History of Damascus

This is about Damascus, the capital of Syria. There are also Damascus, Maryland, Damascus, Pennsylvania, and Damascus, Virginia.

Damascus (Arabic: دمشق Dimashq, Dimashq al-Sham, al-Sham; Tiberian Hebrew דמשק Damméśeq, Dammāśeq, Sephardi Hebrew Dammések, Damések, Dammǻsek, Damǻsek, Ashkenazi Hebrew Dammések, Damések, Dammósek, Damósek) is the capital of Syria. It is one of the world's oldest cities. According to the New Testament, St. Paul was on the road to Damascus when he received a vision, was struck blind and as a result converted to Christianity. The city is therefore a centre of both Christian and Muslim faith.

Damascus steel gained a legendary reputation among the Crusaders, and patterned steel is still "damascened". The patterned Byzantine and Chinese silks available through Damascus, one of the Western termini of the Silk Road, gave the English language damask.

Major sights of Damascus include:
• Tomb of Saladin
• House of Ananias - now a church
• Omayyad mosque
• Fountains

Damascus, settled about 2500 BC, is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. It was the capital of a powerful Aramaic state in the 9th and 8th Centuries BC, before being captured and sacked by the Assyrians. At that point, it lost its independence for hundreds of years, falling under Neo-Babylonian, Persian, Seleucid, and Roman rule. During Roman times Damascus was considered such an important center of Greco-Roman culture that it was made an honorary member of the Decapolis league of cities. Damascus was conquered by the Caliph Omar in AD 636. Immediately thereafter, the city's power and prestige reached its peak when it became the capital of the Omayyad Empire, which extended from Spain to India from AD 661 to AD 750, when the Abbasid caliphate was established at Baghdad, Iraq. Damascus is the largest city of Syria, with a population (1995 estimate) of 1,751,000. Other major cities include Aleppo (1992 estimate, 1,745,000), Homs (518,000), Latakia (284,000), and Hama (254,000).

After this, Damascus was ruled from Baghdad, and then, for a time, by the Fatimid Caliphs in Cairo. With the arrival of the Seljuk Turks in the late 11th Century, Damascus again became the capital of independent states. It was ruled by a Seljuk dynasty from 1079 to 1104, and then by another Turkish dynasty - the Burid Emirs, until 1154. In that year it was conquered by the famous Zengid Atabeg Nur ad-Din of Aleppo, the great foe of the Crusaders, who made it his capital. Following the death of Nur ed-Din, it was acquired by Saladin, the ruler of Egypt, who also made it his capital. In the years following Saladin's death, there were frequent conflicts between different Ayyubid sultans ruling in Damascus and Cairo.

Ayyubid rule (and independence) came to an end with the Mongol invasion of Syria in 1260, and Damascus became a provincial capital of the Mameluke Empire following the Mongol withdrawal. It was largely destroyed in 1400 by Tamerlane, the Mongol conqueror, who removed many of its craftsmen to Samarkand. Rebuilt, it continued to serve as a provincial capital until 1516. In 1517, it fell under Ottoman rule. The Ottomans remained for the next 400 years, except for a brief occupation by Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt from 1832 to 1840.

In 1918, Damascus was captured by the British and their Arab allies at the end of the First World War. An attempt to create an Arab kingdom under the Emir Faisal was defeated by the French in 1920, who made Damascus the capital of their League of Nations Mandate of Syria. When Syria became independent in 1946, Damascus remained the capital.

Inhabitants of Damascus refer to their city as Sham.
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History of Syria

have demonstrated that Syria was the center of one of the most ancient civilizations on earth. Around the excavated city of Ebla in northern Syria, discovered in 1975, a great Semitic empire spread from the Red Sea north to Turkey and east to Mesopotamia from 2500 to 2400 B.C. The city of Ebla alone during that time had a population estimated at 260,000. Scholars believe the language of Ebla to be the oldest Semitic language.

Syria was occupied successively by Canaanites, Phoenicians, Hebrews, Egyptians, Sumerians, Arameans, Assyrians, Babylonians, Hittites, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Nabataeans, Byzantines, Arabs, Crusaders, and Mongols, before finally coming under the control of the Ottoman Turks. Syria is significant in the history of Christianity; Paul was converted on the road to Damascus and established the first organized Christian Church at Antioch in ancient Syria, from which he left on many of his missionary journeys.

In the 7th century, Syria was conquered by the Arabs, and the present culture dates from that Moslem conquest. In the 13th century, the first Mongols arrived, destroying cities and irrigation works. By the end of the 15th century, the discovery of a sea route from Europe to the Far East ended the need for an overland trade route through Syria. Shattered by the Mongols, Syria was part of the Ottoman Empire from the 16th through 19th, and found itself largely apart from, and ignored by, world affairs.

After World War I, the Ottoman Empire was dissolved, and in 1922 the League of Nations split the dominion of the former Syria between two countries: the United Kingdom received Transjordan and Palestine, and France received what was to become modern-day Syria and Lebanon.

French Occupation

In 1920, an independent Arab Kingdom of Syria was established under King Faisal of the Hashemite family, who later became King of Iraq. However, his rule over Syria ended after only a few months, following the clash between his Syrian Arab forces and regular French forces at the Battle of Maysalun. French troops occupied Syria later that year after the League of Nations put Syria under French mandate. With the fall of France in 1940 during World War II, Syria came under the control of the Vichy Government until the British and Free French occupied the country in July 1941. Syria proclaimed its independence in 1941 but it wasn't until January 1, 1944 that it was recognised as an independent republic. Continuing pressure from Syrian nationalist groups forced the French to evacuate their troops in April 1946, leaving the country in the hands of a republican government that had been formed during the mandate.

Independence to 1970

Although rapid economic development followed the declaration of independence, Syrian politics from independence through the late 1960s was marked by upheaval. Between 1946 and 1956, Syria had 20 different cabinets and drafted four separate constitutions. In 1948, Syria was involved in the Arab-Israeli War. The Syrian army was pressed out of the Israel area, but fortified their strongholds on the Golan Heights and managed to keep their old borders. A series of military coups, begun in 1949, undermined civilian rule and led to army colonel Adib Shishakli's seizure of power in 1951. After the overthrow of President Shishakli in a 1954 coup, continued political maneuvering supported by competing factions in the military eventually brought Arab nationalist and socialist elements to power.

During the Suez Crisis of 1956, after the invasion of the Sinai Peninsula by Israeli troops, and the intervention of British and French troops, martial law was declared in Syria. Later Syrian and Iraqi troops were brought into Jordan to prevent a possible Israeli invasion. The November 1956 attacks on Iraqi pipelines were in retaliation for Iraq's acceptance into the Baghdad Pact. In early 1957 Iraq advised Egypt and Syria against a concievable takeover of Jordan.

