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0100 Ancient Khotan : vol.1
Ancient Khotan : vol.1 / Page 100 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000182
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The ` Four Garrisons.'

Subjection of Käshgar.

First embassies from Käshgar.


Asia 18. Here we are concerned only with the territories of Eastern Turkestan. The Protectorate of An-hsi which, as we have seen had in 64o A. D. been established in Turfan (Kao-ch`ang) for the purpose of extending Chinese control over these territories, was in 658 A. D., immediately after the final victory over the Turks, definitely transferred to Kucha (Ch`iu-tzû)'7.

The passage of the Tang Annals tells us that this Protectorate was intended to govern YU-teien' (Khotan), Suei-shih (Tokmak), and Su-lé, the whole of these territories (including Kucha itself) being henceforth known as the ' Four Garrisons '. There can be no doubt that this term included all Eastern Turkestan, not merely the territories actually enumerated as seats

of the ' Four Garrisons '. The official list of the latter subsequently underwent a change, by the substitution of Kara-shahr for Tokmak, at a date variously stated as 670 or 719 A. D. ; but the application of the term itself, in the sense above indicated, remained the same as long as the supremacy of the Tangs in the Tarim Basin lasted 18.

The fact that Kashgar figures from the first in the official list of the ` Four Garrisons'

shows the importance which the Chinese attached to this state. The Imperial decree finally ordering the administrative organization of Su-lé and Chu-chü-p`an or Karghalik, along with a number of Trans-Oxus states, was issued in the year 65919. But other passages in the Tang Annals prove that the actual establishment of Chinese authority at Käshgar was not effected immediately. The authority of the Kagans, who after the capture of Ho-lu had been placed by the Emperor in charge of the defeated tribes of the Western Turks, appears to have been very weak. Tu-man (also designated as A-hsi-chieh ch`üeh-ssu chin), the chief of one of the Nu-shih-pi tribes belonging to the Western Turks, rose in rebellion, and carrying with him the states of Su-lé, Chu-chü-po (Karghalik), and Ho-p`an-t`o or Ts`ung-ling (Sarikol), attacked and conquered Khotan. A Chinese force was sent against him, and succeeded in defeating and capturing him in the year 66o somewhere on the Upper Yaxartes 20.

We have already had occasion to note that the states subject to the Western Turks, but

outside the tracts actually occupied by their semi-nomadic tribes, retained their local rulers. The desert regions of the Tarim Basin and the small oases interspersed between them were by their physical conditions effectually protected against such occupation ; and accordingly the Chinese conquest found Käshgar and the other territories of Eastern Turkestan under the rule of indigenous princes whose allegiance to their suzerain must have depended mainly upon the

18 The geographical chapter of the Tang Annals furnishes a detailed list of the protectorates, governments, and districts established in a portion of the territories annexed after the conquest of the Western Turks. This list, first brought to notice by A. Rémusat in his ` Remarques sur l'extension de l'Empire chinois du côté de l'Occident' (Mémoires del' Académie des Inscr., vol. viii. 1827), has been exhaustively analysed and supplemented from other sources by M. Chavannes, Turcs occid., pp. 67-71, and again pp. 27o sqq. Unfortunately the original treatises with maps on the Western countries ', which were presented to the throne in 658 and 661 A.D. by the officer entrusted by imperial order with the survey and organization of the newly-annexed territories (Turcs occid., pp. 119, x56), have not been preserved.

17 See Chavannes, ibid., p. 1 x8.

From a record in the encyclopaedia Ts`€ fu yuan kuei translated by M. Chavannes, in Notes addit. sur les Tou-kiue occid., p. 19, it is seen that a Protectorate of the ` Four ,Garrisons' was first established by T'ai-tsung at Kucha in

648 or 649, after the reduction of that territory in the first-named year. Kao-tsung, however, on his accession in 65o A.D., decided to abandon this advanced garrison, and consequently ordered the Protectorate of An-hsi to be re-established at Kao-ch`ang or Turfan.

18 The history of the term ' Four Garrisons ' has been discussed with critical thoroughness by M. Chavannes, Turcs occid., pp. x 13 sq., note.

The variation in the records concerning the date when Kara-shahr took the place of Tokmak may possibly be due to the fact that popular usage had anticipated the official alteration of the list consequent upon the abandonment of Tokmak in 719 A.D. by the Chinese. Kara-shahr, by its position within the region defined by the Tien-shan and Kun-lun, certainly fitted better than Tokmak near Lake Issik-kul into a list of names which probably soon acquired a geographical significance distinct from political conditions.

19 Compare Chavannes, ibid., pp. 141, note, 268, note. 90 See ibid., pp. 72 sq., 307 sq.