YOUR DNA IS COMPARED WITH ARCHAEOLOGICAL SAMPLES FROM 70 ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS INCLUDING...
Al-Andalus, also known as Muslim Iberia, was a medieval Muslim territory and cultural domain that included much of Iberia, today's Portugal and Spain. At its greatest point, it occupied northwestern Iberia and present-day southern France. It generally refers to the parts of the peninsula governed by Moors at various times from 711 to 1492. At its greatest point, the administrative units included Andalusia, Portugal/Galicia, Castile and Leon, Navarre. Aragon, Barecelona and Septimania. Rule under these kingdoms led to a rise in cultural exchange and cooperation between Muslims and Christians. Under the Caliphate of Cordboa, Al-Andalus was a beacon of learning and Cordoba became one of the leading cultura and economic centers of Europe and the Islamic world. Achievements in trigonometry, astronomy, surgery pharmacology, agronomy and other fields all came from here. For almost its entire history, Al-Andalus was in conflict with the Christian kingdoms to the north. The Alhambra palace in Granada reflects the culture and art of the last centuries of Al-Andalus.
Known as the most formidable cavalry of their time, the Alans often they acted as mercenaries for the Romans and Byzantines. The horses and men were often protected by a hardened leather or metal hauberk covering the entire body. They fought with long swords using both hands and no shield. On their helmets they often confirmed deer antlers. The deer played an important role in their mythology. The Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus describes them as tall in stature and shapely, with blond hair. They had a great ancestor cult but no shrines to worship gods. As a god they worshiped a sword stuck in the ground. There was little gender difference and probably more females than males were priests. For several centuries the Alans maintained their position in the Empire of the Bosphorus, the kingdom in the Crimea. In the 5th century the Alans became a vassal state of the Byzantine Empire. The Alanian Empire fell apart in the 12th century and was divided into several kingdoms. After the sack of Constantinople by the crusaders in 1204 and the expulsion of the Byzantine Imperial House, which their kings were connected by marriage, their influence comes to an end.
The Alemanni (literally translates to "all men"), also known as the Suebi, were a confederation of Germanic tribes on the Upper Rhine River. The Roman historian Cassius Dio first describes the Alemanni during Emperor Caracalla's campaign and portrays them as victims of the treacherous Roman emperor. Using a pretext of peace the Romans colonized the land and executed warriors. As a result, the Alemanni enaged in conflicts with Rome and launched a major invasion of Gaul and northern Italy. In 366, they crossed the frozen Rhine in large numbers to invade Gallic provinces but were thwarted by Emperor Valentinian. A followup invasion of 406 led to the Alemanni conquering and settling large parts of Alsace and Switzerland. By the time the Alemanni fought alongside the Huns in 451 AD, the Franks had become powerful enough to be counted as allies of the Romans. The Franks united under the reign of their first king Clovis I who led the Franks in conquering the pagan Alemanni which effectively expanded the boundaries of Gaul. The Alemanni continued to exist under Frankish rule but assimilated. Today the word for Germany in many modern-day languages is Allemagne or Alemania.
Indigenous Peoples of North America
The ancestors of modern Native Americans arrived in what is now the United States at least 15,000 years ago, possibly much earlier, from Asia via Beringia. A vast variety of peoples, societies and cultures subsequently developed. The prevailing theory proposes that people migrated from Eurasia across Beringia, a land bridge that connected Siberia to present-day Alaska during the Ice Age, and then spread southward throughout the Americas over the subsequent generations. Genetic evidence suggests at least three waves of migrants arrived from Asia, with the first occurring at least 15 thousand years ago. These migrations may have begun as early as 30,000 years ago and continued through to about 10,000 years ago, when the land bridge became submerged by the rising sea level caused by the ending of the last glacial period. These early inhabitants, called Paleoamericans, soon diversified into many hundreds of culturally distinct nations and tribes. Numerous Paleoindian cultures occupied North America, with some arrayed around the Great Plains and Great Lakes of the modern United States and Canada, as well as adjacent areas to the West and Southwest. According to the oral histories of many of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, they have been living on this continent since their genesis, described by a wide range of traditional creation stories. Other tribes have stories that recount migrations across long tracts of land and a great river, believed to be the Mississippi River. Genetic and linguistic data connect the indigenous people of this continent with ancient northeast Asians. Archeological and linguistic data has enabled scholars to discover some of the migrations within the Americas.
In 332 BC, Alexander the Great conquered Egypt with little resistance from the Persians and was welcomed by the Egyptians as a deliverer. The administration established by Alexander's successors, the Macedonian Ptolemaic Kingdom, was based on an Egyptian model and based in the new capital city of Alexandria. The city showcased the power and prestige of Hellenistic rule, and became a seat of learning and culture, centered at the famous Library of Alexandria. The Lighthouse of Alexandria lit the way for the many ships that kept trade flowing through the city as the Ptolemies built revenue generating enterprises, such as papyrus manufacturing, their top priority. Hellenistic culture did not supplant native Egyptian culture, as the Ptolemies supported time-honored traditions in an effort to secure the loyalty of the populace. They built new temples in Egyptian style, supported traditional cults, and portrayed themselves as pharaohs. Some traditions merged, as Greek and Egyptian gods were syncretized into composite deities, such as Serapis, and classical Greek forms of sculpture influenced traditional Egyptian motifs. Despite their efforts to appease the Egyptians, the Ptolemies were challenged by native rebellion, bitter family rivalries, and the powerful mob of Alexandria that formed after the death of Ptolemy IV. In addition, as Rome relied more heavily on imports of grain from Egypt, the Romans took great interest in the political situation in the country. Continued Egyptian revolts, ambitious politicians, and powerful opponents from the Near East made this situation unstable, leading Rome to send forces to secure the country as a province of its empire.
Mycenaean Greece (1600-1100 BC) represented the first advanced civilization in mainland Greece with its palatial states, urban organization, works of art, and writing system. Mycenae was the most prominent site along with centers of power such as Athens, Thebes, the Peloponnese, Pylos, Tiryns, Orchomenos and Iolcos. Mycenaeans had influential settlements all over the Aegean Sea, the Levant, Cyprus and Italy. Mycenaeans introduced many innovations in the fields of engineering, architecture, military infrastructure and trade. The society was dominated by warrior elite. The head of the society was the king. Trade over vast areas of the Mediterranean was essential for the economy. Raw materials such as metals, ivory and glass were imported. Olive oil was a chief multi-purpose export. Mycenaean Greeks achieved strong comercial and cultural interraction with other Bronze Age people living in the regioin including Canaanites, Assyrians and Egyptians. Cyprus was a principal intermediary station for trade, with considerable Mycenaean goods found there. Following the collapse around 1100 BC, the area entered the Greek Dark Ages. Many Mycenaeans fled to places like Sicily during this time.
Alaskan Athabaskans are Alaska Native peoples native to the interior of Alaska as well as the Yukon and Northwest Territories of Canada. In Alaska, there are up to thirteen groups identified by the languages they speak. The culture is an inland creek and river fishing and hunter-gatherer culture. There is a matrilineal system where children belong to the mother's clan with the exception of the Yupikized Athabaskans. Their garments included a beaded tunic and moccasin pants. Athabaskans are considered among the first people to arrive in North America. They crossed a land bridge linking Siberia and Alaska approximately 40000 years ago. Navajo and Apache belong to the Southern Athabaskan family.
