The Turks and Mongols

4731 words 19 pages
In order to discuss the movements of Asiatic peoples into Europe from the first inroad of the Huns to the conquests of the Osmanli Turks in the sixteenth century, it will be necessary to review briefly the events in central and eastern Asia which preceded and precipitated these incursions.

From the time that the Irano-Aryan ancestors had arrived in Russian Turkestan in anticipation of their descent into the hills of northwestern India, much of this grassy plain had been the home of those Iranians who remained behind while their kinsmen climbed the mountains which would take them into India and the Irano-Afghan plateau. These Iranians apparently developed, or borrowed, a high degree of adaptation to their steppe environment, and
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It is probable that their speech superseded many older allied forms.

In the guise of Petchenegs and Kumans, in the tenth and eleventh centuries new waves of Turks moved across the southern Russian steppes as far as the Danube. As Seljuks, the Turks took charge of Asia Minor and fought the Crusaders; as Osmanlis, they conquered the Seljuks, withstood the Mongol advance, captured Constantinople, and swarmed over the Balkans and up to Vienna. But meanwhile, in the thirteenth century, other Turks under Mongol leaders, now for the first time called Tatars, had covered southeastern Europe ahead of the Osmanlis; and, in the fourteenth, hordes of true Mongols had followed, leaving permanent settlements in the Caucasus, the Kalmuck Steppe, and the Crimea.

In the fifteen hundreds, the tide commenced to turn in eastern Europe; the Muscovites grew powerful, and the Asiatic invaders began to draw eastward as the steppes were peopled with Slays. Under the rule of the Turks and Mongols, the older population had not entirely disappeared; colonies of Alans persisted until the thirteenth century, and Russian colonies lived under the protection of the Turkish Khazars. In the same fashion, the Turks and Mongols did not disappear with the Slavic advance, and their colonies in

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