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
For most of their history, the leading Gondopharid kings held Taxila as their residence, but during their last few years of existence the capital shifted between Kabul and Peshawar. Gondophares I originally seems to have been a ruler of Seistan in what is today eastern Iran, around 20–10 BCE, he made conquests in the former Indo-Scythian kingdom, perhaps after the death of the important ruler Azes. Gondophares became the ruler of areas comprising Arachosia, Sindh and the Kabul valley and these smaller dynasts included the Apracarajas themselves, and Indo-Scythian satraps such as Zeionises and Rajuvula, as well as anonymous Scythians who struck imitations of Azes coins. The Ksaharatas held sway in Gujarat, perhaps just outside Gondophares dominions, after the death of Gondophares I, the empire started to fragment. The name or title Gondophares was adapted by Sarpedones, who become Gondophares II and was son of the first Gondophares. Even though he claimed to be the ruler, Sarpedones’ rule was shaky and he issued a fragmented coinage in Sind, eastern Punjab.
The most important successor was Abdagases, Gondophares’ nephew, who ruled in Punjab, after a short reign, Sarpedones seems to have been succeeded by Orthagnes, who became Gondophares III Gadana. Orthagnes ruled mostly in Seistan and Arachosia, with Abdagases further east, during the first decades AD, after 20 AD, a king named Sases, a nephew of the Apracaraja ruler Aspavarma, took over Abdagases’ territories and became Gondophares IV Sases. According to Senior, this is the Gondophares referred to in the Takht-i-Bahi inscription, the last king Pacores only ruled in Seistan and Kandahar. The city of Taxila is thought to have been a capital of the Indo-Parthians, large strata were excavated by Sir John Marshall with a quantity of Parthian-style artifacts. The nearby temple of Jandial is usually interpreted as a Zoroastrian fire temple from the period of the Indo-Parthians, if the account is even historical, Saint Thomas may have encountered one of the kings who bore the same title. The Greek philosopher Apollonius of Tyana is related by Philostratus in Life of Apollonius Tyana to have visited India, the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea is a surviving 1st century guide to the routes commonly being used for navigating the Arabian Sea.
Before it there lies a small island, and inland behind it is the metropolis of Scythia, Minnagara, it is subject to Parthian princes who are constantly driving each other out. Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, Chap 38 An inscription from Takht-i-Bahi bears two dates, one in the regnal year 26 of the Maharaja Guduvhara, and the year 103 of an unknown era and they are thought to have retained Zoroastrianism, being of Iranian extraction themselves. This Iranian mythological system was inherited from them by the Kushans who ruled from the Peshawar-Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa region of Pakistan, on their coins and in the art of Gandhara, Indo-Parthians are depicted with short crossover jackets and large baggy trousers, possibly supplemented by chap-like over-trousers. Their jackets are adorned with rows of decorative rings or medals and their hair is usually bushy and contained with a headband, a practise largely adopted by the Parthians from the 1st century CE. Individuals in Indo-Parthian attire are sometimes shown as actors in Buddhist devotional scenes and these archaeological researches provided a quantity of Hellenistic artifacts combined with elements of Buddhist worship.
Some other temples, such as nearby Jandial may have used as a Zoroastrian fire temple
It roughly corresponds to the territory on the Iranian plateau and its bordering plains. It is referred to as Greater Persia, while the Encyclopædia Iranica uses the term Iranian Cultural Continent. The term Iran is not limited to the state of Iran. The concept of Greater Iran has its source in the history of the Achaemenid Empire in Persis, the Treaty of Gulistan in 1813 resulted in Iran ceding Dagestan and most of Azerbaijan to Russia. After the Russo-Persian War, the Turkmanchey Treaty of 1828 ended centuries of Iranian control of its Caucasian provinces, in 1935, the endonym Iran was adopted as the official international name of Persia by its ruler Reza Shah. The name “Irān“, meaning “land of the Aryans”, is the New Persian continuation of the old genitive plural aryānām, the Avestan evidence is confirmed by Greek sources, Arianē is spoken of as being between Persia and the Indian subcontinent. However, this is a Greek pronunciation of the name Haroyum/Haraiva, a land listed separately from the homeland of the Aryans.
