Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Durand Line (625 BC): Pakhtia and the Eastern Satrapies


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"Saka clans settled along the middle course of what is the Durand line around 625 BC-Immediately after the end of the Saka Interregnum in Persia that is said to have lasted from 653-625 BC. "

" Saka Interregnum in Persia....653-625 BC Madius - Scythian interregnum....Herodotus speaks in some detail of a period of Scythian domination, the so called Scythian interregnum in Median Dynasty history. His dating of this event remains uncertain but traditionally it is seen as falling between the reigns of Phraortes and Cyaxares and as covering the years 653 to 625 BC. ....."

"The Sākyas appear to have entered India from the west some time after the Vedas were completed (ca. 1000 BCE) and then migrated east well before the time of the Buddha (ca. 480-400 BCE)......Indologist Michael Witzel has suggested that the similarity of the name Śākya and Śaka (the Indian and Persian name for the Scythians) is no coincidence. He thinks the Śākyas were "an early incursion of the Scythians" into India."

"King Suchandra had miraculously come from Shambhala, and he requested the Kalachakra for the entourage of listeners: the ninety-six emanated satraps of the ninety-six great lands within Shambhala........".....

"Pakhtia...Pakthas are an ancient people that find reference in Sanskrit and Greek sources as a people living in the region which includes south-eastern Afghanistan and Northern parts of Pakistan. In the Rigveda, the Kurram is mentioned as "Kruma"....The Pakthas were one of the tribes that fought against Sudas in the Dasarajna the Battle of the Ten Kings (dāśarājñá), a battle alluded to in Mandala 7 of the Rigveda (RV 7.18.7).........Heinrich Zimmer connects them with a tribe already mentioned by Herodotus (Pactyans), and with Pashtuns in Afghanistan. The Greek historian Herodotus mentioned a people called Pactyan living on the eastern frontier of the Achaemenid Arachosia Satrapy as early as the 1st millennium BCE......The area of the Gandhara has been associated with the Pakta or Pakthas......"The description Gandhara can be found in the Rigveda and it is also known as the Peshawar valley and the people of the area were known as Paktha."....."The History of Herodotus Chapter 7, Written 440 B.C.E, Translated by George Rawlinson".

"The Durand Line (Pashto: د ډیورنډ کرښه‎) refers to the 2,640 kilometers (1,640 mi) long porous border between Afghanistan and Pakistan......The area in which the Durand Line runs has been inhabited by the indigenous Pashtuns since ancient times, at least since 500 B.C. The Greek historian Herodotus mentioned a people called Pactyans living in and around Arachosia as early as the 1st millennium BC..... The Baloch tribes inhabit the southern end of the line, which runs in the Balochistan region that separates the ethnic Baloch people........Arab Muslims conquered the area in the 7th century and introduced Islam to the Pashtuns. It is believed that some of the early Arabs also settled among the Pashtuns in the Sulaiman Mountains........"

"The area in respect of which negotiations between the Amir and Mortimer Durand took place has for long been inhabited by the Pakhtuns. The ancient Greek historian, Herodotus, referred to the land they occupied (between the Oxus and Indus rivers) as Pakhtia. The late Prof. A.H. Dani, a well-known Pakistani historian and archaeolo- gist, wrote that closer to our time the term ‘Pakhtunkhwa’ has been occurring in Pushto literature since the 15th century. It has appeared in numerous writings, including those during the reign of Emperor Shahabuddin Ghauri, and more recently in poems composed by Akhund Darwazeh (d.1838) and Ahmad Shah Abdali.......

"The Greek historian, Herodotus in his book, the Persian Wars, talks of a people who wear animal skins, fight with bows and arrows and speak a strange Persian language and call themselves from Paktuike, Pakticus and Paktika." .....

