Category Archives: India

Sudan, Ethiopia, Abyssinia, Egypt, Somalia, Yemen and the Anti-African Plans of the Colonial Orientalists and of their local stooges

What follows is my response to a Somali friend who asked me about various aspects of the colonial distortion of African History with focus on the Horn Region, the historical background of the ethnic and culture divide between Semitic Abyssinia and Cushitic Ethiopia, and the ensuing benefits for the colonial powers France, England and America. The unprecedented affair of historical name usurpation by Abyssinia (‘Ethiopia’ is the historical name of Sudan – not of Abyssinia) brings into the picture Sudan, Africa’s greatest land and possible anti-colonial locomotive, which was continually, systematically and efficiently targeted by the colonial powers with the evil theories of Pan-Arabism and Islamism.

Answer to a Somali friend about Colonial Distortion of African History

Dear Mohamed,

Thank you for your questions and apologies for my late response!

I don’t know to what exactly you are referring by mentioning the “Amhara distortion of Ethiopia’s and Horn of Africa region’s History”. This sentence is not clear and perhaps you misunderstood parts of an article of mine.

The Amhara and Tigray Abyssinians did not “distort” any region’s or country’s History. They simply had their own version of world view, their own eschatology, their historical tradition, which was a forgery of course, and their expansionist plans. That’s one point.

A totally different point is the Western falsification of the World History, which started in parts of Western Europe as early as 1500, and after being tyrannically and deceitfully imposed there, it was ‘exported’ worldwide by means of colonization, modernization and globalization.

These two issues were two initially unrelated developments that one needs to first study per se (independently); only at a later stage the two developments converged. The point of conversion was surely the period from the middle of the 19th c. to the middle of the 20th c. when the Amhara and Tigray Abyssinian rulers adjusted their visions and world views to the Western historical forgery and established a link with the Western plans for globalization, however managing to keep their tyranny far and almost cut off (if possible intact) from the rest of the world, because they did not agree with various elements of the Westernization process. By this, I mean that the world-known situation of underdevelopment that still characterizes Abyssinia (Fake Ethiopia) today was a very conscious decision of the Abyssinian rulers (be they monarchical, Third World communist or pseudo-republican) of the country over the past 70-140 years.

 

 

I. Abyssinia re-baptized as ‘Ethiopia’: a French colonial concept and decision

 

However, it was not an Abyssinian decision to re-baptize the country as “Ethiopia”; this was a Western plan that Haile Selassie only followed and implemented locally. Your question reminds me of the telephone call of an Australia-based Oromo friend of mine back in April 2007.

This long telephone call resulted in an article that I then published under the title “Ethiopia: a Panacea for Tyrants, a Stiletto in Colonial Hands” (27th April 2007) in AfroArticles, Buzzle and American Chronicle; that article was extensively republished at the time, but I think that by now it is not anymore available online. So, I promise you now that I will do my best to re-upload it within the next few days.

In that article, I expanded on this issue; it was my former professor of Egyptology in Paris (from 1978 until 1981), Jean Leclant (1920-2011 / read his curriculum in brief here: https://journals.openedition.org/lettre-cdf/2729?lang=en), who convinced his personal friend Haile Selassie to officially rename “Abyssinia” as “Ethiopia”.

When events of such importance take place, one has to automatically understand that they don’t reflect the innovative ideas of a young Egyptologist (who was also fluent in Ge’ez), but constituted deep colonial state machinations and evil conspiracies.

It may sound strange to you, but the real reason of re-baptizing Abyssinia with the historical name that describes Sudan (something that was well-known to Leclant) has more to do with Sudan itself, and less with Abyssinia.

Basically, it has to do with the general and vast falsehood that colonial diplomats, Orientalist academics, and statesmen diffuse and impose worldwide as “World History”; it is only a small piece in an entire mosaic.

When Leclant was assigned the task (following earlier diplomatic contacts between the French ambassador and Haile Selassie) to set up the Service of Antiquities in Abyssinia (: Fake Ethiopia), another French scholar, Jean Vercoutter (1911-2000, so 9 years older than Leclant) was tasked (following earlier agreements between the French and the English diplomats at Khartoum) to establish the Service of Antiquities in Sudan (when that country became independent).

 

 

II. Sudan, the only true Ethiopia: the ultimate target of the criminal colonial Orientalists in the middle 1950s

What the French colonials (who are the main standard bearers of the worldwide colonial historiography and of all the ensuing fallacies and distortions) wanted to achieve was this: they wanted to disconnect Sudan from

– its own past and 5000-year old heritage,

– its diverse and multifaceted historical tradition,

– its true national name,

– its African cultural identity, and – above all –

– the enormous perspectives that the historical reality de facto offers to Sudan at the academic, educational, intellectual, cultural, political, regional and international levels.

In other words, they wanted to prevent Africa’s largest country from rising to political, economic, academic, intellectual and geostrategic supremacy, which would be very easy, following a proper nation-building effort, which would involve a genuine, historical name for the country and a real, clear linguistic-cultural identity.

Sudan is the only country that has historical right to the name of Ethiopia. And Leclant knew this very well because his thesis concerned the historical period of the 8th and the 7th c. BCE, when first Upper (: Southern) Egypt and then Lower (: Northern) Egypt were under Cushitic / Ethiopian, i.e. Sudanese control. This development occurred because the Egyptian priesthood of Amun at Thebes (Luxor) wanted to use the Napata (today’s Karima)-based Kings of Cush (Kas in Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphics) in its clash with the Heliopolitan priesthood of Ra, which was based in the area of today’s Cairo and supported by Berber princes of the African North-Northwest (spanning across the area of today’s NW Egypt, Libya and the African Atlas).

The Egyptian Hieroglyphic term ‘Kas’ (also used among the Cushites of Ancient Sudan – Ethiopia for their own land, country and kingdom) was translated as Mat Kusi in Assyrian-Babylonian and as Cush in Ancient Hebrew; it was the equivalent of the Ancient Greek term ‘Ethiopia’, and we know this not only because there are Ancient Greek historical references to the state immediately south of Egypt as ‘Ethiopia’, but also because in the Septuagint Ancient Greek translation (3rd c. BCE) of the Hebrew Bible the terms ‘Cush’ and ‘Ethiopia’ are used in Ancient Greek interchangeably.

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Jebel Barkal (the holy mountain of Amun of Napata, venerated by the Ancient Cushites-Ethiopians of Sudan and by the Ancient Hamites of Kemet-Egypt) at the outskirts of Napata (today’s Karima) and the pyramids of the Cushitic Qore (: Kings) of the 8th-5th c. BCE (first two pictures); El Kurru pyramids near Karima (third picture); Nuri pyramids on the other bank of the Nile, opposite Karima and near Marawi (fourth picture) 

At this point, it is important to add that first, the territory of Ancient Cush with either Napata or Meroe as capital never encompassed lands of Abyssinia, and second, there was never a significant state located in the area of Abyssinia before Axum; and Axum rose to power only in the 4th c. CE.

