Saturday, August 3, 2019
Inner Asia as a Separate Entity :: miscellaneous
Inner Asia as a Separate Entity The concept of Ã¢â¬Å"EurasiaÃ¢â¬ is easily identified: it is the combine bodies of both the European and Asian landmasses. However, a concept of Ã¢â¬Å"InnerÃ¢â¬ or Ã¢â¬Å"OuterÃ¢â¬ Eurasia is no so easily defined. Whether sub-regions are delineated by culture, geography, politics, or religion is yet to be decided. Denis Sinor and David Christian are two authors that attempted to clarify the discrepancy of an Ã¢â¬Å"Inner AsianÃ¢â¬ border. Borders can be formed a number of ways. Rivers, mountain chains, and other geographic infrastructure can form visible boundaries. Australia is clearly its own continent based on its geography. However, borders can also be formed simply on the common characteristics of citizensÃ¢â¬â¢ culture. Inner Asia is a region that many westerners know little about. Both Ã¢â¬Å" Ã¢â¬ËlogocentrismÃ¢â¬â¢ (the bias towards literate sources and literate societies) and Ã¢â¬ËagrocentrismÃ¢â¬â¢ (the bias towards agrarian, urbanized civilizations)Ã¢â¬ have shaped western knowledge (or lack thereof) of this region. The Outer, sedentary civilizations of Eurasia were based on agrarian societies, whereas the Inner civilizations weren't permitted this luxury, due to geographical circumstances. Therefore, "economic self-sufficiency" was a must for the sparsely populated Inner Asian societies. The peoples of Inner Asia survive one of two ways: by migrating to food sources (usually accompanied by raising livestock), and by subsistence-level farming. These lifestyles, Denis Sinor claims, form a border between Inner and Outer Eurasia. The civilizations of Inner Asia were never able to become immensely populated. This is because neither subsistence-level farming or nomadism result in large excesses of food, which is a necessity for a large population. Because of this, a unified army that could conquer surrounding (possible more fertile) areas could never be formed. The small amount of farming that is done in Inner Asia was in the steppe; the other zones, Ã¢â¬Å"the arctic tundra, the forest region (taiga), and the desert [cannot] provide food for a population large enough to muster the political power necessary to initiate conquest.Ã¢â¬ Sinor suggests that Inner Asia is inarguably a unified region. However, "the links which usually hold together or create cultural entity - such as script, race, religion, language - played only a very moderate role as factors of cohesion". Instead, a common way of life is the main similarity that marked Inner Asia as decisively separate from Outer Asia. In order to survive, Inner Asian peoples had to either provide for themselves completely (which was difficult, as mentioned above), or to trade with more well endowed societies for what goods they could not produce.
Posted by Clinton Wright at 10:20 PM