Navigation – Plan du site
Dossier

Qarakhanid Studies

A View from the Qara Khitai Edge
Michal Biran
p. 77-89

Notes de l’auteur

I would like to thank Dr. Yuri Pines (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem) for his valuable comments on this study.

Texte intégral

  • 1 For the Qara Khitai see M. Biran, “China, Nomads and Islam:The Qara Khitai (Western Liao) Dynasty”, (...)

1People often confuse the Qarakhanids with the Qara Khitai. Indeed, the two dynasties bore the title “Qara” (black), and ruled roughly the same territory in close chronological proximity. Moreover, from the early twelfth century and until nearly the end of their rule, the Qarakhanids were vassals of the Qara Khitai. Not less significant for the purpose of this study, both dynasties are poorly-documented and therefore have attracted relatively meager scholarly attention, a fact that adds to the general confusion. Despite these similarities, however, there are also obvious differences between the two dynasties. Perhaps the most important one is that the Qarakhanids embraced Islam and became the first Muslim Turkic dynasty, while the Qara Khitai, despite their close familiarity with the Muslim world, continued to adhere to their former religious tradition (of native Khitan religion as well as of Buddhism). Another major difference is that while the Qarakhanids originated in the Steppes, the Qara Khitai came to Central Asia after more than two hundred years during which they had ruled Manchuria, Mongolia and parts of north China as the Liao dynasty (907-1125). Throughout their rule in Central Asia (1124-1218), the Qara Khitai retained several Chinese features and were considered a legitimate Chinese dynasty, known as the Western Liao (Xi Liao), by traditional Chinese historiography. Contemporary Muslim authors, although usually referring to the Western Liao as Qara Khitai or just Khitā, often denote its rulers as “the Chinese”.1 One of the practical implications of this last feature of the Qara Khitai is that it is obvious to any of the still few scholars who deal with the Qara Khitai that they should combine information from Muslim and Chinese sources. This notion is much less obvious to those dealing with the Qarakhanids.

2What this short and somewhat impressionistic study, deriving mainly from my own work on the Qara Khitai, would like to stress, is that in order to write a fuller history of the Qarakhanids, one must also take into account the Chinese sources for Qarakhanid history, both literary and archaeological. Moreover, taking into account the eastern and western sources can also illuminate an important, albeit frequently neglected, aspect of Qarakhanid history, namely their role in the Silk Road trade and in their contemporary world system.

3An important reservation should be added at this stage:Chinese materials are unlikely to create a revolution in Qarakhanid studies. The archaeological literature is not abundant, and Chinese literary sources on the Qarakhanids are fragmentary. Like most of the Muslim sources, they were written by people from outside the Qarakhanid realm, who often misunderstood them. Moreover, as will be discussed below, there is no consensus even regarding the question of which Chinese designations refer to the Qarakhanids. Yet, ignoring the Chinese information, meager as it is, is counter productive, particularly in the light of the paucity of literary sources on the Qarakhanids. Only systematic synthesis of contemporary and later works with the archaeological literature can provide a fuller picture of Qarakhanid history, especially of its economic and intellectual aspects.

The Qarakhanids and China

  • 2 Biran, “China, Nomads and Islam”, pp. 191-99; M. Biran, “Sinicization outside of China:The Case of (...)
  • 3 Maḥmūd Kāshgharī, Compendium of the Turkic Dialects (Dīwān Lughāt al-Turk), trans. R. Dankoff in co (...)
  • 4 B. D. Kochnev, Karakhanidskie monety:Istochnikovedcheskoe i istoricheskoe issledovanie, Moscow, 199 (...)
  • 5 Biran, “China, Nomads and Islam,” pp. 198-200.
  • 6 See, e.g., Wei Liangtao, “Kalahan wangchao yu Song, Liao ji Gaochang Huigu de guanxi”, (On the rela (...)

4Qarakhanid inclusion in the Chinese orbit is much less obvious than that of the Qara Khitai. Yet, part of the Qarakhanid territory, and most of the territory of the eastern khanate, are now included in the Chinese province of Xinjiang. Therefore, archaeological and numismatic studies of the remnants of the dynasty are conducted mainly in Chinese. However, the Qarakhanid connection with China is not only a product of modern boundaries. During the early part of the Tang period (618-906), until the battle of Talas in 751, most of what later became the Qarakhanid territories were under Chinese suzerainty as part of the Anxi province of the Tang. In the Qarakhanid realm of the eleventh-twelfth centuries, China, though vaguely known, was closely connected with notions of grandeur and prestige. Most of the Muslim regions subject to the Qarakhanids (e.g., Kashgar, Transoxania) considered themselves to have been parts of China, if not in the present then in the past.2 Moreover, among the Qarakhanid rulers the title Tamghaj (or Ṭabgâch) Khan (Turkic:the Khan of China) was a highly prestigious title, translated as “of great and inveterate rule.”3 The Arabic form of this title, Malik al-mashriq wa’l-Ṣīn (the King of China and the East) also stresses the connection with China. The wide use of the title among Qarakhanid rulers is apparent at least from the early eleventh century, and after the dissolution of the Qarakhanid realm into eastern and western khanates in 1041, Tamghaj Khan was used by most of the rulers of the western khanate, and by several important rulers of the eastern khanate.4 This high status of China in the Qarakhanid realm certainly facilitated the ability of the “Chinese” but non-Muslim Qara Khitai to legitimize their rule among their Muslim subjects.5 It also testifies to the importance the Qarakhanids ascribed to their eastern neighbors. Indeed, the Qarakhanids established commercial and sometimes even matrimonial relations with the Sinitic states of their time:the Khitan state of the Liao (907-1125), and its successor in Manchuria and north China, the Jurchen Jin dynasty (1115-1234), the Han-Chinese Song dynasty (960-1279), and the Tangut state of the Xi Xia centered in Gansu (1032-1227)6. It is from the fragmentary and scattered information in the sources of those dynasties that we can collate some information about the Qarakhanids.

