The Safavid dynasty was one of the most significant ruling dynasties of Iran, often considered the beginning of modern Iranian history. The Safavid shahs ruled over one of the so-called gunpowder empires, the Safavid dynasty had its origin in the Safaviyya Sufi order, which was established in the city of Ardabil in the Azerbaijan region. The Safavids have left their mark down to the present era by spreading Shia Islam in Iran, as well as parts of the Caucasus, Anatolia. The Safavid Kings themselves claimed to be Seyyeds, family descendants of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, There seems now to be a consensus among scholars that the Safavid family hailed from Persian Kurdistan, and moved to Azerbaijan, finally settling in the 11th century CE at Ardabil. Traditional pre-1501 Safavid manuscripts trace the lineage of the Safavids to the Kurdish dignitary, a massive migration of Oghuz Turks in the 11th and 12th centuries not only Turkified Azerbaijan but Anatolia. The Azeri Turks are Shiʿites and were founders of the Safavid dynasty, by the time of the establishment of the Safavid empire, the members of the family were native Turkish-speaking and Turkicized, and some of the Shahs composed poems in their native Turkish language.
Furthermore, the dynasty was from the very start thoroughly intermarried with both Pontic Greek as well as Georgian lines, Safavid history begins with the establishment of the Safaviyya by its eponymous founder Safi-ad-din Ardabili. In 700/1301, Safi al-Din assumed the leadership of the Zahediyeh, due to the great spiritual charisma of Safi al-Din, the order was known as the Safaviyya. The Safavid order soon gained great influence in the city of Ardabil, after Safī al-Dīn, the leadership of the Safaviyya passed to Sadr al-Dīn Mūsā. The leadership of the order passed from Sadr ud-Dīn Mūsā to his son Khwādja Ali, when Shaykh Junayd, the son of Ibrāhim, assumed the leadership of the Safaviyya in 1447, the history of the Safavid movement was radically changed. Savory, Sheikh Junayd was not content with spiritual authority and he sought material power, Junayd sought refuge with the rival of Kara Koyunlu Jahan Shah, the Aq Qoyunlu Khan Uzun Hassan, and cemented his relationship by marrying Uzun Hassans sister, Khadija Begum.
Junayd was killed during an incursion into the territories of the Shirvanshah and was succeeded by his son Haydar Safavi, Haydar married Martha Alamshah Begom, Uzun Hassans daughter, who gave birth to Ismail I, founder of the Safavid dynasty. Marthas mother Theodora—better known as Despina Khatun—was a Pontic Greek princess and she had been married to Uzun Hassan in exchange for protection of the Grand Komnenos from the Ottomans. After Uzun Hassans death, his son Yaqub felt threatened by the growing Safavid religious influence, Yaqub allied himself with the Shirvanshah and killed Haydar in 1488. By this time, the bulk of the Safaviyya were nomadic Oghuz Turkic-speaking clans from Asia Minor, the Qizilbash were warriors, spiritual followers of Haydar, and a source of the Safavid military and political power. After the death of Haydar, the Safaviyya gathered around his son Ali Mirza Safavi, according to official Safavid history, before passing away, Ali had designated his young brother Ismail as the spiritual leader of the Safaviyya.
After the decline of the Timurid Empire, Persia was politically splintered, the demise of Tamerlanes political authority created a space in which several religious communities, particularly Shi’i ones, could come to the fore and gain prominence. Among these were a number of Sufi brotherhoods, the Hurufis, Nuqtawis, of these various movements, the Safavid Qizilbash was the most politically resilient, and due to its success Shah Isma’il I gained political prominence in 1501
The Ghurids or Ghorids were a dynasty of Eastern Iranian descent, from the Ghor region of present-day central Afghanistan. The dynasty converted to Sunni Islam from Buddhism, after the conquest of Ghor by the Ghaznavid emperor Mahmud of Ghazni in 1011, abu Ali ibn Muhammad was the first Muslim king of the Ghurid dynasty to construct mosques and Islamic schools in Ghor. The dynasty overthrew the Ghaznavid Empire in 1186, when Sultan Muizz ad-Din Muhammad of Ghor conquered the last Ghaznavid capital of Lahore, at their zenith, the Ghurid empire encompassed Khorasan in the west and reached northern India as far as Bengal in the east. Their first capital was Firozkoh in Mandesh, which was replaced by Herat, while Ghazni and Lahore were used as additional capitals. The Ghurids were patrons of Persian culture and heritage, the Ghurids were succeeded in Khorasan and Persia by the Khwarezmian dynasty, and in northern India by the Mamluk dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate. Instead, the consensus in modern scholarship holds that the dynasty was most likely of Tajik origin, bosworth further points out that the actual name of the Ghurid family, Āl-e Šansab, is the Arabic pronunciation of the originally Middle Persian name Wišnasp, hinting at a Persian origin.
