The Maurya Empire was a geographically-extensive Iron Age historical power based in Magadha and founded by Chandragupta Maurya which dominated the Indian subcontinent between 322 and 187 BCE. Comprising the majority of South Asia, the Maurya Empire was centralized by the conquest of the Indo-Gangetic Plain, its capital city was located at Pataliputra; the empire was the largest political entity to have existed in the Indian subcontinent, spanning over 5 million square kilometres at its zenith under Ashoka. Chandragupta Maurya raised an army, with the assistance of Chanakya, overthrew the Nanda Empire in c. 322 BCE. Chandragupta expanded his power westwards across central and western India by conquering the satraps left by Alexander the Great, by 317 BCE the empire had occupied northwestern India; the Mauryan Empire defeated Seleucus I, a diadochus and founder of the Seleucid Empire during the Seleucid–Mauryan war, thus acquiring territory west of the Indus River. At its greatest extent, the empire stretched along the natural boundary of the Himalayas, to the east into Assam, to the west into Balochistan and the Hindu Kush mountains of what is now eastern Afghanistan.
The dynasty expanded into India's southern regions by the reign of the emperors Chandragupta and Bindusara, but it excluded Kalinga, until it was conquered by Ashoka. It declined for about 50 years after Ashoka's rule, dissolved in 185 BCE with the foundation of the Shunga dynasty in Magadha. Under Chandragupta Maurya and his successors and external trade and economic activities all thrived and expanded across South Asia due to the creation of a single and efficient system of finance and security; the Maurya dynasty built the Grand Trunk Road, one of Asia's oldest and longest trade networks, connecting the Indian subcontinent with Central Asia. After the Kalinga War, the Empire experienced nearly half a century of centralized rule under Ashoka. Chandragupta Maurya's embrace of Jainism increased socio-religious reform across South Asia, while Ashoka's embrace of Buddhism and sponsorship of Buddhist missionaries allowed for the expansion of that faith into Sri Lanka, northwest India, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and Hellenistic Europe.
The population of the empire has been estimated to be about 50–60 million, making the Mauryan Empire one of the most populous empires of antiquity. Archaeologically, the period of Mauryan rule in South Asia falls into the era of Northern Black Polished Ware; the Arthashastra and the Edicts of Ashoka are the primary sources of written records of Mauryan times. The Lion Capital of Ashoka at Sarnath is the national emblem of the modern Republic of India; the name "Maurya" does not occur in Ashoka's inscriptions, or the contemporary Greek accounts such as Megasthenes's Indica, but it is attested by the following sources: The Junagadh rock inscription of Rudradaman prefixes "Maurya" to the names Chandragupta and Ashoka. The Puranas use Maurya as a dynastic appellation; the Buddhist texts state that Chandragupta belonged to the "Moriya" clan of the Shakyas, the tribe to which Gautama Buddha belonged. The Jain texts state. According to the Buddhist tradition, the ancestors of the Maurya kings had settled in a region where peacocks were abundant.
Therefore, they came to be known as "Moriyas" "belonging to the place of peacocks". According to another Buddhist account, these ancestors built a city called Moriya-nagara, so called, because it was built with the "bricks coloured like peacocks' necks"; the dynasty's connection to the peacocks, as mentioned in the Buddhist and Jain traditions, seems to be corroborated by archaeological evidence. For example, peacock figures are found on the Ashoka pillar at Nandangarh and several sculptures on the Great Stupa of Sanchi. Based on this eviedence, modern scholars theorize that the peacock may have been the dynasty's emblem. According to Dhundiraja, a commentator on the Vishnu Purana, the word "Maurya" is derived from Mura, the name of the wife of a Nanda king and the mother of the first Maurya king. However, the Puranas themselves make no mention of Mura and do not talk of any relation between the Nanda and the Maurya dynasties. Dhundiraja's derivation of the word seems to be his own invention: according to the Sanskrit rules, the derivative of the feminine name Mura would be "Maureya".
