History of the Violin
Records of bowed stringed instruments go back to the Middle Ages, where it is thought that they originated in Central Asia before spreading (via trade routes) to other parts of the world. The earliest violins incorporated features of other existing bowed instruments: the rebec, the Renaissance fiddle and the lira da braccio.
There is evidence of two bowed string instruments being used by European musicians at this time. The lira originated from the Byzantine Empire (Greece) and the rebab an equivalent instrument which originated from the Islamic empires of the Middle East.