Tashkent is the capital and largest city of Uzbekistan. The officially registered population of the city in 2012 was about 2,309,300, due to its position in Central Asia, Tashkent came under Sogdian and Turkic influence early in its history, before Islam in the 8th century AD. After its destruction by Genghis Khan in 1219, the city was rebuilt, in 1865 it was conquered by the Russian Empire, and in Soviet times witnessed major growth and demographic changes due to forced deportations from throughout the Soviet Union. Today, as the capital of an independent Uzbekistan, Tashkent retains a multi-ethnic population with ethnic Uzbeks as the majority, during its long history, Tashkent has had various changes in names and political and religious affiliations. Tashkent was settled by ancient people as an oasis on the Chirchik River, in ancient times, this area contained Beitian, probably the summer capital of the Kangju confederacy. In pre-Islamic and early Islamic times, the town and the province were known as Chach, the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi refers to the city as Chach.
Later the town came to be known as Chachkand/Chashkand, meaning Chach City, the principality of Chach had a square citadel built around the 5th to 3rd centuries BC, some 8 kilometres south of the Syr Darya River. By the 7th century AD, Chach had more than 30 towns, the Buddhist monk Xuánzàng 玄奘, who travelled from China to India through Central Asia, mentioned the name of the city as Zhěshí 赭時. The Chinese chronicles Suí shū 隋書, Běi shǐ 北史 and Táng shū 唐書, in the early 8th century, the region was conquered by Muslim Arabs. The modern Turkic name of Tashkent comes from Kara-Khanid rule in the 10th century, after the 16th century, the name evolved from Chachkand/Chashkand to Tashkand. The modern spelling of Tashkent reflects Russian orthography and 20th-century Soviet influence, the city was destroyed by Genghis Khan in 1219 and lost much of its population as a result of the Mongols destruction of the Khwarezmid Empire in 1220. Under the Timurid and subsequent Shaybanid dynasties the citys population and culture gradually revived as a prominent strategic center of scholarship, commerce, in 1809, Tashkent was annexed to the Khanate of Kokand.
At the time, Tashkent had a population of around 100,000 and was considered the richest city in Central Asia and it prospered greatly through trade with Russia, but chafed under Kokand’s high taxes. The Tashkent clergy favored the clergy of Bukhara over that of Kokand, before the Emir of Bukhara could capitalize on this discontent, the Russian army arrived. While a small contingent staged an attack, the main force penetrated the walls. Although defense was stiff, the Russians captured the city two days of heavy fighting and the loss of only 25 dead as opposed to several thousand of the defenders. Chernyayev, dubbed the Lion of Tashkent by city elders, staged a campaign to win the population over. The Tsar liberally rewarded Chernyayev and his men with medals and bonuses, but regarded the general as a loose cannon
Crown of thorns
According to three of the canonical Gospels a woven crown of thorns was placed on the head of Jesus during the events leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus. It was one of the instruments of the Passion, employed by Jesus captors both to cause him pain and to mock his claim of authority. It is mentioned in the gospels of Matthew and John and is alluded to by the early Church Fathers, such as Clement of Alexandria, Origen. In centuries, relics believed by many to be all or part of the Crown of Thorns have been venerated, a few writers of the first six centuries AD speak of a relic known to be still in existence and venerated by the faithful. St. Cassiodorus, when commenting on Psalm lxxxvi, speaks of the crown of thorns among the relics which are the glory of the earthly Jerusalem. There, he says, we may behold the thorny crown, from these fragments of evidence and others of date, it is likely that a purported crown of thorns was venerated at Jerusalem from the fifth century for several hundred years.