The Maurya Empire was founded by Chandragupta Maurya, with help from Chanakya, at Takshashila, a noted center of learning. According to several legends, Chanakya travelled to Magadha, a kingdom, large and militarily powerful and feared by its neighbours, but was insulted by its king Dhana Nanda, of the Nanda dynasty. Chanakya vowed to destroy the Nanda Empire. Meanwhile, the conquering armies of Alexander the Great refused to cross the Beas River and advance further eastward, deterred by the prospect of battling Magadha. Alexander re-deployed most of his troops west of the Indus River. Soon after Alexander died in Babylon in 323 BCE, his empire fragmented into independent kingdoms led by his generals; the Greek generals Eudemus and Peithon ruled in the Indus Valley until around 317 BCE, when Chandragupta Maurya orchestrated a rebellion to drive out the Greek governors, subsequently brought the Indus Valley under the control of his new seat of power in Magadha. Chandragupta Maurya's rise to power is s
India known as the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country by area and with more than 1.3 billion people, it is the second most populous country as well as the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, while its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia; the Indian subcontinent was home to the urban Indus Valley Civilisation of the 3rd millennium BCE. In the following millennium, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism began to be composed. Social stratification, based on caste, emerged in the first millennium BCE, Buddhism and Jainism arose. Early political consolidations took place under the Gupta empires. In the medieval era, Zoroastrianism and Islam arrived, Sikhism emerged, all adding to the region's diverse culture.
Much of the north fell to the Delhi Sultanate. The economy expanded in the 17th century in the Mughal Empire. In the mid-18th century, the subcontinent came under British East India Company rule, in the mid-19th under British Crown rule. A nationalist movement emerged in the late 19th century, which under Mahatma Gandhi, was noted for nonviolent resistance and led to India's independence in 1947. In 2017, the Indian economy was the world's sixth largest by nominal GDP and third largest by purchasing power parity. Following market-based economic reforms in 1991, India became one of the fastest-growing major economies and is considered a newly industrialised country. However, it continues to face the challenges of poverty, corruption and inadequate public healthcare. A nuclear weapons state and regional power, it has the second largest standing army in the world and ranks fifth in military expenditure among nations. India is a federal republic governed under a parliamentary system and consists of 29 states and 7 union territories.
A pluralistic and multi-ethnic society, it is home to a diversity of wildlife in a variety of protected habitats. The name India is derived from Indus, which originates from the Old Persian word Hindush, equivalent to the Sanskrit word Sindhu, the historical local appellation for the Indus River; the ancient Greeks referred to the Indians as Indoi, which translates as "The people of the Indus". The geographical term Bharat, recognised by the Constitution of India as an official name for the country, is used by many Indian languages in its variations, it is a modernisation of the historical name Bharatavarsha, which traditionally referred to the Indian subcontinent and gained increasing currency from the mid-19th century as a native name for India. Hindustan is a Middle Persian name for India, it was introduced into India by the Mughals and used since then. Its meaning varied, referring to a region that encompassed northern India and Pakistan or India in its entirety; the name may refer to either the northern part of India or the entire country.
The earliest known human remains in South Asia date to about 30,000 years ago. Nearly contemporaneous human rock art sites have been found in many parts of the Indian subcontinent, including at the Bhimbetka rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh. After 6500 BCE, evidence for domestication of food crops and animals, construction of permanent structures, storage of agricultural surplus, appeared in Mehrgarh and other sites in what is now Balochistan; these developed into the Indus Valley Civilisation, the first urban culture in South Asia, which flourished during 2500–1900 BCE in what is now Pakistan and western India. Centred around cities such as Mohenjo-daro, Harappa and Kalibangan, relying on varied forms of subsistence, the civilization engaged robustly in crafts production and wide-ranging trade. During the period 2000–500 BCE, many regions of the subcontinent transitioned from the Chalcolithic cultures to the Iron Age ones; the Vedas, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism, were composed during this period, historians have analysed these to posit a Vedic culture in the Punjab region and the upper Gangetic Plain.