While up until the end of the Parthian period in the 3rd century CE, the idea of “Irān“ had an ethnic, the idea of an “Iranian“ empire or kingdom in a political sense is a purely Sasanian one. It was the result of a convergence of interests between the new dynasty and the Zoroastrian clergy, as we can deduce from the available evidence and this convergence gave rise to the idea of an Ērān-šahr “Kingdom of the Iranians, ” which was “ēr“. Richard Nelson Frye defines Greater Iran as including much of the Caucasus, Afghanistan and Central Asia, with influences extending to China. According to Frye, Iran means all lands and peoples where Iranian languages were and are spoken, and this view, even though common among serious scholars, is almost certainly overstated. To the Ancient Greeks, Greater Iran ended at the Indus, according to J. P. Mallory and Douglas Q. Adams most of Western greater Iran spoke Southwestern Iranian languages in the Achaemenid era while the Eastern territory spoke Eastern Iranian languages related to Avestan.
In the words of Richard Nelson Frye, Only in modern times did western colonial intervention, as Patrick Clawson states, ethnic nationalism is largely a nineteenth century phenomenon, even if it is fashionable to retroactively extend it. Greater Iran however has more of a cultural super-state, rather than a political one to begin with. A detailed list of these follows in this article. Greater Iran is called Iranzamin which means The Land of Iran, Iranzamin was in the mythical times opposed to the Turanzamin the Land of Turan, which was located in the upper part of Central Asia. In the pre-Islamic period, Iranians distinguished two main regions in the territory they ruled, one Iran and the other Aniran, by Iran they meant all the regions inhabited by ancient Iranian peoples, this region was more extensive in the past
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
The Afsharids were members of an Iranian dynasty which originated from the Turkic Afshar tribe in Irans north-eastern province of Khorasan, ruling Persia in the mid-eighteenth century. The dynasty was founded in 1736 by the brilliant military commander Nader Shah, after his death, most of his empire was divided between the Zands, Durranis and the Caucasian khanates, while Afsharid rule was confined to a small local state in Khorasan. Finally, the Afsharid dynasty was overthrown by Mohammad Khan Qajar in 1796, the dynasty was named after the Turcoman Afshar tribe from Khorasan in north-east Iran to which Nader belonged. The Afshars had originally migrated from Turkestan to Azerbaijan in the 13th century, Nader belonged to the Qereqlu branch of the Afshars. Nader Shah was born into a humble family from the Afshar tribe of Khorasan. His path to power began when the Ghilzai Mir Mahmud Hotaki overthrew the weakened and disintegrated Safavid shah Sultan Husayn in 1722, at the same time and Russian forces seized Iranian land.
By the 1724 Constantinople Treaty, they agreed to divide the areas between themselves. Nader fought to regain the lands lost to the Ottomans and Russians, while he was away in the east fighting the Ghilzais, Tahmasp allowed the Ottomans to retake territory in the west. Nader, had Tahmasp deposed in favour of his baby son Abbas III in 1732. Four years later, after he had recaptured most of the lost Persian lands and he subsequently made the Russians cede the taken territories taken in 1722–23 through the Treaty of Resht of 1732 and the Treaty of Ganja of 1735. He agreed and thus became a figure of national importance, when Nader discovered that Fath Ali Khan was in treacherous correspondence with Malek Mahmud and revealed this to the shah, Tahmasp executed him and made Nader the chief of his army instead. Nader subsequently took on the title Tahmasp Qoli, in late 1726, Nader recaptured Mashhad. Nader chose not to directly on Isfahan. First, in May 1729, he defeated the Abdali Afghans near Herat, many of the Abdali Afghans subsequently joined his army.