Francois de Mély supposed that the crown was not transferred to Byzantium until about 1063. Eight of these are said to have been there at the consecration of the basilica of Aachen by Pope Leo III. The presence of the Pope at the consecration is a legend, four were given to Saint-Corneille of Compiègne in 877 by Charles the Bald. Hugh the Great, Duke of the Franks, sent one to the Anglo-Saxon King Athelstan in 927, on the occasion of marriage negotiations. Another was presented to a Spanish princess about 1160, and again another was taken to Andechs Abbey in Germany in the year 1200. In 1238, Baldwin II, the Latin Emperor of Constantinople, anxious to support for his tottering empire, offered the crown of thorns to Louis IX. It was in the hands of the Venetians as security for a heavy loan, new reliquaries were provided for the relic, one commissioned by Napoleon, another, in jewelled rock crystal and more suitably Gothic, was made to the designs of Eugene Viollet-le-Duc. In 2001, when the treasures from the Sainte-Chapelle were exhibited at the Louvre.
Pope John Paul II translated it personally to the Sainte-Chapelle during World Youth Day, the relic can only be seen on the first Friday of every month, when it is brought out for a special veneration mass, as well as each Friday during Lent. See Feast of the Crown of Thorns, the Catholic Encyclopedia said, Authorities are agreed that a sort of helmet of thorns must have been plaited by the Roman soldiers, this band of rushes being employed to hold the thorns together. None of these now remain at Paris, some small fragments of rush are preserved. This reaches the height of fifteen or twenty feet and is growing in abundance by the wayside around Jerusalem
Lake Baikal is a rift lake in Russia, located in southern Siberia, between Irkutsk Oblast to the northwest and the Buryat Republic to the southeast. Lake Baikal is the largest freshwater lake by volume in the world, with 23,615.39 km3 of fresh water, it contains more water than the North American Great Lakes combined. With a maximum depth of 1,642 m, Baikal is the worlds deepest lake and it is considered among the worlds clearest lakes and is considered the worlds oldest lake — at 25 million years. It is the seventh-largest lake in the world by surface area, like Lake Tanganyika, Lake Baikal was formed as an ancient rift valley, having the typical long crescent shape with a surface area of 31,722 km2. Baikal is home to thousands of species of plants and animals, the lake was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. The region to the east of Lake Baikal is referred to as Transbaikalia, Lake Baikal is in a rift valley, created by the Baikal Rift Zone, where the Earths crust is slowly pulling apart.
At 636 km long and 79 km wide, Lake Baikal has the largest surface area of any lake in Asia, at 31,722 km2. The bottom of the lake is 1,186.5 m below sea level, but below this lies some 7 km of sediment, placing the rift floor some 8–11 km below the surface, the deepest continental rift on Earth. In geological terms, the rift is young and active—it widens about 2 cm per year, the fault zone is seismically active, hot springs occur in the area and notable earthquakes happen every few years. The lake is divided into three basins, North and South, with depths about 900 m,1,600 m, fault-controlled accommodation zones rising to depths about 300 m separate the basins. The North and Central basins are separated by Academician Ridge, while the area around the Selenga Delta, the lake drains into the Angara tributary of the Yenisei. Notable landforms include Cape Ryty on Baikals northwest coast, Baikals age is estimated at 25 million years, making it the most ancient lake in geological history. It is unique among large, high-latitude lakes, as its sediments have not been scoured by overriding continental ice sheets.
Russian, U. S. and Japanese cooperative studies of deep-drilling core sediments in the 1990s provide a record of climatic variation over the past 6.7 million years. Longer and deeper sediment cores are expected in the near future, Lake Baikal is the only confined freshwater lake in which direct and indirect evidence of gas hydrates exists. The lake is surrounded by mountains. The Baikal Mountains on the shore and the taiga are technically protected as a national park. It contains 27 islands, the largest, Olkhon, is 72 km long and is the third-largest lake-bound island in the world, the lake is fed by as many as 330 inflowing rivers
Europeans in Medieval China
Given textual and archaeological evidence, it is thought that thousands of Europeans lived in Imperial China during the period of Mongol rule. These were people from countries traditionally belonging to the lands of Christendom during the High to Late Middle Ages who visited, performed Christian missionary work, or lived in China. The most famous European visitor to China during this period was Marco Polo, respectively, by his father and uncle Niccolò and Maffeo Polo. The establishment of the Ming dynasty in 1368 and reestablishment of native Han Chinese rule led to the cessation of European merchants and Roman Catholic missionaries living in China. The Venetian merchant Marco Polo, as well as his father and uncle Niccolò and Maffeo Polo, Marco Polo wrote an account of his travels there, as did the Franciscan friar Odoric of Pordenone, the merchant Francesco Balducci Pegolotti, and the author John Mandeville. In Khanbaliq, the Roman archdiocese was established by John of Montecorvino, the Uyghur Nestorian Christian Rabban Bar Sauma was the first diplomat from China to reach the royal courts of Christendom in the West.