The Ghuristan region remained primarily populated by Hindus and Buddhists till the 12th century and it was Islamised and gave rise to the Ghurids. The rise to power of the Ghurids at Ghur, an isolated area located in the mountain vastness between the Ghaznavid empire and the Seljukids, was an unusual and unexpected development. The area was so remote that till the 11th century, it had remained a Hindu enclave surrounded by Muslim principalities. It was converted to Islam in the part of the 12th century after Mahmud raided it. Even it is believed that paganism, i. e. a variety of Mahayana Buddhism persisted in the till the end of the century. The language of the Ghurids is subject to some controversy, what is known with certainty is that it was considerably different from the Persian used as literary language at the Ghaznavid court. Nevertheless, like the Samanids and Ghaznavids, the Ghurids were great patrons of Persian literature and culture, there is nothing to confirm the recent surmise that the Ghurids were Pashto-speaking, and there is no evidence that the inhabitants of Ghor were originally Pashto-speaking.
Contemporary book writers refer to them as the Persianized Ghurids, a certain Ghori prince named Amir Banji, was the ruler of Ghori and ancestor of the medieval Ghori rulers. His rule was legitimized by the Abbasid caliph Harun al-Rashid, before the mid-12th century, the Ghoris had been bound to the Ghaznavids and Seljuks for about 150 years. Beginning in the century, Ghor expressed its independence from the Ghaznavid Empire. In revenge, Sayf marched towards Ghazni and defeated Bahram-Shah, one year, Bahram returned and scored a decisive victory against Sayf, who was shortly captured and crucified at Pul-i Yak Taq. Baha al-Din Sam I, another brother of Sayf, set out to avenge the death of his two brothers, but died of natural causes before he could reach Ghazni
They are split into two eras the Buddhist-Shahis and the Hindu-Shahis with the change-over occurring around 870. These Hindu kings of Kabul and Gandhara may have had links to some ruling families in neighboring Kashmir, the last Shahi emperors Jayapala and Tirlochanpala fought the Muslim Turk Ghaznavids of Ghazna and were gradually defeated. Their remaining army were eventually exiled into northern India, Xuanzang describes the ruler of Kapisa/Kabul, whom he had personally met, as a devout Buddhist and a Kshatriya. Thus the folklore accounts recorded by Alberuni connect the earlier Shahis of Kabul/Kapisa to Turkish extraction, at the same time it is claimed that their first king Barahatigin had originally come from Tibet and concealed in a narrow cave in Kabul area. One can easily see the account of Shahi origin as totally fanciful. The allegation that the first dynasty of Kabul was Turki is plainly based on the vulgar tradition, which Alberuni himself remarked was clearly absurd. The historian V. A.
Smith speculates – based on Alberuni – that the earlier Shahis were a branch of the Kushanas who ruled both over Kabul and Gandhara until the rise of the Saffarids. H. M. Elliot relates the early Kabul Shahis to the Kators, charles Frederick Oldham traces the Kabul Shahi lineage to the Kators—whom he identifies with the Kathas or Takkhas—Naga worshipping collective groups of Hinduism lineage. He further speaks of the Urasas, Daradas, Kambojas, pandey traces the affinities of the early Kabul Shahis to the Hunas. Other accounts suggest Punjabi Kshatriya origins for the Shahi dynasty, Xuanzang clearly describes the ruler of Kapisa/Kabul, whom he had personally met, as a devout Buddhist and a Kshatriya and not a Tu-kiue/Tu-kue. Neither the Kushanas, the Hunas/Hephthalites nor the Turks have ever been designated or classified as Kshatriyas in any ancient Indian tradition, the identification of the first line of Shahi kings of Kapisa/Kabul with the Kushanas, Hunas, or Turks obviously seems to be in gross error.
