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Akbar III 1948-2012
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Collection Name: An Historical Atlas of Central Asia book


Date: 1944 | Short Title: . | Publisher: A. H. Dani | Publisher Location:----

Type: Atlas Map

Place : Central Asia

Full Title:
"An Historical Atlas of Central Asia" written by Yuri Bregel. This is stated on Page no 13 of this book.


A new period in the history of Central Asia is marked by the emergence of the Sasanid state in Iran, replacing Arsacid Parthia; by the fall of the Kushan empire under the pressure of the Sasanids from the west and of new nomadic conquerors from the north (resulting in the rise first of the Kidarites and later of the Hephthalites); by the withdrawal of China from Eastern Turkestan; and by the first appearance of Altaic (or Turkic)-speaking groups in the northern steppes. Unfortunately, the political history of Central Asia during this period is in many cases even more obscure than that of the preceding period, and the identification of some major ethnic groups and dynasties which newly appeared on the Central Asian scene is open to quite different interpretations.

During the period when the southern part of Central Asia and Eastern Turkestan were dominated by the Hephthalites, the nomadic population of the northern steppes continued to change. The Xianbi, who, in the 1st century, contributed to the final defeat of the Northern Xiongnu (resulting in their westward migration), were replaced, around 400, by a new confederation known from the Chinese sources as Rouran (Jou-Jan in the old transcription), whose language was apparently Mongolic. To the west (or south-west) of them there was a remnant of the Xiongnu called Yuepan by the Chinese; some scholars believe that their language was Turkic. More likely was the Turkic linguistic affiliation of the large tribal group known from Chinese sources as Tiele, which was widespread in the steppes north of Lake Balkhash by the 6th century.
Farther west, the Kangju confederation had already disappeared in the 3rd century, probably destroyed in the course of the Xiongnu migration. The situation of Khorezm during the early Sasanid—Hephthalite period is uncertain: the chronicle of the Arab historian Tabari (late 9th–early 10th century) claims that Khorezm was captured by the Sasanid Ardashir I, but the inscription on the Ka{ba of Zoroaster does not mention Khorezm at all. It is possible that there existed, especially in the 3rd-4th centuries, some kind of vassal relationship of Khorezm to the Sasanids, but it is equally possible that it was completely independent.The period shown on the map was the time when Altaic-speaking (and, specifically, Turkic-speaking) nomadic peoples began to spread westward through the steppes of Central Asia, replacing (and, probably, partially assimilating) the earlier Iranian-speaking nomadic groups. This process, which had begun already with the dissolution of the Xiongnu polity and their westward migration (see map 5), became complete at the time of the Türk Qaghanate (see map 7).

The Great Silk Route continued to flourish under the Hephthalites, with one significant change: Soghdian merchants began to dominate the trade along this route, replacing the Indian merchants. Soghdians began to establish their trade and agricultural colonies along the Great Silk Route, which gradually made them an important element of the population of Eastern Turkestan and northern China.
By the 6th century their influence was already strongly felt in the political and cultural life of these regions as well (cf. map 7).

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Ismail Mazari

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Very good information.

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Shah Sharaf Barlas


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