Notice: This is the official website of the All Empires History Community (Reg. 10 Feb 2002)

  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Register Register  Login Login

The origins of the Khitans

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
Yungsiyebu_Uriankhai View Drop Down
Samurai
Samurai


Joined: 29-Dec-2004
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 108
  Quote Yungsiyebu_Uriankhai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: The origins of the Khitans
    Posted: 30-Oct-2005 at 04:30

People usually know the Khitans were an ancient nation with Mongolica origins in the present eastern Mongolia and western Manchuria. Some probably know they were originated from eastern Huns and Sian-pei too. But, the origins of the Khitan was far complex than what we usually know or imagine.   

According to History of the Liao dynasty(established by the Khitans) , both Khitan and its western neighbour Kumsi, were a branch of Sian-pei's Yu-wen tribe. Then, who were the Yu-wen? they were the Southern Hsiung-nu imgrated into the territory populated by eastern Huns and Sian-pei tribes. So, we now could get a conclusion that the Khitans were descendants of both Sian-pei(or Eastern Huns) and Hsiung-nu(Western Huns), although no doubt that they spoke a kind of the ancient Mongolian dialect.

There're 8 original Khitan tribes recorded by history of the Liao, 1) xi-wan-dan, 2) he-da-he, 3) fu-fu-yu, 4) xi-ling, 5) ri-lian, 6) pi-jie, 7) li, 8) tu-liu-yu, which probably provide an opportunity for an advanced study on the origins of the Khitans, although Chinese styles of those tribenames set a big trouble for today's scholars to find the links between these tribes and other ancient or modern tribes.

I would make an analysis about that 8 tribes of the Khitans later, according to what I read from many scholar's studies on it.

 

 

Back to Top
blitz View Drop Down
Samurai
Samurai
Avatar

Joined: 02-Dec-2004
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 103
  Quote blitz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Oct-2005 at 06:27
Can you write more about their script? Were the khitans originally "mongolian" speaking people?
Road to wisdom: err, err and err. But less, less and less!
Back to Top
Yungsiyebu_Uriankhai View Drop Down
Samurai
Samurai


Joined: 29-Dec-2004
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 108
  Quote Yungsiyebu_Uriankhai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Oct-2005 at 09:07

http://www.ancientscripts.com/khitan.html

I also know less about Khitan's script, but it seems we can find some about it online. it is one of those links above.

As for their language, no doubt they were a proto-mongolian speaking nation, at least when they established their empire in today's Mongolia, Manchuria, and parts of China, however, that doesn't mean the Khitans had only the Mongolic origins. It's also what I want to discuss here.

 

 

Back to Top
Yungsiyebu_Uriankhai View Drop Down
Samurai
Samurai


Joined: 29-Dec-2004
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 108
  Quote Yungsiyebu_Uriankhai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Oct-2005 at 10:03

1) xi-wan-dan

It's the largest one of 8 Khitan tribes in the early times. Xi-wan-dan's original form seems to be Si-ma-tan or Qi-ma-tan, Many scholars link this tirbename to Sarmatae. It seems impossible that a ancient Iranian-speaking tribe among a proto-Mongolian speaking nation. however, as we all know, the Scythians(recorded by Chinese as Sai-zhong, the Sarmataens should be a branch of the Scythians, if I'm not wrong) actually ever lived in ancient Mongolian steppe with the proto-Mongolian and the proto-Turkic groups. There were probably a small number of  their descendants stayed in Mongolia when most of them were drive towards the west by Hsiung-nu or others.

I don't say Simatan(Xi-wan-dan) people of the Khitans should speak Iranian and have a Iranian feature. Even if the Simatans really have the ethnic links to the ancient Sarmatae or Scythian tribes, they should just keep their name and a few European feature because it's more than 1,000-2,000 years after the Scythians and other European looking groups imgrated from Mongolia toward the west.

In fact, it's not surpised that some Scythian's descedants probably stayed in Mongolia. Shi-wei, Khitan's cousin tribes in the north, was recorded by Chinese that they ever had a yellow-head(European feature) tribe; Mongol's Urianghai tribe was also recorded as yellow-head by both Chinese and Mongolian themselves.

