Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located within South Asia and Central Asia. It has a population of approximately 32 million, making it the 42nd most populous country in the world. It is bordered by Pakistan in the south and east, Iran in the west, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan in the north and its territory covers 652,000 km2, making it the 41st largest country in the world. The land served as the source from which the Kushans, Samanids, Ghaznavids, Khiljis, Hotaks, 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 state in the Great Game between British India and the Russian Empire. Following the Third Anglo-Afghan War in 1919, King Amanullah unsuccessfully attempted to modernize the country and it remained peaceful during Zahir Shahs forty years of monarchy. A series of coups in the 1970s was followed by a series of wars that devastated much of Afghanistan.
The name Afghānistān is believed to be as old as the ethnonym Afghan, the root name Afghan was used historically in reference to a member of the ethnic Pashtuns, and the suffix -stan means place of in Persian. Therefore, Afghanistan translates to land of the Afghans or, more specifically in a historical sense, the modern Constitution of Afghanistan states that he word Afghan shall apply to every citizen of Afghanistan. An important site of 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 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, and the Islamic Empire.
Archaeological exploration done in the 20th century suggests that the area of Afghanistan has been closely connected by culture and trade with its neighbors to the east, west. Artifacts typical of the Paleolithic, Neolithic, urban civilization is believed to have begun as early as 3000 BCE, and 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, Afghanistan, in more detail, it extended from what today is northwest Pakistan to northwest India and northeast Afghanistan. An Indus Valley site has 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 people from Central Asia began moving south into Afghanistan, among them were many Indo-European-speaking Indo-Iranians.
These tribes migrated further into South Asia, Western Asia, the region at the time was referred to as Ariana
History of China
Written records of the history of China can be found from as early as 1500 BC under the Shang dynasty. Ancient historical texts such as the Records of the Grand Historian and the Bamboo Annals describe a Xia dynasty, with thousands of years of continuous history, China is one of the worlds oldest civilizations, and is regarded as one of the cradles of civilization. Much of Chinese culture and philosophy developed during the Zhou dynasty. This is one of multiple periods of failed statehood in Chinese history, between eras of multiple kingdoms and warlordism, Chinese dynasties have ruled parts or all of China, in some eras control stretched as far as Xinjiang and Tibet, as at present. In 221 BC Qin Shi Huang united the warring kingdoms and created for himself the title of emperor of the Qin dynasty. Successive dynasties developed bureaucratic systems that enabled the emperor to control vast territories directly, in the 21 centuries from 206 BC until AD1912, routine administrative tasks were handled by a special elite, the Scholar-officials.
Young men were selected through difficult examinations and were well-versed in calligraphy and philosophy. What is now China was inhabited by Homo erectus more than a million years ago, recent study shows that the stone tools found at Xiaochangliang site are magnetostratigraphically dated to 1.36 million years ago. The archaeological site of Xihoudu in Shanxi Province is the earliest recorded use of fire by Homo erectus, the excavations at Yuanmou and Lantian show early habitation. Perhaps the most famous specimen of Homo erectus found in China is the so-called Peking Man discovered in 1923–27, fossilised teeth of Homo sapiens dating to 125, 000–80,000 BC have been discovered in Fuyan Cave in Dao County in Hunan. The Neolithic age in China can be traced back to about 10,000 BC, Early evidence for proto-Chinese millet agriculture is radiocarbon-dated to about 7000 BC. The earliest evidence of cultivated rice, found by the Yangtze River, is carbon-dated to 8,000 years ago, farming gave rise to the Jiahu culture.
