The Huns were a nomadic people who lived in Central Asia, the Caucasus, Eastern Europe, between the 4th and 6th century AD. According to European tradition, they were first reported living east of the Volga River, in an area, part of Scythia at the time. By 370 AD, the Huns had arrived on the Volga, by 430 the Huns had established a vast, if short-lived, dominion in Europe, conquering the Goths and many other Germanic peoples living outside of Roman borders, causing many others to flee into Roman territory; the Huns under their King Attila made frequent and devastating raids into the Eastern Roman Empire. In 451, the Huns invaded the Western Roman province of Gaul, where they fought a combined army of Romans and Visigoths at the Battle of the Catalaunian Fields, in 452 they invaded Italy. After Attila's death in 453, the Huns ceased to be a major threat to Rome and lost much of their empire following the Battle of Nedao. Descendants of the Huns, or successors with similar names, are recorded by neighbouring populations to the south and west as having occupied parts of Eastern Europe and Central Asia from about the 4th to 6th centuries.
Variants of the Hun name are recorded in the Caucasus until the early 8th century. In the 18th century, the French scholar Joseph de Guignes became the first to propose a link between the Huns and the Xiongnu people, who were northern neighbours of China in the 3rd century BC. Since Guignes' time, considerable scholarly effort has been devoted to investigating such a connection; the issue remains controversial. Their relationships to other peoples known collectively as the Iranian Huns are disputed. Little is known about Hunnic culture and few archaeological remains have been conclusively associated with the Huns, they are believed to have used bronze cauldrons and to have performed artificial cranial deformation. No description exists of the Hunnic religion of the time of Attila, but practices such as divination are attested, the existence of shamans likely, it is known that the Huns had a language of their own, however only three words and personal names attest to it. Economically, they are known to have practiced a form of nomadic pastoralism.
They do not seem to have had a unified government when they entered Europe, but rather to have developed a unified tribal leadership in the course of their wars with the Romans. The Huns ruled over a variety of peoples, who spoke various languages and some of whom maintained their own rulers, their main military technique was mounted archery. The Huns may have stimulated the Great Migration, a contributing factor in the collapse of the Western Roman Empire; the memory of the Huns lived on in various Christian saints' lives, where the Huns play the roles of antagonists, as well as in Germanic heroic legend, where the Huns are variously antagonists or allies to the Germanic main figures. In Hungary, a legend developed based on medieval chronicles that the Hungarians, the Székely ethnic group in particular, are descended from the Huns. However, mainstream scholarship dismisses a close connection between the Huns. Modern culture associates the Huns with extreme cruelty and barbarism; the origins of the Huns and their links to other steppe people remain uncertain: scholars agree that they originated in Central Asia but disagree on the specifics of their origins.
Classical sources assert that they appeared in Europe around 370. Most Roman writers' attempts to elucidate the origins of the Huns equated them with earlier steppe peoples. Roman writers repeated a tale that the Huns had entered the domain of the Goths while they were pursuing a wild stag, or else one of their cows that had gotten loose, across the Kerch Strait into Crimea. Discovering the land good, they attacked the Goths. Jordanes' Getica relates that the Goths held the Huns to be offspring of "unclean spirits" and Gothic witches. Since Joseph de Guignes in the 18th century, modern historians have associated the Huns who appeared on the borders of Europe in the 4th century AD with the Xiongnu who had invaded China from the territory of present-day Mongolia between the 3rd century BC and the 2nd century AD. Due to the devastating defeat by the Chinese Han dynasty, the northern branch of the Xiongnu had retreated north-westward. Scholars discussed the relationship between the Xungnu, the Huns, a number of people in central Asia were known as or came to be identified with the name "Hun" or "Iranian Huns", the Chionites, the Kidarites, the Hephthalites being the most prominent.
