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0217 Ancient Khotan : vol.1
Ancient Khotan : vol.1 / Page 217 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000182
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(now Hsi-an-fu) 4. The population was reckoned at 3,300 families with 19,300 people'', the number of soldiers being 2,400. Several high dignitaries, among them commandants of the Western and Eastern cities, are enumerated. To the south lay the territory of the J ê-Chiang nomads, who appear to have held the plateaus and valleys along the whole Kun-lun range from Tsaidam westwards, while to the north was that of Ku-mo (Ush-Turfau). The abundance of jade is specially noticed ; the statement that all rivers west of Yü-t`ien flowed into the western ocean and those east into Lop-Nor betrays geographical confusion, of which the ' Notice of the Western Regions ' shows other unmistakable signs 6.

That Yü-t`ien during the period of the Former Hans must have been a relatively weak Small state becomes evident from the mention which the ` Notice of the Western Regions' makes of territories

east of

the three small territories of ,dung-lu 3G   Yü-mi ifqm, and Ch`ü-lê    J as separate   Khotan.

` kingdoms ' to the east of it'. The Tang Annals distinctly tell us that Yü-t`ien had absorbed these territories, together with Pei-shan, since the Han period. They further show that -mi,

also called Ning-mi 4-11 • , or Chü-mi   • , must be identified with the oases which
extend between Chira and Keriya 8. Jung-lu and Ch`ü-16 were petty tracts at the foot of thé mountains, south-east and south of Yü-mi s ; they cannot be located with the same certainty as the latter, but correspond manifestly to the present ' Tâgh ' (` hill ') district, comprising the small submontane settlements which extend east and west of Polu. Considering how close these oases and hill tracts lie to Khotan, and how limited their resources are compared to those of the Khotan oasis, their political dependence upon any firm rule established at the latter would follow almost as a matter of course. The same observation applies to P`i-shan, in which we have already recognized the small oases about Gama and Moji 10. From the way in which Yü-mi is described in the Former Han Annals it seems safe to conclude that this little state was at that time not only independent, but also quite as powerful as Yü-t`ien.

The Annals of the Later Hans show clearly that it was only after the middle of the first Khotan in century A. D. that Yü-t`ien rose to political importance for the Chinese. We are there informed ALaternnals.


that towards the end of the reign of the Emperor Kuâng-wu ti (25-57 A. D.) King Yü-lin of Khotan had become subject to the powerful king of So-ch`ê, i. e. the territory of Yarkand, and had been reduced to the rank of the ruler of Li-kuei 11. During the period comprising the years 58-73 A.D., however, a general of Yü-t`ien, called Hsiu-mo-pa, revolted and made himself

independent as ruler of the territory. His nephew and successor Kuang-tê in turn conquered So-ch`ê and made Khotan so powerful that thirteen ' states' to the north-west, as far as Kâshgar,

4 See for this extract Ville de Khotan, p. 2, and Wylie, J. Anihrop. Inst., x. p. 30. It seems probable that the designation ' Western City ' corresponds to that of ' city of Western mountains ' (Hsi-shan) used for the Khotan capital in the Tang Annals; see Turcs occid., p. 125.

6 Rémusat, loc. cit., p. 2, has ` 2300 maisons ou familles'.

6 Wylie (loc. cit., p. 3o note) saw in this erroneous statement an indication that the territory of Khotan extended westwards to the Pamir watershed, and looked for the site of the capital of Yti-t`ien in the neighbourhood of Yarkand. This explanation is in direct contradiction to the text of the ' Notice ', which specifies quite a series of independent

I kingdoms ' between Khotan and Sarikol ; see above, pp. 91 sq.

7 See Wylie, loc. cit., p. 29.

8 Compare Turcs occid., p. 125. The identification of

with the present Keriya, which M. Chavannes, ibid., p. 128, note I, adopts from a modern Chinese geographical work, the Hsi yil shui tao chi, is somewhat too limited. I shall discuss the position of Yii-mi below, chap. xu1., when dealing with Keriya.

The pettiness of these ' states ' is indicated by the recorded population of 1,610 and 2,170 persons, respectively. Yii-mi, on the other hand, is credited in the ' Notice of the Western Regions ', with 20,04o people, and a larger number of trained troops than Yii-t'ien itself; see Wylie, loc. cit., p. 29.

10 See above, p. 103.

11 See Rémusat, Ville de Khotan, p. 3. For the probable location of So-ch`e. (Wylie's Sha-keu), at, or in the vicinity of, Yarkand, see above, p. 88. The name of Li-kuei cannot be traced by me elsewhere. [Mr. Thomas tentatively suggests some connexion with Li-yul.]