What are the Qarakhanids called in Chinese?

  • 7 Wei Liangtao, “Guanyu Kalahan wangchao qiyuan de ji ge wenti” (Some questions related to the proble (...)
  • 8 For details, see Liu Yingsheng’s article in this volume.
  • 9 Tuo Tuo, Song shi, (Beijing, 1977), ch. 490, pp. 14107, 14117. Wei Liangtao, “Kalahan wangchao qiyu (...)
  • 10 Tuo Tuo, Liao shi, Beijing, 1974, e.g. pp. 35, 47, 91, 93, 100, 130, 133, 140, 142, 148, 161, 232, (...)
  • 11 See Liu Yingsheng’s article in this volume.
  • 12 Qiao Baiquan, “Dashi, Heiyi Dashi, Kalahan wangchao kaoshi,” (Dashi, black-clothes’ Dashi, an inspe (...)
  • 13 See, e.g., Tuo Tuo, Jinshi (Beijing, 1976), ch. 121, p. 2637; Yuan Haowen, Yishan xianshengji (no p (...)
  • 14 O. Pritsak, “Von dem Karluk zu den Karachaniden,” ZDMG, vol. 101 (1951), pp. 294-5 and see the crit (...)

5The contemporary Chinese usages – Kalahan, Halahan or Heihan (black [i.e. Qara] khan) – are transliterations or translations of the modern term Qarakhanids, although the usage Heihan appears at least in two literary works of the Song dynasty.7 Yet in order to find out what Chinese sources have to say about the Qarakhanids, one has first to ascertain what the Qarakhanid were called in Chinese medieval sources. The answer to this question, however, is not at all obvious, and, moreover, is often connected to one of the most highly debated issues in Chinese scholarship on the Qarakhanids, the question of their origins.8 Thus, for example, Wei Liangtao, one of the leading Chinese authorities on the Qarakhanids, identifies them with the names of the Heihan mentioned three times in the official history of the Song dynasty (the Song shi) where it refers to a particular group of Uighurs, that after the dissolution of the Uighur empire in 840 migrated westward, and later settled in Khotan.9 Due to his belief in the Uighur origin of the Qarakhanids, Wei also identified the term Asalan Huigu (the Arslan Uighurs), that appears frequently in the official history of the Liao dynasty, the Liao shi as referring to the Qarakhanids.10 Both conclusions are rejected by Liu Yingsheng.11 Another possible term relating to the Qarakhanids is the more general designation Dashi. Dashi derives from the Arabic nisba of the ‘Tāy tribe (ṭāzî), that eventually developed into the term Tajik. In Chinese it originally meant Arabs or Arabia. Gradually it included the subjects of the Arab empire, including Persians and later Turks. Eventually the term signified Muslims in general. In the Song shi section devoted to the Dashi, the state is defined as originating in Iran (Bosi). yet Qian Baiquan claimed that some of the references to the Dashi in the Song shi actually refer to the Qarakhanids.12 To make things more complicated, Dashi sounds just like the first name of the founder of the Qara Khitai dynasty, Yelii Dashi (1087-1143). Yelti Dashi’s successors also bore his first name as a title, and the Qara Khitai state is often denotes in Chinese sources as “the state of Dashi.”13 Pritsak also tends to identify some early tenth century general references to the Tujue (Turks) as relating to the Qarakhanids.14 Some of those identifications are certainly questionable, and more research is needed to determine whether all or most of them are correct. Those who accept them, however, use the chapters devoted to the Uighurs (Huihu) and the Dashi in the official histories of the Tang (the old and new Tang history, Jiu Tang shu and Xin Tang shu) and the Song as relevant for the Qarakhanids. One may feel on firmer ground when looking at the sections of the Chinese histories that deal with place names in the Qarakhanid territory, most notably Khotan (Yutian). The official histories of the Song and the Liao, as well as the collection of Song memorials the Song huiyao, all have special sections on Khotan, and one can consider their material from the eleventh century onward as relating to the Qarakhanids. Other Qarakhanid cities, such as Kucha (Qiuci) or Balasaghun (Husi woerduo or its variants), are also mentioned in those and other Chinese sources. For example, Balasaghun is mentioned in the official history of the Jin dynasty, the Jin shi, while Khotan is also mentioned in several Song literary works (see above). The information about those places reflects mainly the close commercial and diplomatic relations between Khotan and the Song and Liao states, (or the less frequent relations between Balasaghuni merchants and the Jin). This kind of information is also what can be gleaned from the other Chinese materials in which the other possible Qarakhanid designations appear.

The Archaeological and Numismatic Evidence

  • 15 Jiang Qixiang, Xinjiang Heihan, passim:for later literature on Qarakhanid coins see, e.g., Wang Tao (...)
  • 16 Li Yinping, “Xinjiang Moyu xian chutu de jiaocang tong qian,” (Bronze coins unearthed from a hoard (...)