In November 1956 Syria signed a pact with the Soviet Union, providing a foothold for Communist influence within the government in exchange for planes, tanks, and other military equipment being sent to Syria. With this increase in the strength of Syrian military technology worried Turkey, as it seemed feasible that Syria might attempt to retake Iskenderon, a formerly Syrian city now in Turkey. On the other hand, Syria and the U.S.S.R. accused Turkey of massing its troops at the Syrian border. During this standoff, Communists gained more control over the Syrian government and military. Only heated debates in the United Nations (of which Syria was an original member) lessened the threat of war.

Syria's political instability during the years after the 1954 coup, the parallelism of Syrian and Egyptian policies, and the appeal of Egyptian President Gamal Abdal Nasser's leadership in the wake of the Suez crisis created support in Syria for union with Egypt. On February 1, 1958, Syrian president Shukri el-Kuwatli and Nasser announced the merging of the two countries, creating the United Arab Republic, and all Syrian political parties, as well as the Communists therein, ceased overt activities.

The union was not a success, however. Following a military coup on September 28, 1961, Syria seceded, reestablishing itself as the Syrian Arab Republic. Instability characterised the next 18 months, with various coups culminating on March 8, 1963, in the installation by leftist Syrian Army officers of the National Council of the Revolutionary Command (NCRC), a group of military and civilian officials who assumed control of all executive and legislative authority. The takeover was engineered by members of the Arab Socialist Resurrection Party (Ba'ath Party), which had been active in Syria and other Arab countries since the late 1940s. The new cabinet was dominated by Ba'ath members.

The Ba'ath takeover in Syria followed a Ba'ath coup in Iraq the previous month. The new Syrian Government explored the possibility of federation with Egypt and with Ba'ath-controlled Iraq. An agreement was concluded in Cairo on April 17, 1963, for a referendum on unity to be held in September 1963. However, serious disagreements among the parties soon developed, and the tripartite federation failed to materialize. Thereafter, the Ba'ath regimes in Syria and Iraq began to work for bilateral unity. These plans foundered in November 1963, when the Ba'ath regime in Iraq was overthrown. In May 1964, President Amin Hafiz of the NCRC promulgated a provisional constitution providing for a National Council of the Revolution (NCR), an appointed legislature composed of representatives of mass organisations—labour, peasant, and professional unions—a presidential council, in which executive power was vested, and a cabinet. On February 23, 1966, a group of army officers carried out a successful, intra-party coup, imprisoned President Hafiz, dissolved the cabinet and the NCR, abrogated the provisional constitution, and designated a regionalist, civilian Ba'ath government on March 1. The coup leaders described it as a "rectification" of Ba'ath Party principles. The defeat of the Syrians (with the loss of the Golan Heights) and Egyptians in the June 1967 war with Israel weakened the radical socialist regime established by the 1966 coup.

Conflict developed between a moderate military wing and a more extremist civilian wing of the Ba'ath Party. The 1970 retreat of Syrian forces sent to aid the PLO during the "Black September" hostilities with Jordan reflected this political disagreement within the ruling Ba'ath leadership. On November 13, 1970, Minister of Defense Hafiz al-Asad effected a bloodless military coup, ousting the civilian party leadership and assuming the role of prime minister.

1970 onwards
Upon assuming power, Hafiz al-Asad moved quickly to create an organizational infrastructure for his government and to consolidate control. The Provisional Regional Command of Asad's Arab Ba'ath Socialist Party nominated a 173-member legislature, the People's Council, in which the Ba'ath Party took 87 seats. The remaining seats were divided among "popular organizations" and other minor parties. In March 1971, the party held its regional congress and elected a new 21-member Regional Command headed by Asad. In the same month, a national referendum was held to confirm Asad as President for a 7-year term. In March 1972, to broaden the base of his government, Asad formed the National Progressive Front, a coalition of parties led by the Ba'ath Party, and elections were held to establish local councils in each of Syria's 14 governorates. In March 1973, a new Syrian constitution went into effect followed shortly thereafter by parliamentary elections for the People's Council, the first such elections since 1962.

On October 6 1973, Syria and Egypt staged a surprise attack against Israel in what Arabs call the Ramadan War. (Israelis call it the Yom Kippur War, since the war started on the Jewish Yom Kippur day.) But despite the element of surprise, Egypt and Syria lost the war, and Israel continued to hold the Golan Heights.

The authoritarian regime was not without its critics, though most were quickly murdered. A serious challenge arose in the late 1970s, however, from fundamentalist Sunni Muslims, who reject the basic values of the secular Ba'ath program and object to rule by the Alawis, whom they consider heretical. From 1976 until its suppression in 1982, the arch-conservative Muslim Brotherhood led an armed insurgency against the regime. In response to an attempted uprising by the brotherhood in February 1982, the government crushed the fundamentalist opposition centered in the city of Hama, leveling parts of the city with artillery fire and causing many thousands of dead and wounded. Since then, public manifestations of anti-regime activity have been very limited.

Syria's 1990 participation in the U.S.-led multinational coalition aligned against Saddam Hussein marked a dramatic watershed in Syria's relations both with other Arab states and with the West. Syria participated in the multilateral Middle East Peace Conference in Madrid in October 1991, and during the 1990s engaged in direct, face-to-face negotiations with Israel. These negotiations failed, and there have been no further Syrian-Israeli talks since President Hafiz Al-Asad's meeting with then President Bill Clinton in Geneva in March 2000.

21st century
Hafiz Al-Asad died on June 10, 2000, after 30 years in power. Immediately following Al-Asad's death, the Parliament amended the constitution, reducing the mandatory minimum age of the President from 40 to 34 years old, which allowed his son, Bashar Al-Asad legally to be eligible for nomination by the ruling Ba'ath party. On July 10, 2000, Bashar Al-Asad was elected President by referendum in which he ran unopposed, garnering 97.29% of the vote, according to Syrian government statistics.

On October 5, 2003, Israel bombed a site near Damascus, claiming it was a terrorist training facility for members of Islamic Jihad. The raid was in retaliation for the bombing of a restaurant in the Israeli town of Haifa that killed 19. Islamic Jihad said the camp was not in use; Syria said the attack was on a civilian area.

The Israeli action was widely condemned. The German Chancellor said it "cannot be accepted" and the French Foreign Ministry said "The Israeli operation... constituted an unacceptable violation of international law and sovereignty rules." The Spanish UN Ambassador Inocencio Arias called it an attack of "extreme gravity" and "a clear violation of international law." However, the United States moved closer to slapping sanctions on Syria, following the adoption of the Syria Accountability Act by the House of Representatives International Relations committee.

