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Nomadic Empires: From Mongolia to the Danube

Nomadic Empires: From Mongolia to the Danube

Paperback(New Edition)

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Overview

Nomadic Empires sheds new light on 2,000 years of military history and geopolitics. The Mongol Empire of Genghis-Khan and his heirs, as is well known, was the greatest empire in world history. For 2,000 from the fifth century b.c. to the fifteenth century a.d., the steppe areas of Asia, from the borders of Manchuria to the Black Sea, were a "zone of turbulence," threatening settled peoples from China to Russia and Hungary, including Iran, India, the Byzantine empire, and even Syria. It was a true world'stage that was affected by these destructive nomads.

This cogent, well-written volume examines these nomadic people, variously called Indo-Europeans, Turkic peoples, or Mongols. They did not belong to a sole nation or language, but shared a strategic culture born in the steppes: a highly mobile cavalry which did not require sophisticated logistics, and an indirect mode of combat based on surprise, mobility, and harassment. They used bows and arrows and, when they were united under the authority of a strong leader, were able to become a deadly threat to their sedentary neighbors.

Chaliand addresses the subject from four perspectives. First, he examines the early nomadic populations of Eurasia, and the impact of these nomads and their complex relationships with settled peoples. Then he describes military fronts of the Altaic Nomads, detailing events from the fourth century b.c. through the twelfth century a.d., from the early Chinese front to the Indo-Iranian front, the Byzantine front, and the Russian front. Next he covers the undertakings of the great nomad conquerors that brought about the Ottoman Empire. And finally, he describes what he calls "the revenge of the sedentary peoples, exploring Russia and China in the aftermath of the Mongols. The volume includes a chronology and an annotated bibliography.

Now in paperback, this cogent, well-written volume examines these nomadic people, variously called Indo-Europeans, Turkic peoples, or Mongols. They did not belong to a sole nation or language, but shared a strategic culture born in the steppes: a highly mobile cavalry that did not require sophisticated logistics, and an indirect mode of combat based on surprise, mobility, and harassment. They used bows and arrows and, when they were united under the authority of a strong leader, were able to become a deadly threat to their sedentary neighbors.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781412805551
Publisher: Transaction Publishers
Publication date: 02/15/2006
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 252
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.34(d)

About the Author

Gérard Chaliand is a French specialist on military conflicts, guerrillas, and terrorism. His analyses of insurgencies have appeared in more than twenty books and in numerous newspaper articles.

Table of Contents

Forewordxi
1.Introduction1
The Impact of the Nomads1
Nomads and Settled Peoples7
The Nomadic Model: The Scythians14
2.The Military Fronts of the Altaic Nomads (Fourth Century B.C.-Twelfth Century A.D.)19
The Chinese Front21
The Indo-Iranian Front35
The Byzantine Front39
The Russian Front49
The Exception of Western Europe53
3.The Apogee of the Nomads: Mongols and Turkic-Speakers (Thirteenth-Fifteenth Centuries)59
The Mongols59
The Turkic-Speakers75
The Eyewitnesses86
4.The Revenge of the Sedentary Peoples (Sixteenth-Nineteenth Centuries)97
Russia after the Mongols97
China after the Mongols102
Epilogue104
Appendices105
Periodization of Nomad Waves105
Nomad Empires of High Asia107
Sites of Waves of Invasions108
Chronology111
Annotated Bibliography125
Index131

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