Out of the steppes of Central Asia

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Central Asia is a vast region of grasslands called steppe. Traditionally, its inhabitants were nomadic pastoralists, driving their herds and flocks from one seasonal pasture to another. Many Mongolians still live a seminomadic life. Drought is a common occurrence in the dry climate. It makes farming unreliable, but only occasionally does it seriously injure the nomads.

Droughts in Central and Western Asia around 300 c.e. forced people known as the Hunni, or Huns, out of their homelands. They moved

Mohenjo-daro and Harappa, cradles of the Indus Valley civilization westward in search of food and water, but when they reached the River Danube they encountered the Roman Empire. Skilled horsemen and fierce and fearless warriors, they fought the Romans and established an empire of their own in southeastern and central Europe. Their most famous emperor was Attila (died 453)—often called Attila the Hun and known in his own day as the Scourge of God. From 434 until his death, Attila ruled the area from the Alps and Baltic to the Caspian. He died in his sleep and the empire was divided among his many sons, after which it ceased to be politically important. Drought drove another Mongolian invasion in 800.

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