6As in the western realm of the Qarakhanids, the main remnants of the dynasty in its eastern territories are its coins. Most of the numismatic evidence unearthed before or in the 1980s is neatly summarized in Jiang Qixiang’s monograph on Qarakhanid coins from Xinjiang. The book reviews the findings of the Qarakhanid coins, both the Artux (Atushi) hoard with its 18,000 coins and the smaller hoards found in south Xinjiang, that add up to several few thousand coins. However, most of those coins are undated, and the mint is also lacking in many of them. A considerable number of those coins (about 500) bear the name of Sulaymān Qadr Tamghaj Khan, whom Jiang identifies as Sulaymān b. Yūsuf (1032-1056). The Artux hoard also includes nine coins of the Northern Song dynasty, dated to the period between 1004-1007 (Jingde) and 1111-1117 (Zhenghe), thereby attesting to the commercial relations between the two kingdoms, and to the possible dating of the coins.15 The Moyu hoard unearthed near Khotan in 1992 contains only two Qarakhanid coins but more than 1 000 bronze coins of the Northern Song. This fact encouraged the Khotanese archaeologists to suggest that Song coinage was the currency of the Qarakhanids.16

  • 17 See, e.g., Jiang Qixiang, “Atushi, Kashi, Hetian diqu Qalahan chao yiji diaocha,” (A Survey of the (...)

7The literature dealing with Qarakhanid non-numismatic remains is also very limited. However the findings (in the vicinity of Artux, Kashgar and Khotan) include several buildings, especially Muslim shrines (mazār), most notably the shrine of Artux, allegedly built by Satuq Bughra Khan after he adopted Islam in the early 10th century, as well as glass vessels, copper articles and several kinds of cloth.17

  • 18 For an introduction to the huge collection of Dunhuang manuscripts, the earliest dated from 359 and (...)
  • 19 The Khotanese text was published in 1964 by Bailey, who translated it to English. (H. Bailey, Khota (...)
  • 20 The easiest access to the Dunhuang texts as well as to information on new discoveries from Dunhuang (...)

8Another kind of evidence is provided by the Dunhuang documents.18 Most relevant among them is a Khotanese letter, written in 970 by the king of Khotan and sent to the prince of Shazhou (Dunhuang), which describes the eight-years’ war with the Qarakhanids of Kashgar19. Other Dunhuang documents can also be a source hitherto not widely used for Qarakhanid studies.20

The State of Research

  • 21 See, e.g., Wei Liangtao, “Guanyu Halahan wangchao de shiliao, wenxian ji yanjiu qinkuang,” (On the (...)
  • 22 Edited by Institut Vostokovedeniia AN SSSR and Institut Istorii AN KirgSSR, Moscow, 1973.
  • 23 There is also an Uighur translation of Kashghari’s Dīwān Lughāt al-Turk published in 1981.
  • 24 E.g., B. G. Gafurov, Istoriia Tadzhikskogo naroda, Moscow, 1964; M. P. Viatkin et al (eds.), Istori (...)
  • 25 See Wei Liangtao’s articles mentioned in n. 9 and Hua Tao, loc.cit. Non of those, however, mentions (...)
  • 26 Cf. for example the reference in Jiang Qixiang’s book (n.3) to coins of the eastern khanate found o (...)
  • 27 Wei Liangtao, Kalahari wangchao shi gao (A draft history of the Qarakhanid dynasty), Urumchi, 1986.
  • 28 For a recent attempt of synthesis, heavily drawing on Wei’s studies see, e.g., Li Jinxin, Xinjiang (...)

9So far, the use of Chinese sources for Qarakhanid history has remained almost exclusively in the hands of Chinese scholars. While Chinese scholars are certainly aware of non-Chinese sources and studies on the Qarakhanids,21 though they are not always updated, non-Chinese scholars tend to ignore Chinese materials completely. Chinese scholars have access to Muslim sources on the Qarakhanids directly (as in the case of Hua Tao), or more often through secondary means. These include the collections of sources published in the Soviet Central Asian republics, such as Materialy po istorii Kirgizov i Kirgizii (Information on the history of the Qyrghyz and Qyrghyzstan).22 Although the Russian translations are usually accurate, the reading of selected passages instead of the whole book can sometimes distort the historical context. Another channel to Muslim sources is the use of the ever-growing body of scholarly translations of Muslim literary works to Chinese. Apart from two of the three main Qarakhanid-Turkic literary works (Qutadghu Bilig and ‘Atabat al-Haqā’iq),23 there are Chinese translations of the major works of the Persian historians of the Mongols, Juwaynī and Rashīd al-Dīn, the first at least is crucial for understanding the end of the Qarakhanids;of Jamal Qarshi’s Mulkhaqāt al-ṣurāḥ, that cites from the now lost eleventh century history of Kashgar one of the most detailed descriptions of Satuq’s islamization; and of other important Arabic works such as Mas‘ūdī’s Murūj al-dhahab. Chinese scholars also have access to Muslim sources through the secondary works such as those of Barthold, Pritsak, and the general Soviet works on the histories of the Central Asian peoples and republics24. The Chinese debate on Qarakhanid origins, for example, takes into account the western approaches to the issue, notably Barthold’s Yaghma hypothesis and Pritsak’s Qarluq theory,25 while Central Asian or Western literature ignores the Chinese viewpoint altogether. This is also true in the field of numismatics,26 where certain Russian articles are even translated to Chinese, but not vice versa. It should also be noted that since some of the archaeological and numismatic studies were carried out after the publication of Wei Liangtao’s monograph on the Qarakhanids in 1986,27 and since there has been no serious attempt at a new synthesis of the subject since then, the Chinese numismatic and archaeological materials are not fully used even by Chinese scholars.28

  • 29 For a recent example see, e.g., E.A. Davidovich, “The Karakhanids”, in Asimov and Bosworth, pp. 119 (...)

