AfHepht

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Phase I Variables (polity-based)

General variables

♠ RA ♣ Stephen Dean; Alice Williams; Edward A L Turner ♥ [1]

♠ Original name ♣ Hepthalite Empire ♥

♠ Alternative names ♣ Hepthalite Huns; Ye-Ta; Cao; Ephthalites; Hayathelaites; Hephtal; He-ta; Hoa; Hoa-Tun; Hunas; Iranian Huns; the people of Hua; White Huns; Yeda; Ye-tai; Ye-ti-i-li-do ♥

Cao; Ephthalites; Hayathelaites; Hephtal; He-ta; Hoa; Hoa-Tun; Hunas; Iranian Huns; the people of Hua; White Huns; Yeda; Ye-tai; Ye-ti-i-li-do. [2]

♠ Peak Date ♣ 509-522 CE ♥

509 CE. The apex of Hephthalite power. Over forty countries paid tribute, and the authority of the tribal confederacy extended over a vast territorial area from central Asia into northern India. [3]

"522 The height of Hephthalite power."[4]

Reign of King Toramana. When Toramana "died sometime between 515 and 520 and was succeeded by his son, crown prince Mihirakula, the nature of the empire changed."[5]

Temporal bounds

♠ Duration ♣ 408-561 CE ♥

The beginning data, 408 CE, marks the first appearance of the polity as a separate entity in the records of the local empires when they begin raiding the Sassanian Empire.

"557-61 Final victory of Khosrow I, the Sassanid king, over Hephthalite forces."[6]

Between 557 CE to 561 CE the Persian King Chosroes allied with another steppe people who had appeared from inner Asia. Although some component peoples of the Hepthalites may have survived into the period of the Islamic conquest, even this contingent had faded outside of some mountain strongholds by around 670 CE.[7]

"565 Almost complete disappearance of Hephthalites in the face of the emergence of the western Turks (Gokturks)."[8]

570 CE is when the core territories were split between the Turkic nomads in the north, and the resurgent Sassanian empire.

The timeline of Hepathalites arrival into India is murky but indicates a period of dominance until the local population rebelled after religious persecution and a reduction in military support when the Hepthalites faced conflicts with incoming Turkic peoples. [9]


♠ Degree of centralization ♣ nominal; confederated state ♥

The Hepthalites were one group of a series of nomadic tribal confederations that are sometimes referred to as the White Huns. The evidence seems to indicate that they were a second wave of Hunnish migration. Commentators at the time differ as to what the structure of the group was and to what degree they differed from the other nomadic peoples of the area. The Byzantian commentator Procopius of Caesarea stressed that, 'They are not nomadic like the other Hunnish peoples, but have long since settled on fertile land.' He further explained that unlike the other peoples of central asia, the Hepthalites were, 'ruled by one king and possess a legal state structure, observing justice among themselves and with their neighbours in no lesser measure than the Byzantines and Persians.' [10]

As a nomadic confederation, there does not seem to have been a centralized power structure, although some evidence indicates the adoption of local administrations for the purposes of exacting tribute. [11] During the peak of their power, they seem to have become increasingly sedentary, and this potentially increased the degree of centralization.

♠ Supra-polity relations ♣ alliance; vassalage ♥

Sassanid tribute

"459 Hephthalites assist Firuz (Peroz) to regain his Sassanid throne; he must pay significant tribute in return." [12]

none: 408-562 CE; vassalage: 563-670 CE [13]

The Hepthalite were vassals to Kusrau I, the Sasasian King. Independent elements in the south maintained a degree of independence in the Zerafshan valley as tribute payers to the Turks, and further south to the Sasasians. By the 570s the only truly independent fragments of the former power of the Hepthalites were located in modern day Tajikistan and Afghanistan, the longest enduring in Kabul.[14]

