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0674 Innermost Asia : vol.1
Innermost Asia : vol.1 / Page 674 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000187
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the 'Western Countries' in Chapter CXVIII of the Hou Han shu devotes to these small principalities. We are told there : ` The anterior tribe and posterior tribe [of Chü-shih] with the eastern Chü-mi _11 , Pei-luc, P`u-lei .A and g A I-chip constitute [what are called] the six kingdoms

of Chü-shih    r ; to the north, they border on the Hsiung-nu.' 13 Among the territories
here enumerated the ` anterior tribe ' and the ` posterior tribe ' of Chü-shih undoubtedly correspond, as has long been recognized, to the present Turfân district and the Guchen tract immediately to the north of it, on the opposite slopes of the Tien-shan (Map No. 28. c, D. I-3)." Of Pei-lu,

which the Wëi ho mentions under the slightly different name of Pi-lu   lit, it must suffice here
to state that, according to the indications furnished by the position it occupies in the topographically arranged list given by the Wei ho of the principalities along the ` new northern route ', it must be looked for in all probability along the string of oases that line the northern foot of the high snowy portion of the Tien-shan known as the Bogdo-ula range, between Guchen and Urumchi.15

The name Pu-lei ÿ tj'1 given to the fifth of the ` kingdoms ' is undoubtedly that borne by the Barkul lake. But the account given by the Hou Han shu of this territory makes it equally certain, as already pointed out by M. Chavannes, that it must have been situated in a valley of the Tien-shan much farther away to the west, probably well beyond the present Urumchi.16

M. Chavannes has also indicated, in the same passage of the Hou Han shu, what is b. most likely explanation of this transference of the name Peu-lei. It records that, at a period when the ` Western Countries' were controlled by the Hsiung-nu, the king of P`u-lei had offended the ` Shan-yü' . f or supreme chief of the Huns. The angry Shan-yü thereupon deported more than six thousand

people of Peu-lei to a territory known as A-o   pz, situated at a distance of ninety marches from
Posterior Chü-shih on the extreme right or western flank of the Hsiung-nu. But some of the exiled people ` in their wretchedness escaped thence to this mountain gorge and settling there founded a kingdom 1.17

In immediate continuation of this account we are told that ` the kingdom of I-chih   X
occupies the territory of Peu-lei ', and M. Chavannes was evidently right in concluding from this statement that I-chih was situated in the region of the Barkul lake. The description given of its people fully accords with this location. ` There are over a thousand households, with more than three thousand individuals and more than a thousand good fighting men.' The people are described as brave and warlike, habitually given to robbery and leading a nomadic existence, without practising agriculture. We see clearly that whether the people occupying I-chih, i. e. the Barkul valley, at the time when they were thus described by the Later Han Annals, were a I-Itin tribe reduced to subjection or of another origin, the conditions favouring pastoral life in the Barkul valley had not changed.

Kingdom of   There still remains the sixth ` kingdom ', that of ` Eastern Chü-mi ï i Il.   , to be identified,

Eastern and for location of this, too, the list of the Wei ho affords definite topographical guidance. The Cltü-rxi'.

territories of Eastern Chü-mi and Western Chü-mi are the first to be named in the list among those

dependent upon Posterior Chü-shih through which ran the ` new northern route ' after emerging

13 Cf. Chavannes, T`oung-pao, z907, p. 2II.

14 See below, pp. 555 sqq. ; Chap. xvll. sec. i, ii.

15 Cf. Chavannes, T`oung pao,1905, p. 557 M. Chavannes in his notes on this list of the Wei lio has rightly emphasized the importance attaching to its topographical indications, as the territories are enumerated in their order from east to west.

The ` kingdoms ' of Chü-mi, Pei-lu and Peu-lei, all of them divided into eastern and western or nearer and

ulterior territories, figure also in the ` Notes on the Western Regions ' in Book xcvi of the Chien Han shu. But, as already observed by M. Chavannes, the bearings and distances there recorded are unfortunately too confused to afford safe clues to the location of these territories.

16 See Chavannes, T`oung-pao, 1905, p. 557, note 3 ; 1907, p. 209.

17 Cf. Chavannes, T`oung-pao, 1907, pp. 209 sq.


Name Peu-lei transferred to west.

Barkul designated as I-chih.