At Damaidi in Ningxia,3,172 cliff carvings dating to 6000–5000 BC have been discovered, featuring 8,453 individual characters such as the sun, stars and these pictographs are reputed to be similar to the earliest characters confirmed to be written Chinese. Chinese proto-writing existed in Jiahu around 7000 BC, Dadiwan from 5800 BC to 5400 BC, Damaidi around 6000 BC, some scholars have suggested that Jiahu symbols were the earliest Chinese writing system. With agriculture came increased population, the ability to store and redistribute crops, Yangshao culture was superseded by the Longshan culture, which was centered on the Yellow River from about 3000 BC to 2000 BC. Bronze artifacts have been found at the Majiayao culture site, The Bronze Age is represented at the Lower Xiajiadian culture site in northeast China. Sanxingdui located in what is now Sichuan province is believed to be the site of a ancient city. The site was first discovered in 1929 and re-discovered in 1986, Chinese archaeologists have identified the Sanxingdui culture to be part of the ancient kingdom of Shu, linking the artifacts found at the site to its early legendary kings
In ancient Greek religion and Greek mythology, Demeter is the goddess of the harvest and agriculture, who presided over grains and the fertility of the earth. Her cult titles include Sito, she of the Grain, as the giver of food or grain, though Demeter is often described simply as the goddess of the harvest, she presided over the sacred law, and the cycle of life and death. She and her daughter Persephone were the figures of the Eleusinian Mysteries that predated the Olympian pantheon. In the Linear B Mycenean Greek tablets of c, 1400–1200 BC found at Pylos, the two mistresses and the king may be related with Demeter and Poseidon. It is possible that Demeter appears in Linear A as da-ma-te on three documents, all three dedicated in religious situations and all three bearing just the name. It is unlikely that Demeter appears as da-ma-te in a Linear B inscription, on the other hand,
Mawangdui is an archaeological site located in Changsha, China. The site consists of two saddle-shaped hills and contained the tombs of three people from the western Han dynasty, Marquis Li Cang, his wife, and a male believed to have been their son, the site was excavated from 1972 to 1974. Most of the artifacts from Mawangdui are displayed at the Hunan Provincial Museum and it was called King Mas Mound because it was initially thought to be the tomb of Ma Yin, a ruler of the Chu kingdom during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. The tombs were made of large cypress planks, the outside of the tombs were layered with white clay and charcoal. White clay layering originated with Chu burials, while charcoal layering was practiced during the early western Han dynasty in the Changsha area, the tombs contained nested lacquered coffins, a Chu burial custom. The tombs followed the burial practices dictated by Emperor Wen of Han,1, contained the remains of a woman in her fifties. Her mummified body was so well-preserved that researchers were able to perform an autopsy on her body, her diet was too rich in sugars and meats, and she suffered from arterial-coronary problems.
Buried with her were skeletons of various food-animals, lotus soup, researchers found honeydew melon seeds in her stomach, inferring consumption right before death. She outlived the occupants of the two tombs. Xin Zhuis tomb was by far the best preserved of the three, a complete cosmetic set, lacquered pieces and finely woven silk garments with paintings are almost perfectly preserved. Her coffins were painted according to Chu customs and beliefs with whirling clouds interwoven with mystical animals, there was a silk painting showing a variety of exercises researchers call the forerunner of Tai ji. 2, was the site of the first Marquis of Dai. The Han dynasty had appointed Li Cang as the chancellor of the Kingdom of Changsha and this tomb had been plundered several times by grave robbers. Tomb 3 was directly south of Tomb 1, and contained the tomb of a man in his thirties who died in 168 BC, the occupant is believed to have been a relative of Li Cang and his wife. This tomb contained a trove of military, medical.
