社科网首页|客户端|官方微博|报刊投稿|邮箱 中国社会科学网
中文 | English
Academic Achievement Home / Academic Achievement

Brief Study on the Rise and Fall of the Turk Khanate


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A

Jiang Mingxin

Research fellow of IWAAS

jiangmx@cass.org.cn

 

The cradle of the Turks was to the north of the Junggar Basin and South of the Jinshan Mountain[1], or in the southern part of the Altai Mountains in today’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in China. Earliest detailed Chinese recordation of the Turks can be found in the Turks of the Book of Zhou which includes words “the origin of the Turks was in the kingdom of the Sakas to the north of where the Huns lived…and the people were referred to as the Turks.” “The Turks were a vassal tribe of the Huns with the clan’s name of Ashyina.”[2]

 

Though “they had been a vassal tribe”, in the early 5th century, they were offended by the Rouran (or Ruanruan/ Ruru identical to the Eurasian Avars). As they survived on smithery, they had also been called “Duannu” (or literally the slaves doing smithery).[3]

 

The founding father of the Turk Khanate was Khan Ashyina Boumin of Il who had been referred to as Khan Tumen or Bumin in Chinese history texts. On the Stele of Kul-Teghin in the Turkish language found in 1889, the Khan was called Boumin Qagan. Historical texts have shown that Khan Bumin was the founder of the Turk Khanate, and his brother Istämi, founder of the later West Turk Khanate.

 

It is easy to imagine, in the 5th century when the western part of China was still dominantly a slave society, the Turks, as smiths, found no other way to establish their own independent nation than to revolt and conquer by using force. The first decisive battle was the one with Rouran. The tribal leaders of Bumin joined the alliance with the Tolosh tribe (or the High Chariot People) from the Junggar Basin in AD 546, and grew stronger when they were soldiers for the slave-owners of Rouran. In AD 552, Rouran was overthrown as the suzerain[4] of the Bumin leaders who came to call themselves Khans of Il.

 

After conquering Rouran, the legion of the Turks extended their border to neighbor the Hoa Tun (Hephthalite—the White Huns) people with whom they soon fell into an armed conflict.[5] In the following 30 years, the army of the Turks destroyed the Hoa Tun, conquered Persia and many other states in western part of China and living to the north of the Great Wall, and bullied Qi and Zhou—two successive Northern Dynasties  (circa AD 386-581) in China. The Turks were once holding the sway and no one could have resisted them.

 

They established a strong and highly unified country of the Turks that “extended ten thousand li (Chinese ancient distance unit for about half a kilometer) from the northeastern border of Tang Dynasty (or the current Liaoning Province in China) in the east to the Caspian Sea in the west, and five or six thousand li from the sands of the central Asia in its south to Lake Baikal in its north.”[6] Other evidence of the size of the Khanate can be found in the above mentioned Steles of Kul-Teghin.[7]

 

I.                   Political and military systems of the early Turk Khanate

One can find words describing the political system of the Turk Khanate and its evolution in historical literatures written between the Northern Dynasties and Sui (AD 581-618) and Tang Dynasties (AD 618-907). Like all other states born on the Mongolian Prairie, the Turk Khanate was also a country on the horseback that survived on military conquest and expansion. But as the saying goes: it is easy for people on horseback to conquer the world, but difficult to rule. Therefore they rose unexpectedly and fell all of a sudden.[8]

 

It is reasonable to say that the history of the Turk Khanate is a history of the battles of conquest by the Turks. Even when they surrendered to the Tang Dynasty, these people were made use of to make eastward invasion into Korea and westward fightings to take the rest of the nomadic peoples residing to the north and west of China.[9]

 

On the vast stretches of the Mongolian Prairie, there had been multiple tribes that “shared similar customs and traditions”. However, these people “had clear distinction among clans in terms of governing rules” and “had often been vulnerable to material attraction disregarding moral codes”.[10] Their relations were often featured by instability, disloyalty, treason and wars. Such characters had been described amply in the declaration of war on the Turks by Emperor Wendi of Sui Dynasty that “(the Turks) had a tradition of violence and torture. They were a people ruled by cruel laws. They sewed seeds of hatred with countries in the east as well as in the west” and that “under their dictatorship were their rulers’ sworn enemies”.[11]

 

The vast territories of the country, the complexity of different tribes and scarce means of transportation all contributed to the difficulty in running the country effectively. This had led to the prompt disintegration of the nation and foreshadowed the perdition of the country as well as the westward migration of the tribes. Undoubtedly, such an outcome was linked directly and necessarily with the historical period the Khanate was in and its form of state organization.

