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2015/5/5 1 The Xiongnu Federation Barfield, Thomas, The Perilous Frontier,” Ch. 2, "The Xiongnu Empire", Ch. 3, “The collapse of Central Order,” Barfield,

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1 2015/5/5 1 The Xiongnu Federation Barfield, Thomas, The Perilous Frontier,” Ch. 2, "The Xiongnu Empire", Ch. 3, “The collapse of Central Order,” Barfield, Thomas, The Perilous Frontier,” Ch. 2, "The Xiongnu Empire", Ch. 3, “The collapse of Central Order,” Sinor, Denis, Cambridge History of Early Asia, Ch 5, pp ; Sinor, Denis, Cambridge History of Early Asia, Ch 5, pp ; William Montgomery McGovern, The Early Empires of Central Asia:, pp William Montgomery McGovern, The Early Empires of Central Asia:, pp Optional: Optional: Paper from former students – check course website. Topic: The “Palace Living and Influence of Princess in Han Dynasty,” Paper from former students – check course website. Topic: The “Palace Living and Influence of Princess in Han Dynasty,” 司馬遷︰《史記》。北京︰中華書局, 1959 年。 ( 主要參考〈本紀〉、 〈劉敬列傳〉、〈匈奴列傳〉 ) 司馬遷︰《史記》。北京︰中華書局, 1959 年。 ( 主要參考〈本紀〉、 〈劉敬列傳〉、〈匈奴列傳〉 ) 班固︰《漢書》。北京︰中華書局, 1962 年。 ( 主要參考〈本紀〉、 〈韓安國傳〉、〈匈奴列傳〉 ) 班固︰《漢書》。北京︰中華書局, 1962 年。 ( 主要參考〈本紀〉、 〈韓安國傳〉、〈匈奴列傳〉 ) 范曄︰《後漢書》。北京︰中華書局, 1965 年。 ( 主要參考〈本紀〉、 〈南匈奴列傳〉 ) 范曄︰《後漢書》。北京︰中華書局, 1965 年。 ( 主要參考〈本紀〉、 〈南匈奴列傳〉 )

2 2015/5/5 2 The Xiongnu Confederation Introduction Introduction The Rise of Xiongnu Power The Rise of Xiongnu Power The Xiongnu and the Han The Xiongnu and the Han Foreign Relations Foreign Relations The Xiongnu Frontier Policy The Xiongnu Frontier Policy The Chinese Response The Chinese Response The Xiongnu Civil Wars The Xiongnu Civil Wars The Xiongnu and the end of the Han The Xiongnu and the end of the Han

3 2015/5/5 3 Introduction The Xiongnu 匈奴 was a nomadic (and probably proto-Turkic) people of Central Asia, generally based in present day Mongolia. From the 3 rd century BCE, they controlled a large steppe empire extending west as far as the Caucuses. They were active in the areas of southern Siberia, western Manchuria and the modern Chinese provinces of Inner Mongolia, Gansu and Xinjiang.

4 2015/5/5 4 Introduction (2) According to Sima Qian (ca BC) 司馬遷, a historian during the Han dynasty, the Xiongnu were descendants of Chunwei ( 淳維 ), possibly a son of the final ruler of the Xia Dynasty. According to Sima Qian (ca BC) 司馬遷, a historian during the Han dynasty, the Xiongnu were descendants of Chunwei ( 淳維 ), possibly a son of the final ruler of the Xia Dynasty. There is no proof that this is true; there is also no evidence saying this is not true. There is no proof that this is true; there is also no evidence saying this is not true. Ancient Chinese historians often credit, without sufficient evidence, theories of origins for foreign nations that relate their ancestry back to ancient Chinese figures. Ancient Chinese historians often credit, without sufficient evidence, theories of origins for foreign nations that relate their ancestry back to ancient Chinese figures. Archaeological findings confirmed that the Xiongnu economy was based on trade, gifts and subsidies from China as well as on their own production. Archaeological findings confirmed that the Xiongnu economy was based on trade, gifts and subsidies from China as well as on their own production.

