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,...
  • 6,255
19 votes
Accepted

Did the Great Wall of China help cause the fall of the Roman Empire?

There is very little truth to this claim, if at all. The fall of Rome is conventionally dated to A.D. 476. By then China had long been overran by steppe nomads. Since 439, the North China plains - ...
  • 96.3k
17 votes
Accepted

How many soldiers did Ghengis Khan field?

In this period, the Mongols had a nominal strength of around 100,000 to 130,000. According to the Secret History of the Mongols, Ghengis Khan had an army of 105,000 strong by A.D. 1206. This number ...
  • 96.3k
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 ...
  • 6,255
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 ...
  • 111k
11 votes

Were the Huns and Mongols at one point rivals?

When most people think of "Huns" and "Mongols", they are thinking of Atilla's empire of the mid 400's and Genghis Khan's Mongolian Empire of the 1200's. Since there's a good 800 years between them, ...
  • 111k
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 ...
  • 34.4k
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 ...
  • 17.9k
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 ...
  • 6,216
9 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 ...
  • 111k
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 ...
  • 6,255
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 ...
  • 96.3k
6 votes
Accepted

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 ...
  • 6,037
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 ...
  • 10.6k
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 ...
  • 6,255
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 ...
  • 3,242
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, ...
  • 3,242
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 ...
  • 6,255
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, ...
  • 31.1k
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 ...
  • 111k
3 votes
Accepted

What is the oldest graphic depiction of Attila?

Not really. Portraiture as an art was having a bad couple of centuries in Attila's time. Whatever we know of Attila's looks comes from written descriptions that differ significantly from one another ...
  • 3,315
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 ...
  • 34.4k
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 ...
  • 37.5k
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 ...
  • 28.4k
1 vote

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

I think a very obvious reason is that nomads had fixed targets, i.e., settlements/cities to attack. By their very nature, such cities were not mobile and so it is immediately clear who the would be on ...
  • 1,720
1 vote

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

Pastoral societies dominated at roughly the same time that "cavalry" dominated, roughly from the middle of the first millenium to the middle of the second millenium. This was due to the invention of ...
  • 103k
1 vote

Are there any records of Turks settling in Anatolia before the 11th century?

The answer is most likely, “No”. I believe historians generally consider Battle of Manzikert, in 1071, to be the key turning point. Having said this, I’m not particularly updated. This is from 20 ...
  • 6,255
1 vote

What is the origin of the Scythians?

The Scythians were a distant, illiterate people, and their language is not well attested. The origin of the Scythians was, for much of the 20th century, one of the enigmatic questions of Asian history....
  • 3,242

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