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0111 Ancient Khotan : vol.1
Ancient Khotan : vol.1 / Page 111 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000182
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one of the two places to which Hsiian-tsang sent emissaries when endeavouring, before his departure from Khotan, to replace the sacred texts he had lost in crossing the Indus 40.

After Hsüan-tsang's time I can trace records of only two Buddhist visitors to Kashgar. From a Chinese text quoted by M. Chavannes it appears that in 741 A. D. an Indian monk called Dharmacandra endeavoured to regain his country from China by way of Kashgar. Stopped on his further journey through Shih-ni, or Shighnan, by a local insurrection, he was obliged to return to Kashgar, and thence proceeded to Khotan, where he died 41. Wu-k`ung passed through Kashgar eleven years later on his way to Gandhara 42. When he travelled back towards China about 786 A. D. he stayed at Su-16 for five months, and we have already had occasion to indicate the valuable evidence which his brief notice affords for those last years of Chinese control over the territory of the ` Four Garrisons' 43.

It is certain that the extension, under the Tangs, of Chinese power westwards not only benefited intercourse with the Indian home of Buddhism and its old seats in Central Asia, but also facilitated the spread into China of other religions from the West. Both Christianity and the Zoroastrian cult simultaneously profited by this opening for missionary enterprise. We know that in 621 A. D. the first fire-temple was erected at Chang-an, and ten years later the cult of ' the celestial god ', i, e. of Ormazd, was preached in the Empire by the Magian Ho-lu 44. The famous inscription of Hsi-an-fu, the old Chang-an, attests the arrival of the first Nestorian missionary A-to-pên in 635 A. D., with sacred books and images, and the official approval of the doctrine preached by him in 638 by an Imperial edict 4ô. It also shows that at the time when it was inscribed (781 A. D.), the connexion of the Nestorian communities under the ` Bishop and Pope of Tzinisthan ' (China) with the Patriarchal see of their Church, in distant Persia, was still maintained 46,

It cannot be doubted that Eastern Turkestan was the route by which these first propagandists and their clerical successors reached China ; and it is a significant fact that the last nomination of a Nestorian metropolitan of China, by the Patriarch Timotheus (778-820 A. D.), coincides with the period when that region was finally lost to the Tangs 47. It is only reasonable to assume that the territory through which Nestorian Christianity and Zoroastrianism had been transmitted to China itself possessed communities attached to those religions. But at present direct evidence is available only as regards the latter, in the form of two notices of the Tang Annals which mention the cult of ` the celestial god ' (Ormazd) at Kashgar and Khotan, respectively 48.

Neither historical records nor antiquarian remains have as yet come to light to illustrate the early spread of Christianity in the Tarim Basin, previous to the conquest of this region by Islam. But by the middle of the thirteenth century we find Kashgar (under the name of Chasemgarah) mentioned in the list of the metropolitan sees of the Nestorian Church 4°. Also

Visits of later pilgrims.

Introduction of Christianity and Zoroastrianism into China.

Christianity at Kashgar.

10 See Vie de H.-T., p. 285.

'1 See Turcs occid., p. 163 note.

" See L'Itinéraire d' Ou-k`ong, p. Io.

"$ See ibid., p. 26 ; above, p. 64.

" See Chavannes, Turcs occid., p. 301 ; Journal asiat., 1897, Jan.-Févr., pp. 61 sq.

45 Compare Yule, Cathay, i. pp. Ixxxviiici, where the available data for the history of Nestorian Christianity in China have been lucidly discussed; see also Richthofen, China, i. pp. 549 sqq.

w It is noteworthy that Mar Idbuzid, the priest and Chorepiscopus of the capital, who erected the inscription,

names as his father ' Milis of blessed memory, Priest of Balkh, a city of Thokharestan ' ; Cathay, i. p. xciii.

47 Compare Richthofen, China, i. p. 554 ; Yule, Cathay, i. p. xci.

48 See Chavannes, Turcs occid., pp. 121,125 ; also above p. 66, and below chap. vit. sec. iv. Other extracts given by M. Chavannes from the Annals show that in Samarkand (Wang), also, Buddhism and Mazdeism flourished side by side (ibid., p. 135), and that the Chinese historians were fully aware that the ' cult of the celestial god ' had its home and ecclesiastical centre in Persia ; see ibid., p. 17o.

49 See Yule, Cathay, i. p. 179, ccxlv. In a later list of