5 2015/5/5 5 Introduction (3) Nomadic economy was very unstable as none of their products could be stored but must be moved with them. Nomadic economy was very unstable as none of their products could be stored but must be moved with them. If they were to amass a large herd it could be wiped out by disease, bad weather, theft or raids by other tribes. If they were to amass a large herd it could be wiped out by disease, bad weather, theft or raids by other tribes. They had to find a more stable source of income and so they gathered their military strength to extort goods and trade benefits from China. They had to find a more stable source of income and so they gathered their military strength to extort goods and trade benefits from China. This did not mean that the nomads could not exist without Chinese goods but it did mean that the quality of life would be much poorer. This did not mean that the nomads could not exist without Chinese goods but it did mean that the quality of life would be much poorer. In times of peace, the Shanyu (Supreme Chief) of the Xiongnu was the only intermediary between China and the nomadic tribes bringing trade and subsidies that could be redistributed throughout the different tribes under his command. In times of peace, the Shanyu (Supreme Chief) of the Xiongnu was the only intermediary between China and the nomadic tribes bringing trade and subsidies that could be redistributed throughout the different tribes under his command. The Shanyu acted both as a negotiator and a war leader. The Shanyu acted both as a negotiator and a war leader.

6 2015/5/5 6 Introduction (4) When the Xiongnu was under a strong leader, it was well organized, autocratic and state-like in foreign affairs, but consultative and federally structured internally. When the Xiongnu was under a strong leader, it was well organized, autocratic and state-like in foreign affairs, but consultative and federally structured internally. The power of the Shanyu was limited internally by the indigenous tribal leaders. The power of the Shanyu was limited internally by the indigenous tribal leaders. The tribes were loyal to their own leader rather than to the Shanyu and so the link between the tribes and the imperial government was more federal than autocratic. The tribes were loyal to their own leader rather than to the Shanyu and so the link between the tribes and the imperial government was more federal than autocratic.

7 2015/5/5 7 Introduction (5) If a tribe was not happy the leader would take his people and move west (Yuezhi and Wusun) or they would move south for help from China. If a tribe was not happy the leader would take his people and move west (Yuezhi and Wusun) or they would move south for help from China. Going to China would mean loss of autonomy so it was not the preferred method. Going to China would mean loss of autonomy so it was not the preferred method. Tribal leaders would only rebel if the Shanyu tried to centralize his power as all of them would then feel threatened. Tribal leaders would only rebel if the Shanyu tried to centralize his power as all of them would then feel threatened.

8 2015/5/5 8 Introduction (6) The Xiongnu and all the other nomadic tribes cultivated a violent reputation in order to have the best bargaining position with China and other countries. The Xiongnu and all the other nomadic tribes cultivated a violent reputation in order to have the best bargaining position with China and other countries. Example: the Mongols would kill everyone in the city if it refused to surrender and so many did surrender in fear of being slaughtered to the last man, woman and child. Example: the Mongols would kill everyone in the city if it refused to surrender and so many did surrender in fear of being slaughtered to the last man, woman and child. Western historical sources refer to all the different nomads from Central Asia who appeared in Europe in the 4 th century as Huns so many scholars have speculated that Attila the Hun was descended of the Xiongnu who had migrated westward. Western historical sources refer to all the different nomads from Central Asia who appeared in Europe in the 4 th century as Huns so many scholars have speculated that Attila the Hun was descended of the Xiongnu who had migrated westward. This theory remains at the level of speculation as DNA testing of Hun remains has not proven conclusive in determining the origin of the Huns. This theory remains at the level of speculation as DNA testing of Hun remains has not proven conclusive in determining the origin of the Huns.

