Monthly Archives: October 2012

Jokes, chiefly sick ones.

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There have been a lot of tasteless jokes told about the late lamented Sir Jimmy Saville. Here are a few more.

 

Gary Glitter regrets that he did not have his computer repaired by Jim’ll fix it.

 

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I am going to a Hallowe’en party as Jimmy Saville.

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Why does Jimmy Sacville put dairy lea down his trousers/ Be4cuase kids will do anything for the taste of dairy lea.

 

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How do you know it is bed time in the Saville household? When teh big hand touches the littrle hand.

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What is tyhe difference between acne and Jimym Saville? At least acne has the decency to wait until you are 12 before it comes all over your face.

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Wht did Jimym  Saville and his mates do at the end of a dinenr party? Hand around the under 8s.

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Jimmy Saville says to a little girl come to my dressing room for a magic trick. Sit on my lap. Do you feel my thmb up inside you? Yes she says. Then  he holds up both his thumbs and says – that’s magic.

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to be fair most of tyhese are rehashed Michale Jackon ones.

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I was on the beach with my family and the Jimym Savilel came along. I said – would you please get out of my son!

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I saw a cement lorry with a slogan on it that they may wish to recondier – Jim’ll mix it. I shit you not.

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How long does it take a Borati woman to have a shit? None months.

Big Oil – by Tom Bower.

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I read this book very recently. Tom Bower is a British investigative author. His works are ususally highly unflattering about their subjects. In this he lifts the lid on the oil industry. He admits at the outset that he is something of a naif when it comes to the oil business. He then immerses himself in the oil patch. If he is to be believed he gained access to many of the top people among the supermajors – that is to say the seven largest oil coporations on earth.

His writing style is fairly descriptive considering that this is not a work of literature. He has a journalist’s nose for a defining trait of a a person. He looks a lot at Lord Browne. John Browne – as he was born – is half British and half Hungarian-Jewish. Being a diminutive homosexual Cambridge graduate he was not cut from the same cloth as many of the towering Texans who dominated the oil world. In the 1960s he must have been very discrete about his proclivities.

The book was fairly interesting but it was hard not to skip some pages.  He lays bare the political  intrigue that is connected to the oil world.

He claims to know that the Dutch Prime Minister and Putin went into a room in the Mayor of Amsterdam’s official residence for a one-to-one in German with no others present. If this is right then he must have extraordinarily good contacts.

He notes the dilemma afflicting oil majors. Do they stand aloof from the affairs of a country such as Nigeria and get accused of being socially irresponsible? On the other hand should they insist that their money go on this and that and then be castigated for interference? It is a catch 22 situation.

The book does not seem to come to clear conclusions. It was less enjoyable than his book on Mohammad Fayed.

”The Accursed Mountains” – a review.

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This tome was penned by an intrepid Briton. The middle aged had had a peripatetic childhood and with a smattering of languages braved the wilds of urban Albania as well as its lawless mountains. The year was 1996. I ventured into that country in the year of grace some two thousands and six. I considered this a deed of derring do even a decade hence from his journey. When he went there only an imbecile or a travel writer would risk life and anal virginity travelling into the wild, wild not-so-east.

He seems to have mastered some Albanian. His spare prose conveyed the desolation of the place. He enlivens the drab scene from an impressive palet of lexis. Albania is a land unknown to technicolor. Grey, beige, off-white, a sickly pale green, yellow and mawkish blue are the best one can hope for in buildings. The country is liberal only in its piles of street litter.

When this man went gangsterism was rife. Male chauvinist attitudes were openly proclaimed. The bloke does not seem to have entertained a percipitiously high impression of Albanians. Almost every one of them was on the make and on the take. Begging was the benevolent alternative to outright thievery. There was a dependency culture building up on Western aid. Brutality was the order of the day. Savage punishments were casually meted out for even the most trifling misdemeanour as the only means to prevent utter turmoil.

The code of family honour was observed with a ferocious zeal. The slightest slight to a family’s esteem was met with swift and condign punishment.

The country was dysfunctional. It came across as an exceedingly depressing place. Honesty was considered a stupid vice. Any Albanian who could run, jump or swim was desperate to be shot of their native land. A bearded homosexualist I know told me that Albanians often went to Greece to be rent boys.

