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Huns(Xiongnu), Turks(Tujue) and Mongols

Printed From: History Community ~ All Empires
Category: Regional History or Period History
Forum Name: Ethnic History of Central Asia
Forum Discription: Discussions about the ethnic origins of Central Asian peoples. All topics related to ethnicity should go here.
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Topic: Huns(Xiongnu), Turks(Tujue) and Mongols
Posted By: Zhuang
Subject: Huns(Xiongnu), Turks(Tujue) and Mongols
Date 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.




Replies:
Posted By: Temujin
Date 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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Posted By: ihsan
Date 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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Posted By: ihsan
Date 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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Posted By: Zhuang
Date 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



Posted By: Chono
Date 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.



Posted By: ihsan
Date 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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Posted By: warhead
Date 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.



Posted By: Chono
Date Posted: 12-Oct-2004 at 15:34
Wow, you absolutely crushed my speculation.


Posted By: cliveersknell
Date 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.
r's
Clive


Posted By: ihsan
Date Posted: 15-Oct-2004 at 03:50
Well, the Tujue were the vassals of the Ruanruan, not the Xiongnu

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Posted By: Chono
Date Posted: 15-Oct-2004 at 07:11
And they mined iron ore, not gold.


Posted By: Guests
Date 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?



Posted By: warhead
Date 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.


Posted By: ihsan
Date Posted: 15-Oct-2004 at 12:14
The Shiwei came from the Xianbei.

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Posted By: cliveersknell
Date 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.

r's
Clive


Posted By: ihsan
Date 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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Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 26-Oct-2004 at 01:46
Thanks for the answers,everyone.


Posted By: Rava
Date 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...

   



Posted By: ihsan
Date 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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Posted By: Yiannis
Date Posted: 26-Oct-2004 at 09:28

It was the Yuezhi that destroyed the Greek/Bactrian kingdoms, right?

 



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Posted By: warhead
Date Posted: 27-Oct-2004 at 19:33
No, the Saka did, they were pushed out of Sungaria by the Yue Zhi and went south to destroy the Bactrian kingdom. The Yue Zhi came later and pushed out the Saka, when Zhang Qian went westwards, the Yue Zhi's base of operation was already around Bactria.


Posted By: Scytho-Sarmatian
Date Posted: 28-Oct-2004 at 03:40

Saka is the word which means "Scythian" in the Persian and Indian languages.  The Sakas who entered India were originally centered in the area of the Aral Sea.  Being nomads, they moved from pasture to pasture throughout the steppe region until the Yue Zhi forced them south, out of these grazing lands and into Bactria, and eventually western India.  A large number of the Rajput peoples of India trace their ancestry to the Sakas. 

Incidently, the Yue Zhi themselves were later forced out of the steppe region and into Bactria and India, following the same pattern as the Sakas.  It is believed that the Yue Zhi were descended from the Tocharians of Xinjiang.  Their greatest king in India was Kanishka, who ruled around 100 AD.



Posted By: Rava
Date Posted: 28-Oct-2004 at 04:09

Yue Zhi i.e. Asi + Tochari forced Saka (Amyrgians) in Ferghana and Alai Valley. Some digs give evidence that only ruling class entered the Cities while the majority of people continued pastoral way of life. Part of Saka joined Yeu Zhi in their conquest of Bactria. Since the period of their stay in this part of Central Asia was relatively short perhaps the participation of the Sakas in the confederation gave the effect of iranization mentioned by Ishan.



Posted By: Scytho-Sarmatian
Date Posted: 28-Oct-2004 at 04:34

Rava-

I have a quick question for you which has been bothering me for a while.  Do you know if any Sarmatians were included among the Sakas who had migrated to India?  I have read some sources which state that the western Indian region of Saurashtra was named after the Sauromatae/Sarmatians.  However, other sources state that the name Saurashtra means "land of the sun-worshippers."  Still others say that Saurashtra means "land of the Solar Medes (Saurya Madra)," and they say that Sauromatae also means "Solar Medes."  It's all a little confusing.  However, it makes sense to me to say that Sarmatians did indeed end up in India, because the Sarmatians had become the dominant group amongst the Scythian peoples by this time (c. 100 BC).  What do you think?



