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0402 Serindia : vol.1
Serindia : vol.1 / Page 402 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000183
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that this northern route must have joined the main road which still leads through the string of oases, at the southern foot of the Tien-shan, to Kashgar.

The Later Han Annals unfortunately do not furnish any topographical details about Shanshan. But that this ' kingdom ' was then of large extent and possessed considerable resources is proved by a record of the political conditions prevailing in the southern portion of the Tarim Basin during the years A. D. 58-75.4 We are there informed that at the time when Kuang-tê, king of Khotan, subdued all the kingdoms from Ching-chüeh (Niya) to Su-lé (Kashgar), ' the king of Shanshan also began to become powerful. From this time, on the southern route these two kingdoms [of Khotan and Shan-shan] were alone great throughout the region east of the Ts'ung-ling.' A further reference to the same period is found in the statement of the Annals about Shan-shan having annexed Hsi ao yüan, Chin; claüela, ,dung; lu, and Chii-mo, all territories, as we have seen, ranged along the ' southern route' towards the confines of Khotan.5 This assertion of strength justifies the belief, suggested also by other data noticed below, that the Shan-shan of that epoch, corresponding to the Lop region in its widest sense, comprised a much larger area of settled occupation than can now be found near the terminal course of the Tarim.

In A. D. 45 we find Shan-shan mentioned among the territories which, threatened by the growing power of Hsien, king of So-ch'ê or Yârkand, endeavoured to secure Chinese protection by sending princes as hostages to the Imperial court.° But the help thus solicited proved of no avail ; for in

the year following An    , king of Shan-shan, was attacked and defeated by the troops of Hsien, and,
after the loss of a thousand men, was forced to take refuge in the mountains. The attack is said to have been provoked by the refusal of the Shan-shan chief, in reply to Hsien's demand, to cut the route which connected his territory with China. In this demand a clear proof may be recognized of the importance attaching to Shan-shan as the key of the most direct route leading into the Tarim Basin from the confines of the Empire. Since the Empire was then not yet strong enough to resume political aspirations westwards, Shan-shan as well as Turfân was forced to seek support elsewhere by submitting to the Hsiung-nu or Huns in the north.

The importance for Chinese policy which Shan-shan derived from its geographical position is strikingly attested by the record of the events that it witnessed at the very commencement of the operations leading to the re-establishment of Chinese authority throughout the Tarim Basin in the last quarter of the first century A. D. After sixty years of interrupted relations, as the Annals tell us, the ' Western regions ' became again a field for Chinese political activity when the Emperor Ming-ti in A.D. 73 sent troops to the north to exact retribution for the raids of the Hsiung-nu or Huns.' Having distinguished himself in the first expedition towards Hâmi and Barkul, Pan Ch`ao, still a subordinate commander but destined to become the reconqueror of the Tarim Basin, was sent on a political mission to the ' Western countries '. It was at Shan-shan that he laid the foundation of his far-reaching success.8 Received at first with attention by Kuang, king of Shan-shan, but subsequently thwarted through the secret arrival of a Hun envoy, he promptly established his ascendancy over the king and his territory by a cleverly planned night attack on the Hun camp, which he surprised and, in spite of the smallness of his own escort, completely destroyed. After having thus secured Chinese control over Shan-shan, Pan Ch`ao proceeded westwards, and by a similar bold action assured the allegiance of the king of Khotan, who dominated the Southern route. By A. D. 74 he had extended Imperial authority as far as Kashgar.'

4 See Chavannes, T'oung pao, 1907, p. 171 sq.

See above, pp. 219 sq., 295 sq.; Ancient Kholan, i. p. r 67.

Cf. Chavannes, T'oung pao, 1907, pp. 199 sq.

7 Cf. ibid., pp. 156 sq.

B For a detailed and interesting account of this initial ex

ploit in Pan Ch`ao's Central-Asian career, cf. his biography translated by M. Chavannes from the Hsrao Han shu in his paper Trois généraux chinois, T`oung pao, 1906, pp. 218 sqq. 9 See Chavannes, T'oung pao, 1906, pp. 221 sqq.

Power of Shan-chan kingdom.

Shan-shan threatened by Hsien, king of Yarkand.

Pan Ch`ao's operations at Shanshan.