 

The Turks were a warlike nation that “valued the stronger, and theirs was not a country for old men”[12]. “It was an honor for a Turk to die on the battlefield but a disgrace to die on a sickbed”. The Khanate that once rose to the zenith of power was still a slave society. Even the later and second periods of the Khanate (the revitalization period) were just a transition from the slave system to the feudal system, and the state was organized as a primitive conglomerate of tribes or an alliance of military leaders and major slave-owners.

 

The state of the Turks was first led by a leader of the strongest tribe elected by the aristocratic slave-owners of Tiele (or Toquz Oghuz--the Nine Tribes). The State launched invasive wars and took measures to ensure peace and security inside the alliance. After conquering Rouran, Khan Bumin declared himself “Il-Qaghan” (“great king of kings”) which connoted “leader or king of an alliance.”[13]

 

History books tell us that by the hay day of the Turk Khanate, the country extended ten thousand li from east to west and five to six thousand li from north to south. To make it easier to exercise governance, the country was divided into two regions: the one in the east was called Tuli District, and the one in the west was called Tardush District, and their administrative heads were called “shad”. According to the Turks of the New Book of Tang, “a shad was the leader of a large military unit”[14]. Therefore “shad” means, in the first place, an official of a region of the Khanate (and later a sub-region) that oversaw military affairs on top of administrative and tax affairs which were even left to other nomadic peoples.

 

The position of a “shad” showed that the military system of the Turk Khanate consisted of two parts: a controllable army of the khan’s own tribe—the “central army”, and armies of other tribes in the alliance that could be led by a “shad” appointed by the khan—the “local army” that supported the khan during wartimes.

 

The size and strength of a tribe decided its status in the khanate, while in an underdeveloped nomadic society, the strength or military might of a tribe is vastly determined by the number of people it had.

 

Therefore, peace on a prairie was transient and fragile. According to Chapter 84 of the Book of Sui, “(the Turks) were good equestrians and archers, but were a cruel people.” “They decided on the date of war according to the phase of the moon”.[15] Actually the Turk tribes relied heavily on looting and mugging for their survival and development. The tribes normally looked for lush grassland and rich waters, and had led a nomadic life. Once a chance showed up or the climate turned abnormal on the prairie, the men would prepare weapons and food to wage an invasive war on others for wealth and populace.

 

II.                The slave-owners’ republic of the Turk Khanate

The Turk Khanate was never a completely unified and centralized country. Except for destruction and annexation, the tribes, clans and even those conquered states enjoyed a high degree of autonomy. According to historical data, the Turk Khanate had a system of High Council[16] which had highlighted the status of tribal chiefs in the political life and especially in succession and dethroning of the khanate. In a certain sense, such a system can be seen as a republic of aristocratic slave-owners.

 

The High Council consisted of senior and junior “begs” (aristocrats) from different tribal groups. This assembly was powerful in that it deliberated and decided on all sorts of important issues like external warfare, peace making and succession of the khanate. It functioned in a similar way with the modern parliament of the West. Needless to say, the larger and stronger the tribe was, the bigger the say it enjoyed. The Khan had the special right of “staying permanently on Mount Ütükän”, the tribes “though moving constantly, had a fixed share of the land of the Khanate”[17], and senior and junior officialdom was passed on hereditarily.[18]

 

However, for the lack of a fixed set of rules governing the succession of the khanate, the country of the Turks was doomed. The succession must obey the will of the late khan and be approved of by the High Council. According to historical experience, the successor did not have to be the son of the previous khan, and the throne, on many occasions in the history of the khanate, was inherited by a younger brother, a nephew or taken by an uncle. One necessary condition for winning the khanate was to have a strong military under the successor’s control. Therefore, in order to grasp the kingship, the tigins (princes) secretly form their own military forces with their respective cronies. “They bided on their own land and had private mistrust about each other, but appeared in harmonious unity.” “They were ostensibly affiliated to each other, but actually in serious feuding”.[19]

 