10What then can Chinese sources and studies on the Qarakhanids add to the general knowledge of this dynasty? Their main contribution is, quite naturally, related to the history of the eastern realm of the Qarakhanid, that later became the eastern khanate, which is usually marginalized in the research literature written outside China.29 Not only can we obtain much more information on the conquest of Khotan, but the social and economic history of the Qarakhanids in general, and the eastern khanate in particular, can also be advanced by the information gained through its coins and other remains. Certainly the old debate on Qarakhanid origins can be enriched, though not necessarily concluded, by adding Chinese views on the subject. Another theme that can greatly benefit from Chinese materials is the Qarakhanid role in the Silk Road trade detected through their connections with the Chinese states.

Qarakhanids, the Silk Road and World System

  • 30 See, e.g., D. Christian, “Silk Roads or Steppe Roads?The Silk Roads in World History,” Journal of W (...)

11Despite the recent “boom” in Silk Road studies, perhaps the most neglected period is that of the tenth till twelfth centuries, a period which is generally described as “a time of decline.” This decline is explained by the dissolution of the Tang dynasty, from the late ninth century, on the one hand, and by the slightly earlier disintegration of the Abbasid Caliphate’s eastern provinces, on the other.30

  • 31 See, e.g., P. Pelliot, Notes on Marco Polo, Paris, 1973, vol. 1, pp. 221ff.
  • 32 See, e.g., P. B. Golden, “The Karakhanids and Early Islam,” in D. Sinor (ed.), The Cambridge Histor (...)

12Certainly east-west contacts were more developed at the height of the Tang or under the Mongol world empire. Yet describing the tenth to twelfth centuries simply as a “time of decline,” contradicts at least two other oftenrepeated facts. The first is that the name Khitai (or Cathay), originating in the nomadic Khitans who ruled Mongolia, Manchuria and parts of north China for more than 200 years (907-1125), and flourished in Central Asia as the Qara Khitai for nearly a century afterwards, became the standard name for China in Russia, West Asia and Europe.31 The second, is that this same period was also a time of great Islamic expansion to the east, which led to the conversion of many Central Asian Turks, including of course the Qarakhanids.32 It is therefore clear that cross-cultural contacts continued during this period, and with quite a significant scope, though the political fragmentation and the nature of the sources make it more difficult to follow them closely.

  • 33 Sokolovskaya and Rougeulle, pp. 87-98; “Saheng Tayi, Fukangxian, Sangongxiang Xi Liao tong jing,” ( (...)
  • 34 Ibn Isfandiyār, Ta’rīkh-i Ṭabaristān (n.p.s., 1941), vol. 2, p. 130; Nīshāpūrī, Saljūq nāmah, Tehra (...)
  • 35 Yuan Haowen, ch.1, p.2a.
  • 36 Tuo Tuo, Jin shi, ch. 50, p. 1114; ch. 121, p. 2637; ch. 134, p. 2870.
  • 37 See E. I. Kychanov (trans. and ed.), Izmenennyi i zanovo utverzhdennyi kodeks devisa tsarstvovaniia (...)
  • 38 See in general Biran, “China, Nomads and Islam,” pp. 271-73.

13In order to reconstruct this “neglected Silk Road,” one has to combine information from both east and west, using literary and archaeological sources together. My own work on the Qara Khitai, that deals with the twelfth century, suggests that Jin and Song artifacts found their way to Balasaghun and Samarkand,33 and that Khitāirobes were highly appreciated among the Saljūqs and the Khwārizm shāhs.34 Qara Khitai wine, on the other hand, was warmly welcomed in Jin markets,35 and Muslim Balasaghuni merchants, as well as other Qara Khitai subjects, arrived at Jin markets, though not regularly.36 Most of the Qara Khitai eastern trade (and therefore also Qarakhanid trade) seems to have been conducted through the Tangut state,37 and Muslim traders from Bukhara, Khojand and Turkestan also conducted trade with Mongolia.38

  • 39 See, e.g.,Chinese studies mentioned in n. 6 above.
  • 40 For locating recent literature on Liao tombs see e.g. the annual Zhongguo kaogu xue nianjian (Yearb (...)
  • 41 Ma Wenkuan, “Liao mo Liao ta chu tu de Yiselan boli: Jiangtan Liao yu Yiselan shijie de guangxi,” ( (...)

14The Khitan Liao dynasty, the forefathers of the Qara Khitai, probably played a prominent role in the Silk Road trade of the tenth to early-twelfth centuries. Although there are Chinese studies on the Khitans’ role in the Silk Road,39 the reconstruction of Central Asian trade with China in this period could benefit greatly not only from taking into account the remains in Xinjiang, but also from a fuller use of the vast materials from the Liao tombs, a significant number of which have been excavated in the last decades in north China.40 The rich findings of the Liao tombs include several artifacts of Muslim origin. A first attempt to exploit this material is Ma Wenkuan’s article, which focuses on Islamic glass vessels found in Liao tombs and pagodas, and concludes that they reached the Liao through the Qarakhanids.41

  • 42 Though not necessarily. See, e.g., the famous remark of Wugusun Zhongduan, who in 1220 was sent by (...)
  • 43 For a preliminary list see the relevant entries in C. Brockelman, Geschichte der arabischen Littera (...)
  • 44 See, e.g. Brockelman, vol. 1, pp.548-9, 568.
  • 45 Qāḍî Khān, Fatāwa Qāḍî Khān (Cairo, 1892-3), vol. 1, p. 585. Even if this legal discussion began be (...)

