HomeREADERSCIVILISATIONSEntire History of Steppe Nomads & City Builders // Ancient Prehistory Documentary

Entire History of Steppe Nomads & City Builders // Ancient Prehistory Documentary

By the 1920s planet earth had mostly been explored Though the likes of theodore roosevelt and percy fawcett still launched expeditions deep into the amazon Rainforest navigating along unknown rivers by sheer gusto and canoe And others still looked deep into the deserts and oceans For the most part the blank spots on the map had been filled in Gone were the days of pioneering voyages of discovery launched to far-flung lands. And most recently the horrors of the first world war had brought modernity Crunching hideously into the psyche of the west. And yet during this formative era of motor cars Cameras and telephones within just a couple of decades of the Victorian era there were still individuals who sought to experience that older primordial World that came before . İn 1924 pioneering american documentarians ernest shodzak and marion C cooper toted their bulky silent movie cameras into the zagros mountains of İran . This was nine years before they created King kong enduring tale of a fearful primitive force out of place in the modern world A masterpiece of early cinema Still early on in their careers the two men had traveled halfway around the globe to document another fearful Primitive force equally out of place in a world of airplanes automobiles and radio But this force unlike kong was very real Shozak and cooper adventured to iran to capture the lifestyle of the bhaktiyari A nomadic people who moved seasonally in search of pasture for their herds of goats . A way of life unchanged for millennia Dating back deep into the mists of the ancient world They called their documentary grass . To american viewers the nomads of grass were a quaint and exotic spectacle A people forgotten by time . The inhabitants of iran’s cities had a Different perspective . İn 1909 the goat herders had stormed down the mountainsides to occupy the Principal cities of iran and overthrow the shah Similar attacks that had been occurring since the bronze age . The safavid shars had fought the mountaineers for centuries their sassanian and achaemenid Predecessors for much longer İn the most recent centuries generally preoccupied with seemingly never-ending Conflict with the Ottoman Turks the shahs of iran had nonetheless Repeatedly launched campaigns into the zagros Hoping to disarm the tribesmen or crush their will by capturing their cards and Blinding or executing them but the pattern always remained the same When one nomad leader fell another would arise to take their place By the 20th century tanks bombers fighter planes and machine guns had Transformed warfare but the mountain men remained undaunted İn the early 1920s asha revived efforts to disarm the tribes He invited the leaders of the nomadic lures to a peace conference and then hung them The lures responded by laying siege to tehran and boiling iranian officers Alive Just a few years later on the cusp of the making of grass in a last great show Of their power the bhaktiyari laid siege to isfahan . Continuing to have the power to end governments and influence affairs Even today the odds have been stacked against them of late many still live that same nomadic Lifestyle this struggle in iran between the pastoralist tribes of the mountains and The agriculturalist cities of the plains was nothing unusual in world history . Arguably being just the last major episode in a conflict which had raged For at least 5 000 years From the bronze age to the edwardian era Shaping the rise and fall of world civilizations and leading to the construction of some of history’s Greatest monuments and fortifications built to try and defend Against those invaders this is the story of civilization Barbarism and the walls that stood between . A tale spanning the entirety of human history And all corners of the globe my name is pete kelly And i bid you welcome to history time . Hello folks pete kelly here the one man Team behind this channel now usually i write and produce all the videos on this channel but this time we have something Very very very special this video was written by david frye who Wrote this incredible book walls now i read this book a year or two ago and İ’ve been digesting it ever since it’s an incredible read it’s an entire history of civilization through the lens Of barbarians versus the city builders which obviously is the theme of this video so if you enjoy this video go and Check out walls buy it it’s very cheap it’s an incredible read it may just change the way that you view the world As we know it goes from the very earliest days of civilization all the way through to the present and beyond and as you can see on The front tom holland reviewed it another one of the absolute greats of popular history Writing so if you like your popular history if you like your history go check it out it’s an academic it’s an İncredible read there’ll be a link down below walls it’s great do it All right so i am a one-man team so uh i hope you don’t mind me taking a moment to thank the sponsor of this video it’s Magellan tv let’s have a look this video is sponsored by magellan tv One of the best documentary streaming services on the web and a long time supporter of this channel Here you can find thousands of documentaries on any subject you can think of All easily watchable from the app on your phone tablet