The infighting among brothers and between uncle and nephew led to the disaccord within the khanate which was made use of by the outsiders. The two successive dynasties of Sui and Tang in China adopted the policy to “make friends with distant countries and attack close neighbors, disintegrate strong countries while supporting weak states”[20]. It was under the guidance of such a policy that the two dynasties finally destroyed the whole khanate which “later herded cattle for the Great Sui Dynasty”[21], or “lived like a dog of the Dynasty guarding the northern gate for the Emperor”.[22]

 

Here is an example to show the relation between the High Council and the succession of leadership. It was written in Chapter 229 of the New Book of Tang that “…Taspar Khan died, and had willed that his son Änlo should not be selected, and his nephew Talopien must be the successor (son of his brother Mokhan Khan). The High Council refused on the belief that his mother had done disgraceful things and that Änlo was chosen finally as the Khan.”[23]

 

The High Council could ignore the will of the previous khan and select their own candidate simply on the ground that “his mother had done disgraceful things”. There should have been other offstage political trading, and it was possible that the two forces had been played off against each other, but it was the tribes that suffered disintegration and wars. One can tell that the separation of power was a key factor that had led to the political turbulence of the Khanate and its final downfall.

 

In a khanate society, the khan was not equivalent to absolute authority. Even the wisest khans in history like Boumin, Istämi, Mokhan, Tardush, Jieli, Tung Yabğu and other khans of the mid-prosperity period like Mo-cho Khan and Bilge Khan did not enjoy absolute power.

 

There had also been a relation of check-and-balance between the khans and the tribal leaders. “There are not unchanging rules, and no unchallengeable supremacy. Power determines relations and prosperity dictates loyalty.”[24]

 

The khans could not make an exclusive claim even to booties. All trophies, be it weaponry or money or a slave, must be divided among the slave-owners. In Zizhi Tongjian, Envoy Zheng Yuanshu of the Tang Dynasty said to Jieli Khan that “booties (got by the Turks) belong to the begs, what do you Khan get? I suggest you withdraw your troops and enter into a peace agreement with your adversary. This will spare you from the exhausting journey and you may sit back and receive gold coins that will enter into your own treasury…”[25] Thus he succeeded in persuading Jieli to retreat.

 

Such descriptions showed that in the Turks’ society all booties should be divided between the khan and the tribal leaders at least leaders of those tribes that had been involved in a certain battle. However, there is a different way of treating non-booties that would naturally “become part of the khan’s treasury”.

 

On the other hand, this showed that if the tribal begs wanted to expand their sphere of influence or raise their status, they had the only choice of fighting and looting. The Turk tribes, though were warring and nomadic communities, depended, to a larger extent, on battlefield victories for their very survival and prosperity. Meanwhile, given the relatively independent relations of the tribes, they set up their own fortifications[26], and were prone to fighting amongst themselves for merger and looting.

 

The independent relations between the khan and the tribal leaders can be demonstrated in another event. According to Zizhi Tongjian, “towards the end of Sui Dynasty, many people in central China had been taken by the Turks. By the time the Turks gave in, the Emperor sent envoys to trade the hostages with gold and silk. The second day of the fifth month (in the 5th year of Zhenguan or June 11th AD 631), it was reported that 80 thousand male and female hostages had been brought back.”[27]

 

Tang Dynasty destroyed the East Turk Empire in the third month of the fourth year of Zhenguan of Emperor Taizong (AD630) in Tang Dynasty. The demise of the Khanate was marked by the capture of Jieli Khan and being handed over to the Tang Emperor by General Zhang Bao—deputy head of the fighting army.[28] However, it was noted interestingly that the Khanate lost its khan though, the Tang emperor had to “trade with gold and silk” for his citizens that had been kidnapped by the Turk tribes.

 

From this, one may see that a Turk khanate was not like the totally unitarian Tang Dynasty that “all land is the emperor’s land, and all people are subjected to the emperor.”[29] In a khanate, properties were clearly defined by ownership of the khan or the begs.

 

Though the khanate surrendered, the people were “not trustworthy, and surrender when they are weak and revolt when they are strong”.[30] The begs had their respective strengths. To console these tribal leaders, the Tang emperor chose to appease them rather than to bully them. He respected the Turks’ custom and tradition, and sent for his people with ransom.