Syrian Kurds protest in Brussels, Geneva, in Germany at the US and UK embassies and in Turkey, against violence in north-east Syria starting Friday, March 12, and reportedly extending over the weekend resulting in several deaths, according to reports. The Kurds allege the Syrian government encouraged and armed the attackers. Signs of rioting was seen in the towns of Qameshli and Hassakeh. According to the BBC Kurds in Syria have no say in politics and no rights in social and cultural affairs.
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Mongolia, Russia, and China, particularly Inner Mongolia. They currently number about 8.5 million and speak the Mongol language. They form one of the 56 nationalities officially recognized by the People's Republic of China. There are approximately 2.3 million Mongols in Mongolia, 4 million Mongols living in Inner Mongolia, and 2 million Mongols living in neigboring provinces. In addition, there are a number of ethnic groups in North China related to the Mongols: the Daur, Buryat, Evenk, Dorbod, and Tuvin.

Though few in number (approximately 200,000 people at the height of their empire), Mongols were important in world history. Under the leadership of Genghis Khan, the Mongols created the largest land empire in world history, ruling 13.8 million mile² (36 million km²) and more than 100 million people. At their height, their empire spanned from Korea to Hungary, and included most of the lands in between, such as Afghanistan, Georgia, Armenia, Russia, Persia, and much of the Middle East.

The Mongols were a nomadic people who in the 13th century found themselves encompassed by large, city-dwelling agrarian civilizations. However, none of these civilizations were part of a strong central state. Asia, Russia, and the Middle East were either declining kingdoms, or divided city states. Taking the strategic initiative, the Mongols exploited this power vacuum and linked all of these areas into a mutually supporting trade network.

The Mongols were largely dependent on trade with the city-dwelling peoples, and raiding these villages when times were particularly hard. As nomads, they could not accumulate a surplus against bad times, or support artisans. When trade was reduced by the northern Chinese kingdoms in the 1200's, shortly after Genghis Khan rose to supremacy over the Mongol tribes, the Mongols repeated their tradition of getting their goods by looting Northern China.

Conquest, in the Khan's initial viewpoint, did not consist of subordination of competing cultures to the nomadic way of life, but rather in their looting and destruction. As a nomad, Genghis Khan is supposed to not have understood (or cared) of the supposed benefits in the city dwellers' way of life. This contrasts with their dependence on trade with the cities. However, the economic theories of these relationships still lay seven centuries in the future.

The Khan's initial plan of conquest was sacking all that was valuable, and then razing the city and killing the entire population, leaving only artists and human shields (for future campaigns) to survive. Different theories exist for why the Mongols were initially so extreme. Militarily, the Mongols were often far from home territory and greatly out-numbered, and wouldn't want to leave enemies in their rear. Psychologically, the Mongols were a nomadic people, and saw no use for a civilian population. Economically, destroying population centers gave the Mongols more room to graze their herds.

One such example is the capture of Beijing in 1215. Rather than adding the city to the Mongol Kingdom, he instead thorougly sacked the city for silk and other valuables.

As the Mongols grew more powerful, advisers convinced Genghis Khan to start building a vassal empire. If the city-dwelling peoples were allowed to continue their way of life, they could produce a surplus of food and goods, a portion of which could be paid to the Khan as taxes. Given the Khan's extraordinary success in his aggressive foreign policy, this wealth could be equally extraordinary. The Khan agreed, taking his tribute in tax, and saving countless lives and cultures in the process. Until 1225 they continued these invasions through Western Asia, into Persia and Russia.

In 1227, Genghis Khan died, leaving the Empire to his son Ogedei Khan. Ogedei Khan continued the expansion into Western Asia, also conquering Korea and Northern China. The armies of the Mongols had reached Poland and Egypt by 1241, and looked poised to continue, when Ogedei Khan died, leaving no clear successor. Mongol military leaders (who as descendants of Genghis Khan were possible heirs to the throne) rushed back to claim the throne. Nearly a decade later, Mongka Khan, grandson of Genghis and nephew of Ogodai, took the throne, through the assistance of his mother Sorghaghtani Beki. By this time, the Western expansion had lost its momentum.

Various members of the Mongol Court, including Sorghaghtani Beki, were Nestorian Christians. While the court was nominally Buddhist and maintained a policy of being open to all religions, it was known as particularly sympathetic to Christians (which may have helped contribute to the legend of Prester John). In 1253 the court followed the suggestion from Crusader Kingdoms in Syria to attack the Muslim capitols of Baghdad and Cairo. Baghdad was conquered and sacked in 1258, with the city's Christians spared, and the Abbasid caliph killed. However, with the troops on the road to Cairo, Mongka Khan died in 1259. Much of the force returned home for the selection of the new leader, and Egyptian troops repelled the attack in 1260. This marked the farthest West the Mongol Empire would progress.
Kublai Khan quickly succeeded Mongka Khan, moved the court to Beijing, formed the Yuan dynasty, and re-started the invasion of China, in the first war with guns on both sides. After 18 years, Kublai Khan conquered both Northern and Southern China, forming the largest empire in history (as famously described by Marco Polo).

However, by the early 14th century, the prominence of trade, and a possible cooling of the world's climates, led to worldwide outbreaks of plague, which encouraged revolt and invasion. Mongols quit China around 1360, and the Turks (among others) carved out their gains throughout the 14th century. The Chinese invaded Mongolia, and by the 17th century, the Qing dynasty fully incorporated Mongolia into its empire, forming the states of Outer Mongolia and a more Sinocized Inner Mongolia.

Military Innovation

The western expansion was a success for the empire until 1241 (see Wahlstatt). As they encountered the peoples of Europe, the Mongols with their advanced way of warfare were unstoppable. The Mongols used, and introduced, several revolutionary military ideas to European combatants.

•Use of articulation. Mongols used a system of horns and flags, blown or raised-and-lowered by the field commander. This allowed them to move their troops to preplanned positions on the field of battle, or modes of attack or retreat (such as charge, withdraw, or flank). In addition, they utilized subcommanders that were empowered to make decisions on the spot.

•Mongols based their forces almost entirely on light cavalry. Light cavalry consisted primarily of archers and light swordsman mounted on horseback. Mobile and numerous, light cavalry could choose its battles and retreat from forces it could not handle, such as heavy cavalry. Heavy cavalry lacked archers (who could kill at range) and was designed mainly to provide shock -- using weight, speed, and fear of their massed movement to break enemy heavy infantry lines.
Thus, when light cavalry met heavy cavalry, the lighter, more numerous, faster moving, bow using, well-articulated light cavalry usually defeated mounted knights -- the cream of European military power.

•Their conception of armor was markedly different. European knights used heavy plate armour (sheets of loops of chain and pieces of metal plate to protect the wearer, restricting vision and movement). Mongols used silk clothes. The cloth allowed Mongol warriors greater range of movement, better vision and endurance but still provided resistance to projectile weapons. It thus gave them a qualitative advantage over their opponents.

