eurasian steppe


Scenes from the 2016 World Nomad Games hosted in Cholpon-Ata, Kyrgyzstan. The World Nomad Games brings athletes from various countries, primarily from the Central Asian region and Russia, to participate in sports native to the Eurasian Steppe. The Eurasian Steppe was home to various nomadic peoples particularly the Iranic-speaking Scythians and Sarmatians, who were a source of fear for the ancient Greeks due to their warriorlike nature and great horse-riding skills; including their mastery of horseback archery. Both groups are believed to have originated in the Eurasian Steppes, but their settlements ranged from China to Poland, and because of this they greatly impacted the genetic pool and cultures of a number of different groups in Eastern Europe and Central Asia such as the people of the Caucasus, Slavs, Turkic people, and other modern Iranic people. The Sarmatians in particular were famed by Greek historians for their female warriors and rulers that inspired the stories of the Amazons. 


as you probably already know, Latin is a classical and dead language belonging to a specific branch of the Indo-European languages, that is a bunch of languages which were probably spoken by some ancestors of ours who were most likely from the Eurasian steppe. Latin is one of the youngest ancient languages (it was younger than ancient Greek!) and,before it happened to become one of the most important and widespread western lenguages, it was spoken by quite small farmer’s tribe.

In the whole world, Latin is currently learnt by quite a lot of students, which is a fact, but why is it?

  • Latin is where our culture is from. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Latin culture is the only one Europeans can relate to: our continent is wide and there are a lot of populations, languages, views of the world but Romans actually conquered half (and probably more) of them and, of course, half of Europe has been at least influenced by Latin culture.
  • It actually helps you understanding languages if you’re Romance speaker/if you’re learning a Romance language. Ok, honestly, I can’t say this is an universal rule because there are some words whose meaning changed along the way but there are other ones as well that are closer to Latin and knowing where they’re from really helps you using them!
  • There are mind-blowing sentences you can never recreate by translating them. As it is known, Latin has a grammar system which is based on six conjucations and some quit complex verbal schemes and, unfortunately, there are some senteces which are untranslatable. In my opinion, Latin is a perfect and organized languages and it’s really hard to find other languages able to compete with it.
  • Cmon, it’s such an amazing languages, the real question is: why you shouldn’t?

Another appropriate question is: how do I study Latin without going insane? This is quite a question, my dude. My first Latin years were a nightmare, I’m not gonna like, but I think it was mostly due to the fact that my teacher was terrible. Anyway, how am I supposed to approach Latin?

  • let me be honest: there’s a good chance the beginning is gonna be hard. Don’t give up. There are people who are comparing Latin’s complexity to the one of math, so you get it: it’s not a scientific subject but it’s hard as fuck.
  • don’t underestimate pronunciation. It’s sounds like a terrible advise, I know but it’s really important, in particular if you are/you’re planning to study Latin at the university.
  • don’t underestimate paradigms. I know they’re boring but they’re everywhere as well.
  • start translating by looking for verbs. Verbs are the very heart of your sentence which means that locating them is the first thing to do. Also, verbs helps you to decide what kind of  nominative case you’re looking for: is it singular? is it plural?
  • put in order words is helpful. Latin has a quite complicated structure: the fact that two words are close doesn’t necessary mean they’re related but writing a small number over each one of them can help you
  • highlight in the same way words that are related. Just like the previous point.
  • don’t entrust the dictionary too much. It actually slow you down and it forces you to focus on just one word at time while, as you’re translating, you need to develop a full-scale view of your text.

this is a short recap of everything I’ve learnt about how to approach myself to Latin. HAVE FUN!

p.s.: Imma leave some references here: they were given to me by my Latin lecturer and, who know, they may be helpful.

