Xionites, Chionites, or Chionitae, or Hunni, Yun or Xūn, were probably an Iranian-speaking people who were prominent in Transoxania and Bactria. The Xionites are first mentioned with Kushans by Ammianus Marcellinus who spent the winter of 356-57 CE in their Balkh territory and they arrived with the wave of immigration from Central Asia into Iran in late antiquity. They were influenced by the Kushan and Bactrian cultures, while patronizing the Eastern Iranian languages and it is difficult to determine the ethnic composition of the Xionites. They followed their versions of Buddhism and Shaivism mixed with animism, the Xionites were a Hunnic people who by the early 4th century had mixed with north Iranian elements in Transoxiana, adopted the Kushan-Bactrian language, and threatened Persia. Xionite campaigns are better documented in connection with the history of Central Asia and they organised themselves into Northern Black, Kidarites or Southern Red, Eastern Blue, and Western Hephthalites or White hordes.
Artefacts found from the area they inhabited dating from their period indicate their totem animal seems to have been the deer, an inscription on the walls of the royal palace in Persepolis about Dariuss empire calls them Hunae. It appears that a combination of both the Battle of Ikh Bayan and Ban Chaos efforts are responsible for their first appearance in the West, according to the Armenian sources their capital was at Balkh. Their most famous rulers were called the Kidarites, at the end of the 4th century AD, a new wave of Hunnic tribes invaded Bactria, pushing the Kidarites into Gandhara. Alchon or Alχon became the new name of the Xionites in 460 when Khingila I united the Uar with the Xionites under his Hephthalite ruling élite, at the end of the 5th century the Alchon invaded northern India where they became known as the Huna. In India the Alchon were not distinguished from their immediate Hephthalite predecessors, perhaps complimenting this term, Procopius wrote that they were white skinned, had an organized kingship, and that their life was not wild/nomadic but that they lived in cities.
The Alchon were called Varkhon or Varkunites by Menander Protector literally referring to the Uar, around 630, Theophylact Simocatta wrote that the European Avars were initially composed of two nations, the Uar and the Hunnoi tribes. He wrote that. the Barsilt, the Unogurs and the Sabirs were struck with horror, and honoured the newcomers with brilliant gifts. When the Avars first arrived in their lands in 555AD, Alchon Huns refers to a tribe which minted coins in Bactria in the 5th and 6th centuries. They imitated the style of their Hephthalite predecessors, the Kidarite Hun successors to the Kushans. In particular the Alchon style imitates the coins of Kidarite Varhran I, in the Avestan tradition the Xiiaona were characterized as enemies of Vishtaspa, the patron of Zoroaster. In the Pahlavi tradition, the Red Huns and White Huns are mentioned, the Red Huns of the Pahlavi tradition have been identified by Harold Walter Bailey as the Kermichiones or Ermechiones. According to Bailey the Hara Huna of Indian sources are to be identified with the Karmir Xyon of the Avesta, similarly he identifies the Sveta Huna of Indian sources with the Spet Xyon of the Avesta.
Bailey argues that the name Xyon was transferred to the Huna owing to similarity of sound, the Armenian Patriarch John mentions an ancient town of Hunors foundation in the Utik region, suggesting a connection to the Utigur
The Kidarite were a dynasty of the Ki clan named after their ruler Kidara. They were part of the complex of Iranian-speaking tribes known collectively as Xionites or Hunas, during the 4th-5th century they established the Kidarite kingdom. The Kidarites, a clan, are supposed to have originated in China. When Shi Le established the Later Zhao state, it is thought many of the Uar fled from the area around Pingyang. This put pressure on the Xionites, who increasingly encroached upon Khorasan, the Kidarite king Grumbat mentioned by Ammianus Marcellinus was a cause of much concern to the Persians. Between 353 AD and 358 AD, the Xionites under Grumbat attacked in the frontiers of Shapur IIs empire along with other nomad tribes. After a prolonged struggle they were forced to conclude a peace, the southern or Red Kidarite vassals to the Kushans in the North-Western Indus valley became known as Kermikhiones. A Kidarite dynasty, south of the Oxus, was at war with the Sassanids in the fifth century, peroz I fought Kidara and his son Kungas, forcing Kungas to leave Bactria.