It seemed odd that such a lettered man would wish to spend such a long time in a country that had little to offer by way of culture. He could do without creature comforts with the single exception of cigarettes. These were in no short supply. Indeed they were about the only thing of which this damnable land had a superabundance. He met only one man who did not partake of tobacco. He remained in this scarred land owing to his wish to gather material for his most evocative travelogue. The dramatis personae of his riveting tale is made of mountebanks, corner boys, aid workers, missionaries, probable American spies, mousy women, contemptible bullying fathers and many peeople in piteous circumstances. Occasionally he met a desirable and cultured young lady but the majority of the people he came across were bullies and crooks with a surpassingly bad taste in clothes.  It was hard to say anything positive about the country beyond its scenery.

Peruse this intriguing book and you will bless the Almighty that you did not have your nativity in such a ghastly country.

Babes of the world.

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It is apt to compose a valentine to girlkind. I do not like the word ‘woman’ overmuch – it is middle aged and frumpy. I am a boy – if that allays any feminist paranoia about being condescending.  Here are some the the renowned babes to whom I take a shine.

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Donna Air.

This one time star of Biker Grove was unknown me until I was about 18 and she hit it big fronting a show for MTV. She is a gorgeous and homely – never conceited.  She seems down to earth and effortlessly stunning. She comes across as real, warm and approachable. I like her figure – she is slender without being unhealthy. I like her brown-blonde mass of hair and her delicate yet not fragile features. Her Geordie accent is mild enough not to be off putting.

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Scarlett Johanson.

I remember a schoolboy asking me in 2006 whom I considered to be the hottest girl on the planet. I named the said Scarlett. She is a bit of a scarlet woman in what she wears. Pillar box red lips offset her outfits. She has beestung hips and extraordinary poise. I like her complexion and her shape. She is perhaps overly opinionated and I disliked her scathing vitriol against George W Bush. I would never have her down as being a half Jewess – and no I am not an anti-Semite. She comes across as more Nordic and yea she is half Danish. I fancy Jewesses too – of which more later. Scarlet is such a temptress. I did not like the look she put on when she played that part in a film set in Japan opposite Bill Murray. She played a slob.

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Natalie Portman.

She is the thinking man’s babe. This delightful brunette Harvard graduate was a research assistant to Professor ALAN Dershowitz. Her Zionism is a little strident but this does not detract from her wiles. She is cerebral and beautiful in equal measure. There is no contradiction between the twain. I like her skin tone – her liquid eyes and her perfect figure. She dresses in a ladylike manner.

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Cat Deeley.

She was such a looker though maybe leggy. In February 2011 I was in Kensington Gardens and a photographer was waiting outside a top end restaurant. This lanky babe swanked out in all her short silk finery. I asked him who it was – it was none other than the ever bubbly Cat Deeley.

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Katy Perry.

Marrying that complete prick Russell Brand must count to her debit. But she is very attractive. She is tall, sassy and busty. I like her black locks and her vivid eyes. She has such a healthy complexion. I like her catchy songs and her fun personality. She is risque but never whorish. Her bi try anthem – I kissed a girl and I liked it – inspired a generation of babes to get their boyfriends’ juices flowing by lezzing off in public. For that alone she deserves a Nobel Prize.

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Beyonce Knowles.

This radiant lady is breathtaking. I remember what she looked at 18 when she sang Crazy in Love. She struts so arrogantly across a car park clad in a crop top and denim hots pants. Those bright red heels set off her fulsome thighs and perfectly formed calves. Only she could writhe around a wooden deck and make it look stylish. I like her aesthetically ecstatic face and her ample bosom. At 18 she was perhaps a trifle too skinny. I liked it in Survivor when she pranced around the jungle in animal skins. The mock camouflage did not ring my bell quite so much.  Her skin tone is perhaps a shade too pallid for my taste. But as for the mulatta she is the perfect match. I like black girls who are properly black. Pregnancy made her beauty blossom. Her soaring anthems and spellbinding lyrics have endorphins inundating my frontal lobe. If there is a goddess it is her.

 

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Katherine Jenkins.

This Welsh songbird is a lady of exceptional beauty and talent. She is self-assured but does not have a haughty mien. Her long, luscious locks and gleaming eyes exude enchantment. She wears long silk dresses that are low enough to indicate there is a more earthy side to her. She comes across as very genuine. She is self-assured but never conceited. Her buxom figure and full lips ooze sexuality. She has pretty skin that is perhaps a touch too tanned. She is the thinking man’s totty. Her sonorous chorals and winning stage presence add up to truly fantastic girl. I admire her on all levels. She is soulful and pure without being virginal. I have seen footage of her in a barely there dress singing God Save the Queen at a racecourse. It felt wrong to be standing to attention as my old fellow was also standing to attention. She radiates kindness and a soulful sexuality.