laptop or tv And many of them in 4k you’ve got science culture geography and Of course history from all different eras İ often find myself delving into lost civilizations and ancient cultures on this channel And magellan is great for that too i recently enjoyed this title on ethiopia’s megalithic monuments as well As the fascinating bronze age story of the famous actved girl from denmark And now you can watch both of these titles completely for free by signing up for a free trial using my link in the Description below go and get yourself some free knowledge Now back to the ancient world The tale of city builder and nomad of so-called civilization and barbarism Begins so long ago As much as 12 000 years ago in pre-history With the domestication of animals and grains not long after the very first towns . With the birth of agriculture human Society was set on two opposite paths on the one hand the task of nurturing Plants was largely a peaceful one Sedentary and labor-intensive it was peaceful because the greatest Threats to crops were insects and herbivores Sedentary because farmers needed to stay near their fields And labor intensive because farming originated in the relatively dry regions Of the fertile crescent just to survive near eastern towns and Eventually cities often required hundreds of miles of irrigation canals All of which had to be regularly weeded and cleaned lest they clog up from the relentless Deposit of silt from rivers By contrast the herders those who relied entirely on domesticated animals rather Than crops had comparatively little work to do but like the bactiari they did have to Move frequently to find pasture for their animals exposing them to far more danger than The city builders it’s likely that some at least may have Originally been town dwellers cultivating both animals and grains Before giving up on the latter when times were hard İn return for their freedom herders slept in the open and had to be prepared To defend their animals from lions and other carnivals that prowled the countryside .Unlike the farmers they had to be Skilled with slings and other weapons and they couldn’t back down from a threat to their animals Even if that threat was human . City folk admired the herders for their bravery and toughness often relying on them as protectors İn the ancient near east even kings liked to boast that they were shepherds tending to their flock . İn the case of the biblical king of the jews david this was said to be literally True . But the bible also describes another destiny for the herdsmen The shepherd abraham is said to have taken his warlike sons and fighting men And wandered away from his home city of ur never to return . With no pasture of their own abraham and His men fought settled peoples for grazing land and access to wells They became nomads . Herders had been drifting away from farming communities for thousands of Years by the time of abraham . Many found their way to the marginal Lands of the hills mountains desert and steppe where grain agriculture was impractical There out of sight or contact with the urban river valleys their numbers grew Given enough time on the occasion they or their descendants returned to the agricultural zones The herdsmen simply took what they wanted from the farmers Farmers made for easy victims unable to flee because of their need to Stay by their fields lacking skills with weapons and less used to danger From the very earliest sedentary settlements the farmers sought to shield themselves from the wild animals and Nomadic peoples who threatened them creating physical barriers around their Communities . İn pre-history as far back as the early Neolithic town of jericho farmers surrounded themselves with ditches mounds and wooden palisades Eventually they constructed more permanent walls Early city walls were immense projects Limited by the resources at hand the wall builders of all the major centres of civilization constructed their Fortifications with mud or dirt Though in their time they would have been no less impressive than those made of stone we see today The people of the indus valley mesopotamians and egyptians alike all Used millions of sun-dried mud bricks the Chinese laboriously tamped soil Between wooden frames and because these building materials Were neither permanent nor impregnable the walls had to be enormously thick Sometimes over a hundred feet or 30 meters wide at their base Once they were complete they required steady maintenance an immense amount of manpower and work Though readily available due to the food surplus and population advantage provided by agriculture [Applause] it was these mighty walls which by the third millennium bc Transformed the sedentary farmers of the settled river valleys into city dwellers Giving rise to the nearly endless struggle between city dweller and nomad Civilized and barbarian . The sort of men who could dig and maintain irrigation works tend crops and construct massive walls Were workers rather than warriors walls reduced the need for full-time Defenders a major city might have an army of just a few hundred men out of a population That numbered in the tens of thousands the remaining men were civilians Freed from the obligation to train for war and the constant need to defend themselves and their families they Gradually learned that they could specialise in other occupations . Becoming scribes and artists eventually mathematicians playwrights Historians philosophers architects and poets .

