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Huns(Xiongnu), Turks(Tujue) and Mongols

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  Quote Zhuang Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Huns(Xiongnu), Turks(Tujue) and Mongols
    Posted: 09-Oct-2004 at 12:06

a. Were Turks and Mongols descendants of Huns? Or were Huns just earlier Turks? What were the connections among Huns, Turks and Mongols?

b. Where were Huns and Turks originated from? Since both were first documented in Chinese sources (as Xiongnu and Tujue), were they Mongolian peoples gradually moving westwards? Were Huns survivors of Xiongnu (destroyed by Han) and Turks survivors of Tujue (destroyed by Tang)? I am just wondering had there been other Turkic peoples besides Tujue at that time.

c. Were Mongols mightier than Huns and Turks because they seemed to have accomplished what Huns and Turks failed to do (conquering Europe and China)?

d. (Skip this if alternate history is not your type) Guess what would be different if Turks were facing Song while Mongols facing Tang? Song after all, though the most populous and prosperous, was the militarily weakiest among all Chinese dynasties.

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  Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Oct-2004 at 12:51

for question a: Huns are considdered proto-Turks, Xianbei are considdered proto-Mongols

b. I think both formed their confederacies in the Mongolian Steppe. Ihsan can answer the rest of the question better than me...

the answers to the other questions are subjective, so I just give my opinion here: I would't say Turks are worser than Mongols, Mongols just had a stronger political unity and a more successive military, both results of Chinggis Qaans genius. same goes for Tang and Song. Song had no strong emperor as the Tang had.

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  Quote ihsan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Oct-2004 at 13:11

a. Were Turks and Mongols descendants of Huns? Or were Huns just earlier Turks? What were the connections among Huns, Turks and Mongols?

No, they were not their descendents. The Mongols descended from the Xianbei while the common ancestor of the Turkic peoples, as far as I could find, were the ancient Quanyi people.

The Xiongnu and Huns were Turkic.

Of course things change with the definition of the term "Turk". Today, it means a citizen of the Republic of Turkey. The Europeans started to use that term for the Oghuz people (who founded the Seljuks, Ottomans, Karakoyunlu, Akkoyunlu, Safavid, etc empires) in the 11th century AD. Starting from the 7th century, the Arabs, Byzantines and Iranians used "Turk" for a group of many related peoples such as the Tujue (Gk Trks), Khazars, Qarluqs, Kyrgyz, Kypchaks, Uyghurs, Oghuz, etc... The Chinese useage of Tujue is limited to only one of these peoples, who are today known as the Gk Trks.

OTOH, academicians use the terms "Turk" and "Turkic" with the meaning used by the Arabs, Byzantines and Iranians. Similar to the name "Greek", "Turk" was originially a name of a tribe/people, but it was later used for their relative peoples too. The name "Turk" didn't exist before 542 but there were clearly peoples whom we today classify as Turkic; such as the Xiongnu, Huns, Jiangun (Ancient Kyrgyz), Oghurs, Bulgars, Dingling, Gaoche-Tiele and others.

b. Where were Huns and Turks originated from? Since both were first documented in Chinese sources (as Xiongnu and Tujue), were they Mongolian peoples gradually moving westwards? Were Huns survivors of Xiongnu (destroyed by Han) and Turks survivors of Tujue (destroyed by Tang)? I am just wondering had there been other Turkic peoples besides Tujue at that time.

The Hunnic peoples, ie the Hongyi, Xunyu, Xianyun and Xiongnu, all appeared in Inner Mongolia as I could spot. The Huns of Europe, OTOH, are first seen in the Caspian Steppes. It's highly possible that they were formed from the remnants of Western and Northern Xiongnu fleeing westwards.

The earliest Turkic peoples also seem to have appeared in Inner Mongolia; however, the earliest Turkic culture, Okunevo (dated 2,000-1,500 BC), is located in the Southern Yenisei region.

The Tujue people appeared in the Southern Altais, but as I wrote above, there were Turkic peoples before them. The "Turks" of Turkey, Balkans, Middle East and Turkmenistan are all considered to be parts of the Oghuz people, who lived on the steppes north of Aral-Transoxiana during 9th-10th centuries. The Oghuz, like the Uyghurs, probably descended from the Tiele peoples, who descended from the Gaoche. The Gaoche were the same with Eastern Dingling, the Dingling and Jiangun were closely related peoples and they must have been descended from the Karasuk-Tagar cultures (the Dingling were associated with the "Red Di"). According to Chinese sources, the Quanyi were the common ancestor of the earliest Turkic peoples while archeologicially, they're traced to the Okunevo Culture.

Oh and btw, the Tang didn't destroy the Tujue Empire (that's a long story.)

c. Were Mongols mightier than Huns and Turks because they seemed to have accomplished what Huns and Turks failed to do (conquering Europe and China)?