Most historians consider this period to have encompassed several waves of Indo-Aryan migration into the subcontinent from the north-west. The caste system, which created a hierarchy of priests and free peasants, but which excluded indigenous peoples by labeling their occupations impure, arose during this period. On the Deccan Plateau, archaeological evidence from this period suggests the existence of a chiefdom stage of political organisation. In South India, a progression to sedentary life is indicated by the large number of megalithic monuments dating from this period, as well as by nearby traces of agriculture, irrigation tanks, craft traditions. In the late Vedic period, around the 6th century BCE, the small states and chiefdoms of the Ganges Plain and the north-western regions had consolidated into 16 major oligarchies and monarchies that were known as the mahajanapadas; the emerging urbanisation gave rise to non-Vedic religious movements, two of which became independent religions. Jainism came into prominence during the life of Mahavira.
Buddhism, based on the teachings of Gautama Buddha, attracted followers from all social classes excepting the middle
The Punjab spelled Panjab, is a geopolitical and historical region in South Asia in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent, comprising areas of eastern Pakistan and northern India. The boundaries of the region focus on historical accounts; until the Partition of Punjab in 1947, the British Punjab Province encompassed the present-day Indian states and union territories of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi. It bordered the Balochistan and Pashtunistan regions to the west, Kashmir to the north, the Hindi Belt to the east, Rajasthan and Sindh to the south; the people of the Punjab today are called Panjabis, their principal language is Punjabi. The main religions of the Indian Punjab region are Hinduism; the main religions of the Pakistani Punjab region is Islam. Other religious groups are Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Ravidassia; the Punjab region has been inhabited by the Indus Valley Civilisation, Indo-Aryan peoples, Indo-Scythians, has seen numerous invasions by the Persians, Kushans, Timurids, Pashtuns and others.
Historic foreign invasions targeted the most productive central region of the Punjab known as the Majha region, the bedrock of Punjabi culture and traditions. The Punjab region is referred to as the breadbasket in both India and Pakistan; the region was called Sapta Sindhu, the Vedic land of the seven rivers flowing into the ocean. The origin of the word Punjab can be traced to the Sanskrit "pancha-nada", which means "five rivers", is used as the name of a region in the Mahabharata; the name of the region, Punjab, is a compound of two Persian words, Panj and āb, introduced to the region by the Turko-Persian conquerors of India, more formally popularised during the Mughal Empire. Punjab thus means "The Land of Five Waters", referring to the rivers Jhelum, Ravi and Beas. All are tributaries of the Sutlej being the largest; the Greeks referred to the region as Pentapotamia. There are two main definitions of the Punjab region: the 1947 definition and the older 1846–1849 definition. A third definition incorporates both the 1947 and the older definitions but includes northern Rajasthan on a linguistic basis and ancient river movements.
The 1947 definition defines the Punjab region with reference to the dissolution of British India whereby the British Punjab Province was partitioned between India and Pakistan. In Pakistan, the region now includes Islamabad Capital Territory. In India, it includes the Punjab state, Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh. Using the 1947 definition, the Punjab borders the Balochistan and Pashtunistan regions to the west, Kashmir to the north, the Hindi Belt to the east, Rajasthan and Sindh to the south. Accordingly, the Punjab region is diverse and stretches from the hills of the Kangra Valley to the plains and to the Cholistan Desert. Using the 1947 definition of the Punjab region, some of the major cities of the area include Lahore and Ludhiana; the older definition of the Punjab region focuses on the collapse of the Sikh Empire and the creation of the British Punjab province between 1846 and 1849. According to this definition, the Punjab region incorporates, in Pakistan, Azad Kashmir including Bhimber and Mirpur and parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
In India the wider definition includes parts of Jammu Division. Using the older definition of the Punjab region, the Punjab region covers a large territory and can be divided into five natural areas: the eastern mountainous region including Jammu Division and Azad Kashmir; the formation of the Himalayan Range of mountains to the east and north-east of the Punjab is the result of a collision between the north-moving Indo-Australian Plate and the Eurasian Plate. The plates are still moving together, the Himalayas are rising by about 5 millimetres per year; the upper regions are snow-covered the whole year. Lower ranges of hills run parallel to the mountains; the Lower Himalayan Range runs from north of Rawalpindi through Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and further south. The mountains are young, are eroding rapidly; the Indus and the five rivers of the Punjab have their sources in the mountain range and carry loam and silt down to the rich alluvial plains, which are fertile. According to the older definition, some of the major cities include Jammu and parts of Delhi.