Otto J. Maenchen-Helfen was the first to challenge the traditional approach, based on the study of written sources, to emphasize the importance of archaeological research. Since Maenchen-Helfen's work, the identification of the Xiongnu as the Huns' ancestors has become controversial. Additionally, several scholars have questioned the identification of the "Iranian Huns" with the European Huns. Walter Pohl cautions that none of the great confederations of steppe warriors was ethnically homogenous, the same name was used by different groups for reasons of prestige, or by outsiders to describe their lifestyle or geographic origin, it is therefore futile to speculate about identity or blood relationships between Hiung-nu, Attila's Huns, for instance. All we can safely say is that the name Huns, in
Russia the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres, Russia is by far or by a considerable margin the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, the ninth most populous, with about 146.77 million people as of 2019, including Crimea. About 77 % of the population live in the European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is one of the largest cities in the world and the second largest city in Europe. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Estonia, Latvia and Poland, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, China and North Korea, it shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U. S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.
The East Slavs emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Founded and ruled by a Varangian warrior elite and their descendants, the medieval state of Rus arose in the 9th century. In 988 it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Rus' disintegrated into a number of smaller states; the Grand Duchy of Moscow reunified the surrounding Russian principalities and achieved independence from the Golden Horde. By the 18th century, the nation had expanded through conquest and exploration to become the Russian Empire, the third largest empire in history, stretching from Poland on the west to Alaska on the east. Following the Russian Revolution, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic became the largest and leading constituent of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the world's first constitutionally socialist state; the Soviet Union played a decisive role in the Allied victory in World War II, emerged as a recognized superpower and rival to the United States during the Cold War.
The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite and the launching of the first humans in space. By the end of 1990, the Soviet Union had the world's second largest economy, largest standing military in the world and the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, twelve independent republics emerged from the USSR: Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and the Baltic states regained independence: Estonia, Lithuania, it is governed as a federal semi-presidential republic. Russia's economy ranks as the twelfth largest by nominal GDP and sixth largest by purchasing power parity in 2018. Russia's extensive mineral and energy resources are the largest such reserves in the world, making it one of the leading producers of oil and natural gas globally; the country is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.
Russia is a great power as well as a regional power and has been characterised as a potential superpower. It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and an active global partner of ASEAN, as well as a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the G20, the Council of Europe, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Trade Organization, as well as being the leading member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and one of the five members of the Eurasian Economic Union, along with Armenia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan; the name Russia is derived from Rus', a medieval state populated by the East Slavs. However, this proper name became more prominent in the history, the country was called by its inhabitants "Русская Земля", which can be translated as "Russian Land" or "Land of Rus'". In order to distinguish this state from other states derived from it, it is denoted as Kievan Rus' by modern historiography.
The name Rus itself comes from the early medieval Rus' people, Swedish merchants and warriors who relocated from across the Baltic Sea and founded a state centered on Novgorod that became Kievan Rus. An old Latin version of the name Rus' was Ruthenia applied to the western and southern regions of Rus' that were adjacent to Catholic Europe; the current name of the country, Россия, comes from the Byzantine Greek designation of the Rus', Ρωσσία Rossía—spelled Ρωσία in Modern Greek. The standard way to refer to citizens of Russia is rossiyane in Russian. There are two Russian words which are commonly
Tajikistan the Republic of Tajikistan, is a mountainous, landlocked country in Central Asia with an area of 143,100 km2 and an estimated population of 8.7 million people as of 2016. It is bordered by Afghanistan to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, China to the east; the traditional homelands of the Tajik people include present-day Tajikistan as well as parts of Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. The territory that now constitutes Tajikistan was home to several ancient cultures, including the city of Sarazm of the Neolithic and the Bronze Age, was home to kingdoms ruled by people of different faiths and cultures, including the Oxus civilisation, Andronovo culture, Nestorian Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Islam; the area has been ruled by numerous empires and dynasties, including the Achaemenid Empire, Sasanian Empire, Hephthalite Empire, Samanid Empire, Mongol Empire, Timurid dynasty, the Russian Empire, subsequently the Soviet Union. Within the Soviet Union, the country's modern borders were drawn when it was part of Uzbekistan as an autonomous republic before becoming a full-fledged Soviet republic in 1929.
