Pre-Islamic history of the Middle East

Pre-Islamic history of the Middle East

In the 14th century a muslim historian named Ibn Khaldun wrote about the ancient empires and how the first civilizations emerged along Major Rivers. The Huang Ho Valley in China, Indus River in Pakistan and more famously the Nile River in Egypt. The Historian wrote how these rivers allowed easy access to trade and commerce and from there grew into major cities and then to civilizations. But more interestingly, Ibn Khaldun wrote about the Pattern of history; Farmers would build irrigation system supporting villages and towns, later on some warrior would bring these towns under his rule and form a united political entity, like a kingdom or an empire. Then a tribe of Nomads would come along and conquer this kingdom and seize all the holdings and settle in their place and further expand the new empire. As time went by the nomads would assimilate and become soft city dwellers exactly the kind of people they had conquered before and at this point another tribe of Nomads would come along and conquer them and take their empire. Conquest, consolidation, expansion, degeneration and conquest. This was the Pattern Ibn Khaldun wrote about. The first civilization was the land between the rivers of Tigris and Euphrates, later known as Mesopotamia and Babylon. Less known are the Sumerians who started it all. They united the cities near the river of Euphrates into a single network called Sumer. They invented writing, the wheel, the cart, etc. Later, the Akkadians, a mountainous people to the north, conquered Sumer and their leader Sargon (of) Akkad became the first conqueror known by name. At the time this was the largest kingdom and Sargon famously said, “Now, any king who wants to call himself my equal, wherever I went, let him go” He basically said, let’s see anyone conquer as much as I have. His kingdom was smaller than Serbia. Later the Acadians were conquered by another nomadic tribe and the newcomers were then conquered by others and so it went on… the Gutians, Hurrians, Amorites, they all conquered, settled, expanded a little and then assimilated from warrior to city folk. But every conquest left something behind The Amorites founded the city of Babylon and from the City emerged the first Babylonian Empire. The Babylonians were pioneers in astronomy and mathematics. Then the Assyrian tribe to the North took it over and founded the Assyrian Empire. Their capital Nineveh is considered one of the greatest cities in antiquity. The assyrians made a number of innovations and improvements They erected the first library and used paved roads. They even came up with the first kind of imperial administration in which subject nations and vassals reported to a central authority. But the Assyrian Rulers also gained a reputation as merciless tyrants. Now, it’s hard to say if they were really worse than the other rulers in their time, but one of their strategies to keep the realm stable was by moving whole populations to other places. After a while the Assyrians lost their power to other tribes like the Sumerian descendants, Babylonians, Kassitites. These tribes fought each other for about two centuries until the Assyrians came back and re-established their empire and returned to their divide and rule strategy. Eventually the Assyrians fell to one of their subject nations, The Chaldeans. They rebuilt the second Babylonian Empire, and they’re well known for their achievements in astronomy, medicine, architecture and mathematics. In fact it was the Chaldeans who built the hanging gardens of Babylon one of the ancient seven world wonders. But the Chaldeans followed the same strategy as the Assyrians had by uprooting whole populations in order to divide and rule. It was the Chaldean King of Babylonia, Nebuchadnezzar who first smashed Jerusalem and dragged the Hebrews into captivity. Then came the invasion by the highland people to the east, the Persians and the Medes. The Babylonians were defeated and their infrastructure and political system was used to found the Persian Empire. The Persian emperor Cyrus the Great Had conquered the known world. His realm extended from the Nile to the Indus river. But the Persians are best known for their political reforms. They followed the opposite strategy of the Assyrians. They set the Hebrews free from captivity and resettled populations to their native lands. The Persians pursued a policy of multiculturalism. People were allowed to live however they saw fit and worship whatever gods they wanted, as long as they paid their taxes to the central authority. They issued a common currency and built a vast network of roads throughout the empire. The Persian libraries were so large that there is in fact more information about this period, 3,000 years ago than there is in Europe 1200 years ago. The Persian Empire also had its own unique religion. Zoroastrianism