15For the question of islamization in this period, Chinese works are usually less useful.42 For clarifying this aspect, or perhaps the intellectual atmosphere of the Qarakhanid realm in general, a closer look at the Muslim religious works from the Qarakhanid period can be helpful. Those Arabic texts, many of them still in manuscript, include several Ḥanafî legal works,43 as well as treatises dealing with religious concepts; books of sermons; theological works etc.,44 most of them written under the western Qarakhanids. While many of these works are liable simply to reproduce former works or to ignore contemporary events completely, some can shed a certain light on the issues involved. For example, Kitab al-siyar, part of the famous legal work of Qāḍî Khan, that was composed in late twelfth century Farghāna, contains an indirect evidence of religious syncretism. While discussing the issue of whom Muslims are allowed to take captive in dār al-ḥarb, Qāḍî Khan insisted that they were allowed to capture those who fasted, read the Qur’ān, but also worshipped idols or venerated their own kings.45 Qādî Khan might not have treated those syncretics as Muslims, but what is important for us here is that we have a concrete proof of the often claimed (but rarely documented) notion of syncretism (people using Muslim rites together with their own), as a stage in the islamization process.

  • 46 Shahab Ahmed, “Mapping the World of a Scholar in Sixth/Twelfth Century Bukhara:Regional Tradition i (...)

16A much better example of the possible use of Muslim religious works as a source for Qarakhanid religious (and political) history, though not with regard to islamization, is given in Shahab Ahmed’s recent study of al-Faryābī’s Kitāb khāliṣat al-ḥaqā’iq, written in Bukhara in 1200A.D. Faryābī’s book on morality and piety was dedicated to a Bukharan ṣadr ṣudūr al-‘ālam, that Ahmed identifies with the Burhānid ṣadr, Muḥammad II b. Aḥmad (d.1219). Yet the author also praises Ibrāhīm, the Sultan of Samarkand, thereby asserting the rule of the Qarakhanid Ibrāhīm b. Ḥusayn in Bukhara at that time. More important, al-Faryābī’s book contains a bibliography of the works on which he drew for compiling it. By analyzing this bibliography and identifying the scholars on Faryābī’s list, Ahmed concluded that the great majority of those scholars came from Transoxania and Khurāsān, and that a regional north-eastern Islamic tradition evolved, especially in the eleventh-twelfth centuries, in the western Qarakhanid realm.46 The use of Muslim religious works therefore can result in a better understanding of the intellectual background of an important segment of the western Qarakhanid elite, and in broadening the discussion of Qarakhanid intellectual culture, which often tends to emphasize only the major two surviving Turkic works (or three if we count the ‘Atabat al-ḥaqā’iq as well).

  • 47 Ahmed, 43.

17The intellectual boundaries, just like the trade routes, are not identical with political boundaries (the Qarakhanids never ruled in Khurāsān, for example),47 but the general context in both east and west, in which the Qarakhanid were active, is essential for understanding their history, and their role on the frontiers of both China and the Muslim world.

18To sum up, the reconstruction of Qarakhanid history, just like that of the Qara Khitai, is certainly not going to be an easy task. It requires the use of several languages and disciplines, and the painstaking work of combining fragmentary bits of information and trying to make sense out of them. Yet, the juxtaposition of eastern and western information, including both a fresh look on old sources and a first look on new kinds of sources, can move Qarakhanid studies at least one step forward.

Haut de page

Annexe

GLOSSARY OF CHINESE CHARACTERS

Asalan Huihu: 阿薩蘭回鶻
Atushi: 阿圖什
Bosi: 波斯
Dashi (Arabs, Muslim Qarakhanids): 大食
Dashi (Western Liao): 大石
Dunhuang: 敦煌
Halahan: 哈喇汗
Hei han (as in the Song shi): 黑韓
Hei han (black han): 黑汗
Heiyi Dashi: 黑依大食
Hua Tao: 華濤
Huihu: 回鶻
Husi woerduo (Gusi eluduo): 虎思斡耳朵 (骨思訛魯朵)
Jiang Qixiang: 蔣其詳
Jin: 金Jin shi:
Jingde: 景德Jiu Tang shu: 舊唐書
Kalahan: 喀喇汗
Liao: 遼Liao shi: 遼史
Ma Wenkuan : 馬文寬
Moyu: 墨玉
Qiuci: 龜茲
Shazhou: 沙州
Song: 宋Song huiyao: 宋會要Song shi: 宋史
Tujue: 突厥
Wei Liangtao: 魏良弢
Xi Liao: 西遼
Xi Xia: 西夏Xin Tangshu: 唐書
Yelü Dashi: 耶律大石
Yutian (Khotan): 于闐
Zhenghe: 政和

Haut de page

Notes

1 For the Qara Khitai see M. Biran, “China, Nomads and Islam:The Qara Khitai (Western Liao) Dynasty”, unpublished Ph.D dissertation, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2000; Ji Zongan, Xi Liao shi lun:Yelü Dashi yanjiu (Historical essay on the Western Liao:Yelü Dashi’s studies), Urumchi, 1996; Wei Liangtao, Xi Liao shi gao (A draft history of the Western Liao), Beijing, 1991; Wei Liangtao, Xi Liao shi yanjiu (Studies on Western Liao history), Ningxia, 1987; G. G. Pikov, Zapadnye Kidani, Novosibirsk, 1989; K. A. Wittfogel and Feng Chia-sheng, History of Chinese Society:Liao (907-1125), Philadelphia, 1949, pp. 619-74; V. V. Barthold, Turkestan down to the Mongol Invasion, 4th ed., London, 1968, pp. 323-80.