On 9 September 1991, Tajikistan became an independent sovereign nation when the Soviet Union disintegrated. A civil war was fought immediately after independence, lasting from 1992 to 1997. Since the end of the war, newly established political stability and foreign aid have allowed the country's economy to grow. Like all other Central Asian neighbouring states, the country, led by President Emomali Rahmon since 1994, has been criticised by a number of non-governmental organizations for authoritarian leadership, lack of religious freedom and widespread violations of human rights. Tajikistan is a presidential republic consisting of four provinces. Most of Tajikistan's 8.7 million people belong to the Tajik ethnic group. Many Tajiks speak Russian as their second language. While the state is constitutionally secular, Islam is practiced by 98% of the population. In the Gorno-Badakhshan Oblast of Tajikistan, despite its sparse population, there is large linguistic diversity where Rushani, Ishkashimi and Tajik are some of the languages spoken.
Mountains cover more than 90% of the country. It has a transition economy, dependent on remittances and cotton production. Tajikistan is a member of the United Nations, CIS, OSCE, OIC, ECO, SCO and CSTO as well as an NATO PfP partner. Tajikistan means the "Land of the Tajiks"; the suffix "-stan" is Persian for "place of" or "country" and Tajik is, most the name of a pre-Islamic tribe. According to the Library of Congress's 1997 Country Study of Tajikistan, it is difficult to definitively state the origins of the word "Tajik" because the term is "embroiled in twentieth-century political disputes about whether Turkic or Iranian peoples were the original inhabitants of Central Asia."Tajikistan appeared as Tadjikistan or Tadzhikistan in English prior to 1991. This is due to a transliteration from the Russian: "Таджикистан". In Russian, there is no single letter j to represent the phoneme /ʤ/, therefore дж, or dzh, is used. Tadzhikistan is the most common alternate spelling and is used in English literature derived from Russian sources.
"Tadjikistan" is the spelling in French and can be found in English language texts. The way of writing Tajikistan in the Perso-Arabic script is: تاجیکستان. Cultures in the region have been dated back to at least the 4th millennium BCE, including the Bronze Age Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex, the Andronovo cultures and the pro-urban site of Sarazm, a UNESCO World Heritage site; the earliest recorded history of the region dates back to about 500 BCE when much, if not all, of modern Tajikistan was part of the Achaemenid Empire. Some authors have suggested that in the 7th and 6th century BCE parts of modern Tajikistan, including territories in the Zeravshan valley, formed part of Kambojas before it became part of the Achaemenid Empire. After the region's conquest by Alexander the Great it became part of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom, a successor state of Alexander's empire. Northern Tajikistan was part of Sogdia, a collection of city-states, overrun by Scythians and Yuezhi nomadic tribes around 150 BCE.
The Silk Road passed through the region and following the expedition of Chinese explorer Zhang Qian during the reign of Wudi commercial relations between Han China and Sogdiana flourished. Sogdians played a major role in facilitating trade and worked in other capacities, as farmers, carpetweavers and woodcarvers; the Kushan Empire, a collection of Yuezhi tribes, took control of the region in the first century CE and ruled until the 4th century CE during which time Buddhism, Nestorian Christianity and Manichaeism were all practised in the region. The Hephthalite Empire, a collection of nomadic tribes, moved into the region and Arabs brought Islam in the early eighth century. Central Asia continued in its role as a commercial crossroads, linking China, the steppes to the north, the Islamic heartland, it was temporarily under the control of the Tibetan empire and Chinese from 650–680 and under the control of the Umayyads in 710. The Samanid Empire, 819 to 999, restored Persian control of the region and enlarged the cities of Samarkand and Bukhara which became the cultural centres of Iran and the region was known as Khorasan.
The Kara-Khanid Khanate conquered Transoxania (which corresponds wit
Turkistan known as Turkestan, is a city and the administrative center of Turkistan Region of Kazakhstan, near the Syr Darya river. It is situated 160 km north-west of Shymkent on the Trans-Aral Railway between Kyzylorda to the north and Tashkent to the south, its population has increased within ten years from 102,505 to 142,899. Turkistan is one of Kazakhstan's historic cities with an archaeological record dating back to the 4th century, it became a commercial centre after the final demise of Otrar, the medieval city whose ruins lie near the Syr Darya to the southeast. Throughout most of the medieval and early-modern period it was known as Yasi or Shavgar and after the 16th-17th centuries as Turkistan or Hazrat, both of which names derive from the title'Hazrat-i Turkistan', which means "the Saint of Turkistan" and refers to Khoja Akhmet Yassawi, the Sufi Sheikh of Turkistan, who lived here during the 11th century CE and is buried in the town; because of his influence and in his memory the city became an important centre of spirituality and Islamic learning for the peoples of the Kazakh steppes.