9 2015/5/5 9 The Rise of Xiongnu Power The Xiongnu had been raiding China since the Warring States Period. The Xiongnu had been raiding China since the Warring States Period. The state of Zhao 赵国, on the western border of China, had to adopt nomadic clothing — trousers — in order to battle the Xiongnu on horses. The state of Zhao 赵国, on the western border of China, had to adopt nomadic clothing — trousers — in order to battle the Xiongnu on horses. Towards the end of the 4 th Century BCE, foreign clothing and cavalry was introduced for use in China. Towards the end of the 4 th Century BCE, foreign clothing and cavalry was introduced for use in China. Qin Shihuangdi united the different city walls built against them into the Great Wall. Qin Shihuangdi united the different city walls built against them into the Great Wall. At that time, a Xiongnu leader, Touman 头曼, had withdrawn to the north when attacked by the Qin Empire 秦. At that time, a Xiongnu leader, Touman 头曼, had withdrawn to the north when attacked by the Qin Empire 秦. After the death of the first emperor of the Qin, Qin Shihuangdi, the Xiongnu returned. After the death of the first emperor of the Qin, Qin Shihuangdi, the Xiongnu returned. Touman 头曼 was killed by his son, Mao Dun ( 冒頓 ) (c BCE). Touman 头曼 was killed by his son, Mao Dun ( 冒頓 ) (c BCE).

10 2015/5/5 10 The Rise of Xiongnu Power (2) Under Mao Dun’s leadership, he brought the Xiongnu and other nomadic tribes together in a powerful confederacy. This new unity of different ethnic groups of Central Asians made it possible for Mao Dun to expand the empire on all sides.

11 2015/5/5 11 The Rise of Xiongnu Power (3) Three years before the founding of the Han Dynasty (206BCE- 220CE), Mao Dun had conquered: Three years before the founding of the Han Dynasty (206BCE- 220CE), Mao Dun had conquered: The Dingling 丁零 of southern Siberia; The Dingling 丁零 of southern Siberia; The Dong-Hu 东胡 of eastern Mongolia and Manchuria, The Dong-Hu 东胡 of eastern Mongolia and Manchuria, The Yuezhi 月氏 in the Gansu 甘肃 corridor The Yuezhi 月氏 in the Gansu 甘肃 corridor The Han court decided that the Xiongnu were too powerful and could not be conquered so a treaty was signed, and a Han princess was married to Mao Dun. Mao Dun died peacefully and left his huge empire to his son who was also given a Han princess as a bride. The Han court decided that the Xiongnu were too powerful and could not be conquered so a treaty was signed, and a Han princess was married to Mao Dun. Mao Dun died peacefully and left his huge empire to his son who was also given a Han princess as a bride. Before Mao Dun’s death, he had recovered all the lands taken from the Xiongnu by the Qin 秦 dynasty. Before Mao Dun’s death, he had recovered all the lands taken from the Xiongnu by the Qin 秦 dynasty. For more than 300 years after Mao Dun the Xiongnu dominated the steppe-lands north of China. For more than 300 years after Mao Dun the Xiongnu dominated the steppe-lands north of China.

12 2015/5/5 12 The Xiongnu and the Han In BCE, the Xiongnu, under Mao Dun, raided the Chinese frontier and the ruler of the province surrendered. In BCE, the Xiongnu, under Mao Dun, raided the Chinese frontier and the ruler of the province surrendered. Fearing the impact this would have, the founder of the Han dynasty, Gaozu 高祖 (r BCE), personally led his troops to punish them. Fearing the impact this would have, the founder of the Han dynasty, Gaozu 高祖 (r BCE), personally led his troops to punish them. He pursued the Xiongnu and fell into an ambush at Pingcheng 平 城 where he was separated from the main army and was surrounded by the Xiongnu cavalry for 7 days. He pursued the Xiongnu and fell into an ambush at Pingcheng 平 城 where he was separated from the main army and was surrounded by the Xiongnu cavalry for 7 days. He sent an envoy to Mao Dun’s wife and struck a secret bargain with her to gain his release. He sent an envoy to Mao Dun’s wife and struck a secret bargain with her to gain his release. She convinced Mao Dun that the capture of Gaozu would not be in his best interests because the nomads could not occupy and rule China. She convinced Mao Dun that the capture of Gaozu would not be in his best interests because the nomads could not occupy and rule China. The Xiongnu then opened up a small hole to let Gaozu and his troops escaped. The Xiongnu then opened up a small hole to let Gaozu and his troops escaped.