Pannonian Avars were a nomadic people who settled the former Roman province of Pannonia including modern day Hungary, Slovakia and Austria. In 557, the Avars send an embassy to the Byzantine Empire. In exchange for gold, they agreed to subjugate barbarians on behalf of the Byzantines. They conquered and incorporated various nomadic tribes. By 562, the Avars controlled the lower Danube basin and the steppes north of the Black Sea. Upon arrival in the Balkans, the Avars had 20,000 horsemen. Emperor Justinian paid them to head into Germania, but this was bloked by Frankish opposition. The Avars aligned with the Lombards in 567 to destroy the Gepids, and then convinced the Lombards to move into northern Italy. Avars would periodically raid the Balkans when the Byzantines failed to pay a stipend. Frankish invasions in the 790s led to the collapse of the Avar Khanate in Pannonia.
The Roman Historian Tacitus first mentions in 98 AD the existence of a tribe living near the Baltic Sea called the Aesti. These were a Baltic peoples, who descended from a group of Indo-European tribes who settled the area between the Vistula and southeast shore of the Baltic Sea, and upper Daugava and Dnieper rivers. The thousands of lakes and swamps helped contribute to the Baltic geographic isolation. Western and Eastern Balts began to differentiate in the later centuries BC. The Western Balts included the Brus/Old Prussians, Sudovians, Scalvians, Nadruvians and Curonians. The Eastern Balts meanwhile were living in modern day Belarus, Ukraine and Russia. As the Roman Empire collapsed, Eastern Balts were pushed to the west and Slavic tribes from the Volga appeared on the scene. Many of the Eastern and Southern Balts were assimilated and slavicized. Brus/Old Prussians were meanwhile Germanized. The Baltic Tribes leveraged the natural landscape to build thousands of hill forts along key areas which were effectively fortified wooden pallisades which would be heavily defended. The Baltic peoples were known to be fierce warriors, excellent sailors and pirates.
The Bantu Peoples are those who speak languages deriving from Proto-Bantu language spoken 4000 years ago in West/Central Africa. During the Bantu Expansion in the first milennium BC, a rapid succession of migrations took place. The Bantu peoples assimilated or displaced earlier inhabitants such as the Pygmy or Khoisan populations in central and southern Africa. Bantu migrants would acquire cattle from their Cushitic neighbors. Bantu and Cushitic peoples interacted considerably leading to various ethnic admixtures such as the Tutsi of the African Great Lakes region. In Southern Africa, a major clan of Bantu People known as the Zulu became a powerful state in 1818 under the famous Zulu King Shaka.
Brahmin Dynasty of Sindh
The Brahman dynasty was a Hindu power on the Indian subcontinent which originated in the region of Sindh, present-day Pakistan. The Brahman dynasty succeeded the Rai dynasty after its founder Chach of Alor married the widow of Rai Sahasi II, the last ruler of the Rai dynasty. He then secured power by killing the brother of Rai Sahasi II. Much of what we know today comes from the Chach Nama, a historical account of the Chach-Brahman dynasty. Raja Dahar was the last ruler of the Brahmin Dynasty of Sindh. His kingdom was conquered by the Ummayad Caliphate and he was killed at the Battle of Aror at the banks of the Indus River.
Canaanites and Semites
Canaan was the key Semetic-speaking region in the Ancient Near East around 2000 BC corresponding to the Levant in the Bible. This includes the area of Phoenicia, Israel, Philistia and other nations. All people in this region shared the similiar languages, culture and ethnic background - this included the Israelites, Moabites, Phoenicians and Ammonites. Archaeological and linguistic evidence shows the Kingdom of Israel and Kingdom of Judah represented a subset of Canaanite culture. In the Bronze Age, cities like Jerusalem were large and important walled settlements. The Egyptian Pharaoh Rameses II had to campaign vigorously in Canaan to maintain Egyptian power. Egyptians setup permanent fortress garrisons in Moab and Ammon. During the Iron Age, southern Canaan was dominated by the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, as well as the Philistine city-states on the Mediterranean coast. Northern Canaan was divided into Syro-Hittite states and Phoenician city-states. The entire region was conquered by the Assyrian Empire from the 10th century BC until the 7th century BC. Then the Babylonians took control followed by the Persians. In 332 BC, Alexander The Great conquered Canaan. in the 2nd century BC Rome took control, and then later Byzantium folllowed by the Arab Islamic invasion in the 7th century.
According to Roman legend, Phoenician colonists from modern-day Lebanon, led by Queen Elissa, founded Carthage circa 814 BC. Queen Elissa was an exiled princess of the ancient Phoenician city of Tyre. At its peak, the mighty city she founded, Carthage, become known as the "shining city", ruling 300 other cities around the western Mediterranean Sea. The Carthaginian Empire extended over much of the coaster of Northwest Africa as well as most of coastal Iberia and the islands of the western Mediterannean Sea. For much of its histroy, Carthage was on hostile terms with the Greeks in Sicily and the Roman Republic. The city also had to deal with potentially hostile Berbers, the local inhabitants of North Africa. In the Punic Wars against Rome, the Carthaginian General Hannibal Barca led an overland invasion of Italy by crossing the Alps with Elephants. After crushing victories over Roman armies in the battle of Trebia and Trasimene, Hannibal led a crushing defeat of the Romans at Cannae. In 146, after the third and final Punic War following hundreds of years of conflict, Roman forces destroyed Carthage. They utterly destroyed the city, enslaved whoever was still alive and poured salt all over the land to ensure nothing could grow back.
The ancient Celts were various population groups and tribes living in mainland Europe from the Late Bronze Age onwards. Tribes included the Gauls, Helvetii, Scordisci, Serdi, Boli and Iceni among others. Wherever Celts settled, they spoke the same language and maintained the same artistic traditions. Celtic warriors were known for long hair and imposing physique. By serving as mercenaries for Carthage against Rome, the Celts gained a reputation for being fierce warriors and skilled horsemen who fielded chariots into battle. Celts used musical instruments called carnyces which were used to frighten the enemy before combat. Greek art depicts their distinctive long shields and long swords. Among insular Celts, women could take a warrior role - Boudica was the queen of the Iceni tribe who formed a rebellion against Roman occupation of Britain. Celtic art can combine geometric decoration with figurative subjects in a extremely stylised manner.
The Celtiberians were a group of Celticized peoples (intermarried Celts and Iberians) living in the central-eastern Iberian Peninsula in the final centuries BC. They spoke a Celtiberian language using the Iberian alphabet. They were engaged in battle with the Romans until 72 BC when the entire region became part of the Roman province Hispania Citerior. The subjugated Celtiberians waged a protracted struggle against the Roman conquerors staging numerous uprisings. The culture combined cattle-raising pastoralists with warrior elite centered in the hill-forts or castros that controlled small grazing territories and preferred two-edged swords and spears in combat. Celtiberians were the most influencial ethnic group in Iberia when Carthage and Rome arrived. During the second Punic War against Rome, the Celtiberians served as mercenaries for Carthage. After Rome's eventual victory against its rival Carthage, Rome punished all former allies of its nemesis and went about 'pacifying' the Celtiberians. In desperation, the Celtiberians joined their Lusitanian neighbors under the infamous Viriathus in open rebellion against Roman rule.