Posted By: Rava
Date Posted: 28-Oct-2004 at 04:52
Some conect Jat clans of India with the ethnonym Getae connecting with Alano-Sarmatian World. Generaly the term Sarmatians describe Royal Scythians and Ugri Tribe together whose dwelled in Panonia.


Posted By: Scytho-Sarmatian
Date Posted: 28-Oct-2004 at 05:22

Thanks for your response. 

If it were true that the Jats were descended from the Getae who were connected with the Alano-Sarmatian World, it would show just how wide ranging the Alan-Sarmatian World really was.  The Sarmatian influence could be determined to have ranged clear across the Eurasian continent from Alanic Spain and even Britain (Roman-Sarmatian cavalry) through E. Europe and Central Asia up to the border of China and down into northwestern India.  That would have made a pretty impressive empire had they been united.



Posted By: Temujin
Date Posted: 28-Oct-2004 at 12:25
are we talking about the same Getae? getae were Steppeified Thracians, not Sarmatians.

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Posted By: Rava
Date Posted: 28-Oct-2004 at 17:25
You are absolutely right. Greeks used to call the Thracians Getae. However in times of Darius some Jat tribes were called Euergetae. We had Massageta as well. Had they same ancestors, say ancient Guttians, I don't know. Jat's Dandaki in India and Danes in Juttland; Goths called Scythians nad Thracian Getae, Javinges in what is today Lithuania 


Posted By: Scytho-Sarmatian
Date Posted: 29-Oct-2004 at 03:39

As far as I can tell from my research, the Sarmatians had become the dominant group among the steppe peoples by about the 2nd Century B.C.  I'm pretty sure that the Sarmatian domain had stretched from the Danube through the Ukraine and Southern Russia/Northern Caucasus through Central Asia up to at least the edge of Bactria.  That would make the Sakas of that time at least partly Sarmatian.  Don't forget that the Persians referred to Scythians, Massagetae, and Sarmatians collectively as Saka.  Then, about that time, the Yueh Zhi (known to the Indians as Kushans) invaded the steppes from  Xinjiang up to about the Aral Sea area and forced the Sakas who had been there down into Bactria, and eventually India.  It's possible that I may be wrong about the time frame of when the Aorsi branch of the Sarmatians had been in Central Asia.  Were they there by 100 BC, or did they arrive later, presumably from the west?



Posted By: Scytho-Sarmatian
Date Posted: 29-Oct-2004 at 07:22

Rava-

Are the Asi the same as the Aorsi?  If so, that would pretty much answer all my questions.



Posted By: Rava
Date Posted: 29-Oct-2004 at 12:02
Some scholars assume that Asi, As/Jas (Alanian ethnonym) and Aorsi (Sarmatian ethnonym) are various version of the same root.


Posted By: Temujin
Date Posted: 29-Oct-2004 at 14:57
well, Massagets are however neither Thracians nor Sarmatians. only when they moved west and mixed with Sarmatians they eventually became the Alans.

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Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 23-Nov-2004 at 13:16
um.. ..actually.. do you guys know what actually
happened in the history of Xiongnu? well.. if you guys
do.. can you guys descibe it more in a specific
way..Please? because I'm doing a history project for
my school and I need alot of infomation.. and I can't
find any interesting information.. well.. thanks
anyways.. ><

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Posted By: warhead
Date Posted: 24-Nov-2004 at 13:50

The northern xiongnu moved out of mongolia after been destroyed by Dou Xian's Han army in 91 A.D., after the Han army reinstalled a puppet Chang Yu on the throne, the Xianbei of Manchuria moved into Mongolia, the new northern xiongnu court was restricted to the area around Sungaria. They became independent in less than a year, and gained strength during the early years of the 2nd century a.d. and once again start to raid the tarim. Hou Han shu describe the kingdom of Ju Shi after its king murdered a Han envoy medaling with the affairs of the country, escaped to the Northern Xiongnu and asked for aid which they agreed. The Han then asked him to come back and would not get punished. This was in 151 A.D., no mention of them later was found and they are most likely destroyed by Tang Shi Huai's xianbei empire sometime around the 160s a.d.