Supra-cultural relations

♠ preceding (quasi)polity ♣ Sassanid Empire I ♥ the core area of this polity is considered to be Sogdiana
♠ relationship to preceding (quasi)polity ♣ elite migration ♥ "The original homeland of the Hephthalites is relatively obscure although most experts agree that they originated north of the Great Wall of China, in or near present day Mongolia. A Chinese source from the second century states that they lived in a region of northwest China sometimes referred to as Dzungaria, a steppe area surrounded by mountain chains."[15] All the nomadic kingdoms that flourished in Bactria between the middle of the fourth century CE and the middle of the sixth century CE seem to have originated in a massive migration in the second half of the fourth century between 350 CE and 370 CE. [16]
♠ succeeding (quasi)polity ♣ First Turk Khaganate ♥
♠ Supracultural entity ♣ Steppe nomads ♥ Hephthalites "of uncertain origin and cultural affiliation"[17]
♠ scale of supra-cultural interaction ♣ [7,500,000-8,000,000] ♥ km squared. "The Byzantine writer Procopius in the early sixth century refers to them as white-bodied Huns ... However, there is no material or linguistic evidence that they were related to the Huns or Xiongnu at all, and the name has generally been interpreted as a mistaken identity given to a nomadic people whose culture resembled that of the Huns."[18] All the nomadic kingdoms that flourished in Bactria between the middle of the fourth century CE and the middle of the sixth century CE seem to have originated in a massive migration in the second half of the fourth century between 350 CE and 370 CE. [19]

♠ Capital ♣ Balkh; Pendjikent; Sakala ♥ attested as the capital by Chinese sources from the period, although how centralized the state was is largely unknown. Some limited excavation has taken place. [20]

"473-79 Hephthalites conquer Sogdiana and establish a capital city at Pendjikent."[21]

Toramana, who made conquests in India "established his capital city at Salaka" [22]

♠ Language ♣ Bactrian ♥ Bactrian; Iranian; Turkic According to the Chinese records from the period, the language of the Hephthalites was distinct from that of those Iranian-speaking people of Central Asia who were called Hu by the Chinese. However, there is no consensus among scholars.[23] Recent work has reappraised Chinese manuscript sources to postulate that the Hephtalites had ceased to retain their original Altaic language and adopted Bactrian by the end of the fourth century. [24] "Probably dominated by an Eastern Iranian language, but their mixed ancestry also lead to multilingualism."[25]

General Description

The Hepthalites were one group of a series of nomadic tribal confederations that are sometimes referred to as the White Huns. The evidence seems to indicate that they were a second wave of Hunnish migration.[26] Despite the name, some scholars think the White Huns were in fact not a Turkic people, but rather the easternmost group of Iranian nomads.[27]

At their peak territorial coverage the Hephthalite lands may have enclosed 26 million people but most subjects likely had a great deal of autonomy. As a nomadic confederation, the Hepthalites may not have possessed a central administration, although evidence indicates at least the adoption of local administrations for the purposes of exacting tribute.[28] During the peak of their power, they seem to have become increasingly sedentary, and this may have increased the degree of centralization. Coins show Hephthalites practiced skull deformation[29] which may provide indirect evidence for strong social hierarchy and status competition.

Commentators at the time differed in their opinions as to what the structure of the group was and to what degree they differed from the other nomadic peoples of the area. The Byzantian commentator Procopius of Caesarea stressed that, 'They are not nomadic like the other Hunnish peoples, but have long since settled on fertile land.' He further explained that unlike the other peoples of central asia, the Hepthalites were,'ruled by one king and possess a legal state structure, observing justice among themselves and with their neighbours in no lesser measure than the Byzantines and Persians.'[30]

Social Complexity variables

♠ RA ♣ Stephen Dean; Alice Williams ♥

Social Scale

♠ Polity territory ♣ 1,000,000: 450 CE; [2,750,000-3,000,000]: 500 CE ♥ squared kilometers,


In 532 CE India was lost after a successful rebellion. In 557 CE - 561 CE the Sasasanids annexed substantial territories, and in 565 CE the Goturks claimed the remainder and took a number of successor kingdoms as vassals.

The late fifth and early sixth centuries saw the start of Hephthalite raids on Gandhara and northern India.