Highly regarded artifacts in particular were the lacquered wine-bowls and cosmetic boxes, of the more famous artifacts from Mawangdui were its silk funeral banners, these T-shaped banners were draped on the coffin of Tomb 1. The banners depicted the Chinese abstraction of the cosmos and the afterlife at the time of the western Han dynasty, a silk banner of similar style and function were found in Tomb 3. The T-shaped silk funeral banner in the tomb of the Marquise is called the banner with the written name of the deceased replaced with a portrait
King of Kings
The first king known to use the title king of kings was Tukulti-Ninurta I of Assyria. The title was adopted in Biblical Hebrew, as מֶלֶךְ מְלָכִים, the same usage appears in Aramaic portions of the Book of Daniel 2,37, where Nebuchadnezzar is called מֶלֶךְ מַלְכַיָּא. The first written record of consistent use of the dates to the kings of the Achaemenid Empire. The title King of Kings was one of the titles borne by Cyrus the Great, and all other Achaemenid kings, who were in fact ruling over provincial governors, the Persian usage appears in Ezra 7,12 in reference to Artaxerxes I. The New Persian word was revived by some Islamic dynasties in Persia with the meaning great king. Alexander the Great had the title, Basileus ton Basileon meaning king of kings and this title was likely given to him to imply that he was a successor of the Persian kings who had the same title. Tigranes II of Armenia used an equivalent to king of kings. The title was used in the Donations of Alexandria ceremony in 34BC, Jesus Christ is called the king of kings once in the First Epistle to Timothy and twice in the Book of Revelation.
But king of kings has used as the title of a monarch in Christian tradition. Βασιλεύς Βασιλέων Βασιλεύων Βασιλευόντων King of Kings, Ruling over Those who Rule was the motto of the Byzantine Palaiologos dynasty, the Emperors of Ethiopia had the title of king of kings. The title of king of kings is criticized in hadith, Verily, a related phrase is Malik Al-Mulk, one of the 99 names of Allah. The title shahanshah was revived by the Pahlavi dynasty of Persia in the 20th century and it was abolished when the Islamic Revolution toppled the monarchy in Iran. Muammar Gaddafi of Libya claimed to be King of Kings, a title that he subsequently had a gathering of African tribal chiefs endorse in 2008, Gaddafi urged the royals to join his campaign for African unity. Henrik Larsson WWE wrestler Triple H is dubbed as The King of Kings, in The Simpsons episode A Star Is Burns, an actor starring in Mr. Burns movie A Burns for All Seasons referred to him as being truly The King of Kings. In the movie 300, King Xerxes I referred to himself as King of Kings, in Percy Shelleys sonnet, Ozymandias refers to himself as King of Kings on line 10.
In Family Guy episode Jesus and Joseph
The Saka or Saca was the term used in Persian and Sanskrit sources for the Scythians, a large group of Eastern Iranian nomadic tribes on the Eurasian Steppe. Modern scholars usually use the term Saka to refer to Iranians of the Eastern Steppe, rené Grousset wrote that they formed a particular branch of the Scytho-Sarmatian family originating from nomadic Iranian peoples of the northwestern steppe in Eurasia. They migrated into Sogdiana and Bactria in Central Asia and to the northwest of the Indian subcontinent where they were known as the Indo-Scythians, modern debate about the identity of the Saka is partly from ambiguous usage of the word by ancient, non-Saka authorities. According to Herodotus, the Persians gave the name Saka to all Scythians, Pliny the Elder claims that the Persians gave the name Sakai only to the Scythian tribes nearest to them. The Scythians to the far north of Assyria were called the Saka suni by the Persians, the Assyrians, of the time of Esarhaddon, record campaigning against a people they called in the Akkadian the Ashkuza or Ishhuza.
However, modern consensus is that the Saka language, ancestor to the Pamir languages in northern India and Khotanese in Xinjiang. Another people, the Gimirrai, who were known to the ancient Greeks as the Cimmerians, were associated with the Sakas. In ancient Hebrew texts, the Ashkuz are considered to be an offshoot from the Gimirri. The Saka were regarded by the Babylonians as synonymous with the Gimirrai, the Sakā paradraya were the western Scythians or Sarmatians. Both the Sakā tigraxaudā and Sakā haumavargā are thought to be located in Central Asia east of the Caspian Sea, Sakā haumavargā is considered to be the same as Amyrgians, the Saka tribe in closest proximity to Bactria and Sogdiana. In the modern era, the archaeologist Hugo Winckler was the first to associate the Sakas with the Scyths, J. M. Sakā and Skuthai evidently constituted a generic name for the nomads on the northern frontiers. Persian sources often treat them as a tribe called the Saka. Modern scholars usually use the term Saka to refer to Iranian-speaking tribes who inhabited the Eastern Steppe, the Saka people were an Iranian people who spoke a language belonging to the Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages.