They entered Kabul and replaced the last of the Kushan Empire rulers, the Kidarites in turn were soon overwhelmed by the Hephthalites. According to the Chinese sources Kidarites appeared in Kazakhstan and Bactria in 4th century and were branch of the Little Yuezhi, some of them inherited the Kushan Empire and were called little Kushans. Kidarites were called Red Huns, they practiced artificial cranial deformation and were displayed on Sogdian coins as archers riding on the reverse, the Kidarite kingdom was created either in the second half of the 4th century, or in the twenties of the 5th century. The only 4th century evidence are gold coins discovered in Balkh dating from c,380, where Kidara is usually interpreted in a legend in the Bactrian language. Most numismatic specialists favor this idea, all the other data we currently have on the Kidarite kingdom are from Chinese and Byzantine sources from the middle of the 5th century. Many small Kidarite kingdoms seems to have survived in northwest India up to the conquest by the Hephthalites during the last quarter of the 5th century are known through their coinage.
The Kidarites are the last dynasty to regard themselves as the inheritors of the Kushan empire, the Kidarites were the first Hunas to bother India. « On the Date of the Kidarites », Memoirs of the Research Department of the Toyo Bunko,27,1969, p. 1–26. « Regional Interaction in Central Asia and North-West India in the Kidarite and Hephtalite Period », in SIMS-WILLIAMS, N. Indo-Iranian Languages and Peoples, London,2002, p. 203–224
Roxana was a Sogdian princess of Bactria and a wife of the Greek Macedonian king, Alexander the Great. She was born in c.340 BC though the date remains uncertain. Roxana was born in c.340 BC—she was the daughter of a Bactrian nobleman named Oxyartes, who served Bessus and he was thus probably involved in the murder of the last Achaemenid king Darius III. Alexander thereafter made an expedition into India and while there he appointed Oxyartes as the governor of the Hindu Kush region which was adjoining India, during this period, Roxana was in a safe place in Susa. When Alexander returned to Susa, he promoted a brother of Roxana to the elite cavalry. After Alexanders sudden death at Babylon in 323 BC, Roxana is believed to have murdered Alexanders other widow, Stateira II, and possibly Stateiras sister, Roxana had borne a son to Alexander after his death and would have wanted no competition. Roxana and her Greek-Persian son, named Alexander IV after his father, were protected by Alexanders mother, Olympias.
Olympias assassination in 316 BC allowed Cassander, who imprisoned Roxana and Alexander in the citadel of Amphipolis under the supervision of Glaucias, since Alexander IV was the legitimate heir to the Alexandrian empire, Cassander ordered Glaucias to poison Alexander and Roxana c.310 BC. Roxana is one of the characters in The Romance of Alexander and Roxana by Marshall Monroe Kirkman,1909, reprinted 2010. Roxana appears as one of the characters in A Conspiracy of Women by Aubrey Menen,1965, Roxana appears as one of the minor characters in The Persian Boy by Mary Renault,1972, ISBN 0-394-48191-7. Roxana appears as one of the characters in Funeral Games by Mary Renault,1981, Roxana appears as one of the characters in Alexander, The Ends of the Earth by Valerio Massimo Manfredi,2002, ISBN 978-0-7434-3438-6. Roxana is the character in Roxana Romance by A. J. Cave,2008, Hardcover ISBN 978-0-9802061-0-4. Roxana is one of the characters in The Conquerors Wife by Stephanie Thornton,2015, Softcover ISBN 978-0-451-47200-7 In the film Alexander.
Balkh Alexandre et Roxane, opera by Mozart Badian, the Nature of Alexander the Great. Horn, LT Bernd, Emily, eds, no Easy Task, Fighting in Afghanistan, Dundurn Press Ltd, p.40, ISBN9781459701649 Chisholm, Hugh, ed. Roxana. Roxane by Jona Lendering Wiki Classical Dictionary, daughter of Oxyartes Roxana from Charles Smiths Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology
It is possible that Daxia, in part, conflated or confused Tokhara with the country of the Dahae, who were usually known in classical Chinese sources as the Dayi. Daxia is mentioned by, for instance, Chapter VIII of the Guanzi, having passed through the valleys of the Taihang and Bier, took captive the chief of the Da Xia. Further to the west, he subjugated the Xi Yu of Liusha, the reports of Zhang Qian are preserved in Shiji by Sima Qian in the 1st century BCE. They describe an important urban civilization of about one million people, Daxia was an affluent country with rich markets, trading in an incredible variety of objects, coming as far as Southern China. By the time Zhang Qian visited Daxia, there were no longer a king, and the Bactrian were suzerains to the nomadic Yuezhi. Overall, Zhang Qian depicted a rather sophisticated but demoralized people who were afraid of war, all these states, he was told, were militarily weak and prized Han goods and wealth. These contacts immediately led to the dispatch of multiple embassies from the Chinese, initiating the development of the Silk Road
The hoard is often known as the Bactrian gold. The ornaments include necklaces set with stones, medallions. After its discovery, the hoard went missing during the wars in Afghanistan, until it was rediscovered, a new museum in Kabul is being planned where the Bactrian gold will eventually be kept. The heavily fortified town of Yemshi-tepe, just five kilometres to the northeast of modern Sheberghan on the road to Akcha, is half a kilometre from the now-famous necropolis of Tillia-tepe. Several coins dated up to the early 1st century CE, with none dated later, a silver coin was found in one of the tombs from the reigns of the Parthian king Mithridates II, who ruled c. The coin was found in tomb III, and was held in the hand of the defunct woman. An imitation gold coin of Parthian King Gotarzes I was found in the hand of the defunct woman in tomb 6. The fact that this coin is in gold, and not silver or bronze as is usually the case for Parthian coinage, the coin is counterstamped with the frontal depiction of what might have been a local chieftain.