  • Lewis – Short Dictionary. It is in English and i’m pretty sure you can find it online. It’s one of the best Latin Dictionaries ever.
  • loeb volumes. It’s a collection of works by latin/green authors
  •, just like the previous one  
  • like the previous one
  • Internet archive: a collection of texts, essays, ecc
au where romans discover the common origin of the indo-european languages
  • Roman: *pointing at a manuscript* Wait, so it says here we are descended from Eurasian steppe nomads. Like, with horses.
  • Historian: That is the dominant academic viewpoint based on the available evidence.
  • Roman: ...and we have the same ancestors as the Persians, the Scythians, the Celts, and the Germans?!
  • Linguist: The Greeks and Indians, too.
  • Roman: And we all believed in the same sky god?
  • Linguist: Dyēus Ph2tēr.
  • Roman: *closes eyes and performs the sign of the thunderbolt*
  • Roman: We conquered the indigenous settled peoples, imposed our language and culture upon them, and gradually became settled peoples ourselves...
  • Archaeologist: Well, yeah, it's not like the land was empty before you arrived.
  • Roman: Does that mean we are the barbarians?!
  • Historian: I’m sorry, but yes.
  • Roman: *sobs inconsolably*
  • Basque observing from a distance: *glares judgmentally*

cynicalclassicist  asked:

I'm trying to worldbuild a Holy Roman Empire-style Kingdom made up of six regions, who remained distinct till one Prince took control of others. I plan for another region to be particularly good for cavalry, so what areas would produce good cavalry forces?

In history, the greatest cavalry forces were peoples who made horsemanship a part of their educational curriculum, and that means building a land and culture centralized around the horse. Usually this means that horses are native to the region, with the classic example being the Eurasian steppe and the nomad kingdoms that arose from that region. This does not necessarily have to be the case, though the horse must be able to survive in their home region for a strong horse culture to develop. The example here are the Native American Plains tribes, as the horse is not native to the central plains of North America, but after Spanish explorers brought horses to the New World, the Comanche developed a strong horse culture.

The region that develops it should be relatively flat with tall grasses for grazing. Early peoples would almost certainly identify water sources and migration routes of the wild horse herds. This flat open territory would be conducive to large mounted forces, and horsemanship would almost certainly be a mandatory part of military leadership. This reflects in the culture, with festivals timed around the breeding season of horses, games and competitions that involve horsemanship, even religious figures and myths based around the horse. Young children would be taught and be used to the feel of long periods of time in the saddle, and said physical characteristics would be prized as standards of beauty and marks of adulthood.

Narrow passes, thick wildwood forests, steep rocky ridges, soil-poor regions that make forage difficult, these things corral (heh) horses and the growth of horse cultures, so if you were looking for borders, these would be good natural boundaries that mark the end of the horse culture, and the beginning of another region with a different military tradition.

Thanks for the question, Classicist.

SomethingLikeALawyer, Hand of the King

The Butterfly Effect

Okay strap yourselves in, ladies and gentlemen. I have a crazy AU for you:

Let us imagine, for the sake of argument, that the Roman Empire successfully resisted the external forces (invading barbarians) which were the proximate cause of its collapse. This would have consequences outside of the Roman Empire just as much as within it.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

"Having a url like @perkwunos is not something brave nor is it intelligent; it shows that they’re sheltered" what??

grew up VERY sheltered among the Yamna culture of the eurasian steppe!!!!!!!!!

anonymous asked:

you mention that westeros is ill suited for mass horse warfare as western europe, but wouldnt the vast open and fertile plains of the reach be suitable? what makes a landscape good for nomadic warfare?

I had mentioned that Westeros was rougher than the Dothraki Sea, which it is on average. Take into account the context of the answer, which was asking how Dany’s Dothraki would do in their invasion. The place where Daenerys would be likely to invade, the Stormlands and Crownlands on the east coast of Westeros, is a land of heavy forests, wide rivers, and rocky soil, definitely not good for horse warfare.

The best terrain for horse warfare is open grassland, savanna, and shrubland, the kind you see in the Eurasian Steppe or the Great Plains of the Midwest United States.

Thanks for the question, Anon.

SomethingLikeALawyer, Hand of the King

How much of a caveman are you?