If a Mongol soldier was struck with an arrow, it penetrated the skin and sank into the flesh. However, the silk was not cut but pushed into the wound. Mongol doctors could easily pull an arrow from the wound, because it was wrapped in silk cloth. This reduced the chance of infection and made cleaning and dressing the wound easier, returning the skilled warrior to combat more quickly.

This simple procedure saved many lives. In a prolonged conflict, the Mongols retained more battlefield veterans than their opponents. This usually resulted in a situation where an army of veteran Mongols faced a conscript peasant army, with disastrous results for the Mongols' opponents.

•Mongols utilized doctrines never before seen. As nomads, Mongols carried all of their wealth and provisions with them on horseback. It was equivalent to placing an entire city on horseback. It was more mobile than many of their opponents' armed forces, who were tied to the towns for supplies.

Since their way of warfare was superior (articulated veteran light cavalry) they could not be bested in combat. The traditional solution to this problem is to attack the opponents' supply tail (food, fields, water, etc.). However, their city-dwelling opponents were tied to a supply tail, not the Mongols.

These strategies and tactics assured them victory against foes throughout their history. The closest modern analogue is the modern aircraft carrier, with its ability to bring an entire city of warriors next door to an opponent on short notice, strike, and retreat, without pursuit.
•Mongols' effective use of terror is often credited for the unprecedented speed with which Mongol armies spread across western Asia and eastern Europe.

First, the Mongols would provide an opportunity to surrender, usually on terms favourable to the Mongols. These offers were typically dictated to the first major population center in a new territory.

If the offer was refused, the Mongols would sack the city, execute the entire population (save a handful of skilled workers), and burn the city and the surrounding fields to the ground. They would often construct an edifice of cleaned skulls outside the walls of the destroyed city to serve as a reminder of their passage.

Finally, they would allow a few survivors to flee, to spread terror throughout the countryside. By first offering favourable (or at least acceptable) terms for surrender, and then invariably completely destroying any resistance, it is argued that Mongols forestalled most combat with invaded peoples. The Mongols quickly developed a reputation of being unstoppable, genocidal opponents. After the initial victories, and proof of the Mongols good intentions, it became more difficult for rulers to convince their people to resist an invasion.

Timeline of Conquest

The Mongols attempted two unsuccessful invasions of Japan. The first invasion fleet was utterly destroyed by a typhoon (kamikaze) in 1281. The Mongolian fleets survived the typhoon the second time but the landed troops, who starved because their provisions had been lost in the typhoon, were annihilated by Japanese infantry and samurai.

Other Mongol defeats include their invasion of Java, and south East Asia (Modern day Vietnam). The tropical climate proved unsuitable to cavalry, and while Vietnam was made a vassal state, Java remained autonomous much to the fury of Kublai.

•1200, Northern China - Unknown number killed
•1215, Yanjing China (today Beijing) - Unknown number killed
•1221, Nishapur, Persia - ~1.7 million killed in assault
•1221, Merv, Persia - ~1.3 million killed in assault
•1221, Meru Chahjan, Persia - ~1.3 million killed in assault
•1221, Rayy, Persia - ~1.6 million killed in assault
•1226, Tangut Campaign - Gengis Khan launches war against the northern China people of Tangut.
•1236, Bilär,Bulgar cities, Volga Bulgaria - 150,000 or more and more (nearly half of population)
•1237-1240, Kievan Rus' - half of population
•1241, Wahlstatt -- defeat of a combined Polish-German force in lower Silesia (Poland); the Mongols turn back to attend to the election of a new Grand Khan.
•1258, Baghdad - ~800,000 people. Results in destruction of Abbasid dynasty
•1226-1266, ~18 million reported killed in conquest of northern Chinese territory. This number estimated by Kublai Khan himself.

Modern History
In 1921, Outer Mongolia revolted with Russian support, forming modern Mongolia. A Communist government was formed in 1924. The USSR defended Mongolia from Japanese invasion. However, the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party, for reasons both practical and philosophical, enacted an often brutal if not entirely effective sweeping of Mongolian tradition, working against the Buddhist religions, clan-ism, and script, and for collectivism (as opposed to the traditional nomadic lifestyle). Mongolia aligned itself with Russia after the Sino-Soviet split of 1958. In 1990 the Communist government was overthrown, and by 1992 Mongolia established a parliamentary government.

Inner Mongolia forms an autonomous state within China. Han Chinese have been massively re-settled there, and are the dominant ethnic group, and China places many of the same cultural restrictions on Mongols as did Soviet Mongolia. However, Mongols are exempt from the government's one-child policy, and the PRC officially promotes the Mongol language.
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History of Israel

The creation of the State of Israel in 1948 was preceded by more than 50 years of efforts to establish a sovereign nation as a homeland for Jews. These efforts were initiated by Theodore Herzl, founder of the Zionist movement, and were given added impetus by the Balfour Declaration of 1917, which asserted the British Government's support for the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

In the years following World War I, Palestine became a British Mandate and Jewish immigration steadily increased, as did violence between Palestine's Jewish and Arab communities. Mounting British efforts to restrict this immigration were countered by international support for Jewish national aspirations following the near-extermination of European Jewry by the Nazis during World War II. This support led to the 1947 UN partition plan, which would have divided Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem under UN administration.

On May 14, 1948, soon after the British quit Palestine, the State of Israel was proclaimed and was immediately invaded by armies from neighboring Arab states, which rejected the UN partition plan. This conflict, Israel's War of Independence, was concluded by armistice agreements between Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria in 1949 and resulted in a 50% increase in Israeli territory.

In 1956, French, British, and Israeli forces engaged Egypt in response to its nationalization of the Suez Canal and blockade of the Straits of Tiran. Israeli forces withdrew in March 1957, after the United Nations established the UN Emergency Force (UNEF) in the Gaza Strip and Sinai. This war resulted in no territorial shifts and was followed by several years of terrorist incidents and retaliatory acts across Israel's borders.

In June 1967, Israeli forces struck targets in Egypt, Jordan, and Syria in response to Egyptian President Nasser's ordered withdrawal of UN peacekeepers from the Sinai Peninsula and the buildup of Arab armies along Israel's borders. After 6 days, all parties agreed to a cease-fire, under which Israel retained control of the Sinai Peninsula, the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip, the formerly Jordanian-controlled West Bank of the Jordan River, and East Jerusalem. On November 22, 1967, the Security Council adopted Resolution 242, the "land for peace" formula, which called for the establishment of a just and lasting peace based on Israeli withdrawal from territories occupied in 1967 in return for the end of all states of belligerency, respect for the sovereignty of all states in the area, and the right to live in peace within secure, recognized boundaries.

