy" and "glory", was an artificial derivation combining those of his predecessors Oleg and Rurik
(they mean "holy" and "glorious" in Old Norse, respectively).

Engaging in trade, piracy and mercenary activities, Varangians roamed the river systems and portages of Gardariki, as Rus' lands were known in Norse sagas. They controlled the Volga trade route (Route from the Varangians to the Arabs), connecting Baltic to the Caspian Sea, and the Dnieper trade route (Route from the Varangians to the Greeks) leading to the Black Sea and Constantinople. Those were the critically important trade links at that time, connecting Europe with wealthy and developed Arab Caliphates and the Byzantine Empire;via those routes most of the
silver coinage came from the East to the West. Attracted by the riches of Constantinople, Rus' Varangians initiated a number of Rus'-Byzantine Wars, some of which resulted in advantageous trade treaties. At least from the early 10th century many Varangians served as mercenaries in the Byzantine Army,
comprising the so-called Varangian Guard (the personal bodyguards of Byzantine Emperors). Eventually most of them, both in Byzantium and in Eastern Europe, were converted from paganism into Orthodox Christianity, culminating in the 988 Christianization of Kievan Rus'. Coinciding with the general decline of the Viking Age, the influx of Norsemen to Rus' stopped, and Varangians were eventually assimilated by East Slavs by the late
11th century.