2 Biran, “China, Nomads and Islam”, pp. 191-99; M. Biran, “Sinicization outside of China:The Case of the Western Liao,” paper read at the 51st annual meeting of the American Association of Asian Studies, Boston, March 1999.

3 Maḥmūd Kāshgharī, Compendium of the Turkic Dialects (Dīwān Lughāt al-Turk), trans. R. Dankoff in collaboration with J. Kelly, Cambridge, Mass., 1982-85, vol. 1, p. 341. Tamghaj derives from the name of the Tabgach, the royal clan of the Northern Wei dynasty (386-534), transcribed Tuoba in Chinese. It was the common Turkic name for China in the Orkhon inscriptions and till the early 13th century. See Jiang Qixiang, Xinjiang Hei Han chao qianbi (Coins of the Qarakhanid dynasty of Xinjiang), Urumchi, 1990, pp. 106-7; Zhou Jianqi, “Guanyu Taohuashi,” (On Tamghaj), Nei Menggu daxue xuebao, 1985, no. 4, pp. 57-65; Biran, “China, Nomads and Islam,” pp.196-8.

4 B. D. Kochnev, Karakhanidskie monety:Istochnikovedcheskoe i istoricheskoe issledovanie, Moscow, 1993, pp. 22-3; Jiang Qixiang, p.107; Biran, “China, Nomads and Islam,” p. 197.

5 Biran, “China, Nomads and Islam,” pp. 198-200.

6 See, e.g., Wei Liangtao, “Kalahan wangchao yu Song, Liao ji Gaochang Huigu de guanxi”, (On the relations between the Qarakhanids and the Liao, Song and the Uighurs of Gaochang), Zhongya xuekan, vol.1 (1983), pp. 212-23; Qian Baiquan, “Dashi yu Liao chao de jiaowang he Yelü Dashi de xizheng” (The contacts between the Liao dynasty and the Qarakhanids and their connection to Yelü Dashi’s journey westward) Zhongguo gudai shi (er), 1995, no.6, pp. 24-31; Zhang Yu, “Caoyuan Sichou zhi lu – Qidan yu Xi Yu” (The grassland Silk Road:The Khitans and the Western Regions), in:Nei Menggu dongbu qu kaogu xue wenhua yanjiu xue, Beijing, 1991, pp. 110-18; D. Sinor, “The Kitans and the Kara Kitay,” in M. S. Asimov and C.E. Bosworth (eds.), History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Vol. IV:The Age of Acheivements 750AD to the end of the Fifteenth Century. Part One:The Historical, Social and Economic Setting, Paris, 1998, pp. 227-42; L. Sokolovskaya and A. Rougelle, “Stratified Finds of Chinese Porcelains from Pre-Mongol Samarqand (Afrasiyab),” Bulletin of the Asia Institute, vol. 4 (1992), pp. 87-98.

7 Wei Liangtao, “Guanyu Kalahan wangchao qiyuan de ji ge wenti” (Some questions related to the problem of Qarakhanid origin), Minzu yanjiu, 2000, no.4, p. 61. The two works are Cai Tao’s Tiewei shan congtan (Collection of talks from the Iron mountains surrounding this mundane world) written in south China c. 1130 and Zhang Shinan’s Youhuan jiwen (Zhang Shinan’s literary collection), also written in south China in the early 13th century. Both mention the term as a title of the ruler of Khotan. On those works see, e.g., E. Hervouet, ed. A Sung Bibliography (Hong Kong, 1978), pp. 105, 339-40. The Heihan mentioned in the Song shi is written differently (see glossary).

8 For details, see Liu Yingsheng’s article in this volume.

9 Tuo Tuo, Song shi, (Beijing, 1977), ch. 490, pp. 14107, 14117. Wei Liangtao, “Kalahan wangchao qiyuan Huihu shuo bu zheng,” (Supplement to the hypothesis of the Uighur origin of the Qarakhanids), Lishiyanjiu, 1983, no. 3, pp. 112-19; Wei Liangtao, “Guanyu Kalahan wangchao qiyuan,” pp. 59-60.

10 Tuo Tuo, Liao shi, Beijing, 1974, e.g. pp. 35, 47, 91, 93, 100, 130, 133, 140, 142, 148, 161, 232, 245, 267, 429, 756, 1125, 1373, 1382. Wei Liangtao, “Kalahan wangchao yu Song, Liao”, pp. 212-23.

11 See Liu Yingsheng’s article in this volume.

12 Qiao Baiquan, “Dashi, Heiyi Dashi, Kalahan wangchao kaoshi,” (Dashi, black-clothes’ Dashi, an inspective factualization of the Qarakhanid dynasty), Minzu yanjiu, 1995, no. 1, pp. 75-82. A term equivalent to the “black clothes” Dashi appears in a Dunhuang Khotanese text that relates the Qarakhanid war with Khotan, about which see below; in the Song shi, ch. 490, p.14118, the same term refers to the Abbasid dynasty (750-1258), famous by its black flags.