 

III.             Reason for the decline and fall of the military empire

Strictly speaking, the Turk Khanate was ruled by a military junta. But to run a country and an army, there must be clear cut legislation. “To unite the officials with reason and to unify the army with rules”[31], and only in this way can the legislations be effective.

 

Hardly any literature on the Turks’ laws can be found, it is thus deducible that there had been no statute laws. The so-called “laws of the ancestors”[32] had been a set of orally inherited customary laws from prairie ethnicities who had submitted to previous generations of the Turks like the Huns and the Ruanruan, or some naturally formed rules of the tribes. These “laws of the ancestors” had been passed on through verbal instructions and daily practices.[33]

 

There had been hardly any works of culture produced during the whole existence of the Turk Khanate except for the Steles of Kul-Teghin, Bilghe-Kagan and Tonyukuk, and a scratch of handicrafts. There had been scanty dent made in the history of the Turks about any of the religions that the fore-generations of the nation had once committed themselves to like Buddhism, Manicheism, Chingchiao[34] and Shamanism.

 

There are different reasons behind this: one may understand it through words of the prominent Turk prime-minister Yonyukuk when he admolished Bilghe-Kagan against building city walls or erecting temples. He said, “the Turks can resist the Tang Dynasty as we are used to a nomadic way of life constantly moving along with the flow of water and looking for grasslands. We are a hunting people familiar with martial arts. When we are strong, we invade and loot, when weak, hide out in the mountains and hills. Despite the numerous troops of the Tang, their military can do nothing to us. If we build cities and settle down only to change the old way of living, we might fall at the mercy of Tang Dynasty when weak. The temples are created to teach people to be benevolent and fragile, and are not in line with our philosophy of pursuing military might, and therefore are not viable.”[35]

 

In a nutshell, he meant that anything that was not in line with their philosophy of gaining military power was not useful. But let’s take a look at Tang Dynasty whose well-known prime-minister Wei Zheng once suggested to Emperor Taizong that “shifting more attention from military build-up to government administration will make your country strong and keep your neighbors quiet.”[36]

 

Nonetheless, the author here is, by no means, set to compare the Hans’ and the Turks’ way of political establishment. The Turks at that time was comparatively weak, surviving in the shadow of the Tang Empire. In such an existential crisis, it was the wiser adviser that knew the Turks must move along the momentum and make the most of the given times. It was hard to call it irrational for the Turk prime-minister Tonyukuk to talk the Khan out of building fixed assets and into taking the state policy of focus on military build-up.

 

On the other side however, the Khanate was not an intact and centralized nation with still much trace of a tribal alliance. Different tribes had different interests, political powers were decentralized, and except for military might, the Khanate hardly have any attractions to absorb other nations. Out of these reasons, the unity of such a multi-ethnic nation with so many tribes and diverging traditions could not be maintained for long.

 

The Turks were mesmerized by the pursuit of military ability, had no religious belief and even handed down the rights of commerce, taxation and foreign affairs to other ethnic tribes. Most of the traders in West Asia at that time were the Kangju people “who were present wherever there had been business opportunities.”[37]

 

Around AD 586, a Kangju person called Maniach was entrusted by Khan Istämi to visit Persia and Fou-lin (the East Roman Empire)[38] for silk business. During the reign of Khan Jieli (620-630AD), the head of the Khanate “named a lot more officials of other ethnicities than of his own”.[39] These people were entitled to conduct businesses, collect tax and deal with foreign affairs.

 

The people of other ethnicities, though seemed obedient, were stealthily seeking profit for themselves while having in hand such important powers as taxation and foreign affairs. It was also recorded in the Turks of the Old Book of Tang that “these different ethnicities were greedy and bold. They were capricious peoples. Many laws were established to control these peoples, and military feuding were often seen.”[40] This showed the disintegrated government power and the frequent changing of laws.

 

Giving such administrative powers to other ethnicities was depriving the coming Turk generations of important experience in governance.[41] The unity and stability of the Khanate could be maintained via military means while the country was strong, but when it was weak, there could be frequent armed infightings and even loss of the throne to other peoples.

 

After the death of Khan Tung Yabğu, the five tribes of Nushibi and the five tribes of Duolu fought for leadership and erected respective khans. Continuous wars led them towards a final demise.[42] These are all examples.