Outside the walls No such specialization existed Every man’s primary role was defender The languages of the nomads had no word for soldier the word for man sufficed Boys were trained from childhood to endure pain and ignore danger They were provided with weapons and trained in how to use them Once they attained manhood they earned respect on the battlefield the measure of a man was his skill in Battle everything else was secondary But where war defines manhood war becomes a necessity Young men sought out battle as a means to prove themselves impress women And acquire prestige The conflict between the workers and the warriors was a deadly fact of life for More than 5 000 years . Across the world languages developed words to describe the warlike outsiders from beyond the walls Though in english we generally know them by the roman term Barbarians . As early as the bronze age kings Conceived of an audacious strategy for holding off the barbarians dreaming not just of a walled city But a walled kingdom in around 2000 bc The mesopotamian king shulgi of er constructed the world’s first Historically attested border wall . Predating the earliest Chinese border walls by more than a thousand years . Like all sumerian kings shulgi was a proud man He had to be declaring that his wall would allow the people of ur to live in perpetual peace But in reality neither he nor his successors had enough soldiers to defend The massive fortification a generation after its construction Tribesmen from the zagros forerunners to the bacteria of grass Thundered down the mountains slaughtering the civilized mesopotamians And according to contemporary sources filling the euphrates with floating corpses The first experiment had failed sumerian culture Died with it . Long after that crisis had ended however the dream of a walled kingdom safe from The barbarians persisted İn the mid first millennium bc the babylonian king nebuchadnezzar provided Three massive walls for his capital before adding much longer walls on the Border of his kingdom to secure the rest of babylonia The northernmost wall stretched 31 miles from the tigris to the euphrates İt required a staggering 164 million large handmade mud bricks Yet like shulgi nebuchadnezzar lacked the manpower to fully defend his wall And babylon fell to the persians in the 6th century bc . Themselves having their roots on the step . Like the sumerians before them the babylonian way of life soon too disappeared . As the wall builders gradually expanded their cities of mud so too the nomads steadily advanced And steeled themselves to take what they could But first the greatest threat came from the mountains which were ill-suited for agriculture But perfect for herding peoples and their animals . And from the 5 000 mile grassland that stretched from Mongolia to the eastern Shores of the black sea we know it as the eurAsian steppe . İn the second millennium bc the steppe Gave rise to the first charioteers evolving from a variety of early Horse-rearing cultures İt wasn’t long before they overran india bactria majiana and Asia minor A thousand years later the stepmen abandoned their chariots for cavalry By the first millennium bc nomadic horsemen roamed the grasslands in search Of untapped pasture and seasonal warmth the likes of the scythians and the zhong New unlike the grain farmers to their south The nomads acknowledged no boundaries moving far and wide in order to get the Best grass for their herd animals the nomadic warriors of the steppe would Be the most feared of all barbarians in western myth the step nomads were Known as gog and magog . Demons of hell less fanciful authors knew them as scythians salvations Huns tartars Mongols and Turks Tens of thousands of miles of border walls would be raised against the warriors of the steppe By the empires of China persia byzantium rome kiev and russia According to one legend Alexander the great constructed a vast iron gate in the caucasus mountains to hold off Gorgon and magog 3 000 blacksmiths and 3 000 brass Workers toiled on the barrier . An inscription prophesied that Alexander‘s gates would hold off the barbarians for 826 years after which they would burst through Only after another 940 years would Alexander triumph in a great apocalyptic Struggle the tale of Alexander‘s gates spread far Beyond greece in the quran Alexander is known as dulcanon The two-horned one and gog and magog have become yajud and Miaj persian storytellers added that genies assisted the great greek king . Beyond the reach of Alexander‘s legend an eastern nation imagined its walls had Been built by an emperor with a magical whip . As in mesopotamia city walls made civilization possible in China Walls and civilization were closely linked in Chinese thought The Chinese term for a protective city god literally translated as god of the Wall and moat . İn Chinese writing the same symbol represented both city and wall The two were so inseparable . And of course just like the mesopotamians to the west the Chinese were beset by their own barbarian foes The Chinese knew their step barbarians as zhongnu Or Huns No nation felt the wrath of the Huns more directly than China As one author wrote the Huns live not by plowing but by killing Their only business wrote another was robbing and stealing Terrorized by constant hun raiding Chinese states first began constructing Border walls against the steppe barbarians in around 800 bc . By 210 bc the first emperor of China Constructed what would become known as the long wall . Like shulgi the first emperor understood that he commanded more workers than Soldiers if he couldn’t defeat the Huns