13 See, e.g., Tuo Tuo, Jinshi (Beijing, 1976), ch. 121, p. 2637; Yuan Haowen, Yishan xianshengji (no place stated, 1850), ch.1, p. 2a; Wu Guangcheng, Xi Xia shu shi, Taibei, 1968, ch. 38, p.10b.

14 O. Pritsak, “Von dem Karluk zu den Karachaniden,” ZDMG, vol. 101 (1951), pp. 294-5 and see the criticism of this identification in Hua Tao, “Kalahan chaowang shizushu wenti yanjiu,” (On the Origins of the Qarakhanids), Yuanshiji beifang minzu shi yanjiu jikan, vol. 12-13 (1990), p. 111.

15 Jiang Qixiang, Xinjiang Heihan, passim:for later literature on Qarakhanid coins see, e.g., Wang Tao, “Xin faxian de yi bi Taohuashi Kehan qianbi”, (Newly found coin of Tamghaj Khaqan), Xinjiang qianbi, 1996, no.3.

16 Li Yinping, “Xinjiang Moyu xian chutu de jiaocang tong qian,” (Bronze coins unearthed from a hoard in Moyu county, Xinjiang), Xinjiang wenwu, 1996, no. 1, pp. 64-68.

17 See, e.g., Jiang Qixiang, “Atushi, Kashi, Hetian diqu Qalahan chao yiji diaocha,” (A Survey of the ruins of Karakhan [sic] period in Artux, Kashgar and Khotan perfectures), in Xinjiang wenwu kaogu xin shouhuo, 1979-1989 (New achievements in archaeological research in Xinjiang during the time span 1979-1989), Urumchi, 1995, pp. 582-92; Li Yinping, “Heihan wangchao shiqi de liang jian tongqi,” (Two copper articles of the Qarakhanids), Xinjiang wenwu, 1996, n° 3, pp. 84-87.

18 For an introduction to the huge collection of Dunhuang manuscripts, the earliest dated from 359 and the latest from 1196, which were discovered in the Mogao caves in the early twentieth century see, e.g., E. Wilkinson, Chinese History:A Manual, Cambridge, Mass., 1998, 791-99 and the references there.

19 The Khotanese text was published in 1964 by Bailey, who translated it to English. (H. Bailey, Khotanese Texts vol. 2 [1964], pp.125-29). In 1984 it was translated to Chinese, and published in the periodical Lishi dili (1984, no.3).

20 The easiest access to the Dunhuang texts as well as to information on new discoveries from Dunhuang is through the International Dunhuang Project Website (http://idp.bl.uk).

21 See, e.g., Wei Liangtao, “Guanyu Halahan wangchao de shiliao, wenxian ji yanjiu qinkuang,” (On the historical sources, documents and the state of research on the Qarakhanid dynasty), Xinjiang daxue xuebao, 1982, pp. 43-54.

22 Edited by Institut Vostokovedeniia AN SSSR and Institut Istorii AN KirgSSR, Moscow, 1973.

23 There is also an Uighur translation of Kashghari’s Dīwān Lughāt al-Turk published in 1981.

24 E.g., B. G. Gafurov, Istoriia Tadzhikskogo naroda, Moscow, 1964; M. P. Viatkin et al (eds.), Istoriia Kirgizii, Frunze, 1956; Akademiia Nauk Kazakhskoj SSR. Istoriia Kazakhskoj SSR, Almaty, 1979. Several of Barthold’s work, including A ShortHistory of Turkestan and Zwölf Vorlesungen über die Geschichte der Türken Mittelasiens were translated into Chinese in the 1980s.

25 See Wei Liangtao’s articles mentioned in n. 9 and Hua Tao, loc.cit. Non of those, however, mentions later developments on the subject, such as Karaev’s Cigil hypothesis (O. Karaev, Istoriia Karakhanidskogo kaganata [Frunze, 1983], 74-80; I never saw this monograph mentioned in Chinese studies), or Kochnev’s recent contribution (B. D. Kochnev, “The Origins of the Qarakhanids:A Reconsideration,” Der Islam, vol. 73 [1996], pp. 352-7). I did not, however, have access to Hua Tao’s recent book (published in 2000, and see Liu Yingsheng’s article in this volume), which might be more updated.

26 Cf. for example the reference in Jiang Qixiang’s book (n.3) to coins of the eastern khanate found outside of China (see especially the table in pp. 36-43, based on the works of Fedorov, Davidovich etc.), with Kochnev’s article on the eastern khanate that ignores Chinese material all-together. (B. D. Kochnev, “The Trade Relations of Eastern Turkestan and Central Asia in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries according to Numismatic Data,” Silk Road Art and Archaeology, vol. 3 (1993/4), pp. 277-89.

27 Wei Liangtao, Kalahari wangchao shi gao (A draft history of the Qarakhanid dynasty), Urumchi, 1986.

28 For a recent attempt of synthesis, heavily drawing on Wei’s studies see, e.g., Li Jinxin, Xinjiang Yiselan hanchao shilue (An outline history of the Muslim khanates of Xinjiang), Beijing, 1999), pp. 2-100.