The Chola dynasty was one of the longest-ruling dynasties in history, leaving marks from 300 BC through 1279 AD. The heartland of the Cholas was the fertile valley of the Kaveri River, but the whole of India south of Thungabhadra was united under one rule. Under Rajara Chola I and his successors Rajendra Chola I, Rajadhiraja Chola, Virajendra Chola and Kultothunga Chola I, the dynasty became a military, economic and cultural power in South Asia and South-East Asia with territory stretching from the Maldives, South India, parts of Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Andaman Islands. The Chola kings were avid builders and envisioned temples in their kingdoms as the centers of both religion and economic activity. Chola art and architecture spread to Southeast Asia.
The Cimmerians were a nomadic Indo-European people who appeared around 1000 BC by means of the Caucasus. They inhabited the region north of the Caucasus and Black Sea in what is now Ukraine and Russia. The Cimmerians assaulted Armenia in 714 BC, but were repulsed by Sargon II of Assyria. They then turned towards Anatolia and conquered Phrygia. In 652, the Cimmerians reached their peak by conquering Sardis the capital of Lydia. The Greek city states of Ionia and Aeolis were also attacked. Eventually the Cimmerians were routed by the Lydians, forced out of Anatolia and reportedly settled in modern day Armenia.
The early Slavs were a diverse group of tribes who lived in Eastern Europe between the 5th and 10th centuries and created the foundation of Slavic nations to come. The Byzantine historian Procopius of Caesarea described these people as tall and especially strong, with reddish auburn hair. He reported how they would fight on foot carrying shields and spears, preferring ambush and guerrilla tactics to open warfare. Byzantines would employ these Early Slavs as mercenaries. However, various nomadic horseback tribes such as the fierce Scythians, Sarmatians and Alans were on the Eurasian Steppes around the Black Sea and absorbed into the Slavic population over time. Such close contact with these societies transformed Slavs into very skilled horsemen. Use of cavalry enabled the Slavs to expand rapidly southwest into the Balkans, the Alps and northeast toward the Volga River. Typically these early Slavic nations were known to have lived in a democracy avoiding rule of any single chief. Settlements were not uniformly distributed, but rather found in clusters which were linked by familial or clan relationships. The first historical Slavic state was founded by Samo, followed by Bulgaria in 681 AD, followed by Great Moravia, Carantania, Pannonia, Croatia, Serbia and the Obotrites.
Francia, also known as the Kingdom of the Franks was the largest post-Roman barbarian kingdom in Western Europe. It is the predecessor of the modern states of France and Germany. Francia was among the last surviving Germanic kingdoms from the Migration Period era before its partition in 843. The core Frankish territories inside the former Western Roman Empire were close to the Rhine and Maas rivers in the north. After a period where small kingdoms inter-acted with the remaining Gallo-Roman institutions to their south, a single kingdom uniting them was founded by Clovis I who was crowned King of the Franks in 496. The geography of the Frankish realm varied over time, but a basic split between eastern and western domains persisted. The eastern kingdom Austrasia centered on the Rhine and Meuese and epxanded eastwards into central Europe. The western kingdom Neustria was founded in Northern Roman Gaul. In Germany there are prominent places nameed after the Franks such as the region of Franconia (Frankfurt) and Frankenstein Castle.
The term Gallo-Roman describes the Romanized culture of Gaul under the rule of the Roman Empire. This was characterized by the Gaulish adoption or adaptation of Roman morals and way of life in a uniquely Gaulish context. The well-studied meld of cultures gives historians a model against which to compare and contrast parallel developments of Romanization in other, less-studied Roman provinces. Interpretatio romana offered Roman names for Gaulish deities such as the smith-god Gobannus, but of Celtic deities only the horse-patroness Epona penetrated Romanized cultures beyond the confines of Gaul. The barbarian invasions beginning in the early fifth century forced upon Gallo-Roman culture fundamental changes in politics, in the economic underpinning, in military organization. The Gothic settlement of 418 offered a double loyalty, as Western Roman authority disintegrated at Rome.
The Gauls were Celtic tribes who lived predominantly in eastern and southern France. They had a complex political system involving clans run by a council of elders. A king would have much of their powers held in check by the council. Gaul tended to be politically divided and only during dangerous times such as the invasion by Julius Caesar, could the Gauls unite under a single leader like Vercingetorix. After the Roman conquest of Gaul, the land was split into provinces and people divided into 3 groups - the Belgae (the bravest and furthest from civilization), the Galli/Celts, and the Aquitani towards Spain. Gauls practiced animism and worshipped animals. Druids presided over human or animal sacrifices in wooded groves or crude temples. The druids were key to preserving festivals and the lunar-solar calendar. Gauls would nail heads of enemies to walls or dangle them from the necks of horses to instill fear.
Gepids were a Germanic tribe realted to the Goths, described as tall and blond-haired. The Gepids fought alongside the Huns against the Roman Empire around 440 AD. Later the Gepids founded a kingdom known as Gepidia in the eastern regions fo the Carpathian basin. They helped form a coalition to fight the Ostrogoths who ruled Pannonia. They reached their peak in 537 and settled further near modern Serbia. In 546 the Byzantines allied with the Lombards and crushed the Gepids. Any remnants were defeated by the Avars in 567 who took over all the former Gepid lands.
The Ghaznavid Dynasty was a Persianate Muslim dynasty fo mamluk origin that ruled over Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, and the northwest Indian subcontinent from 977 to 1186. Although the dynasty was of Central Asian Turkic origin, it was Persianised in terms of language, culture, literature and habits and included a diverse population. Sabuktigin founded the dynasty and his son Mahmud of Ghazni delcared indepedence from the Samanid Empire expanding the Ghaznavid Empire to the Indus River and Indian Ocean. Control of the western territories was lost to the Seljuq dynasty resulting in restriction of its holdings to Aghasnistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan. The Ghaznavid court was renowned for its support of Persian literature and as a result Persian literary culture enjoyed a renaissance under their rule. Numerous Persian poets joined the court including Manuchehri who focused on poems related to the merits and advantages of drinking wine. Ghazni became the center of learning and Persian culture spread to Lahore which later produced the famous poet Masud Sa'd Salman. Lahore, under Ghaznavid rule in the 11th century, attracted Persian scholars from Khorasan, India and Central Asia to become a major cultural center. This culture blossomed until the Mongol invasion.
Diodotus founded the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom when he seceded from the Seleucid Empire around 250 BC and became King Diodotus I of Bactria. The Greco-Bactrian Kingdom was, along with the Indo-Greek Kingdom, the easternmost part of the Hellenistic world and was centered on the north of present-day Afghanistan. The new kingdom was highly urbanized and considered one of the richest in the Orient. The Greek historian Strabo wrote that the Greco-Bactrians extended the empire even as far as China. Statues of Greek soldiers have been found from this time period in China and may have influenced the manufacture of the famous Teracotta army. The Indian emperor Chandragupta who founded the Mauryan dynasty ensured each Mauryan emperor had a Greek ambassador at his court. Some of the Greek populations remained in northwestern India and convereted to Buddhism. The Greco-Bactrian city of Ai-Khanoum interacted closely with the Indian subcontinent and shared the rich Hellenistic culture of the time. The Greco-Bactrians were involved in fighting the Parthians and Scythians with a multi-ethnic force of Greek colonists armed with pike phalanxes and mercenary javelin-wielding Thrueophoroi. The cavalry would also incorporate Indo-Iranian light horsemen. Greco-Bactrians were known for high level of Hellenic sophistication and kept regular contact with both the Mediterranean and India.