militarily he hoped he could at least Overwhelm them with productivity . Built by soldiers vagabonds and peasants the long wall stretched between 1100 And 1900 miles on China‘s vulnerable northern border . The first emperor proclaimed that his Wall would allow the people to enjoy calm in their tranquil dwellings Arms he said would no longer be necessary . But the first emperor’s long wall like the earlier walls of shulgi and Nebuchadnezzar may have simply been too long to defend . The horsemen of the step swept across Unwalled and unguarded areas barbarian raids a perennial fact of Chinese life continued Chinese military advisers despaired of their ability to compete with the Huns They can withstand the wind and rain fatigue hunger and thirst wrote one Whereas Chinese soldiers are not so good As another remarked trying to catch the Huns is like grabbing at a shadow Subsequent emperors bartered everything they could in order to get peace Wagon loads of silk grain and princesses even were shipped north in futile Appeasement of the barbarians . Meanwhile the han emperors sent more colonists to the walled frontier Far to the west to the silk road cities of Central Asia Similarly civilized regions on the border of the barbarian world The walls guardians mostly relocated slaves criminals and peasants Sang folk songs about their plight one went İf a son is born don’t raise him if a girl is born feed her dried meat Don’t you just see below the long wall dead men’s skeletons prop each other up . But not all of China suffered equally . The long wall and its successors created a frontier zone that could absorb hun Raids allowing the older cities of the south to study confucianism history Mathematics in relative security City walls provided enough daily security for civilization to flourish in the shadow of the barbarians . The walled cities of China europe Central Asia mesopotamia anatolia and İndia existed as distinct clusters until they were linked by another Chinese wall this one playing a key role in world History though it was forgotten for nearly 2 000 years . İn 1906 british hungarian explorer oral stein Set out with a ragtag crew of mules camels and men İnto the land the indians know as the great sand ocean The Chinese know it as the sea of death İn english we have adopted the Turkish term taklamakan Meaning go in and you won’t come out İn the pay of the all-powerful british empire stein was a fearless and inquisitive Scholar a polyglot who could read as many ancient languages as modern ones He personally made many of the maps of the areas he ventured into as well as excavating at countless Archaeological sites all under the near constant threat of Kidnap or worse by bandits and vagabonds Stein explored the taclomacan in the heart of winter because he found it easier to transport water as blocks of İce . Every night he’d huddle by a lamp to record his finds he wrote until his ink froze Stein was stunned to find deserted ruins of settlements in the desert İncluding the desiccated remains of fields and orchards once watered by irrigation . Throughout his career he’d locate and Meticulously record an astonishing variety of archaeological information But it was in the taclum account where he found one of his most interesting discoveries yet The ruins of a vast abandoned wall . Mysterious barrier was made of bundles of reed filled with soil Centuries of hard wind had eroded most of the wall away Though still stein recognized it as one of the greatest accomplishments of the ancient world A han era extension of the first emperor’s long wall The takler mccann wall safeguarded Chinese merchants and soldiers who hoped To reach the distant clusters of walled cities of Central Asia There cities like tashkent bukara and samarkand were as old as China itself . As in China the civilian wall builders Of Central Asia had similarly struggled for survival in a land constantly exposed to the raids of the Huns and Others before them . 23 times the step men had destroyed Balch and 23 times the city had been rebuilt By the third century bc the successors of Alexander the great provided the region with its first long Wall and when a second century Chinese explorer discovered this previously Unknown world of fortified cities he reported back to the emperor that the People were much like the Chinese adept at commerce But poor in the use of arms and afraid of battle . Emperor wu extended the Chinese longwall To create a protected route to the Central Asian cities and the middle east beyond İn so doing he made the fabled silk road possible At its western end the silk road reached europe and its great capital Rome over the years the wall building romans Had fared little better than the Chinese in battle against their own barbarian Foes . İn the 4th century bc the partly nomadic gauls had humiliated a roman army and Sacked the great city itself having a severe impact on the character of the empire to come But the tendency of european barbarians to adopt the roman way of life Weakened rome‘s enemies making northern expansion possible By the time caesar invaded gaul in the first century bc its inhabitants had Largely settled down lived in cities and fought in phalanxes Conquering civilized opponents like these was easy work for the romans But the barbarians beyond the rhine and danube rivers had hardly begun to Civilize and there was little the roman army could accomplish against germans and Sarmatians the roman poet ovid provides a rare Account of life on the fringe of this civilized world İn around 8 a.d the first roman emperor augustus exiled of it to the farthest Reaches of their world .