It is very interesting that Alberuni calls the early Shahi rulers Turks, the Shahi rulers of Kapisa/Kabul who ruled Afghanistan from the early 4th century till AD870 were Hindu Kamboj Kshatriyas. The Shahis of Afghanistan were discovered in 1874 to be connected to the Kamboja race by E. Vesey Westmacott, E. Vesey Westmacott, Bishan Singh, K. S. Dardi, et al. connect the Kabul Shahis to the ancient Indian Kshatriya clans of the Kambojas/Gandharas. George Scott Robertson writes that the Kators/Katirs of Kafiristan belong to the well known Siyaposh tribal group of the Kams, but numerous scholars now agree that the Siyaposh tribes of Hindukush are the modern representatives of the ancient Iranian cis-Hindukush Kambojas. The name of the last king of the so-called first Shahi line of Kabul/Kapisa simply reveals a trace of Tukhara cultural influence in the Kamboja region, as hinted in the above discussion. Thus, the first ruling dynasty of Kapisa and Kabul, designated as a Kshatriya dynasty by Xuanzang had been a Kamboja dynasty from India, the Kambojas and the Tukharas are mentioned as immediate neighbors in north-west as late as the 8th century AD as Rajatarangini of Kalhana demonstrates.
Evidence exists that some medieval Muslim writers have confused the Kamboja clans of Pamirs/Hindukush with the Turks, for example, 10th-century Arab geographer Al-Muqaddasi, refers to the Kumiji tribesmen of Buttaman mountains, on upper Oxus, and calls them of Turkic race. Song Yun, the Chinese Ambassador to the Huna kingdom of Gandhara, the Yetha ruler was extremely cruel and anti-Buddhist and had engaged in a three years border war with the king of Ki-pin, disputing the boundaries of that country
The Durrani Empire at its maximum extent encompassed present-day Afghanistan, northeastern Iran, eastern Turkmenistan, most of Pakistan, and northwestern India, including the Kashmir region. The Afghan army began their conquests by capturing Ghazni and Kabul from the local rulers, in 1749 the Mughal ruler had ceded sovereignty over what is now Pakistan and northwestern Punjab to the Afghans. Ahmad Shah set out westward to take possession of Herat and he next sent an army to subdue the areas north of the Hindu Kush and in short order all the different tribes began joining his cause. Ahmad Shah and his forces invaded India four times, taking control of the Kashmir, early in 1757, he sacked Delhi, but permitted the Mughal dynasty to remain in nominal control as long as the ruler acknowledged Ahmad Shahs suzerainty over the Punjab and Kashmir. Additionally, among the Durranis other military conquests, the Pashtun instigated the Vaḍḍā Ghallūghārā when they killed thousands of Sikhs in the Punjab, the Durrani Empire is considered the foundation of the modern state of Afghanistan, with Ahmad Shah Durrani being credited as Father of the Nation.
In 1709 Mir Wais Hotak, chief of the Ghilji tribe of Kandahar Province, from 1722 to 1725, his son Mahmud Hotak briefly ruled large parts of Iran and declared himself as Shah of Persia. However, the Hotak dynasty came to a end in 1738 after being toppled and banished by the Afsharids who were led by Nader Shah Afshar of Persia. The year 1747 marks the appearance of an Afghan political entity independent of both the Persian and Mughal empires. In October 1747 a loya jirga concluded near the city of Kandahar with Ahmad Shah Durrani being selected as the new leader of the Afghans, despite being younger than the other contenders, Ahmad Shah had several overriding factors in his favor. He belonged to a family of political background, especially since his father served as Governor of Herat who died in a battle defending the Afghans. He had a larger army and possessed a substantial part of Nadir Shahs treasury, including the Koh-i-Noor diamond. One of Ahmad Shahs first military action was the capture Ghazni from the Ghiljis, in 1749, the Mughal ruler was induced to cede Sindh, the Punjab region and the important trans Indus River to Ahmad Shah in order to save his capital from Afghan attack.