The third definition of the Punjab region adds to the definitions cited above and includes parts of Rajasthan on linguistic lines and takes into consideration the location of the Punjab rivers in ancient times. In particular, the Sri Ganganagar and Hanumangarh districts are included in the Punjab region; the climate is a factor contributing to the economy of the Punjab. It is not uniform over the whole region, with the sections adjacent to the Himalayas receiving heavier rainfall than those at a distance. There are two transitional periods. During the hot season from mid-April to the end of June, the temperature may reach 49 °C; the monsoon season, from July to September, is a period of heavy rainfall, providing
Cambodia the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is 181,035 square kilometres in area, bordered by Thailand to the northwest, Laos to the northeast, Vietnam to the east and the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest; the sovereign state of Cambodia has a population of over 16 million. The official religion is Theravada Buddhism, practised by 95 percent of the population; the country's minority groups include Vietnamese, Chams and 30 hill tribes. The capital and largest city is Phnom Penh, the political and cultural centre of Cambodia; the kingdom is an elective constitutional monarchy with a monarch Norodom Sihamoni, chosen by the Royal Throne Council as head of state. The head of government is the Prime Minister Hun Sen, the longest serving non-royal leader in Southeast Asia, ruling Cambodia since 1985. In 802 AD, Jayavarman II declared himself king, uniting the warring Khmer princes of Chenla under the name "Kambuja"; this marked the beginning of the Khmer Empire, which flourished for over 600 years, allowing successive kings to control and exert influence over much of Southeast Asia and accumulate immense power and wealth.
The Indianised kingdom facilitated the spread of first Hinduism and Buddhism to much of Southeast Asia and undertook many religious infrastructural projects throughout the region, including the construction of more than 1,000 temples and monuments in Angkor alone. Angkor Wat is designated as a World Heritage Site. After the fall of Angkor to Ayutthaya in the 15th century, a reduced and weakened Cambodia was ruled as a vassal state by its neighbours. In 1863, Cambodia became a protectorate of France, which doubled the size of the country by reclaiming the north and west from Thailand. Cambodia gained independence in 1953; the Vietnam War extended into the country with the US bombing of Cambodia from 1969 until 1973. Following the Cambodian coup of 1970 which installed the right-wing pro-US Khmer Republic, the deposed king gave his support to his former enemies, the Khmer Rouge; the Khmer Rouge emerged as a major power, taking Phnom Penh in 1975 and carrying out the Cambodian genocide from 1975 until 1979, when they were ousted by Vietnam and the Vietnamese-backed People's Republic of Kampuchea, supported by the Soviet Union in the Cambodian–Vietnamese War.
Following the 1991 Paris Peace Accords, Cambodia was governed by a United Nations mission. The UN withdrew after holding elections in which around 90 percent of the registered voters cast ballots; the 1997 factional fighting resulted in the ousting of the government by Prime Minister Hun Sen and the Cambodian People's Party, who remain in power as of 2018. Cambodia is a member of the United Nations since 1955, ASEAN, the East Asia Summit, the WTO, the Non-Aligned Movement and La Francophonie. According to several foreign organisations, the country has widespread poverty, pervasive corruption, lack of political freedoms, low human development and a high rate of hunger. Cambodia has been described by Human Rights Watch's Southeast Asian Director, David Roberts, as a "vaguely communist free-market state with a authoritarian coalition ruling over a superficial democracy". While per capita income remains low compared to most neighboring countries, Cambodia has one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, with growth averaging 7.6 percent over the last decade.
