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0099 Ancient Khotan : vol.1
Ancient Khotan : vol.1 / Page 99 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000182
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sufficed to open for the latter all roads as far as Kapiga 10. In that very year Tung Shih-hu Kagan was murdered, and with his death the confederacy of the ten tribes constituting the Western Turks broke up into two great groups, each apparently under a succession of separate Kagans, and engaged in constant hostilities.

The Chinese, who in the same year, 63o A. D., had succeeded in defeating and finally subjugating the Northern Turks, did not fail to profit by the internal feuds of the Western T`u-chüeh, and gradually set about to reduce the territories which once formed the western dependencies of their empire. In 640 an Imperial army crossed the great desert and occupied Kao-ch`ang or Turfan, whose prince had already, in 63o, paid homage at the Chinese court, but had subsequently proved refractory. The Protectorate of An-hsi was established in that territory, strategically so important for an advance westwards, and a garrison placed there 11. In 644 A.D. the king of Kara-shahr, who had in 632 sent an embassy to the Imperial court, but had afterwards sought independence by an alliance with the Western Turks, was vanquished and carried off as a prisoner. Already, in 641, the internal dissensions of the Turks had given the Emperor T`ai-tsung the opportunity of installing a nominee of his own, Yi-p`i shih-kuei Kagan, as chief over the western division of the tribes. Envoys sent by him with tribute arrived at the Imperial court. When the Turkish Kagan, in the year 646, asked for the hand of a Chinese princess, Tai-tsung claimed in return the states of Kucha, Khotan, Kashgar, Karghalik (Chu-chü-po), and Ts`ung-ling or Sarikol as a marriage gift 12.

The possession of the whole of the Tarim Basin which this claim implied was not to be attained by such means. Tai-tsung then set about to conquer the territories he had failed to secure through diplomacy, and had reduced Kucha before he died in 649 A.D. 13. The king of Khotan, too, impressed by this victory of the Chinese arms, hastened to make his submission and to resume allegiance to the Empire, the tradition of which had probably never ceased completely in that state 14. Under Kao-tsung, who succeeded to the imperial throne (650683 A.D.), the policy of expansion westwards was maintained with vigour, and soon led to unexpected triumphs. After , the death of T`ai-tsung a Kagan called Ho-lu, who had previously sought refuge within the north-western border of the Empire, revolted, and within a short time established his ascendancy over the whole of the Western Turk tribes. But this revival of Turkish power was short-lived. In a series of campaigns extending from 652-658 the Imperial armies, valiantly supported by the Uigurs, vanquished in succession the Karluks and other allies of the Turks, and finally defeated the latter under Ho-lu himself in a decisive battle on the Ili. With the capture of Ho-lu, who had fled to Tashkend, in 658 A.D., the dominion of the Western Turks came finally to an end, and China could proceed to annex officially the whole of the vast region over which the Turkish Kagans had ruled, or at least asserted a nominal sovereignty 16.

The administrative organization which the Chinese proceeded to give to their huge conquests, extending to Kabul in the south and to the confines of Persia westwards, is detailed in the Tang Annals, forming a document of the greatest interest for the history and geography of Central

Hsüan-tsang found ' Shih-hu, the Kagan of the Turks', on a hunting expedition near Tokmak, west of Lake Issikkul. The account of this visit preserved by the pilgrim's biographer vividly records the impressions he received of the power of the Turkish chief and the magnificence of his entourage. See Vie de H.-T., pp. 55 sqq.; and Chavannes,

Turcs aced., p. 194, where Hsüan-tsang's Shih-hu Kagan

was first identified.

u See Chavannes, ibid., pp. 105 sqq., 266.

12 See ibid., pp. 31 sq., 59, 266.

is See ibid., pp. 116 sq., 267.

14 See ibid., p. 126.

16 See ibid., pp. 59-67, 267 sq.

Reassertion of Chinese influence.

Reconquest of the Tarim Basin.

Organization of the conquered territories.

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