Monday, January 25, 2016

Bactrian Timeline: 2500 BC - 870 AD

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2300 BC......."The Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex (or BMAC, also known as the Oxus civilization) is the modern archaeological designation for a Bronze Age civilisation of Central Asia, dated to ca. 2300–1700 BCE, located in present-day northern Afghanistan, eastern Turkmenistan, southern Uzbekistan and western Tajikistan, centered on the upper Amu Darya (Oxus River)....In the Early Bronze Age the culture of the Kopet Dag oases and Altyn-Depe developed a proto-urban society..... Pottery was wheel-turned. Grapes were grown. The height of this urban development was reached in the Middle Bronze Age c. 2300 BC..... It is this Bronze Age culture which has been given the BMAC name."

2000 BC....."Balkh is considered to be the first city to which the Indo-Iranian tribes moved from the North of Amu Darya, between 2000 – 1500 BC. The Arabs called it Umm Al-Belaad or Mother of Cities due to its antiquity...Bactria in ancient times was renowned for its grapes, oranges, water lilies and later sugar cane.....several natural trade routes intersect at Balkh. From there, caravans could follow the well-watered foot of the mountains westward towards Herat and Iran, or across the Oxus to Samarkand and China and all the routes across the Hindu Kush......the greatness of Balkh owes even more to those distinctive people who promoted craftsmanship and trade, created cities and wrote poetry all across the Iranian world. On the down side, Balkh was usually rich rather than powerful, and became the envy and the prize of more warlike neighbors."......http://depts.washington.edu/silkroad/cities/afghanistan/balkh.html

Click on the map to enlarge

1800 BC........"Shenrab Miwo......"The teacher who transmitted Bon into Tibet from Shang Shung (or Tazik) reportedly in 1800 BC. The Berlin manuscript of the Zermig has several unusual representations of Shenrap."......The Bon Religion of Tibet: The Iconography of a Living Tradition...by Per Kvaerne

1700 BC......Zarathustra......"Controversy over Zaraϑuštra's date has been an embarrassment of long standing to Zoroastrian studies. If anything approaching a consensus exists, it is that he lived no later than 1000 BC, give or take a century or so, though reputable scholars have proposed dates as widely apart as 1750 BC and '258 years before Alexander'."........http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zarathustra#cite_note-10

1600 BC......"The Proto-Indo-Iranians, from which the Indo-Aryans developed, are identified with the Sintashta culture (2100–1800 BC), and the Andronovo culture, which flourished ca. 1800–1400 BC in the steppes around the Aral sea, present-day Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. The proto-Indo-Iranians were influenced by the Bactria-Margiana Culture, south of the Andronovo culture, from which they borrowed their distinctive religious beliefs and practices. The Indo-Aryans split off around 1800-1600 BC from the Iranians, whereafter the Indo-Aryans migrated into the Levant and north-western India.".....Anthony, David W. (2007), The Horse The Wheel And Language. How Bronze-Age Riders From the Eurasian Steppes Shaped The Modern World,

1600 B.C......."In the Rig Veda, we read that the initial relationship between the Aryan religious groups... asuras (ahura) and deva was one of coexistence. This relationship would gradually change to one of competition....The story of the differences between the asuras and devas were of course a reflection of the differences and the violent conflict between the deva and asura worshippers. While the Hindu scriptures do not directly refer to Mazda worshippers, the Zoroastrian and Persian texts talk about the conflict as one between the deva and Mazda worshippers.....Periodically, one group would win dominance over the other. Nevertheless, until, their separation into the nations of Iran and India, they did coexist....At the time of Zarathushtra's birth, Asura/Mazda worship had lost ground to Deva worship....The conflict eventually resulted in the deva worshippers living in the Central Asian kingdom, leaving or being pushed south through the Hindu Kush mountain passes into the upper Indus valley.....The Indus Valley was called Hindu (Hind or Ind) in the Avesta." ....http://www.heritageinstitute.com/zoroastrianism/aryans/religion2.htm

1500 B.C...."....The weather change in Airyana Vaeja, that pollen and tree ring analysis indicates the Chang Tang plateau in Western and Northern Tibet had a far more liveable environment than it has today - one that supported a primordial civilization - until, starting around 1500 BC, the climate become colder and drier. The climate change would have caused the population to migrate out of the northern plateau. This type of climate change from temperate to cold, and the resulting changes in the environment from comfortable and verdant to harsh and rocky, is similar to the Zoroastrian stories of a climate change during the reign of legendary King Jamshid."....http://iranian.com/posts/view/post/7621

1000 B.C.......The I Ching (Chinese: 易經; pinyin: Yìjīng; [î tɕjə́ŋ]), also known as the Classic of Changes or Book of Changes in English, is an ancient divination text and the oldest of the Chinese classics. Possessing a history of more than two and a half millennia of commentary and interpretation, the I Ching is an influential text read throughout the world, providing inspiration to the worlds of religion, psychoanalysis, business, literature, and art. Originally a divination manual in the Western Zhou period (1000–750 BC),

900 B.C..........."The King of Shambhala, King Suchandra (sometimes wrongly Sanskritized as "Chandrabhadra," Tib. Dawa Sangpo), was the one who requested teaching from the Buddha. In response to his request, the Buddha gave the first Kalachakra root tantra in 900 to 876 BC. Note: the Kalachakra calculations put quite a bit earlier than the birth of Shakyamuni Buddha (563 or 566 B.C.)"