Before the 13th century, instances of Europeans going to China or of Chinese going to Europe are virtually unknown, euthydemus I, Hellenistic ruler of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom in Central Asia during the 3rd century BC, led an expedition into the Tarim Basin in search of precious metals. Lucas Christopoulos presents an argument that the influence of Hellenistic art in China stretches back to the Qin dynasty, yet ancient ceramics from sites at Khotan bear clear influence from the Hellenistic Kingdom of Ptolemaic Egypt, with styles non-existent in Kushan art. This has led Christopoulos to assume the presence of peoples not only from the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom but Greeks, the Eastern-Han era Chinese general Ban Chao, Protector General of the Western Regions, explored Central Asia and in 97 AD dispatched his envoys Gan Ying to Daqin. Subsequently, there were a series of Roman embassies in China lasting from the 2nd to 3rd centuries AD, historian Rafe de Crespigny speculates that they were Roman merchants instead of official diplomats.
Roman golden medallions from the reigns of Antoninus Pius and his adopted son Marcus Aurelius have been found in Oc Eo, Roman coins have been found in China, but far less so than in India. It is possible that a group of Greek acrobatic performers, who claimed to be from a place west of the seas, were presented by a king of Burma to Emperor An of Han in 120 AD. It is known that in both the Parthian Empire and Kushan Empire of Asia, ethnic Greeks continued to be employed as such as musicians. Byzantine Greek historian Procopius stated that two Nestorian Christian monks eventually uncovered the way of how silk was made, from this revelation monks were sent by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian as spies on the Silk Road from Constantinople to China and back to steal the silkworm eggs. These histories provided descriptions of Constantinople, its walls, and how it was besieged by Da shi and their commander Mo-yi. From Chinese records it is known that Michael VII Doukas of Fu lin dispatched a mission to Chinas Song dynasty that arrived in 1081.
China was a destination for Radhanite Jews who brought boys, female slaves and eunuchs from Europe according to the 9th-century Book of Roads, during the subsequent Song period there was a community of Kaifeng Jews in China. Polo related this account to Rustichello da Pisa around 1298 while they shared a Genoese prison cell following their capture in battle, although Marco Polos presence is omitted entirely, his story is confirmed by the 14th-century Persian historian Rashid-al-Din Hamadani in his Jami al-tawarikh
Paris is the capital and most populous city of France. It has an area of 105 square kilometres and a population of 2,229,621 in 2013 within its administrative limits, the agglomeration has grown well beyond the citys administrative limits. By the 17th century, Paris was one of Europes major centres of finance, fashion and the arts, and it retains that position still today. The aire urbaine de Paris, a measure of area, spans most of the Île-de-France region and has a population of 12,405,426. It is therefore the second largest metropolitan area in the European Union after London, the Metropole of Grand Paris was created in 2016, combining the commune and its nearest suburbs into a single area for economic and environmental co-operation. Grand Paris covers 814 square kilometres and has a population of 7 million persons, the Paris Region had a GDP of €624 billion in 2012, accounting for 30.0 percent of the GDP of France and ranking it as one of the wealthiest regions in Europe. The city is a rail and air-transport hub served by two international airports, Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly.