Now, you may ask me what would be the result of a right nation building process carried out in Sudan in the late 1950s and the 1960s. This would be astonishing, but few people can now comprehend what great developments for the entire African continent the evil colonial fallacy of the French managed to avert.

 

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Meroe and its pyramids represent a later phase of Ancient Sudanese, i.e. Ethiopian – Cushitic Civilization (4th c. BCE – 4th c. CE), which is totally unrelated to Abyssinia (today’s Fake Ethiopia)

 

 

III. What would happen if Sudan did not fall victim of Pan-Arabism, Nasserism and Islamism?

 

First, the Sudan would not be plunged in the Arab Nationalist (or Pan-Arabic) fallacy that absorbed all the resources of the victimized countries, which accepted this colonial Orientalist distortion and, after losing their true national identities, were plunged into disastrous wars, civil strives, severe oppression, genocides (like Darfur), and choleric processes of linguistic Arabization and pseudo-religious Islamization.

There is not even one drop of Arab blood in any Sudanese citizen’s veins. The country accepted Islam at a later age and without any sort of invasion. This is also true for Upper Egypt; Sohag, Qena, Luxor and Aswan do not have an Islamic past that exceeds 1100 years. Iberia and North India, Central Asia and Sicily were under Islamic rule, Constantinople was attacked by Islamic armies, but Luxor and Aswan were calm and pious Christian cities of the Kingdom of Nobatia that had capital at Faras, near Abu Simbel.

The fallacious Arab identity of a genuinely non-Arab country like Sudan alienated the quasi-totality of the African nations gathered within the colonial structure under a fake name and a monstrous identity. All these ancient and noble African nations did not need to either learn the fabricated, fake modern pseudo-language that is called ‘Modern Arabic’ or to become Muslim.

There were already enough Muslims in the Sudan, from the Furis (of Darfur) to the Nubians to the Beja to the Berta; modern Sudan’s most illustrious anti-colonial exploits and heroic battles were undertaken by Muslims. First Sudan and the noble leader of Muhammad Ahmad the Mahdi stood against the Anglo-French colonial cholera and died fighting to avert Africa’s colonization. Quranic Arabic was their religious language and it was wonderful like that. These Muslims did not have major clashes with the non-Muslims of various adjacent regions. Only within the abnormal and inhuman frame of the vicious, Satanic colonial rule, all African nations were oppressed and all Africans started fighting against one another.

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Axum, the capital of Ancient Abyssinia during pre-Christian and Christian (4th – 7th c. CE); Abyssinians spoke and wrote Ge’ez, which remains until today the religious language of the Modern Abyssinians, i.e. the Amhara and Tigray. Abyssinians are Yemenites who crossed the Red Sea and settled in Africa as late as the 2nd half of the 1st millennium BCE. The famous stelae of Axum testify to Axum’s pre-Christian civilization and date back to the first centuries of the Christian Era.

 

 

IV. What a true nation-building would mean for Sudan, rightfully named ‘Ethiopia’

 

With Ethiopia as national name, Sudan would give all its citizens the true portion of historical heritage and antiquity that belongs to them and they would all find elements of their culture, spirituality, faith and world view in the Ancient Cushitic and Meroitic past. Learning that Napata (today’s Karima) was already a holy place for the Ancient Egyptians, all Modern Sudanese would grasp an idea of the greatness of their land and of the splendor of the past that belongs to them – and not to the colonial gangsters who appear under the evil masks of Orientalists, archaeologists, epigraphists, Africanists, linguists, ethnographers, philologists and historians, only to

– minimize the African past,

– conceal its cataclysmic impact on the formation of civilization on European soil, and

– subordinate it to the racist fallacy of Hellenism, Greco-Roman civilization, and Euro-barbarianism.

With Ethiopia as national name, all Modern Sudanese would become proud of their civilization and of its radiation. In striking contrast with the colonially corrupt, idiotic and worthless Modern Egyptians, who have been stupidly selling their own antiquities for 222 years, Modern Sudanese would undertake the research of their past, the exploration of their antiquities, the decipherment of their ancient writing systems, and the reassessment of their diachronic role in World History at a national, sovereign level, finding the true, non-colonial partners for these purposes.

Second, because of the absence of the above, a true nation-building effort would take place and, as a consequence, today’s Sudanese would be all fully conscious of

a- their Cushitic – Ethiopian historical and cultural heritage

b- their Ancient History, as it is recorded in Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and in Meroitic hieroglyphic and cursive writing systems

c- their ethnic, national, cultural, historical and spiritual interconnection with the Oromos and the other subjugated Cushitic nations of Abyssinia

d- their Christian Nobatian, Makurian and Alodian History, as it is recorded in Coptic, Old Nubian and Makurian writing systems

e- their Islamic African History that is totally unrelated to Arab presence

f- their pro-eminent role across the trade routes of the Antiquity and the Islamic Ages, when the Historical Ethiopia (i.e. Sudan) linked

– Egypt with Sahara and the Western African world,

– the Mediterranean world with the Horn of Africa region, and

– almost all the African Muslims with the three cities of Islamic Pilgrimage, namely Mecca, Madina and Al Quds ash Sherif (Jerusalem).

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1ST C INDIA

 

 

 

V. Regional and international consequences of a true nation-building in Sudan, rightfully named ‘Ethiopia’

 

Third, because of the above, Sudan would

a- help dissolve the criminal colonial state of Abyssinia, by incorporating Oromia into Sudan-Ethiopia and by making Afaan Oromo the official language of the new,  magnificent African super-state

b- help form numerous independent nations on parts of Sudan’s soil, namely among the Bejas in the East, in Darfur, in Kordofan, and in the South – when the Westerners were not there to fuel rebellion against Pan-Arabist Khartoum that they (: the Western colonials) fabricated in the first place

c- help establish numerous independent nations on parts of the criminal colonial state of Abyssinia, namely Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Hadiya, Kaffa, Kambata, Shekacho, Wolayita, Agaw, Nuer, Anuak, Berta, etc. whereby every nation would have their own language as official

d- help dissolve the filthy colonial fabrication of Djibouti, a pseudo-state created by the criminal, murderous gangsters of France, and in the process help Afar nation pull together all parts of their nation and Isa tribe merge with the other Somalis

e- strike an alliance with the Eastern Cushitic nation of Somalia in order to impose a genuine, anti-colonial, African Order across Africa, which would bring forth the dissolution of fake colonial states whereby many different historical nations are oppressed by the filthy nation or tribe that had previously been the lackeys of their colonial masters, like the Kikuyu in Kenya

f- launch an African educational, academic system in total refutation of the Western Orientalism, Hellenism, ‘Greco-Roman Civilization’ and fake Africanism, and in total rejection of the racist, Eurocentric version of World History,