13 2015/5/5 13 Foreign Relations Foreign relations with the Xiongnu began after Han Gaozu’s escape in 200BC. Foreign relations with the Xiongnu began after Han Gaozu’s escape in 200BC. Han and the Xiongnu signed the Heqin 和親 treaty* which had four major provisions: Han and the Xiongnu signed the Heqin 和親 treaty* which had four major provisions: The Chinese made fixed annual payments of silk, wine, grain and other foodstuffs to the Xiongnu. The Chinese made fixed annual payments of silk, wine, grain and other foodstuffs to the Xiongnu. The Han gave a princess in marriage to the Mao Dun – their distant descendant established a Han state ( ) during the Sixteen Kingdoms Period (300s CE), claiming his right as a descendant of the Han through the royal princess. The Han gave a princess in marriage to the Mao Dun – their distant descendant established a Han state ( ) during the Sixteen Kingdoms Period (300s CE), claiming his right as a descendant of the Han through the royal princess. The Xiongnu and the Han were ranked as equal states. The Xiongnu and the Han were ranked as equal states. The Great Wall was the official boundary between the two states. The Great Wall was the official boundary between the two states.

14 2015/5/5 14 Foreign Relations (2) Under the Heqin agreement, the Han subsidy, at its maximum, was less than 5,000 hu of grain, 10,000 shi of wine, and 10,000 pi of silk. Under the Heqin agreement, the Han subsidy, at its maximum, was less than 5,000 hu of grain, 10,000 shi of wine, and 10,000 pi of silk. The grain subsidy only allowed the chief to entertain his court in style but not enough to support a large part of the population. The grain subsidy only allowed the chief to entertain his court in style but not enough to support a large part of the population. An annual wine subsidy of 10,000 shi (around 200,000 liters) enabled the chief to entertain his followers on a large scale. An annual wine subsidy of 10,000 shi (around 200,000 liters) enabled the chief to entertain his followers on a large scale. There were also gifts of gold, suits of clothing, and other items. There were also gifts of gold, suits of clothing, and other items. A silk subsidy of 10,000 pi (92,400 meters) made it possible for the chief to distribute to tribal leaders to trade for other goods as silk was in great demand on the steppe and in the west. A silk subsidy of 10,000 pi (92,400 meters) made it possible for the chief to distribute to tribal leaders to trade for other goods as silk was in great demand on the steppe and in the west.

15 2015/5/5 15 Foreign Relations (3) The subsidy helped to reward the elite but was not enough to meet the needs of the tribesmen. The subsidy helped to reward the elite but was not enough to meet the needs of the tribesmen. Therefore once the Xiongnu got these concessions they then demanded that the Han court permit them to trade at border markets. Therefore once the Xiongnu got these concessions they then demanded that the Han court permit them to trade at border markets. It was important for the Xiongnu to press for the border markets so that the ordinary nomads could also benefit by trading their products for Han goods. It was important for the Xiongnu to press for the border markets so that the ordinary nomads could also benefit by trading their products for Han goods. The Han court was opposed to border trade as they wanted a clean frontier with as few links to the nomads as possible. The Han court was opposed to border trade as they wanted a clean frontier with as few links to the nomads as possible. After repeated invasions by the Xiongnu, Han Wendi (r BCE) finally gave in and signed a treaty permitting border trade. After repeated invasions by the Xiongnu, Han Wendi (r BCE) finally gave in and signed a treaty permitting border trade.