The southern xiongnu had little power by this time and their ChangYu was assasinated by their own people in 190 after they assisted the Han to crush the yellow turban rebellion. The ChangYu from then on is merely nominal and the pressure of Xianbei conquered much of the Southern xiongnu while the remainder still loyal to the ChangYu escaped to Han territory where Cao Cao stationed them along the northern frontier. They would later rise against the Jin dynasty and proclaim to restore the Han. They did conquer most of northern China but by the time of Shi Min, he started a program of genocide and exterminationg against the xiongnu people. The aristocrats escaped north, and invided the Murong of the Yan state in, Shi Min was killed and the xiongnu empier ended, soon no more mentioning of Xiongnu existed intext.



Posted By: sephodwyrm
Date Posted: 24-Nov-2004 at 21:02

Wait...isn't Shi Min known as Ran Min as well? There's many sources that say that Ran Min is a Han... and that the Shi house that ruled Latter Zhao was of Jie (which is a branch within the Xiong Nu).

The real Xiongnu empires in the Jin dynasty, according to what I read, are Hu Xia of the house of He Lian and Han of the house of Liu (founded by Liu Yuan who claimed himself a descendant of Liu Bang).



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Posted By: warhead
Date Posted: 29-Nov-2004 at 00:27
I'm spared of the time of going into detail about the Zhao, the Han was ursurped by a Han commander claiming that Barbarians shouldn't rule, he was eventually defeated by Shi le and most of the north also fell under him, his origin is most likely xiongnu and he lived as a bandit after the Jin persecuted him.


Posted By: coolstorm
Date Posted: 30-Nov-2004 at 20:25

couldn't they tell by the way he looked tho?



Posted By: Rava
Date Posted: 01-Dec-2004 at 04:56
It remains the black hole. Xiong nu disappeared from the charts of the history and on the West appeared various names like Chionites, Chunni, Hun Horse Tribes, Alchoni, Camel Hun Tribes etc.


Posted By: ihsan
Date Posted: 05-Dec-2004 at 05:29

No, the Saka did, they were pushed out of Sungaria by the Yue Zhi and went south to destroy the Bactrian kingdom. The Yue Zhi came later and pushed out the Saka, when Zhang Qian went westwards, the Yue Zhi's base of operation was already around Bactria.

I thought it was the Yuezhi, mentioned in Greek as Tokharoi, that destroyed the Greek Bactrian Kingdom

Saka is the word which means "Scythian" in the Persian and Indian languages.

The Scythians were Eastern European Sakas, not all Saka were Scythians.

It is believed that the Yue Zhi were descended from the Tocharians of Xinjiang.

Not of Eastern Turkestan but of Gansu. We know that before the Xiongnu invasion, the Yuezhi lived in Gansu.

um.. ..actually.. do you guys know what actually
happened in the history of Xiongnu? well.. if you guys
do.. can you guys descibe it more in a specific
way..Please? because I'm doing a history project for
my school and I need alot of infomation.. and I can't
find any interesting information.. well.. thanks
anyways.. ><

What exactly do you want to know?

Xiong nu disappeared from the charts of the history and on the West appeared various names like Chionites, Chunni, Hun Horse Tribes, Alchoni, Camel Hun Tribes etc.

We should also note that Xiongnu's Ancient Chinese form was Hongnu, whereas a Soghdian letter from the 4th century describing the Xiongnu sacking of Luoyang names the Xiongnu as "Huns".



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Posted By: Temujin
Date Posted: 05-Dec-2004 at 16:06
Originally posted by ihsan

I thought it was the Yuezhi, mentioned in Greek as Tokharoi, that destroyed the Greek Bactrian Kingdom

it was indeed the Sakas, who where in turn themselves driven out by the Yezhi.



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Posted By: ihsan
Date Posted: 06-Dec-2004 at 07:23
Strange; either Grousset somehow missed the Saka or I remember wrong what I read

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Posted By: Temujin
Date Posted: 06-Dec-2004 at 11:50
well yeah, their rule was pretty brief.