Agriculture remains the dominant economic sector, with strong growth in textiles, construction and tourism leading to increased foreign investment and international trade. The US World Justice Project's 2015 Rule of Law Index ranked Cambodia 76 out of 102 countries, similar to other countries in the region; the "Kingdom of Cambodia" is the official English name of the country. The English "Cambodia" is an anglicisation of the French "Cambodge", which in turn is the French transliteration of the Khmer កម្ពុជា kampuciə. Kampuchea is the shortened alternative to the country's official name in Khmer ព្រះរាជាណាចក្រកម្ពុជា prĕəh riəciənaacak kampuciə; the Khmer endonym Kampuchea derives from the Sanskrit name कम्बोजदेश kambojadeśa, composed of देश deśa and कम्बोज kamboja, which alludes to the foundation myths of the first ancient Khmer kingdom. The term Cambodia was in use in Europe as early as 1524, since Antonio Pigafetta cites it in his work Relazione del primo viaggio intorno al mondo as Camogia.
Colloquially, Cambodians refer to their country as either ស្រុកខ្មែរ srok khmae, meaning "Khmer's Land", or the more formal ប្រទេសកម្ពុជា prɑteih kampuciə "Country of Kampuchea". The name "Cambodia" is used most in the Western world while "Kampuchea" is more used in the East. There exists sparse evidence for a Pleistocene human occupation of present-day Cambodia, which includes quartz and quartzite pebble tools found in terraces along the Mekong River, in Stung Treng and Kratié provinces, in Kampot Province, although their dating is unreliable; some slight archaeological evidence shows communities of hunter-gatherers inhabited the region during Holocene: the most ancient archaeological discovery site in Cambodia is considered to be the cave of L'aang Spean, in Battambang Province, which belongs to the Hoabinhian period. Excavations in its lower
Afghanistan the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in South-Central Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan in the south and east, its territory covers 652,000 square kilometers and much of it is covered by the Hindu Kush mountain range, which experiences cold winters. The north consists of fertile plains, while the south-west consists of deserts where temperatures can get hot in summers. Kabul serves as its largest city. Human habitation in Afghanistan dates back to the Middle Paleolithic Era, the country's strategic location along the Silk Road connected it to the cultures of the Middle East and other parts of Asia; the land has been home to various peoples and has witnessed numerous military campaigns, including those by Alexander the Great, Muslim Arabs, British and since 2001 by the United States with NATO-allied countries. It has been called "unconquerable" and nicknamed the "graveyard of empires"; the land served as the source from which the Kushans, Samanids, Ghaznavids, Khaljis, Hotaks and others have risen to form major empires.
The political history of the modern state of Afghanistan began with the Hotak and Durrani dynasties in the 18th century. In the late 19th century, Afghanistan became a buffer state in the "Great Game" between British India and the Russian Empire, its border with British India, the Durand Line, was formed in 1893 but it is not recognized by the Afghan government and it has led to strained relations with Pakistan since the latter's independence in 1947. Following the Third Anglo-Afghan War in 1919 the country was free of foreign influence becoming a monarchy under King Amanullah, until 50 years when Zahir Shah was overthrown and a republic was established. In 1978, after a second coup Afghanistan first became a socialist state and a Soviet Union protectorate; this evoked the Soviet–Afghan War in the 1980s against mujahideen rebels. By 1996 most of Afghanistan was captured by the Islamic fundamentalist group the Taliban, who ruled most of the country as a totalitarian regime for over five years.