The pampered poet would live out his final years in thomas on the coast of the black sea 60 miles from the danube and the swarms of barbarian horsemen who dwelled there İn thomas the threat of barbarian attack permeated daily life Farmers couldn’t venture out onto their fields some Asian horsemen regularly circled The city’s walls shooting poisoned arrows over the fortifications Occasionally the poet himself was required to serve guard duty on the walls But ovid was no warrior like most civilians he found war Terrifying his hands shook when he carried a shield . Unable to rely on civilians like ovid The early roman empire dealt with its barbarian enemies primarily by buying off their kings And increasingly as time went on in hiring their men as mercenaries . But the silk road changed that Stories of China‘s walls reached rome perhaps prompting a second century Emperor to implement a new strategy against the barbarians . During his lifetime the emperor hadrian provided almost the entire empire with Chinese style walls and barriers . İn north africa he protected roman farms from aggressive nomads by erecting walls Around the mountains and at the edges of the desert in southeast europe where ovid had once Suffered in exile hadrian laid out earth and timber barriers İn germany he erected timber palisades that stretched for more than 300 miles His most famous barrier though was in northern england there he blocked the barbarous Caledonians with the great masonry fortification that still bears his name . Hadrian’s wall proved surprisingly Effective no incursions are attested in northern england for 50 years A generation after hadrian the orator alias aristades Marveled over the security of the empire rome he declared had brought an end to War romans had come to doubt that wars had ever really happened The entire population of the empire had abandoned its weapons no one needed to be drafted . Hadrian’s walls unbreakable and indissoluble had made this possible İnside those walls roman civilians busied themselves only with pleasures . Yet even the most formidable walls Required guards and later in the second century a catastrophe would devastate the guards On hadrian’s walls . Heading along that same silk road that had created so much prosperity Disease emerged from China . Scholars have never identified this so-called antonine plague Though its effects were horrific victims suffered from fever diarrhea and Skin eruptions they coughed up scabs These symptoms don’t correspond well to any disease known to modern medicine By 168 the plague had reached rome whole towns and villages were Depopulated the army packed together into camps and Fortresses suffered worst of all the disease spread to gaul And to the legions on the rhine frontier according to one roman author the roman Army was nearly brought to extinction This pandemic exposed another fact of roman life . Aristades was right secure behind their walls the romans had grown soft and unprepared More like ovid and less like warriors . Never again would the roman empire be free of barbarian invasion During the crisis of the third century amidst societal turmoil and civil war Foreign invaders swooped in to sack or destroy many of the greatest cities of The roman world at ephesus on modern day Turkey‘s aegean Coastline the germanic goths opportunistically sallied forth from their bases on the Black sea to raid and pillage there in 268 they smashed into pieces One of the seven wonders of the ancient world the temple of diana at Ephesus ushering in the death knell of the classical world Others sacked athens and even killed an emperor decius the first to fall in Battle against a foreign enemy For the first time in centuries under the emperor aurelian the city of Rome updated its walls . And in the later third century rome turned its attentions to the cities of The provinces . Once open cities throughout the empire Added walls too in nearly every instance the builders tore down monumental buildings to Provide stone for new fortifications cities sacrificed baths amphitheaters Theaters and even mausoleums for security The peaceful luxurious world described by aristides was gone New border walls arose on the frontiers in dacia the romans blocked gaps in the Carpathians with earth and stone barriers south of the carpathians a new line of Earthworks later dubbed the devil’s dikes stretched for over 400 miles İn the region of thomas where ovid had once suffered in exile the empire constructed a 27-mile border Wall by then thomas lay in ruin . A separate system of short walls blocked every pass through the julian alps To defend these walled frontiers the emperors recruited the most barbarous mountain men from within the empire They also hired barbarians from the tribes outside Rome‘s growing reliance on auxiliary soldiers derived from subject peoples or Those outside the borders increasingly putting the empire at great risk . A late 4th century decision to allow thousands of goths to successfully emigrate Nearly proved fatal Rather than supporting rome the goths turned on their hosts İn 378 defeating a roman army and killing the emperor valens The goths then set their sights on constantinople . When the goths arrived at the city which Served as the empire’s eastern capital they found few roman defenders left The civilian population of constantinople simply watched from the walls as two groups of barbarians One loyal to the empire the other traitorous fought it out over the city The loyal barbarians nomadic arabs known as saracens to the romans prevailed But just a generation later the sons of those goths would attack the empire’s Other capital sacking the great city of rome itself İn the 5th century despite the best efforts of a slew of magister militants and last romans most Of the empire finally fell to barbarian incursion . The eastern half however survived in no small part because of its walls The anastAsian longwall constructed around 500 stretched some 40 miles from The black sea to the sea of marmara and prevented step barbarians from reaching Constantinople the wall saw near continual action Throughout the sixth century at