 

Conclusion

The Turk Khanate had long been reduced to cinders. There are different reasons for the rise and final downfall of the empire. Over-reliance on military conquer was one of the most apparent defects in the political culture and military setup (which is linked with its political system) of the country. “When in peaceful times, the tribes in alliance showed allegiance and the military power was strong, and when in warring times, the Khanate would suffer from feuding and would even crumble.”[43] Junta politics that later generations see were generated from the same origin with the Turks’ military rule which relied on military strongmen. Like a double-edged sword, it could expand the national boundary during the rule of a wise khan and could suffer internal fighting for leadership when there had been disloyal officials. Such situations happened again on an even greater scale during the Ottoman Empire. It still needs further study if such circumstances had any necessary connection with the Turkic tradition of favoring wars over commerce and business.



[1] The Turks, the Exotic Peoples, No. 42 of the Biographies, Chapter 50, the Book of Zhou;

And on P. 2311, 1st edition, October, 1964, Turks Subject to Empire Sui, Chapter 26, Tongjian Jishi Benmo (a narrative reorganization of the first universal history of China-Zizhi Tongjian), Zhonghua Book Company.

[2] The Turks, the Exotic Peoples, No. 42 of the Biographies, Chapter 50, the Book of Zhou.

[3] “(the Turks) had been smiths for the Ruru people.” and “Khan Anagui of Ruru raged and sent people to scold him by saying “how dare you, my smith, say such things?””, The Turks, the Exotic Peoples, No. 42 of the Biographies, Chapter 50, the Book of Zhou;

P. 2311, 1st edition, October, 1964, Turks Subject to Empire Sui, Chapter 26, Tongjian Jishi Benmo, Zhonghua Book Company.

[4] The Second Month of the Third Year of Tianbao, Emperor Xianzu, No. 4 of the Stories of Emperors, Chapter 4 of the Book of North Qi;

The Turks, the Exotic Peoples, No. 42 of the Biographies, Chapter 50, the Book of Zhou.

[5] P. 157, first edition of the Documents Sur les Tou-kiue Occidentaux by E. Chavannes and translated by Feng Chengjun, and published in September, 1962 by the Commercial Press of Taiwan.

[6] The Turks, the Exotic Peoples, No. 42 of the Biographies, Chapter 50, the Book of Zhou.

[7] “There were enemies to the four corners of our nation. Our founding father fought them one after another, let them fall on their knees and abide by the accords for peace. The nation extends from Xing’an Ling Mountains in the east to Tiemen (the Iron Gates—the further western pass of Korla in current Xinjiang) in the west.” (Second line on the east side of the Stele of Kul-Teghin in the Turkish language). Words hereby quoted in the paper are translated by Mr. Han Rulin and with reference to the version in the History of the Turks written by Mr. Cen Zhongmian.

[8] In a dialogue with Mao Zedong, Mr. Huang Yanpei generalized such phenomena as the “historical cycle” of China.

[9] The 8th line on the eastern part of the Stele of Kul-Teghin in the Turkish language, there are such recordings as “It’s been 50 years since (they) first became subject to Tang Dynasty. They made eastward conquest of the King of Korea for the Tang Emperor and then westward conquest of other nomadic tribes. The army reached as far as Tiemen Pass and all conquered land in between had been subject to the Emperor of Tang and practiced the law of that Dynasty.”

[10] Volume One of Journey to the West written by Xuanzang and Bianji, p. 21, 1st edition of June 1955 by the Publishing House of Literature and Antique Works.

[11] The Turks, No. 49 of the Biographies, Chapter 84, the Book of Sui.

[12] The Turks, the Exotic Peoples, No. 42 of the Biographies, Chapter 50, the Book of Zhou, and the Turks.

No. 49 of the Biographies, Chapter 84, the Book of Sui.

[13] P. 17, 1st edition, The Turks and the Turk Khanate by Ma Changshou, May 1957, Shanghai People’s Publishing House.

[14] The Turks, volume 140 of the Biographies, Chapter 228, the New Book of Tang.

[15] The Turks, No. 49 of the Biographies, Chapter 84, the Book of Sui

[16] P.23, 1st edition, May 1957, Shanghai People’s Publishing House, The Turks and the Turk Khanate by Ma Changshou.

[17] The Turks, the Exotic Peoples, No. 42 of the Biographies, Chapter 50, the Book of Zhou.