was founded in the region of Azerbaijan, meaning the land of fire. Zoroastrianism is often misunderstood for fire worshiping But the fire is a mere symbol for purity. The Zoroastrians basically believed in good and evil. That there was a heaven, and there was a hell. It was one of the earliest monotheistic religions. In the later era of the Persian Empire, They came in contact with the Greeks. The Greeks Supported revolts in the Persian Empire and this provoked the Persian emperor, Darius to punish the Greeks. Darius formed one of the largest armies ever but the size was more a liability than an advantage. There was no real effective way to direct so many men at such a distance. In the end it was the greeks who taught the Persians a lesson. But the lesson was quickly forgotten. Darius’ son Xerxes decided to Avenge his father by going after the greeks again. This is the war that involved the famous 300 Spartans. Darius repeated his father’s mistake and lost the war. 150 years later Alexander of Macedonia took the Battle the other way. He crippled the Persian army and quickly conquered all of Persia and thereby effectively conquered the known world. Alexander left a controversial mark, cities that had surrendered to him were left unharmed, but cities that resisted were pillaged. When he had conquered the Persian capital and the palace he burned it to the ground. Now this was one of the most prestigious buildings in the world. But on the other hand he built the lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the ancient seven world wonders. Alexander was planning to name Babylon his new capital and he also planned to fuse the greek and Persian cultures into one. He recommended his generals to take Persian wives but he died before he could implement this policy. And upon his death, his generals asked him, “Who should succeed you?” Alexander Replied, “The strongest”. His Empire broke in pieces among the Greek generals controlling it. Then the Greeks fought each other. Eventually the kingdoms weakened and the greek influence diminished. Persian identity resurfaced and another Empire was formed, Parthia. They didn’t exactly occupy the same size as the earlier Persian Empire but the Parthians use the existing political structure and established an empire. They later on assimilated into the Persian language and over time became Persians. The Parthians made no significant contribution to art and culture. Simply because they didn’t care for it. The Parthian were after all a nomadic warrior people. But what they lacked in culture they made up in warfare. They were the first to use cataphract, a knight in full metal armour riding an armoured horse. This would later on influence the Roman empire’s horsemen and from there, European feudal knights. But the Parthians also used light cavalry who would pretend to flee in the middle of a battle. This tricked the other army to break rank and chase after them. Then the Parthian Horsemen would suddenly turn wheel around and fire into their disorganised opponents. This would later be called the Parthian shot. They used these tactics and battled the roman empire to a standstill. When Christianity started to spread the Parthians didn’t care because they favoured Zoroastrianism. In the 3rd Century, a provincial rebel overthrew the last of the Parthians and founded the Sassanid Dynasty. And they too Quickly expanded and occupied the same territory as the Parthians had. The Sassanids reformed the Empire and erased the last traces of greek influence. They built enormous monuments, buildings and cities. Zoroastrianism became the official religion. In the same Era the Roman Empire was falling apart. The Roman Emperor split the Empire in two for administrative purposes but all the wealth was in the east and when the germanic tribes moved into the western parts of the empire, the government shrank, law and order broke down, trade decayed and eventually the western part of the Roman Empire collapsed and Europe entered the dark ages. But the Eastern part of the Roman Empire still lived on however the identity Between Roman and Greek was so vague that historians gave it a new name, The Byzantine Empire. The Byzantinians kept the Roman culture but didn’t improve on it. For example, most people can name Roman and Greek poets and philosophers like Plato, Aristotle, Julius Caesar, Augustus, etc. But few people can name two Byzantinian poets. This empire lasted more than a thousand years but few people can name five events that took place in the empire. Still Byzantium was a superpower back then, the other being the Persian empire. They fought each other in multiple Wars which generally ended in a stalemate. But both these empires neglected the developments to their Southern neighbours. The Arabian peninsula which was about to awaken. This was a Caspian report by me Shiron. Thank you for watching. Salut!