And, Mongolia had ever a powerful tribe named Asu or Asud, who were the descedants of the Alan servered in Mongol Khan's troops. It seems the Alans should be originated from the Sarmateans or the Scythians. If Mongolia could have an Alan-originated tribe, then it should be more possible that the Khitans got a Sarmatean-originate tribe among them.

As I wrote above, the Khitans were a branch of Yu-wen Sian-pei, who were the descendants of the Southern Hsiung-nu. It's possible that Hsiung-nu defeat Simatan's ancestors and absorbed some of them into their nation. So, Simatan became a Hsiung-nu tribe, then a Yu-wen tribe, and a Khitan tribe in the end.

   



Edited by Yungsiyebu_Uriankhai
Back to Top
tadamson View Drop Down
Baron
Baron


Joined: 25-Jul-2005
Location: Scotland
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 451
  Quote tadamson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Oct-2005 at 10:50
Scripts..

During the Liao empire two scripts were devised for the Khitan language.  Both were used quite extensivly right through the jin and Yuan dynasties.

As to the 'origins'...
You have to remember that many of these oral traditions of tribe X descended from clan Y who descended from tribe Z...  refer as much to the ruling family/clan as they do to the tribe as a whole.  Also there are no internal written records so scholars attempt to make guesses from what has been written in Chinese, Persian or Korean histories (that are themselves guesses).   So dont put too much emphasis on it.

And language:
All the turkish, Mongol and Tunguistic languages use lots of words from all three groups, there is precious little real difference between a tribe that spoke a 'Turkish' language and one that spoke a 'Mongolian' language.  For what it's woth, the balance of words in Khitan (one of the few in the group we have written evidence for) makes it 'Mongolian'.
rgds.

      Tom..
Back to Top
Yungsiyebu_Uriankhai View Drop Down
Samurai
Samurai


Joined: 29-Dec-2004
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 108
  Quote Yungsiyebu_Uriankhai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Nov-2005 at 11:45

Originally posted by tadamson

Scripts..

As to the 'origins'...
You have to remember that many of these oral traditions of tribe X descended from clan Y who descended from tribe Z...  refer as much to the ruling family/clan as they do to the tribe as a whole.  Also there are no internal written records so scholars attempt to make guesses from what has been written in Chinese, Persian or Korean histories (that are themselves guesses).   So dont put too much emphasis on it.

It depends on what's your interests on those ancient tribes. If you want to know where the Sian-pei, Hsiung-nu or others went and where the Khitans came from? Those studies on their tribal origins would be very important, although most of studies were based on "guess" according to the historic resources of Chinese or Persian or others. It's pity that most of the steppes nomads didn't record their own history by themselves.

Language couldn't be the only measure to judge the origins of some ancient tribe. for example, the Khitans were thought be a Mongolian speaking nations judging by the studies on their language. however, according to historic records, they were originated from Yu-wen, who were the Hsiung-nu among Sian-pei tribes. And, if we hope to get a more accurate or creditable conclusions on this subject, we have to study the possible relation between the Khitan's sub-clans and its predesessors Hsiung-nu, Sian-pei, and others.

I believe we would approach to the truth of the history of the nomads and eventually see a continuous history of the nomads in Mongolia and central asia, if we could continue to do more studies on the links and relations between the nomads in the different periods, although all of those studies basing on the possible hypothesis according to different resources.

 

Back to Top
Yungsiyebu_Uriankhai View Drop Down
Samurai
Samurai


Joined: 29-Dec-2004
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 108
  Quote Yungsiyebu_Uriankhai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Feb-2006 at 09:15

Hello, I get some new knowledge about the Khitans.

People know there're only 2 family names, Ye-lue and Shen-mi(or Xiao),  among all of the Khitans. Ye-lue Khitans was the descendants of the ancient 8 Khitan tribes, while Shen-mi Khitans had a non-Khitan origin in fact.

