Beautiful Africa

Persian invasion of Scythia

The Scythians were a group of north Iranian nomadic tribes, speaking a Indo-Iranian language who had invaded Media, killed Cyrus in battle, revolted against Darius and threatened to disrupt trade between Central Asia and the shores of the Black Sea as they lived between the Danube river, river Don and the Black Sea.[9][27] Darius crossed the Black Sea at the Bosphorus Straits using a bridge of boats. Darius conquered large portions of Eastern Europe - even crossing the Danube to wage war on the Scythians. Darius invaded Scythia, where the Scythians evaded Darius's army, using feints and retreating technique eastward while wasting the countryside, by blocking wells, intercepting convoys, destroying pastures and continuous skirmishes against Darius's army.[28] Seeking to fight with the Scythians, Darius's army chased the Scythian army deep into Scythian lands, where there were no cities to conquer and no supplies to forage. In frustration Darius sent a letter to the Scythian ruler Idanthyrsus to fight or surrender. The ruler replied that he would not stand and fight with Darius until they found the graves of their fathers and tried to destroy them - until then, they could continue their current technique as they had no cities or cultivated lands to lose.[29] Darius ordered a halt at the banks of Oarus, where he built eight frontier fortresses spaced at intervals of eight miles. After chasing the Scythians for a month, Darius's army was suffering losses due to fatigue, privation and sickness. In fear of losing more troops, he halted the march at the banks of the Volga River and headed towards Thrace.[30] He had conquered enough territory of Scythia to force the Scythians to respect the Persian forces. Central Asia is the core region of the Asian continent and stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China in the east nd from Afghanistan in the south to Russia in the north. It is also sometimes referred to as Middle Asia, and, colloquially, "the 'stans" (as the five countries generally considered to be within the region all have names ending with the Persian suffix "-stan", meaning "land of")[3] and is within the scope of the wider Eurasian continent. In modern contexts, all definitions of Central Asia include these five republics of the former Soviet Union: Kazakhstan (pop. 16.6 million), Kyrgyzstan (5.5 million), Tajikistan (7.6 million), Turkmenistan (5.1 million), and Uzbekistan (29.5 million), for a total population of 64.7 million as of 2012. Other areas sometimes included are Afghanistan, Mongolia, eastern Iran and northern and western Pakistan, and sometimes Xinjiang and Tibet in western China, Jammu and Kashmir in northern India, and southern Siberia in western Russia. Various definitions of its exact composition exist, and no one definition is universally accepted. Despite this uncertainty in defining borders, it does have some important overall characteristics. For one, Central Asia has historically been closely tied to its nomadic peoples and the Silk Road.[4] As a result, it has acted as a crossroads for the movement of people, goods, and ideas between Europe, West Asia, South Asia, and East Asia.[5] During pre-Islamic and early Islamic times, Central Asia was a predominantly Iranian[6][7] region that included the sedentary Eastern Iranic speaking Bactrians, Sogdians and Chorasmians, and the semi-nomadic Scythians and Alans. The ancient sedentary population played an important role in the history of Central Asia. After expansion by Turkic peoples, Central Asia also became the homeland for many Turkic peoples, including the Kazakhs, Uzbeks, Turkmen, Kyrgyz and Uyghurs. Central Asia is sometimes referred to as Turkestan.