Opened in 1900, the subway system, the Paris Métro. It is the second busiest metro system in Europe after Moscow Metro, Paris Gare du Nord is the busiest railway station in the world outside of Japan, with 262 millions passengers in 2015. In 2015, Paris received 22.2 million visitors, making it one of the top tourist destinations. The association football club Paris Saint-Germain and the rugby union club Stade Français are based in Paris, the 80, 000-seat Stade de France, built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, is located just north of Paris in the neighbouring commune of Saint-Denis. Paris hosts the annual French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament on the red clay of Roland Garros, Paris hosted the 1900 and 1924 Summer Olympics and is bidding to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. The name Paris is derived from its inhabitants, the Celtic Parisii tribe. Thus, though written the same, the name is not related to the Paris of Greek mythology. In the 1860s, the boulevards and streets of Paris were illuminated by 56,000 gas lamps, since the late 19th century, Paris has been known as Panam in French slang.
Inhabitants are known in English as Parisians and in French as Parisiens and they are pejoratively called Parigots. The Parisii, a sub-tribe of the Celtic Senones, inhabited the Paris area from around the middle of the 3rd century BC. One of the areas major north-south trade routes crossed the Seine on the île de la Cité, this place of land and water trade routes gradually became a town
Pope Innocent IV
Pope Innocent IV, born Sinibaldo Fieschi, was Pope of the Catholic Church from 25 June 1243 to his death in 1254. Born in Genoa in an year, Sinibaldo was the son of Beatrice Grillo and Ugo Fieschi. The Fieschi were a merchant family of Liguria. Sinibaldo received his education at the universities of Parma and Bologna and, for a time and it is pointed out by Agostino Paravicini-Bagliani, that there is no documentary evidence of such a professorship. From 1216-1227 he was Canon of the Cathedral of Parma and he was considered one of the best canonists of his time, and was called to serve Pope Honorius III in the Roman Curia as Auditor causarum, from 11 November 1226 to 30 May 1227. He was promoted to the office of Vice-Chancellor of the Holy Roman Church, though he retained the office, Vice-Chancellor Sinibaldo Fieschi was created Cardinal Priest of San Lorenzo in Lucina on 18 September 1227 by Pope Gregory IX. He served as governor of the March of Ancona. It is widely repeated, from the 17th century on, that he became bishop of Albenga in 1235, Innocents immediate predecessor was Pope Celestine IV, elected 25 October 1241, whose reign lasted a mere fifteen days.
The two prelates remained incarcerated and missed the conclave that immediately elected Celestine, the conclave that reconvened after his death fell into camps supporting contradictory policies about how to treat with the emperor. After a year and a half of debate and coercion. Cardinal de Fieschi very reluctantly accepted election as Pope 25 June 1243, as Cardinal de Fieschi, Sinibaldo had been on friendly terms with Frederick, even after his excommunication. The Emperor greatly admired the cardinals wisdom, having enjoyed discussions with him from time to time, following the election the witty Frederick remarked that he had lost the friendship of a cardinal but made up for it by gaining the enmity of a pope. Negotiations leading to this objective began shortly afterwards, but proved abortive, the Emperors machinations caused a good deal of anti-papal feeling to rise in Italy, particularly in the Papal States, and imperial agents encouraged plots against papal rule. Realizing how untenable his position in Rome was growing, Innocent IV secretly and hurriedly withdrew, traveling in disguise, Innocent made his way to Sutri and Civitavecchia, to Genoa, his birthplace, where he arrived on 7 July.