Information is scarce, but recent discoveries have given evidence of what had been earlier only speculation. Islamic sources describe a series of disastrous campaigns by the Sassasian King Peroz that resulted in his eventual death.[31] Following this victory, the Hepthalties secured control over Central Asia, Korasan and Afganistan from the Sassanian and Kushan Kingdoms.[32] They continued to expand until the sixth century, when they were defeated by a recovered Sassasian Empire fighting alongside another confederation of central Asian nomads known as the Gokturks. This defeat destroyed Hepthalite power in transoxania, though some fragment of power seems to have existed until the Arab invasions.[33]

♠ Polity Population ♣ 26,500,000: 500 CE ♥

The total size of the Hephthalite population is unknown. In the territory of Tokharistan there were reportedly 5,000-6,000 Hephthalite warriors. This could suggest a population of 50,000 individuals if the extended family groups were included, although this would have been experienced considerable fluctuations with the increase and decrease of the number of affiliated tribes and fortune of the Hepthalite. [34]

McEvedy and Jones (1978) 26,500,000: 500 CE [35]

Russian Tukestan 1,000,000: 400-600 CE
Pakistan, India and Bangladesh: 45,000,000: 400 CE; 50,000,000: 500 CE. In 200 BC approximately 40% in the Ganges Basin which would translate to 20m in 500 CE. Hephthalites held Upper and Middle Gangers Basin so perhaps two-thirds (13m) under Hephthalite control. Indus Basin likely to have been next most populous part of Indian sub-continent at this time. If 25% of the total: 12.5m.

♠ Population of the largest settlement ♣ ♥

Likely to be Samarkand? < 50,000

"The Suishu tells us that the capital city of the Hephthalites measured about 10 Chinese miles square."[36]

Toramana, who made conquests in India "established his capital city at Salaka, and in a brief time Salaka grew into a metropolis, 'a great centre of trade'." [37]

The Questions of King Milinda on Salaka: "in parks and gardens and groves and lakes and tanks, a paradise of rivers and mountains and woods. Wise architects have laid it out ... strong towers and ramparts, with superb gates and entrance archways; and with the royal citadel in its midst, white walled and deeply moated. Well laid out are its streets, squares, cross roads, and market places. ... And there is laid up there much store of property and corn and things of value in warehouses - foods and drinks of every sort, syrups and sweetmeats of every kind."[38]

"one of the largest towns was Balkh... had about 100 Buddhist vihāras (monasteries) and some 3000 monks." [39]

Balkh, Termez, and Budrach were other cities in the territory, but the actual number of inhabitants in unknown. A Chinese observer remarked that the cities were heavily fortified but not densely populated. [40]

Hierarchical Complexity

♠ Settlement hierarchy ♣ [2-3] ♥ [41] The levels potentially consisted of:

1. Fortified Urban communities: Balkh, Termez. Balkh described as having 3,000 monks. It had a circumference of c. 20 li. Temez had "perhaps 1, 000 monks." It had a circumference of 20 li. The area of the 'town' is 10 ha. The area of the town plus suburb is 70 ha.[42]

2. Subjugated agricultural villages
3. Nomadic peoples 'Without cities and towns, they follow water and grass, using felt to make tents, moving to the cold places in summer, to the warm ones in winter.' [43]

♠ Administrative levels ♣ [4-5] ♥

Hephthalites produced coins. On that basis:

1. King

2. Advisor or government official
3. Manager of a mint
4. Mint worker

In general, Hephthalite ruler maintained control over his regions through lesser kings and pre-established dynasties.


India: pre-existing infrastructure of provincial government

After the Hephthalites conquered Gupta dynasty provinces in India their rulers came under Hephthalite control.[44] So they would have inherited whatever administrative structure was present in the former Gupta provinces.

Tarim Basin: vassals not provinces

"the Hephthalites interferred minimally in the affairs of the Tarim cities after subduing them, contenting themselves with the extraction of tributes."[45]


unknown: 408-550 CE; 2: 550 CE [46]

There seems to have was a great deal of autonomy in the Hepthalite kingdoms. This was the case in Chaganiyan, on the upper and middle reaches of the Surkhan Darya. There is some speculation that local administrative structures were maintained, but this does not have enough evidence for anything beyond the extraction of tribute. There is also some limited evidence of the titles of officials from gemstones. [47]

Small family landholdings

Fraternal polyandry marriage "it was the custom for women to adorn their hats with horns, one per husband." "If a man had no brothers he would often adopt another man so as to be able to marry." More recently Tibetans who practiced this form of marriage did it "to make sure that small family landholdings did not have to be divided among brothers. Instead all male offspring remained on their parents' land and worked it together as a single landholding. This system also limits population growth significantly since each generation produces the children of only one woman instead of offspring from the wives of all brothers." However, since the Hephthalite nomads did not have family farms they may have practiced this form of marriage for keeping the herds together and population control. Chinese records don't mention status of the presumably many unmarried Hephthalite women.[48]


