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Posted on 26 September 2014


For centuries, the people who lived on the Asian steppes learned to fear the sound of hoofbeats in the distance. Hordes of warrior clans on horseback would ride in from the wastelands and decimate everything in sight. The most famous of these were the Mongols. But they were merely the most recent in a centuries long tradition that began with the Donghu.

Donghu map

Name: The Donghu Federation

Continent: Asia

Time Period: 700-150 BCE

Succeeded/Conquered By: The Xiongnu (forerunners of the Mongols)

Currently: Inner Mongolia

Far back in the bronze age, the Donghu emerged – a loose alliance of clans that would grow in to a fully integrated federation. They invented a combat style – large-scale, coordinated attacks on horseback and from multiple directions at once – that would become the hallmark of Mongolian warriors for centuries, and eventually lead the great Khans to conquer a quarter of the world.

But the Donghu were more than just warriors, they were pure of spirit and free of mind. Now, make no mistake, they were violent and merciless. But they were not conquerors or demagogues - they brought no false hope with their horses, and no lies with their weapons. The truth is never easy.

Strip away your preconceptions of what it means to be moral and just. More soon.