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Natalie Horler.

 

This full bodied English blonde bombshell is gifted in the gay science. She belts out some jumping tunes. Her elan vital and gleaming, mesmerising eyes are winning. Her perfect complexion, confidence and natural style have me agog. This siren is joyful. I like watching the video of her getting 10 000 revellers in a Berlin nightclub crying out for more. The fedora hat was a fashion crime but the knee high black leather boots complimented her thick thighs. Those hot pants were a treat and her skin tight silver boob tube was choice. At would have been better if at the crescendo she has torn off her top to reveal her uberous cans. She is a splendid girl.

A dream of bereavement and one of abandoned churches.

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The night before last I dreamt of the very old lady dying.  This adorable woman is the great-grandmother of my baby.  I was at work for Alexander the Russian in his office. The phone rang. I think it was my baby mother who told me. The exact words seem never to have been heard but I suddenly knew that that kid elderly woman had expired. I am a very verbal person and it is bizarre that I do not recollect the precise words used. I hesitated – maybe I was stunned. Was I thinking how to react. Then I broke down and wept. It was a moment of great pathos. My crying was loud and utter. I was distraught to think I would never hear her again. It was embarrassing how abject my grief  was –  I was so helpless and infantile. I felt ashamed and yet I wondered if I was acting up to it.

 

In that very room I rmember Vestalia coming in 2 years ago and wailing for her dead friend. I have often thought of  this old Elena dying and how I shall cry like a baby. I have told my sister this. I want her to live long and my baby to really know her.

 

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Last night I cannot remember the earlier part of the dream. But then I was going down a hill in Great Britain – maybe London or Oxford. I wa going fast maybe in a car. I looked to the right. There was a large church surrounded by a grassy churchyard – no graves. Then there was another, then another and a fourth and maybe more. The churches were all individual. Some were a pale grey stone such as one sees in Eire. Some were dark gre y – some brown brick. All were well appointed and looked 19th century at least. t=Two of them had signs saying they were owned by Ampleforth College. fr Johnson was beside me and said in his contemptuous tone that these were all abandoned and needed to be put to a new use. I remember speaking to Fergal about unused churches in GB yesterday. I wondered if one would become the US embassy.

History of Ancient Azerbaijan.

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History of Ancient Azerbaijan.

 

This course on ancient Azeri History will look at the following topics.

 

  1. The first human settlements
  2. What was life like in Azerbaijan during the Bronze Age?
  3. MannaState
  4. Scythians and Azerbaijan
  5. MediaState
  6. AtropatenaState
  7. AzikhCave

Romans in Azerbaijan

  1. Gobustan rock art
  2. Kalbajar rock art
  3. What did people believe and worship in Azerbaijan?
  4. Zoroastrianism in Azerbaijan
  5. The fire temple of Baku and “Yanar Dag”
  6. Our ancestors – the Caspians
  7. Scandinavian ancestry: tracing roots to Azerbaijan
  8. Did people in Azerbaijan use money?
  9. What were the ancient seals like?
  10. Mysterious Baku
  11. Ptolomey and Azerbaijan

 

 

 

 

Caucasian Albania

 

Pre History.

 

The first evidence of people living in Azerbaijan has been traced to a cave called Azykh in the Fizuli district of Azerbaijan. Artefacts have been found there proving that early humans lived in that place.

 

Drawings have been found on caves walls in Qobustan, south of Baku. These drawings show scenes of hunting, farming, dancing and fishing. These cave drawings show that the people who made them used to hunt and fish to get food.

 

Roughly 5 000 years ago people in Azerbaijan stopped using stone tools and started to use bronze tools. The time when stone tools were used is called the Stone Age. THE time when bronze tools were used is the BRONZE Age.Bronze is a metal that is easy to find near the surface of the earth. It also melts at a low temperature which makes it relatively easy to heat up bronze and reshape it into a tool or weapon. Bronze is not such a hard metal. In time people moved on to using stronger metals.

 

About 5 000 years ago people in Azerbaijan began irrigating fields. This means digging ditches for water to flow from the river into fields. They also built houses and used copper weapons. They houses were mostly built out of wood but occasionally from stone. The house were normally one storey because they did not have the technology to build taller houses. People lived in very small communities. There were seldom more than 100 people in a community. It was difficult to find enough food within walking distance to support a community larger than this at that time.