The following years were marked by continuing violence across the Suez Canal, punctuated by the 1969-70 war of attrition. On October 6, 1973--Yom Kippur (the Jewish Day of Atonement), the armies of Syria and Egypt launched an attack against Israel. Although the Egyptians and Syrians initially made significant advances, Israel was able to push the invading armies back beyond the 1967 cease-fire lines by the time the United States and the Soviet Union helped bring an end to the fighting. In the UN Security Council, the United States supported Resolution 338, which reaffirmed Resolution 242 as the framework for peace and called for peace negotiations between the parties.

In the years that followed, sporadic clashes continued along the cease-fire lines but guided by the U.S., Egypt, and Israel continued negotiations. In November 1977, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat made a historic visit to Jerusalem, which opened the door for the 1978 Israeli-Egyptian peace summit convened at Camp David by President Carter. These negotiations led to a 1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt, pursuant to which Israel withdrew from the Sinai in 1982, signed by President Sadat of Egypt and Prime Minister Menahem Begin of Israel.

In the years following the 1948 war, Israel's border with Lebanon was quiet relative to its borders with other neighbors. After the expulsion of Palestinian fighters from Jordan in 1970 and their influx into southern Lebanon, however, hostilities along Israel's northern border increased and Israeli forces crossed into Lebanon. After passage of Security Council Resolution 425, calling for Israeli withdrawal and the creation of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon peacekeeping force (UNIFIL), Israel withdrew its troops.

In June 1982, following a series of cross-border terrorist attacks and the attempted assassination of the Israeli Ambassador to the U.K., Israel invaded Lebanon to fight the forces of Yasser Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The PLO withdrew its forces from Lebanon in August 1982. Israel, having failed to finalize an agreement with Lebanon, withdrew most of its troops in June 1985 save for a residual force which remained in southern Lebanon to act as a buffer against attacks on northern Israel. These remaining forces were completely withdrawn in May 2000 behind a UN-brokered delineation of the Israel-Lebanon border (the Blue Line). Hizballah forces in Southern Lebanon continued to attack Israeli positions south of the Blue Line in the Sheba Farms/Har Dov area of the Golan Heights.

The victory of the U.S.-led coalition in the Persian Gulf War of 1991 opened new possibilities for regional peace. In October 1991, the United States and the Soviet Union convened the Madrid Conference, in which Israeli, Lebanese, Jordanian, Syrian, and Palestinian leaders laid the foundations for ongoing negotiations designed to bring peace and economic development to the region. Within this framework, Israel and the PLO signed a Declaration of Principles on September 13, 1993, which established an ambitious set of objectives relating to a transfer of authority from Israel to an interim Palestinian authority. Israel and the PLO subsequently signed the Gaza-Jericho Agreement on May 4, 1994, and the Agreement on Preparatory Transfer of Powers and Responsibilities on August 29, 1994, which began the process of transferring authority from Israel to the Palestinians.

On October 26, 1994, Israel and Jordan signed a historic peace treaty, witnessed by President Clinton. This was followed by Israeli Prime Minister Rabin and PLO Chairman Arafat's signing of the historic Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on September 28, 1995. This accord, which incorporated and superseded previous agreements, broadened Palestinian self-government and provided for cooperation between Israel and the Palestinians in several areas.

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated on November 4, 1995, by a right-wing Jewish radical, bringing the increasingly bitter national debate over the peace process to a climax. Subsequent Israeli governments continued to negotiate with the PLO resulting in additional agreements, including the Wye River and the Sharm el-Sheikh memoranda.

A summit hosted by President Clinton at Camp David in July 2000 to address permanent status issues--including the status of Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza, final security arrangements, borders, and relations and cooperation with neighboring states--failed to produce an agreement.

Following the failed talks, widespread violence broke out in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza in September 2000. In April 2001 the Sharm el-Sheikh Fact Finding Committee, commissioned by the October 2000 Middle East Peace Summit and chaired by former U.S. Senator George Mitchell, submitted its report, which recommended an immediate end to the violence followed by confidence-building measures and a resumption of security cooperation and peace negotiations. The United States has worked intensively to help bring an end to the violence between Israelis and Palestinians and bring about the implementation of the recommendations of the Mitchell Committee as a bridge back to political negotiations. In April 2003, the Quartet (the U.S., U.N., E.U., and the Russian Federation) announced the “roadmap,” a performance-based plan to bring about two states, Israel and a democratic, viable Palestine, living side by side in peace and security. Both the Israelis and Palestinians have affirmed their commitment to the roadmap, but continuing Israeli-Palestinian violence has led to a continuing crisis of confidence between the two sides.

Israel has endured constant hostility from Arab neighbors who hate Jews. It is probable that peace will not come to the Middle East until Arab states cease their anti-Semitism, demand Palestinian's to end their terrorist acts, and accept Israel as a sovereign nation with the right to exist peacefully.
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The King of Saladin

Saladin (1137 -1193) ('Salah al Din Yusuf Ibn Ayyub) founded the ethnically Kurdish Ayyubid dynasty of Egypt and Syria. He was also renowned in both the Christian and Muslim worlds for his leadership and military prowess tempered by his chivalry and merciful nature during the Crusades.

Rise to power
Salah al Din was born into a Kurdish family at Tikrit on the river Tigris and was sent to Damascus to finish his education. There he lived for ten years at the court of Nur ad-Din, and distinguished himself by his interest in Sunni hadith. After an initial military education under the command of his uncle, the Seljuk statesman and soldier Shirkuh, who was representing Nur ad-Din on campaigns against a faction of the Fatimid caliphate of Egypt in the 1160s, Saladin eventually succeeded the defeated faction and his uncle as vizier in 1169, and inherited a difficult role defending Egypt against the incursions of the Latin Kings of Jerusalem, especially Amalric I. His position was tenuous at first, as no one expected him to last long in Egypt, where there had been many changes of government in previous years, due to a long line of child caliphs fought over by competing viziers. As the leader of a foreign army from Syria, he also had no control over the Shi'ite Egyptian army, which was led in the name of the now otherwise powerless caliph. When he died, in September 1171, Saladim had the imams pronounce the name of the Abassid caliph in Baghdad at Friday prayers, and the weight of authority simply deposed the old line. Now Saladin ruled Egypt, but officially as the representative of Nur ad-Din, who himself conventionally recognized the Abassid caliph.

Thus ran the fictions of power. In reality, with the aid of his brothers who were given control of large estates in Lower Egypt, land-holdings whose pattern had survived largely unchanged since late Antiquity, Saladin turned Egypt into a fiefdom of his own family, against the wishes of Nur ad-Din, who had sent Shirkuh and Saladin to Egypt in the first place. With Nur ad-Din's death (1174), he assumed the title of sultan in Egypt, where he was treated as a usurper by many Seljuks, who refused to serve under a Kurdish "sultan." Nevertheless, Saladin proved to be the founder of the Ayyubid dynasty and restored Sunnism in Egypt. He extended his territory westwards in the maghreb, and when his uncle, sent up the Nile to pacify some resistance of the former Fatimid supporters, continued on down the Red Sea to conquer Yemen, Nur Ad-Din in Damascus was beginning to sense that he had unwillingly unleashed a dangerous new power, when he died in 1174.

