Thursday, February 08, 2024

Nomadic empires

If you are interested in nomadic empires, you surely will want to read this substantial article at Medievalists.net. If you want to know more, it will link you to the original scholarly article Genetic population structure of the Xiongnu Empire at imperial and local scales. 

I feel much smarter than I did before I read this material😄.  It's really a matter of attitude -- my attitude.  The traditional literary sources  for the steppe seemed to be dominated by mythological stories of Genghis  Khan and efforts of more modern historians to estimate how many gazillion Mongols were in his armies.  The latter efforts were influenced by a fear of the Ottomans, which kept alive the fearsome reputation of the Mongols and the Huns.  (Not so much the Avars and the Magyars.)

This recent DNA research gives me reason to visualize the steppe peoples as real peoples with economies, graves and other tangible attributes.

Image:  A multi-ethnic dinner on the steppes.  No doubt they will be discussing the state of the herds and potential marriage alliances.


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