Indo-European

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Vis and Ramin – Iran – West Asian stories

By |2018-04-25T23:57:31+00:00September 15th, 2017|Literature, West Asia|

A Parthian noblewoman This is a story from the Parthian Empire, but the earliest written version that we still have is by the Islamic poet Gorgani, about 1050 AD: King Mobad of Marv saw the beautiful Queen Shahru, and asked her to marry him, but she was already married. Instead, Queen Shahru promised to send King Mobad her daughter to marry, [...]

Sohrab and Rustem – Iran – West Asian stories

By |2018-04-07T17:04:55+00:00September 15th, 2017|Literature, West Asia|

The death of Sohrab (Iranian painting) This story is probably an old Indo-European story that Persian people told even before they moved south into Iran about 2000 BC. It's probably related to the German story of Hildebrand and the Greek story of Achilles and Penthesileia, though sometimes Rustem is also a trickster like Odysseus, or like the Indian Krishna (you may want to compare [...]

Jupiter – Roman god – Roman religion

By |2018-04-16T23:51:47+00:00September 4th, 2017|Religion, Romans|

Jupiter (fresco from the House of the Dioscuri, Pompeii, ca. 79 AD) Jupiter was the chief of the gods for the Romans, the way Zeus was for the Greeks and Thor was for the Germans. In fact, they must have all originally been the same Indo-European sky god. Jupiter and Zeus really have the same name - Jupiter comes from Ju-pater, [...]

European science in the 1800s

By |2018-04-16T10:32:30+00:00August 7th, 2017|Modern Europe, Science|

European boys at school in the 1800s In the first half of the 1800s AD, countries in northern Europe like France and Britain forced India, Ghana, Nigeria, Canada, and other countries to give them food. That meant that many people in northern Europe could stop farming and get an education. Families sent more boys to school than girls, so most of the educated people were [...]

Tristan and Isolde – King Arthur’s Round Table

By |2018-04-22T10:26:50+00:00August 4th, 2017|Literature, Medieval|

Tristan and Isolde, in a German woodcut (1400s AD) In the story, Isolde was a princess in Ireland, and a great healer. She was the best doctor in the land. One day this guy Tristan shows up. He's been sent by his uncle King Mark to get Isolde and bring her back for King Mark to marry. [...]

The Slavs – Early Slavic History – Where did the Slavs come from?

By |2018-04-16T14:01:09+00:00August 2nd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Early Slavic history: Where did the Slavs come from? A Slavic furnace from Novae, in Bulgaria (300s AD) - maybe a pottery kiln? The Slavs were Indo-Europeans The Slavs, who spoke a branch of Indo-European, first moved to Europe from West Asia around 2000 BC, about the same time as the Greeks moved to Greece. Many Slavs settled in [...]

Magyars – Early Medieval Hungary

By |2017-08-02T14:17:41+00:00August 2nd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Ural mountains In the Early Middle Ages, Turkic and Mongol people in Central Asia were moving westward, pushing out Indo-European people - and other people - who had been living there. The Magyars, who were probably distant cousins of the Turkic people, had been living in the Ural Mountains. But the Gokturks and other Turkic people like the Khazars pushed [...]

The Lombards – Early Medieval Italy

By |2018-04-15T16:50:52+00:00August 2nd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Lombard Christian altar (700s AD) (University of Alabama) In 568 AD, a Turkic people, the Avars, pushed the Indo-European Lombards out of their home in Central Europe. This was the westernmost edge of a general tendency for Turkic people to take over more of Asia around this time. The Lombards moved south into northern Italy, and conquered it from [...]

The Yamnaya and the Indo-European language family

By |2018-04-21T13:20:00+00:00July 27th, 2017|Central Asia, History|

Yamnaya get around: Map of the spread of Indo-European languages Who were the Yamnaya? People we call the Yamnaya (Ukrainian for "People who lived in pits") seem to have been speaking an early version of the Indo-European language at least as early as 5000 BC in the area between the Black Sea and the Caspian [...]

Languages and Writing

By |2018-04-23T15:33:13+00:00July 27th, 2017|Literature|

Cuneiform tablet from West Asia Most people in the ancient Mediterranean and West Asian areas spoke languages that divided into two groups. One language group is Indo-European and the other group is Semitic. In southern Africa, most people spoke either a Bantu language or a Khoisan language. Indian people spoke Dravidian languages. Central Asian people spoke variations of Turkic [...]