The Taliban were forcibly removed by the NATO-led coalition, a new democratically-elected government political structure was formed, but they still control a significant portion of the country. Afghanistan is a unitary presidential Islamic republic with a population of 31 million composed of ethnic Pashtuns, Tajiks and Uzbeks, it is a member of the United Nations, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Group of 77, the Economic Cooperation Organization, the Non-Aligned Movement. Afghanistan's economy is the world's 108th largest, with a GDP of $64.08 billion. The name Afghānistān is believed to be as old as the ethnonym Afghan, documented in the 10th-century geography book Hudud ul-'alam; the root name "Afghan" was used in reference to a member of the ethnic Pashtuns, the suffix "-stan" means "place of" in Persian. Therefore, Afghanistan translates to land of the Afghans or, more in a historical sense, to land of the Pashtuns. However, the modern Constitution of Afghanistan states that "he word Afghan shall apply to every citizen of Afghanistan."
Excavations of prehistoric sites by Louis Dupree and others suggest that humans were living in what is now Afghanistan at least 50,000 years ago, that farming communities in the area were among the earliest in the world. An important site of early historical activities, many believe that Afghanistan compares to Egypt in terms of the historical value of its archaeological sites; the country sits at a unique nexus point where numerous civilizations have interacted and fought. It has been home to various peoples through the ages, among them the ancient Iranian peoples who established the dominant role of Indo-Iranian languages in the region. At multiple points, the land has been incorporated within large regional empires, among them the Achaemenid Empire, the Macedonian Empire, the Indian Maurya Empire, the Islamic Empire. Many empires and kingdoms have risen to power in Afghanistan, such as the Greco-Bactrians, Hephthalites, Kabul Shahis, Samanids, Ghurids, Kartids, Timurids and the Hotak and Durrani dynasties that marked the political origins of the modern state.
Archaeological exploration done in the 20th century suggests that the geographical area of Afghanistan has been connected by culture and trade with its neighbors to the east and north. Artifacts typical of the Paleolithic, Neolithic and Iron ages have been found in Afghanistan. Urban civilization is believed to have begun as early as 3000 BCE, the early city of Mundigak may have been a colony of the nearby Indus Valley Civilization. More recent findings established that the Indus Valley Civilisation stretched up towards modern-day Afghanistan, making the ancient civilisation today part of Pakistan and India. In more detail, it extended from what today is northwest Pakistan to northwest India and northeast Afghanistan. An Indus Valley site has been found on the Oxus River at Shortugai in northern Afghanistan. There are several smaller IVC colonies to be found in Afghanistan as well. After 2000 BCE, successive waves of semi-nomadic
Luoyang is a city located in the confluence area of Luo River and Yellow River in the west of Henan province. Governed as a prefecture-level city, it borders the provincial capital of Zhengzhou to the east, Pingdingshan to the southeast, Nanyang to the south, Sanmenxia to the west, Jiyuan to the north, Jiaozuo to the northeast; as of the final 2010 census, Luoyang had a population of 6,549,941 inhabitants with 1,857,003 people living in the built-up area made of the city's five urban districts, all of which except the Jili District are not urbanized yet. Situated on the central plain of China, Luoyang is one of the cradles of Chinese civilization, is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China; the name "Luoyang" originates from sunny side of the Luo River. Since the river flows from west to east and the sun is to the south of the river, the sun always shines on the north side of the river. Luoyang has had several names over the centuries, including "Luoyi" and "Luozhou", though Luoyang has been its primary name.
It has been called, during various periods, "Dongdu", "Xijing", or "Jingluo". During the rule of Wu Zetian, the city was known as Shendu The greater Luoyang area has been sacred ground since the late Neolithic period; this area at the intersection of the Luo river and Yi River was considered to be the geographical center of China. Because of this sacred aspect, several cities – all of which are referred to as "Luoyang" – have been built in this area. In 2070 BC, the Xia dynasty king Tai Kang moved the Xia capital to the intersection of the Luo and Yi and named the city Zhenxun. In 1600 BC, Tang of Shang defeated Jie, the final Xia dynasty king, built Western Bo, a new capital on the Luo River; the ruins of Western Bo are located in Luoyang Prefecture. In the 1036 BC a settlement named Chengzhou was constructed by the Duke of Zhou for the remnants of the captured Shang nobility; the Duke moved the Nine Tripod Cauldrons to Chengzhou from the Zhou dynasty capital at Haojing. A second Western Zhou capital, Wangcheng was built 15 km west of Chengzhou.