 

In the Bronze Age people lived very simple lives with almost no technology. They were largely hunter gatherers. They did some farming too. Like expectancy was very low. Archaeologists have dug up sites were people used to live in the Bronze Age. Skeletons have been examined and from that we can find out how old people were when they died. Men had a life expectancy of 21 and women had a life expectancy of 18. This  does not mean that every man died aged 21 or every woman died aged 18. Of course some people lived to a much older age than that. The average is brought down by many children dying. Women died earlier than men because women gave birth to too many children and this put a strain on their health. People had almost no scientific knowledge. People buried their dead with jars and food and so on. This suggests that people believed in life after death.

 

The word Azerbaijan did not exist at the time. It is not know if the Azeri language existed back then. Various other peoples passed through the territory that is now Azerbaijan. The Sumerian people (from what we now call Iraq) passed through Azerbaijan. The Sumerians are thought to be the first people to invent writing. Sumerian writing has been found from roughly 5 300 years ago.  Elamites and Albanians also lived in the territory that was to become Azerbaijan. Note that these Albanians from the Caucusus are nothing to do with the Albanians from the country called Albania.

 

Questions on the above.

 

1 What was life like in the Bronze Age?

 

2. What cave art has been found at Qobustan and what does it show us about life at the time this art was produced?

 

3. Why did people live in caves in pre-historic times.

 

4. Why did the Bronze Age have that name?

 

5. Why did people die so young at that time?

 

 

 

 

The first recorded History in Azerbaijan.

 

Semi nomadic peoples such as Scythians spent time in Azerbaijan. So did the Cimmerians who were also semi-nomadic. The Scythians rode horses and they originated in Central Asia. The Scythians were renowned as good horsemen. The Scythians kept slaves. The Scythians blinded their male slaves so that these slave men could not fight against the Scythians. Assyrians from what we now call Syria and Iraq also spent time in Azerbaijan about 800 BC. We can learn about Azerbaijan at that time from reading Greek, Persian, Arab and Roman sources.

 

The Medes were a powerful people who live in what we now call Iraq and Iran. They conquered Azerbaijan and added it to their Median Empire. They had a system of laws that they thought was very good. The laws of the Medes were said to be, ‘changeless and unchanging.’

 

In the 6th century BC the Medes were defeated by the Persians and absorbed into the Persian Empire. The Persian king Cyrus the Great added Azerbaijan to his empire.

 

In about 560 BC the Achaemenids established control over Azerbaijan. The Zoroastrian religion spread in Azerbaijan. The Zoroastrians worshipped their one god and they took their name from their main prophet Zarathustra. Zoroastrianism started out in Persia (now called Iran). Zoroastrians are sometimes called Parsees (from Persia) because their religion began in Persia (or Iran as it is now called). However, nowadays almost everybody in Iran is a Muslim and Zoroastrianism is a very minor religion in Iran.

 

The Zoroastrians believe that there are four sacred elements – water, wind, fire and earth. They have fire temples where they pray in front of a sacred flame. People wrongly call them fire worshippers. They do not pray to the flame but the flame is a reminder of holiness for them. Because Zoroastrians believe in four sacred elements they do not want to contaminate any sacred element with a dead body. The Zoroastrians do not bury their dead because that would offend the earth. They do not cremate their dead because that would offend fire. They do not put their dead in a river because that would offend water. They build towers of silence for the bodies of the dead to be eaten by vultures.

 

The Zoroastrian motto about good behaviour is ‘do to others as you would like them to do to you.’

 

In the 5th century BC Greece was a rising power. Greece was divided into many states but they had the same religion and they spoke more or less the same language. Greeks traded in the Black Sea and some traveled over the CaucususMountains to Azerbaijan. Greeks saw the Caspian Sea but only the western shore of it. Greeks assumed that the Caspian Sea was part of the RiverOcean which they believed flowed all around the world. Greeks believed that the Caspian was connected to the Atlantic Ocean. For this reason the Greeks called the Caspian a sea and not a lake. For Greeks the Caspian was the limit of the known world.

 

By the 4th century BC a kingdom called Atropatene had been set up. This kingdom existed in what we now call north-west Iran. Atropatene is a named that led to the modern word ‘Azerbaijan’.