– by highlighting the superiority of Ancient African civilizations (Egyptian, Cushitic-Meroitic, Carthaginian-Berber) over Ancient Greece and Rome,

– by establishing the correct links between the Ancient African civilizations and the Ancient Oriental civilizations (Sumerian, Assyrian-Babylonian, Hurrian, Hittite-Anatolian, Canaanite-Phoenician, and Iranian),

– by meticulously examining and widely publicizing the multifaceted, overwhelming African cultural, religious, spiritual, artistic, literary and linguistic impact on Ancient and Medieval Europe

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Iseum Campense

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Black Egyptian high priests were initiating White Romans into the mysteries of the Ancient Egyptian divine concept of Isis (Aset in Egyptian Hieroglyphics); hundreds of temples of Isis (Iseum – Isea in Latin) have been excavated across Europe but this evidence of absolute African Egyptian impact on European civilization remains hidden to Europeans and others – in order not to function as a rejection of the still prevalent, racist pseudo-historical model of ‘Hellenism’ and Greco-Roman civilization’. Iseum Campense, Rome

 

g- promote a system of cultural, academic, educational and intellectual interconnection among all African nations, imposing

– the immediate obliteration of the colonial languages, English and French, across the continent,

– the prohibition of these two languages from the primary, secondary and tertiary education of all African states, and

– their replacement by a system of all-African multilingualism, involving the major African languages,

h- destroy all fake pseudo-states that the colonial powers, France, England and America, produced over the past 222 years on African soil, notably Fake Egypt, Fake Morocco, etc. and help generate genuinely African nations instead.

What I am saying with the aforementioned brief diagram is that a non-Arab, non-colonial, genuinely African Sudan, named Ethiopia, in the middle 1950s should act as if having fully understood, assessed and capitalized on the historical conclusions of scholars like Martin Bernal (author of the venerated “Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization”, in three volumes: 1987, 1991, 2006) and Edward Said (author of the highly respected “Orientalism”, 1978). This aphorism of mine may sound as preposterous because these great opuses were published more than 20 or 30 years after Sudan proclaimed its independence.

However, all the constituent elements, the textual and archaeological evidence, which led the aforementioned scholars to their groundbreaking publications, were there already in 1956. As a matter of fact, all that an African scholar needed to do was

– study the historical sources and the archaeological material record

– identify the discrepancies between historical sources and colonial bibliography

– list a vast number of topics commonly shared among colonial scholars but hidden from the Western and worldwide public (readership)

– analyze the reasons of the unrepresentative selection of historical sources for educational – intellectual – cultural purposes, as carried out by colonial scholars

– examine the above through the question ‘qui bono’ and accurately specify the colonial intentions, and

– conclude about a) the racist, criminal, and inhuman motives of the colonial pseudo-academia and b) the ensuing benefit for the colonial powers and their false historical version.

 

 

VI. Anti-colonial struggle means total rejection of the colonial fallacy still diffused worldwide as ‘Word History’

 

A non-colonial, non-Arab Sudan, officially named Ethiopia, would of course demolish fundamental colonial myths and highlight concealed facts that constitute basic elements of today’s Western version of World History. The topic is as vast as an entire encyclopedia, but I will herewith offer few examples pertaining to Africa and the surrounding seas.

a- there is no such country as “Egypt” and there is no such thing as “Egyptian Civilization”. The country’s real historical name is Kemet, which means the ‘Black Land’ or ‘the Land of Black People’, and this is due to the fact that the Ancient Egyptians were both, dark brown and black. So, there was Kemetic or Kemetian Civilization. Today, a liberated, non-colonial country at the northeastern corner of the Black Continent must be called Kemet – not Egypt – at the international level. Egyptian politicians and statesmen accepting to name their country ‘Egypt’ at the international level are born slaves and constitute a most disreputable clique alien to the great history of that land.

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Kemet written in hieroglyphic characters

 

b- the name ‘Egypt’, used by Egyptians, constitutes a colonial relic of the filthiest and most racist contents. The word originates from the Ancient Greek word Aigyptos, which is the Hellenization of the Ancient Egyptian term ‘Hwt Ka Ptah’, i.e. ‘the enclosure of the soul of Ptah’; Ptah was a marginal deity in Ancient Egypt, and the Ancient Egyptians would never accept to name their country after that deity of the polytheistic priesthood of Memphis. This is the first point against the use of the term. The second point is related to the fact that European and North American colonials view the use of this term as resulting from their cultural, political, academic and intellectual supremacy over colonized (since 1798) Modern ‘Egypt’.

c- Modern Egypt cannot be called “Egypt” at the international level for one extra, totally different, reason; the use of this name, which is totally alien and unknown to today’s average Egyptians, consists in an unprecedented colonial denigration and vulgar deprecation of the modern nation, which uses the name Masr to denote their identity. Assyrian-Babylonian of origin (Musur and Mat Masri, lit. ‘land of Egypt’), this name was diffused among Aramaeans and Hebrews, before being adopted among Arabs.

And notice the difference, if you please: the authorities of Myanmar managed to impose at the international level respect for their country’s name, which is the aforementioned, officially accepted, name and not the filthy, colonial parody of Burma that the English colonials used since the early colonial days. But the idiotic, colonial, Pan-Arabist rulers of Kemet / Masr from Nasser to Mubarak to Morsi never raised such a subject in an effort to always remain disgustingly servile and docile enough to please their colonial masters – the Satanic gangsters of France, England and America.

d- there is no such expanse of sea as “the Indian Ocean”; this is a fake term introduced by the English, Dutch, Portuguese and French colonials as late as the 16th c. In the Antiquity, the most commonly used term was “Red Sea” (in Ancient Greek: ‘Erythra Thalassa’); during the Roman and Arsacid / Sassanid times, this term denoted the seas that we call today ‘Persian Gulf’, ‘Red Sea’ and ‘Indian Ocean’. When Agatharchides writes in the 2nd c. BCE his treatise on the Red Sea (Geographi Graeci Minores), in the part of his work in which he describes the natural phenomenon due to which the sea was called ‘red’, he narrates an event happening in today’s coast of Hadhramaut or Mahra in SE Yemen.

e- if one wants to name the entire Afro-Asiatic expanse of sea after the national name of the first seafarers and navigators who, after studying the meteorological conditions, the winds and the oceanographic data of that sea, sailed across the ocean from the Horn of Africa region to today’s coast of Malabar, then one has to call the sea “Yemenite Ocean”. First, the Qataban Yemenites, with capital at Timna, established safe navigation from the Gulf of Aden to the Malabar coast where they established commercial relations with the local Dravidian (not Indian, not Indo-European) kingdoms as early as the middle of the first millennium BCE.