Having thus gained substantial territories to the east without a fight, Ahmad Shah turned westward to take possession of Herat, Ahmad Shah next sent an army to subdue the areas north of the Hindu Kush mountains. In short order, the army brought under its control the Tajik, Uzbek, Turkmen. Ahmad Shah invaded the remnants of the Mughal Empire a third time and he sacked Delhi in 1757, but permitted the Mughal dynasty to remain in nominal control of the city as long as the ruler acknowledged Ahmad Shahs suzerainty over Punjab and Kashmir. Leaving his second son Timur Shah to safeguard his interests, Ahmad Shah left India to return to Afghanistan, Ahmad Shah halted trade with Qing China and dispatched troops to Kokand. Through this treaty, the Marathas controlled virtually the whole of India from their capital at Pune, Marathas were now straining to expand their area of control towards the Northwest of India. Ahmad Shah sacked the Mughal capital and withdrew with the booty he coveted, to counter the Afghans, Peshwa Balaji Bajirao sent Raghunathrao
The Parthian Empire, known as the Arsacid Empire, was a major Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Iran and Iraq. Mithridates I of Parthia greatly expanded the empire by seizing Media and Mesopotamia from the Seleucids, at its height, the Parthian Empire stretched from the northern reaches of the Euphrates, in what is now central-eastern Turkey, to eastern Iran. The empire, located on the Silk Road trade route between the Roman Empire in the Mediterranean Basin and the Han Empire of China, became a center of trade and commerce. The Parthians largely adopted the art, religious beliefs, and royal insignia of their culturally heterogeneous empire, which encompassed Persian and regional cultures. For about the first half of its existence, the Arsacid court adopted elements of Greek culture, the court did appoint a small number of satraps, largely outside Iran, but these satrapies were smaller and less powerful than the Achaemenid potentates. With the expansion of Arsacid power, the seat of government shifted from Nisa to Ctesiphon along the Tigris.
The earliest enemies of the Parthians were the Seleucids in the west, however, as Parthia expanded westward, they came into conflict with the Kingdom of Armenia, and eventually the late Roman Republic. Rome and Parthia competed with other to establish the kings of Armenia as their subordinate clients. The Parthians soundly defeated Marcus Licinius Crassus at the Battle of Carrhae in 53 BC, Mark Antony led a counterattack against Parthia, although his successes were generally achieved in his absence, under the leadership of his lieutenant Ventidius. Also, various Roman emperors or their appointed generals invaded Mesopotamia in the course of the several Roman-Parthian Wars which ensued during the few centuries. The Romans captured the cities of Seleucia and Ctesiphon on multiple occasions during these conflicts, native Parthian sources, written in Parthian and other languages, are scarce when compared to Sassanid and even earlier Achaemenid sources. These include mainly Greek and Roman histories, but Chinese histories, Parthian artwork is viewed by historians as a valid source for understanding aspects of society and culture that are otherwise absent in textual sources.
The Parni most likely spoke an eastern Iranian language, in contrast to the northwestern Iranian language spoken at the time in Parthia, the latter was a northeastern province, first under the Achaemenid, and the Seleucid empires. Why the Arsacid court retroactively chose 247 BC as the first year of the Arsacid era is uncertain, Bivar concludes that this was the year the Seleucids lost control of Parthia to Andragoras, the appointed satrap who rebelled against them. Hence, Arsaces I backdated his regnal years to the moment when Seleucid control over Parthia ceased, Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis asserts that this was simply the year Arsaces was made chief of the Parni tribe. It is unclear who immediately succeeded Arsaces I, Bivar and Katouzian affirm that it was his brother Tiridates I of Parthia, who in turn was succeeded by his son Arsaces II of Parthia in 211 BC. Yet Curtis and Brosius state that Arsaces II was the successor of Arsaces I, with Curtis claiming the succession took place in 211 BC.
Bivar insists that 138 BC, the last regnal year of Mithridates I, is the first precisely established regnal date of Parthian history, due to these and other discrepancies, Bivar outlines two distinct royal chronologies accepted by historians
The Iranian peoples or Iranic peoples are a diverse Indo-European ethno-linguistic group that comprise the speakers of the Iranian languages. Proto-Iranians are believed to have emerged as a branch of the Indo-Iranians in Central Asia in the mid 2nd millennium BC. In the 1st millennium AD, their area of settlement was reduced as a result of Slavic, Germanic and Mongol expansions and many being subjected to Slavicisation. The Iranian peoples include Balochs, Gilaks, Mazanderanis, Pashtuns, Persians, Talysh people, the term Iran derives directly from Middle Persian Ērān and Parthian Aryān. The Middle Iranian terms ērān and aryān are oblique plural forms of gentilic ēr- and ary-, there have been many attempts to qualify the verbal root of ar- in Old Iranian arya-. The following are according to 1957 and linguists, Emmanuel Laroche, Old Iranian arya- being descended from Proto-Indo-European ar-yo-, meaning assembler. Harold Walter Bailey, ar- to beget, unlike the Sanskrit ā́rya-, the Old Iranian term has solely an ethnic meaning.