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Posted By: warhead
Date Posted: 06-Dec-2004 at 12:08

"Strange; either Grousset somehow missed the Saka or I remember wrong what I read"

 

He missed the sakas, in fact from his book "rise and splendour of the chinese empire" I can say that he THINKS the sakas were the Yue Shi.



Posted By: ihsan
Date Posted: 06-Dec-2004 at 12:41
That is even weirder, so he contradicts with his Empire of the Steppes

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Posted By: Genghis Khan
Date Posted: 06-Dec-2004 at 13:24

i didnt read the first 2 pages, so sorry if you explained this already.

in the chinese archives they said the language of the huns were very similar to the language of a turkic tribe(i dont remember the name of the tribe). the word hun is also a turkic word meaning people or nation. its also said that the trukish came from the far east. the huns did consist of some mongols, but mostly turkish.



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It is not sufficient that I succeed--all others must fail.

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Posted By: ihsan
Date Posted: 06-Dec-2004 at 13:48

Welcome

It's written that the Xiongnu language was the same with the Gaoche language, except a few dialectic/local differences.

Qun and Khun mean "People" in both Turkic and Mongolian.



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Posted By: Dayanhan
Date Posted: 08-Dec-2004 at 04:35

Originally posted by cliveersknell

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.

r's
Clive

That's a very interesting idea. Where did you get this idea?

But, in so far as I remember, Kitan's did not related themseves to Ohaan (Wuhuan).



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Veritas lux mea est!


Posted By: capcartoonist
Date Posted: 10-Dec-2004 at 15:56

The Xiongnu were driven into the central steppes.  The Huns later appeared out of the central steppes.  It is assumed, though not proven, that the Huns descended from the Xiongnu.

As for the makeup of the Hunnish people, it was a catch-all for everyone they came in contact with.  Mongolian features and dialects, Turks, Finns (!), Goths, and what-all.  The Hunnish core was probably Mongolic-Turkic (or Altaic, if you like), which is probably what the Xiongnu were orginally. 



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Cap


Posted By: ihsan
Date Posted: 10-Dec-2004 at 17:48
The real Huns couldn't have been Mongolic, there are no evidences to proove that.

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Posted By: therecanbeonlywar!
Date Posted: 19-Jan-2005 at 19:58

Originally posted by warhead

No, the Saka did, they were pushed out of Sungaria by the Yue Zhi and went south to destroy the Bactrian kingdom. The Yue Zhi came later and pushed out the Saka, when Zhang Qian went westwards, the Yue Zhi's base of operation was already around Bactria.

Really? Care to elaborate more on the Sakas of Dzungaria? I haven't encountered any sources (at least online) that directly say the Sakas controlled territories in Dzungaria. The kurgans in the Altai area were similar to the Scythians culturally but they were technically not Scythians, at least not racially.



Posted By: warhead
Date Posted: 23-Jan-2005 at 20:39

"Really? Care to elaborate more on the Sakas of Dzungaria? I haven't encountered any sources (at least online) that directly say the Sakas controlled territories in Dzungaria. The kurgans in the Altai area were similar to the Scythians culturally but they were technically not Scythians, at least not racially."

 

The primary sources listed come from Shi Ji, the Sakas are known as the Se in Chinese. They were first pushed out by the Wusun and later the Yue Shi. Nothing more is recorded other than greek record at the same time recording the sakas overruning the Greco Bactrian kingdoms. So the Se in all probability is the same people as the Sakas which the Greek and chinese record of geography seem to confirm and its already quite established in the historical society.



Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 25-Jan-2005 at 13:03

Originally posted by warhead

The primary sources listed come from Shi Ji, the Sakas are known as the Se in Chinese. They were first pushed out by the Wusun and later the Yue Shi. Nothing more is recorded other than greek record at the same time recording the sakas overruning the Greco Bactrian kingdoms. So the Se in all probability is the same people as the Sakas which the Greek and chinese record of geography seem to confirm and its already quite established in the historical society.

