Steppe Nomads and Central Asia

Nomads such as the Scythians, Huns, Turks & Mongols, and kingdoms of Central Asia

Introduction: The Restless Horsemen
The pastoral nomads are sometimes belittled in historical studies because of their "barbarian and warlike" nature. However, It is absurd to say that they were not a significant driving force in history. Often times, the Nomads waged war with their sedentary neighbors. In many instances, nomadic hordes such as that of the Xiong Nu, Uighurs, and the Turuk penetrated deep into sedentary lands such as the Chinese, Roman and Persian Empires. In the Western steppes, for example, the nomadic Huns were a significant factor during the the fall of Rome period. While nomads were warlike, it would be wrong to state that they were always at war. In fact, nomads traded as much as they fougth. Because of their location, they served as operators of the silk road. The most crucial period of the Nomads was during the "Middle Ages", where the Seljuk Turks, Ghaznavid Turks, and Mongols conquered large sedentary civilizations. The Seljuk Turks became the new Islamic power and the Ghaznavids introduced Islam to India. The incredibly enormous Mongol Empire, often accused of brutal conquests, left a legacy of world integration. Because nearly all of Asia became under their control, trade, cultural exchange, and economical activity was at a maximum. However, by the end of the period, the gradual developement of firearms took away the prominence of nomadic war machines. Lacking the military edge that gave them their fame, nomads gradually lost their strength.

Steppes and Central Asia
Steppes and Central Asia: Ancient Steppes
Steppes and Central Asia: 500-1200 AD
Steppes and Central Asia: 1200 AD