Today, the Old Iranian arya- remains in ethno-linguistic names such as Iran, Alan, Ir, in the Iranian languages, the gentilic is attested as a self-identifier included in ancient inscriptions and the literature of Avesta. The earliest epigraphically attested reference to the word occurs in the Bistun Inscription of the 6th century BC. The inscription of Bistun describes itself to have composed in Arya. As is the case for all other Old Iranian language usage, in royal Old Persian inscriptions, the term arya- appears in three different contexts, As the name of the language of the Old Persian version of the inscription of Darius I in the Bistun Inscription. As the ethnic background of Darius the Great in inscriptions at Rustam Relief and Susa, as the definition of the God of Iranians, Ohrmazd, in the Elamite version of the Bistun Inscription. In the Dna and Dse and Xerxes describe themselves as an Achaemenid, a Persian, son of a Persian, although Darius the Great called his language arya-, modern scholars refer to it as Old Persian because it is the ancestor of the modern Persian language.
The trilingual inscription erected by the command of Shapur I gives a clear description. The languages used are Parthian, Middle Persian, and Greek, tou Arianon ethnous despotes eimi, which translates to I am the king of the kingdom of the Iranians. In Middle Persian, Shapur says ērānšahr xwadāy hēm and in Parthian he says aryānšahr xwadāy ahēm, the Avesta clearly uses airiia- as an ethnic name, where it appears in expressions such as airyāfi daiŋˊhāvō, airyō šayanəm, and airyanəm vaējō vaŋhuyāfi dāityayāfi. In the late part of the Avesta, one of the homelands was referred to as Airyanəm Vaējah which approximately means expanse of the Iranians. The homeland varied in its range, the area around Herat
Indus Valley Civilisation
The Indus Valley Civilisation was a Bronze Age civilisation mainly in the northwestern regions of South Asia, extending from what today is northeast Afghanistan to Pakistan and northwest India. Along with ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia it was one of three early civilisations of the Old World, and of the three, the most widespread, at its peak, the Indus Civilisation may have had a population of over five million. Inhabitants of the ancient Indus river valley developed new techniques in handicraft, the Indus cities are noted for their urban planning, baked brick houses, elaborate drainage systems, water supply systems, and clusters of large non-residential buildings. The discovery of Harappa, and soon afterwards, Mohenjo-Daro, was the culmination of work beginning in 1861 with the founding of the Archaeological Survey of India in the British Raj, excavation of Harappan sites has been ongoing since 1920, with important breakthroughs occurring as recently as 1999. This Harappan civilisation is called the Mature Harappan culture to distinguish it from the cultures immediately preceding and following it.
The early Harappan cultures were preceded by local Neolithic agricultural villages, as of 1999, over 1,056 cities and settlements had been found, of which 96 have been excavated, mainly in the general region of the Indus and Ghaggar-Hakra Rivers and their tributaries. Among the settlements were the urban centres of Harappa, Mohenjo-daro, Ganeriwala in Cholistan. The Harappan language is not directly attested and its affiliation is uncertain since the Indus script is still undeciphered, a relationship with the Dravidian or Elamo-Dravidian language family is favoured by a section of scholars. Recently, Indus sites have been discovered in Pakistans northwestern Frontier Province as well, other IVC colonies can be found in Afghanistan while smaller isolated colonies can be found as far away as Turkmenistan and in Maharashtra. The largest number of colonies are in the Punjab, Rajasthan, Indus Valley sites have been found most often on rivers, but on the ancient seacoast, for example, and on islands, for example, Dholavira.
There is evidence of dry river beds overlapping with the Hakra channel in Pakistan, many Indus Valley sites have been discovered along the Ghaggar-Hakra beds. Among them are, Rakhigarhi, Kalibangan, Harappan Civilisation remains the correct one, according to the common archaeological usage of naming a civilisation after its first findspot. John wrote, I was much exercised in my mind how we were to get ballast for the line of the railway and they were told of an ancient ruined city near the lines, called Brahminabad. Visiting the city, he found it full of hard well-burnt bricks, convinced there was a grand quarry for the ballast I wanted. These bricks now provided ballast along 93 miles of the track running from Karachi to Lahore. In 1872–75, Alexander Cunningham published the first Harappan seal and it was half a century later, in 1912, that more Harappan seals were discovered by J. J. H. MacKay, and Marshall. By 1931, much of Mohenjo-Daro had been excavated, but excavations continued, such as that led by Sir Mortimer Wheeler, director of the Archaeological Survey of India in 1944.