In the 1390s Timur erected a magnificent domed Mazar or tomb over his grave, which remains the most significant architectural monument in the Republic of Kazakhstan. It was pictured on the back of the banknotes of the national currency until 2006. Other important historical sites in the city include a medieval bath-house and four other mausoleums, one dedicated to Timur's granddaughter and three to Kazakh khans. Before the Russians came in the 19th century, Turkistan lay on the frontier of the settled Perso-Islamic oasis culture of Transoxiana to the south, the world of the Kazakh steppe to the north. In the 16th to 18th centuries Turkestan became the capital of the Kazakh Khanate, it became the political center of the Kazakh steppe, but after advancing conquest expeditions of the Russian Empire and the associated weakening of the Kazakh Khanate benefited small southern states that he was captured. This city was conquered in Kokand khanate by Russian General Veryovkin in 1864; when Turkistan fell to the Russian Empire it was incorporated into the Syr-Darya Oblast of the Governor-Generalship of Russian Turkestan.
When the Tsarist regime fell in 1917-18 it was part of the Turkestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic before being returned Kazakhs as a city of Kazakh SSR in 1924. On 19 June 2018 Shymkent was taken out of South Kazakhstan Region and subordinated directly to the government of Kazakhstan; the administrative centre of the region moved to Turkistan and the region was renamed Turkistan Region. The city attracts thousands of pilgrims. According to a regional tradition, three pilgrimages to Turkistan are equivalent to one hajj to Mecca; the Saint was held in such reverence that the city was known as the Second Mecca of the East, a vision which has helped shape the spiritual identity of Muslims in Kazakhstan. Modern-day Turkistan has a population of 85,600; the population rose by 10% from 1989 to 99, making it the second fastest-growing town in Kazakhstan, after the new capital Astana. The ethnic composition of the city: Kazakhs – 52,5% Uzbeks – 45,2% Other ethnic groups – 2,3%The ethnic composition of the city according to the 1897 census: total – 11,253 Uzbeks – 8,940 Kazakhs – 1,415 Tatars – 506 Russians – 312 At the same time the ethnic composition of the Chimkent uyezd which included the city of Turkestan according to the 1897 census: total – 285,059 Kazakhs – 20,709 Sart – 32 043 Uzbeks – 224,704 Russians – 6 443 Tatars – 646 Turkistan may be reached by train from Almaty, in a journey of nearly 20 hours.
The road trip from the nearest airport at Shymkent takes about two hours. Turkistan experiences a cold semi-arid climate with short, cold winters and long, dry hot summers; the vast majority of the annual precipitation falls between late spring. Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasavi Hill, John E. Through the Jade Gate to Rome: A Study of the Silk Routes during the Later Han Dynasty, 1st to 2nd Centuries CE. BookSurge, South Carolina. ISBN 978-1-4392-2134-1. Hulsewé, A. F. P. and Loewe, M. A. N. 1979. China in Central Asia: The Early Stage 125 BC – AD 23: an annotated translation of chapters 61 and 96 of the History of the Former Han Dynasty. E. J. Brill, Leiden. ISBN 90-04-05884-2. Privratsky, Bruce G.. Muslim Turkistan: Kazak Religion and Collective Memory Curzon Press, Surrey UK. Description of archaeological investigations
Uzbekistan also the Republic of Uzbekistan, is a landlocked country in Central Asia. The sovereign state is a secular, unitary constitutional republic, comprising 12 provinces, one autonomous republic, a capital city. Uzbekistan is bordered by five landlocked countries: Kazakhstan to the north. Along with Liechtenstein, it is one of the world's only two doubly landlocked countries. What is now Uzbekistan was in ancient times part of the Iranian-speaking region of Transoxiana and Turan; the first recorded settlers were Eastern Iranian nomads, known as Scythians, who founded kingdoms in Khwarezm, Sogdia and Margiana. The area was incorporated into the Persian Empire and, after a period of Macedonian Greek rule, was ruled by the Persian Parthian Empire and by the Sasanian Empire, until the Muslim conquest of Persia in the 7th century; the Muslim conquest in the 7th century converted the majority of the population, including the local ruling classes, into adherents of Islam. During this period, cities such as Samarkand and Bukhara began to grow rich from the Silk Road.