 

The Achaemenid kingdom in Azerbaijan was eventually defeated by the forces of Alexander the Great. Alexander the Great came from Macedonia in the north of Greece. Greece was not one country back then but was divided into several countries – all speaking Greek and worshipping the same gods. Alexander the Great defeated the other Greek states and united Greece. He fought against the Persian Empire which then ruled what we now call Turkey, Syria, Iran, Lebanon and Iraq.

 

Alexander the Great was an outstanding military commander. Alexander the Great conquered the Persian Empire. He kept marching east into India. He defeated some Indian rulers. Alexander the Great once broke down and cried because soon there would be no more countries left to conquer. His soldiers had been marching for years with him – moving further and further away from Greece. After 12 years of campaigning they wanted to go home. They refused to go further east and demanded to return home. Alexander the Great decided to turn back west. On his march back to Greece he fell ill and died in 323BC. His empire was divided between several generals. Some Greeks came to live in Azerbaijan.

 

In 190 BC Azerbaijan began fighting against Armenia because Armenia tried to take Azeri territory.

 

The Roman Empire conquered what we now call Turkey in about 100 AD. The Romans fought against the Parthians (Parthian is another way of saying Persian at that time). The Parthians still managed to rule the southern part of Albania. Albania at that time meant Azerbaijan. There was some contact between Rome and Albania. The Albanians traded with the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire ruled much of Europe, North Africa and West Asia at that time. The Romans conquered Georgia but they never conquered Azerbaijan.

 

Latin inscriptions have been found on rocks in Qobustan. It was written by some Roman soldiers in the time of the Roman Emperor Domitian. The Romans launched a military expedition to Azerbaijan but did not take control of the country.

 

In Kalbajar in Azerbaijan there is also Roman rock art. Kalbajar was an is part of Azerbaijan. It is now under illegal occupation by the forces of Armenia. Kalbajar means in Old Turkic, ‘fortress at the mouth of the river.’

 

The Arsacid dynasty ruled Albania. They were loyal to the Persian Empire. People in Azerbaijan appear to have been sun worshippers at the time. Some of them followed the ancient Persian religion. This religion was led by priests called ‘Magi’. The Magi sacrificed animals to their gods. According to a Greek historian alive at the time, Herodotus, this religion taught people to think of others. A person would pray that the gods would be a good to everyone. A person was not allowed to ask the gods for favours for himself or herself only.

 

Persia came to adopt a religion called Zoroastrianism. It was called this because it was led by the prophet Zarathustra. The Zoroastrians worshipped a god figure called ‘Ahura Mastra’ – meaning the Lord of darkness. The Zoroastrians were against a devil character called Angra Mainyu.

 

The Zoroastrianism believed that there were four sacred elements – water, wind, fire and earth. The Zoroastrians keep a flame burning in their temples at all times. This is why their places of worship are called ‘fire temples’. The Zoroastrians see the flame as a reminder of their religion. They are sometimes wrongly called ‘fire worshippers.’ In Iran and Azerbaijan oil leaked through the surface of the earth and the earth caught fire. Ancient people did not understand this and saw it as a miracle.

 

The Zoroastrians do not bury their dead because that would defile the earth. They do not burn their dead because that would defile the fire. They do not put their dead into water because that would defile the water. They take their dead to a building that they call a ‘Tower of Silence.’ The dead are attached to wooden poles and the corpses are dried out by the sun and the birds come and eat them.

 

A fire temple was established in Baku by the Zoroastrians. Azerbaijan came to be known by this name because it probably means ‘land of fire’. This is because of the land seeming to burn. At Yanar Dag (fire mountain) the oil escaping through the soil makes the land suddenly burn. This was a place of wonder for Zoroastrians.

 

Azerbaijan came to be ruled by Caucasian Albanians in the 1st century AD. For a while it was independent. Then the Sassanids made Albania a province of their empire. King Unayr of Caucasian Albania adopted Christianity as the state religion in the 4th century AD.

 

In about AD 150 a man named Ptolomey wrote a book named ‘Georgraphy’. In fact he invented the word Geography. Ptolomey was a Greek-speaking man living in Egypt. At that time the upper class in Egypt spoke Greek and Ptolomey’s books were in Greek. Ptolomey wrote about many countries including Azerbaijan. Ptolomey described the fire mountains and fire temples of Azerbaijan as well as the Caspian Sea. He did not mention the eastern shore of it – he only knew about the western side of the Caspian. It is doubtful that he ever left his home town of Alexandria in Egypt. Ptolomey was probably relying on what travelers had told him.