They are known to the ancient Greeks as Scythians and are attested in historical and archaeological records dating to around the 8th century BC. In the Achaemenid-era Old Persian inscriptions found at Persepolis, dated to the reign of Darius I, likewise an inscription dated to the reign of Xerxes I has them coupled with the Dahae people of Central Asia. The contemporary Greek historian Herodotus noted that the Achaemenid Persians called all of the Iranian Scythian peoples as the Saka. According to Herodotus, Cyrus the Great confronted the Massagetae, a related to the Saka. Darius the Great waged wars against the eastern Sakas, who fought him with three armies led by three kings according to Polyaenus, in 520–519 BC, Darius I defeated the Sakā tigraxaudā tribe and captured their king Skunkha
Dura-Europos, spelled Dura-Europus, was a Hellenistic and Roman border city built on an escarpment 90 metres above the right bank of the Euphrates river. It is located near the village of Salhiyé, in todays Syria, in 113 BC, Parthians conquered the city, and held it, with one brief Roman intermission, until 165 AD. Under Parthian rule, it became an important provincial administrative center, the Romans decisively captured Dura-Europos in 165 AD and greatly enlarged it as their easternmost stronghold in Mesopotamia, until it was captured by Sassanians after a siege in 256-7 AD. Its population was deported, and after it was abandoned, it was covered by sand and mud, Dura-Europos is extremely important for archaeological reasons. As it was abandoned after its conquest in 256-7 AD, nothing was built over it and its location on the edge of empires made for a co-mingling of cultural traditions, much of which was preserved under the citys ruins. Some remarkable finds have brought to light, including numerous temples, wall decorations, military equipment, tombs.
After being severely looted by the Islamic State in the ongoing Syrian Civil War, originally a fortress, it was founded in 303 BC with the name Dura by the Seleucids on the intersection of an east-west trade route and the trade route along the Euphrates. Dura controlled the crossing on the route between his newly founded cities of Antioch and Seleucia on the Tigris. Its rebuilding as a city built after the Hippodamian model. The traditional view of Dura-Europos as a caravan city is becoming nuanced by the discoveries of locally made manufactures and traces of close ties with Palmyra. Instead, Dura Europos owed its development to its role as a regional capital, in 113 BC, the Iranian Parthians conquered Dura-Europos, and held it, with one brief intermission, until 165 AD, when it was taken by the Romans. The Parthian period was a phase of expansion at Dura Europos—an expansion favored by abandonment of the military function. In the 1st century BC, it served as a fortress of the Parthian Empire.
The entirely original architecture of Dura Europos was perfected during the Parthian period and this period was characterized by a progressive evolution of Greek concepts toward new formulas in which regional traditions, particularly Babylonian ones, played an increasing role. These innovations affected both religious and domestic buildings, although Iranian influence is difficult to find in the architecture of Dura Europos, in figurative art the influence of Parthian art is evident. In 114 AD, the Emperor Trajan occupied the city for a couple of years, upon the death of Trajan in 117, Rome relinquished Mesopotamia to the Parthians. Dura was retaken by the Roman army of Lucius Verus during the Roman–Parthian War of 161–166, the townspeople however retained considerable freedom as a regional headquarters for the section of the river between the Khabur and modern Abu Kemal. As historian Ross Burns states, in exchange the military role was abandoned
The Achaemenid Empire, called the Persian Empire, was an empire based in Western Asia, founded by Cyrus the Great. The empires successes inspired similar systems in empires and it is noted in Western history as the antagonist of the Greek city-states during the Greco-Persian Wars and for the emancipation of the Jewish exiles in Babylon. The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, was built in a Hellenistic style in the empire as well. By the 7th century BC, the Persians had settled in the portion of the Iranian Plateau in the region of Persis. From this region, Cyrus the Great advanced to defeat the Medes, Alexander, an avid admirer of Cyrus the Great, conquered the empire in its entirety by 330 BC. Upon his death, most of the former territory came under the rule of the Ptolemaic Kingdom and Seleucid Empire. The Persian population of the central plateau reclaimed power by the second century BC under the Parthian Empire, the historical mark of the Achaemenid Empire went far beyond its territorial and military influences and included cultural, social and religious influences as well.
