Kulke, Hermann

In: Indian Historical Review, 19 (1992), Nr. 1-2. pp. 21-36. ISSN 0975-5977

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For a better understanding of the nexus oflndian and European history, and consequently also for a joint periodization of the historical processes in the Eurasian continent, I begin by putting forward a few hypotheses which may clarify and underline my following arguments:

1) The linking of Indian history with that of other regions of the Eurasian continent need not arise from a Eurocentric idea of history, but results from a multiplicity of interrelated, though largely autonomous, processes in the Eurasian context.

2) These interlinked and comparable historical processes in different regions of the Eurasian continent are related to:

a) a common beginning of their respective histories. They had their origin in the protracted process of the so-called "neolithic revolution", which began in the eighth to sixth millennia B.C with planned agriculture and the emergence of advanced forms of social and, later on, political organization. In the late fourth and early third millennia B.c. this process led to the formation of the three earliest advanced "urban"cultures in Mesopotamia, the Nile valley and the lndus valley and, about a millennium later, in China in the Hoangho valley;

b) a series of historical movements and migrations of peoples to which these advanced cultures were repeatedly exposed "from outside" at longer intervals during the following millennia. As will be shown, most of them originated from Central Asia. These movements acted as impulses which deeply influenced the historical processes in the respective Eurasian regions.

3) The similarities of the beginnings of historical processes and repeated "impacts" or impulses mainly from Central Asia led in Europe, Near East and India to a surprisingly strong congruence of further historical processes.

4) Apart from these similar or even identical impulses from outside, there also existed direct contacts between the Near East, Central Asia, India and Europe from the early historical period. These contacts, mostly in the form of trade and religious movements in premodern period, further strengthened interrelated regional processes, for example, urbanization during the classical period or the emergence of monastic institutions in large parts of Asia with all their socio-cultural implications.

Document type: Article
Version: Secondary publication
Date Deposited: 14 June 2017
ISSN: 0975-5977
Faculties / Institutes: Miscellaneous > Individual person
DDC-classification: General history of Asia Far East
Uncontrolled Keywords: Indien, Europa, vorneuzeitliche Geschichte / India, Europe, pre-modern History
Subject (classification): History and Archaeology
Countries/Regions: India
other countries
Series: People > Schriften von Hermann Kulke
Volume: 73