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The Battle of Talas

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  Quote warhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: The Battle of Talas
    Posted: 12-Oct-2004 at 01:30

"Ok, stop being condesending to people."

 

If you want me to stop condescending you, then start arguing on a higher level with primary sources as your reference rather than some website and consistently stiking on to your argument despite having no evidence whatsoever.

 

 

 

"So just what kind of connection you are willing to accept that there is a indirect link?  That in Tang Shu and Zi Zhi Tong Jian it somehow says "Due to the battle at Talas, An LuShan was granted these power"? "

 

This is absolutely a necessity.There is nothing improbable about it. Chinese sources always mention major military disasters and the amount spent on each and how they cause hardship so future emperors would not make the same mistake. Every major expenditure during the Tang has a census taken on the amount of money spent, those of the Tien Bao wars against Nan Zhao for example was recorded to have several hundred thousand shi of expenditure. While the undertaking against Tibet in 678 and 670 were also recorded to have lots of spending, the Han campaign against Xionnu and the Sui Campaign against Koguri all are recorded in detail on the amount of horses and men perished, the amount of logistic required, and its drain on the economy, the very fact that nothing is wrote about Talas shows its insignificance. To prove it caused An Shi rebellion of course you need to find me a passage that even remotely relate the two. And so far you haven't.

 

I'm going to post this again, the background of An Lu shan can be analyzed below:

First there is the military background, here is whats wiritten on the primary source:

"At the end of Tien Bao(742-756), because there was great peace in the Middle plain, the emperor cultivated the arts of civilization and abandoned military preparation(from within). He had the spear and arrow points melted down in order to weaken the valiant knights of the empire. Thereuopn anyone who carried warlike arms was punished and anyone who kept prophetic books was executed. Anyone who practiced archery cmmited a crime. .....only in the frontier districts were large bodies of troops maintained. In the Middle plains arms and weapons were stored away to show that they would again be used. Men grew to old age without hearing sound of war........When an emergency arose their knees shook and they were incapable of carrying arms. It was no mere case of ill-fourtune that after this rebels took advantage of the situation to revolt" 

As can be seen the disarmament policy left the central plains inexperienced in military making An Lu Shan believe the invasion would be successful.

Second their is the political background, this has to do with Li Lin Fu who had tremendous power at the frontier and all the generals were in fear of him, after An Lu Shan was defeated by the kitans and xi in 751, he decided to revenge them with a far larger army of 200,000, He obtained permission from the court to recieve cooperation of the province of Shuo Fang under the command of a turk name A Pu Su,(whom the Qarluqs helped in capture later), A Pu Su feared An Lu Shan and didn't want to join him but was refused, he thus escaped to the west, since the powerful Li Lin Fu was the superior of A Pu Su, Yang Guo Zong and even Ko Shu Han(who fought in Tibet) condemned him, he was forced to resign from the post and died of illness later, this was a significant event in that he was able to balace the power of diffferent generals and An Lu Shan feared him, when he died in 753, Abn Lu shan grew bolder and didn't listen to the new post. An Lu Shan also got much more reiforcement during this period since he exaggerate the power of Kitan thus his power grew steadily until his force went over 200,000 in size.

 

Third is the economic background, here is a passage taken from Zi Zhi Tong Jian:

At the begining of Kai Yuan(712) the annual frontier expenditurewas approximately 2,000,000 strings of cash. By the end of Kai Yuan(741) it had reached 10,000,000 strings. By the end of Tien Bao(755) it had again increased by four to five million. According to the regulations of the Ministry of War those who take part in defeating the enemy or perform military services are rewarded according to a fixed scale and those who hold offices are one or two in ten. After Tien Bao(742) the frontier generals, relying on their favour, asked for the creation of offices........In every one of the more than 40 commanderies of Kuan fu, shuo fang, He xi, and Lung Yu and the moer than30 commanderies of He bei ther ewere government granaries. The larger ones held 1,000,000 shi, the smaller ones, not less than 500,000 shi. They provided the salaries of officials sent out from court. By the end of Tien Bao they were all exhuasted. Such was the ruin brought upon the empire"

 

As can be seen these are detailed analysis, Talas is not even remotely mentioned, and its completely ridiculous to claim Talas was the cause of An Lu Shan, the expenditure of Talas is too small to even alert the court, it was treated as a minor skirmish at the time. Every major expenditure during the Tang has a census taken on the amount of money spent, those of the Tien Bao wars against Nan Zhao for example was recorded to have several hundred thousand shi of expenditure. While the undertaking against Tibet in 678 and 670 were also recorded to have lots of spending, these are major campaigns that include up to a hundred thousand troops not some small skirmish of Talas that only involved perhaps 20,000 Tang troops(the remainder are foreign allies) and the result of Talas merely took perhaps no more than 10,000 Tang troops. And these troops are of not the smae quality as those of the imperial armies of the central plains.

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Zhuang View Drop Down
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  Quote Zhuang Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Oct-2004 at 11:16

Tibet and Dali contributed far more than Abbasids to Tang declination. Talas was just one of the many battles (or skirmishes) that exhausted Tang resources.

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warhead View Drop Down
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  Quote warhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Oct-2004 at 11:57
All of the countries Tang recorded to have direct contact with had more effect than Abassid(that includes the Koreans, Kitan, Xi, Tanguts, Tujue, and more, Abassid is not even considered a Tang enemy, in fact it was an ally. Talas is not much different from Sino soviet Skirmishes in the northeast. Relationship with Abassid is not bad because of that battle, in fact Tang still had good relationship with it, it would seem Gao Zian Zhi is acting on his own as well as Ziyad.
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