Modern scholars have already proven that Shen-mi Khitans had the ethnic origins of the Turkic 9 Tele tribes in today's eastern Inner Mongolia according to the Khitan rock inscription. It seems that the Khitans and the Uighurs(one of 9 Tele) had a very friendly relations,  many Khitan queens was originally the Uighur princess, and the Khitans probably invited the Uighurs imgrated back to their original homeland, today's northern Mongolia, after the Khitans defeated the ancient Kyrgyz tribes who ever destroyed the Uighur Khanate in Mongolia. and... We can't imagine how could the Kara- Khitans rebuild their empire in central asia if they got no help from the Uighurs.

 

Back to Top
Guests View Drop Down
Guest
Guest
  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-May-2006 at 13:26

hi there>>>

that is not called khitan.

it is kidan. means iron.

also qara is wrong.

it is hala. means black.

hala kidan is blacak iron.

-------strong.

Back to Top
tadamson View Drop Down
Baron
Baron


Joined: 25-Jul-2005
Location: Scotland
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 451
  Quote tadamson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-May-2006 at 21:03
Originally posted by halakidan

hi there>>>

that is not called khitan.

it is kidan. means iron.

also qara is wrong.

it is hala. means black.

hala kidan is blacak iron.

-------strong.



Chi'tan, Khitan and Quidan are transliterations of the same Chineese charater.

Quara Khitai is the turkified name used by the Central Asian Western Liao Empire.
rgds.

      Tom..
Back to Top
gok_toruk View Drop Down
Arch Duke
Arch Duke
Avatar
9 Oghuz

Joined: 28-Apr-2005
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1831
  Quote gok_toruk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-May-2006 at 11:29

Yungsiyebu_uriankhai, nice piece of information. Now This is about my own tribe; 9 Oghuz. You know, sometime almost 750 (this was the start; I mean this progress was continueous), a great part of 9 Oghuz people joined their close neighbor. This is almost the time after when their history could not be followed; because no point have been recorded related to them after this date. And we know they (9 Oghuz) used to live close to Mongol tribes; most probably Kitans.

And we know about the relationship between 9 Oghuz and Uyghurs. Oghuz Qaan (our historical lord) somewhere called himself as 'Uyghurs Qaqan'; this is only possible (it's a tradition among Steppe people) in the case Oghuz Qaan had control over them.

Anyhow, that's about it for the time being. Take care...

Sajaja bramani totari ta, raitata raitata, radu ridu raitata, rota.
Back to Top
barbar View Drop Down
General
General
Avatar
retired AE Moderator

Joined: 10-Aug-2005
Location: Italy
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 781
  Quote barbar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-May-2006 at 22:59
Originally posted by Yungsiyebu_Uriankhai

People know there're only 2 family names, Ye-lue and Shen-mi(or Xiao),  among all of the Khitans. Ye-lue Khitans was the descendants of the ancient 8 Khitan tribes, while Shen-mi Khitans had a non-Khitan origin in fact.

Modern scholars have already proven that Shen-mi Khitans had the ethnic origins of the Turkic 9 Tele tribes in today's eastern Inner Mongolia according to the Khitan rock inscription. It seems that the Khitans and the Uighurs(one of 9 Tele) had a very friendly relations,  many Khitan queens was originally the Uighur princess, and the Khitans probably invited the Uighurs imgrated back to their original homeland, today's northern Mongolia, after the Khitans defeated the ancient Kyrgyz tribes who ever destroyed the Uighur Khanate in Mongolia. and... We can't imagine how could the Kara- Khitans rebuild their empire in central asia if they got no help from the Uighurs.

 

Very intersting piece.  Khitan(Qitan) region was included in the relm of Uyghur Empire.  Many scholars hold the three route theory, neglecting the east route after the collapse of the empire. 

 

 

Either make a history or become a history.
Back to Top
tadamson View Drop Down
Baron
Baron


Joined: 25-Jul-2005
Location: Scotland
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 451
  Quote tadamson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-May-2006 at 10:24
Originally posted by Yungsiyebu_Uriankhai

Hello, I get some new knowledge about the Khitans.

People know there're only 2 family names, Ye-lue and Shen-mi(or Xiao),  among all of the Khitans. Ye-lue Khitans was the descendants of the ancient 8 Khitan tribes, while Shen-mi Khitans had a non-Khitan origin in fact.