The local Khwarezmian dynasty, Central Asia as a whole, were decimated by the Mongol invasion in the 13th century. After the Mongol Conquests, the area became dominated by Turkic peoples; the city of Shahrisabz was the birthplace of the Turco-Mongol warlord Timur known as one of Genghis Khan's grandchildren, who in the 14th century established the Timurid Empire and was proclaimed the Supreme Emir of Turan with his capital in Samarkand. The area was conquered by Uzbek Shaybanids in the 16th century, moving the centre of power from Samarkand to Bukhara; the region was split into three states: Khanate of Khiva, Khanate of Kokand, Emirate of Bukhara. It was incorporated into the Russian Empire during the 19th century, with Tashkent becoming the political center of Russian Turkestan. In 1924, after national delimitation, the constituent republic of the Soviet Union known as the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic was created. Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, it declared independence as the Republic of Uzbekistan on 31 August 1991.
Uzbekistan has a diverse cultural heritage due to strategic location. Its first major official language is Uzbek, a Turkic language written in the Latin alphabet and spoken natively by 85% of the population. Russian has widespread use as a governmental language. Uzbeks constitute 81% of the population, followed by Russians, Tajiks and others. Muslims constitute 79% of the population while 5% of the population follow Russian Orthodox Christianity, 16% of the population follow other religions or are non-religious. A majority of Uzbeks are non-denominational Muslims. Uzbekistan is a member of the CIS, OSCE, UN, the SCO. While a democratic republic, by 2008 non-governmental human rights organizations defined Uzbekistan as "an authoritarian state with limited civil rights". Following the death of Islam Karimov in 2016, the second president, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, started a new course, described as a A Quiet Revolution and Revolution from Above, he stated he intended to abolish cotton slavery, systematic use of child labour, exit visas, to introduce a tax reform, create four new free economic zones, as well as amnestied some political prisoners.
The relations with neighboring countries of Tajikistan and Afghanistan drastically improved. However, the Amnesty International report on human rights in the country for 2017/2018 described continued repressive measures, including forced labour in cotton harvesting, restrictions on movements of'freed' prisoners; the Uzbek economy is in a gradual transition to the market economy, with foreign trade policy being based on import substitution. In September 2017, the country's currency became convertible in the market rates. Uzbekistan is a major exporter of cotton; the country operates the largest open-pit gold mine in the world. With the gigantic power-generation facilities of the Soviet era and an ample supply of natural gas, Uzbekistan has become the largest electricity producer in Central Asia. Renewable energy constitutes more than 23% of the country's energy sector, with hydroelectricity and solar energy having 21.4% and 2% respectively. Uzbekistan has an area of 447,400 square kilometres, it is the 56th largest country in the 42nd by population.
Among the CIS countries, it is the 2nd largest by population. Uzbekistan lies between latitudes 37° and 46° N, longitudes 56° and 74° E, it stretches 1,425 kilometres from west to east and 930 kilometres from north to south. Bordering Kazakhstan and the Aralkum Desert to the north and northwest and Afghanistan to the southwest, Tajikistan to the southeast, Kyrgyzstan to the northeast, Uzbekistan is one of the largest Central Asian states and the only Central Asian state to border all the other four. Uzbekistan shares a short border with Afghanistan to the south. Uzbekistan is a landlocked country, it is one of two doubly landlocked countries in the world (that is, a country completel
Iran called Persia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. With over 81 million inhabitants, Iran is the world's 18th most populous country. Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2, it is the second largest country in the Middle East and the 17th largest in the world. Iran is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Turkmenistan, to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, to the west by Turkey and Iraq; the country's central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, give it geostrategic importance. Tehran is the country's capital and largest city, as well as its leading economic and cultural center. Iran is home to one of the world's oldest civilizations, beginning with the formation of the Elamite kingdoms in the fourth millennium BCE, it was first unified by the Iranian Medes in the seventh century BCE, reaching its greatest territorial size in the sixth century BCE, when Cyrus the Great founded the Achaemenid Empire, which stretched from Eastern Europe to the Indus Valley, becoming one of the largest empires in history.