one point stopping six invasions in a Single decade . The sixth century emperor justinian augmented the eastern empire’s defenses With new or repaired walls across southeastern europe At corinth he rebuilt the prehistoric isthmus wall that had once been constructed in mycenaean times At thermopylae he rebuilt the wall that had once aided the spartans in their heroic stand against the persian empire İn the 5th century bc He rebuilt walls that blocked invasions into the cassandra peninsula in greece And the gallipoli peninsula west of constantinople To protect the empire’s southern and eastern flanks justinian paid vast sums To the persians in return for their agreement to guard their own walls against the steppe There the sassanian chars created one of the most extraordinary construction projects ever undertaken Dwarfing hadrian’s wall . The great wall of gorgon was manned for hundreds of years to come until the end of that empire Holding off against the encroaching tide from the steppe Ultimately though the most important fortifications for the eastern roman empire were the walls of constantinople İtself constructed in the early 5th century to Stave off the Huns the theodosian long walls successfully held off barbarian invaders for a Thousand years The capital itself became a fortification that effectively prevented step barbarians from penetrating the Asian and african parts of the empire . But of course ultimately the real threat Would come from the south Meanwhile in China . Generation after generation empires rose and fell As one group of invaders after another descended from the step Again and again crashing in against the great walls of the city builders . Like moths to a flame honing in on the Unfathomable riches within and just like their roman counterparts Every now and again the nomads gained access to the wealth through other means . For Chinese policymakers frequently İmported barbarian warriors to defend their walls . And yet over the generations those barbarians would regularly turn on their Employers and topple the empire . After centuries of conflict with the immensely powerful warlords of the zhonggu Along with a slew of other invaders in 311 honnik warriors related to those Early as jeongnu dynasts sacked and burned the Chinese capital First the emperor hawaii of the jinn dynasty and then five years later his son and Successor were captured humiliatingly forced to serve as cup bearers to a new zhongnu led dynasty Before finally being put out of their misery Northern China would remain under the rule of the barbarians for generations to come No longer a unified state its walls shattered . The middle kingdom would remain riven by a vicious internal conflict known as the Era of the sixteen kingdoms for more than a century to come . But of course once some semblance of order began to be restored Nearly every successive dynasty tried its hand at building yet more walls Against the barbarians . Even those initially descended from step Nomads now firmly absorbed into the literate culture of the city builders . A tendency that would remain firmly Fixed until early modern times and the invasion of the manchus . By the early 5th century the most successful dynasty of step nomads at the time to found a Chinese state The northern way known in their time as the plated barbarians Descended from a clan of proto-Mongols known as the zhan bay put some 100 000 labourers at work on Walls aiming to shut the door on their rebellious step neighbors Successors the northern xi outdid them the new dynasty’s mad founder wen zhuan Was no statesman though an effective ruler at first his behaviour became more and more erratic Ultimately keeping a crowd of prisoners close at hand for those moments where he would fly into a drunken rage and need To torture someone to death When joanne put two million men to work on his wall Adding more than one thousand miles in new fortifications İn the later 6th century emperor wen put another nearly 300 000 to work on his Walls his son yang impressed a million men into his wall building campaign of 607 And another two hundred thousand in 608 . Five million more labored to construct the grand canal Which fed supplies to the walls builders and guardians . By the 7th century China‘s era of disunity had come to an end With the establishment of a new dynasty the tank Whose influence would stretch far onto the step the walls would hold once more Until the next age of expansion from the steppe in the 10th century.

Similarly after the fall of the western roman empire europe found itself beset By new foes who had little use for walls . İn many areas it didn’t take long for the concept to die away completely Disappearing along with literacy and any sense of a unified city building order Very few settlements that could be called cities existed there at this time The real inheritors of the roman world being the city-dwelling muslims of the caliphate to the south By the 9th century sailing by dragon headed longboat yet more invaders came Sweeping down into europe from the north From the east too they came in the form of the nomadic magyar horse riders Envoys of a new era of step migration which would remake the world once more For a time both vikings and step nomads were held back by the likes of charlemagne and his descendants But soon enough vast lands would be lost permanently and the continent altered Forever only when the old fortifications of the Roman period were revived and others built anew in the form of burrs and city Walls with the tides begin to turn And a sense of order be restored though just a few hundred years later These defenses would achieve little against the next great force to arise From the step . . [Applause] İn China the cost of bribing barbarians building walls against them And hiring them to defend against their cousins was beyond counting Still when genghis khan and the Mongol horde arrived in the 13th century The Chinese might have wished they’d invested even more . Genghis insisted that the Mongols should Always be in his own words a people whose tents were protected by skirts of Felt return he would reward them he said