♠ Religious levels ♣ 1 ♥ The city of Balkh had about 100 Buddhist monasteries and some 3,000 monks. Outside the town was a large Buddhist monastery, although this description occurs after the area had been conquered by the Turks. Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, a Sun cult and some kind of sky and fire worship are also attested. However, we have no information as to what the Hepthalites practiced, and whether this had a hierarchical structure. [49]

"There is some evidence that Buddhism was practices in some of the territories held by the Hephthalites; however, some contemporary authors also wrote of the persecution of Buddhists. There are references to sacred fire, which indicates at least some familiarity with Zoroastrianism. However, because Hephthalite graves have been found, not all aspects of Zoroastrianism would have been practiced, since the funerary ritual of this religion, entailed leaving the body in the open to be devoured by sacred birds and dogs. As was the case with language religion was probably another area in which the Hephthalites constituted a multicultural society".[50]

♠ Military levels ♣ 4 ♥ [51] This is a tentative estimate as the sources are not clear as to what the actual structure of the Hepthalite military was, although some terms for ranks are preserved. The ranks below are based on Bactrian seals found at several archaeological sites.

1. King

2. Asbarobido 'Chief of cavalry'
3. Oazarko fromalaro 'Great Commander'
4. Military serving tribesman

Professions

♠ Professional military officers ♣ present ♥ [52] Seals in Bactrian seem to indicate that there were professional officers and officials.

♠ Professional soldiers ♣ present ♥ [53]

As a nomadic people, every male member of the tribe was expected to be a professional fighter. The Hepthalites are described as having inspired dread in those tasked with facing them in battle, a testimony to their effectiveness.

♠ Professional priesthood ♣ present ♥ Theodore: "Appointed Nestorian Christian archbishop at Merv in 540." [54]

A number of competing faiths were present, but there is no clear evidence of what faith was sanctioned or supported by the ruling elites. One Chinese commentator from the period remarked that the Hephthalites of Gandhara 'honoured kui-shên (demons).' [55]

"There is some evidence that Buddhism was practices in some of the territories held by the Hephthalites; however, some contemporary authors also wrote of the persecution of Buddhists. There are references to sacred fire, which indicates at least some familiarity with Zoroastrianism. However, because Hephthalite graves have been found, not all aspects of Zoroastrianism would have been practiced, since the funerary ritual of this religion, entailed leaving the body in the open to be devoured by sacred birds and dogs. As was the case with language religion was probably another area in which the Hephthalites constituted a multicultural society".[56]

Bureaucracy characteristics

♠ Full-time bureaucrats ♣ {absent; present} ♥ unknown [57] imitations of Sassanian coinage were made. [58] - surely a mint is evidence for a full-time government employee, at least for the individual who ran the mint.

♠ Examination system ♣ absent ♥ Inferred as the state institutions are described as displaying their origins in "ancestral tribal arrangements" i.e. without characteristics like exams. [59]

♠ Merit promotion ♣ inferred absent ♥ As a tribal confederacy, promotion was based on individual ability within the tribal structure. However, the stratification of the ruling elites seems to have taken place with increasing sedentary lifestyles, especially in India. A Chinese account states that the throne of the Hephthalites, ‘was not transmitted by inheritance but awarded to the most capable kinsman’ [60] Does not qualify as regular, institutionalized procedures for promotion based on performance.

♠ Specialized government buildings ♣ present ♥ The historical consensus is divided as to whether they were even sedentary, let alone using specialized buildings.[61] The Hephthalites made use of specialized buildings for governmental purposes. They had coins so at the least they had or commissioned the use of mints for coinage.