Ashraf fled and Nader finally entered Isfahan, handing it over to Tahmasp in December, the citizens rejoicing was cut short when Nader plundered them to pay his army. Tahmasp made Nader governor over many eastern provinces, including his native Khorasan, Nader pursued and defeated Ashraf, who was murdered by his own followers. In 1738 Nader Shah besieged and destroyed the last Hotaki seat of power at Kandahar and he built a new city near Kandahar, which he named Naderabad. At the same time, the Abdali Afghans rebelled and besieged Mashhad, forcing Nader to suspend his campaign and save his brother and it took Nader fourteen months to crush this uprising
The Ilkhanate, spelled Il-khanate, was established as a khanate that formed the southwestern sector of the Mongol Empire, ruled by the Mongol House of Hulagu. It was founded in the 13th century and was based primarily in Iran as well as neighboring territories, such as present-day Azerbaijan and the central and eastern parts of present-day Turkey. The Ilkhanate was originally based on the campaigns of Genghis Khan in the Khwarazmian Empire in 1219–24 and was founded by Hulagu Khan, with the fragmentation of the Mongol Empire after 1259 it became a functionally separate khanate. At its greatest extent, the state expanded into territories that comprise most of Iran, Armenia, Georgia, Turkey, western Afghanistan. Later Ilkhanate rulers, beginning with Ghazan in 1295, would convert to Islam, according to the historian Rashid-al-Din Hamadani, Kublai Khan granted Hulagu the title of Ilkhan after his defeat of Ariq Böke. The term il-Khan means subordinate khan and refers to their initial deference to Möngke Khan, the title Ilkhan, borne by the descendants of Hulagu and other Borjigin princes in Persia, does not materialize in the sources until after 1260.
When Muhammad II of Khwarezm executed a contingent of merchants dispatched by the Mongols, the Mongols overran the empire, occupying the major cities and population centers between 1219 and 1221. Persian Iraq was ravaged by the Mongol detachment under Jebe and Subedei, Transoxiana came under Mongol control after the invasion. The undivided area west of the Transoxiana was the inheritance of Genghis Khans Borjigin family, the families of the latters four sons appointed their officials under the Great Khans governors, Chin-Temür, and Korguz, in that region. Muhammads son Jalal ad-Din Mingburnu returned to Iran in c.1224 after his exile in India, the rival Turkic states, which were all that remained of his fathers empire, quickly declared their allegiance to Jalal. He repulsed the first Mongol attempt to take Central Persia, Jalal ad-Din was overwhelmed and crushed by Chormaqans army sent by the Great Khan Ögedei in 1231. During the Mongol expedition and the southern Persian dynasties in Fars and Kerman voluntarily submitted to the Mongols, to the west and the rest of Persia was secured by Chormaqan.
The Mongols invaded Armenia and Georgia in 1234 or 1236, completing the conquest of the Kingdom of Georgia in 1238 and they began to attack the western parts of Greater Armenia, which was under the Seljuks, the following year. In 1236 Ögedei was commanded to raise up Khorassan and proceeded to populate Herat, the Mongol military governors mostly made camp in the Mughan plain in what is now Azerbaijan. Realizing the danger posed by the Mongols, the rulers of Mosul, Chormaqan divided the Transcaucasia region into three districts based on the Mongol military hierarchy. In Georgia, the population was divided into eight tumens. By 1237 the Mongol Empire had subjugated most of Persia, Georgia, as well as all of Afghanistan and Kashmir. After the battle of Köse Dağ in 1243, the Mongols under Baiju occupied Anatolia, while the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm and the Empire of Trebizond became vassals of the Mongols
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 Kushan Empire was a syncretic empire, formed by Yuezhi, in the Bactrian territories in the early 1st century. Emperor Kanishka was a patron of Buddhism, however, as Kushans expanded southward. The Kushans were one of five branches of the Yuezhi confederation, the Kushans possibly used the Greek language initially for administrative purposes, but soon began to use Bactrian language. Kanishka sent his armies north of the Karakoram mountains, capturing territories as far as Kashgar and Yarkant, in the Tarim Basin of modern-day Xinjiang, China. A direct road from Gandhara to China remained under Kushan control for more than a century, encouraging travel across the Karakoram, the Kushan dynasty had diplomatic contacts with the Roman Empire, Sasanian Persia, Aksumite Empire and Han China. The Kushan empire fragmented into semi-independent kingdoms in the 3rd century AD, in the 4th century, the Guptas, an Indian dynasty pressed from the east. The last of the Kushan and Sasanian kingdoms were overwhelmed by invaders from the north.
