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0093 Ancient Khotan : vol.1
Ancient Khotan : vol.1 / Page 93 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000182
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conquered Chi-pin. ` The race of the Sök scattered far and formed a series of states. Northwest of Su-1ê, all tribes included in the states of Hsiu-hsün and Chüan-tu are descended from the old Sök 7.' Neither Dr. Franke's translation of the passage, nor the context of the whole notice on Chi-pin, from which the above is extracted, would seem directly to imply that Su-16 itself was founded by the Sök or Sz`, though it is probable that the latter's power previous to their ejection by the Great Yüeh-chih (circa i50 B. c.) extended over the Kashgar region.

In consequence of the internal troubles which during the reign of the usurper Wang-Mang (9-23 A. D.) preceded the downfall of the Former Han Dynasty, Chinese control over Eastern Turkestan ceased for more than half a century. When under Ming Ti, the second Emperor of the Later Han Dynasty (58-75 A. D.), Chinese power once more began to assert itself in the ` Western Regions ', Su-16 was found to have passed, along with a dozen other small states, including So-chi" (Yarkand), under the domination of the king of Yii-t`ien or Khotan. In 70 A. D. Pan Chao, the famous Chinese general, vanquished the Khotan ruler; and by 76 A. D. the whole of the Tarim Basin, with the exception of the territories corresponding to the modern Kara-shahr

and Kucha, acknowledged Chinese sovereignty 8.   •

The records of the Later Han Dynasty, which relate to the tributary kingdoms of the West, and which, according to Dr. Franke's statement, contain a detailed account of the history of Su-16 during that period (25-220 A. D.) 9, have not yet been rendered accessible in full and reliable translations. We are hence unable to ascertain whether the route of the justly famous Pan Chao in 95 A. D. lay through Kashgar, as in the case of Kao Hsien-chih's equally memorable exploit (747 A. D.) which we had occasion to discuss in a previous chapter 10.

Pan Ch`ao's victorious campaign marks the greatest extension which Chinese power ever attained westwards. More lasting than its political results was the influence which it exercised on the development of direct trade intercourse between China and the Roman Orient, and on the spread of more definite knowledge about each other in the two great empires of the far East and the West. On the side of the West we must reckon it particularly fortunate that the opportunity then offered for recording information from enterprising traders who penetrated into China, or at least into its outlying dominions in the Tarim Basin, was utilized by a geographer of true genius and exceptional width of vision, Marinus of Tyre. This record has been preserved for us by Ptolemy, mainly in his chapter on Seriké, as he calls the regions stretching from Scythia beyond Mount Imaus to the unknown easternmost ocean. After having been for generations the subject of much fruitless speculation, the account gathered by Marinus of the land of the silk-bringing Seres, and of the trade-route leading to it from the west, was elucidated with critical acumen by Baron Richthofen 11. This analysis by the hand of a master renders it possible for us to touch here briefly upon a remarkable itinerary underlying that account, and to indicate its bearing upon Kashgar.

7 The earlier translation of Wylie, J. Anthr. Inst., x. p. 34, agrees substantially with Dr. Franke's rendering. The names Hsiu-hsiin and Chiian-tu are transcribed Heu-seun and Keuentûh by Wylie, Hiu-siun and Kwan-to by Richthofen, China,

i. p. 448, note 2. The Chi-pin conquered by the Sacae has long been considered identical with the territory of Kabul. MM. Chavannes and S. I.évi (L'Itindraire d'Ou-k'ong, pp. 36 sqq.) have expressed the view that Kashmir is meant. Notwithstanding the authority attaching to these two scholars, and the tempting nature of some of the philological evidence advanced by them, I retain my doubts on the

point, mainly on geographical grounds.

8 For a summary of the Chinese records concerning the history of Eastern Turkestan during the first century of our era, see Richthofen, China, i. pp. 468 sq.

9 See ' Kaschgar und die Kharosthi', Sb.P.A. W., r903, p. i86.

10 See above, pp. 8 sqq. For Pan Ch'ao's expedition compare Klaproth, Tableaux historiques, pp. 65 sqq.

" See Richthofen, China, i. pp. 477 sqq., and concerning the itinerary of Maas, ibid., pp. 496-500.

Kashgar under Later Hans.

Pan Ch`ao's conquests.