The counterstamp was added so as to not damage the portrait of the Parthian king, a gold coin was found in tomb III showing the bust in profile of the wreath-crowned Roman Emperor Tiberius. On the reverse is an enthroned, sumptuously draped female figure holding a spray, coins of this type were minted in the city of Lugdunum in Gaul, between 16 and 21 CE. A Buddhist gold coin from India was found in tomb IV, on the reverse, it depicts a lion with a nandipada, with the Kharoshthi legend Sih vigatabhay. On the obverse, an almost naked man wearing an Hellenistic chlamys. The legend in Kharoshthi reads Dharmacakrapravata and it has been suggested that this may be an early representation of the Buddha. Finally, a worn coin has been identified as belonging to the Yuezhi chieftain Heraios. It is thought that the site belonged to Sakas, although some suggest the Yuezhi or eastern Parthians as an alternative, several of the artifacts are highly consistent with a Scythian origin, such as the royal crown or the polylobed decorated daggers discovered in the tombs.
Several of the defuncts exhibited ritual deformation of the skull, a practice which is documented among Central Asian nomads of the period. These pieces have much in common with the famous Scythian gold artifacts recovered thousands of kilometers west on the banks of the Bosphorus, a high cultural syncretism pervades the findings, however. The artifacts were intermixed with items coming from much farther and this seems to be a testimony to the richness of cultural influences in the area of Bactria at that time
Bukhara Deer Memorandum of Understanding
The MoU covers five range States. As of August 2012, four of them have signed the MoU, the MoU came into effect on 16 May 2002. The MoU covers all populations of Bukhara deer, a subspecies of the red deer that is native to Central Asia, all Signatories agree to work closely together to improve the conservation status of the Bukhara deer throughout its range. Meetings of Signatories are organized regularly to review the status of the Bukhara deer. National reports by individual Signatories and a prepared by the Secretariat are submitted. The First Meeting of Signatories took place in Bergen, Norway,20 November 2011, the meeting brought together representatives from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, as well as international experts. Moreover, the MoU was amended to recognize Afghanistan as a range State, the Signatories agreed to develop a new Medium Term International Work Programme to outline conservation priorities for the next five years. Finally, the Signatories reiterated their commitment to enhance the conservation of Bukhara deer across its range and agreed on a number of national, the CMS Secretariat – located in Bonn, Germany – acts as the secretariat to the MoU.
One of the tasks of the secretariat is to organize regular meetings. The Action Plan is annexed to the MoU and is the tool for conservation activities. Successes have been achieved in halting population declines in all four Signatory States, although absolute numbers of deer remain low, the total population has increased from 350 in 2002 to around 1,600 in 2010. Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals CMS Bukhara Deer Memorandum of Understanding WWF Central Asia Programme Up-to-date list of MoU Signatories/summary sheet
Zoroaster, known as Zarathustra, Zarathushtra Spitama or Ashu Zarathushtra, was an ancient Iranian prophet whose teachings developed into Zoroastrianism. He inaugurated a movement that became the dominant religion in Ancient Persia. He was a speaker of Old Avestan and lived in the eastern part of the Iranian Plateau. Zoroastrianism was already an old religion when first recorded, and it was the religion of Persian Empires. He is credited with the authorship of the Yasna Haptanghaiti as well as the Gathas, most of his life is known from the Zoroastrian texts. Zoroasters name in his language, was probably Zaraϑuštra. His English name, derives from a Greek transcription, Zōroastrēs, as used in Xanthuss Lydiaca and this form appears subsequently in the Latin Zōroastrēs and, in Greek orthographies, as Zōroastris. The Greek form of the name appears to be based on a phonetic transliteration or semantic substitution of Avestan zaraϑ- with the Greek zōros, subject to whether Zaraϑuštra derives from *Zarantuštra- or from *Zaratuštra-, several interpretations have been proposed.
