||"dawnbreak in the west"|
Monday, June 22, 2015
Chariot warriors of Hanigalbat
Western-drawn maps of the Islamic State tends to look like a patchwork: the core areas are the roadways, and between the roadways are "support areas" or blank space.
Modern readers of such maps might think of Mad Max movies (#1 and #4, mostly). That's certainly one reason for maps like this, the propaganda value. In addition it makes the caliphate look smaller and weaker than it is. Another reason is strategic on our part: the maps tell us where the mujahids are roaming around, and where they're thinner on the ground.
It occurs to me that the overall territory looks a lot like the Mitanni kingdom, as well.
The Mitanni were foreigners, as in: they didn't natively speak Hurrian, or Nesian ("Hittite"), or Eblaite. Their religion also was alien to these three cultures. For the Mitanni both language and religion were Vedic with an emphasis on the horse. And when the Hittites crushed them, they were replaced - by another chariot nation, the Assyrians. The Assyrians were at least related to the Eblaites and (more distantly) other Semites, so could relate a little better to that segment of the locals.
I suspect that the Mitanni ran their domain much like the Islamic State is running theirs: their chariots run the roads, their agents control strategic parts of the cities, and outside that network they must make deals. Understand one empire, and you understand the other.
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