29 For a recent example see, e.g., E.A. Davidovich, “The Karakhanids”, in Asimov and Bosworth, pp. 119-44.

30 See, e.g., D. Christian, “Silk Roads or Steppe Roads?The Silk Roads in World History,” Journal of World History, vol. 11 (2000), pp. 1-26, who hardly treats the period between the Tang and the Mongols; M. Rossabi, “The Decline of the Central Asian Caravan Trade,” in G. Seaman (ed.) Ecology and Empire, Los Angeles, 1989, p.81; J. Bohavia, The Silk Road, 6th edition, Hong Kong, 1999, 29-30. Moreover, even books that specifically deal with this period usually hardly mention the Qarakhanids as participants in the medieval world system. Thus, Bently does not mention the Qarakhanids at all in his discussion of the period of 1000-1350AD (J. Bentley, Old World Encounters, Oxford, 1993, pp. 111-64; the same is true for Liu Xinru, Silk and Religion:An Exploration of Material Life and the Thought of People_AD 600-1200, Oxford, 1998, whose only reference to the Muslim world between the 10th-12th centuries is on p.184; see also the very short note in LiuYingsheng, Sichou wenhua:Caoyuan juan (The Culture of the Silk Road:The Grassland), Zhejiang, 1995, pp. 234-6.

31 See, e.g., P. Pelliot, Notes on Marco Polo, Paris, 1973, vol. 1, pp. 221ff.

32 See, e.g., P. B. Golden, “The Karakhanids and Early Islam,” in D. Sinor (ed.), The Cambridge History of Early Inner Asia, Cambridge, 1990, pp. 343-70.

33 Sokolovskaya and Rougeulle, pp. 87-98; “Saheng Tayi, Fukangxian, Sangongxiang Xi Liao tong jing,” (A Western Liao bronze mirror of the Sangong village in the Fukang county), in Zhongguo kaogu xue nianjian, 1993, Beijing, 1995, pp. 265-6; Bernshtam, Trudy Semirechenskoj arkheologicheskoj expeditsii Chujskaia dolina, Moscow, 1950, pp. 47-55, 139-42.

34 Ibn Isfandiyār, Ta’rīkh-i Ṭabaristān (n.p.s., 1941), vol. 2, p. 130; Nīshāpūrī, Saljūq nāmah, Tehran, 1954, p.74.

35 Yuan Haowen, ch.1, p.2a.

36 Tuo Tuo, Jin shi, ch. 50, p. 1114; ch. 121, p. 2637; ch. 134, p. 2870.

37 See E. I. Kychanov (trans. and ed.), Izmenennyi i zanovo utverzhdennyi kodeks devisa tsarstvovaniia nebesnoe protsvetanie (1149-1169), Moscow, 1987, vol. 2, pp. 225-27 (ch. 7, art. 440), and the discussion in Biran, “China, Nomads and Islam,” p. 272.

38 See in general Biran, “China, Nomads and Islam,” pp. 271-73.

39 See, e.g.,Chinese studies mentioned in n. 6 above.

40 For locating recent literature on Liao tombs see e.g. the annual Zhongguo kaogu xue nianjian (Yearbook of Chinese archaeology), and since 1996 also the periodical Archaeology and Art Index published in Hong Kong. For an attempt to analyze the materials in Liao tombs (though without any connection to the Qarakhanids or the Muslim world) see Tsao Hsingyuan, “From Appropriation to Possession:A Study of the Cultural Identity of the Liao through their pictorial Art”, unpublished Ph.D dissertation, Stanford, 1996.

41 Ma Wenkuan, “Liao mo Liao ta chu tu de Yiselan boli: Jiangtan Liao yu Yiselan shijie de guangxi,” (Islamic glass unearthed in Liao tombs and pagodas:the relations between the Liao and the Muslim world), Kaogu, 1994, no. 8, pp. 736-43.

42 Though not necessarily. See, e.g., the famous remark of Wugusun Zhongduan, who in 1220 was sent by the Jin dynasty to Transoxania to offer Chinggis Khan a peace agreement with the Jurchens. In his travelogue, Wugusun included a short history of the Qara Khitai which he ended with the note that “now there are only few of them left, and their dress is like that of the Muslims (Huihe).” This statement is often taken as a proof of the islamization of the remnants of the Qara Khitai after the dissolution of their empire. See the discussion in Biran, “China, Nomads and Islam,” p. 390.

43 For a preliminary list see the relevant entries in C. Brockelman, Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur, Leiden, 1943, vol. 1, pp. 459-479 (e.g. entries no. 4, 10, 11, 12, 16, 18, 19, 21, 23, 24, 27, 30, 31, 41).

44 See, e.g. Brockelman, vol. 1, pp.548-9, 568.

45 Qāḍî Khān, Fatāwa Qāḍî Khān (Cairo, 1892-3), vol. 1, p. 585. Even if this legal discussion began before Qāḍî Khan’s times, it is still significant that he chose to reproduce them in his book. Cited in Biran, “China, Nomads and Islam,” p. 391.

46 Shahab Ahmed, “Mapping the World of a Scholar in Sixth/Twelfth Century Bukhara:Regional Tradition in Medieval Islamic Scholarship as Reflected in a Bibliography,” Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol. 120, no.1 (2000), pp. 24-43.

47 Ahmed, 43.

Haut de page

Pour citer cet article

Référence papier

Michal Biran, « Qarakhanid Studies », Cahiers d’Asie centrale, 9 | 2001, 77-89.

Référence électronique

Michal Biran, « Qarakhanid Studies », Cahiers d’Asie centrale [En ligne], 9 | 2001, mis en ligne le 13 janvier 2010, consulté le 25 octobre 2014. URL : http://asiecentrale.revues.org/619

Haut de page

Auteur

Michal Biran

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Haut de page

Droits d’auteur

© Tous droits réservés

Haut de page
  • Les cahiers de Revues.org