Fighting the Crusaders
On two occasions, in 1171 and 1173, Saladin retreated from an invasion of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. These had been launched by Nur ad-Din, and Saladin hoped that the Crusader kingdom would remain intact, as a buffer state between Egypt and Syria, until Saladin could gain control of Syria as well. Nur ad-Din and Saladin were headed towards open war on these counts, when Nur ad-Din died in 1174. His heir was a mere boy, in the hands of court eunuchs. (He died in 1181.) Saladin marched on Damascus, and was welcomed into the city. He reinforced his legitimacy there in the time-honored way, by marrying Nur ad-Din's widow. Aleppo and Mosul, on the other hand, the two other largest cities that Nur ad-Din had ruled, were never taken, but Saladin managed to impose his influence and authority on them in 1176 and 1186 respectively. While he was occupied in besieging Aleppo, on May 22, 1176 the "Assassins" attempted to murder him.

While Saladin was consolidating his power in Syria, he generally left the Crusader kingdom, the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem alone, although he was usually victorious whenever he did meet the Crusaders in battle. One exception was the Battle of Montgisard in 1177, although he soon recovered and defeated the Crusaders at the Ford of Jacob's Daughters in 1179. However, the Crusaders repeatedly provoked him. Raynald of Chatillon, in particular, harassed Muslim trading and pilgrimage routes with a fleet on the Red Sea, a water route that it was essential for Saladin to keep open. Worse, and what made him a legendary monster in the Muslim world, Raynald threatened to attack the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. Then Raynald looted a caravan of pilgrims on hajj in 1185. In July of 1187, Saladin invaded the Kingdom of Jerusalem and annihilated the Crusader army at the Battle of Hattin, a major disaster for the Crusaders and a turning point in the history of the Crusades. Saladin captured and executed Raynald; he also captured the King, Guy of Lusignan. He then recaptured Jerusalem on October 2, 1187, after 88 years of Crusader rule. Soon he had taken back every Crusader city except Tyre.

Hattin and the fall of Jerusalem prompted the Third Crusade. This Crusade took back Acre, and Saladin was defeated by King Richard I of England at the Battle of Arsuf in 1191. Saladin's relationship with Richard was one of chivalrous mutual respect as well as military rivalry; both were celebrated in the courtly romances that developed in northern Europe. When Richard was wounded, Saladin even offered the services of his personal physician, a signal favor for Muslim medical practice was the best in the Western world. At Arsuf, when Richard lost his horse, Saladin sent him two replacements. There were even plans to marry Richard's sister to Saladin's brother. The two came to an agreement over Jerusalem in the treaty of Ramla 1192, whereby it would remain in Muslim hands but would be open to Christian pilgrimages; the treaty reduced the Latin Kingdom to a strip along the coast from Tyre to Joffa.
Not long after Richard's departure, Saladin died in 1193 at Damascus. When they opened Saladin's treasury they found there was not enough money to pay for his funeral; he had given his money away to those in need. His tomb is now a major tourist attraction.

Few structures associated with Saladin survive within modern cities. Saladin first fortified the Citadel of Cairo (1176 - 1183), which had been a domed pleasure pavilion with a fine view in more peaceful times. In Syria even the smallest cities centered on a defensible citadel, and Saladin introduced this essential feature to Egypt. The largely Ottoman Citadel as it exists has been largely rebuilt since, but a fortified caravanerai, Qalaat al-Gindi, that he rebuilt survives in the central Sinai desert, thanks largely to its utter isolation. It was rediscovered in 1909 by French archaeological team under Jules Barthoux. Saladin reinforced this meeting place of three caravan routes that linked Egypt, the Red Sea and the Mediterranean; within its walls and many vaulted rooms were hewn out of rock. A Fatimid style mihrab dominates the fortress, which is rarely found by tourists.

Despite his fierce opposition to the Christian powers, Saladin achieved a great reputation in Europe as a chivalrous knight, so much so that there existed by the 14th century an epic poem about his exploits, and Dante included him among the virtuous pagan souls in Limbo.

The name Salah ad Din means "Righteousness of the Faith", and through the ages Saladin has been an inspiration for Muslims in many respects. A province centered around Tikrit in modern Iraq, Salah ad Din, is named after Saladin.
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The Kurds are an ethnic group of Medes origin, comprised of (according to some sources) about 25 million people, primarily in Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and Syria. There are also Kurdish communities in Armenia, Georgia. Traditionally the Kurds were nomadic herdsmen, but are now seminomadic or sedentary. The majority of Kurds are Sunni Muslims. The ancient Kurdish community near Kabul, Afghanistan left the country during the Afghan Civil War in the late 1970s. For over a century, many Kurds have been campaigning for the right to their own state, which they would call Kurdistan -- by some accounts the Kurds are the world's largest ethnic group without their own state. However, despite promises of the creation of such a state made in the early 20th century, all the region's governments are opposed to it.
The Kurds constitute the only sizable minority in Turkey. The exact number of Kurdish people living in Southwest Asia is unknown due to both absence of a recent study on this issue and the fact that some of Kurdish people have mixed with other local ethnic groups. The estimated numbers for the percentage of Kurdish people living in Turkey vary from 3% (Encyclopedia Americana ) to 20% (CIA Factbook ). They are concentrated in the east and southeast regions of Turkey. There are also Kurdish enclaves in central Turkey. Millions of Kurds have moved to the large cities of Western and Southern Turkey in recent decades - notably Istanbul, Izmir, Bursa, Adana and Mersin. Many Kurds have also emigrated to Western European countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium and the United Kingdom.
Kurdish guerillas launched attacks on Turkish targets in 1984, and since then they have fought against the Turkish government for independence and the right to be educated in Kurdish schools, with little success. In 1999, the Turkish government had a major victory when it abducted Abdullah Öcalan, the leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), one of the groups fighting for Kurdish rights and independence. Turkey then placed him on trial for treason and sentenced him to life imprisonment. After that the Kurdish rebel movement in Turkey declared that it would end its military attacks to create a Kurdish homeland but continue its activities on political platform.
The Kurdish guerillas have been and continue to be persecuted by both Iraq and Turkey. In Turkey, publication (both printed and audio-visual media) and teaching (although very restricted) in Kurdish language is allowed, and recent reforms promised limited broadcasting in Kurdish language. However, it refuses to recognize them as an ethnic group but Kurds may take their place in any part of Turkish life including the National Assembly as long as they pretend to be 'mountain turks' a term which is very offensive to Kurds.
The status of Kurds is now surrounded in mystery. Under the former Iraqi Ba'athist regime, which ruled Iraq from 1968 until 2003, they were initially granted limited autonomy and given some high-level political representation in Baghdad. However, for various reasons including the siding of some Kurds with Iranian forces during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s, the regime became opposed to the Kurds and an effective civil war broke out. Iraq was widely condemned, but not seriously punished, by the international community for using chemical weapons against the Kurds. Kurdish regions during the 1990s had de-facto independence, with fully functioning civil administrations, and were protected by the US-enforced Iraqi no-fly zone which stopped Iraqi air attacks. During the period of self-governance there were armed clashes between the two main political groups in the area, each claiming the title of Kurdistan's government, which undermined the effectiveness of the Kurds in their fighting with the Iraqis. Following the unseating of the former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in 2003, little is known as to how 'Kurdistan' will be dealt with in the future. The American-sponsored idea of a Federal Republic, with a relatively high level of autonomy for the Kurds, currently appears to be the most popular.
Some improvements in Kurdish rights in Turkey have however been made under pressure from the European Union. The European Union has made membership for Turkey conditional on, among other things, better treatment of its Kurdish minority. In August 2002, Turkey accepted the EU's conditions, and amended certain of its restrictions on the Kurds.

