53 votes
Accepted

Why were nomadic tribes (like the Mongols) from the Eurasian steppes a much reduced threat from the 15th century onwards?

My source for this answer is mostly Devereaux's discussion of "the Fremen Mirage" and other writing on his site about steppe nomads, which goes in-depth into what made the Mongols so ...
SPavel's user avatar
  • 9,838
19 votes

Why didn't the steppe bow spread further?

The questions (answered separately below): So why wasn't the rest of the world, the world off the steppe, using it? I mean, maybe it didn't reach the classical world until the Huns brought it there,...
J Asia's user avatar
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17 votes
Accepted

What is the origin of the Scythians?

I'll try to answer the main (title) question, What is the origin of the Scythians? -- I am not qualified in linguistic classifications. The straight-forward answer is, as steppe nomads, they migrated ...
J Asia's user avatar
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13 votes
Accepted

What is the historical evidence for asserting Huns were one and the same as Xiongnu?

As I touched in the last paragraph of this answer, we don't really know who the Huns were. Its one of the great mysteries of history, up there with the identity of the Sea Peoples. It appears the ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
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11 votes

What is the origin of the Scythians?

First off, I'm going to give you the mainstream view. "Scythian" was the name the ancients applied to the nomadic Iranian-speaking people living in the area north of the Black and Caspian seas (but ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
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11 votes

Who are the 'Tiursk tribe' of Central Asia?

Your link to the Jakut article holds what I would consider fairly strong evidence. The article (all emphasis mine) specifies that by features, as well as by their language, the Jakuts belong to the ...
justCal's user avatar
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11 votes

Why were nomadic tribes (like the Mongols) from the Eurasian steppes a much reduced threat from the 15th century onwards?

After a day of thought, I think the real answer is that nomadic people from the Steppe continued to be a major threat until at least 1700. For example, the Mughal Empire was founded in 1526 by Babur, ...
Astor Florida's user avatar
10 votes

How did pastoral nomads keep winning battles/wars? When did the tide turn against them for settled societies?

The key factors were high mobility and better weapons. The Huns for example were in the beginning almost exclusively mounted. Hunnic infantry appears much later. They were armed with a very powerful ...
Jos's user avatar
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10 votes

Who are the 'Tiursk tribe' of Central Asia?

The Russian Wikipedia article for Turkic languages is titled Тюркские языки (t-iu-r-k-s-k-i-ie ...), which imho makes it very likely that Tiursk should be read as Turk or Turkic. If you can accept ...
Jan's user avatar
  • 9,089
8 votes
Accepted

Did Aetius or Attila fight in the Battle of Worms (436)?

There was not a "Battle of Worms".This epic poem refers to the destruction of the Burgundians of Worms. The battle was, in fact, in Belgica Prima (modern day Trier/Luxembourg). namely, in ...
J Asia's user avatar
  • 6,323
7 votes

Why were nomadic tribes (like the Mongols) from the Eurasian steppes a much reduced threat from the 15th century onwards?

My discussion follows the presentation in "Johan Söderberg, 2020", "Vår världs ekonomiska historia, den förindustriella tiden" used as course material in Stockholm University (as ...
ghellquist's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

What's the difference between Khan and Taishi/Taisha?

Technically speaking, a Khan is the titular sovereign ruler, whereas a taishi is "merely" a high ranking official. They're mutually exclusive positions, but did not always correspond to who was more ...
Semaphore's user avatar
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6 votes
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How was the vast Khazar fortress of Sarkel destroyed?

Some of this history is still controversial (namely, the actual location of Sarkel). Following is what I have extracted from the book S. Pletneva, "Essays on Khazar archeology," ("Очерки хазарской ...
Moishe Kohan's user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

Did the Yamnaya have a particular breed of dog? Did that breed spread with them?

For the first question, dogs were definitely a part of the Yamnaya life and lifestyle. There is concrete evidence of this through items from dogs found in Yamnaya graves. ... no other evidence of ...
gktscrk's user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

What is "Distributed Survival Theory"?