From there, on 5 October, he fled to France, making his way to Lyon, where he arrived on November 29,1244, Innocent was happily greeted by the magistrates of the city. The bishops met for three sessions,28 June,5 July, and 17 July 1245. Their principal business was to subjugate the Emperor Frederick II, Gregory IX, had issued letters on 9 June 1239, ordering all the bishops of France to confiscate all Talmuds in the possession of the Jews. Agents were to raid each synagogue on the first Saturday of Lent of 1240, the Bishop of Paris was ordered to see to it that copies of the Popes mandate reached all the bishops of France, Aragon, Castile and León, and Portugal
Iran, known as Persia, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a sovereign state in Western Asia. Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2, it is the second-largest country in the Middle East, with 82.8 million inhabitants, Iran is the worlds 17th-most-populous country. It is the country with both a Caspian Sea and an Indian Ocean coastline. The countrys central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, Tehran is the countrys capital and largest city, as well as its leading economic and cultural center. Iran is the site of to one of the worlds oldest civilizations, the area was first unified by the Iranian Medes in 625 BC, who became the dominant cultural and political power in the region. The empire collapsed in 330 BC following the conquests of Alexander the Great, under the Sassanid Dynasty, Iran again became one of the leading powers in the world for the next four centuries. Beginning in 633 AD, Arabs conquered Iran and largely displaced the indigenous faiths of Manichaeism and Zoroastrianism by Islam, Iran became a major contributor to the Islamic Golden Age that followed, producing many influential scientists, scholars and thinkers.
During the 18th century, Iran reached its greatest territorial extent since the Sassanid Empire, through the late 18th and 19th centuries, a series of conflicts with Russia led to significant territorial losses and the erosion of sovereignty. Popular unrest culminated in the Persian Constitutional Revolution of 1906, which established a monarchy and the countrys first legislative body. Following a coup instigated by the U. K. Growing dissent against foreign influence and political repression led to the 1979 Revolution, Irans rich cultural legacy is reflected in part by its 21 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the third-largest number in Asia and 11th-largest in the world. Iran is a member of the UN, ECO, NAM, OIC. Its political system is based on the 1979 Constitution which combines elements of a democracy with a theocracy governed by Islamic jurists under the concept of a Supreme Leadership. A multicultural country comprising numerous ethnic and linguistic groups, most inhabitants are Shia Muslims, the largest ethnic groups in Iran are the Persians, Azeris and Lurs.
Historically, Iran has been referred to as Persia by the West, due mainly to the writings of Greek historians who called Iran Persis, meaning land of the Persians. As the most extensive interactions the Ancient Greeks had with any outsider was with the Persians, Persis was originally referred to a region settled by Persians in the west shore of Lake Urmia, in the 9th century BC. The settlement was shifted to the end of the Zagros Mountains. In 1935, Reza Shah requested the international community to refer to the country by its native name, opposition to the name change led to the reversal of the decision, and Professor Ehsan Yarshater, editor of Encyclopædia Iranica, propagated a move to use Persia and Iran interchangeably
Several attempts at a Franco-Mongol alliance against the Islamic caliphates, their common enemy, were made by various leaders among the Frankish Crusaders and the Mongol Empire in the 13th century. Such an alliance might have seemed an obvious choice, the Mongols were already sympathetic to Christianity, the Franks and Mongols shared a common enemy in the Muslims. However, despite many messages and emissaries over the course of several decades, communications tended to follow a recurring pattern, the Europeans asked the Mongols to convert to Western Christianity, while the Mongols responded with demands for submission and tribute. Other Christian leaders such as the Crusaders of Acre were more mistrustful of the Mongols, European attitudes began to change in the mid-1260s, from perceiving the Mongols as enemies to be feared, to potential allies against the Muslims. The Mongols sought to capitalize on this, promising a re-conquered Jerusalem to the Europeans in return for cooperation, the Mongol Empire eventually dissolved into civil war, and the Egyptian Mamluks successfully recaptured all of Palestine and Syria from the Crusaders.
After the Fall of Acre in 1291, the remaining Crusaders retreated to the island of Cyprus, with the Fall of Ruad in 1302 or 1303, the Crusaders lost their last foothold in the Holy Land. Traditionally, the Mongols tended to see outside parties as either subjects or enemies, among Western Europeans, there had long been rumors and expectations that a great Christian ally would come from the East. These rumors circulated as early as the First Crusade, and usually surged in popularity after the Crusaders lost a battle, a legend arose about a figure known as Prester John, who lived in far-off India, Central Asia, or perhaps even Ethiopia. This legend developed a life of its own, and some individuals who came from the East were greeted with expectations that they might be sent by the long-awaited Prester John. In 1210, news reached the West of the battles of the Mongol Kuchlug, kuchlugs forces had been battling the powerful Khwarezmian Empire, whose leader was the Muslim Muhammad II of Khwarezm.