In the 8th century BC (before the Roman Republic), Greeks began a large colonization drive to southern Italy to populate Sicily, Campania, Calabria, Apulia and Bascilicata. The romans referred to this region which includes the boot of Italy as Magna Graecia (Greater Greece). This large scale migration was underway by the time of the Trojan War and lasted several centuries. The settlers brought Hellenic civilization which had a lasting impact on the culture of Ancient Rome. The Hellenic civilization interacted with the native Italic civilization. The Greek cities were one by one absorbed into the Roman Republic starting with Neapolis in 327 BC. Sicily was conqureed by Rome during the first Punic War against Carthage. Sicily was initially populated by Phoenicians but then heavily colonized and settled by Greeks. Syracuse (Sicily) became the most populous greek city in the world by the 3rd century BC. The population of the island remained mostly unchanged.
The Hittites were an Anatolian people who played an important role in establishing an empire centered 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 Anatolia as well as parts of the northern Levant and Upper Mesopotamia. Between the 15th and 13th centuries BC, the Empire of Hattusa, conventionally called the Hittite Empire, came into conflict with the Egyptian Empire, Middle Assyrian Empire and the empire of the Mitanni for control of the Near East. The Assyrians eventually emerged as the dominant power and annexed much of the Hittite empire, while the remainder was sacked by Phrygian newcomers to the region. After c. 1180 BC, during the Bronze Age collapse, the Hittites splintered into several independent Neo-Hittite city-states, some of which survived until the 8th century BC before succumbing to the Neo-Assyrian Empire.
The Huns blasted onto the European scene like a bolt of lightning from the outer edge of the world. The legend of Attila sees him as a ferocious wild beast with a vast empire, stretching from Ukraine to Hungary. Psychological warfare was key - villages in their path were slaughtered and burned to the ground. The Huns greatest weapon were their people - the way they fought, novelty and terror instilled. Attila as a tactical genius spotted the weakness of Rome after the failed Vandal expedition, and began assaulting Roman cities and taking territories from the Roman Empire. Populations were enslaved and slaughtered, integrating into the Hun war machine. The final battle between the Romans and Huns was about Western Civilization itself. Rome and its Gothic allies miraculously defeated Attila and his aura of invincibility was lost. The Huns disappeared from the European landscape and never were to return.
The Hungarian conquest of the Carpathian Basin was a series of events resulting in the settlement of the Hungarians at the turn of the 9th and 10th centuries. Before the arrival of the Hungarian Conquerors (or Proto-Hungarians), three medieval powers were fighting for control of the Carpathian Basin - the First Bulgarian Empire, East Francia and Moravia. Occasionally they would hire Proto-Hungarian horsemen as soldiers. These people who lived on the Pontic Steppes became familiar with their future homeland as a result. After they were attacked by the Bulgarians and Pechengs in 894, the Proto-Hungarians crossed the Carpathian Mountains and took over the lowlands east of the Danube, and then went into Pannonia. Then by defeating a Bavarian army in 907, they launched a series of plundering raids. Gradually they began settling in the Basin and established a monarchy, the Kingdom of Hungary in 1000 AD and ruled over the existing peoples of the region at this time including Slavs, Greeks, Germans, Moravians and Vlachs.
The Iberians were a non-Celtic group of people associated with the southern and eastern coasts of the Iberian peninsula in the first milennium BC. Due to their military skills, Iberian soldiers were frequently involved in conflicts in Italy, Greece and Sicily. They lived in villages and fortified settlements called oppida based on a tribal organization with knowledge of metalworking, writing, bronze working and agricultural techniques. Preceeding Roman conquests in the region, Iberian settlements grew in complexity due to contacts with Phoenicians, Greeks and Carthageinians. They traded extensively with other cultures in the Medieterranean where Iberian pottery and metalwork has been found in France, Italy and North Africa. The Iberians also had close contact with Phoenicians who had established colonies in southern Andalusia. In the First Punic war between Rome and Carthage, Hamilcar Barca began his conquest in Iberia making the IBerian theater the key battleground between these powers. Many Iberian and Celtiberian warriors fought for one side or the other, though most tribes sided with Carthage. After Carthage's ultimate defeat, the Iberian territories were divided into Hispania Ulterior and Hispania Citerior. An Iberian revolt in 197 BC against Rome was crushed, but was the beginning of a long drawn out campaign for the conquest of Lustiania to the west.
Illyria appears in Greco-Roman historiography from the 4th century BC. The Illyrians formed several kingdoms in the central Balkans, and the first known Illyrian king was Bardyllis. Illyrian kingdoms were often at war with ancient Macedonia, and the Illyrian pirates were also a significant danger to neighbouring peoples. Illyrians were regarded as bloodthirsty, unpredictable, turbulent, and warlike by Greeks and Romans. They were seen as savages on the edge of their world. Polybius (3rd century BC) wrote: the Romans had freed the Greeks from the enemies of all mankind. According to the Romans, the Illyrians were tall, well-built and therulers wore bronze torques around their necks. In the Illyrian Wars of 229 BC, 219 BC and 168 BC Rome overran the Illyrian settlements and suppressed the piracy that had made the Adriatic unsafe for Italian commerce. There were three campaigns, the first against Teuta the second against Demetrius of Pharos and the third against Gentius. The initial campaign in 229 BC marks the first time that the Roman Navy crossed the Adriatic Sea to launch an invasion. The Roman Republic subdued the Illyrians during the 2nd century BC. An Illyrian revolt was crushed under Augustus, resulting in the division of Illyria in the provinces of Pannonia in the north and Dalmatia in the south.
The Inca Empire was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. IT had the most developed administrative and political structure in the Americas, with the center located in hte city of Cuasco. The civilization arose from the Peruvian highlands in the early 13th century. From 1438 to 1533, the Incas incorporated vast amounts of territory in South America centered on the Andean Mountains via conquest and peaceful assimiliation. At its peak, the empire joined Peru, Ecuador, western and south central Bolivia, northwest Argentina, and a large portion of modern Chile. The official language was Quechua and many forms of worship existed. The Incas considered their king, the Sapa Inca, to be the son of the sun. Unlike other advanced civilizations, they lacked wheeled vehicles, iron and steel, as well as a system of writing. However they had developed monumental architecture (especially stonework), extensive roads, finely-woven textiles, and many agricultural innovations. It functioned without money and markets, but instead was based on trade among individuals, groups and rulers.
The Karkota Empire (625 AD - 885 AD) was a major power in the Indian subcontinent. It was founded by Durlabhvardhana and marked the rise of Kashmir as the power of Northern India. Lalitaditya Muktapida was the dynasty's strongest ruler who captured parts of Central Asia, Afghanistan and Punjab. He was able to extend the power of Kashmir beyond the mountain limits and in about 740 AD inflicted a defeat upon Yashovarman, the King of Kannauj. It is rumored he also vanquished the Turks, Tibetans, Bhutias, Kambojas and others. Similiar stories mention how Lalitaditya could produce water in the desert by striking the sand with his sword. The Karkota emperors were primarily Hindu and built spectacular temples in their capital Parihaspur. They also allowed Buddhism to flourish under them. The Martand Sun Temple is the oldest known Sun temple in India and one of the biggest temple complexes of the period.