Qataban Yemenite thalassocracy across the Yemenite Ocean lasted many centuries and was matched with an early colonization of the East African coast where the Qatabanis intermingled with the local Ancient Somalis of the coast of Azania (from the Horn of Africa down to today’s Daressalaam in Tanzania). Qatabani supremacy was terminated when the Himyarite Yemenites and the Sabaean Yemenites made an alliance to vanquish Qataban and accumulate in their palaces the mythical treasures that used to be garnered at Timna. This happened ca. 115 BCE.

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Maps of Ancient Yemenite kingdoms and the monuments of Marib, capital of the Sabaean (Sheba) Kingdom. There is no link between the Biblical – Quranic Queen of Sheba, an exclusively Yemenite Queen, and the Makeda forgery of Kebra Negast. The Queen of Sheba was totally unrelated to Africa.

 

The Himyar – Sheba alliance was not as experienced as the Qatabanis seafarers; their heavy taxes were a problem for the last Ptolemies who were easy partners. After Octavian invaded Kemet (Egypt) and annexed the land of the Nile to the Roman Empire (30 BCE), the Romans proved to be difficult partners and in the year 25 BCE, Aelius Gallus, prefect of Egypt, undertook a maritime expedition against Yemen, which also involved several land expeditions. At the end, after many collateral damages, the Romans managed to destroy the main Yemenite port of call at Aden and thus force the Yemenites to cooperate with Rome and reduce the customs.

Yemenite thalassocracy across the Yemenite Ocean continued, evidently coordinated with the Roman imperial establishments at Egypt and Leuke Kome (NW coast of today’s Saudi Arabia), and it is well documented in historical texts like the Periplus of the Red (Erythraean) Sea, which was written by an Alexandrian Egyptian captain and merchant who traveled across the coastal regions from Suez to China at the times of the Roman Emperor Nero (so in the middle of the 1st c. CE). The same text describes the continuation of the Himyar-Sabaean colonization of Azania and prevalence across the seas. There have truly been found Roman coins in different archaeological sites across the Malabar coast where the kingdoms of Damirica, Nelkyndis, Cerobothra (Chera) and Pandya were located according to the Periplus of the Red (Erythraean) Sea.

But Yemenite traders and sailors used these coins while sailing across the Yemenite Ocean; and these kingdoms were all Dravidian – not Indian. And the Dravidians never demonstrated navigational skills, which is one more reason for which we cannot call this sea ‘Indian Ocean’, pretty much like we cannot call ‘India’ the cemetery of South Asiatic nations that the English colonials prepared for more than 100 years during their calamitous colonial presence there. ‘India’ is only the land around the Indus River, and this concerns only a minor part of the state which is nowadays fallaciously called with this name.

PERIPLUS ma

 

At the beginning of my response, I mentioned the Amhara and Tigray Abyssinian world view, eschatology, and historical tradition. This relates to their famous historical book Kebra Negast, which was written in Ge’ez, their religious language down to our days. First written in Coptic, then translated to Arabic (early 13th c.), and last rendered in Ge’ez at the beginning of the 14th c., Kebra Negast is a historical forgery prepared by Amhara debteras (monks) only to justify their false pretensions to ancestry and to royalty and to prepare the ground for expansionism of apocalyptic and eschatological contents.

The disappearance of Islam, the common borders between Abyssinia and a Zionist state in the area of Palestine, the fallacious and unhistorical theory of Axum being the ‘New Zion’, and the fabrication of Menelik, nonexistent son of Solomon (Suleyman) and ‘Makeda’, the fake queen of Sheba (that kingdom was located only in Yemen, not in Africa), do not bode well with the future of Africa but are all some of the targets of the real authors of this forgery. All later Amhara and Tigray ‘prophecies’ about their expansion are repetitions of earlier material included in Kebra Negast. Somali, Sudanese and Egyptian (not to mention more) scholars are idiotic enough not to learn Ge’ez, not to study Kebra Negast and not to highlight the fallacious nature of the book that prepares the Amhara and Tigray Abyssinians as followers or conscious slaves of the Antichrist (Masih al-Dajjal). But this is a totally different subject, as I already said.

Best regards,

Shamsaddin

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Sudan, Ethiopia, Abyssinia, Egypt, Somalia, Yemen and the Anti-African Plans of the Colonial Orientalists

The Historical Silk Roads, China and Islam – Part I

By Prof. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis

 

The historical silk roads did not start with the beginning of History. However, when we refer to the very existence of the silk roads and to the developments that were unfolded because of them, we often forget that this remarkable affair that shaped the World History is merely a continuation and a prolongation of the earlier existed commercial roads that linked Central Asia, Siberia and India to Mesopotamia.

 

On the other hand, due to other early commercial roads, Mesopotamia was also connected with the Caucasus region, Anatolia and the Balkans, and the Horn of Africa. Last, since the Dawn of the Civilization, the Valley of the Twin Rivers was densely linked with the Valley of the Nile, via the Syro-Phoenician – Palestinian corridor.

 

I. The Historical Silk Roads

Although widely used to describe a “network of trade routes which connected the East and West”, the term is very inaccurate indeed; this is so because the silk trade in itself was a minor part of the trade exchanged between ‘East’ and ‘West’. The historically correct and exact term is “Silk-, Spice-, and Perfume-Routes via Land, Desert and Sea” or alternatively “Land-, Desert- and Sea-Routes of Silk-, Spice-, and Perfume-Trade”. Perfume stands for all types of incense. At this point, one has to point out that the multivalent geographical terms ‘East’ and ‘West’ mean diverse lands and localities to different audiences at all times.

 

The earliest form of the aforementioned network of trade routes consisted of two commercial roads that linked 4th millennium BCE Mesopotamia, i.e. Sumer and Elam, with Central Asia and the Indus Valley; in the second case, we also have plenty of indications of sea trade. This means that we can already speak of land-, desert- and sea-routes as early as the beginning of the Bronze Age. Findings at Tepe Yahya, Iran fully document the Mesopotamian – Indian trade that dates back in the middle of the 4th millennium BCE. Similarly, impressive findings, such as Proto-Elamite tablets, excavated at Tepe Sialk, Iran bear witness to the developed form of trade that Mesopotamia had with Central Asia at the end of the 4th millennium BCE. The same is also valid for Tureng Tepe, near Gorgan, and further on for Yarim Tepe, near Gonbad-e Kavus, in NE Iran. This brings the kingdoms and the empires of Mesopotamia in direct contact with Siberian cultures, such as Andronovo and Karasuk, that ranged from the Caspian Sea to Aral to Yenissei and maintained evident contacts with Dzungaria and China in the 2nd and the 1st half of the 1st millennium BCE. Across these early trade roads, the movements of Scytho–Siberian nations generated a turmoil that the Achaemenid shahs of Iran spent time to contain.