Actually the Turkic peoples ruled parts of Central and Eastern Europe far longer than the Mongols did. Just look at the Huns, Bulgars, Sabars, Khazars, Pechenegs, Kypchaks, Oghuz and Ottomans  Btw, some minor dynasties in China were also of Turkic origin

d. (Skip this if alternate history is not your type) Guess what would be different if Turks were facing Song while Mongols facing Tang? Song after all, though the most populous and prosperous, was the militarily weakiest among all Chinese dynasties.

The Tujue (I use Tujue or Gk Trk to differentiate them from other Turkic peoples) would have had lesser difficulties with their struggles against China. However, unlike the Jurchets, Khitans and Mongols, the Tujue, like the Xiongnu, didn't have major plans of conquering China partly and/or completely because their biggest trade partners was China itself.

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  Quote ihsan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Oct-2004 at 13:13
Note: The Song wasn't that militarily weak. The resistance against the Mongols lasted for many decades, the Mongols conquered China with great difficulties.
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  Quote Zhuang Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Oct-2004 at 21:45

Oh and btw, the Tang didn't destroy the Tujue Empire (that's a long story.)
Then where was the Tujue Empire around the Battle of Talas?

Btw, some minor dynasties in China were also of Turkic origin
Yes even Tang was heard to be (part) of Turkic origin

Moreover, after Xiongnu was forced westwards by Han and Xianbei (encouraged by Han), some 500,000 stayed. They then call themselves Xianbei and integrated with their invaders (Xianbei). So quite some part of Mongol ancestors was, Turkic people.

Note: The Song wasn't that militarily weak.
Song army seemed to have lost every major battle against Nanzhao/Xia/Liao/Jin/Mongols



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  Quote Chono Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Oct-2004 at 05:35
Originally posted by Zhuang

a. Were Turks and Mongols descendants of Huns? Or were Huns just earlier Turks? What were the connections among Huns, Turks and Mongols?

b. Where were Huns and Turks originated from? Since both were first documented in Chinese sources (as Xiongnu and Tujue), were they Mongolian peoples gradually moving westwards? Were Huns survivors of Xiongnu (destroyed by Han) and Turks survivors of Tujue (destroyed by Tang)? I am just wondering had there been other Turkic peoples besides Tujue at that time.

c. Were Mongols mightier than Huns and Turks because they seemed to have accomplished what Huns and Turks failed to do (conquering Europe and China)?

d. (Skip this if alternate history is not your type) Guess what would be different if Turks were facing Song while Mongols facing Tang? Song after all, though the most populous and prosperous, was the militarily weakiest among all Chinese dynasties.

a. It's still disputed how to clasify Xiongnu. Seems to me, they had lots of people among themselves, even some chinese. In any case, they were ancestors to some parts of today's turkic and mongol nations.

b. The Xiongnu seem to have formed somewhere around lake Baikal. they moved to south-east and faced some Hu people, in the south-west they had long wars with "yuechji", who are supposed to have been an iranian people. In any case, since Xiongnu, the mongolian plateau is dominated by mongoloid people, not caucasoid.

Turks are not survivors of kokturks, as far as I can remember kokturks have been destroyed by fellow turkic tribes (tele was it?), not by Tang (well Tang used those other tribes politically...), if there were any survivors, I got no idea what became of them.

c. I don't think huns and kokturks were less mighty, they lived in vastly different ages, can't compare them with such criteria.

d. Song would destroy kokturks and mongols would destroy Tang, due to advances in technology and military organization.

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  Quote ihsan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Oct-2004 at 13:51

Then where was the Tujue Empire around the Battle of Talas?

The Western Tujue was defeated at 658, the On Oq replaced them a few decades later, the empire of the Trgish (a branch of the On Oq) was finally overrun by the Qarluqs at 766. The Eastern Tujue were destroyed by Tang Taizong at 630, they re-gained their independence at 682 and their empire survived until 744, when finally it was destroyed by the Uyghurs, Qarluqs and Basmls.

Yes even Tang was heard to be (part) of Turkic origin

I would say Sinified Xianbei (Mongolic), not Turkic.

Moreover, after Xiongnu was forced westwards by Han and Xianbei (encouraged by Han), some 500,000 stayed. They then call themselves Xianbei and integrated with their invaders (Xianbei). So quite some part of Mongol ancestors was, Turkic people.

Hmm, highly possible

It's still disputed how to clasify Xiongnu. Seems to me, they had lots of people among themselves, even some chinese. In any case, they were ancestors to some parts of today's turkic and mongol nations.

Of course the Xiongnu Federation was composed of Turkic, Mongolic, Tokharian, Iranic and other peoples; but the Xiongnu people itself and it's rulers were Turkic, as shown by the Chinese sources.