Among other archaeologists who worked on IVC sites before the independence in 1947 were Ahmad Hasan Dani, Brij Basi Lal, Nani Gopal Majumdar, and Sir Marc Aurel Stein
Kandahar or Qandahar is the second-largest city in Afghanistan, with a population of about 491,500 as of 2012. Formerly called Alexandria Arachosia, the city is named after Alexander the Great, Kandahar is the capital of Kandahar Province, located in the south of the country at an altitude of 1,010 m above sea level. The Arghandab River runs along the west of the city, the city of Kandahar has a population of 557,118. It has 15 districts and a land area of 27,337 hectares. The total number of dwellings in Kandahar is 61,902, Kandahar is one of the most culturally significant cities of the Pashtuns and has been their traditional seat of power for more than 200 years. It is a trading center for sheep, cotton, felt, food grains and dried fruit. The region produces fine fruits, especially pomegranates and grapes, and the city has plants for canning and packing fruit, the area is believed to be the birthplace of cannabis indica. The region around Kandahar is one of the oldest known human settlements, Alexander the Great had laid-out the foundation of what is now Old Kandahar in the 4th century BC and gave it the Ancient Greek name Αλεξάνδρεια Aραχωσίας.
Many empires have long fought over the city due to its location along the trade routes of southern, central. In 1709, Mirwais Hotak made the region an independent kingdom, in 1747, Ahmad Shah Durrani, founder of the last Afghan empire, made it the capital of modern Afghanistan. A temple to the deified Alexander as well as an inscription in Greek and Aramaic by Emperor Ashoka, Ibn Batutta mentions Kandahar in the 14th century by describing it as a large and prosperous town three nights journey from Ghazni. It has been mentioned extensively by Mughal Emperor Babur and others, an alternative story describes Khandahar as Gandhara in Mahabharata ruled by Suvala and by Shakuni. The princess of Hastinapur, Gandhari was born in Gandhara, a folk etymology offered is that the word kand or qand in Persian and Pashto means candy. The name Candahar or Kandahar in this form probably translates to candy area and this probably has to do with the location being fertile and historically known for producing fine grapes, apricots and other sweet fruits.
Ernst Herzfeld claimed Kandahar perpetuated the name of the Indo-Parthian king Gondophares, excavations of prehistoric sites by archaeologists such as Louis Dupree and others suggest that the region around Kandahar is one of the oldest human settlements known so far. Early peasant farming villages came into existence in Afghanistan ca.5000 B. C. or 7000 years ago, deh Morasi Ghundai, the first prehistoric site to be excavated in Afghanistan, lies 27 km southwest of Kandahar. Another Bronze Age village mound site with multiroomed mud-brick buildings dating from the same period sits nearby at Said Qala, Bronze Age pottery and bronze horse trappings and stone seals were found in the lowermost levels in the nearby cave called Shamshir Ghar. In the Seistan, southwest of these Kandahar sites, two teams of American archaeologists discovered sites relating to the 2nd millennium B. C, while the Diadochi were warring amongst themselves, the Mauryan Empire was developing in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent
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
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 Seljuk Empire or Great Seljuk Empire was a medieval Turko-Persian Sunni Muslim empire, originating from the Qynyq branch of Oghuz Turks. The Seljuk Empire controlled a vast area stretching from the Hindu Kush to eastern Anatolia, from their homelands near the Aral sea, the Seljuks advanced first into Khorasan and into mainland Persia before eventually conquering eastern Anatolia. The Seljuk empire was founded by Tughril Beg in 1037, Tughril was raised by his grandfather, Seljuk-Beg, who was in a high position in the Oghuz Yabgu State. Seljuk gave his name to both the Seljuk empire and the Seljuk dynasty, the Seljuks united the fractured political scene of the eastern Islamic world and played a key role in the first and second crusades. Highly Persianized in culture and language, the Seljuks played an important role in the development of the Turko-Persian tradition, the Seljuqs were allied with the Persian Samanid shahs against the Qarakhanids. The Samanid fell to the Qarakhanids in Transoxania, whereafter the Ghaznavids arose, the Seljuqs became involved in this power struggle in the region before establishing their own independent base.