"....a fragment of the geographer and chronicler Hecataeus of Miletus,writing in about 500B.C.,even earlier than Herodotus,but in the form(Kaspapuros).Moreover Hecataeus states that his Kaspapuros IS IN Gandhara,as Herodotus places his Kaspaturos in Paktuike--an interesting clue to the identity of Gandhara with Paktuite......The divergence between the Herodotean Kaspaturos and the Hecataean Kaspapuros is not substantial........At Naqsh-i-Rustam,by the rock-tombs of Darius and his line, American archeologists of the Chicago Oriental Institute have recently uncovered a fascinating bilingual inscription in the name of Shapur 1,the second emperor of the Sassanid line...This inscription,in Parthian and Greek,gives a place named Pshkbur/Paskiboura as the limit of the Sassanian Empire to the east....the inscriptions of Darius,recorded earlier on rocks or slabs of dressed stone.Among a number of recitations,instinct with a prode and vain-glory ,are detailed lists of the satrapies of the Empire......The eastern satrapies are given as Aria(Herat), Bactria(Balk), Chorasmia(Khwarezm or Khiva), Sattagydia(uncertain), Dogdiana(between the Oxus and Jaxartes), Arachosia(Kandahar), Gandhara(Peshawar valley), and India.The old Persian actually used for the three satrapies most relevant to our present enquiries is THATAGUSH (Sattagydia), GADARA (Gandhara), and HINDUSH (India)......."....

".....there exists an intricate web of Iranian branches which spread along the Oxus from the Panj river and the Vakhan corridor in the Pamirs to the southern coast of the Caspian Sea somewhere between 1500 BC to 500 BC. It's also important to understand that the Oxus is the main water artery in the region and could metaphorically bear the name of the "Great Iranian River", serving as the most important and sometimes the only route for the migration across Central Asia for thousands of years.".....

"....Indian epics routinely refer to the conflicts between the Devas and the Asuras in ancient times. In all probability it was Iran where the two Aryan tribes fell out..... If the Devas or, according to Thapar, the "Indo-Aryan speakers living in the Indo-Iranian borderlands and the Haraxvati (Sarasvati) area of Afghanistan gradually migrated to the Indus plain," then they might well be called the first batch of Parsis, although the concept of Persia was not prevalent at the time which is 1500 BC. In the Avesta, there are references to these migrations from Iran to the hepta hindu/sapta sindhu areas as a result of pressure on the land because of an increase in human and animal populations.".....

"....Although the current frontier between Afghanistan andPakistan (the Durand Line) was only settled by treaty in 1893, the question of where borders should be laid down in the area goes back thousands of years. Afghanistan, in the words of the late Professor Arnold Toynbee, is a ‘roundabout of empires’. It is the spot in Central Asia where three great empires – the Persian in the west, theTurkic/Mongol/Russian in the north, and the Indian in the south-east – met......"....

"..."The name Hindu Kush is usually applied to the whole of the range separating the basins of the Kabul and Helmand rivers from that of the Amu Darya (or ancient Oxus), or more specifically, to that part of the range to the northwest of Kabul which was called the (Indian) Caucasus by the Greeks of Alexander. Another Greek name was"Paropamisos". .....The origin of the term "Hindu Kush" (and whether it translates as "Hindu Killer") is a point of contention. The earliest known use of this name was by the famous Arab traveller, Ibn Battūta c. 1334, who wrote: "Another reason for our halt was fear of the snow, for on the road there is a mountain called Hindūkūsh, which means "Slayer of Hindus," .....alternate possibilities for its origin: that the name is a corruption of "Caucasus Indicus." In modern Persian, the word "Kush" is derived from the verb Kushtan - to defeat, kill, or subdue. .....That the name refers to the last great 'killer' mountains to cross when moving between the Afghan plateau and the Indian subcontinent, named after the toll it took on anyone crossing them; that the name is a corruption of Hindu Koh, from the (modern) Persian word Kuh, meaning mountain. Rennell, writing in 1793, refers to the range as the "Hindoo-Kho or Hindoo-Kush"..."

"The Hephthalites (or Ephthalites), also known as the White Huns, were a nomadic confederation in Central Asia during the late antiquity period. The Hephthalite Empire, at the height of its power (in the first half of the 6th century), was located in the territories of present-day Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, India and China. The stronghold of the Hephthalite power was Tokharistan on the northern slopes of the Hindu Kush mountains, present-day northeastern Afghanistan.


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