 

The real establishment of the network of trade routes that we now call ‘silk road’ is entirely attributed to Achaemenid Iran. Having understood the enormous benefits that would derive from the systematization of the earlier existed networks of trade routes, the early Achaemenids dedicated a great effort to set up safe imperial roads across their immense empire. The ‘Royal Road’ was the original part (Susa to Sardis; 2700 km), but soon after the entire empire was endowed with a great network of sea, desert and land routes.

 

As a matter of fact, the establishment of the Silk Road was the mere consolidation, improvement, interconnection and imperial administration of the earlier existed trade routes. Egypt had established a maritime connection with Somalia and Eastern Africa as early as the beginning of the 2nd millennium BCE or even earlier; with Egypt as Achaemenid Iranian province, Iran benefited enormously from this trade. Furthermore, the circumnavigation of the Arabian Peninsula would permit the imperial administration to bypass Babylonia, when ensuring transportation of products, services and armies between mainland Iran and Egypt.

 

For this purpose, Darius I reopened the Old Suez Canal (from the area of today’s Zagazig and the Bubastite branch of the Delta to the Timsah Lake, which was connected at the time with the Red Sea by means of a natural canal) that had fallen in desuetude for centuries; this is solemnly stated in the Achaemenid Shah’s quadrilingual inscription (in Old Achaemenid, Babylonian, Elamite and Egyptian Hietoglyphic), e.g. the so-called Shaluf stele.

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Darius stele with the quadrilingual inscription about the reopening of the Old Suez Canal

 

It is on this background that silk products started moving across the aforementioned network of trade routes and also across extra roads appended to this network; thanks to the Pazyryk culture, silk was found as west as the kurgans of Ukraine or Heuneburg and Rheingoenheim in Germany and as early as the middle of the 1st millennium BCE. Exchanges, silk tributes and silk trade were only intensified after the 3rd c. BCE, and more specifically after the Battle of Baideng (白登之戰), when Gaozu of Han (漢高祖) was defeated and had to pay a heavy tribute to Motun (冒頓單于), the founder of the Hun (Xiongnu) Empire.

 

The enormous trade development, which ensued, was certainly due to numerous parameters other than the establishment of the Achaemenid trade network, the construction of royal roads across Iran, and the annual tributes of the Han emperors to the Xiongnu. The role of the Aramaeans, the Sogdians and the Khotanese in terms of product diversification, road bifurcation, linguistic impact, spiritual influence, and cultural exchange was outstanding; this shows that, despite the importance of states, the catalytic activity of private entrepreneurs was unmatched. The states extracted benefits and levied customs duties, but the pioneering practice and spirit were private. This is how Buddhism, Manichaeism, and Nestorian Christianity made their way to China.

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One of the most famous Aramaean capitals, Tadmor – Palmyra

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Sogdians depicted on wall paintings from Afrasiab, Samarqand

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The King of Khotan as depicted in the Mogao Caves, Dunhuang

 

II. China

The State of the Middle (中國/中国) was late to expand to the West, in Central Asia and further on. Only at the times of Han dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE), Zhang Qian (張騫) was tasked (138 BCE) to effectuate a trip to establish contacts with the Yuezhi and other Central Asiatic states; however, he and his guards had to spend ten years in Xiongnu prisons, before returning (125 BCE) to Chang’an (Xi’an) and writing his reports about countries he visited (Dayuan kingdom in Ferghana, Yuezhi kingdom in Transoxiana, Tokharian kingdom of Daxia in Bactria, and Kangjiu kingdom in Sogdiana) and he did not visit (Anxi kingdom of Arsacid Parthian Iran, Tiaozhi kingdom of Seleucid Syria, Shendu kingdom of Indo-Scythians in Southern Pakistan, and Wusun kingdom in the Tarim Basin).

 

It is only at the end of the 2nd c. BCE (104-102) that Li Guangli (李廣利) and Chinese army undertook an expedition to Ferghana (Dayuan) and successfully besieged Osh (in today’s Kyrgyzstan). Finally, the Tarim Basin became Chinese imperial territory (Protectorate of the Western Regions: 西域都護府) only during the 1st c. BCE. However, the Hexi Corridor to Dunhuang and the Western Regions remained unstable for many long centuries.

 

A Chinese embassy may have reached Rome at the times of Octavian, if we take into account the text of Florus, an African Roman historiographer of the 1st – 2nd c. CE. And around the end of the 1st c. CE, General Ban Chao (班超), the imperial administrator of the ‘Western Regions’ (basically the Tarim Basin), advanced further in the West up to an undefined location in Central Asia; several Western Orientalists advanced the theory of Ban Chao reaching the eastern shores of the Caspian Sea, but there is no certainty in this. On the contrary, what is sure is that Ban Chao’s envoy, Gan Ying (甘英) reached the ‘Western Sea’ (which can be variably identified with the Persian Gulf, the Caspian Sea or the Mediterranean Sea); it is a matter of scholarly interpretation of few excerpts in the Hou Hanshu Annals.

 

Last, in the middle of the 3rd c. CE, Yu Huan writes in his illustrious Weilüe (魏略) about the Black River (Hei Shui: 黑水) that demarcates the Western territories of the Roman Empire (: Atlantic Ocean), pretty much like his contemporary Roman counterpart, the famous historian Ammianus Marcellinus, who wrote in the middle of the 4th c. CE about the Eurasiatic landmass’ easternmost confines only to use almost similar terms:

 

Ultra haec utriusque Scythiae loca, contra orientalem plagam in orbis speciem consertae, celsorum aggerum summitates ambiunt Seras, ubertate regionum et amplitudine circumspectos, ab occidentali latere Scythis annexos, a septentrione et orientali nivosae solitudini cohaerentes.