Historian H. G. Rawlinson states that the Kushana Period is a prelude to the age of Guptas. Chinese sources describe the Guishuang, i. e, as the historian John E. Hill has put it, For well over a century. There have been arguments about the ethnic and linguistic origins of the Da Yuezhi and the Tochari. The five tribes constituting the Yuezhi are known in Chinese history as Xiūmì, Guìshuāng, Shuāngmǐ, Xìdùn, the Yuezhi reached the Hellenic kingdom of Greco-Bactria around 135 BC. The displaced Greek dynasties resettled to the southeast in areas of the Hindu Kush, some traces remain of the presence of the Kushans in the area of Bactria and Sogdiana. Archaeological structures are known in Takht-I-Sangin, Surkh Kotal, and in the palace of Khalchayan, various sculptures and friezes are known, representing horse-riding archers, and significantly men with artificially deformed skulls, such as the Kushan prince of Khalchayan. The Chinese first referred to people as the Yuezhi and said they established the Kushan Empire.
On the ruins of ancient Hellenistic cities such as Ai-Khanoum, the Kushans are known to have built fortresses, the earliest documented ruler, and the first one to proclaim himself as a Kushan ruler, was Heraios. He calls himself a tyrant on his coins, and exhibits skull deformation and he may have been an ally of the Greeks, and he shared the same style of coinage. Heraios may have been the father of the first Kushan emperor Kujula Kadphises, Ban Gus Book of Han tells us the Kushans divided up Bactria in 128 BC. He invaded Anxi, and took the Gaofu region and he defeated the whole of the kingdoms of Puda and Jibin
The empire was founded by Timur, a warlord of Turco-Mongol lineage who established the empire between 1370 and his death in 1405. He envisioned himself as the restorer of the Mongol Empire of Genghis Khan. In the 16th century, Babur, a Timurid prince from Ferghana, invaded Kabulistan and established a kingdom there. Timur conquered large parts of Central Asia, primarily Transoxiana and Khorasan, from 1363 onwards with various alliances, acting officially in the name of Suurgatmish, the Chagatai khan, he subjugated Transoxania and Khwarazm in the years that followed. The western Chagatai khans were continually dominated by Timurid princes in the 15th and 16th centuries, Timur began a campaign westwards in 1380, invading the various successor states of the Ilkhanate. By 1389, he had removed the Kartids from Herat and advanced into mainland Persia where he enjoyed many successes and this included the capture of Isfahan in 1387, the removal of the Muzaffarids from Shiraz in 1393, and the expulsion of the Jalayirids from Baghdad.
In 1394–95, he triumphed over the Golden Horde, following his campaign in Georgia. Tokhtamysh, the khan of the Golden Horde, was a rival to Timur in the region. He subjugated Multan and Dipalpur in modern-day Pakistan in 1398, Timur gave the north Indian territories to a non-family member, Khizr Khan, whose Sayyid dynasty replaced the defeated Tughlaq dynasty of the Sultanate of Delhi. Delhi became a vassal of the Timurids but obtained independence in the following the death of Timur. In 1400–1401 he conquered Aleppo and eastern Anatolia, in 1401 he destroyed Baghdad and this made Timur the most preeminent Muslim ruler of the time, as the Ottoman Empire plunged into civil war. Meanwhile, he transformed Samarkand into a capital and seat of his realm. Timur appointed his sons and grandsons to the governorships of the different parts of his empire. After his death in 1405, the family fell into disputes and civil wars. Due to the fact that the Persian cities were desolated by wars, the cost of Timurs conquests amount to the deaths of possibly 17 million people.