See also : History of the Kurds and Timeline of the Kurds

Kurdish organisations
Ansar al-Islam
•Demokrasi ve Barış Partisi (DBP, Democracy and Peace Party)
•Hak ve Özgürlükler Partisi (HAK-PAR, Rights and Freedoms Party)
•Halkin Demokrasi Partisi (HADEP, Peoples' Democracy Party)
Kurdistan Democratic Party (runs an elected government in Northern Iraq)
Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (runs an elected government in Northern Iraq)
Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK, dissolved)
•Congress for Freedom and Democracy Kurdistan (KADEK, dissolved)
People's Congress of Kurdistan (Kongra-Gel)
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History of the Kurds

With regard to the origin of the Kurds, it was formerly considered sufficient to describe them as the descendants of the Carduchi, who opposed the retreat of the Ten Thousand through the mountains in the 4th century BCE. But modern research traces them far beyond the period of the Greeks. In their own histories, they are proud to mention the Hurrian period in the mid third millennium BC as the earliest documented period. This was the time of Kurti, Gutis, Khadi, Hatti, Mards, Mushku, Manna, Mittanni, Urartu, and the Kassites. It should be mentioned that the Kurds are an Indo-European people, while none of the above were. However Kurds consider themselves as much Indo-European as they do any of these.
At the dawn of history the mountains overhanging Assyria were held by a people named Gutii, a title which signified "a warrior", and which was rendered in Assyrian by the synonym of Gardu or Kardu, the precise term quoted by Strabo to explain the name of the Cardaces. These Gutu were a tribe of such power as to be placed in the early Cuneiform records on an equality with the other nations of western Asia, that is, with the Syrians and Hittites, the Susians, Elamites, and Akkadians of Babylonia; and during the whole period of the Assyrian Empire they seem to have preserved a more-or-less independent political position.
After the fall of Nineveh the Gutu coalesced with the Medes, and, in common with all the nations inhabiting the high plateaus of Asia Minor, Armenia and Persia, became gradually Aryanised, owing to the immigration at this period of history of tribes in overwhelming numbers which, from whatever quarter they may have sprung, belonged certainly to the Aryan family.
The Gutii or Kurdu were reduced to subjection by Cyrus before he descended upon Babylon, and furnished a contingent of fighting men to his successors, being thus mentioned under the names of "Saspirians" and "Alarodians" in the muster roll of the army of Xerxes which Herodotus has preserved.
In later times they passed successively under the sway of the Macedonians, the Parthians, and Sassanians, being especially befriended, if we may judge from tradition as well as from the remains still existing in the country, by the Arsacian monarchs, who were probably of a cognate race. Gotarzes indeed, whose name may perhaps be translated "chief of the Gutii", was traditionally believed to be the founder of the Gurans, the principal tribe of southern Kurdistan, and his name and titles are still preserved in a Greek inscription at Behistun near the Kurdish capital of Kermanshah.
Under the caliphs of Baghdad the Kurds were always giving trouble in one quarter or another. In AD 838, and again in 905, formidable insurrections occurred in northern Kurdistan; the amir, Aqpd-addaula, was obliged to lead tne forces of the caliphate against the southern Kurds, capturing the famous fortress of Sermaj, of which the ruins are to be seen at the present day near Behistun, and reducing the province of Shahrizor with its capital city now marked by the great mound of Yassin Teppeh.
The most flourishing period of Kurdish power was probably during the 12th century, when the great Saladin, who belonged to the Rawendi branch of the Hadabani tribe, founded the Ayyubite dynasty of Syria, and Kurdish chieftainhips were established, not only to the east and west of the Kurdistan mountains, but as far as Khorasan upon one side and Egypt and Yemen on the other.
During the Mongol and Tatar domination of western Asia the Kurds in the mountains remained for the most part passive, yielding a reluctant obedience to the provincial governors of the plains. When Sultan Selim I, after defeating Shah Ismail I in 1514, annexed Armenia and Kurdistan, he entrusted the organisation of the conquered territories to Idris, the historian, who was a Kurd of Bitlis. Idris found Kurdistan bristling with castles, held by hereditary tribal chiefs of Kurd, Arab, and Armenian descent, who were practically independent, and passed their time in tribal warfare or in raiding the agricultural population. He divided the territory into sanjaks or districts, and, making no attempt to interfere with the principle of heredity, installed the local chiefs as governors. He also resettled the rich pastoral country between Erzerum and Erivan, which had lain waste since the passage of Timur, with Kurds from the Hakkiari and Bohtan districts.
The system of administration introduced by Idris remained unchanged until the close of the Russo-Turkish War of 1828-29. But the Kurds, owing to the remoteness of their country from the capital and the decline of Turkey, had greatly increased in influence and power, and had spread westwards over the country as far as Angora.
After the war the Kurds attempted to free themselves from Turkish control, and in 1834 it became necessary to reduce them to subjection. This was done by Reshid Pasha. The principal towns were strongly garrisoned, and many of the Kurd beys were replaced by Turkish governors. A rising under Bedr Khan Bey in 1843 was firmly repressed, and after the Crimean War the Turks strengthened their hold on the country. The Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78 was followed by the attempt of Sheikh Obaidullah in 1880 - 1881 to found an independent Kurd principality under the protection of Turkey. The attempt, at first encouraged by the Porte, as a reply to the projected creation of an Armenian state under the suzerainty of Russia, collapsed after Obaidullah's raid into Persia, when various circumstances led the central government to reassert its supreme authority. Until the Russo-Turkish War of 1828-29 there had been little hostile feeling between the Kurds and the Armenians, and as late as 1877 - 1878 the mountaineers of both races had co-existed fairly well together. Both suffered from Turkey, both dreaded Russia. But the national movement amongst the Armenians, and its encouragement by Russia after the latest war, gradually aroused race hatred and fanaticism.
In 1891 the activity of the Armenian Committees induced the Porte to strengthen the position of the Kurds by raising a body of Kurdish irregular cavalry, which was well-armed and called Hamidieh after the Sultan Abd-ul-Hamid II. The opportunities thus offered for plunder and the gratification of race hatred brought out the worst qualities of the Kurds. Minor disturbances constantly occurred, and were soon followed by the massacre of Armenians at Sasun and other places, 1894 - 1896, in which the Kurds took an active part.
Many Kurds died at Turkish hands between 1915 and the end of World War I, but despite the trend to self-determination and the championing in the Treaty of Sèvres of Kurdish autonomy in the aftermath of World War I, Turkish resurgence under Kemal Atatürk prevented the achievement of Kurdish national independence. Turkey suppressed Kurdish revolts in 1925, 1930, and 1937 - 1938; while Iran did the same in the 1920s. A short-lived Soviet-sponsored Kurdish republic did not long outlast World War II.
When Ba'athist administrators thwarted Kurdish nationalist ambitions in Iraq, war broke out in the 1960s. In 1970 the Kurds rejected limited teritorial self-rule within Iraq, demanding larger areas including the oil-rich Kirkuk region. Iran fought the Kurds from 1979 on.