Many Athenians adopted Achaemenid customs in their lives in a reciprocal cultural exchange. The impact of Cyruss edict is mentioned in Judeo-Christian texts, the empire set the tone for the politics and history of modern Iran. Astronomical year numbering Dates are approximate, consult particular article for details Due to the duration of their reigns, Xerxes II. The Persian nation contains a number of tribes as listed here, the Pasargadae and Maspii, upon which all the other tribes are dependent. Of these, the Pasargadae are the most distinguished, they contain the clan of the Achaemenids from which spring the Perseid kings. Other tribes are the Panthialaei, Germanii, all of which are attached to the soil, the Achaemenid Empire was created by nomadic Persians. The Achaemenid Empire was not the first Iranian empire, as by 6th century BC another group of ancient Iranian peoples had established the short lived Median Empire. The Iranian peoples had arrived in the region of what is today Iran c.1000 BC and had for a number of centuries fallen under the domination of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, based in northern Mesopotamia.
However, the Medes and Persians, Cimmerians and Chaldeans played a role in the overthrow of the Assyrian empire. The term Achaemenid means of the family of the Achaemenis/Achaemenes, despite the derivation of the name, Achaemenes was himself a minor seventh-century ruler of the Anshan in southwestern Iran, and a vassal of Assyria. At some point in 550 BC, Cyrus rose in rebellion against the Medes, eventually conquering the Medes and creating the first Persian empire
Media is a region of north-western Iran, best known for having been the political and cultural base of the Medes. During the Achaemenid period, it comprised present-day Azarbaijan, Iranian Kurdistan, as a satrapy under Achaemenid rule, it would eventually encompass a wider region, stretching to southern Dagestan in the north. However, after the wars of Alexander the Great, the parts were separated and became known as Atropatene. In 678 BC, Deioces united the Median tribes of Media and his grandson Cyaxares managed to unite all Iranian tribes of Ancient Iran and made his empire a major power. When Cyaxares died he was succeeded by his son, after Cyruss victory against Astyages, the Medes were subjected to their close kin, the Persians. Interestingly, at the beginning the Greek historians referred to the Achaemenid Empire as a Median empire, another rebellion, in 409 BC, against Darius II was of short duration. But the Iranian tribes to the north, especially the Cadusii, were always troublesome, caucasian Albania was rapidly incorporated by the Achaemenid Persians and were under the command of the satrapy of Media in the period.
Following Alexanders invasion of the satrapy of Media in the summer of 330 BC, he appointed as satrap a former general of Darius III the Great named Atropates in 328 BC, according to Arrian. While southern Media, with Ecbatana, passed to the rule of Antigonus, the capital of Atropatene was Gazaca in the central plain, and the castle Phraaspa, discovered on the Araz river by archaeologists in April 2005. Atropatene is that country of western Asia which was least of all countries influenced by Hellenism. Southern Media remained a province of the Seleucid Empire for a century and a half, Media was surrounded everywhere by Greek towns, in pursuance of Alexanders plan to protect it from neighboring barbarians, according to Polybius. Only Ecbatana retained its old character, but Rhagae became the Greek town Europus, and with it Strabo names Laodicea, Apamea Heraclea or Achais. Most of them were founded by Seleucus I and his son Antiochus I, in 221 BC, the satrap Molon tried to make himself independent, together with his brother Alexander, satrap of Persis, but they were defeated and killed by Antiochus the Great.