If Zarantuštra is the form, it may mean with old/aging camels. With angry/furious camels, from Avestan *zarant-, furious, who is driving camels or who is fostering/cherishing camels, related to Avestan zarš-, to drag. Why this is not so for zaraϑuštra has not yet been determined, notwithstanding the phonetic irregularity, that Avestan zaraϑuštra with its -ϑ- was linguistically an actual form is shown by attestations reflecting the same basis. All present-day, Iranian-language variants of his name derive from the Middle Iranian variants of Zarϑošt, there is no consensus on the dating of Zoroaster, the Avesta gives no direct information about it, while historical sources are conflicting. Many scholars like Mary Boyce used linguistic and socio-cultural evidence to place Zoroaster between 1500 and 1000 BCE, both texts are considered to have a common archaic Indo-Iranian origin. These scholars suggest that Zoroaster lived in a tribe or composed the Gathas before the 1200–1000 BCE migration by the Iranians from the steppe to the Iranian Plateau.
The shortfall of the argument is the comparison, and the archaic language of Gathas does not necessarily indicate time difference. Other scholars propose a period between 7th and 6th century, for example, c, the latest possible date is the mid 6th century, at the time of Achaemenid Empires Darius I, or his predecessor Cyrus the Great. However, in the Avesta it should not be ignored that Vishtaspas son became the ruler of the Persian Empire, the most likely conclusion is that Darius Is father was named in honor of the Zoroastrian patron, indicating probable Zoroastrian faith by Arsames. e. This belief is recorded by Diogenes Laërtius, and variant readings could place it six hundred years before Xerxes I, Diogenes mentions Hermodorus belief that Zoroaster lived five thousand years before the Trojan War, which would mean he lived around 6200 BCE
The Bactrian camel is a large, even-toed ungulate native to the steppes of Central Asia. The Bactrian camel has two humps on its back, in contrast to the dromedary camel. Its population of two million exists mainly in the domesticated form and their name comes from the ancient historical region of Bactria. The domesticated Bactrian camel has served as an animal in inner Asia since ancient times. With its tolerance for cold and high altitudes, a small number of feral Bactrian camels still roam the Mangystau Province of southwest Kazakhstan and the Kashmir Valley in India. The Bactrian camel shares the genus Camelus with the dromedary and the wild Bactrian camel, the Bactrian camel belongs to the family Camelidae. The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle was the first to describe the species of Camelus and he named two species in his History of Animals, the one-humped Arabian camel and the two-humped Bactrian camel. The Bactrian camel was given its current binomial name Camelus bactrianus by Swedish zoologist Carl Linnaeus in his 1758 publication Systema Naturae, the study revealed that the two tribes had diverged 25 million years ago, notably earlier than what had been previously estimated from North American fossils.
Speciation began first in Lamini as the alpaca came into existence 10 million years ago, nearly two million years later, the Bactrian camel and the dromedary emerged as two independent species. The Bactrian camel and the dromedary often interbreed to produce fertile offspring, the fertility of their hybrid has given rise to speculation that the Bactrian camel and the dromedary should be merged into a single species with two varieties. However, a 1994 analysis of the cytochrome b gene revealed that the species display 10. 3% divergence in their sequences. The wild Bactrian camel was first described by Nikolay Przhevalsky in the late 19th century and has now established as a distinct species from the Bactrian camel. In particular, a population of wild Bactrian camel has been discovered to live within a part of the Gashun Gobi region of the Gobi Desert and this population is distinct from domesticated herds both in genetic makeup and in behavior. As many as three regions in the genetic makeup are different from Bactrian camels, with up to a 3% difference in the base genetic code.