16 2015/5/5 16 Foreign Relations (3) This first Heqin treaty set the pattern for relations between the Han and the Xiongnu for about 60 years. This first Heqin treaty set the pattern for relations between the Han and the Xiongnu for about 60 years. Up to 135 BCE, the treaty was renewed nine times, with an increase of "gifts" by the Han with each subsequent agreement. Up to 135 BCE, the treaty was renewed nine times, with an increase of "gifts" by the Han with each subsequent agreement. In 192 BCE, Mao Dun even asked for the hand of the widowed Empress Lü. In 192 BCE, Mao Dun even asked for the hand of the widowed Empress Lü. Mao Dun’s son and successor, continued his father's expansionist policies and succeeded in negotiating terms for a large-scale market system and the hand of a princess in marriage. Mao Dun’s son and successor, continued his father's expansionist policies and succeeded in negotiating terms for a large-scale market system and the hand of a princess in marriage. Han Dynasty Han Dynasty 200BCE-140BCE: 10 instances 200BCE-140BCE: 10 instances 60BCE-33BCE: 2 instances 60BCE-33BCE: 2 instances 60 CE 1 instance (not including marriages between Chinese warlords and Shanyu during the Civil Wars). 60 CE 1 instance (not including marriages between Chinese warlords and Shanyu during the Civil Wars).hanyu

17 2015/5/5 17 Foreign Relations (4) It was to the Chinese advantage to continue this foreign relations with the Xiongnu so that they can use this to control both the Xiongnu peoples and have the Xiongnu be a buffer with regions beyond China. It was to the Chinese advantage to continue this foreign relations with the Xiongnu so that they can use this to control both the Xiongnu peoples and have the Xiongnu be a buffer with regions beyond China. It was to the Xiongnu advantage as well since it meant that they can be the leader of the nomadic tribes. It was to the Xiongnu advantage as well since it meant that they can be the leader of the nomadic tribes. But, the Xiongnu did not take the peace treaty seriously as they continued to raid the borders of China. But, the Xiongnu did not take the peace treaty seriously as they continued to raid the borders of China.

18 2015/5/5 18 The Xiongnu Frontier Policy The strategy for the Han frontier was made by the court and so the Xiongnu had to develop a frontier strategy that would force the Han court to negotiate. The strategy for the Han frontier was made by the court and so the Xiongnu had to develop a frontier strategy that would force the Han court to negotiate. Their strategy had three major elements: Their strategy had three major elements: Violent raiding deep into Han territory to terrify the Han court. Violent raiding deep into Han territory to terrify the Han court. Alternate between war and peace to increase the amount of subsidies and trade privileges granted by the Chinese. Alternate between war and peace to increase the amount of subsidies and trade privileges granted by the Chinese. Refusal to occupy Chinese land even after great victories. Refusal to occupy Chinese land even after great victories. After treaties were signed, the Xiongnu would attack again and extract more concessions out of the Chinese tributary system. After treaties were signed, the Xiongnu would attack again and extract more concessions out of the Chinese tributary system.

19 2015/5/5 19 The Xiongnu Frontier Policy (2) For their strategy to succeed, the Xiongnu needed: For their strategy to succeed, the Xiongnu needed: 1. A prosperous and populous north China 2. An effective administrative system within China 3. A government policy dominated by civilian Chinese bureaucrats. These conditions were best met when China was united, internally at peace, and under native Chinese rule. These conditions were best met when China was united, internally at peace, and under native Chinese rule.

20 2015/5/5 20 The Xiongnu Frontier Policy (4) 1. A prosperous and populous north China 1. A prosperous and populous north China By raiding the northern border or by exploiting the tributary system, the nomads extracted wealth to support their empires. By raiding the northern border or by exploiting the tributary system, the nomads extracted wealth to support their empires. If the economic base of north China was destroyed and its population greatly reduced, the goods would not be produced by the farmers and artisans. If the economic base of north China was destroyed and its population greatly reduced, the goods would not be produced by the farmers and artisans. There was little to extort from a region of abandoned villages or from a population suffering from famine. There was little to extort from a region of abandoned villages or from a population suffering from famine.