Kievan Rus (882 AD - 1240 AD) was a loose federation fo East Slavic and Finnic peoples in Europe during the middle ages, under the reign of the Varangian Rurik dynasty. At its greatest size, it extended from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea, and as far west as Poland to the Crimea in the east. The Kievan state prospered due to its abundant supply of furs, beeswax, honey and slaves. It was centrally located on three main trade routes of Eastern Europe. Novgorod served as a commercial link between the Baltic Sea and the Volga. Rapid expansion to the south led to conflict with the Khazars who were allied with the Byzantines against Persians and Arbas. The decline of Constantinople and the Crusades played a large role in the decline of the Kievan Rus. Novgorod revolted against Kiev in 1136 and became an independent city republic. The Mongol invasion marked the end of the state..
The Licchavi Kingdom on the Indian subcontinent existed in modern-day Nepal from 400 to 750 AD. The Licchavi clan originated from Vaishali and Muzaffarpur in modern northern India and conquered the Kathmandu Valley. The language of Licchavi inscriptions is Vajjika which is close to Gupta scripts which were common in India which infers close cultural influence. The Licchavi clan came to Kathmandu attacking and defeating the last Kirat King Gasti. The Licchavi were ruled by a Maharaja who was aided by a prime minister in charge of military operations. Nobles known as samanta influenced the court whilst managing their own landholdings and militia. The population provided land taxes and conscript labor to support the regime. Most local administration was performed by village heads or leading families. The economy was agricultural relying on rice and grains. Lands were owned by the royal families and nobles, and the key trading partners were Tibet and India as the Licchavi Kingdom sat at the crossroads.
The Longobards (Winnili) were a pre-Viking era Scandinavian tribe who migrated south towards Germania. Upon reaching Germania, the Winnili ran into conflict with the powerful Germanic Vandals. Both sides appealed to their chief god Odin for victory. To achieve victory against the more numerous Vandals, the godess Freia told the Winnili women to tie their hair to look like beards. Odin saw them standing in the field and asked who are these long beard warriors? After their victory the Winnili were called the Longbeards which in time renamed to Longobards/Lombards. Not finding adequate food resources, they ventured into Pannonia in modern day Hungary. There the Longobards allied with the Avars to defeat the Gepids, but all the spoils went to the Avars. As a result, the Longobards under King Alboin left the region and relocated into northern Italy where the land was ripe and by then the Longobards had a fierce reputation. The Byzantine Empire had spent vast amounts of money defeating the Ostrogoths and now had the Longobards to deal with. Eventually the Longobard Kingdom of Italy was split between two rulers, one at Milan and the other at Pavia. Weakened by internal fighting, Charlemagne of the Franks seized the lands of the Longobards and absorbed it into the kingdom of the Franks. However, some territories survived under Lombard dukes.
The Lusitanians (or Latin: Lusitani) were an Indo-European people living in the west of the Iberian Peninsula, where Portugal is located nowadays, prior the conquest by the Roman Republic and the subsequent incorporation of the territory into the Roman province of Lusitania. Since 193 BC, the Lusitanians had been fighting the Romans alone in Hispania. In 150 BC, they were defeated by Praetor Servius Galba: springing a treacherous trap, he killed 9,000 Lusitanians and later sold 20,000 more as slaves in Gaul (modern France). This massacre would not be forgotten by Viriathus, who three years later (147 BC) would become the leader of the Lusitanians, and severely damaged the Roman rule in Lusitania and beyond. In 139 BC, Viriathus was betrayed and killed in his sleep by his companions (who had been sent as emissaries to the Romans), Audax, Ditalcus and Minurus, bribed by Marcus Popillius Laenas. However, when the three returned to receive their reward from the Romans, the Consul Servilius Caepio ordered their execution, declaring, "Rome does not pay traitors".
The Maurya Empire was a Iron Age historical power which dominated the Indian subcontinent between 322 and 185 BC, with an empire extending over 5 million square kilometers. The Mauryan Empire defeated Seleucus I, the founder of the Hellenic Seleucid Empire which was formed by the followers of Alexander the Great. At the peak, the empire stretched to the Himalayas, east to Assam and west into Pakistan and Iran. The dynasty expanded into India's southern regions. Under Chandragupta Maurya and his successors, economic activities thrived and expanded across South Asia due to the single and efficient system of finance, administration and security. The Maurya dynasty built the Grand Trunk Road, one of Asia's oldest and longest trade networks. The population was around 60 million, making this one of the most populous empires of antiquity. The architecture of the cities had many similiarities with Persian cities of the period. Eventually there was a succession of weaker kings which led to a gradual decline of the empire. Territories were slowly lost leading to the collapse of the great Maurya empire and giving rise to the Shunga Empire which followed.
The Maya civilization developed in an area that encompasses southeastern Mexico, all of Guatemala and Belize, and the western portions of Honduras and El Salvador. Classic period rule was centred on the concept of the "divine king", who acted as a mediator between mortals and the supernatural realm. Kingship was patrilineal, and power would normally pass to the eldest son. A prospective king was also expected to be a successful war leader. Maya politics was dominated by a closed system of patronage, although the exact political make-up of a kingdom varied from city-state to city-state. By the Late Classic, the aristocracy had greatly increased, resulting in the corresponding reduction in the exclusive power of the divine king. The Maya civilization developed highly sophisticated artforms, and the Maya created art using both perishable and non-perishable materials, including wood, jade, obsidian, ceramics, sculpted stone monuments, stucco, and finely painted murals.
The Minoan civilization (2700 BC to 1450 BC) was based on the island of Crete and other Aegean Islands. The Minoans are famous for large and elaborate palaces up to 4 stories high with elaborate plumbing and frescoes. During this period there was extensive trade between Crete, Aegean and Mediterranean settlements including the Near East. Minoan cultural influence extended into Cyprus, Canaan, Egypt and Anatolia. Minoans worshipped a Great Goddess, thought of as a divine solar figure. Sacred symbols included the bull, the double-eaded axe, the pillar, the serpent, the sun-disc and the tree. Minoan cities were connected by narrow paved roads. Water and sewage facilities were available to the upper class through clay pipes. There is no evidence of a Minoan army or domination of peoples beyond Crete. There is little evidence of Minoan fortifications. Genetically Minoans are closely related to Mycenaean Greeks. The decline of the Minoans was possibly due to invasions from mainland Greece and the major volcanic eruption on Santorini.
The Golden Horde
The Golden Horde was a Mongol khanate established in the 13th century and orginated as the northwestern sector of the Mongol Empire. After the fragmentation of the Mongol Empire in 1259, it became a fully seperate khnaate, also known as the Kipchak Khanate or the Ulus of Jochi. The dynasty flourished for a full century until 1359. The Horde's military power peaked during the reign of Uzbeg who adopted Islan. The territory of the Golden Horde at its peak included most of EAstern Europe from the Urals to the Danube River and extended east deep into Siberia. In the south, the Golden Horde's lands bordered on the Black Sea, the Caucasus Mountains and the territories of the Mongol dynasty known as the Ilkhanate. Soon after the 1396 invasion of Timur, the Golden Horde broke into smaller Tatar khanates which declined steadily in power. By 1466 the group started falling apart and it split into various Turkic-speaking khanates. The Crimean Khanate and Kazakh Khanate were the last remnants of the Golden Horde, surviving until 1783 and 1847.
