Asia History

According to Countryaah, Asia is the world’s largest continent. Asia was considered in Greece from about 500 BC. as one of the three continents. The borders of Europe and Africa were usually drawn by the river Don and by Suez. However, the knowledge of Asia was limited to the western ones; the more distant areas were unknown and surrounded by myths.

The division of the globe into continents has been maintained since ancient times. It is a conventional division that is similar to the view of the eastern Mediterranean, but Asia does not in itself constitute a unity of shared history and common identity. The different regions of the vast continent live and have lived under widely different natural and cultural conditions and have lived through vastly different historical courses.

Only seen from outside, i.e. from the West, one has tried to perceive this diversity as a unit and tried to demonstrate features or historical experiences common to all or much of the continent. The history of Asia is thus both the story of the generalizations that have been formulated in the West over time, and a contemporary attempt to formulate such generalizations.

The oldest written sources for the history of Asia, and thus the oldest known written sources at all, are clay tablets described with wedge writing from Mesopotamia, ca. 3000 BC Alphabet fonts developed in the Middle East from ca. 1000 BC, and they formed the starting point for the scriptural forms that have been used and used in South, Southeast and most of Central Asia. The Chinese characters were developed from 2000 AD. and took their final shape in the centuries surrounding the birth of Christ. Thus, there is rich written material, but the nature and transmission of the source material is often quite different from that which historians know from European history, and the linguistic diversity precludes any single person from having a direct knowledge of sources throughout Asian history.

Interest was at the earliest aimed at the oldest Middle Eastern history, which was long considered by merely a prelude to the “real history”, the European. This Eurocentric view of history has since been abandoned. No one will doubt that Asian regions, cultures, and nations have a history that is in itself of interest both to the individual peoples and to the understanding of humanity’s overall history.

It is also abandoned that all higher cultures have one common core, Egypt or Mesopotamia (Iraq). Agrarian cultures have emerged in different parts of the world since the last ice age, but among the areas that, by virtue of agriculture, have been able to carry a denser population and more differentiated social structures with cities, states, written languages, etc., a few emerge in a complex interaction with neighboring areas and with each other has formed the core of historical development. In Asia, three such core areas are distinguished: the Middle East, China and India.

Asian Countries

Country Adjacent country / countries
Afghanistan Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, China, Pakistan
Bahrain Saudi Arabia
Bangladesh India, Myanmar (formerly Burma)
Bhutan India, China
Brunei Malaysia (State of Sarawak)
Burma Bangladesh, India, China, Laos, Thailand
United Arab Emirates Oman, Saudi Arabia
India Pakistan, China (Tibet), Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar (formerly Burma), Bangladesh
Indonesia Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, East Timor
Iraq Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey
Iran Iraq, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan
Israel Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt
Yemen Saudi Arabia, Oman
Jordan Israel, Palestinian Authority (West Bank), Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia
Cambodia Vietnam, Laos, Thailand
Kazakhstan Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan
China Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), India, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia, North Korea
Kyrgyzstan Kazakhstan, China, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan
Kuwait Iraq, Saudi Arabia
Laos Myanmar (formerly Burma), China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand
Lebanon Syria, Israel
Malaysia Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore
Mongolia China, Russia
Nepal India, China
North Korea South Korea, China, Russia
Oman United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Yemen
Pakistan Iran, Afghanistan, China, India
Qatar Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yemen
Singapore Malaysia (via road bridges over Johorsundet)
Sri Lanka
South Korea North Korea
Syria Iraq, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Turkey
Tajikistan Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Afghanistan
Thailand Myanmar (formerly Burma), Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia
Turkmenistan Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Iran
Uzbekistan Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan
Vietnam China, Laos, Cambodia
East Timor Indonesia, sea border with Australia

The agricultural cultures for approx. 500 AD

Asia agricultural cultures

The Middle East appears at the beginning of historical times in the last millennia BC. as the most complicated and most differentiated area. The interaction between mountain and valley and between river plains, highlands and steppes counteracted the formation of a uniform culture or unified empire. As a result of irrigation, the land between Euphrates and Tigris, present-day Iraq, had the potential to feed the densest population, but was also most open to external attacks, and the effectiveness of irrigation plants depended on a stable state power. If conduits and dams were not constantly maintained, major damage to irrigated soil could quickly occur.

The most stable empires ruled both upland and river plains. Large parts of the Middle East were between approx. 1200 and approx. 600 BC subject to Assyria, whose center of gravity was the mountainous northern part of present-day Iraq. After the collapse of the Assyrian Empire around 600 BC the political center of gravity moved east to the mountains between Iraq and Persia and to the Persian high plains with the first Persian empire during the Achaemenids of 550 BC. Despite the attacks from the west after 334 BC under Alexander the Great most of Iraq and Iran remained united during the Hellenistic Seleukids (to 64 BC), the Parthians (to 224) and the Sasanids (to 643). Throughout this long period, a Persian (Iranian) administrative tradition was created that was largely maintained or imitated during the later Islamic empires of the Middle East and India.

Asia Yellow River

China’s earliest agricultural cultures around the Yellow River, Huang He, had their economic basis in intensive cultivation of wheat and millet. During the expansion of the last two millennia BC this culture came into contact with two completely different geographical zones. In the north and west, the land suitable for agricultural cultivation was gradually replaced by the more rain-poor steppe, the nomadic homeland. To the south, especially in the Chang Jiang Valley, the climate was warmer and wetter, but the land was covered by dense forest that had to be cleared to allow intensive cultivation of rice, which eventually became the most important crop. The expansion to the south took place at the expense of older peoples who were incorporated into Chinese culture or were displaced.

During this process, the area was split into smaller principalities; it was therefore a crucial turning point when China in 221 BC. with the Qind dynasty, in one kingdom, an emperor was not only militarily superior, but undertook a series of reforms that were essential to the future unity of the kingdom – including the standardization of coin, measure and weight, and not least of the Chinese written language. At the same time, the linking of older defenses to the north and west began to become the Great Wall of China.

The Qind dynasty was given only a short life, but during the Hand Dynasty (202 BC-220 AD) the kingdom unit was maintained, and Chinese expansion continued, not only with the inclusion of new territories in the south, but for the first time also with conquest and mastery. of the oases along the caravan paths all the way to the east of the Caspian Sea – the trade route that linked the western Silk Road to the western and eastern parts of Asia.

India was in the northwest from the end of 3000-tfKr. home to an urbanized agricultural culture, the Indus culture, comparable to contemporary Mesopotamian culture. Perhaps because of changes in the course of the Indus River, perhaps as a result of clashes with Indo-European-speaking immigrants from the north (the Aryans), this culture was destroyed as far back as 1500 AD. The language of the people has not yet been able to read, but probably a Dravidian language has been spoken. The Indo-European peoples became the leaders in the clearing of the forest, which covered the fertile North Indian plain, especially after they from ca. 1000 BC began to make use of iron utensils. It was these people who brought together the first states known from India, and the oldest Indian literature is written in Indo-European languages. The expansion took place in constant interaction with the elderly,

It was then also from the South Indian territory that the Indian culture came to exert a strong and lasting influence in SE Asia. The connection was opened by merchants and seafarers from India, and inscriptions in Sanskrit from the centuries AD. shows strong Indian (Hindu) influence on the earliest Southeast Asian kingdoms in present-day Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. Although South Asia has since come under strong influence from the north – partly through direct contact with China and partly through immigration of peoples displaced from China during the Chinese colonization to the south – Indian features have remained essential elements of Southeast Asian cultures.

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