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100 thoughts on “Pre-Islamic history of the Middle East

  1. If you enjoyed this report, watch the follow up at the following playlist:

  2. When we attempt to follow a linear narrative of tribes and their conquests of war in a seemingly endless ebb and flow of nomad to invader, to settler to profligacy to invaded and so on, we are mistaken and falling for a narrative for which the peoples cannot be proven, their tribes are so various and ever changing one cannot possibly make rational sense of it. It is irrational.

    We live in an upside down, outside in dystopian surreality of the managed mind. There was and always was, there is and always shall be the far greater reality. Perhaps that's why we're here now. To reveal what has been concealed: not to regurgitate linear programming and beliefs. We are manipulated into created this reality which does not serve our good and ; one which we most certainly do not want.

  3. Language, inclusion and assimilation and monetary standardization are the three most important factors in any societal longevity. The Persians did a very good job of applying these principles.

  4. How you can say " Indus valley in Pakistan" ? Better say "then India & now Pakistan, as Pakistan has come in to existence just before 70 years. You are saying as if Pakistan was in existence in from historic time. This is utter nonsense way of exploring the history by non-scientific way.

  5. I think I saw an early map showing that Chaldeans originated around the earliest and most southern regions of Sumer in old Mesopotamia …
    Now that we as a species we can see that climate change has no borders, maybe we can see old enmities in a new light.
    Time to cultivate friendships and minds to have a livable future. 🙂

  6. what an IDIOT, the known world? to who? the Hopi Indians 25000 yrs OLDER than those you speak of? maybe the Aztecs? again at LEAST 25000 yrs older, let me see you have S America and N America, MUCH LARGER than Asia which is clearly much younger human occupancy wise and you call the middle east the Known World? this is why I say these people are PSYCHOTIC! they know NOTHING but think they know it all.. IDIOT, there are south american tribes still alive 20,000 years older thant eh oldest civilization in Asia, mid east Russia you name it… FFS, you read too many books, believe all the bullshit you read and have ZERO common sense

    the known world… lol

  7. great information, this is what the internet is in my opinion best used for. This is amazing. I love to learn about ancient history and it's cultures. Very interesting this concept of conquer, rule adapt then be conquered etc. Makes sense, it would be the logical way of empires growing and eventually having the world we have today. Thank you so much. I would be interesting if you can name some of your references. So for those of us that would like to examine these things further can have a basis to do so. Just a suggestion, thank you…

  8. This is precisely what a frog living in a deep well would breath, live and think of its environment. Even today Americans think nothing really exists beyond American shores and hence, the American media co-opting the word "World" freely for attaching it to American events. This used to be an European affliction too for a few centuries.

  9. This video is completely unaware of sanatan (pre hindu) civilisation in india which dates musch earlier than masepotemia. For ex. First univerisity was in india.

  10. Meanwhile, 13 Baltimore City schools report ZERO students proficient in mathematics, DESPITE maintaining one of the countries highest-per-pupil spending levels, according to Harvard University. They also found Baltimore to have the lowest rate of mobility out of poverty in the country. AND according to the Brookings Institute, most 4th graders who live in US cities CAN'T READ! What is the NEA doing with all the money? We're told that our cities are MECCA; ALAS BABYLON!

  11. Chopped history at best. No mention of Phoenicians, Canaanites, and other major civilizations that flourished before Islam or even Judo-Christian religions.

  12. It's time for China to take over America and get rid of Trump. America will be a paradise on earth and will flourish and prosper. Anyone except the fraudster and conman Trump

  13. is half of India or West of India in the Middle East and another half of India or East of India in Asia? How about history of India related to this topic since Alexander the Great tried to invade all India but he could not win?

  14. The same farming civilization – conquered by Nomads – Nomads became farming civilization – conquered by other nomads cycle happened in China, up until 16th century. And then the industrial western sea nomads broke the cycle in 19th century.