Wangcheng became the capital of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty in 771 BC. The Eastern Zhou Dynasty capital was moved to Chengzhou in 510 BC; the Eastern Han Dynasty capital of Luoyang would be built over Chengzhou. Modern Luoyang is built over the ruins of Wangcheng, which are still visible today at Wangcheng Park. In 25 AD, Luoyang was declared the capital of the Eastern Han Dynasty on November 27 by Emperor Guangwu of Han. For several centuries, Luoyang was the focal point of China. In AD 68, the White Horse Temple, the first Buddhist temple in China, was founded in Luoyang; the temple still exists, though the architecture is of origin from the 16th century. An Shigao was one of the first monks to popularize Buddhism in Luoyang; the ambassador Banchao restored the Silk Road in Eastern Han dynasty and this has made the capital city Luoyang the start of Silk Road In 166 AD, the first Roman mission, sent by "the king of Da Qin, Andun", reached Luoyang after arriving by sea in Rinan Commandery in what is now central Vietnam.
The late 2nd century saw China decline into anarchy: The decline was accelerated by the rebellion of the Yellow Turbans, although defeated by the Imperial troops in 184 AD, weakened the state to the point where there was a continuing series of rebellions degenerating into civil war, culminating in the burning of the Han capital of Luoyang on 24 September 189 AD. This was followed by a state of continual unrest and wars in China until a modicum of stability returned in the 220s, but with the establishment of three separate kingdoms, rather than a unified empire. In 190 AD, Chancellor Dong Zhuo ordered his soldiers to ransack and raze the city as he retreated from the coalition set up against him by regional lords all across China; the court was subsequently moved to the more defensible western city of Chang'an. Following a period of disorder, during which warlord Cao Cao held the last Han emperor Xian in Xuchang, Luoyang was restored to prominence when his son Cao Pi, Emperor Wen of the Wei dynasty, declared it his capital in 220 AD.
The Jin dynasty, successor to Wei, was established in Luoyang. When Jin was overrun by Xiongnu forces in 311 AD, it was forced to move its capital to Jiankang; the Xiongnu warriors sacked and nearly destroyed Luoyang. The same fate befell Chang'an in 316 AD. In winter 416, Luoyang fell to Liu Yu's general Tan Daoji. In 422, Luoyang was captured by Northern Wei. Liu Song general Dao Yanzhi took the city back. In 493 AD, Emperor Xiaowen of the Northern Wei dynasty moved the capital from Datong to Luoyang and started the construction of the rock-cut Longmen Grottoes. More than 30,000 Buddhist statues from the time of this dynasty have been found in the caves. Many of these sculptures were two-faced. At the same time, the Shaolin Temple was built by the Emperor to accommodate an Indian monk on the Mont Song right next to Luoyang City; the Yongning Temple, the tallest pagoda in China, was built in Luoyang. When Emperor Yang of Sui took control in 604 AD he founded the new Luoyang on the site of the existing city using a layout inspired by his father Emperor Wen of Sui's work in newly rebuilt Chang'an.
During the Tang dynasty, Luoyang was Dongdu, the "Eastern Capital", at its height had a population of around one million, second only to Chang'an, which, at the t
Alexander the Great
Alexander III of Macedon known as Alexander the Great, was a king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and a member of the Argead dynasty. He was born in Pella in 356 BC and succeeded his father Philip II to the throne at the age of 20, he spent most of his ruling years on an unprecedented military campaign through Asia and northeast Africa, by the age of thirty he had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from Greece to northwestern India. He was undefeated in battle and is considered one of history's most successful military commanders. During his youth, Alexander was tutored by Aristotle until age 16. After Philip's assassination in 336 BC, he succeeded his father to the throne and inherited a strong kingdom and an experienced army. Alexander was awarded the generalship of Greece and used this authority to launch his father's pan-Hellenic project to lead the Greeks in the conquest of Persia. In 334 BC, he began a series of campaigns that lasted 10 years. Following the conquest of Anatolia, Alexander broke the power of Persia in a series of decisive battles, most notably the battles of Issus and Gaugamela.