During the classical period, the Romans interacted with and conquered parts of Mauretania, a state that covered modern Morocco, western Algeria and the Spanish cities Ceuta and Melilla. The Berber tribes there were noted as Mauri or Maurusii, which was rendered as Moors in English and many other European languages. In 24 AD the Roman historian Tacitus mentioned the Moors revolted against the Roman Empire. In 711, the Islamic Arab and Moors of Berber descent in northern Africa crossed the Strait of Gibraltar onto the Iberian Peninsula and in a series of raids conquered Visigothic Christian Hispania. Their general, Tariq ibn Ziyad, brought most of Iberia under Islamic rule in an eight-year campagin. They continued northeast across the Pyrenees Mountains but were defeated by the Franks under Charles Martel at the Battle of Tours in 732.
The Old Norse Sagas mention the Finnic Vikings from Estonia (Vikingr fra Esthland). The largest island of Estonia called Oesel (or Saaremaa) was home to the Oeselians, fierce warriors who sailed ships called piraticas which dragon or snakehead prows and quadranguar sails. One saga mentions a fierce battle off the coast of Saaremaa between Oeselians and Icelandic Vikings in 972 AD. The Livonian Chronicle mentions how they were surrounded by the sea and never fear strong armies as their strength is in their ships. In summers they oppressed surrounding lands by raiding both Christians and pagans. A fleet of Oeselians ravaged southern Sweden and forced Danish King Valdemar I to mobilize his entire fleet to stop them. Oeselians most famous raid was an attack on the former Swedish capital and Viking city of Sigtuna. The head god of the Oeselians was Tharapita (associated to Thor) who was born on a forested mountain in Estonia and flew to Saaremaa. This co-incided with a major meteor disaster in 660 BC that formed a huge crater on the island.
Originating from Scandinavia, the Goths of Eastern Europe were shattered when Attila and the Huns blasted onto the scene. The Gothic kingdom was split - those who crossed the Danube to enter the Roman Empire became the Visigoths. The Ostrogoths who remained in Dacia to face the Huns became their vassals. They migrated into the Roman province of Pannonia (modern day Hungary, Austria and Crotia) and fought with their Hunnic overlords against the Romans, Visigoths and their allies. When the Hunnic empire was defeated, the newly independent Ostrogoths remained in Pannonia. When the western Roman empire collapsed to the warlord Odoacer, the Byzantines looked to the Ostrogoth King Theodoric to reclaim Italy in 488 AD. After liberating Italy, the Byzantines treated Theodoric as an equal. Under Theodoric's rule, Italy flourished and Roman laws and customs continued under Ostrogothic rule, becoming the strongest in western Europe. In 535 AD after Theodoric's death, the Gothic war with Byzantium began and Emperor Justinian won ending the Ostrogothic kingdom.
The Ottoman Empire grew to be one of the most powerful states in the world during the 15th and 16th centuries. At the height the empire encompassed most of southeastern Europe to the gates of Vienna, including present-day Hungary, the Balkan region, Greece, parts of Ukraine and the Middle East, North Africa and large parts of the Arabian Peninsula. The term Ottoman is a dynastic appelation derived from Osman I, the nomadic Turkmen chief who founded both the dynasty and the empire in 1300. The Ottoman period spanned more than 600 years and came to an end only in 1922 when it was replaced by the Turkish Republic and various successor states in southeastern Europe and the Middle East.
The Philistines were an ancient people who lived on the south coast of Canaan between 1200 BC and 604 BC. They are believed to be part of the Sea People who ravaged the Mediterranean region in the Late Bronze Age destroying cities and causing havoc to coastal towns including the destruction of the Hittite Kingdom and attacks against Egypt. Philistine pottery found in Ashkelon shows Greco origin although links to Minoans and even the ancient city of Troy have been considered as the source of the culture. In 1150 BC, the Philistines arrived in Ashkelon and conquered it from the Canaanites. Ashkelon became one of the 5 great Philistine cities which would constantly war with the Israelites and Kingdom of Judah in a long feud over the Canaan region. After defeat against the Babylonian King Neubchadnezzar II in 604 BC, Ashkelon itself was burnt to the ground and the people exhiled ending the Philistine civilization.
Phoenicia was a thalassocratic, ancient Semitic-speaking Mediterranean civilization that originated in the Levant, specifically Lebanon, in the west of the Fertile Crescent. Scholars generally agree that it was centered on the coastal areas of Lebanon and included northern Israel, and southern Syria reaching as far north as Arwad, but there is some dispute as to how far south it went, the furthest suggested area being Ashkelon. Its colonies later reached the Western Mediterranean, such as Cadiz in Spain and most notably Carthage in North Africa, and even the Atlantic Ocean. The civilization spread across the Mediterranean between 1500 BC and 300 BC. The Phoenician alphabet became one of the most widely used writing systems, spread by Phoenician merchants where it evolved and was assimiliated by many other cultures including the Roman alphabet used by Western civilization today.
The Pontic Empire centered around the Black Sea and was founded by the Persian Mithridatic dynasty with a mixed population of Hellenic Greek settlers and people from Persia and the Steppes. The kingdom was Hellenized and the offical language was Greek. It was divided into two distinct areas - the coastal region and the Pontic interior. The coastal region bordering the Black Sea was separated from the mountainous inland by the Pontic Alps. The coastal regions were dominated by Greek cities such as Amastris and Sinbope which became the Pontic capital. The coast was rich intimber, fishing and olives, and the region also had rich supplies of iron, silver, copper and other metals. The Hellenic coastal regions focused on sea trade, whereas the interior was ruled by Iranian aristocracy that had a history back to the Persian Empire. The gods of the kingdom were a mix of Persian and Greek deities including the Persian Ahuramazda, Apollo and Mithras. The Pontic culture was a synthesis between Iranian, Greek and Anatolian elements. Eventually pirate activity increased in the Eastern Mediterraean enabling the Roman General Pompey to invade. The western half and Greek coastal cities were annexewd by Rome directly, whereas the interior and eastern kingdom remained an independent client kingdom of Rome.
In Ancient Burma, the Pyu Kingdoms or city-states existed from the 2nd century BC (Bronze Age) until the 11th century AD, and were founded as part of the southward migration by the Tibeto-Burman-speaking Pyu people. The thousand-year period, also known as the Pyu millenium, linked the Bronze age to the beginning of the classical states period when the Pagan Kingdom emerged in the 9th century. The Pyu culture was heavily influenced by trade with India, importing Buddhism as well as cultural, architectural and political concepts. The Pyu calendar, based on the Buddhist calendar, became later the Burmese calendar. The written script used by the Pyu was based on the Indian Brahmi script. The civilization came crashing down in the 9th century, when the city-states were destroyed by repeated invasions from the Kingdom of Nanzhao. The Bamar people, who came from Nanzhao, setup garrisons in the nearby rivers. Eventually the Pyu settlements which remained were absorbed into the expanding Pagan Kingdom. The Pyu language existed until the 12th century AD. Histories and legends of the Pyu were incorporated into those of the Bamar.
The founding of mighty Rome starts with the story of Romulus and Remus. Whether they were suckled by a she-wolf as infants or descended from the Trojan War hero Aeneas, the Latins who settled Rome had their crude dwellings tranformed into a true city by their Etruscan overlords. The Etruscans were master builders who gave Rome its architecture, gods, and gladiators. After overthrowing their conquerors, the Roman Republic expanded quickly to incorporate the Latins, Etruscans (originally from Anatolia), Greek settlers to the south and Gauls to the north. Republic gave way to Empire and after a thousand years it was time for Rome to face its end. Although numerous invaders arrived on the scene as the empire weakened and crumbled, the wars with the Ostrogoths from 535-554 AD had a lasting impact that left Italy devastated and depopulated.