Most sources I've encountered state that the Sae peoples (I do not doubt they were most likely Saka tribes) originally lived in the territory that were later dominated by the Wu Sun, an area encompassing the Ili River Valley and the Issyk-Kul region. They were later driven out of the area circa 177/176 BC by invading Da (Major) Yue Zhi from Gansu, causing some Sakas to cross the Hindu Kush while some migrated to Bactria. Later, the Wu Sun came and drove out the Major Yue Zhi circa 130 BC, causing them to migrate to the Amu Darya valley, as ch.123 in the Shiji describes. Primary sources like the Han Shu place the Wu Sun capital 8,900 li from Chang'an, so it was, as Wylie estimates, probably around Kulja, east of Lake Issyk-Kul, or could have been around modern Karakol. The Wu Sun could have controlled small parts of the Dzungar Basin in the far west but probably not the majority of it.



Posted By: therecanbeonlywar!
Date Posted: 25-Jan-2005 at 19:51
Ok. I am actually "newuser". I was typing the reply at school today and when I logged on to my school account and went online to AE, I was logged on to AE already as "newuser" (for some unknown reason), whoever created that account (maybe I forgot that it was my account, dunno). For the sake of convenience, I just used that username and typed in my reply.


Posted By: Rava
Date Posted: 31-Jan-2005 at 09:07

In one of interesting linguistic books I have found following iranian influence present in slavonic languages:

gunja, primary meaning probably ' fur coat, plaid'. Old russian gnja, ukrainian hnja, polish gunia, bulgarian gnja, serbo-croatian gûnj.

Probably its from old iranian: *gauna-, awestan.: gaōna -"Hair".

We know that for the Persians the term Xyōn was generalized as "nomad tribe from the North" and there were some following waves of the conquerors. In Avestan texts these nomads were called H'yaona. Could somebody tell me if the avestan word H'yaona is identical with gaōna ? We also know that in some turkic inscriptions the word Hun appeared in form Gunna. What do you think of this thesis. Huns as the nomads using saddle cloths, wool plaids or something like that.



Posted By: ihsan
Date Posted: 01-Feb-2005 at 12:49
The word Gunna is not avaible in Turkic inscriptions. In Old Turkic, words don't start with "G/Gh".

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Posted By: warhead
Date Posted: 02-Feb-2005 at 00:13
Yes, the Wusun most probably only had western sungaria


Posted By: cattus
Date Posted: 02-Feb-2005 at 00:26
Originally posted by ihsan

That is even weirder, so he contradicts with his Empire of the Steppes


enjoy thumbing through this book, it is so out of date..
it must be. I wonder overall, what percentage of it is accurate.

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Posted By: ihsan
Date Posted: 04-Feb-2005 at 14:48
My course teacher once said 60% of it is still accurate.

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Posted By: coolstorm
Date Posted: 06-Feb-2005 at 22:46
The Hun tribes, or as the Chinese called them the Xiongnu or Xiongnu stemmed basically from the Siberian branch of the Mongolian race. During the third and second centuries BCE they rose to great power and became a tribal confederation. During Emperor Mo-tun reign (208-175 BCE), the Xiongnu were at the zenith of their might and occupied a huge territory from Lake Baikal on the north to the Ordos plateau on the south and the Liao River on the east. By 55-34 BCE their political influence reached as far as the lower Volga and the Ureal foothills. This expansion westwards significantly increased the trade with the western world. The trade route was leading now from the west through the northern oasis of east Turkestan to the Xiongnus' headquarters in north Mongolia and southward to north China.

The basis of the Xiongnus' economy was herding, mostly pastoral nomads who lived in felt-cobbled tents, using bow and arrow from horseback. By the first century BCE there were also large settled populations with well-developed agriculture of millet, barley and wheat. The production of crafts flourished as wll, iron and bronze was smelted in their workshops and fine tools, weaponry, household utensils, jewelry and ceramics were produced.

Chinese sources inform us that the Xiongnu worshiped the sun, moon, heaven, earth, and to their ancestors. They had shamans or medicine men who had great influence over the tribesmen. The horse played a leading role in the herder's migration, hunting and war. In special ceremonies they sacrificed white horses and drank the blood. When a man died his widows were married either to a younger brother or a son. When a great chief died, concubines and retainers were often killed and buried with him. The Xiongnu apparently had no writing. It is believed that they spoke one of the Turkic languages (Guniley, 1960, pp. 48-49; Meanchen-Helfen, 1973, pp. 376-443). However, the question of language is far from being resolved.

