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Outline[ edit ] Before all dates BCE: Somewhere west were the Wusun,  and further east near the Ordos Plateau are the beginnings of the Xiongnu. China and the Xiongnu become unified.
Zhang Qian reaches the Yuezhi. Later they split into five tribes. The tribes reunite as the Kushans and later become a major empire.
Three pre-Han texts mention peoples who appear to be the Yuezhi, albeit under slightly different names. Most scholars no longer attribute its primary authorship to Guan Zhonga Qi official in the 7th century BC.
For example, hundreds of jade pieces found in the Tomb of Fu Hao c. Essentially the same text appears in chapter 61 of the Book of Hanthough Sima Qian has added occasional words and phrases to clarify the meaning.
The Great Yuezhi was a nomadic horde. They moved about following their cattle, and had the same customs as those of the Xiongnu.
As their soldiers numbered more than hundred thousand, they were strong and despised the Xiongnu. In the past, they lived in the region between Dunhuang and Qilian.
The Yuezhi often attacked their neighbour the Wusun to acquire slaves and pasture lands. Wusun originally lived together with the Yuezhi in the region between Dunhuang and Qilian Mountain.
The Yuezhi attacked the Wusuns, killed their monarch Nandoumi and took his territory. The son of Nandoumi, Kunmo fled to the Xiongnu and was brought up by the Xiongnu monarch. Gradually the Xiongnu grew stronger and war broke out between them and the Yuezhi.
There were at least four wars between the Yuezhi and Xiongnu according to the Chinese accounts. The first war broke out during the reign of the Xiongnu monarch Touman who died in B. C who suddenly attacked the Yuezhi.
The Yuezhi wanted to kill Moduthe son of the Xiongnu king Touman kept as a hostage to them, but Modu stole a good horse from them and managed to escape to his country.
He subsequently killed his father and became ruler of the Xiongnu. The second war took place in the 7th year of Modu era B. From this war, a large area of the territory originally belonging to the Yuezhi was seized by the Xiongnu and the hegemony of the Yuezhi started to shake.
The third war probably was at BC or shortly earlier and the Yuezhi were badly defeated. Shortly before BC, led by one of Modu's tribal chiefs, the Xiongnu invaded Yuezhi territory in the Gansu region and achieved a crushing victory. This was "the first historically recorded movement of peoples originating in the high plateaus of Asia.
Visit of Zhang Qian[ edit ] A later mural c. Zhang Qian, who spent a year in Transoxiana and Bactriawrote a detailed account in the Shiji, which gives considerable insight into the situation in Central Asia at the time.
Zhang Qian also reported: They are a nation of nomadsmoving from place to place with their herds, and their customs are like those of the Xiongnu.
They have someorarcher warriors. Although the states from Dayuan west to Anxi Parthiaspeak rather different languages, their customs are generally similar and their languages mutually intelligible.
The men have deep-set eyes and profuse beards and whiskers. They are skilful at commerce and will haggle over a fraction of a cent.
Women are held in great respect, and the men make decisions on the advice of their women. Its people cultivate the land and have cities and houses.
Their customs are like those of Ta-Yuan. It has no great ruler but only a number of petty chiefs ruling the various cities.Scroll to the appropriate quiz below. If you don’t have your textbook at home, use the links next to each question for links to your text online.
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