The Lusitani and Celtiberians who lived in western Iberia resisted Roman attempts to pacify them until 61 BC when Julius Caesar arrived on the scene. The final conquest of Hispania was accomplished under Augustus, between the years 39 and 19 BC. In 13 BCE Hispania was divided into three provinces: Baetica, Lusitania, and Tarraconensis. Hispania was significantly Romanized throughout the imperial period and it came to be one of the most important territories of the Roman Empire. Emperors Trajan and Hadrian were both born there and most all of the people of Hispania were granted Roman citizen status. Despite this, Legio VII Gemina was permanently stationed in Hispania Tarraconensis. Its base was at Leon to be close to, and to protect the gold and iron mines of Gallica. Hispania finally fell from the Roman Empire with the great Germanic migrations of the 4th and 5th centuries AD. Alani, Seuvi, Vandals and Visigoths poured through Gaul and into the west, effectively removing Hispania from Roman control by about 409 AD. Hispania's economy expanded greatly under Roman Rule. The province, along with North Africa, served as a granary for the Roman market, and its harbors exported gold, wool, olive oil, and wine. Agricultural production increased with the introduction of irrigation projects, some of which remain in use even today.
The Rouran Khaganate were the first people who used the title of khan or khagan and are believed to be descended from the Xianbei. They were a nomadic people who remained in the Eurasian Steppes after most the Xianbei migrated south settling in Northern China. They were fierce warriors but politically fragmented until 402 AD when Shelun united the Rouran under one banner. They defeated the neighboring Tiele and expanded territory over the Silk Roads. They also forced the Hepthalites south which displaced the Yuezhi in Bactria forcing them further south. The Khaganate lasted from the late 4th century until the middle 6th century, when they were defeated by the Gokturk rebellion which led to the rise of the Turks. Rouran is a Classical Chinese transcription of the endonym of the peoples, but Xianbei sources from orders given by Emperor Taiwu of Northern Wei, Ruanruan and Ruru provide a meaning similiar to a wriggling worm. The Rouran eventually fled west afterwards and possibly merged with the Pannonian Avars.
The Rugii (Old Norse for rye eaters) were an East Germanic tribe who migrated from southwest Norway to Pomerania around 100 AD. Tacitus mentions them as adjacent to the Goths on the Baltic Sea and characterized them as carrying round shields and short swords or spears. Around the middle of the 2nd century AD, there was a significant migraiton of Germanic tribes of Scandinavian origin towards the south-east creating turmoil on the Roman frontier. Many Rugii left the Baltic coast during the migration period alongside Goths, Gepids and Burgundioans. In the beginning of the 4th century, large parts of the Rugii settled at the upper Tisza in ancient Pannonia (Hungary). They were at first attacked by the Huns but then joined Attila's campaign in 451 against Rome. When Attila died, they rebelled and created a kingdom called Rugiland in lower Austria north of the Danube. A few years later the Rugii joined the Ostrogothic king Theodoric the Great in his invaion of Italy. After the Gothic War against Byzantine Emperor Justinian ended in defeat, the Rugii seemed to have vanished to parts unknown.
The Safavid Dynasty was one of the most significant ruling dynasties in Iran. At their height, they controlled the modern nations of Iran, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Armenia, eastern Georgia, Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan and parts of Turkey, Syria, Pakistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. It is believed the Safavid family hailed from Iranian Kurdistan and later moved to Azerbaijan. The dynasty was from the very start intermarried with both Pontic Greek and Georgian lines. After the decline of the Timurid Empire, the Safavid dynasty was founded by Shah Ismail. He was the last in the line of hereditary Grand Masters of the Safaviyeh order. His expansionistic approach put the dynasty in direct conflict with the Ottoman Empire as they vied for control of parts of Anatolia. The highest level in the government was the Prime Minister or Grand Vizier who would be chosen among doctors of law. Public land was under the rule of local governors or Khans. The favorite language at the court and in the army was Persian Turkish due to the Turkic origins of the Safavid dynasty.
The Sarmatians were a large confederation that flourished around the 5th century B.C and related to the Scythians. They were Caucasoid in appearance, fairly tall with long hair and beards. Reportedly many Sarmatians had reddish hair and wore long flowing robes. They would ride horseback and throw javelins while mounted. Originating in the Eurasian Steppes, they migrated westeward and dominated the Scythians by 200 B.C. They ranged from the mouth of the Danube to the Volga and bordered the shores of the Black and Caspian seas. The territory known as Sarmatia includes much of Ukraine, southern Russia and parts of the Balkans. The dominance of the region ended with the arrival of the Goths and the Hunnic invasions. Sarmatians were eventually assimiliated into the Proto-Slavic population of Eastern Europe.
In the darkest days of the Roman Empire, a barbarian horde rose with villages stretching across the North Sea terrorizing both sides of the English Channel. The Saxons were warrior kings who lived for glory and gold. It is said in the 5th century, the British Warlord Vortigern sought help to fight the Picts and the Scots. The Saxon mercenaries led by Hengest and Horsa arrived on the scene. When they were not paid they began to invade the entire island, especially with flooding and coastal changes washing away their homeland forcing mass migrations. The southern coast kingdoms of Essex, Wessex and Sussex were settled by the Saxons. The Angles settled the eastern coast and the midlands including the kingdoms of Anglia and Mercia. The Jutes settled Kent and the Isle of Wight. All these germanic tribes were pagans worshipping Tiw, Woden and Thunor very much like their Viking neighbors with Tyr Odin and Thor. Ultimately, King Aethelbert of Kent converted to Christianity and became the Overlord of Britain. Raedwald of Anglia later took over and continued to spread Christianity around Britain which helped unite the Britons with the Anglo-Saxon invaders.
Scythians had a reputation as the epitome of savagery and barbarism - they were among the earliest peoples to master mounted warfare. They lived in tent-covered wagons and fought with composite bows shot from horseback. With great mobility, Scythians could absorb the attacks of more cumbersome footsoldiers and cavalry, just retreating out of range. Various barbed and poisoned arrows would be used. Western Scythians were based in modern-day Ukraine, Southern Russia, Romania and Bulgaria. Scythians obtained their wealth from the control over trading slaves, grain, wheat, flocks and cheese. Physically they appeared Europid although some had Euro-mongoloid phenotypes. Most descriptions mention them as red or fair-haired with blue-grey eyes. Scythian sites show rich and brightly colored textiles, leatherwork and woodwork, as well as tattooing.
Following the death of Alexander the Great, the Macedonian Empire was divided. Alexander's infantry general Seleucus I Nicator founded the Seleucid Empire which included much of Alexander's near eastern territories. At the peak, this included central Anatolia, Persia, the Levant, Mesopotamia, Kuwait, Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan and Turkmenistan. The Seleucid Empire was a major center of Hellenistic culture and maintained Greek customs with a Greek elite dominating urban areas. The cities were populated by Greeks who re-enforced largescale immigration from Greece. The Empire tried to expand further but was thwarted by the Roman Republic and its Greek allies leading to defeat at the Battle of Magnesia. The Seleucids were forced to pay costly war reparations and give up territories west of the Taurus Mountains. The Seleucid kings continued to rule until invasion by the Armenian king Tigranes the Great in 83 BC and their ultimate overthrow by the famous Roman general Pompey in 63 BC.
