Asia's history is characterized by the intersections of
impulses that have come from five different cultures; the
Chinese, Indian, Islamic, Central Asian and European.
Chinese influence has at times reached all the
way west to Transoxania, leaving deep traces in Korea,
Japan, Annam, partly also in Mongolia, Tibet, Thailand and
Cambodia, but has not reached India.
By contrast, Indian influence through Buddhism
has played a major role in China and Japan, besides
Mongolia, Tibet, Malaya, Cambodia and the East Indies to the
Lombok Strait east of Bali. See
AbbreviationFinder.org for other Asian countries
and their abbreviations.
The Islamic influence reached in the north to
the western provinces of China, in the south it was strong
in northern and central India, Malaya and the East Indies
(except Bali) and reached close to Luzon in the Philippines.
The Central Asian influence was based on nomadic
tribes, linguistically referred to as Huns, Turks and
Mongols. In culture-creating ability, they could not compare
themselves with the agricultural peoples as they mastered
from time to time, but by their conquests they promoted
social and trade and conveyed cultural impulses.
European influence has increased continuously
from around 1500 to the present time.
History is at different times across Asia. While
Babylonia everything in the 3000s BCE. found himself in the
light of history, China slipped into around 1500 and India
somewhat later, there is no authentic sources for Japan
before the 500 century CE. From around 1500 BC., when the
Iron Age began in Asia Minor, we can make a full picture of
the situation. In the next century or so, the iron reached
Babylonia and Assyria
Asia's most important cultural centers in ancient times
were Babylonia and Assyria. The creators of this culture
built on city states, the Sumerians, were displaced by the
Akkadians around 2500 BCE, and a world empire founded by the
Semites with Babylon as the center.
A later dynasty of conquerors, the Cassites, was again
displaced by the Assyrians, who reached their highest power
in the 900-800s, but had to give in to a short-lived New
Babylonian kingdom, which was destroyed when Babylon in 538
BCE. was conquered by the Persian king Kyros. However,
Babylonian culture continued to exert great influence for
hundreds of years. Persian dominion reached the last
centuries BCE. from the Mediterranean to the Indus, and
extended into Central Asia.
With Alexander the Great 's rise from 334, European
influence for the first time reached Indus. However, neither
the Macedonian Empire nor the partisans that emerged after
its dissolution had a longer duration. The Hellenistic
states of Asia were incorporated into the Roman Empire in
the 200-100 BCE.
In India occurred in 322 BCE. a national dynasty, the
Mauryans, which represented a heyday, but went down around
185 BCE when conquerors from the northwest invaded. In Iran,
Hellenism collapsed with the conquest of the Sassanids,
which led to the formation of the Nigerian empire.
In Hellenistic times, contact eastward from the
Mediterranean was more vibrant; not only with India, but
also across Central Asia with China, which received
important impetus, first and foremost Buddhism. In the
Tarimba basin, the cultural mix reached a climax in the
first centuries CE, the states of Khotan and Kucha built on
Chinese, Indian, Persian, Greek and Christian elements.
From their empire in Mongolia and Central Asia, the
Huns in the last hundred years BCE. exerted strong
pressure along the border with China, but was kept in check
during numerous battles with the Qin and Han emperors.
However, during the split after the fall of the Han Dynasty
in 221 AD (see Han Dynasty and China's history), the country
was invaded and from about 300 partially occupied by
competing barbarians, Huns, Turks and the Mongolian avars.
Around the year 400, the Huns penetrated far into Europe,
and in the mid-400s they appeared in India and weakened the
other national ruler house, the Gupta. In the 600s, all the
tribes from Manjury to Western Turkestan were pacified by
the Chinese Tangkeians.
With the Arab migration that began in 632, Islamic
conquests began, which again brought India and China into
closer contact with a Mediterranean power. As the Arab
caliphate that stretched around 750 from Indus in the east
to Syr Darja in the north disintegrated, new rulers
continued to spread Islam.
Around the year 1200, the whole of northern India was
ruled by Islamic princes, and in the late Middle Ages the
Islamic dominion was spread further. The Arabs also had sea
connections with India and China. Turkish dynasties
gradually took over the political leadership in West Asia.
In 1453, the Turks conquered Constantinople and later
penetrated all the way to Vienna.