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One page from Yu Huan’s Weilüe

 

As a matter of fact, moving across the Land-, Desert- and Sea-Routes of Silk-, Spice-, and Perfume-Trade, major religions, faiths and cults were diffused from Mesopotamia, Iran and India to China:

 

1. Buddhism reached China at the times of Han dynasty (first mention: 65 CE at the times of Emperor Ming, 明),

 

2. Manichaeism (明教: the bright religion, Míngjiào) appeared in China at the times of Tang dynasty in a completely sinicized form as the Dunhuang manuscripts sufficiently evidence, and

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Manichaean texts in Chinese from the Dunhuang manuscripts

 

3. Nestorian Christianity was introduced in China also at the times of Tang dynasty (618-690 and 705-907). The first mention is found in the bilingual (Syriac – Aramaic and Chinese) Nestorian Stele (or Xi’an Stele), which dates in 781 and commemorates the Persian monk Alopen’s mission to China that occurred in 635 during the reign of Emperor Taizong, 太宗).

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The Syriac-Aramaic inscription on the Nestorian stele – Aramaic was the most important and the most widely spread international language before Modern Times.

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Nestorian Christianity: the most widely spread religion before Modern Times was taken by the Aramaean merchants to Yemen, India, Central Asia, Mongolia and China.

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The indivisible Eurasiatic landmass eliminates all geopolitical pseudo-theories that tend to generate colonial divisions in parts of Eurasia: Anatolia, Mesopotamia, Iran, Turan, South Asia, China have historically formed a socio-cultural unit that can be divided only by ignorant forgers and criminal colonial liars. 

 

III. Islam

Little time after the arrival of Manichaeism and Nestorian Christianity in China, Islam reached the borders of Emperor Gaozong (高宗)’s state at the very middle of the 7th c., thanks to the zeal of Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas. As per various Hui Muslims’ legends, Gaozong (reign: 649-683) expressed certain sympathy for Islam, viewing in it a form of Confucian Morality.

 

Moving across the Land-, Desert- and Sea-Routes of Silk-, Spice-, and Perfume-Trade, early Muslim traders and navigators were present in China either in the Western provinces (Tarim Basin) or in the Eastern coast, and more particularly in Canton (Guangzhou), as early as the 7th and 8th centuries.

 

When it comes to religions diffused in China along the Silk Road, there is a tremendous difference between Buddhism, Manichaeism, and Nestorian Christianity from one side and Islam from the other side. The former three religions were never state religions of a powerful empire, whereas Islam was already the state religion of the Umayyad Caliphate, which – only 30 years after the death of Prophet Muhammad – stretched from Libya to Central Asia to the Indus Valley. The early Islamic expansion to the east (651) reached Rey, Nishapur and Khurasan in today’s NE Iran. The next stage of the expansion in Central Asia involved fierce clashes with the Kingdom of Sogdia and the Buddhist Turkic states in Central Asia and Siberia during the late 7th and the early 8th c. Following the Islamic conquest of Bukhara and Samarqand (706-712), the Chinese emperors took the case more seriously.

 

Chinese armies fought to stop the Islamic advance in very bloody battles across the famous Ferghana Valley in 715 only to be engaged in another battle two years later at Aksu, further to the east, in the Tarim basin. This was an early Chinese victory. The entire region between Kashgar and Samarqand became then a critical, frontal zone. However, for some time, the gradual decadence of the Umayyad dynasty prevented Muslim armies from further focusing on Central Asia. With the rise of the Abbasid dynasty, one of the major historical battles took place in the Talas River Valley (751). It was a major victory for the Abbasid forces and it marked the end of Chinese presence in Central Asia. Prevalence in that region ensured enormous benefits for Abbasid Baghdad.

 

However, the Abbasid – Chinese relationship took another course with the An Lushan Rebellion (755-763; An–Shi Disturbances: 安史之亂), when general An Lushan challenged the imperial throne; to successfully squelch the event, the embattled Emperor Suzong (肅宗) wrote a letter to the Abbasid Caliph Al Mansur, asking his help. The Caliph dispatched a force of 4000 Muslim soldiers, who helped reinstall the order in Chang’an. This event means that at the time one could encounter Abbasid soldiers in full control of territories that were located at a direct distance of almost 9500 km from one another (from the Maghreb coast of Northwestern Africa to Xi’an)!

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An Lushan Rebellion

The infamous rebellion ended after much time passed and much blood was shed only to weaken the Tang monarchs. However, Tang dynasty marked an era of religious tolerance, cultural exchanges, Eurasiatic cosmopolitanism and numerous intermarriages. Sogdian merchants, Muslim soldiers and other foreigners significantly contributed to the Chinese civilization and became dignitaries of the imperial administration by learning Chinese, hiding their ethnic identity, and changing their names. The vicinity of Turan (the term denotes Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Siberia, Northern Asia, Mongolia and today’s NW China) with the world of Islam was the reason for a) the conversion of many Turanians to Islam, b) the rise of many Turanian Muslim rulers in various lands of the Caliphate as far as Africa, and c) the flourishing trade routes across Central and Northern Asia.

 

The formation and the magnificent expansion of the Turanian Islamic empires, which are falsely called ‘Mongol’ (the term denotes a military rank, not a historical nation) are not as spectacular and as fortuitous as depicted in the Western Orientalist bibliography. The Great State (Ulug Ulus) or ‘Golden Horde’ (Altın Urda) that controlled (1242–1502) all lands from Poland to the easternmost confines of Northern Asia is not the side effect of the division of the Turanian (: ‘Mongol’) Empire. It is the continuation of a millennium long Turanian prevalence across the said territories and the successor to numerous earlier empires involving the Xianbei Empire (93-234 CE), the Rouran Khaganate (330-555 CE), the Hunnic Empire (370–469), the Göktürk Khaganate (552-659 CE), the Eastern Turkic Khaganate (581-650 CE), the Western Turkic Khaganate (581–657), the Second Turkic Khaganate (682–744), the Uyghur Khaganate (744–840), the Yenisei Kyrgyz Khaganate (840-1207), the Liao Empire (916–1125) and the Khamag Empire (10th c. – 1206). During those ages, ‘silk road trader’, ‘Turanian’ and ‘Muslim’ became almost synonyms.

 

Muslims played a great role in China’s History at the times of Song dynasty (960-1279; 宋朝), whereas at the times of the Mongol dynasty (1271-1368; the Great Yuan -大元), following extensive intermarriages, they became a very important component of China’s economic, social and intellectual life. As the fratricidal wars among Turanian nations intensified, Muslims and Chinese fought against the Mongols and some of China’s most illustrious generals were Muslims indeed, like Lan Yu (藍玉). When the Mongols were finally kicked out of China, Hongwu (洪武), the founding emperor of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644; 大明), felt obliged to compose (1368) the celebrated Hundred-word Eulogy (bǎizìzàn: 百字讃) and thus express his great veneration of Prophet Muhammad, ‘the most noble sage’, as he described him. Hongwu found it also important to send a letter to John V Palaiologos and keep him informed about the rise of the Ming dynasty.