21 2015/5/5 21 The Xiongnu Frontier Policy (5) 2.An effective administrative system in China 2.An effective administrative system in China The nomads depended on China to organize the production of needed goods. The nomads depended on China to organize the production of needed goods. When the empire broke down and unable to support the frontier areas, the wealth dried up and raids could not accomplish anything. When the empire broke down and unable to support the frontier areas, the wealth dried up and raids could not accomplish anything. If the Government did not provide aid to the invaded territories there would not be enough to support annual attacks. If the Government did not provide aid to the invaded territories there would not be enough to support annual attacks. They could not occupy Chinese land as it would expose the weakness of their numbers (1 million versus 54 million Chinese). They could not occupy Chinese land as it would expose the weakness of their numbers (1 million versus 54 million Chinese).

22 2015/5/5 22 The Xiongnu Frontier Policy (6) 3. A Government dominated by civilian Chinese 3. A Government dominated by civilian Chinesebureaucrats The Chinese government had to prefer providing nomads with their needs than going to war against them. The Chinese government had to prefer providing nomads with their needs than going to war against them. The Confucian officials were generally opposed to offensive military schemes as they disrupted the state and created opportunities for the advancement of merchants and soldiers. The Confucian officials were generally opposed to offensive military schemes as they disrupted the state and created opportunities for the advancement of merchants and soldiers.

23 2015/5/5 23 The Chinese Response Early Han rulers were were interested in: Early Han rulers were were interested in: Establishing the dynasty Establishing the dynasty Relieving the society of harsh laws, wars, and conditions. Relieving the society of harsh laws, wars, and conditions. Minimizing external threats from the nomads. Minimizing external threats from the nomads. This policy of the government reduced their role over civilian lives ( 與民休息 ) to start a period of stability. This policy of the government reduced their role over civilian lives ( 與民休息 ) to start a period of stability. The Han court feared that violence would lead to disruption of their rule. The Han court feared that violence would lead to disruption of their rule. The court also did not want war as it was very expensive so they developed a policy referred to as the “Five Baits”: The court also did not want war as it was very expensive so they developed a policy referred to as the “Five Baits”: Elaborate clothes and carriages to corrupt their eyes. Elaborate clothes and carriages to corrupt their eyes. Fine food to corrupt their mouths. Fine food to corrupt their mouths. Music to corrupt their ears. Music to corrupt their ears. Lofty buildings, granaries and slaves to corrupt their stomachs. Lofty buildings, granaries and slaves to corrupt their stomachs. Gifts and favors for those who surrendered. Gifts and favors for those who surrendered.

24 2015/5/5 24 The Chinese Response (2) The Han court thought that the Shanyu would keep all the gifts and his people would become jealous and rebel. The Han court thought that the Shanyu would keep all the gifts and his people would become jealous and rebel. They did not realize that the Shanyu depended on the gifts from the Chinese for power as he redistributed them to his the tribal leaders. They did not realize that the Shanyu depended on the gifts from the Chinese for power as he redistributed them to his the tribal leaders. Under Wudi (r BCE) the Han court decided on an aggressive war policy against the Xiongnu (133-90BCE). Under Wudi (r BCE) the Han court decided on an aggressive war policy against the Xiongnu (133-90BCE).