Tughril was the grandson of Seljuq and brother of Chaghri, under whom the Seljuks wrested an empire from the Ghaznavids, initially the Seljuqs were repulsed by Mahmud and retired to Khwarezm, but Tughril and Chaghri led them to capture Merv and Nishapur. Later they repeatedly raided and traded territory with his successors across Khorasan and Balkh, in 1040 at the Battle of Dandanaqan, they decisively defeated Masud I of the Ghaznavids, forcing him to abandon most of his western territories to the Seljuqs. In 1055, Tughril captured Baghdad from the Shia Buyids under a commission from the Abbasids, arslans decisive victory at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071 effectively neutralized the Byzantine resistance to the Turkish invasion of Anatolia. He authorized his Turkmen generals to carve their own out of formerly Byzantine Anatolia. Malikshāh moved the capital from Rey to Isfahan and it was during his reign that the Great Seljuk Empire reached its zenith. The Iqta military system and the Nizāmīyyah University at Baghdad were established by Nizām al-Mulk, the Abbasid Caliph titled him The Sultan of the East and West in 1087.
The Seljuq power was at its zenith under Malikshāh I, the Seljuq dominion was established over the ancient Sasanian domains, in Iran and Iraq, and included Anatolia as well as parts of Central Asia and modern Afghanistan. The Seljuk rule was modelled after the organization common in Turkic and Mongol nomads. Under this organization, the member of the paramount family assigned family members portions of his domains as autonomous appanages. When Malikshāh I died in 1092, the split as his brother. Malikshāh I was succeeded in Anatolia by Kilij Arslan I, who founded the Sultanate of Rum, and in Syria by his brother Tutush I. In Persia he was succeeded by his son Mahmud I, whose reign was contested by his three brothers Barkiyaruq in Iraq, Muhammad I in Baghdad, and Ahmad Sanjar in Khorasan
A portrait miniature is a miniature portrait painting, usually executed in gouache, watercolour, or enamel. They were especially valuable in introducing people to other over distances. Soldiers and sailors might carry miniatures of their loved ones while traveling, the first miniaturists used watercolour to paint on stretched vellum. During the second half of the 17th century, vitreous enamel painted on copper became increasingly popular, in the 18th century, miniatures were painted with watercolour on ivory, which had now become relatively cheap. As small in size as 40 mm ×30 mm, portrait miniatures were used as personal mementos or as jewellery or snuff box covers. The portrait miniature developed from the manuscript, which had been superseded for the purposes of book illustration by techniques such as woodprints. Lucas Horenbout was another Netherlandish miniature painter at the court of Henry VIII and these might be paintings, or finished drawings with some colour, and were produced by François Clouet, and his followers.
Following these men we find Simon Renard de St. André, others whose names might be mentioned were Joseph Werner, and Rosalba Carriera. The colours are opaque, and gold is used to heighten the effect and they are often signed, and have frequently a Latin motto upon them. Hilliard worked for a while in France, and he is identical with the painter alluded to in 1577 as Nicholas Belliart. Hilliard was succeeded by his son Lawrence Hilliard, his technique was similar to that of his father, but bolder, Isaac Oliver and his son Peter Oliver succeeded Hilliard. Isaac was the pupil of Hilliard, Peter was the pupil of Isaac. The two men were the earliest to give roundness and form to the faces they painted and they signed their best works in monogram, and painted not only very small miniatures, but larger ones measuring as much as 10 in ×9 in. They copied for Charles I of England on a small scale many of his famous pictures by the old masters, other miniaturists at about the same date included Balthazar Gerbier, George Jamesone, Penelope Cleyn and her brothers.
Samuel Cooper was a nephew and student of the elder Hoskins and he spent much of his time in Paris and Holland, and very little is known of his career. His work has a breadth and dignity, and has been well called life-size work in little. His portraits of the men of the Puritan epoch are remarkable for their truth to life and he painted upon card, chicken skin and vellum, and on two occasions upon thin pieces of mutton bone. The use of ivory was not introduced until long after his time and his work is frequently signed with his initials, generally in gold, and very often with the addition of the date