Law

♠ Formal legal code ♣ ♥ unknown [62]

Law. There is no evidence as to what, if any legal code was followed. Although Byzantine chroniclers indicated that the Hepthalites, 'had a system based on law', but Chinese sources contradict this and state that the Hepthalites maintained good order by a constantly patrolling army. [63]

♠ Judges ♣ ♥ unknown [64]

♠ Courts ♣ ♥ unknown [65]

♠ Professional Lawyers ♣ ♥ unknown [66]

Specialized Buildings: polity owned

♠ irrigation systems ♣ inferred present ♥ Hephthalites were nomadic but this did not preclude them from using specialized buildings of settled people such as mints. They may also have had some interest in the irrigation systems present in the regions they conquered, if only for purposes of tribute.
♠ drinking water supply systems ♣ suspected unknown ♥ The Questions of King Milinda on Salaka: "in parks and gardens and groves and lakes and tanks, a paradise of rivers and mountains and woods."[67] Could "tanks" refer to cisterns?
♠ markets ♣ inferred present ♥ Region was an important trade route and had markets prior to Hephthalite conquest. Hephthalites engaged in trade and minted coins for exchange.
♠ food storage sites ♣ present ♥ Pre-existing in the cities. The Questions of King Milinda on Salaka: "And there is laid up there much store of property and corn and things of value in warehouses - foods and drinks of every sort, syrups and sweetmeats of every kind."[68]

Transport infrastructure

♠ Roads ♣ inferred present ♥ The Questions of King Milinda on Salaka: "Well laid out are its streets, squares, cross roads, and market places."[69]
♠ Bridges ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Canals ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Ports ♣ suspected unknown ♥

Special purpose sites

♠ Mines or quarries ♣ suspected unknown ♥

Information

Writing System

♠ Mnemonic devices ♣ present ♥ Chinese chroniclers indicate that the Hepthalites were a non-literate people, although they were described as having used tally sticks.
♠ Written records ♣ present ♥ "Examples of the Hephthalite written language have been discovered in East Turkestan, Central Asia, Afghanistan and northern Pakistan. However, these are only insignificant vestiges of the large quantity of written material which, if we are to believe Hsüan-tsang, was to be found in the regions occupied by the Hephthalites and particularly in Tokharistan" [70]
♠ Script ♣ absent: 408-487 CE; present: 488-670 CE ♥ Local scripts were in use in subjugated territories, but there is a controversy over whether the Hepthalites were a literate people. Bactrian, Pahlavi, Kharos and Brahmi were in use by others. [71]
♠ Non-phonetic writing ♣ absent ♥
♠ Phonetic alphabetic writing ♣ inferred present ♥ Indo-European.

Kinds of Written Documents

♠ Lists, tables, and classifications ♣ absent: 408-487 CE; present: 488-561 CE ♥ [72] As little is known about the Hepthalitess written records, the coding below reflects areas they conquered from the Sasasian empire and the territories taken in India.
♠ Calendar ♣ present ♥ absent: 408-487 CE; present: 488-670 CE [73] Khwarazm region: "The Khwarazmian solar calendar, related to the Zoroastrian system, is known to us thanks to Biruni, who argued that it was in advance of most other ancient systems for measuring time." [74]
♠ Sacred Texts ♣ absent: 408-487 CE; present: 488-561 CE ♥ [75] Khwarazm region: "The Khwarazmian solar calendar, related to the Zoroastrian system, is known to us thanks to Biruni, who argued that it was in advance of most other ancient systems for measuring time." [76]
♠ Religious literature ♣ absent: 408-487 CE; present: 488-670 CE ♥ [77] Topics of texts included: commentaries on Avesta; philosophy and debate; apocalyptic; didactic; geographical and epic; legal; cultural and dictionaries. [78] The Original Creation "subject-matter ranges from cosmology, astronomy and eschatology to lists of rivers, mountains and plants." [79] Religious Judgments by Manuchihr. Answered 92 questions on Zoroastrian belief. [80] "Sometime around 518, a Buddhist mission came to the north of India from China, searching for scriptures to collect and preserve. According to their own records, they managed to leave India with 170 volumes."[81] Bozorghmer (531-578 CE): "Native of Merv and the best-known Central Asian thinker of the pre-Islamic era. A Zoroastrian dualist, Bozorghmer propounded ideas on ethics that influenced thinkers deep into the Muslim age. He also served as vizier and invented the game of backgammon."[82]
♠ Practical literature ♣ present ♥ Manuals for games, like chess (translated from India).[83]
♠ History ♣ present ♥ Khwaday-namag, Yazdgird III. History of creation to Khosrau II from a Zoroastrian perspective.[84]
♠ Philosophy ♣ present ♥ Works translated from Romans. [85] Bozorghmer (531-578 CE): "Native of Merv and the best-known Central Asian thinker of the pre-Islamic era. A Zoroastrian dualist, Bozorghmer propounded ideas on ethics that influenced thinkers deep into the Muslim age. He also served as vizier and invented the game of backgammon."[86]
♠ Scientific literature ♣ present ♥ Astronomy, medicine, mirrors (translated from India). [87] Medical treatises (translated from Romans).[88]
♠ Fiction ♣ present ♥ Fables and stories translated from India included the Book of Sindbad, Seventy Tales of the Parrot and Kalilag u Dimnag and Bilauhar u Budasaf (which concerned the Buddha). Vis u Ramin (a Parthian origin tale) and Vamiq u Adhra (a Greek story) were translated into Pahlavi in this period. [89]