  15. Quite sad how the middle East had some interesting history but then it's been wiped away under the blanket of Islam….

  16. I thought ancient Indian culture was the oldest?? The modern Indians are direct descendants…

    Sumerian bloodline no longer intact

  17. What about the Jewish Empire: King Solomon, Queen of Sheba …King David …Their influence is more prevalent than any other …The Three Monotheistic Faiths are the result of Jews. Our present Culture and Scientific Achievements are due to Jewish Philosophy. I am a Muslim albeit a non practising one … Muslim culture without Jewish is only half …

  18. What about the Indian civilization. It precedes all other civilization. Go check it up. Look up Nalanda university. The number '0' invented by the Indians. There is nothing to compare with the Indian n chinese civilization..

  19. Aside from the very interesting summary history lesson for which I thank you, the thing that stands out is the cycle: Conquest, consolidation, expansion degeneration and then conquest again – and round and round we go to repeat .. again and again. Part of the 'human condition' I guess for ever more. An excellent report. Much appreciated! Very well done to you. Thank you very much. ..

  20. Sounds like, Greatest Generation, Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and finally – the millennials. We've gone from the conquering warriors (greatest generation) and gotten progressively weaker and weaker, until we have reach the soft and sensitive millennials. A generation that does not value patriotism and defense of ones country. China will overtake us for so many reasons. One being the continual lowering of standards and the overprotectiveness of todays parents have created a generation both weak and entitled.

  21. Much of your information is incorrect and misleading. No doubt it is of some value, however the depth of your research reinforces long held, extremely misleading, eurocentric views. There is MUCH misinformation in your recounts.

  22. Thank you for putting this early world history piece together. I really enjoyed it, it's so tragic that ISIS destroyed so much of it's historic artifacts.

  23. You made a video presentation of the Middle-East history using a Japanese instrumental song from Metal Gear Solid.
    I respect that!

  24. What a great channel. No Loud music, no very boring introduction- "pleeese subscribe and hit the like button…" no shout out on patreon, no opinionated outlook on world events. Just history.

  25. A good speech should be like a woman's skirt; long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest.
    Winston Churchill
    You, my friend achieved it brilliantly.

  26. And then Islamic tribe took over they pioneered the al-queda, taliban, ISIS etc. Their achievement are hard to ignore such as 9/11 new york, 26/11 mumbai , paris etc. Even today they are propelling society towards growth and prosperity

  27. Notice the original stone dipictions show images of blacks with kinky hair .But the displayed images are all white ,this is deception ,the attempt to write history using Euro-centric images .

  28. Salaam brother.
    Never mentioned when and how started the Islamic Era.
    Also, you never mentioned the
    name of : Adan, Noah, Moises or Abraham which I think is the most important people in pre-Islamic history. Your report is incomplete !sorry.


  30. There was never any real peace ✌️ in ancient or modern times man against men brother against brother WW1 WW2 Korean War , Shites against Sunis Afghanistan. Isis Taliban can you name when the world have any real Peace?

  31. So everything is going along well, and then along comes the religion of Islam to destroy their civilization. Sounds like the West. Everything was going well, and along comes the religion of Equality and Diversity to destroy Western civilization. Islam is Evil …. Equality and Diversity are even MORE evil !

  32. Well done, good info, no fluff. Only observation? Put a timeline at the bottom of the video so we can follow along what year all this fun is happening in…

  33. "300" Spartans – plus THOUSANDS of troops from other Greek cities, plus Thracian allies and Celts may have been there too.

  34. The reason knowledge of the Byzantine empire is virtually unknown to many of us in the west is it has been swept under the carpet by the powers of the Vatican and the jesuits. They hate the Greek Orthodox religion, all Orthodox religions for that matter, which sprang from the Byzantine world.

  35. This is excellent! It is one of my favorite subjects – the earliest civilizations, and you (briefly) covered it brilliantly. Great job! Thanks!

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