[18] “Senior officialdom included Yabghu, Shad, Tigin, Iltäbär, and Tutunbar. There was also other junior officialdom. There had been 28 ranks in total and the officialdom was hereditary.” The Turks, the Exotic Peoples, No. 42 of the Biographies, Chapter 50, the Book of Zhou.

And “the leader of the large military unit was called shad, the sons and brothers of a khan were Tigins, and ministers and other officials were referred to, respectively, as Yabghu, Kűlűg Chur, Ahbo, Iltäbär, Tutun, Irkin, Yarghunta, and Tarqan etc. Altogether, there had been 28 levels of officials and they were hereditary. There had been no limit to the number of these hereditary positions.” The Turks, volume 140 of the Biographies, Chapter 228, the New Book of Tang.

[19] The Biography of Zhangsun Sheng, No.16 of the Biographies, Chapter 51, the Book of Sui.

[20] The Biography of Zhangsun Sheng, No.16 of the Biographies, Chapter 51, the Book of Sui.

[21] Words of gratitude by Khan Qimin (or Khan Tuli), The Turks, No. 49 of the Biographies, Chapter 84, the Book of Sui

 And on P. 2325, 1st edition, October, 1964, Chapter 26, Turks Subject to Empire Sui, Tongjian Jishi Benmo, Zhonghua Book Company.

[22] Words of Ashyina Simo, the Turks, volume 140 of the Biographies, Chapter 228, the New Book of Tang.

[23] The Turks, volume 140 of the Biographies, Chapter 229, the New Book of Tang,

the Turks, No. 49 of the Biographies, Chapter 84, the Book of Sui,

and P. 2314, 1st edition, October, 1964, Chapter 26, Turks Subject to Empire Sui, Tongjian Jishi Benmo, Zhonghua Book Company.

Another example was described in the Turks, volume 144 of the Biographies, Chapter 204, the Old Book of Tang: “Talopien was young. His mother, daughter of chancellor Tonyukuk committed adultery with the junior official Yinsidagan, interfered into state affairs, and therefore could not be accepted by the countrymen.” That caused bloodshed among the clans and major turmoil in the country.

[24] Comments the historian, No. 49 of the Biographies, the Book of Sui.

[25] “AD 616, the Turks offended Lianzhou; AD618, took Dazhen Pass. The emperor sent Zheng Yuanshu as the envoy to talk to Jieli. That was the moment when hundreds of thousands of elite Turk cavalries had filled the valleys of hundreds of li between Jiexiu and Jinzhou. When meeting with Jieli, Yuanshu blamed him for breaking the agreement and debated with him to make the latter feel quite regretful. He then said to Jieli that Tang was different from the Khanate in custom. Even if the Turks occupied lands of Tang, they would feel awkward living on it. Booties (got by the Turks) belonged to the begs, what did the Khan get? Zheng suggested that the Khan should withdraw the troops and enter into a peace agreement with Tang. This would spare him from the exhausting journey and he might sit back and receive gold that would enter into his own treasury. No one would be so foolish to give up years of brotherhood and to leave hatred as the legacy for upcoming generations! Jieli was delighted and withdrew his troops.” The Fifth Year of Wude Emperor Gaozu, No. 6 Tang Dynasty, Chapter 190 of Zizhi Tongjian.

[26] (Prime Minister Yang Jian) said honestly to Emperor Gaozu that “the Turk armories and troops are weak, and the soldiers get little booty. There are too many leaders and hardly any rules. Their military is in poor command. But the envoys have depicted a fake image of their national strength so that we treat them nicely and they could go back to their country for fat rewards. Our government has been cheated and soldiers frightened. The exotic people look strong but are actually vulnerable. In my humble opinion, we could execute their successive envoys.” The Turks, the Exotic Peoples, No. 42 of the Biographies, Chapter 50, the Book of Zhou.

[27] The Fifth Year of Zhenguan, Emperor Taizong, No. 9 Tang Dynasty, Chapter 193 of Zizhi Tongjian.

One may also refer to the Turks, No. 49 of the Biographies, Chapter 84, the Book of Sui which says “towards the end of Sui Dynasty, there had been serious social turmoil, myriads of people fled central China to the Khanate of the Turks that got stronger and overtopped China.”

