Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Problems in the Study of the Huns and Eurasian History in Relation to World History

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Problems in the Study of the Huns and Eurasian History in Relation to World History

Article excerpt


In-depth study of the history of Central Asia and Eurasia from antiquity to the present day should become one of the most important tasks of world history in the Republic of Kazakhstan. The IV-VII centuries were recorded in the history of Eurasia and Europe as the era of the Great Migration. The Great Migration was a turning point in world history, the foundation of which was laid by the Hunnish tribal union moving from the depths of Central Asia to the western parts of the European continent. Studying and teaching the history of the Huns in terms of the interrelation between world and national history is of great theoretical and practical significance for university education. Additionally, in the history of Europe and Eurasia, world history specialists should start a systematic study of the long-standing problems of the Turkic world history of this period. First of all, it is the history of the Avarian Kaganate of the VI-VIII centuries, the Turkic speaking Avars, who came from the Eurasian steppes to the Huns' former settlements in Pannonia. There is a need for an objective exposition of the history of the West and the East during the period of the Crusades. Historians should also study the history of the Golden Horde, which originally was part of the great Mongol Empire, in detail. In this regard, this article is an attempt to define the major issues of Eurasian history which are considered to be problems of world history too.

Keywords: Huns, Eurasian and world history, medieval studies, periodization, education process

1. Introduction

It should be noted that, unfortunately, the history of the Huns and some aspects of Eurasian history did not take its proper place in textbooks and learning aids on world history, particularly in the courses "Ancient History" and "History of the Middle Ages" in the Soviet era. These topics were hardly covered except for some brief reviews or mentions. Apparently, this was due to the influence of a number of generations of Western authors, who characterized the movement of the Huns as that of the "Asians" ostensibly having destroyed European culture (Helfen, 1973; Pirenne, 1963, p. 162; Thompson, 2006, p. 1). This is not by accident since these scholars drew information from the late antique and early medieval chroniclers, often using them uncritically and without sufficient analysis and comparison with other types of evidence.

As is well known, historical studies were too ideologized and politicized in the Soviet era, and it left its mark both on the development of world history problems and those of the history of Kazakhstan. Central scientific institutes, i.e. those located in Moscow and Leningrad, monopolized the study of world history, and scientific staff were trained mainly in Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev and other cities.

At the second part of the XX century there were published important works of Russian and Kazakhstani researchers devoted to the history of the Huns and Kazakhstan. Among them are the researchers such as Gumilev (1960), Klyashtornyi and Sultanov (2009, p. 88), etc. Basing the western and Chinese sources they prove the connection between Asian and European Huns. Gumilev wrote: "Victory and join him Alans, the Huns formed a huge tribal alliance ... In the seventh decade of the Fourth Century ... they crossed the Don and the victory over the Ostrogoths opened a new period of history known as the "Great Migration" ... Here we have the right to interrupt the narrative, as the newly opened page belongs to the history of Europe" (Gumilev, 1960, pp. 247-248).

The years of independence that came after 1991 provided a good opportunity to deal objectively with the problems of general and national history in Kazakhstan. Scientists and experts could travel more frequently to foreign countries for research purposes. Now, being an independent state and a member of the world community and creating its own educational and research areas, Kazakhstan should have its own centre for training appropriate staff. …

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