For more recent Kurdish history see Kurds.

This article uses text from 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica

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Buitenzorg.gif Historiografi adalah perkembangan penulisan sejarah dari masa ke masa. Dalam penuliasan sebuah Historiografi didalamnya memuat mengenai teori dan metodologi sejarah. Historiografi dapat diartikan sebagai sejarah penulisan sejarah untuk merekontruksi masa lalu. Dalam historiografi terdapat pemahaman atau persepsi atau refleksi kultural sejarawan tentang masa lalu sehingga mengandung arti subjektif.

Historiografi yang dipengaruhi oleh lingkungan zaman dan kebudayaan semasa sejarah itu ditulis menimbulkan subjektivitas. Karena di dalam penulisan sejarah sejarawan mendapatkan pengaruh tentang perkembangan penulisan sejarah, pengaruh zaman, lingkungan, kebudayaan pada setiap penulisan sejarah, perkembangan pengguaan teori dan metodologi dan seni pengungkapan serta penyajian sejarah. Subjektivitas juga timbul karena pemahaman orang sangat dipengaruhi oleh latar belakang individu, lingkungan sosial, lingkungan kultural, dan jiwa zaman.

Historiografi dapat diartikan sebagai sejarah intelektual atau mentalitas. Historiogarfi juga mengajarkan untuk mencari sebuah pemikiran seorang penulis sejarah. Dalam hal ini sejarawan akan mengalami proses pemahan untuk mengerti subjektivitas penulis sejarah. Penulis sejarah akan selalu aktif melakukan seleksi terhadap gejala yang diamatinya. Gejala yang diamati akan menjadi titik pendirian masa kini yang dijadikan faktor penentu perhatian seseorang terhadap gejala masa lampau.

Secara gambaran umum mengenai Historiografi merupakan representasi atau ungkapan dari kesadaran sejarawan dalam zamannya dan lingkungan kebudayaan di tempat sejarawan itu hidup. Dalam memahami sebuah historiogarfi yang diklarifikasikan dalam historiografi tradisional atau historiografi modern, terutama historiografi tradisional perlu diketahui ciri produk historiografi tersebut. Historiografi tradisional akan bercerita dalam batasan atau kisaran istana sentris, tetapi keadaan sosial masyarakat tidak pernah disinggung dalam penulisannya, masayarakat pada awakatau penulisan tersebut hanya sebatas bahwa masyarakat itu menjadi milik raja atau hanya sebatas bagian dari raja, jika penulisan tersebut bersifat sejarah, hanya sebatas pada penulisan sejarah politik, dan dalam penulisan hal yang penting adalah terdapat adanya mitos dan peristiwa yang bercampuraduk antara fiktif dan faktual.

Tokoh yang berperan dalam penulisan historiografi Indonesia tradisional adalah para pujangga kerajaan. Karena karya-karya yang masuk dalam kategori historiografi Indonesia tradisional merupakan karya-karya yang banyak dibuat pada zaman kerajaan. Pujangga memiliki peranan penting dalam hal ini, mereka akan penulis sebuah peristiwa. Mereka dapat dikatakan sebagai sejarawan awal Indonesia. Walaupun dalam tulisannya banyak kejadian yang ditulis dalam konteks fiktif dan faktual. Dalam hal itu pujangga memiliki maksud politik untuk memperkuat kedudukan sang patron.

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There are two basic issues involved in historiography (Breisach, 1994). First, the study of the development of history as an academic discipline over time, as well as its development in different cultures and epochs. Second, the study of the academic tools, methods and approaches that have been and are being used, including the historical method.

The term "historiography" can also be used to refer to a specific body of historical writing that was written during a specific time concerning a specific issue. For instance, a statement about "medieval historiography" would refer to some issue in the academic discipline of Medieval History, and not to the actual history of the Middle Ages or to historical works written in that time (e.g., "during the last century, medieval historiography changed its focus from the study of political events to social and mental structures", or "medieval historiography has largely benefited from the recognition of the importance of parish records": that is, the discipline underwent some change).

Conal Furay and Michael J. Salevouris define historiography as "the study of the way history has been and is written — the history of historical writing... When you study 'historiography' you do not study the events of the past directly, but the changing interpretations of those events in the works of individual historians."One should be cautious, however, that in the sense given in the previous paragraph when a historian does historiography they are actually studying "the events of the past directly".

Chinese historiography

In China, Sima Qian (around 100 BC) was the first to lay the groundwork for professional historical writing. His written work was the Shiji (Records of the Grand Historian), a monumental lifelong achievement in literature. Its scope extends as far back as the 16th century BC, including many treatises on specific subjects, along with individual biographies for prominent people, as well as exploring the lives and deeds of commoners found in his own time or in previous eras. His work influenced every subsequent author of history in China, including the prestigious Ban family of the Eastern Han Dynasty era.

Traditionalist Chinese historiography describes history in terms of dynastic cycles. In this view, each new dynasty is founded by a morally righteous founder. Over time, the dynasty becomes morally corrupt and dissolute. Eventually, the dynasty becomes so weak as to allow its replacement by a new dynasty.

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