PRELIMINARY ESSAY. lv
but failed to induce them to quit their new seats upon the Oxus to return to their eastern deserts and battle with the Hiongnu. Thus unsuccessful, he tried to return to China by way of Tibet, but was again taken by the Hiongnu and detained for some time. At last this adventurous man got back to China about B.C. 122, after thirteen years' absence, with a single follower out of the hundred who had started with him. He was able to report, from personal knowledge, of the countries on the Jaxartes and Oxus, and, from the information he had collected, on other countries of the west.
About the same time the Chinese began to take vigorous measures against the Hiongnu, and to extend their frontier westward.
By B.C. 59 their power reached all over what is now Chinese Tur-
kestan ; a general government was established for the tributary states ; and about the time of our era, fifty-five states of western
Tartary acknowledged themselves vassals of the empire, whilst the Princes of Transoxiana and Bactriana are also said to have recognised its supremacy.
During the first century the power of China decayed, and the Hiongnu recovered their ascendancy. In A.D. 83, however, Panchao, one of the most illustrious commanders in the Chinese
annals, appeared in the field, and in a few years recovered the
Uigur country and all western Tartary to the empire. After re-conquering Kashgar in the year 94, he crossed the snowy Tsung-
ling, or Bolor, and attacked and killed the king of the Yueichi. In the following years he pushed his conquests to the Caspian, and perhaps even had a way open to the shores of the Indian Ocean. For we are told that in the year 102 he despatched one of his officers called Kanyng to make his way by sea to TATI-ISIN, or the Roman empire.'
Notices of this region are found in the geographical works of the time of the latter Han (A.D. 56-220) in the annals of the
Tçin (265419), and of the Thang (618-905) . But references are also made by the Chinese editors to the same country as having been known in the days of the first Han dynasty (from B.C. 202)
1 Remusat in Mem. de l'Acad. des Ins. (new), viii, 116-125; Flap. Tab. Hist., p. 67, etc. ; see also Lassen, ii, 352 segq.