with Things he takes from the earthen walled cities . The Mongols looked with disgust on the Civilized peoples to their south They build city walls one remarked they won’t run away from us carrying off The walls of their cities . Genghis knew just how to deal with people like them he would cut them to pieces Seize their possessions make their loved ones cry and rape their women This he said was man’s greatest joy The Mongol invasions devastated China at beijing genghis slaughtered the Survivors of the siege fires burned in the city for a month Skeletons lay heaped in piles a visitor arriving just a month after The Mongols departed remarked that the ground was still oily with human fat Allegedly years later massive pyramids of human skulls could still be seen . The rest of China fared no better İn 1207 the last census taken before the Mongol invasions found 120 million People living there by 1290 the population had recovered to Just 60 million . İn genghis‘s mind the fate of the civilized was just . Heaven is weary of the inordinate luxury Of China he said Genghis seriously considered leveling every building in China and although his Advisors talked him out of it he did later level an entire region of Central Asia The mighty qurismian state its dynasty also founded by step nomads Turned city dwellers historians struggle to count the dead . The Mongol apocalypse did not stop at The borders of China soon genghis was tempted by the same Central Asian cities that had once intrigued emperor wu all those centuries Before like the Chinese the Central Asians Sought protection from great walls . Some centuries earlier the sassanid persians had erected massive fortifications on their borders of the Steppe in Central Asia . The sassanids walled the oasis which nurtured the great cities of balk Bukhara tashkent and samarkand They were no longer defended when the Mongols descended on Central Asia Bringing apocalyptic devastation in their wake Transoxiana the region of tashkent for ghana and other cities were reduced to Step at bukhara genghis khan ordered his Soldiers to slaughter every male who stood taller than the butt of a whip As one survivor remarked they came they sapped they burned They slew they plundered and they departed At samarkand the Mongols slaughtered fifty thousand At termiz genghis ordered his soldiers to rip open the townspeople’s bellies in case they’d Swallowed their gold merv’s tenure as the most populous city On earth ended abruptly for four days the Mongols marched people Out to slaughter them they piled the corpses in heaps that dwarfed the mountains Allegedly both merv and herrat suffered over a million dead . For decades to come spreading to all Corners of eurAsia genghis sons and grandsons carried on his destructive Legacy the glorious abbasid capital of baghdad was just one of many centres of Learning obliterated by the Mongols in the 13th century when books were Scarce in most of the world baghdad had hundreds of bookstores and libraries İt was also home to the caliph the leading figure in sunny islam Great irrigation systems cultivated since the days of ancient uruk 5 000 Years before surrounded the city watering elaborate gardens and palaces . İn the wake of the Mongol advance civilians from all over iraq Fearing the Mongol horde took refuge in the city However the caliph’s armies suffered a conclusive defeat and the walls lacked Defenders . The massacre of baghdad citizens lasted 40 days 800 000 are said to have died Not counting those who perished from hunger the dead heaped up in mounds smelled Horribly forcing the survivors to hold onions close to their mouths to block the Stench floating corpses contaminated the water Causing an epidemic a contemporary writer ibin al-athir Lamented the inability of the peaceful civilians to defend themselves One large village he recalled was slaughtered by a single Mongol soldier Because the villagers were too timid to band together to defend themselves . İn a similar incident seventeen men meekly obeyed the orders of a single Mongol to tie one another up Few moments in history more perfectly captured the ages old difference between Worker and warrior the barbarians had little trouble Annihilating the unwar-like iraqi . The Mongol invasions marked the end of a Golden age in western and Central Asia the latest and most powerful group of Nomads to crash into the city building world and by far the most destructive The impact on the region was deeper and longer lasting even than the fall of the roman empire in the west İn western syria and northern iraq nomads drove farmers completely off the Land a condition which persisted well into the 20th century İn mesopotamia thousands of miles of canals channels and ditches fell into Ruin in Central Asia the Mongols destroyed The dams and dikes that had once made cities possible İn persia they destroyed the granaries and underground irrigation channels Little was left of the ancient heartlands of civilization once home to a million people By the 17th century the population of baghdad had revived to just seventeen Thousand two centuries after that Nomads still ruled western and Central Asia . 19th century Turkish tribesmen hunted persians to be captured and sold as Slaves bedouins roamed mesopotamia Paying little attention to the ruins of babylon and the other great cities of old . And of course by the 21st century Nomadic bactiari still roamed the mountains of persia The Mongol impact had been particularly devastating because genghis khan used the technology of the city builders Against them . Press ganging Chinese siege engineers From the far side of the world into service unlike nearly all barbarians before him This cutting-edge technological know-how enabled him to overcome city walls Without the need for a lengthy siege and soon enough These new technologies out of China would make city walls obsolete For a new world was on the rise . Like the Huns and Mongols before them the Ottoman Turks came from the steppe Folk songs and netflix sagas still recant the tales of those far-flung days When the horse riders headed west driving their herds before them Seeking riches