Ye-lu was the royal clan, Xiao were the 'consort' clan, these two were the leand clans of the fifty four tribes who made up the Khitan people.

... We can't imagine how could the Kara- Khitans rebuild their empire in central asia if they got no help from the Uighurs.

They defeated the Qarakhanid Turks, accepted the alleigance of the Naimen, Quangli Turks, Uighurs (by this time settled in Khotan etc), and then defeated the Ghurids to obtain the submission of Samarkhand, Khwarizam and many lesser city states.  Uighur states provided some troops but mostly paid taxes.  The central 'Khitan' army was full-time, paid, regular soldiers (still nomads with tents etc), they were frequently rented out to the subordinate states who had a lot of freedom, provided they kept the Gurkhan and his army rich.



Edited by tadamson - 18-May-2006 at 11:24
rgds.

      Tom..
Back to Top
Guests View Drop Down
Guest
Guest
  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-May-2006 at 14:59

I classify Khitans as descendants of the Hsien-pei. Many scholars have attempted to solve the mystery of their origins on the basis of linguistics but syntactically the Khitan language resempled the Altaic languages. This leaves a wide range of choice among Turkic, Mongolian and tungusic subfamilies of Altaic. Khitans may have spoken either a proto-mongolian language influenced by tungusic vocabulary or a tungusic language influenced by Mongolian vocabulary, in either case using many Turkic loan words.

In the basis of cultural evidence there is the Wei Shu's statement tha the Khitan, Hsi and Shi-wei shared a common origin. Aside this there is the evidence of  their male coiffure. From Liao mural paintings khitan men shaved their heads leaving the hair o both temples hanging down to the shoulders or over the chest. The same hairstyle was used by both the Hsi and Shi-wei  and also by the Hsien-pei who were believed to be their common ancestors. The infos about their origins above were into cambridge history of China.
Back to Top
cliveersknell View Drop Down
Pretorian
Pretorian


Joined: 16-Aug-2004
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 154
  Quote cliveersknell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-May-2006 at 00:09
Hi Yungshiebu
1. Who were more numerous, the Qidans or their
Nuzhen subjects?
2. When CK destroyed the Jin empire, he promised to
revive the Qidan kingdom in Liaoning, even the name
Liao ning comes from the Qidan's former Liao dynasty.
Why did the Nuzhens under Nurhaci proclaimed that the new
Jin? Aren't the manchus also Qidan ?
Back to Top
tadamson View Drop Down
Baron
Baron


Joined: 25-Jul-2005
Location: Scotland
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 451
  Quote tadamson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-May-2006 at 19:13
Originally posted by cliveersknell

Hi Yungshiebu
1. Who were more numerous, the Qidans or their
Nuzhen subjects?

Quidans, though both were outnumbered by the settled peoples of the region (Bohei and Han)

2. When CK destroyed the Jin empire, he promised to
revive the Qidan kingdom in Liaoning, even the name
Liao ning comes from the Qidan's former Liao dynasty.

The name comes from the region Liao, around the Liao river etc.
The Quidan Kingdom continued under the Mongols.

Why did the Nuzhens under Nurhaci proclaimed that the new
Jin? Aren't the manchus also Qidan ?

no Manchu - Nuzhen were not Quidan.
rgds.

      Tom..
Back to Top
raygun View Drop Down
Knight
Knight
Avatar

Joined: 02-Apr-2006
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 80
  Quote raygun Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-May-2006 at 20:58

Which modern steppe rtibe today decend from the kidans, & which from the nuzhen? There must surely be some around yes?

 
cheers
Back to Top
MING-LOYALIST View Drop Down
Janissary
Janissary
Avatar

Joined: 19-May-2006
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 28
  Quote MING-LOYALIST Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-May-2006 at 05:41
Qidan -  Duars
 
Nuzhen - Jurchen/Manchus
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Bulletin Board Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 9.56a [Free Express Edition]
Copyright ©2001-2009 Web Wiz

This page was generated in 0.078 seconds.