Money

♠ Articles ♣ present ♥ The Hepthalites used their own coinage and also received a huge number of tribute from the Sasasian empire in the form of specially minted coins specifically used for this purpose. [90]
♠ Tokens ♣ ♥ unknown
♠ Precious metals ♣ inferred present ♥ Great trading region.
♠ Foreign coins ♣ present ♥ Sassanian Empire, Chinese and Indian coinage were present. [91]
♠ Indigenous coins ♣ present ♥ imitations of Sassanian coinage were made. [92]
♠ Paper currency ♣ absent ♥ Coins and tokens, but not paper money, in circulation. [93]

Postal System

♠ Couriers ♣ inferred present ♥
♠ Postal stations ♣ ♥ unknown
♠ General postal service ♣ ♥ unknown

Warfare variables

♠ RA ♣ Stephen Dean; Alice Williams; Edward A L Turner ♥

Military Technologies

Military use of Metals

♠ Copper ♣ inferred present ♥ required for bronze
♠ Bronze ♣ present♥ Bronze had been used on the central steppes from 1500 BCE. [94]
♠ Iron ♣ present ♥ Iron had been used in by the steppe nomads from 330 BCE - 200 BCE. [95]
♠ Steel ♣ present ♥ At this time in Central Asia if high-quality steel was used it would have been imported. The following sources suggest later dates for fine steel. However we code present because the Hephthalites occupied northern India (a location repeatedly associated with fine steel) which as early as 1st CE was exporting iron and steel as far as East Africa.[96] “In the context of this work, it is important to note that crucible steel of fine quality was made at Herat, in Bukhara and in northern India.”[97] Reference for high quality of the steel (this one dates from 900 CE): "Further east from Merv along the Silk Road is a region praised for its iron and steel production by Greek, Islamic, and Chinese writers. The Sogdian state of Ustrushana, a mountainous region east of Samarkand, and the Ferghana basin ... material related to the medieval iron and steel industry has been uncovered here. Most relevant ... is a workshop excavated at a city-site of the +9th-13th centuries in Feghana, at Eski Achsy, Uzbekistan. ..” Crucible fragments ”The excavators consider that the process used here was direct production of steel from ore, just as He Tangkun argues for the Luoyang crucibles. It is quite possible, however, that they were (also) used in co-fusion steel production as suggested by the Merv excavators."[98] Fine steel swords may have been produced at an earlier time than 900 CE with the technology coming from northern India or from this region via Persia: In Tibet c700 CE "steel swords were certainly available through trade with Sogdia and Fergana ... and many steel blades are known from Central Asia from the late first millennium until the arrival of Genghis Khan in the early thirteenth century."[99] "The Sogdian cities of Samarqand and Bukhara probably also manufactured iron and steel weapons that were exported to Tibet. We know that by the early eighth century, the Sogdians, having probably borrowed the technology from the Sasanians, were manufacturing mail armor and offered suits of the material as gifts to the Tang court in 718. ... The Sasasnians may themselves have developed knowledge of steelmaking from contacts with northern India."[100] "The principal centres for the manufacture of steel weapons in Central Asia were Khwarazm, Ferghana and northern India.”[101]