From this time Media remained subject to the Arsacids or Parthians, who changed the name of Rhagae, or Europus, into Arsacia, from the Parthians, it passed in 226 to the Sassanids, together with Atropatene. The Medes spoke Median, a north-western Iranian language
Babylonia was an ancient Akkadian-speaking state and cultural area based in central-southern Mesopotamia. A small Amorite-ruled state emerged in 1894 BC, which contained at this time the city of Babylon. Babylon greatly expanded during the reign of Hammurabi in the first half of the 18th century BC, during the reign of Hammurabi and afterwards, Babylonia was called Māt Akkadī the country of Akkad in the Akkadian language. It was often involved in rivalry with its older fellow Akkadian-speaking state of Assyria in northern Mesopotamia and it retained the Sumerian language for religious use, but by the time Babylon was founded, this was no longer a spoken language, having been wholly subsumed by Akkadian. The earliest mention of the city of Babylon can be found in a tablet from the reign of Sargon of Akkad. During the 3rd millennium BC, a cultural symbiosis occurred between Sumerian and Akkadian-speakers, which included widespread bilingualism. The influence of Sumerian on Akkadian and vice versa is evident in all areas, from lexical borrowing on a scale, to syntactic, morphological.
This has prompted scholars to refer to Sumerian and Akkadian in the millennium as a sprachbund. Traditionally, the religious center of all Mesopotamia was the city of Nippur. The empire eventually disintegrated due to decline, climate change and civil war. Sumer rose up again with the Third Dynasty of Ur in the late 22nd century BC and they seem to have gained ascendancy over most of the territory of the Akkadian kings of Assyria in northern Mesopotamia for a time. The states of the south were unable to stem the Amorite advance, King Ilu-shuma of the Old Assyrian Empire in a known inscription describes his exploits to the south as follows, The freedom of the Akkadians and their children I established. I established their freedom from the border of the marshes and Ur and Nippur, past scholars originally extrapolated from this text that it means he defeated the invading Amorites to the south, but there is no explicit record of that. More recently, the text has been taken to mean that Asshur supplied the south with copper from Anatolia and these policies were continued by his successors Erishum I and Ikunum.
During the first centuries of what is called the Amorite period and his reign was concerned with establishing statehood amongst a sea of other minor city states and kingdoms in the region. However Sumuabum appears never to have bothered to give himself the title of King of Babylon, suggesting that Babylon itself was only a minor town or city. He was followed by Sumu-la-El, Apil-Sin, each of whom ruled in the same manner as Sumuabum. Sin-Muballit was the first of these Amorite rulers to be regarded officially as a king of Babylon, the Elamites occupied huge swathes of southern Mesopotamia, and the early Amorite rulers were largely held in vassalage to Elam
The Han dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms period. Spanning over four centuries, the Han period is considered an age in Chinese history. To this day, Chinas majority ethnic group refers to itself as the Han people and it was founded by the rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han, and briefly interrupted by the Xin dynasty of the former regent Wang Mang. This interregnum separates the Han dynasty into two periods, the Western Han or Former Han and the Eastern Han or Later Han, the emperor was at the pinnacle of Han society. He presided over the Han government but shared power with both the nobility and appointed ministers who came largely from the gentry class. The Han Empire was divided into areas controlled by the central government using an innovation inherited from the Qin known as commanderies. These kingdoms gradually lost all vestiges of their independence, particularly following the Rebellion of the Seven States, from the reign of Emperor Wu onward, the Chinese court officially sponsored Confucianism in education and court politics, synthesized with the cosmology of scholars such as Dong Zhongshu.