The DNA of people with deep European roots is a mix of three ancient populations: hunter-gatherers who arrived around 45,000 years ago, Neolithic farmers who arrived 9000 years ago, and pastoralists from the Eurasian steppes who swept across Europe on horseback and in wagons some 4500 years ago.

In my book ‘Noah’s Ark: The Anthropology of Genesis,’ the origins of the dragon myth and it’s occurrence in many cultures is examined. Many scholars have attempted to understand and explain how this creature, (which is both complex in it’s physical characteristics, and not found in nature) could show up in so many mythologies. Pictured here is a Scythian golden torc from Central Asia dating between the 2nd century BCE - 1st CE. This was over 1000 years prior to the arrival of the Mongol hordes and the tragic decimation of the Indo-European populations of the area. The Scythians were cousins to the Persians and spoke a language that was mutually understandable without the need of translators. Upon the arrival of the Huns, and later Mongols, most of the Scythians left their ancient homelands of the great Eurasian steppes and fled to settle finally in Iran, the Carpathians, France, and Spain. -H.J.N.

Mesopotamian Bronze Chariot Hunter, Early Dynastic, Mid-3rd Millennium BC

A very rare diorama on a rectangular framework base comprising: two stationary horses with halters attached to a round-section blustered yoke; a two-wheeled hunting chariot with stepped axle-tree and linch-pins to the solid wheels; a kilted hunter standing bare-chested and bearded holding the reins (part absent), with a slaughtered animal across the frame before him, game-bag behind to his left and quiver with arrows to his right; to the rear, a small hunting dog riding on the chariot’s beam.

The horse was first domesticated on the Eurasian steppe, its original habitat, perhaps as early as the 4th millennium BC; it may have been bred as a food source initially, but its use as a traction animal had begun by the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC, replacing the ox for this purpose. Wheeled vehicles had already appeared in the 3rd millennium BC, but the spoked wheel is not evidenced until the late 2nd millennium BC. The earliest known physical remains of chariots are in the chariot burials of the Andronovo Culture, an Indo-Iranian population in the area of modern Russia and Kazakhstan dating to around 2000 BC.

The combination of multiple horses and light-framed two-wheeled vehicles offered the possibility of travel at speed, both for war and for hunting. Chariot warfare originated with the Hittites, with the invention of spoked wheels around 1900 BC. Depictions of hunting in a chariot appear in Egypt after the vehicle’s introduction by the Hyksos in the 16th century BC, notably at Abu Simbel where the Battle of Kadesh fought in 1274 BC is represented, showing Ramses II fighting from a chariot with two archers accompanying him (photo). There is a similar example made from gold that forms part of the Oxus Treasure now in the British museum.
The Ascent of Woman - BBC Two
Dr Amanda Foreman uncovers stories of women that have made and changed human history.

Civilisation has given humanity extraordinary advances - codes of law and commerce, science and art. But what does it look like from the point of view of women? Travelling from the nomadic worlds of the Eurasian steppes to the early civilisations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, ancient Greece and Rome, Dr Amanda Foreman explores how early civilisations dealt with the roles and status of women and, in so doing, she asks some profound questions about the legacy they’ve left behind.

anonymous asked:

This may be random but I want your opinion. The question is where do you place Russia in historical context? It is a confusing country to place in history because it spans the Eurasian steppe. Do you think it is European, Asian, or really its own place?

The very big secret is that there is absolutely no proper delineation between Asia and Europe. Geographically it is simply “Eurasia." 

The lines we use to divide between West and East are flimsy at best - political or cultural, in many cases Imperialist or Orientalist - and people accept these borders. There are differences between China and Norway, of course – but there is no singular latitude and longitude where the continent changes drastically or radically from one thing to the next.  

With history, we treat things in contexts - social, political, cultural, geographic, etc. A vast amount of historians treat Russia through a "European” or “Western” context - which is no more right or wrong than the alternative. Much of Russia’s population and politics has intersected with the rest of what is thought to be Europe. The only treatment of Russia that would be relevant for this blog would be a treatment of Russia in the context of “Asia” and not “Europe”.

I hope that makes sense!