Projectiles

♠ Javelins ♣ present ♥ "There are a number of artistic depictions, from different eras, that show steppe warriors on horseback and armed with a javelin". [102] Bone-tipped javelins are less likely to leave finds for archaeologists. "Like the Mongols they were a race of horsemen. They fought with bone-tipped javelins, with sabers, and with slings or lassoes. They ate herbs and half- raw meat, which they first used as saddles ; and they clothed themselves with the skins of wild animals”.
♠ Atlatl ♣ absent ♥ Weapon of the Americas, extremely unlikely to have been present here
♠ Slings ♣ inferred absent ♥ Powerful composite bows suggest these weapons had become obsolete
♠ Self bow ♣ inferred absent ♥ Powerful composite bows suggest these weapons had become obsolete
♠ Composite bow ♣ present ♥ The central Asian compound bow was made using sinew, wood and horn to produce a weapon with deadly penetrative power and range. [103]
♠ Crossbow ♣ inferred present ♥ Present in previous and subsequent polities.
♠ Tension siege engines ♣ inferred present ♥ Present in previous and subsequent polities.
♠ Sling siege engines ♣ absent ♥ First use of the counter-weight trebuchet 1165 CE at Byzantine siege of Zevgminon.[104]
♠ Gunpowder siege artillery ♣ absent ♥ Inferred as came later in history. [105]
♠ Handheld firearms ♣ absent ♥ Inferred as came later in history. [106]

Handheld weapons

♠ War clubs ♣ inferred present ♥ The Hepthalites were steppe nomads who adopted the patterns of warfare suited to the central Asian steppe. Although direct evidence is scant, descriptions seem to indicate that they were mounted archers who may had utilized the stirrup and the double sheath. Evidence of there equipment is hard to verify, although they seem to have relied on mounted forces and traditional steppe tactics. There is some evidence of club use by the infantry. [107]
♠ Battle axes ♣ inferred present ♥ Present in preceding and succeeding polities.
♠ Daggers ♣ present ♥ Murals at Dilberjin near Balkh (5th-7th century) shows men armed with daggers. [108] "Among the steppe riders a dagger was typically carried in all periods, and a number of dagger designs are encountered in the archaeological and artistic record." [109]
♠ Swords ♣ present ♥ According to Litvinsky,[110] their main weapon was the sword.
♠ Spears ♣ present ♥ At Gurgan (484 CE) "the Hephthalite king stuck the treaty that Peroz had signed, promising not to invade Hephthalite territory again, on the tip of his spear."[111]
♠ Polearms ♣ inferred present ♥ Present in preceding and succeeding polities.

Animals used in warfare

♠ Dogs ♣ suspected unknown ♥ requires expert opinion
♠ Donkeys ♣ present ♥ "Donkeys were among the key pack animals used to carry silk from the Pacific Ocean to the Mediterranean" [112]
♠ Horses ♣ present ♥ The steppe horse was a stocky and high endurance animal superbly adapted to the harsh steppe. As a steppe people, the Hepthalites would have had several horses per mounted warrior, allowing for great mobility in raiding and warfare. [113]
♠ Camels ♣ present ♥ Bactrian camels. [114] "Bactrian camels began to be used for cavalry between 500 and 100 BC."[115]
♠ Elephants ♣ present ♥ Used in war against Peroz. [116]

Armor

♠ Wood, bark, etc ♣ inferred present ♥ Present in preceding and succeeding polities.
♠ Leather, cloth ♣ present ♥ Shields made of leather. [117]
♠ Shields ♣ inferred present ♥ Known in all periods of warfare on the Steppe. [118]
♠ Helmets ♣ inferred present ♥ Inferred as used by warriors of the steppe. [119]
♠ Breastplates ♣ inferred present ♥ Present in preceding and succeeding polities.
♠ Limb protection ♣ inferred present ♥ Inferred as used by warriors of the steppe. [120]
♠ Chainmail ♣ present ♥ Inferred as used by warriors of the steppe. [121]
♠ Scaled armor ♣ present ♥ Inferred as used by warriors of the steppe. [122]
♠ Laminar armor ♣ present ♥ Inferred as used by warriors of the steppe. [123]
♠ Plate armor ♣ suspected unknown ♥

Naval technology

♠ Small vessels (canoes, etc) ♣ present ♥ Extremely unlikely they would not use river boats.
♠ Merchant ships pressed into service ♣ absent ♥ The Hepthalites were a landlocked empire. [124]
♠ Specialized military vessels ♣ absent ♥ The Hepthalites were a landlocked empire. [125]