 

Questions on the above.

 

  1. What do we know about the Scythians?

 

  1. What were the main beliefs of the Zoroastrians?

 

  1. What evidence is there that Romans visited Azerbaijan?

 

  1. Why was a man named Ptolomey so famous?

 

5. Why was King Alexander of Macedonia known as ‘The Great’?

 

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Enter Islam.

 

Islam began in the 7th century AD in what we now call Saudi Arabia. Arabs brought Islam to Azerbaijan . Those who believe in Islam are called Muslims. Muslims can belong to any country. An Arab and a Muslim are not necessarily the same thing. The Muslim holy book is called the Koran and it is written in Arabic.

 

In 642 AD the Arabs defeated the Sassanids. The Sassanids continued to resist the Arabs until 667 AD when Prince Javanshir surrendered to the Arabs.  The Sassanids who were ruling Albania (Azerbaijan) were allowed to rule on as long as they obeyed the Arab Muslim Empire. For a while Christianity remained the main religion of Albania. Later, in the 8th century and Islam replaced Christianity as the official religion. Christianity remained the religion of a minority. Islam took over as the dominant religion in the country partly by persuasion but also be military conquest.

 

The Muslims split into two main denominations in the late 7th century AD. The two main denominations were Shia Muslims and Sunni Muslims.

 

Azerbaijan followed the Shia denomination of Islam and not the Sunni denomination of Islam. The Sunnis are the majority amongst Muslims in the world. About 85% of Muslims are Sunni and about 15% are Shia. However, in Azerbaijan the great majority of Muslims are Shia Muslims.

 

Zoroastrians were persecuted in Iran and in Azerbaijan. Most Iranians and Azeris abandoned the Zoroastrian faith and converted to Islam. Zoroastrians did not seek for other people to turn to the Zoroastrian religion. Very, very few ZoROASTrians were left in Iran and in Azerbaijan. The Zoroastrians also had a rule of endogamy – people can only marry within the group. A child may only be a Zoroastrian if his or her mother and father are both Zoroastrians. The rule was that a half Zoroastrian is no Zoroastrian at all. Soon there were not enough Zoroastrians to marry. Those who married outside the community were no longer part of the community. The number of Zoroastrians went into decline. Now it is not known if a single Zoroastrian remains in Azerbaijan. In Iran there is a tiny community of Zoroastrians left.

 

Most of those who kept to the old religion left Iran and went to live in what we now call India. The Zoroastrians in India mostly live in Mumbai. The Zoroastrians in India are known as Parsees because they came from Persia. There are a few Parsees in Pakistan especially in the city of Karachi. The Parsees tended to do very well in business and in the professions.

 

Arabs from Basra (in Iraq) came to live in Albania (Azerbaijan).

 

Other peoples passed through Azerbaijan such as Huns and Khazars. The Khazars were people who lived around the Caspian Sea. The Khazars had been pagans but converted to the Jewish religion. Azerbaijan built up forts to defend itself against invasions.

 

The Huns and the Arabs are among the ancestors of the majority of the population of modern Azerbaijan.

 

There is evidence that Vikings visited Azerbaijan and intermarried with local people. The Vikings came from Scandinavia. That means the lands we now call Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Greenland. Thor Heyderdahl was a famous Norwegian explorer and historian of the 20th century. Thor Heyderdahl found runes in Azerbaijan. He came convinced that Vikings settled in Azerbaijan and that the Azeri people are partly descended from Vikings.

 

For a time all Muslim lands were united under the Caliph. Caliph comes from the Arabic word ‘Khalifa’ meaning successor. A successor is one who takes over after the old ruler. The Caliph was the man who ruled on in the name of the Prophet. For a time the Abbasid family provided the Caliph. The united Muslim empire eventually split up into many countries that often fought against each other. Before the Islamic empire broke up coins issued by the Caliph were circulated in Azerbaijan. This was the first type of money used in Azerbaijan. Paper money was not used at that time.

 

Official seals were put on documents by the government. A seal is a piece of hot wax that has an image stamped on it. The seal proved that the document really was issued by the government and was not a fake. The seals had images on them and slogans in Arabic.

 

When the Abbasid family declined a period of disorder started for Azerbaijan. Many different rulers tried to grab a hold of the country.

 

Questions on the above text.

 

  1. When and how did Islam come to Azerbaijan?

 

  1. Why did the Zoroastrian religion die out in Azerbaijan?

 

  1. What is the Caliph?