The Iranian realm fell to Alexander the Great in the fourth century BCE and was divided into several Hellenistic states. An Iranian rebellion culminated in the establishment of the Parthian Empire, succeeded in the third century CE by the Sasanian Empire, a leading world power for the next four centuries. Arab Muslims conquered the empire in the seventh century CE; the Islamization of Iran led to the decline of Zoroastrianism, by the country's dominant religion, Iran's major contributions to art and science spread within the Muslim rule during the Islamic Golden Age. After two centuries, a period of various native Muslim dynasties began, which were conquered by the Seljuq Turks and the Ilkhanate Mongols; the rise of the Safavids in the 15th century led to the reestablishment of a unified Iranian state and national identity, with the country's conversion to Shia Islam marking a turning point in Iranian and Muslim history. Under Nader Shah, Iran was one of the most powerful states in the 18th century, though by the 19th century, a series of conflicts with the Russian Empire led to significant territorial losses.
The Iranian Constitutional Revolution in the early 20th century led to the establishment of a constitutional monarchy and the country's first legislature. A 1953 coup instigated by the United Kingdom and the United States resulted in greater autocracy and growing Western political influence. Subsequent widespread dissatisfaction and unrest against the monarchy led to the 1979 Revolution and the establishment of an Islamic republic, a political system that includes elements of a parliamentary democracy vetted and supervised by a theocracy governed by an autocratic "Supreme Leader". During the 1980s, the country was engaged in a war with Iraq, which lasted for eight years and resulted in a high number of casualties and economic losses for both sides; the sovereign state of Iran is a founding member of the UN, ECO, NAM, OIC, OPEC. It is a major regional and middle power, its large reserves of fossil fuels – which include the world's largest natural gas supply and the fourth largest proven oil reserves – exert considerable influence in international energy security and the world economy.
The country's rich cultural legacy is reflected in part by its 22 UNESCO World Heritage sites, the third largest number in Asia and 11th largest in the world. Iran is a multicultural country comprising numerous ethnic and linguistic groups, the largest being Persians, Azeris and Lurs. Organizations including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have criticized Iran's women's rights record; the term Iran derives directly from Middle Persian Ērān, first attested in a third-century inscription at Rustam Relief, with the accompanying Parthian inscription using the term Aryān, in reference to the Iranians. The Middle Iranian ērān and aryān are oblique plural forms of gentilic nouns ēr- and ary-, both deriving from Proto-Iranian *arya-, recognized as a derivative of Proto-Indo-European *ar-yo-, meaning "one who assembles". In the Iranian languages, the gentilic is attested as a self-identifier, included in ancient inscriptions and the literature of the Avesta, remains in other Iranian ethnic names Alan and Iron.
Iran has been referred to as Persia by the West, due to the writings of Greek historians who referred to all of Iran as Persís, meaning "land of the Persians", while Persis itself was one of the provinces of ancient Iran, today defined as Fars. As the most extensive interaction the Ancient Greeks had with any outsider was with the Persians, the term persisted long after the Greco-Persian Wars. In 1935, Reza Shah requested the international community to refer to the country by its native name, effective March 22 that year; as The New York Times explained at the time, "At the suggestion of the Persian Legation in Berlin, the Tehran government, on the Persian New Year, March 21, 1935, substituted Iran for Persia as the official name of the country." Opposition to the name change led to the reversal of the decision, Professor Ehsan Yarshater, editor of Encyclopædia Iranica, propagated a move to use Persia and Iran interchangeably. Today, both Iran and Persia are used in cultural contexts, while Iran remains irreplaceab
History of Central Asia
The history of Central Asia concerns the history of the various peoples that have inhabited Central Asia. The lifestyle of such people has been determined by the area's climate and geography; the aridity of the region makes agriculture difficult and distance from the sea cut it off from much trade. Thus, few major cities developed in the region. Nomadic horse peoples of the steppe dominated the area for millennia. Relations between the steppe nomads and the settled people in and around Central Asia were marked by conflict; the nomadic lifestyle was well suited to warfare, the steppe horse riders became some of the most militarily potent people in the world, due to the devastating techniques and ability of their horse archers. Periodically, tribal leaders or changing conditions would organise several tribes into a single military force, which would often launch campaigns of conquest into more'civilised' areas. A few of these types of tribal coalitions included the Huns' invasion of Europe, various Turkic migrations into Transoxiana, the Wu Hu attacks on China and most notably the Mongol conquest of much of Eurasia.
