Friday, August 26, 2016

History Documentary: Genghis Khan (Mongolian: Чингис хаан) Mongol Empire, History Documentary: Khan of the Mongols

Genghis Khan (/ˈdʒɛŋɡɪs ˈkɑːn/, often pronounced /ˈɡɛŋɡɪs ˈkɑːn/;,[4][5] Mongolian: Чингис хаан, Çingis hán; Mongolian pronunciation: [t͡ʃʰiŋɡɪs xaːŋ] ( listen)) c. 1162 – August 18, 1227, born Temüjin, was the founder and Great Khan (Emperor) of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death.

He came to power by uniting many of the nomadic tribes of Northeast Asia. After founding the Empire and being proclaimed "Genghis Khan", he started the Mongol invasions that conquered most of Eurasia. These included raids of the Qara Khitai, Caucasus, Khwarezmid Empire, Western Xia and Jin dynasties. These campaigns were often accompanied by wholesale massacres of the civilian populations – especially in the Khwarezmian and Western Xia controlled lands. By the end of his life, the Mongol Empire occupied a substantial portion of Central Asia and China.

Before Genghis Khan died, he assigned Ögedei Khan as his successor and split his empire into khanates among his sons and grandsons. He died in 1227 after defeating the Western Xia. He was buried in an unmarked grave somewhere in Mongolia. His descendants extended the Mongol Empire across most of Eurasia by conquering or creating vassal states in all of modern-day China, Korea, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and substantial portions of modern Eastern Europe, Russia, and Southwest Asia. Many of these invasions repeated the earlier large-scale slaughters of local populations. As a result, Genghis Khan and his empire have a fearsome reputation in local histories.

Beyond his military accomplishments, Genghis Khan also advanced the Mongol Empire in other ways. He decreed the adoption of the Uyghur script as the Mongol Empire's writing system. He also practiced meritocracy and encouraged religious tolerance in the Mongol Empire while unifying the nomadic tribes of Northeast Asia. Present-day Mongolians regard him as the founding father of Mongolia.

Although known for the brutality of his campaigns and considered by many to have been a genocidal ruler, Genghis Khan is also credited with bringing the Silk Road under one cohesive political environment. This brought communication and trade from Northeast Asia into Muslim Southwest Asia and Christian Europe, thus expanding the horizons of all three cultural areas.
Credits: Wikipedia

Genghis Khan as portrayed in a 14th-century Yuan era album.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Historian Channel: The Mughal Empire, History Documentary. India's Great Mughals, Documentary, History of the Mogul Empire

The Historian Channel: The Mughal Empire, History Documentary. India's Great Mughals, Documentary, History of the Mogul Empire
The Mughal Empire (Urdu: مغلیہ سلطنت‎, Mug̱ẖliyah Salṭanat) or Mogul Empire, self-designated as Gurkani (Persian: گورکانیان‎‎, Gūrkāniyān, meaning "son-in-law"), was an empire in the Indian subcontinent, established and ruled by a Muslim Persianate dynasty of Chagatai Turco-Mongol origin that extended over large parts of the Indian subcontinent and Afghanistan.

The beginning of the empire is conventionally dated to the founder Babur's victory over Ibrahim Lodi, the last ruler of the Delhi Sultanate in the First Battle of Panipat (1526). The Mughal emperors were Central Asian Turco-Mongols belonging to the Timurid dynasty, who claimed direct descent from both Genghis Khan (founder of the Mongol Empire, through his son Chagatai Khan) and Timur (Turco-Mongol conqueror who founded the Timurid Empire). During the reign of Humayun, the successor of Babur, the empire was briefly interrupted by the Sur Empire. The "classic period" of the Mughal Empire started in 1556 with the ascension of Akbar the Great to the throne. Under the rule of Akbar and his son Jahangir, the region enjoyed economic progress as well as religious harmony, and the monarchs were interested in local religious and cultural traditions. Akbar was a successful warrior. He also forged alliances with several Hindu Rajput kingdoms. Some Rajput kingdoms continued to pose a significant threat to the Mughal dominance of northwestern India, but most of them were subdued by Akbar. All Mughal emperors were Muslims; while Akbar was Muslim most of this life, he followed a new religion in the latter part of his life called Deen-i-Ilahi, as recorded in historical books like Ain-e-Akbari and Dabestan-e Mazaheb.