Shahrukh Mirza, fourth ruler of the Timurids, dealt with Kara Koyunlu, Jahan Shah drove the Timurids to eastern Iran after 1447 and briefly occupied Herat in 1458. After the death of Jahan Shah, Uzun Hasan, bey of the Ak Koyunlu, by 1500, the divided and wartorn Timurid Empire had lost control of most of its territory, and in the following years was effectively pushed back on all fronts. Persia, the Caucasus and Eastern Anatolia fell quickly to the Shiite Safavid dynasty, secured by Shah Ismail I in the following decade
Indo-Scythians is a term used to refer to Scythians, who migrated into parts of central and western South Asia from the middle of the 2nd century BC to the 4th century AD. The first Saka king in south Asia was Maues who established Saka power in Gandhara, Indo-Scythian rule in northwestern India ended with the last Western Satrap Rudrasimha III in 395 CE who was defeated by the Indian Emperor Chandragupta II of the Gupta Empire. The power of the Saka rulers started to decline in the 2nd century CE after the Indo-Scythians were defeated by the south Indian Emperor Gautamiputra Satakarni of the Satavahana dynasty, the Saka kingdom was completely destroyed by Chandragupta II of the Gupta Empire in the 4th century. The invasion of India by Scythian tribes from Central Asia, often referred to as the Indo-Scythian invasion, ancient Roman historians including Arrian and Claudius Ptolemy have mentioned that the ancient Sakas were basically nomads. However, Italo Ronca, in his study of Ptolemys chapter vi, marks the statement, The land of the Sakai belongs to nomads, they have no towns but dwell in forests.
The ancestors of the Indo-Scythians are thought to be Sakas tribes, one group of Indo-European speakers that makes an early appearance on the Xinjiang stage is the Saka. According to these ancient sources Modu Shanyu of the Xiongnu tribe of Mongolia attacked the Yuezhi, leaving behind a remnant of their number, most of the population moved westwards. Around 175 BC, the Yuezhi tribes, were defeated by the Xiongnu tribes, they displaced the Sakas, who migrated south into Ferghana and Sogdiana. According to the Chinese historical chronicles, The Yuezhi attacked the king of the Sai who moved a distance to the south. The Sakas seem to have entered the territory of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom around 145 BC, the Sakas called home, an area of Southern Afghanistan, called after them Sistan. From there, they expanded into present day Iran as well as northern India, where they established various kingdoms. The region is known as Seistan. The presence of the Sakas in Sakastan in the 1st century BC is mentioned by Isidore of Charax in his Parthian stations, the first Indo-Scythian kingdom in south western Asia was located in Pakistan in the areas from Abiria to Surastrene, from around 110 to 80 BC.
They progressively further moved north into Indo-Greek territory until the conquests of Maues, before it there lies a small island, and inland behind it is the metropolis of Scythia, Minnagara. The Indo-Scythians ultimately established a kingdom in the northwest, based in Taxila, in the southeast, the Indo-Scythians invaded the area of Ujjain, but were subsequently repelled in 57 BC by the Malwa king Vikramaditya. To commemorate the event Vikramaditya established the Vikrama era, a specific Indian calendar starting in 57 BC, more than a century later, in AD78 the Sakas would again invade Ujjain and establish the Saka era, marking the beginning of the long-lived Saka Western Satraps kingdom. Maues first conquered Gandhara and Taxila around 80 BCE, but his kingdom disintegrated after his death, in the east, the Indian king Vikrama retook Ujjain from the Indo-Scythians, celebrating his victory by the creation of the Vikrama Era. Indo-Greek kings again ruled after Maues, and prospered, as indicated by the profusion of coins from Kings Apollodotus II, not until Azes I, in 55 BC, did the Indo-Scythians take final control of northwestern India, with his victory over Hippostratos
Arachosia /ærəˈkoʊsiə/ is the Hellenized name of an ancient satrapy in the eastern part of the Achaemenid, Parthian, Greco-Bactrian, and Indo-Scythian empires. Arachosia was centred on the Arghandab valley in modern-day southern Afghanistan, the main river of Arachosia was called Arachōtós, now known as the Arghandab River, a tributary of the Helmand River. The Greek term Arachosia corresponds to the Aryan land of Harauti which was around modern-day Helmand, the Arachosian capital or metropolis was called Alexandria Arachosia or Alexandropolis and lay in what is today Kandahar in Afghanistan. Arachosia was a part of the region of ancient Ariana, Arachosia is the Latinized form of Greek Ἀραχωσία - Arachōsíā. The same region appears in the Avestan Vidēvdāt under the indigenous dialect form Haraxvaitī-, in Old Persian inscriptions, the region is referred to as
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