During the newly established Chinese Han dynasty (AD 206-220), China expanded its borders and the Xiongnu empire lost ground. Weakened by the loss of men and animals because of their constant battles, and the split by internal dissension, the tribes of the confederation began one by one to accept a position of vassalage under China. The northern Xiongnu moved from Outer Mongolia into what was than Dzaungaria, where they conquered a new but short lived empire. With the beheading of their leader by a Chinese army the group disappeared from history.

The southern Xiongnu, who replaced their northern kindred in Outer Mongolia, remained at peace with China for some years. With the turn of the Christian Era these Xiongnu extended their power west into Dzungaria and reasserted their independence from China, although some tribes along the borderlands remained vassals of the Chinese and served as buffers against their independent kinsmen. In the first of this millenium the Hsien Pei, a Tungusic or Mongol people, appeared north of China and conquered Mongolia, forcing the independent Xiongnu into Dzungaria. A century later the Hsien Pei also gained control of Dzungaria. The Xiongnu who had remained on the borders of China lingered on in history until the fifth century. Those who were forced out of Dzungaria by the Hsien Pei disappeared from notice in A.D. 170.



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Posted By: coolstorm
Date Posted: 07-Feb-2005 at 16:05
Attila the Hun
 
I had some reservation as to the true nature of the Huns who invaded Europe. The popular history account says that Western Huns pushed their way into Europe after being pressured by the Ruruan or Rouran (Juan-Juans). http://www.fernweb.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/mf/people.htm" target=new>http://www.fernweb.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/mf/people.htm claimed that the Huns "went north-west in search of new homes. They found their way into the valley of the Volga and, in the second half of the 4th Century, attacked the Alans (a people related to the Sarmatians, who lived between the Volga and the Don). After routing the Alans, they then went on to conquer the Ostrogoths and drive the Visigoths westwards." (Sarmatians, famous for the female warriors who had a tradition of ironing out one nipple of baby girls at birth, could be the so-called 'N Guo', i.e., women statelet.)
 
From AD 91 to 4th-5th century, the traces of the Western Huns were unknown to Chinese records. On record would be the stories of Ruruan [Rou-ran] and Nie-ban. In my opinion, the Ruruans were more Hunnic than those peoples they pushed out. In the
http://www.uglychinese.org/uygur.htm - Turk/Uygur section, we covered the Ruruan origin and their absorbing remnant Huns and Gao-che people. Western records showed the Attila Huns were extermely barbaric, unlike their Asian kinsmen who, after hundreds of years of co-living with Chinese and generations of inter-marriages with the Chinese, had become very much a semi-sedentary civilized quazi-Chinese.
 
During the second major Hunnic split of AD 89, the Chanyu of Northern Huns fled westward to the ancient Kang-chu Statelet, after they were defeated by General Dou Xian and Dou's Southern Hun allies at Jiluoshan Mountains. In AD 91, General Dou Xian mounted another deadly campaign against the Northern Huns. Northern Huns hence began a migration that would lead to the chain reaction to the West. Scholar Luo Xianglin stated that the Huns split into two groups: Ye-da [White Huns] posing threat to Sassanian Dynasty to the northeast of today's Iran, and western offshoot moving to south of Ural Mountain. Luo Xianglin further stated that the Western Huns, under Balamir, due to a famine, relocated towards Europe in AD 372, conquering Eastern Goths and driving away Western Goths. Balamir, after conquering the territories north of Danube, received the tributes from Roman Emperor. Balamir's son would be Attila who, with 700000 army, campaigned against East Roman Empire in AD 447 and attacked Western Roman Empire in AD 450. (Western Roman Emperor Odoacer was driven off by the Goths in AD 476.)
 
Nie-Ban Huns
In the west, the descendants of those Huns would set up a country called Nie-Ban (a word that was used for Nirvana), and the Nie-ban Huns despised the Ruruans for their hygiene. The Huns thought they were much more civilized than the Ruruan. This is especially true of the Southern Huns who had been relocated to the Hetao Areas or the Ordos Plains.
 