Fortifications

♠ Settlements in a defensive position ♣ inferred present ♥ inferred due to previous polities and the account below of architects designing citadels with walls and moats
♠ Wooden palisades ♣ present ♥ [126]
♠ Earth ramparts ♣ present ♥ [127] The Questions of King Milinda on Salaka: "Wise architects have laid it out ... strong towers and ramparts, with superb gates and entrance archways; and with the royal citadel in its midst, white walled and deeply moated."[128]
♠ Ditch ♣ inferred present ♥ The Questions of King Milinda on Salaka: "Wise architects have laid it out ... strong towers and ramparts, with superb gates and entrance archways; and with the royal citadel in its midst, white walled and deeply moated."[129] At Gurgan (484 CE) a covered ditch was used as a trap for Persian cavalry. [130]
♠ Moat ♣ present ♥ The Questions of King Milinda on Salaka: "Wise architects have laid it out ... strong towers and ramparts, with superb gates and entrance archways; and with the royal citadel in its midst, white walled and deeply moated."[131]
♠ Stone walls (non-mortared) ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Stone walls (mortared) ♣ inferred present ♥ [132] The Questions of King Milinda on Salaka: "Wise architects have laid it out ... strong towers and ramparts, with superb gates and entrance archways; and with the royal citadel in its midst, white walled and deeply moated."[133]
♠ Fortified camps ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Complex fortifications ♣ suspected unknown ♥ [134] The Questions of King Milinda on Salaka: "Wise architects have laid it out ... strong towers and ramparts, with superb gates and entrance archways; and with the royal citadel in its midst, white walled and deeply moated."[135]
♠ Long walls ♣ ♥
♠ Modern fortifications ♣ absent ♥ absent before the gunpowder era

Phase II Variables (polity-based)

Institutional Variables

♠ RA ♣ ♥

Limits on Power of the Chief Executive

Power distributed

♠ Constraint on executive by government ♣ ♥
♠ Constraint on executive by non-government ♣ ♥
♠ Impeachment ♣ ♥

Social Mobility

Status

Elite status

♠ elite status is hereditary ♣ present ♥ Dynastic rule. Father to son hereditary.

Religion and Normative Ideology

♠ RA ♣ Enrico Cioni ♥

Deification of Rulers

♠ Rulers are legitimated by gods ♣ inferred present ♥ When sacking neighboring groups, the Hephthalite rulers took symbols of religious power to legitimate their own power. "Then *Hashnawâz, king of the Hephthalites came, killed Pêrôz, and carried off Kawâd and his sister and a fire ashostages to the Hephthalites."[136]

♠ Rulers are gods ♣ suspected unknown ♥ "As is the case with many aspects of the Hephthalite social world their religious traditions remain obscured by time. There is some evidence that Buddhism was practiced in some of the territories held by the Hephthalites; however, some contemporary authors also wrote of the persecution of Buddhists. There are references to sacred fire, which indicates at least some familiarity with Zoroastrianism. However, because Hephthalite graves have been found, not all aspects of Zoroastrianism would have been practiced, since the funerary ritual of this religion entailed leaving the body in the open to be devoured by sacred birds and dogs. As was the case with language religion was probably another area in which the Hephthalites constituted a multicultural society, with a number of faiths and belief systems being practiced at the same time."[137]

Normative Ideological Aspects of Equity and Prosociality

♠ Ideological reinforcement of equality ♣ suspected unknown ♥

♠ Ideological thought equates rulers and commoners ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Ideological thought equates elites and commoners ♣ inferred absent ♥ "From the description of their funeral rites in the Chinese chronicles (see pages 147-8), we learn that there were both rich and poor Hephthalites and that their rites were completely different." [138]

♠ Ideology reinforces prosociality ♣ suspected unknown ♥

♠ production of public goods ♣ suspected unknown ♥

Moralizing Supernatural Powers

♠ Moral concern is primary ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement is certain ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing norms are broad ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement is targeted ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement of rulers ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing religion adopted by elites ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing religion adopted by commoners ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement in afterlife ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement in this life ♣ absent ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement is agentic ♣ absent ♥

These data were reviewed by expert advisors and consultants. For a detailed description of these data, refer to the relevant Analytic Narratives, reference tables, and acknowledgements page. [139] [140] [141]

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