600 B.C.......Zoroastrianism....one of the world's oldest religions, "combining a cosmogonic dualism and eschatological monotheism in a manner unique... among the major religions of the world." It was founded by the Prophet Zoroaster (or Zarathustra) in ancient Iran approximately 3500 years ago. It was the official religion of Persia (Iran) from 600 BC to 650 AD.".....

604 B.C........Lao-Tzu (Lao-Tze)........c.604 - c.521 BC...Laozi of the Daoist school urged: "Man follows earth, earth follows Heaven, Heaven follows the Way, and the Way follows nature."

551 B.C.........Confucius (c. 551 – 479 BC)....... a Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history....Confucius's principles had a basis in common Chinese tradition and belief. He championed strong family loyalty, ancestor worship, respect of elders by their children and of husbands by their wives....Confucius said more about "human affairs" and less about "the Mandate of Heaven." Nonetheless, he also believed that "what the saint says" is in keeping with "the Mandate of Heaven."....The Mandate of Heaven is an ancient Chinese belief and philosophical idea that tiān (heaven) granted emperors the right to rule based on their ability to govern well and fairly. According to this belief, heaven bestows its mandate to a just ruler, the Son of Heaven."...Jiang, Yonglin (2011). The Mandate of Heaven and The Great Ming Code (Asian Law Series). University of Washington Press.

563 B.C......."Shakyamuni Buddha.....In 563 or 566 B.C., a prince was born to a noble family of the Shakya clan, in a very beautiful park called Lumbini Grove, which lay in the foothills of the Himalayas (in present-day southern Nepal). This beautiful park was not far from the capital city of the Shakya kingdom, Kapilavastu. The prince’s father, King Shuddhodana, named his son Siddhartha. He was a member of the Kshatriya, or royal warrior caste, and his clan lineage, the Gautamas, was ancient and pure. His mother was Mahamaya or Mayadevi, daughter of a powerful Shakya noble, Suprabuddha."...http://kagyuoffice.org/buddhism/shakyamuni-buddha/

329 B.C..........."Alexander took Bactria in 329 B.C., and made it his base for conquest and amalgamation of the Greek and Iranian civilizations.....After Alexander the Great’s victory over King Darius III at the Battle of Gaugamela in 331 BC, he had to contend with small rebellions that broke out across his empire. In the summer of 328 BC, one such rebellion occurred in the eastern satrapy of Bactria, a rebellion that would lead to a chance meeting with the beautiful Roxanne, the sixteen-year-old daughter of Oxyartes, the satrap of Bactria .....The marriage between Roxanne of Balkh and Alexander the Great took place in 327 BC."

304 B.C......."Emperor Ashoka the Great (Aśoka) lived from 304 to 232 BC and was the third ruler of the Mauryan Empire."

129 B.C......Bactria.....annexation by the Kushans (129 B.C.), whose large and powerful empire stretched from Central Asia deep into India. Balkh flourished at the crossroads as a depot and trans-shipment point for the world’s luxuries. “ From the Roman Empire the caravans brought gold and silver vessels and wine; fom Central Asia and China rubies, furs, aromatic gums, drugs, raw silk and embroidered silks; from India spices, cosmetics, ivory and precious gems of infinite variety” With the merchants came monks preaching the new religion of Buddhism, and Balkh became a center of worship and learning, famous for its Buddhist temples and monasteries."...http://depts.washington.edu/silkroad/cities/afghanistan/balkh.html

216 A.D......Mani (Middle Persian Māni and Syriac Mānī, Greek Μάνης, Latin Manes; also Μανιχαίος, Latin Manichaeus, from Syriac ܡܐܢܝ ܚܝܐ Mānī ḥayyā)....... c. 216–274 A.D.), of Iranian origin....the prophet and the founder of Manichaeism, a gnostic religion of Late Antiquity which was once widespread but is now extinct.... In 240–41 A.D. , Mani travelled to "India" (i.e. to the Sakhas in modern-day Afghanistan), where he studied Hinduism and was probably influenced by Greco-Buddhism. Al-Biruni says Mani traveled to 'India' after being banished from Persia. Returning in 242 A.D., he joined the court of Shapur I, to whom he dedicated his only work written in Persian, known as the Shabuhragan. Shapur was not converted to Manichaeanism and remained Zoroastrian."....Marco Frenschkowski (1993). "Mani".