25 2015/5/5 25 The Chinese Response (3) Han Wudi had four objectives: Han Wudi had four objectives: To push the Han frontier to the old Qin dynasty borders and to station conscripts (often convicts) at the frontiers – these conscripts were to be partially self-supporting by establishing farming colonies. To push the Han frontier to the old Qin dynasty borders and to station conscripts (often convicts) at the frontiers – these conscripts were to be partially self-supporting by establishing farming colonies. To create alliances with Xiongnu’s nomadic neighbors some of whom were willing to accept a loose alliance sealed by the marriage to a Han princess and occasionally helping Han to attack the Xiongnu from the west. To create alliances with Xiongnu’s nomadic neighbors some of whom were willing to accept a loose alliance sealed by the marriage to a Han princess and occasionally helping Han to attack the Xiongnu from the west. To move the Han troops into the Tarim Basin to cut off the right arm of the Xiongnu, to prevent them from linking up with the Qiang 羌 in the Tibetan borderland and to stop the revenue the Xiongnu received from Turkistan. To move the Han troops into the Tarim Basin to cut off the right arm of the Xiongnu, to prevent them from linking up with the Qiang 羌 in the Tibetan borderland and to stop the revenue the Xiongnu received from Turkistan. To destroy the Xiongnu’s power on the steppe. To destroy the Xiongnu’s power on the steppe. By 119 BCE, the Han pushed the Xiongnu across the Gobi desert but 20 years later the Xiongnu were back again at China’s borders. By 119 BCE, the Han pushed the Xiongnu across the Gobi desert but 20 years later the Xiongnu were back again at China’s borders.

26 2015/5/5 26 The Xiongnu Civil Wars The Xiongnu domination of the steppes ended due to internal problems due to succession fights and economic disasters that led to two civil wars. The Xiongnu domination of the steppes ended due to internal problems due to succession fights and economic disasters that led to two civil wars. There are two forms of succession: lineal and fraternal/lateral. There are two forms of succession: lineal and fraternal/lateral. In lineal successions, the son succeeded the father and the father’s younger brother could not take the throne as long as a son still lived. In lineal successions, the son succeeded the father and the father’s younger brother could not take the throne as long as a son still lived. At times, the uncles murdered nephews who stood between them and the throne. At times, the uncles murdered nephews who stood between them and the throne. In fraternal/lateral successions the brothers succeeded each other after the death of the previous one with the ruler-ship returning to the son of the eldest brother. In fraternal/lateral successions the brothers succeeded each other after the death of the previous one with the ruler-ship returning to the son of the eldest brother. Problems occur when the youngest brother decides to make his own son the heir and not his nephew. Problems occur when the youngest brother decides to make his own son the heir and not his nephew.

27 2015/5/5 27 The Xiongnu Civil Wars (2) Lineal successions avoided multiple heirs from different lineages but created tension between a ruler and his brothers. Lineal successions avoided multiple heirs from different lineages but created tension between a ruler and his brothers. Fraternal succession created many lines of succession as each son of a former chief could lay some claim to the office. Fraternal succession created many lines of succession as each son of a former chief could lay some claim to the office. Succession problems led to two civil wars; the second eventually ended the Xiongnu domination of the steppes. Succession problems led to two civil wars; the second eventually ended the Xiongnu domination of the steppes. The Xiongnu had practiced lineal succession, from father to son unless the heir was too young – then the leadership would be fraternal – from elder brother to younger brother then back to the heir. The Xiongnu had practiced lineal succession, from father to son unless the heir was too young – then the leadership would be fraternal – from elder brother to younger brother then back to the heir.

28 2015/5/5 28 The Xiongnu Civil Wars (2) In 68 BCE the Xiongnu suffered from a famine and the death of a chief in the same year. In 68 BCE the Xiongnu suffered from a famine and the death of a chief in the same year. In 60 BCE, another chief died and the tribal leaders were divided over which of the two powerful lineages should inherit (previous disputes dealt with whether a brother or a son should inherit). In 60 BCE, another chief died and the tribal leaders were divided over which of the two powerful lineages should inherit (previous disputes dealt with whether a brother or a son should inherit). This led to the first civil war that divided the Xiongnu into two different camps: the Northern and the Southern Xiongnu. This led to the first civil war that divided the Xiongnu into two different camps: the Northern and the Southern Xiongnu. This division lasted for 15 years. This division lasted for 15 years.