and new lands on the distant horizon Following the disillusion of the great gurk-Turk empire in the 7th century a Myriad patchwork of clans and tribes gradually split apart and coalesced Until by the 10th century groups of Turkmen first began to tentatively make forays into the settled lands of the Muslims and the eastern romans of byzantium Ultimately they would become known as the Seljuks and by the 11th century almost all of Anatolia fell under their sway By the 15th century under the banner of their newfound faith islam Their descendants had conquered all of western Asia . The religion only adding a crusading impulse to their lust for conquest İslam had been locked in a death struggle with the byzantine empire since the 7th century Twice between 674 and 718 arab armies spearheaded by crack troops of bedouin Nomads had reached the walls of constantinople The theodosian walls were all that stood between europe and islamic conquest Yet the walls withstood every challenge even as nomadic invaders from the step To the north gradually ate away the outlying areas of the empire By the 15th century byzantium retained only a fragment of its former Territories constantine paleologus the 11th emperor Of that name had prepared for his reign by serving as governor in the peloponnese There he had reconstructed the old walls at corinth They were the most ancient of all european border walls first erected by the mycenean greeks During the time of the dorian invasions and later reconstructed by various greek And roman leaders including justinian . But the wall at corinth had never faced anything like what the Turks brought to Bear cannons Backed by an army of fifty thousand men . Constantine could not save the peloponnesus in 1446 And seven years later he would be the last hope of the capital itself . His opponent would be the Turkish sultan mehmed ii Mehmed had dreamed since boyhood of seizing constantinople . Like genghis khan before him the sultan relied on foreign siege experts He contracted a hungarian foundry man named orban to make him an enormous Cannon ironically the cannon that would usher İn the end of the age of city walls was cast in adrian opal The city named for rome‘s greatest wall builder hadrian . And the same city which had given its name to the battle which saw a barbarian army slay a roman emperor Early cannons had little impact on walls Orbans however was different it took the hungarian and his crew three Months to cast the great cannon from bronze and when finished it could fire a Massive stone ball over seven feet in diameter a distance of more than a mile . Sixty oxen and two hundred men dragged This doomsday machine the hundred miles from the city of adrian to the city of constantine İn the capital residents made last minute repairs to the city walls . The emperor had a pitifully small force Of just over 5 000 able-bodied men to defend the city These defenders included orthodox monks venetian traders and genoese mercenaries

They prepared to hold the city against 300 000 Turkish troops not to mention orban‘s great cannon The battle for constantinople one of the most famous in all of history commenced On april 2nd 1453. İt would not be the final battle between wall building civilians and nomads However settled the upper echelons of that society had become the Turkish leaders certainly having Acquired the trappings of city building life . Nevertheless the battle had an air of Finality to it the old world versus the new Walls that had stood for more than a thousand years pitted against a barely tested new technology that would go on To define and shape the modern world to come . Zealous monks and townspeople defended the outer walls behind them the gates of the towering İnner walls were locked an unearthly bombardment commenced An orban‘s great cannon thundered away for days occasionally striking pay dirt and Demolishing anything it hit Even auburn and his crew paid the ultimate price when one of their cannons exploded sending deadly red-hot metal Churning into their bodies killing them instantly . At night the town’s people opened the gates of the inner wall to storm out and Assist in repairing the damage After nearly two weeks of bombardment the sultan launched his elite troops the Janissaries Fearsome soldiers had been captured as children and raised as fanatical muslim warriors But the defenders of constantinople repelled them On may 7th mehmed sent 30 000 more troops against the walls This time his soldiers carried battering ramps to finish the work of the cannon But once again the attackers were driven off . İn the end it was the cannon that dealt constantinople its death blow On may 29th after another two massive Turkish assaults had failed The cannon destroyed a makeshift palisade that had been erected to fill in for a stretch of demolished wall Mehmed launched his men into the opening Turkish numbers now proved irresistible Even after 30 000 losses they kept coming and the city fell The great cannon had removed the one constant from the history of civilization City walls had finally been rendered obsolete Although engineers would endeavour to continue to improve them for centuries Walls inevitably declined in a new age of gunpowder And yet the tale of the barbarians would continue for centuries to come But they too were increasingly becoming an anachronism By the 20th century when mountain tribesmen last overran the cities of iran The barbarians were as out of place as city walls . The documentarians and anthropologists who studied them presented their results To a safe audience of civilians who no longer had any fear or even Understanding of warlike primitives instead they viewed their ancient foes With nostalgia and admiration . Longing for a lost world they saw as heroic and virtuous . Today nomads still exist all over the Earth though in our interconnected world few can escape the trappings of Modernity You’ve been watching history time don’t forget to like and subscribe if you enjoyed the video let me know what you Think in the comments and i‘ll see you next time . You














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