[28] The Fourth Year of Zhenguan, Emperor Taizong, No. 9 Tang Dynasty, Chapter 193 of Zizhi Tongjian.

[29] Decade of Beishan, Minor Odes of the Kingdom, the Book of Songs

[30] Said by the famous Prime Minister Wei Zheng, and recorded in the Fourth Year of Zhenguan, Emperor Taizong, No. 9 Tang Dynasty, Chapter 193 of Zizhi Tongjian, “The Huns, unlike us, are a brutal people. When they are strong, they invade others, and when weak, surrender. It is in their inborn nature to defy loyalty and trustworthiness.” the Turks, volume 144 of the Biographies, Chapter 204, the Old Book of Tang.

[31] 9, The Army on the March, the Art of War, Sunzi

[32] Thirteenth line on the east side of the Stele of Kul-Teghin in the Turkish language.

[33] “Their criminal laws provided that offenders of treason, murder, raping of a married woman, theft of horse-chains shall be executed; the offender of raping of the daughter of a victim, shall be deprived of his property and shall marry his daughter to the victim; the offender of injury during a fighting shall compensate the victim with his property according to the severity of the injury; the offender of theft of horse or other property shall be fined with ten times the worth of the loot.” The Turks, the Exotic Peoples, No. 42 of the Biographies, Chapter 50, the Book of Zhou.

“Offenders of treason and murder shall be executed; offenders of adultery shall be emasculated and cut at waist. The offender of injury of the eye of a victim shall compensate the latter with his daughter or wife if there is no daughter, and the offender of injury of limbs of a victim shall compensate the victim with horses. Offenders of theft shall be fined with ten times the worth of the loot.”  The Turks, No. 49 of the Biographies, Chapter 84, the Book of Sui.

[34] Nestorianism.

 P. 413, Edition 1, December 1987, the first of the two-volume History of Communications between China and the West by Fang Hao, Yuelu Publishing House.

[35] Volume 144 of the Biographies, Chapter 204, the Old Book of Tang:

The Turks, volume 140 of the Biographies, Chapter 229, the New Book of Tang.

[36] The Fourth Year of Zhenguan, Emperor Taizong, No. 9 Tang Dynasty, Chapter 193 of Zizhi Tongjian.

The Kophens, the Western Region, volume 146 of the Biographies, Chapter 237, the New Book of Tang.

[37] The Kangju Nation, the Western Region, volume 146 of the Biographies, Chapter 238, the New Book of Tang. The people of Kangju were “good at business and profit-seeking.” “A twenty-year old man would go to a neighboring county whichever had opportunities of making a fortune……During Sui Dynasty, its King Qumuzhi married a woman from West Turk and became a subject to the Khanate.”

[38] P. 167-168, first edition of the Documents Sur les Tou-kiue Occidentaux by E. Chavannes and translated by Feng Chengjun, and published in September, 1962 by the Commercial Press of Taiwan.

For Fou-lin (the East Roman Empire), refer to P. 355-363, Edition 1, December, 1987, the first of the two-volume History of Communications between China and the West by Fang Hao, Yuelu Publishing House.

Diverging explanations about the county of Fou-lin amount among Chinese and Western scholars and there has not been a conclusive version. The author accords with Paul Pelliot in naming the country.

[39] The Turks, volume 144 of the Biographies, Chapter 204, the Old Book of Tang.

[40] The Turks, volume 144 of the Biographies, Chapter 204, the Old Book of Tang.

[41] “Again, Ju said to the Emperor that the Turks were not a united people and it was easy to drive a wedge between them. There were many different ethnic tribes in that Khanate, and those were all wicked peoples. We can teach them how to do it. I heard that Sugda were a western ethnic people good at trickery. We can let them trip on the Khanate who listened a lot to the Sugda’s advice.” Biography of Pei Ju, No.32 of the Biographies, Chapter 67, the Book of Sui.

[42] The Turks, volume 144 of the Biographies, Chapter 205, the Old Book of Tang;

The Turks, volume 140 of the Biographies, Chapter 229, the New Book of Tang.

[43] On History, the Turks, volume 144 of the Biographies, Chapter 205, the Old Book of Tang.


Copyright: Institute of West-Asian and African Studies, CASS

Address: 3Zhang Zizhonglu, Dongcheng District P.O.Box 1120, Beijing 100007, China