The timing of the Hunnic western thrust in 4th century AD does not conform to the Hunnic Empire splitting in 51 BC or 89 AD. Western history books said that the Hunnic empire split into two hordes in 51 BC, with the Eastern Horde subject to China. The western Huns they referred to here must belong to Hunnic 'Chanyu Zhizhi' who, around 53 BC, hearing that 'Huhanye Chanyu' obtained the support of the Han Chinese, sent his son to Han Court as a hostage as well. Zhizhi, being afraid of Han for his killing Han emissary, later relocated to the west, namely, the ancient Jiankun Statelet. This relocation also had to do with the request from Kangju king who intended to attack the Wusun Statelet with Huns' assistance. Then governor-general Gan Yansou answered the call from Wusun and sent 6 columns of armies to defeat Kangju and 'Zhizhi Chanyu'. Zhizhi's descendants would later call themselves the Kirghiz, a mutation in the pronunciation of 'Zhizhi'.
 
In AD 48, the Hunnic Empire formally dissolved due to internal fights. In Chinese records, two groups of Huns would be known, Southern Huns and the Northern Huns. Around AD 89, General Dou Xian, under the order of his empress sister, led a huge army comprising of armies from Beijing area and the Southern Hun allies, had a decisive battle with the Northern Huns at Jiluoshan Mountains. Han army chased the Huns deep into the northwest territories, defeated 81 Hunnic tribes, and captured over 200 thousand Huns. History of the Northern Dynasties recorded that the Chanyu of Northern Huns fled westward to the ancient Kang-chu Statelet, while the remaining weak and elder Huns relocated to the north of the Chouci Statelet. Scholar Luo Xianglin stated that in AD 91 [3rd year of Empror Hedi's Yonghe Era], General Dou Xian mounted another deadly campaign against the Northern Huns. Northern Huns hence began a migration that would lead to the chain reaction to the West.


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Posted By: Koltigin
Date Posted: 09-Feb-2005 at 18:01

Hi Everybody,

I am a new user, and the amount of information presented in this discussion has JUST AMAZED ME!

I want to thank you all for such a nice thread. I am quite interested in the origins of Turks and the diversion of language families in the steppes of Middle Asia. Being very poorly-informed on the issue compared to you guys , instead of babling here, I would like to ask for some suggestions as to what to read on the topic.

I'd greatly appreciate the names of books or authors on Turks or Turkic languages if you can give me couple of them.

Thanks all,

Murat.



Posted By: Sikander
Date Posted: 13-Feb-2005 at 17:16

 Huuuummm, I also thought that the Yue Chi, or Kushan, where Iranic, but now you tell me that they where Tocharians, i.e., not iranic.... so, who where the Tocharians?

Sikander

 



Posted By: Temujin
Date Posted: 14-Feb-2005 at 14:43
the easternmost group of indo-europeans

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Posted By: ihsan
Date Posted: 26-Feb-2005 at 17:37
Well I've seen many internet sources saying that the Yuezhi (Ye-chih) were Iranic but in fact they were Tokharians. I don't know what makes those people thingk that the Tokharian Yuezhi were Iranic

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Posted By: ihsan
Date Posted: 26-Feb-2005 at 17:38
About the Tokharians: http://www.oxuscom.com/eyawtkat.htm - http://www.oxuscom.com/eyawtkat.htm

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Posted By: mhtoi163
Date Posted: 24-Feb-2013 at 02:26
I'm really interested in Xiongnu. I read that they don't have literature.What I want to really say is that may be Kachin tribes of Burma would be likely related with southern Xiongnu.I am Kachin and we have no literature before the missionaries from America came.We have a story about wars with Chinese and we had to fled to Northern Burma which was mostly areas of Shan which is really related to Thai in my opinion.
a;So, I would like to ask that is it possible that we and Xiongnu might be related?

b;Is there any characteristics about Xiongnu? Do they have somekind of unique dance?

c;How did they bury the dead people?

We got literature just for about a century ago,by the way.Smile



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