This policy endured until the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1911 AD, the Han dynasty was an age of economic prosperity and saw a significant growth of the money economy first established during the Zhou dynasty. The coinage issued by the government mint in 119 BC remained the standard coinage of China until the Tang dynasty. The period saw a number of limited institutional innovations, the Xiongnu, a nomadic steppe confederation, defeated the Han in 200 BC and forced the Han to submit as a de facto inferior partner, but continued their raids on the Han borders. Emperor Wu of Han launched several campaigns against them. The ultimate Han victory in these wars eventually forced the Xiongnu to accept vassal status as Han tributaries, the territories north of Hans borders were quickly overrun by the nomadic Xianbei confederation. Imperial authority was seriously challenged by large Daoist religious societies which instigated the Yellow Turban Rebellion. When Cao Pi, King of Wei, usurped the throne from Emperor Xian, following Liu Bangs victory in the Chu–Han Contention, the resulting Han dynasty was named after the Hanzhong fief.
Chinas first imperial dynasty was the Qin dynasty, the Qin unified the Chinese Warring States by conquest, but their empire became unstable after the death of the first emperor Qin Shi Huangdi. Within four years, the authority had collapsed in the face of rebellion. Although Xiang Yu proved to be a commander, Liu Bang defeated him at Battle of Gaixia. Liu Bang assumed the title emperor at the urging of his followers and is known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu, Changan was chosen as the new capital of the reunified empire under Han
The Scythian languages belonged to the Eastern branch of the Iranian languages. Ancient Greek historians spoke of Scythians who lived north of the Black Sea, Persians used the term Saka, for approximately the same people who lived further east. Although the ancients did not clearly distinguish the two terms, modern scholars usually use Saka to refer to Iranian-speaking tribes who inhabited the central steppe, the Chinese used the term Sai, for Sakas who had moved into the Tarim Basin. Assyrian sources speak of Iskuzai or Askuzai south of the Caucasus who were probably Scythians, the relationships between the peoples living in these widely separated regions remains unclear. Their westernmost territories during the Iron Age were known to classical Greek sources as Scythia, the Scythians were among the earliest peoples to master mounted warfare. In the 8th century BC they possibly raided Zhou China, soon after they expanded westwards and dislodged the Cimmerians from power on the Pontic Steppe.
Based in what is modern-day Ukraine, Southern European Russia, and Crimea, the Scythians established and controlled a vast trade network connecting Greece, Persia and China, perhaps contributing to the contemporary flourishing of those civilizations. Settled metalworkers made portable decorative objects for the Scythians and these objects survive mainly in metal, forming a distinctive Scythian art. In the 7th century BC the Scythians crossed the Caucasus and frequently raided the Middle East along with the Cimmerians, around 650–630 BC, Scythians briefly dominated the Medes of the western Iranian Plateau, stretching their power all the way to the borders of Egypt. After losing control over Media the Scythians continued intervening in Middle Eastern affairs, the Scythians subsequently engaged in frequent conflicts with the Achaemenid Empire. The western Scythians suffered a defeat against Macedonia in the 4th century BC, and were subsequently gradually conquered by the Sarmatians. In Eastern Europe, by the early Medieval Ages, the Scythians, Scythians kept herds of horses and sheep, lived in tent-covered wagons, and fought with bows and arrows on horseback.
They developed a culture characterized by opulent tombs, fine metalwork. Sulimirski views the Histories of Herodotus as the most important literary source relating to ancient Scyths, Herodotus provides a depiction that can be related to the results of archaeological research, but apparently knew little of the eastern part of Scythia. He did say that the ancient Persians called all the Scyths Σάκαι and their principal tribe, the Royal Scyths, ruled the vast lands occupied by the nation as a whole, calling themselves Σκώλοτοι. The restored Scythian name is *Skuda, which among the Pontic or Royal Scythians became *Skula, in which the d has been regularly replaced by an l. Saka, on the hand, Szemerényi relates to an Iranian verbal root, sak-, go, roam. The name does appear somewhat further east than the Achaemenid Empire, whether they adopted the Achaemenid name, or Saka came to be an endonym, it is not clear