However, with so few wild camels, what the genetic diversity within a population would have been is not clear. Another difference is the ability of wild camels to drink saltwater slush. Domesticated camels are unable to drink such salty water, the Bactrian camel is the largest mammal in its native range and is the largest living camel. Shoulder height is from 180 to 230 cm, head-and-body length is 225–350 cm, at the top of the humps, the average height is 213 cm
Bactria or Bactriana was the name of a historical region in Central Asia. Bactria was located between the Hindu Kush mountain range and the Amu Darya river, covering the region that straddles modern-day Afghanistan and Tajikistan. The English name Bactria is derived from the Ancient Greek, Βακτριανή, analogous names include the Pashto and Persian, باختر, translit. Bākhtar, Uzbek, Балх, Tajik, Бохтар, Chinese, 大夏, pinyin, Dàxià and this region played a major role in Central Asian history. At certain times the political limits of Bactria stretched far beyond the frame of the Bactrian plain. The Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex is the modern designation for a Bronze Age culture of Central Asia. 2200–1700 BC, located in present-day eastern Turkmenistan, northern Afghanistan, southern Uzbekistan and western Tajikistan, centred on the upper Amu Darya and its sites were discovered and named by the Soviet archaeologist Viktor Sarianidi. The early Greek historian Ctesias, c.400 BC, alleged that the legendary Assyrian king Ninus had defeated a Bactrian king named Oxyartes in ca.2140 BC, or some 1000 years before the Trojan War.
Since the decipherment of cuneiform in the 19th century, according to some writers, Bactria was the homeland of Indo-Iranian tribes who moved south-west into Iran and into north-western India around 2500–2000 BC. Later, it became the province of the Persian Empire in Central Asia. It was in these regions, where the soil of the mountainous country is surrounded by the Turanian desert. After Darius III had been defeated by Alexander the Great, the satrap of Bactria, Bessus attempted to organise a resistance but was captured by other warlords. He was tortured and killed, however, in the south, beyond the Oxus, he met strong resistance. After two years of war and an insurgency campaign, Alexander managed to establish little control over Bactria. After Alexanders death, Diodorus Siculus tells us that Philip received dominion over Bactria, at the Treaty of Triparadisus, both Diodorus Siculus and Arrian agree that the satrap Stasanor gained control over Bactria. Eventually, Alexanders empire was divided up among the generals in Alexanders army, Bactria became a part of the Seleucid Empire, named after its founder, Seleucus I.
The Macedonians, especially Seleucus I and his son Antiochus I, established the Seleucid Empire, the Greek language became dominant for some time there. The paradox that Greek presence was more prominent in Bactria than in areas far closer to Greece can possibly be explained by past deportations of Greeks to Bactria
The Bactrian deer, called the Bukhara deer, Bokhara deer or Bactrian wapiti, is a lowland subspecies of red deer that is native to Central Asia. It is similar in ecology to the Yarkand deer in occupying riparian corridors surrounded by deserts, both subspecies are separated from one another by the Tian Shan Mountains and probably form a primordial subgroup of red Deer. This deer is usually ashy-gray with yellowish sheen, and a white rump patch. It has a slightly marked dorsal stripe and a margin of the upper lip, lower lip. The antlers are light in color, there are usually four tines, with the absence of bez tine. The fourth tine is better developed than the third, full grown individuals, have five tines on each antler with a bend after the third tine that is characteristic of most Central Asian red deer subspecies. These deer do not have neck manes, but do have stronger and thicker neck muscles than female deer that may give the appearance of a neck mane. Female deer are smaller than male deer, but the difference in size is not as pronounced as it is in the European red deer subspecies.
Bactrian deer have, like Yarkand deer, short tails similar to the tails of wapitis. The calves are born spotted much like European red deer calves. However, adult Bactrian deer may have a few spots on the backs of their summer coats and this phenomenon has been observed in summer coats of the distantly related Manchurian wapiti and many other subspecies of red deer. This deer is found in central Khorasan and it is found in Russian Turkestan and adjacent areas in northern Afghanistan to the west of the Tian Shan Mountains. Bactrian deer live in lowland riparian corridors of mixed deciduous vegetation surrounded by deserts and they do not migrate but may disperse into adjacent desert areas at night or at times of cooler temperatures. By 1999 there were not more than 400 Bukhara deer, the population diminished most drastically in Tajikistan because of military conflicts. However, since then, environmental organizations have taken steps to save the species, World Wide Fund for Nature implemented a reintroduction programme to bring Bukhara deer back to the places which it had once inhabited.
For example, Bactrian deer have been reintroduced in Zarafshan reserve in Uzbekistan, as a result, in 2006 there were about 1,000 deer in Central Asia. The total wild population is 1430 and increasing, aside from man, the wolf is probably the most dangerous of predators that most Central Asian red deer encounter. Occasionally, the bear will prey on these deer as well