The main aspect of this question seems to be just what exactly is Distributed Theory or Distributed Survival Theory. This is likely a reference to some anthropological/linguistic theories related to ...
justCal's user avatar
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5 votes

How did pastoral nomads keep winning battles/wars? When did the tide turn against them for settled societies?

Allow me to start with a caution: From the Huns to the Mongols, pastoral nomads keep coming up in history books. Entire empires have fallen to them, .... I think we need to be careful here. In ...
J Asia's user avatar
  • 6,323
5 votes

Why were nomadic tribes (like the Mongols) from the Eurasian steppes a much reduced threat from the 15th century onwards?

Once it became possible to field large armies with gunpowder weapons, nomads got into a disadvantage because the nomadic lifestyle only allows for artisanal production of weaponry, not for the complex ...
Jan's user avatar
  • 9,089
5 votes

What is "Distributed Survival Theory"?

TL;DR The author is probably trying to say "This language family is very successful, but please don't fall into the trap of thinking it's because of racist pseudo-science." This is necessary ...
codeMonkey's user avatar
  • 1,001
4 votes

How did pastoral nomads keep winning battles/wars? When did the tide turn against them for settled societies?

Generally speaking, nomadic invasions succeeded when the political and economic conditions were bad enough to allow it. When conditions improved, the nomads were dealt with. The border of China with ...
John Dee's user avatar
  • 3,348
4 votes

What is the historical evidence for asserting Huns were one and the same as Xiongnu?

Hunnic cauldrons were the same style as the Xiongnu of the 1st century AD. People think that the Huns brought them from Mongolia, to Central Asia and Europe, where they are found. Westward migrations, ...
John Dee's user avatar
  • 3,348
4 votes

How did the Mongol Nomads' System of Raiding and Trading Work?

Yes, there is (was?) such a custom in the Eurasian steppes (i.e. Mongols, focus of the question). I don't know it terribly well because this one is certainly within social anthropology+, not really my ...
J Asia's user avatar
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4 votes

How did the Mongol Nomads' System of Raiding and Trading Work?

I am not an expert on the Mongols, but what you describe seems similar to the Irish Tain Bo Cualinge, or the Norse Viking around the period of the Great Heathen Army (that's not the best reference, ...
MCW's user avatar
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3 votes

What is the oldest graphic depiction of Attila?

I'm not sure how useful this is to you, but there is a second-hand contemporaneous description of what Atilla looked like. The original source is Priscus, who visited Atilla's court in 449 as a ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
  • 119k
3 votes

How far could Mongolian horses travel in a day?

There are quite a few sources out there, both old and recent, from which we can narrow just how far a Mongol Horse could travel in a day. We can start with some basic information. A horse has several ...
justCal's user avatar
  • 39.1k
3 votes

Were the Pechenegs at some point Manicheans?

There are very few sources on Pechenegs, and they do not tell us the details of their religious situation. By analogy with other tribes which inhabited this area in the Middle Age, one can guess that ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 38.9k
3 votes

Why are the Corded Ware and Kurgan theories incompatible?

The Corded Ware culture appears to have introduced Indo-European languages to a large part of Northern Europe. However, it doesn't appear to have been the origin of the IE languages, because there are ...
John Dallman's user avatar
  • 31.6k
1 vote

Why are the Corded Ware and Kurgan theories incompatible?

The Indo European Urheimat is represented by the Yamna culture or the "Yamna Horizon". The Corded Ware was an offshoot of the Yamna culture that spread across Northern Europe. A Corded Ware Urheimat ...
John Dee's user avatar
  • 3,348
1 vote

How was the vast Khazar fortress of Sarkel destroyed?

Sviatoslav I destroyed Sarkel. He built a settlement there called Bela Vezha, "white tower". This lasted until the Cumans, who then used it as a winter campground.
John Dee's user avatar
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