The Mughal Empire did not try to intervene in the local societies during most of its existence, but rather balanced and pacified them through new administrative practices and diverse and inclusive ruling elites, leading to more systematic, centralised, and uniform rule. Newly coherent social groups in northern and western India, such as the Marathas, the Rajputs, the Pashtuns, the Hindu Jats and the Sikhs, gained military and governing ambitions during Mughal rule, which, through collaboration or adversity, gave them both recognition and military experience.

The reign of Shah Jahan, the fifth emperor, between 1628–58 was the golden age of Mughal architecture. He erected several large monuments, the best known of which is the Taj Mahal at Agra, as well as the Moti Masjid, Agra, the Red Fort, the Jama Masjid, Delhi, and the Lahore Fort. The Mughal Empire reached the zenith of its territorial expanse during the reign of Aurangzeb and also started its terminal decline in his reign due to Maratha military resurgence under Shivaji Bhosale. During his lifetime, victories in the south expanded the Mughal Empire to more than 3.2 million square kilometres (1.2 million square miles), ruling over more than 150 million subjects, nearly one quarter of the world's population at the time, with a combined GDP of over $90 billion.

By the mid-18th century, the Marathas had routed Mughal armies, and won over several Mughal provinces from the Punjab to Bengal, and internal dissatisfaction arose due to the weakness of the Mughal Empire's administrative and economic systems, leading to the break-up of the empire and declaration of independence of its former provinces by the Nawab of Bengal, the Nawab of Awadh, the Nizam of Hyderabad and other small states. In 1739, the Mughals were crushingly defeated in the Battle of Karnal by the forces of Nader Shah, the founder of the Afsharid dynasty in Persia, and Delhi was sacked and looted, drastically accelerating their decline. During the following century Mughal power had become severely limited and the last emperor, Bahadur Shah II, had authority over only the city of Shahjahanabad. He issued a firman supporting the Indian Rebellion of 1857 and following the defeat was therefore tried by the British East India Company for treason, imprisoned and exiled to Rangoon. The last remnants of the empire were formally taken over by the British, and the Government of India Act 1858 let the British Crown formally assume direct control of India in the form of the new British Raj.
Credits: Wikipedia 
The Mughal Empire at its greatest extent, in 1707

Saturday, August 6, 2016

The Historian Channel, documentary: The Croats and the Serbs - History of the Balkans -- Croatia and Serbia, The Balkans, History Documentary: Croats and Serbs,

The Historian Channel, documentary: The Croats and the Serbs - a History of an Aversion -- Croatia and Serbia, The Balkans, History Documentary.

Slavs settled the Balkans in the 9th century, out of which the First Serbian Principality of the Vlastimirovići emerged. It evolved into a Grand Principality by the 11th century, and in 1217, the Kingdom and national church (Serbian Orthodox Church) were established, under the Nemanjići. In 1345, the Serbian Empire was established: it spanned a large part of the Balkans. In 1540 the Ottoman Empire annexed Serbia.

The Serbian realms disappeared by the mid-16th century, torn by domestic feuds, and Ottoman conquest. The success of the Serbian revolution against Ottoman rule in 1817 marked the birth of the Principality of Serbia, which achieved de facto independence in 1867 and finally gained recognition by the Great Powers in the Berlin Congress of 1878. As a victor in the Balkan Wars in 1913, Serbia regained Vardar Macedonia, Kosovo and Raška (Old Serbia). In 1918, the region of Vojvodina proclaimed its secession from Austria-Hungary to unite with the pan-Slavic State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs; the Kingdom of Serbia joined the union on 1 December 1918, and the country was named Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes.
Credits: Wikipedia 
Modern reconstruction of CoA of House of Nemanja, made by Aleksandar Palavestra, based on the Fojnica Armorial (17th century).