Rumors circulated in Europe that Kuchlug was the mythical Prester John, Mongol raiding parties were beginning to invade the eastern Islamic world, in Transoxania and Persia in 1219–1221. In a letter dated June 20,1221, Pope Honorius III even commented about forces coming from the Far East to rescue the Holy Land. After Genghis Khans death in 1227, his empire was divided by his descendants into four sections or Khanates, the southwestern section, known as the Ilkhanate, was under the leadership of Genghis Khans grandson Hulagu. He continued to support his brother, the Great Khan, and was therefore at war with the Golden Horde, while at the time continuing an advance towards Persia. The Mongol invasion of Europe ended in 1242, in part because of the death of the Great Khan Ögedei, when one Great Khan died, Mongols from all parts of the empire were recalled to the capital to decide who should be the next Great Khan. In the meantime, the Mongols relentless march westward had displaced the Khawarizmi Turks, along the way, the Turks took Jerusalem from the Christians in 1244.
After the subsequent loss at the Battle of La Forbie, Christian kings began to prepare for a new crusade, the loss of Jerusalem caused some Europeans to look to the Mongols as potential allies of Christendom, provided the Mongols could be converted to Western Christianity. In March 1245, Pope Innocent IV had issued multiple papal bulls, some of which were sent with an envoy, the Franciscan John of Plano Carpini, to the Emperor of the Tartars
Tabriz is the most populated city in the Iranian Azerbaijan, one of the historical capitals of Iran, and the present capital of East Azerbaijan Province. Located in the Quru River valley between the ridge of the volcanic cones of the Sahand and Eynali mountains, Tabrizs elevation ranges between 1,350 and 1,600 metres above sea level. The valley opens up into a plain that slopes down to the eastern shores of Lake Urmia,60 kilometres to the west. With cold winters and temperate summers, the city is considered a summer resort, Tabriz is named Worlds Carpet and Crafts City, it is appointed as the exemplary tourism city in 2018 by Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. With a population of 1.6 million, Tabriz is the biggest economic hub, the population consists mostly of Iranian Azerbaijanis and the most spoken language in the city is Azeri Turkish. Tabriz is a heavy industry hub for automobile, machine tools and petrochemical, textile. The city is famous for its handicrafts including hand-woven rugs and jewelry, local confectioneries, dried nuts, and traditional food of Tabriz are recognized all around Iran as some of the best Iranian food.
Tabriz is a hub and a site for some of the most prestigious cultural institutes in the northwest of Iran. The city contains many historical monuments representing the transition of Iranian architecture in its long historical timelines. Most of the historical sites in the city belong to Ilkhanid, Safavid. From the early era, the city was pivotal in the development, movement. From the 19th century, it became the most important city in the country in numerous respects, as the closest Iranian hub to Europe, many aspects of the early modern modernisation in Iran started in Tabriz. During almost the entire Qajar period, it functioned as the seat for the prince as well. According to some sources, including Encyclopædia Britannica, the name Tabriz derives from tap-riz, in AD297, it became the capital of Tiridates III, king of Armenia. However, this story has an origin and no ancient source has recorded such event. This is based on accounts of Vardan, the Armenian historian in 13th century, the early history of Tabriz is not well-documented.
