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Who were the Persians? Iran – West Asian history

By | 2017-11-01T22:57:18+00:00 September 14th, 2017|History, West Asia, Where|

Central Asian steppe Around 1200 BC, some Indo-European people from Central Asia moved south into West Asia. These people were the Persians and the Medes. The Persians and the Medes were distantly related to the Scythians, the Hittites, the Greeks and the Romans, and they spoke a related language. Like the Scythians, the Medes and the Persians were nomadic people. They travelled around Central Asia [...]

Safavid Empire – Iran in the 1600s

By | 2017-09-11T11:00:44+00:00 September 11th, 2017|History, West Asia|

Battle of Hormuz Abbas, the Shah of Iran, after conquering most of what is now Iraq from the Ottomans, turned east again and took Kandahar (now in southern Afghanistan) from Nur Jahan of the Mughal Empire in 1622. As part of the same campaign, Abbas also - in an alliance with Queen Elizabeth of Britain - pushed [...]

Iran and British colonialism – the 1800s

By | 2017-09-11T08:19:21+00:00 September 11th, 2017|History, West Asia|

Fath-Ali Shah Qajar Muhammed Khan Qajar conquered a lot of land for Iran, and made Iran richer. But that didn't stop him from being killed in 1797, when he was 55 years old. He had ruled for only three years. Muhammed had no kids, but his young nephew Fath-Ali was already the governor of [...]

Nader Shah – history of Iran – the 1700s

By | 2017-09-11T08:14:30+00:00 September 11th, 2017|History, West Asia|

Nader Shah (Iran, 1736-1747) In 1736 AD, Nader Shah overthrew the last Safavid shah and established the country of Iran, with himself as the Shah (king) of Iran. Like Genghis Khan, Nader Shah was from a Turkish family. Apparently he and his mother were captured as slaves by the Uzbeks when he was a child. Like Genghis Khan, Nader Shah [...]

Rustem’s death in the Shahnameh

By | 2017-07-26T09:11:44+00:00 July 26th, 2017|India, Literature|

Rustem kills the treacherous Shaghad When he was an old, old man, Rustem really did die (according to the story in the Shahnameh). Rustem died from treachery and betrayal, by his own half-brother Shaghad. One day Rustem was riding through the forest on his horse Rakhsh, when suddenly they fell into a pit. Shaghad had dug [...]

Arabic language and literature

By | 2017-07-25T21:47:53+00:00 July 25th, 2017|Islam, Literature|

Sabataean writing Arabic is in the Semitic language group. Semitic languages seems to have gotten started before the beginning of writing, somewhere near modern Syria. They spread from there through Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan down to the Arabian peninsula. Because the Arabian peninsula was more isolated, people there kept speaking an older version of the language. [...]

Ghaznavid Dynasty – Medieval Islam

By | 2017-07-23T23:47:02+00:00 July 23rd, 2017|History, India, Islam, West Asia|

A minaret in Ghazni (Afghanistan), from about 1000 AD Beginning in the 850s AD, the Abbasid caliphs of the Islamic Empire were looking for soldiers they would be able to trust, who were not other Arabs who would be trying to get into power. The Abbasids thought that the Turks would be trustworthy soldiers. So they captured a [...]

Slavery in medieval India – History of India

By | 2017-12-06T21:45:42+00:00 July 20th, 2017|India, People|

Dancing woman from Mohenjo Daro, in what is now Pakistan Slavery in ancient India There were probably always slaves in India, but until about 1000 AD there were only a few people who were enslaved, and most of them worked as house servants or entertainers. Islam brings more slavery to India But when Islamic conquerors reached India, they forced many [...]

After the Mughals – history of India

By | 2017-07-19T11:05:42+00:00 July 19th, 2017|History, India|

Nader Shah The decline of the Mughal empire in the early 1700s resulted in India splitting up into a lot of smaller countries. In the north, Afghanistan tried to set itself up as an independent country. But then Nader Shah of Iran conquered all the way to Delhi in 1738 and, although he retreated from there, he took over [...]

The end of the Mughal Empire in India

By | 2017-07-19T10:57:19+00:00 July 19th, 2017|History, India|

Taj Mahal, the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal When the Mughal emperor Jahangir died in 1627, his third son, Shah Jahan, became the new emperor. He immediately imprisoned his stepmother Nur Jahan so he could rule himself. Shah Jahan married Nur Jahan's niece, Mumtaz Mahal. Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal were very close. She had fourteen children, but [...]