"yuechji", who are supposed to have been an iranian people.

I don't think they were Iranic. They came from Gansu, a region near the Tarim Basin (land of the Tokharians). Besides, Greeks called them Tocharoi. The Yuezhi were more likely Tokharian.

Turks are not survivors of kokturks, as far as I can remember kokturks have been destroyed by fellow turkic tribes (tele was it?), not by Tang (well Tang used those other tribes politically...), if there were any survivors, I got no idea what became of them.

Well, the Tujue were Turkic, but if you mean Anatolian Turks by "Turks", then yes, they were not the descendents of Tujue. The Turks of Turkey are Oghuz.

The nggts during the Mongol period were the descendents of Shatuo Tujue, these later contributed to the formation of the Kazaks. The Qarluqs were considered to be earlierly a part of the Tujue, and they got some descendents today I guess. If the Khazars and Pechenegs were parts of Tujue, then we can say there are still a few Tujue-remnants today.

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  Quote warhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Oct-2004 at 16:09

"Song would destroy kokturks and mongols would destroy Tang, due to advances in technology and military organization."

 

Technology during this time changed little to alter anything of a decisive advantage; discipline, training, morale, experience, generalship, and tactics are the decisive factors, mongols during the begining of Genghis had little technological advantage over the Turuks, in fact it hasn't changed much until the 17th century. Nor did military organization alter in anyway, the decimal system of organization persisted in Mongolia since the days of Mao dun, while Tang military organization and logistic planning isn't anyway inferior to Song. Song did improve greatly on the crossbow but Tang more than made up for it by its superior abundance of cavalry and experienced troops.

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  Quote Chono Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Oct-2004 at 15:34
Wow, you absolutely crushed my speculation.
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  Quote cliveersknell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Oct-2004 at 23:59
Xiongnu - I think Chono is right here, they are composed of many different peoples including some Hans.

Mongols- Per Groussett, et al, they originated in the Hulun Buir grasslands east of the Xinggan Mountains, their direct ancestors are the Xianbei people.

Turks - Per Grousett, et al , they originated in the southern Altai Mts, they mined gold for the Xiongnu.

Correct me if I am wrong.
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  Quote ihsan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Oct-2004 at 03:50
Well, the Tujue were the vassals of the Ruanruan, not the Xiongnu
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  Quote Chono Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Oct-2004 at 07:11
And they mined iron ore, not gold.
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Oct-2004 at 09:05

I have questions here. Since everyone was saying that Xianbei was the direct ancestor of the Mongolian, so what about the Wuhuan tribe? I thought from the Wuhuan came Shiwei tribe and then from Shiwei came the Mongol or was Wuhuan considered part of the Xianbei tribe? And i heard people said that Xianbei was Tungusic people from Manchuria and was somehow related to Fuyu and Shuzhen tribes in Manchuria and Amur region, so which one was right then?

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  Quote warhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Oct-2004 at 10:34
Both Xianbei and WuHuan are the same people in the past called Dong Hu, later after defeated by the xiongnu, they separated into two.
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  Quote ihsan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Oct-2004 at 12:14
The Shiwei came from the Xianbei.
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  Quote cliveersknell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Oct-2004 at 23:47
The Wuhuan are a branch of Xianbei people that migrated from the Hulun Buir steppes to northern Liaoning , Jilin and
even Jehol, they eventually became the Qidan.

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  Quote ihsan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Oct-2004 at 12:37

The Wuhuan were a branch of the Donghu people, not the Xianbei.

Btw, I thought Xianbei were the ancestors of the Khitans

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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Oct-2004 at 01:46
Thanks for the answers,everyone.
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  Quote Rava Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Oct-2004 at 05:30
Ihsan wrote about Yuechji:

I don't think they were Iranic. They came from Gansu, a region near the Tarim Basin (land of the Tokharians). Besides, Greeks called them Tocharoi. The Yuezhi were more likely Tokharian.

It seems to be impossible to resolve the entire structure and genealogical relationships between steppe tribes of various ethnicity. The tribes were relatively small, divided into clans and verticaly stratificated (warriors, priests etc. ) and involved in many cultural and political patterns. To a great deal cultural symetry between Turks and Iranians existed as well. Therefore I can only recall Sims-Williams who translated Rabatak inscription written perhaps in the first year of Kanishka reign in Bactria : "He issued(?) an edict(?) in Greek and then he put it into the Aryan language". This would point out an eastern iranian language of Kushans since Kanishka used bactrian for his inscription. However... Turks used Sogdian script and Praktrit was court language in Kroraina Kingdom...

   

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  Quote ihsan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Oct-2004 at 08:23
It's a known fact that the Kushans, a tribe of the Yuezhi, became Iranified in time
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