He subsequently overthrew Persian King Darius III and conquered the Achaemenid Empire in its entirety. At that point, his empire stretched from the Adriatic Sea to the Indus River, he endeavored to reach the "ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea" and invaded India in 326 BC, winning an important victory over the Pauravas at the Battle of the Hydaspes. He turned back at the demand of his homesick troops. Alexander died in Babylon in 323 BC, the city that he planned to establish as his capital, without executing a series of planned campaigns that would have begun with an invasion of Arabia. In the years following his death, a series of civil wars tore his empire apart, resulting in the establishment of several states ruled by the Diadochi, Alexander's surviving generals and heirs. Alexander's legacy includes the cultural diffusion and syncretism which his conquests engendered, such as Greco-Buddhism, he founded some twenty cities. Alexander's settlement of Greek colonists and the resulting spread of Greek culture in the east resulted in a new Hellenistic civilization, aspects of which were still evident in the traditions of the Byzantine Empire in the mid-15th century AD and the presence of Greek speakers in central and far eastern Anatolia until the 1920s.
Alexander became legendary as a classical hero in the mold of Achilles, he features prominently in the history and mythic traditions of both Greek and non-Greek cultures. He became the measure against which military leaders compared themselves, military academies throughout the world still teach his tactics, he is ranked among the most influential people in history. Alexander was born on the sixth day of the ancient Greek month of Hekatombaion, which corresponds to 20 July 356 BC, although the exact date is disputed, in Pella, the capital of the Kingdom of Macedon, he was the son of the king of Macedon, Philip II, his fourth wife, the daughter of Neoptolemus I, king of Epirus. Although Philip had seven or eight wives, Olympias was his principal wife for some time because she gave birth to Alexander. Several legends surround Alexander's childhood. According to the ancient Greek biographer Plutarch, on the eve of the consummation of her marriage to Philip, Olympias dreamed that her womb was struck by a thunder bolt that caused a flame to spread "far and wide" before dying away.
Sometime after the wedding, Philip is said to have seen himself, in a dream, securing his wife's womb with a seal engraved with a lion's image. Plutarch offered a variety of interpretations of these dreams: that Olympias was pregnant before her marriage, indicated by the sealing of her womb. Ancient commentators were divided about whether the ambitious Olympias promulgated the story of Alexander's divine parentage, variously claiming that she had told Alexander, or that she dismissed the suggestion as impious. On the day Alexander was born, Philip was preparing a siege on the city of Potidea on the peninsula of Chalcidice; that same day, Philip received news that his general Parmenion had defeated the combined Illyrian and Paeonian armies, that his horses had won at the Olympic Games. It was said that on this day, the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, burnt down; this led Hegesias of Magnesia to say that it had burnt down because Artemis was away, attending the birth of Alexander.
Such legends may have emerged when Alexander was king, at his own instigation, to show that he was superhuman and destined for greatness from conception. In his early years, Alexander was raised by a nurse, sister of Alexander's future general Cleitus the Black. In his childhood, Alexander was tutored by the strict Leonidas, a relative of his mother, by Lysimachus of Acarnania. Alexander was raised in the manner of noble Macedonian youths, learning to read, play the lyre, ride and hunt; when Alexander was ten years old, a trader from Thessaly brought Philip a horse, which he offered to sell for thirteen talents. The horse refused to be mounted, Philip ordered it away. Alexander however, detecting the horse's fear of its own shadow, asked to tame the horse, which he managed. Plutarch stated that Philip, overjoyed at this display of courage and ambition, kissed his son tearfully, declaring: "My boy, you must find a kingdom big enough for your ambitions. Macedon is too small for you", an