630 A.D......."By the time the Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang (formerly spelled Hsuan Tsang) passed through Balkh (630 A.D.) on his way to the fountainhead of Buddhism in India, the city had become part of the Sassanian empire. The bazaars were still humming with trade, the countryside fertile and the great temples impressed him with their magnificence. But Xuanzang noted laxness among the monks, and the rise of Zoroastrianism. There was strife with the Turki nomads across the Oxus, and the Arab incursions were just fifteen years ahead."...http://depts.washington.edu/silkroad/cities/afghanistan/balkh.html

633 A.D....."Parsis.....According to the Qissa-i Sanjan, Parsis migrated from Greater Iran to Gujarat and Sindh between the 8th and 10th century AD to avoid the persecution of Zoroastrians by Muslim invaders who conquered Iran....When Islam became the predominant religion of areas including such present-day countries as Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Oman, the Muslim invasion of Persia, launched by the Rashidun Caliphate in 633 AD, became a huge event in the history of the region. During these conquests, buildings and books were destroyed....Due to this persecution, Zoroastrians became refugees in India."...https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoroastrianism_in_India

650 A.D......"Iranian-Aryan Relations with the Tibetan Empire....The Tibetan empire established by Songtsen Gampo soon grew in power that extended beyond its borders....The Yarlung dynasty appears to have continued the collaborative relationship the Zhang Zhung had with the Iranian Aryans. The relationship continued even after the Arabs had conquered the Persian empire. Since it is the Tibetans who had become the dominant eastern power in the seventh century CE, it is they who provided the Persians and Sogdians sanctury.....As they fled east, the Persians first took refuge in Sugd (Sogdiana) and their presence there has been recorded on Sogdian inscriptions in Panjakand and Paykand. Then as the Persians and Sogdians continued east into China...... the rise of Tibetan power was because of the assistance of Persian refugees fleeing from the Arab invasion of Persia in the 650s AD. According to Nikitin, when the Persians arrived in the Tibetan court, they trained the Tibetans in the art of imperial warfare. According to another author Beckwith, a Chinese source describes the Yarlung Tibetan warriors and horses as being completely clad in armour in the Sassanian fashion. An important military technological advance and advantage for the Tibetans was their newly acquired ability to produce chain mail for armour.".....http://iranian.com/posts/view/post/7621

674 A.D......."Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad (Arabic: عبيد الله بن زياد‎) was an Umayyad general and the governor for the Umayyad Caliphate in Kufa, in what is now Iraq during the reign of Yazid I.....In 674 he crossed the Amu Darya and defeated the forces of the ruler of Bukhara in the first known invasion of the city by Muslim Arabs.

870 A.D......."In 672 an Arab governor of Sistan, Abbad ibn Ziyad, raided the frontier of Al-Hind and crossed the desert to Gandhara, but quickly retreated again. The Arab General Obaidallah (Ubayd Allah) crossed the Sita River and made a raid on Kabul in 698 only to meet with defeat and humiliation. Vincent Smith, in Early History of India, states that the Turkishahiya dynasty continued to rule over Kabul and Gandhara up until the advent of the Saffarids in the ninth century. Forced by the inevitable advance of Islam on the west, they then moved their capital from Kapisa to Wahund on the Indus, whence they contin­ued as the Hindushahiya dynasty. This was in 870 A.D. and marks the first time that the Kingdom of Shambhala actually came under Moslem domination.".....http://www.dharmafellowship.org/biographies/historicalsaints/lord-padmasambhava.htm#eightcentury

870 A.D......."The Kabul Shahi dynasties also called Shahiya ruled the Kabul Valley (in eastern Afghanistan) and the old province of Gandhara (northern Pakistan and Kashmir) during the Classical Period of India from the decline of the Kushan Empire in the 3rd century to the early 9th century A.D. They are split into two eras the Buddhist-Shahis and the later Hindu-Shahis with the change-over occurring around 870.A.D."....Sehrai, Fidaullah (1979). Hund: The Forgotten City of Gandhara

"The times that followed were turbulent ones in Central Asia. Balkh changed hands repeatedly among Arab, Persian and Turki rulers, and was sacked more than once, yet it continued to flourish. The Arab geographers Yaqubi and Moqaddasi (9th and 10th centuries) depict Balkh as it was under Samanid rule, whe Bukhara was the center of power. A large and prosperous city of mud brick some three square miles in area, it held perhaps 200,000 persons. It was surrounded by mud-brick walls pierced by seven gates. A splendid Friday Mosque occupied the center, and many more mosques were scattered among the dwellings. The fire temple in the suburbs, which Xuanzang had admired when it was a Buddhist monastery, was still noteworthy. The city was home, not only to Persians and Turks but also to communities of Jews and Indian traders. It nourished poets and scholars, lawyers and even geographers and astronomers. But peace was a sometime thing; even when Balkh came under Seljuk rule for over a century, the nomads were never far away."......http://depts.washington.edu/silkroad/cities/afghanistan/balkh.html

("Catastrophe struck in 1220 A.D., when Ghengis Khan chose to make an example of Balkh, perhaps as punishment for an uprising. One hundred thousand Mongol horsemen embarked on an orgy of slaughter and destruction that left nothing standing; a few weeks later they returned to pick off the survivors of the carnage. Balkh remained in ruins for a century.".....http://depts.washington.edu/silkroad/cities/afghanistan/balkh.html

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Email....okarresearch@gmail.com

January 2016

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