TURAN, the name of a region bordering on Iran, in the north and north-east, which in the remot,est times Nvas inhabited by a race who are now spread into different parts of the world, and are known to ethnologists as Turanians and Mong,olians. Tumn aud Turanian are terms of Persian origin. In their simple system of ethno graphy, the inhabitants of . Central Asia divide all the world between two races, Iran and Turan, Iran or Irani meaning themselves, and Turani meaning everybody else ; or, as they express it, Iran and an-Iran, Aryan and non-Aryan. This was the practice also of the Jews, and of the Greeks and Romans, who classed all other races as Gentiles and barbarians, as the Hindus 110W reckon all non-Hindus as M'hlecha, and as the Chinese, who place all outsiders as Fan. In the Zend books, the Turanians are styled the foes or antagonists of the Aryans. They are Fir dusi's Turvasu means one who possesses the treasures of his enemy, and Turvasa, one who conquers when he pleases.
According to Cuvier, the probable cradle of the Mongolian or Japhetic race is the Altai mountains, whence they have spread over Northern and Central Asia, southwards as far as Hindustan north of the Ganges, and eastwardly to the Eastern Ocean, where the race is distinguishable in the Japanese, the Corean people, and those of Siberia, and their divisions are known in modern times as Tungus, Turk, Mongol, and Fin.
Chevalier Bunsen observes (Report Brit. Ass. 1847) that the researches of our days have made it more than probable that the Tartar, Manchu, and Tungus belong to one great stock ; that the Turkoman, Chud, Fin, Lap, and Magyar (Hungarian) present another stock closely united ; and that both these families were originally con nected with each other. He proposed to call this whole group of their languages the Turanian, and in lieu of Indo-Germanic or Indo-European, he proposed the term Iranian, following the antithesis of Iran and Turan established by Heeren and Carl Ritter. In the vast region extending from the chain of the Altai to that of the Himalaya, are the pasture lands where, during immemorial ages, the nomadic tribes of High .Asia have fed their flocks and multiplied those hordes which from time to thne descended in immense swarms on the fertile regions of Asia and of Europe. Per haps the earliest of these invasions of the civilised Nvorld WilS that of the Hiong-nu, expelled from the borders of China by the powerful dynasty of the Han. These were the 'people who, after their inroad on the Gothic empire of Hermanrich. made their way, under Etzel or Attila, into the heart of France. Hordes from the same regions,
under Toghrul Beg, and Seljuk, and Mahmud of Ghazni, and Chengiz, and Timur, and °Haman, over whelmed the khalifat and the empires of China, • of • Byzantium, and of Hindustan ; and lineal descendants of the shepherds of High Asia still sit on the throne of Cyrus, and on that of the Great Constantine • while the branch which ruled in India under the 'title known to Europe as the Great Moghul, closed in 1862 by the death at Rangoon of the last emperor of Dehli, then a convict prisoner of the British. Until checked by the British in India and by the Russians in Central Asia, the race was predominant over the Nvhole of the countries between China and the Mediterranean, and from the Caspian southwards to the Gan,,,,,es and the Persian Gulf. But they seemed destined to partake only by conquest in the hig,dier civilisation of the sur rounding nations, older or younger ones, the Chinese presenting the one extreme, the Iranians the other. Little disposed to learn from them as neighbours or subjects, they become rnore or less civilised by being their masters. They cannot resist the inward force of the civilisation of their subjects, although they repel it as an outward power.
The Turanian people, but particularly the Turko-Tartar tribes, made themselves renowned in antiquity by their martial disposition, and by the wild, intractable rudeness of their habits, and they have appeared amongst sur rounding nations as spoilers, destroyers, and plunderers. The Aryan tendency is to form national and politicAl communities, rnarry one wife, and worship one supreme and spiritual deity. The Turanian tendency is to have little national or political cohesion, to marry one or more wives without much sentiment, and worship gods and heroes without much idea of a spiritual existence beyond that implied in the notion of ghosts and demons. Turanian races have El longing for spiritual excitements. Perhaps as the vividness of religious faith is common amongst mountaineers, the simple pastoral and secluded life common to most of the Turanian tribes may impart a tendency to reverie and visionary absorp tion. The great horse sacrifice is allowed to have been originally Turanian, whether derived directly from the Sake, or indirectly from Persia and Media, where the white horse was an important element in a campaign of Cyrus ; and Mr. Atkinson found traces of this sacrifice still lingering on the southern borders of Siberia. See Aswa Medha.