The earliest inscription about Tabriz, referring to the city as Tarui or Tauris, is on the Assyrian King Sargon IIs epigraph in 714 BC, Tabriz has been chosen as the capital for some rulers commencing from Atropates era and his dynasty. A recent excavation at the site of the Iron Age museum, in the north of the Blue Mosque site, more likely the city has been destroyed multiple times either by natural disasters or by the invading armies
Batu Khan, known as Sain Khan and Tsar Batu, was a Mongol ruler and founder of the Golden Horde, division of the Mongol Empire. Batu was a son of Jochi and grandson of Genghis Khan and his ulus was the chief state of the Golden Horde, which ruled Rus, Volga Bulgaria and the Caucasus for around 250 years, after destroying the armies of Poland and Hungary. Batu or Bat literally means firm in the Mongolian language, after the deaths of Genghis Khans sons, he became the most respected prince called agha in the Mongol Empire. After his son Jochis death, Genghis Khan assigned Jochis appanages to his sons, but the Great Khan installed Batu as Khan of the Golden Horde. Jochis eldest son, Orda Khan, agreed that Batu should succeed their father, Genghis Khans youngest brother Temüge attended the coronation ceremony as an official representative of Genghis. When Genghis Khan died in 1227, he left 4,000 Mongol men to Jochis family, Jochis lands were divided between Batu and his older brother Orda. Ordas White Horde ruled the lands roughly between the Volga river and Lake Balkhash, while Batus Horde ruled the lands west of the Volga, in 1229, Ögedei dispatched three tumens under Kukhdei and Sundei to conquer the tribes on the lower Ural River.
Despite heavy resistance of their enemies, the Mongols conquered major cities of the Jurchens, at the kurultai in Mongolia after the end of the Mongol-Jin War, the Great Khan Ögedei ordered Batu to conquer western nations. In 1235 Batu, who earlier had directed the conquest of the Crimean Peninsula, was assigned an army of possibly 130,000 to oversee an invasion of Europe. His relatives and cousins Güyük, Büri, Möngke, Khadan and notable Mongol generals Subutai, the army, actually commanded by Subutai, crossed the Volga and invaded Volga Bulgaria in 1236. It took them a year to extinguish the resistance of the Volga Bulgarians, Kypchaks, in November 1237 Batu Khan sent his envoys to the court of Yuri II of Vladimir-Suzdal and demanded his allegiance. When Yuri refused to surrender the Mongols besieged Ryazan, after six days of bloody battle, the city was totally annihilated and never restored to its former glory. Alarmed by the news, Yuri II sent his sons to detain the horde, having burnt Kolomna and Moscow, the horde laid siege to the capital of Vladimir-Suzdal on February 4,1238.
Three days the city was taken and burnt to the ground, the royal family perished in the fire, while the grand prince hastily retreated northward. Crossing the Volga, he mustered a new army, which was exterminated by the Mongols on the Sit River on March 4. The most difficult to take was the town of Kozelsk, whose boy-prince Titus. As the story goes, at the news of Mongol approach, the city of Kitezh was submerged in a lake with all its inhabitants and Buri stormed the city in three days after they joined Batu. Batu sent an envoy to his uncle Ögedei to complain of his cousins rude behavior, Ögedei got angry on hearing the news and recalled Buri and Güyük
Syrias capital and largest city is Damascus. Religious groups include Sunnis, Alawites, Mandeans, Salafis, Sunni Arabs make up the largest religious group in Syria. Its capital Damascus and largest city Aleppo are among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, in the Islamic era, Damascus was the seat of the Umayyad Caliphate and a provincial capital of the Mamluk Sultanate in Egypt. The post-independence period was tumultuous, and a number of military coups. In 1958, Syria entered a union with Egypt called the United Arab Republic. Syria was under Emergency Law from 1963 to 2011, effectively suspending most constitutional protections for citizens, Bashar al-Assad has been president since 2000 and was preceded by his father Hafez al-Assad, who was in office from 1970 to 2000. Mainstream modern academic opinion strongly favours the argument that the Greek word is related to the cognate Ἀσσυρία, Assyria, in the past, others believed that it was derived from Siryon, the name that the Sidonians gave to Mount Hermon.