The dominance of the nomads ended in the 16th century as firearms allowed settled people to gain control of the region. The Russian Empire, the Qing dynasty of China, other powers expanded into the area and seized the bulk of Central Asia by the end of the 19th century. After the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Soviet Union incorporated most of Central Asia; the Soviet areas of Central Asia saw much industrialisation and construction of infrastructure, but the suppression of local cultures and a lasting legacy of ethnic tensions and environmental problems. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, five Central Asian countries gained independence — Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan. In all of the new states, former Communist Party officials retained power as local strongmen. Anatomically modern humans reached Central Asia by 50,000 to 40,000 years ago; the Tibetan Plateau is thought to have been reached by 38,000 years ago. Populations who lived in Siberia during the Last Glacial Maximum have contributed to the populations of both Europe and the Americas.
The term Ceramic Mesolithic is used of late Mesolithic cultures of Central Asia, during the 6th to 5th millennia BC. It is characterized by its distinctive type of pottery, with point or knob base and flared rims, manufactured by methods not used by the Neolithic farmers; the earliest manifestation of this type of pottery may be in the region around Lake Baikal in Siberia. It appears in the Elshan or Yelshanka or Samara culture on the Volga in Russia by about 7000 BC. and from there spread via the Dnieper-Donets culture to the Narva culture of the Eastern Baltic. In the Pontic-Caspian steppe, Chalcolithic cultures develop in the second half of the 5th millennium BC, small communities in permanent settlements which began to engage in agricultural practices as well as herding. Around this time, some of these communities began the domestication of the horse. According to the Kurgan hypothesis, the north-west of the region is considered to be the source of the root of the Indo-European languages.
The horse-drawn chariot appears in the 3rd millennium BC, by 2000 BC, in the form of war chariots with spoked wheels, thus being made more manoeuvrable, dominated the battlefields. The growing use of the horse, combined with the failure around 2000 BC, of the always precarious irrigation systems that had allowed for extensive agriculture in the region, gave rise and dominance of pastoral nomadism by 1000 BC, a way of life that would dominate the region for the next several millennia, giving rise to the Scythian expansion of the Iron Age. Scattered nomadic groups maintained herds of sheep, goats and camels, conducted annual migrations to find new pastures; the people lived in yurts – tents made of hides and wood that could be disassembled and transported. Each group had several yurts, each accommodating about five people. While the semi-arid plains were dominated by the nomads, small city-states and sedentary agrarian societies arose in the more humid areas of Central Asia; the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex of the early 2nd millennium BC was the first sedentary civilisation of the region, practicing irrigation farming of wheat and barley and a form of writing.
Bactria-Margiana interacted with the contemporary Bronze Age nomads of the Andronovo culture, the originators of the spoke-wheeled chariot, who lived to their north in western Siberia and parts of Kazakhstan, survived as a culture until the 1st millennium BC. These cultures Bactria-Margiana, have been posited as possible representatives of the hypothetical Aryan culture ancestral to the speakers of the Indo-Iranian languages; the strongest of Sogdian city states of the Fergana Valley rose to prominence. After the 1st century BC, these cities became home to the traders of the Silk Road and grew wealthy from this trade; the steppe nomads were dependent on these settled people for a wide array of goods that were impossible for transient populations to produce. The nomads traded for these when they could, but because they did not produce goods of interest to sedentary people, the popular alternative was to carry out raids. A wide variety of people came to populate the steppes. Nomadic groups in Central Asia included the Huns and other Turk