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Hundred-word Eulogy (bǎizìzàn: 百字讃): the greatest words ever uttered by a non-Muslim in favor of Prophet Muhammad were said by Hongwu (洪武), the founding emperor of the Ming dynasty, thus forging indissoluble ties between the Chinese and the Muslims for all times.

 

Quite contrarily, Chinese Muslims, as Ming loyalists, suffered enormous losses at the times of Qing dynasty, which originated from the Manchu, a minority; this period marks however the progressive decline of all major Asiatic empires: the Ottomans, the Iranians, the Mughal Gorkanian (of India), and the Chinese.

 

IV. The decline of the Islamic Empires and of China over the past four centuries

The advent of Qing dynasty (1636-1912) ushered China in a new era that proved to be the worst page of China’s 4000-year long History. Qing rulers’ major counterparts in Asia and Africa were found in the same situation either their dynasty’s origins go back to 1300 or their rule was established around 1500. Hong Taiji (皇太極), the founding emperor (1636-1643), was contemporaneous with

– Shah-Jahan-i-Azam (شاہ جہان اعظم: 1627-1658) of the Gurkanian Mongol (‘Mughal’) dynasty (who had the famous Taj Mahal mausoleum built),

– Shah Safi (شاه صفی‎: 1629-1642) of the Turkmen Safavid dynasty of Iran, and

– Sultan Murad IV ( مراد رابع‎: 1623-1640) of the Ottoman Empire.

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Hong Taiji

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Shah-Jahan-i-Azam

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Shah Safi

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Sultan Murad IV

A good indication of the minimal degree of threat discernment, friend-foe identification system, universal perspective, diplomatic diligence, and imperial preparation that characterized all four major Afro-Asiatic empires is the fact that Hong Taiji’s reign coincided with the end of the 16-year long Ottoman–Safavid War (1623–1639) which dramatically weakened both empires. The Ottomans won and prevailed in Mesopotamia, but short term gains proved to be useless, as they could not ensure enduring strength.

 

Hong Taiji’s reign was also marked by two major events in the North of Asia: the rise of the Romanov dynasty under Michael I Romanov (Михаил Фёдорович Романов: 1613-1645) of Russia and the Russian expansion across Northern Siberia, after the collapse of the Sibir Khanate in 1598. The Russians reached the Pacific Ocean in 1639, decimating indigenous nations (Buryats; Yakuts; in the case of Chukchis, Koraks, Itelmens and Yukagirs, we attested a planned genocide) and spreading diseases (smallpox). Of course, the Kazakh Khanate was still strong under Salqam-Jangir Khan (1629–1680), but again the incessant wars among the Central Asiatic khanates (Bukhara, Tashkent, etc) created a worrisome situation not far from China’s western borders.

 

Another even graver problem for China and for the Central Asiatic khanates was the rise of the Buddhist Dzungar Khanate (1634) and the dreams of their ruler Erdeni Batur, who attempted to revive the gigantic state of Genghis Khan. The ceaseless wars between the Kazakhs and Dzungaria (1643–1756), as well as between Qing China and the Dzungars (1687–1757), ended with the Dzungar defeat and genocide but paved the way for Russian predominance across Northern Asia. No Asiatic empire benefited from these developments.

 

Similar situations were attested in Southern Asia whereby the three Muslim emperors did not have the foresight to avoid divisions and fratricidal wars and to set up a common front against the seafaring empires, namely the Portuguese, the Dutch, the French and the English. It is true that the emergence of the Turkmen Safavids in Iran (with Shah Ismail I in 1502), the advent of the Mongol Gurkanian (with Babur in 1526) and the Ottoman rise in the East and expansion in Africa (from Egypt to Somalia to Algeria) under Yavuz Sultan Selim I (1512-1520) and his successors occurred only on an extremely divided and diversified, almost millennium-long, background of Islamic faith and power.

 

Only in its very early period, the Islamic Caliphate proved to be a centripetal force. However, when the Caliphs expanded beyond the borders of the Sassanid Empire (224-651) under Khusraw II (590/591-628), centrifugal forces prevailed only to prove that Central Asia and Carthage can never belong to the same empire – as already Darius I, the Achaemenidian (522-486), dreamt of but failed to implement.

 

Furthermore, the prevalence of centrifugal forces within the immense Abbasid Empire was only a normal, historical phenomenon, because Islam was diffused among nations very far away from one another, with very different spiritual, cultural and historical backgrounds with which the proponents of the new faith were forced to interact in many dimensions. As early as the 10th century the contrast was enormous among Muslims in Andalusia, Egypt, Somalia, Yemen, Iran, India and Central Asia. To this testifies the enormous number of mystic brotherhoods, religious tariqas, philosophical doctrines, academic – scientific schools, literary styles, artistic and architectural rhythms, theological dogmas and systems of jurisprudence, which grew like mushrooms from Andalusia to Yemen to Central Asia, during the first 300 years of Islamic rule. Consequently, further divisions were to ensue.

 

At the beginning of the 16th c., most of the Dravidian Deccan (Modern India’s southern part) was divided among the Golconda Sultanate (Qutb Shahi dynasty / Shia), the Bijapur Sultanate (Adil Shahi dynasty / Shia), the Ahmednagar Sultanate (Nizam Shahi dynasty / Shia) and the Brahmani Sultanate (Barid Shahi dynasty / Sunni and Shia). This was not a particularity of the subcontinent only.

 

The same multidivisional structure of the Deccan was attested across the Ocean in the Eastern African coast; the Sultanate of Ifat, the Adal Sultanate, the Warsangali Sultanate, the Sultanate of Mogadishu, the formidable Ajuran Sultanate, the Geledi Sultanate, the Kilwa Sultanate (whose seafarers were the first known to have reached Australia long before the English) and other smaller Eastern African principalities (Mombasa, Pemba, Zanzibar, Mafia, Comoro, Mozambique Island, etc.) existed and prospered for centuries, having always fully recognized the Caliph’s authority without however becoming incorporated in the Caliphate stricto sensu. Some of the Somali sultanates were strong enough to oppose the Portuguese, and the history of Ajuran – Portuguese wars (16th – 17th c.) marks the first and perhaps the most epic page of the illustrious African anti-colonial fights.

 

In many among the aforementioned cases, a Yemenite, an Iranian or a Turanian arrived in either the Deccan or Eastern Africa and they were easily accepted as rulers among the local Muslims. It was only after many decades and numerous wars that the Mongol Gurkanian authority managed to incorporate the Deccan sultanates in the Empire. And after Aurangzeb (اورنگ‌زیب: 1658-1707) the decline started.