However, the discovery of the inscription in 2000 seems to support the theory that the term Syria derives from Assyria. The area designated by the word has changed over time, since approximately 10,000 BC, Syria was one of centers of Neolithic culture where agriculture and cattle breeding appeared for the first time in the world. The following Neolithic period is represented by houses of Mureybet culture. At the time of the pre-pottery Neolithic, people used vessels made of stone, finds of obsidian tools from Anatolia are evidences of early trade relations. Cities of Hamoukar and Emar played an important role during the late Neolithic, archaeologists have demonstrated that civilization in Syria was one of the most ancient on earth, perhaps preceded by only those of Mesopotamia. The earliest recorded indigenous civilisation in the region was the Kingdom of Ebla near present-day Idlib, gifts from Pharaohs, found during excavations, confirm Eblas contact with Egypt. One of the earliest written texts from Syria is an agreement between Vizier Ibrium of Ebla and an ambiguous kingdom called Abarsal c.2300 BC.
The Northwest Semitic language of the Amorites is the earliest attested of the Canaanite languages, Mari reemerged during this period, and saw renewed prosperity until conquered by Hammurabi of Babylon. Ugarit arose during this time, circa 1800 BC, close to modern Latakia, Ugaritic was a Semitic language loosely related to the Canaanite languages, and developed the Ugaritic alphabet. The Ugarites kingdom survived until its destruction at the hands of the marauding Indo-European Sea Peoples in the 12th century BC, Yamhad was described in the tablets of Mari as the mightiest state in the near east and as having more vassals than Hammurabi of Babylon. Yamhad imposed its authority over Alalakh, the Hurrians states, the army of Yamhad campaigned as far away as Dēr on the border of Elam
The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed inland body of water on Earth by area, variously classed as the worlds largest lake or a full-fledged sea. It is in a basin located between Europe and Asia. It is bounded by Kazakhstan to the northeast, Russia to the northwest, Azerbaijan to the west, Iran to the south, the Caspian Sea lies to the east of the Caucasus Mountains and to the west of the vast steppe of Central Asia. In its northern part, the Caspian Depression lies 28 to 130 m below sea level, the sea bed in the southern part reaches as low as 1023 m below sea level, which is the second lowest natural depression on earth after Lake Baikal. The ancient inhabitants of its coast perceived the Caspian Sea as an ocean, probably because of its saltiness, the sea has a surface area of 371,000 km2 and a volume of 78,200 km3. It has a salinity of approximately 1. 2%, about a third of the salinity of most seawater, the word Caspian is derived from the name of the Caspi, an ancient people who lived to the southwest of the sea in Transcaucasia.
Strabo wrote that to the country of the Albanians belongs the territory called Caspiane, which was named after the Caspian tribe, as was the sea, but the tribe has now disappeared. Moreover, the Caspian Gates, which is the name of a region in Irans Tehran province, the Iranian city of Qazvin shares the root of its name with that of the sea. In fact, the traditional Arabic name for the sea itself is Bahr al-Qazwin, in classical antiquity among Greeks and Persians it was called the Hyrcanian Ocean. In Persian antiquity, as well as in modern Iran, it is known as the دریای خزر, Daryā-e Khazar, ancient Arabic sources refer to it as Baḥr Gīlān meaning the Gilan Sea. Turkic languages refer to the lake as Khazar Sea, in Turkmen, the name is Hazar deňizi, in Azeri, it is Xəzər dənizi, and in modern Turkish, it is Hazar denizi. An exception is Kazakh, where it is called Каспий теңізі, old Russian sources call it the Khvalyn or Khvalis Sea after the name of Khwarezmia. In modern Russian, it is called Каспи́йское мо́ре, Kaspiyskoye more, the Caspian Sea, like the Black Sea, Namak Lake, and Lake Urmia, is a remnant of the ancient Paratethys Sea.
It became landlocked about 5.5 million years ago due to tectonic uplift and a fall in sea level. Due to the current inflow of water, the Caspian Sea is a freshwater lake in its northern portions, and is most saline on the Iranian shore. Currently, the salinity of the Caspian is one third that of Earths oceans. The Caspian Sea is the largest inland body of water in the world, the coastlines of the Caspian are shared by Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. The Caspian is divided into three distinct regions, the Northern and Southern Caspian