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0386 Innermost Asia : vol.2
Innermost Asia : vol.2 / Page 386 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000187
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Later Chinese references, A. D. 741,


Tradition Chinese control.

Hsüan- tsang's description of Shila- ch`ih-ni.

Wu-k`ung's visits to Shughnân.


Hsüan-tsang's account of Shughnân closely agrees with this record.8 The pilgrim describes the territory in connexion with his passage through Wakhân, but did not personally visit it. He tells us that ` after crossing the high mountains of that kingdom [of Ta-mo-hsi-t`ieh-ti] one arrives

to the north in the kingdom of Shih-chih-ni J    X. It is about 2,000 li in circuit, its capital
5 or 6 li in circumference. It comprises a succession of mountain ranges and valleys, and of plains covered with sand and stones. There is plenty of pulse and wheat, but little of other crops. Trees are rare, and there are few flowers and fruits. The climate is very cold. The people are fierce and intrepid. They murder in cold blood and are given to theft and pillage. They do not recognize social duties and cannot distinguish right from wrong. They do not know misery and happiness of the future and fear the misfortunes of the present. Their appearance is coarse ; they wear skins and woollen stuffs. The characters of their writing resemble those of the Tu-hu-lo (Tokhâra) country, but their spoken language is different.'

The description here given reflects the physical features of the country correctly enough. The account of its people obviously agrees with the reputation for both bravery and violence that they still enjoy among their meeker neighbours to the south and west. Notwithstanding the troublesome character of the people, Shughnân is likely to have seen some of the traffic passing between Badakhshân and the Tarim basin during the periods when Chinese political control extended across the Pamirs. This may account for the references to the route through Shughnan that are contained in the itineraries of two later Buddhist travellers to and from India. Thus we learn of the Indian monk Dharmacandra having travelled in A. D. 741, on his way back to his native country, from Kâshgar to the kingdom of Shih-ni A K. But as on arrival at the fortified town

of Chi-lien â   on Mount Fa-lo   gX he found the country disturbed by an insurrection, he
turned back to Kashgar to die in the end at Khotan.9 No safe location can be suggested at present for the town and mountain here mentioned. That Kao Hsien-chih's great expedition of 747 across

the Pamirs extended to the ` valley of `T`ê-lei-man   4, which is the same as the kingdom

of the five Shih-ni   ', I have had occasion to mention before.9a

Wu-k`ung passed twice through Shughnan, both on his way from Kâshgar to India in A. D. 752 and on his return some time towards A. D. 786. But, laconic as always, the pilgrim contents himself in his narrative with the mere mention of the kingdom of ` the five Ch`ih-ni: jt also called Shih-ni

A )t, of the valley of Po-mi   (Pamir) '. On his way out he reached it across the Onion
Mountains and the passes of Yang-yii fn d, i. e. through Sarikol and one of the passes thence giving access to the Pamirs, and then proceeded to Hu-mi or Wakhân.10 On his return journey coming from Tokhâristân he passed, among many difficulties and dangers, through the kingdoms

of Chii-mi-chih   A and Ni-sê-chih   12, gyp, of which the former is identical with Kara-
tegin and the latter uncertain, before arriving in Shih-ni. This route probably took him through Darwâz and up the Oxus. From Shih-ni he then gained Kâshgar."

of      What references to Shughnan may be found in medieval Muhammadan geographers' works
I am not able to trace at present.11a But it is certain that after the reconquest of the ` New Dominion'

rahim Khan, Yüsüf `Ali Khan. Kôbâd Khan conquered Rbshân and placed there a younger brother as governor; Abdurrahim Khan killed Mir Atam Beg of Shakh-dara with his six brothers and took his tract, as he did some years later with Ghund. Yûsnf `Ali Khan was removed to Kabul at the time of the Afghan conquest and died there.

8 See Julien, Mémoires, ii. pp. 205 sq. Slight modifications have been introduced into the above rendering from the paraphrase in Watters, Yuan Chwang, ii. pp. 281 sq.

9 See Chavannes, Turcs occid., pp. 163 sq., note 4. For a conjecture, cf. below, ii. p. 882, note 17.

9' Cf. Serindia, i. pp. 53 sq. ; Chavannes, Turcs occid., p. 152, note. M. Chavannes, ibid., p. 369, suggests that 7'7-lei-man may perhaps have to be interpreted as meaning ` the valley of the Tegin (prince) Man'.

10 Cf. S. Lévi-Chavannes, ` L'Itinéraire d'Ou-k`ong',

J. As., 1895, Sept.—Oct., pp. 346 sq.   11 Cf. ibid., p. 362.
11. For some notices, cf. Marquart, Zrân-siahr, pp. 202, 223.