 

Many consider the Iranian invasion of the Mongol South Asiatic Empire, which was undertaken by the Turkmen Afshar Nader Shah (نادر شاه افشار‎: 1736-1747) in 1739, as the main reason for the subsequent collapse of the vast state of the Gurkanian whose formidable empire is fallaciously called ‘Mughal India’ by English Orientalists and historical forgers. The Iranian invasion, as well as the sack and the plunder of the Old Delhi, were a terrible hit, but they were not the main reason for the demise of the Gurkanian.

 

As a matter of fact, the concessions made to the British East India Company and the farman issued by Farrukhsiyar (فرخ‌سیر‎: 1713-1719), who allowed to English colonials the right to reside and trade in the Mughal Empire, were an inane and ominous decision. It was that cruel and criminal company that prepared the final collapse of the greatest South Asiatic Empire of all times and deposed Bahadur Shah II, the last Mongol Emperor, in 1862, i.e. 145 years after his idiotic and pathetic predecessor offered them the aforementioned privileges. As the Gurkanian Mongol power was dissolved, it was easy for the criminal colonials of England to start the Opium Wars (1839-1860) against China.

 

However, all major Afro-Asiatic empires, the Ottomans, the Safavids, the Gurkanian and the Qing failed to assess – already in the 17th c. as they should have had – the real nature, the scope, the targets, the profits and the consequences of the phenomenal company, which was incorporated in 1602 and started being active from India to Japan as early as 1608-1609: the Dutch East India Company. Seeking concessions and imperial protection, safe passages, and legal presence, the Dutch generated enormous profits, which if known and analyzed would surely be perceived as a threat for the Mughal durbar.

 

The Dutch were present in Gujarat (Suratte, 1616), Malabar (1661), Coromandel (1608), Bengal (1627) and also in Sri Lanka (1640), but their enormous benefits and the ensued antagonism with other powers (Denmark, France and England) were not perceived as real threats by the Mongol Gurkanian. Quite contrarily, they willingly entered into compromises with the company, only because they were not strong on the sea. Even worse, they failed to monitor, examine and assess the groundbreaking company’s potentialities, the real intentions behind it, the wealth accumulated due to multiple factors (the spice trade monopoly being only one), and the deriving threats for the Mughal Empire. Each and every time, the Mughal palatial administration dealt with the symptoms and not with the root causes, which they had not even imagined, let alone identified. The same attitude characterized the Qing, the Safavids and the Ottomans in their relations with either this company or other Western European corporations and schemes.

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As a matter of fact, the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC) consisted in a hitherto unknown form of expansion in which individual zeal, personal risk, human fascination with extraordinary material wealth, private entrepreneurship, and corporate systematization preceded all forms of military aggression and state conflict; this concept spearheaded a new type of expansionism that had cataclysmic impact and deteriorated all aspects of military conflict and cruelty. In fact, it was a state within a state or, if you want, a CorporNation. Even worse, it weaponized knowledge, thus totally altering and distorting the foundations of scholarly research, academic study, and human exploration that were historically accepted by all cultures and civilizations worldwide until that time. Quite unfortunately, this was not noticed by any Afro-Asiatic imperial establishment – even at a moment they were still omnipotent.

 

The Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb (1658–1707) is an excellent example in this regard; he was contemporaneous with

– the Ottoman sultans and Caliphs Mehmed IV (1648-1687), Suleyman II (1687-1691), Ahmed II (1691-1695), Mustafa II (1695-1703), and Ahmed III (1703-1730),

– the Safavid shahs of Iran Abbas II (1642-1666), Suleyman I (1666-1694), and the last Safavid, Sultan Husayn (1694-1722), and

– the Qing Emperors Shunzhi (1644-1661) and Kangxi (1662-1722).

 

None of these imperial establishments, which were still quite powerful, was able to either be informed about the publication in Holland of the monumental series of volumes of Hortus Malabaricus (1678–1693) or grasp its real meaning and grave consequences. Never before had specialized knowledge acquired such pre-eminence among a state’s priorities in view of future profit. Detailed and exact science was not anymore a scholarly endeavor but a corporate, entrepreneurial task. And who was the author of the grand opus? None other than Hendrik van Rheede (1636–1691), the Governor of Dutch Malabar at the time!

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I can understand that the Ottomans, the Safavids and the Qing were not directly involved; but the highly educated Aurangzeb whose name means “the Ornament of the Throne” and whose royal title was Alamgir (“Conqueror of the World” in Farsi) should have got due information about this great work and should have assessed it as a real weapon against his own throne. Hortus Malabaricus is an enormous treatise about the flora of Malabar, a territory that corresponds to present day India’s Kerala and Karnataka. With this treatise, an average Dutch in Amsterdam would know the flora of Kerala better than the emperor in whose state Kerala belonged. Thus, Natural Sciences became a tool for further corporate profit.

 

Weaponized knowledge and far-fetched explorations, pioneering fieldwork, archaeological excavations, antiques collections, a great number of monument purchasing diplomats, and entire armies of ‘arrogant connoisseurs’ would soon be unleashed against the four Afro-Asiatic empires. A real scramble for manuscripts, inscriptions, bas-reliefs, coins and bronzes would then take place. This would bring forth a hitherto unseen form of conquest and occupation.

 

That’s why modern historians, who focus on 18th c. and 19th c. Ottoman –Iranian wars (1730-1736 between the Ottomans Ahmed III and Mahmud I and the last Safavid shah Tahmasp II, Abbas III, and Nader Shah of Iran; 1743-1746 between Mahmud I and Nader Shah; 1775-1776 between Abdulhamid I and Karim Khan Zend; 1821-1823 between Mahmud II and Fath Ali Shah of the Turkmen Qajar dynasty) to find the reasons of the Western European powers’ meteoric rise at the world stage during the 19th and the 20th centuries, really miss the point.

 

As a matter of fact, the real battles were engaged not in the war fronts but in caves, archaeological sites, libraries, museums, European universities’ Oriental departments, and the personal cabinets of professors and decipherers who decoded ancient signs that were tragically meaningless and disastrously useless to the Sultans, the Shahs, the Gurkanian and the Qing. The decipherment of ancient scripts was completed with the formulation of a fallacious World History, which was meticulously preconceived as per the arrogant connoisseurs’ interests, worldview and discriminatory attitude toward the rest. Then, colonial diplomats, military regiments, various agents, indigenous traitors, corrupt businessmen, and local puppets undertook the enduring work of imposing this fallacious World History on local populations by means of Education, Culture, Publications, and Mass Media.

 

Indiscriminately, from Morocco to China, all alternatives were used to alter natives.

 

(to be continued)

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The Historical Silk Roads, China and Islam