The greek historian Heroditus claimed the Thracians were second only to the Indians in number, and if it wasn't for their lack of unity they would be the most powerful in the world. The lack of unity led to the Thracian defeat by King Darius of the Persian Empire in the 6th century BC. After the Greek defeated the Persians in 479 BC, most Thracian tribes were united under the rule of Teres I who ruled the Odrysian Kingdom. His son Sitalces enlarged the kingdom to a regional power stretching from the Aegean to the Danube. When the Pelloponesian War in Greece began, he allied with the Athenians to fight against the Macedonians and Spartans. The alliance with the Athenians lasted about 100 years until the Thracian Odrysian Kingdom threatened Athens. However after King Cotys died, the empire split apart and Philip II of Macedon arrived onto the scene ending true Thracian power and independence.
The Thuringii were a Germanic tribe that appeared during the late Migraiton Period in central Germania. It became a kingdom which came into conflict with the Merovingian Franks and was eventually conquered by the Franks. They rebelled further and parts of Thuringia came under Saxon rule as a result. Thuringii are thought to be the descendants of the Hermanduri Tribe based on the Elbe river in ancient times. They established an empire in the late 5th century and were known for taking Hunnic women as slaves. There is also evidence in the graves showing Thuringians sought marriages with Ostrogoth and Lombard women.
The Vandals were a large Germanic tribe that migrated from southern Scandinavia and first appeared in southern Poland around 120 BC. Around 400 AD, raids by the Huns forced the Vandals to migrate westwards into the Iberian Peninsula. They then established a kingdom in North Africa, Siciliy, Corsica, Sardinia, Malta and the Balearic Islands. Eventually in 455 the term Vandal became synonymous with the sacking and looting Rome. Vandals had white bodies and fair hair, and were considered tall and handsome to look upon as per Byzantine historians. In 533 the Byzantines fought to re-conquer the Vandal territory in North Africa and Iberia. Some Vandal women married Byzantine soldiers, others were shipped back to Constantinople and absorbed into the imperial army. Some were able to move back to Spain.
The Vascones are considered ancestors of the present day Basques. They and related peoples occupied a territory spanning the Ebro river and parts of the Pyrenees. The oldest document from Roman times mentions how during the Sertorian War, the Romans crossed the Ebro into the flatlands of the Vascones until reaching the neighboring Berones. South of this area were the Celtiberians. During the Roman Republic and Empire, the territory of Vascones occupied present-day Navarre, parts of Gipuzkoa, La Rioja, Zaragoza and Huesca. Later on the Visigoths arrived into Iberia reducing this territory significantly. There are numerous mentions of Vascones into Aquitaine. Unlike the Aquitanians, the Vascones negotiated their status in the Roman Empire and during the Sertorian War, Pompey setup his headquarters in their territory. In 407 AD, Vascon troops fought with the Romans repelling an attack by Vandals, Alans and Alemanni. Both the Vascones and Aquitani were believed to have spoken a proto-Basque language.
In the frozen north, a land of people clung to the ancient gods in a land whose earth would freeze over in winter and sun would hide away for months. The land bred harsh warriors with mastery of metals to fight away the greedy trolls and thieving dwarves. Sailors would brave the sea in dangerous waters fighting the storms of Thor the god of thunder. The seafaring culture started raiding further and further outside their homeland in Scandinavia. Small villages were raided at first, but once slaves and money started flowing in the Vikings became ever ambitious. The Vikings were ruthless and fearless with bloodlust only rivaled by their desire for fame. Ragnar Lodbrok was one such Viking who raided England and Paris. Eventually Vikings settled the 'Danelaw' in England, Scotland and Ireland and the Danish King Knut unified the whole of England.
Angul and Danum were sons of the all seeing god Heimdall. Angul became father of the Angles who conquered the Frisii and the Roman province of Britannia, Danum would become the father of the Dani in Scania. Soon everyone would know this as the land of the Danes or Denmark (named after its marshland border with the Franks). Masters of the sea, they would raid small villages on the Frankish coast to start with, but as money and slaves flowed in, they became more ambitious. Danish Vikings eventually became conquerors and settled the Danelaw in Britain. This is where the laws of the Danes held sway and dominated those of the Anglo-Saxons. In the 10th century the kingdom of Denmark coalesced in Jutland under King Gorm the Old. His son Harald Bluetooth conquered Norway, unified Denmark, and Christianized the Danes. These accomplishments are inscribed in runic on a huge gravestone at Jelling. His son Sweyn Forkbeard raided England anually and was accepted as king of that country. His son Cnut the Great reconquered Norway and forged an Anglo-Danish kingdom that lasted until his death in 1035.
The first Norseman to rest his feet on Icelandic soil was Naddoddr - who named the land of fire and ice Snaeland (Land of Snow). The second Norseman to arrive was Floki Vilgerdarson who took 3 ravens to help him find his way. Floki set his ravens free near the Faroe Islands. The first raven flew back to the Faroes, the second flew up in the air and returned to the ship. The third flew in front of the ship and followed its direction to Iceland. A harsh winter caused all of Floki's cattle to die, after which he cursed the cold country and named it Island (Iceland). The next brave Viking to reach the icy land was Ingolfur Arnarson who had instigated a blood feud in his homeland Norway and swore to settle wherever he drifted ashore. Archaeogenetic studies have shown these Vikings who colonized Iceland brought thousands of slave women from Ireland and Scotland to put down roots. Roughly half of the genetic material of early settlers was an even Norse/Gaelic mix. Even today, Icelanders draw 70 percent of their genes from the Norse and 30 percent from these original Gaelic sources.
The Visigoths emerged from earlier Germanic Gothic groups (possibly the Thervingi) who had invaded the Roman Empire beginning in 376 and had defeated the Romans at the Battle of Adrianople in 378. Relations between the Romans and the Visigoths were variable, alternately warring with one another and making treaties when convenient. The Visigoths invaded Italy under Alaric I and sacked Rome in 410. After the Visigoths sacked Rome, they began settling down, first in southern Gaul and eventually in Hispania, where they founded the Visigothic Kingdom and maintained a presence from the 5th to the 8th centuries AD. In or around 589, the Visigoths under Reccared I converted from Arianism to Nicene Christianity, gradually adopting the culture of their Hispano-Roman subjects. Their legal code, the Visigothic Code (completed in 654) abolished the longstanding practice of applying different laws for Romans and Visigoths. Once legal distinctions were no longer being made between Romani and Gothi, they became known collectively as Hispani.
The Yoruba people are an African ethnic group that inhabits western Africa. They developed out of earlier Mesolithic Volta-Niger populations by the first millennium BC. The Yoruba were the dominant cultural force in southern Nigeria as far back as the 11th century. Centuries before the arrival of colonials, the Yoruba already lived in well structured urban centres organized around powerful city-states. In ancient times, many of these cities were fortresses with high walls and gates and ranked among the most populous in Africa. Archaeological findings indicate the capital of the Yoruba empire had a population of over 100,000 people. Today Lagos, another major Yoruba city, has a population of over twenty million. The dynasty of kings at Ife-Ife, which is regarded by the Yoruba as the origin of human civilization, remains intact to this day. Ife continues to be seen as the spiritual homeland of the Yoruba.