29 2015/5/5 29 The Xiongnu Civil Wars (3) The Northern Xiongnu expanded westward. The Northern Xiongnu expanded westward. They successfully took over land held by the Kyrghiz and the Dingling (northeastern Turkistan and southwestern Siberia). They successfully took over land held by the Kyrghiz and the Dingling (northeastern Turkistan and southwestern Siberia). They abandoned their headquarters in northern Mongolia and created a new capital in Northwestern Turkistan which was previously predominantly Iranian -- now it was Turkish. They abandoned their headquarters in northern Mongolia and created a new capital in Northwestern Turkistan which was previously predominantly Iranian -- now it was Turkish. By CE, the center of the Xiongnu Empire had shifted over 1,000 miles toward Europe leading to the later invasions of Europe. By CE, the center of the Xiongnu Empire had shifted over 1,000 miles toward Europe leading to the later invasions of Europe. The Southern Xiongnu fled to China for protection and were settled within the upper loop of the Yellow River and were used by China to defend its northern borders. The Southern Xiongnu fled to China for protection and were settled within the upper loop of the Yellow River and were used by China to defend its northern borders.

30 2015/5/5 30 The Xiongnu Civil Wars (4) The Chinese gave them what they needed but could not grow so the Southern Xiongnu grew prosperous The Chinese gave them what they needed but could not grow so the Southern Xiongnu grew prosperous When the game in the area could no longer support the large population they looked for ways to expand their territory. When the game in the area could no longer support the large population they looked for ways to expand their territory. When the ruler of the Northern Xiongnu died, the head of the Southern Xiongnu unified the tribes; he was given a Chinese bride. When the ruler of the Northern Xiongnu died, the head of the Southern Xiongnu unified the tribes; he was given a Chinese bride. In 31 CE, when a Shanyu, Huhanye, was close to death he wanted to pass the ruler-ship to his favorite son, who was only the third eldest. In 31 CE, when a Shanyu, Huhanye, was close to death he wanted to pass the ruler-ship to his favorite son, who was only the third eldest. The mother of the son advised him to have his eldest son succeed him but that afterwards, succession be passed from elder to younger brother. The mother of the son advised him to have his eldest son succeed him but that afterwards, succession be passed from elder to younger brother. Succession then changed from lineal to fraternal. Succession then changed from lineal to fraternal.

31 2015/5/5 31 The Xiongnu Civil Wars (5) Succession then passed through his six sons but the sixth son, Yu (r.19-47), wanted his own son to rule instead of his younger brother. Succession then passed through his six sons but the sixth son, Yu (r.19-47), wanted his own son to rule instead of his younger brother. He killed his younger brother but one of the nephews, Bi, claimed that as the eldest son of Huhanye’s eldest son it was his turn to succeed. He killed his younger brother but one of the nephews, Bi, claimed that as the eldest son of Huhanye’s eldest son it was his turn to succeed. Bi had control over the area close to the Chinese border and began secret negotiations with the Chinese for support. Bi had control over the area close to the Chinese border and began secret negotiations with the Chinese for support. When the Shanyu learned of this he tried to arrest Bi but Bi was warned by his brother and was able to defeat the repeated efforts made by the Shanyu. When the Shanyu learned of this he tried to arrest Bi but Bi was warned by his brother and was able to defeat the repeated efforts made by the Shanyu. Bi went to China and offered to guard the frontier and China accepted him. Bi went to China and offered to guard the frontier and China accepted him. He moved south of the Great Wall into Han territory which had been abandoned by the Chinese and blocked Chinese trade from reaching his rival and maintained exclusive control of the tributary system. He moved south of the Great Wall into Han territory which had been abandoned by the Chinese and blocked Chinese trade from reaching his rival and maintained exclusive control of the tributary system.

32 2015/5/5 32 The Xiongnu Civil Wars (6) Bi got Han to provide military aid to fight against the Northern Xiongnu. Bi got Han to provide military aid to fight against the Northern Xiongnu. Since neither group could conquer the other, the Xiongnu again split into two forces, the Kingdom of the North and the Kingdom of the South. Since neither group could conquer the other, the Xiongnu again split into two forces, the Kingdom of the North and the Kingdom of the South. With the support of China, the Southern Xiongnu eventually forced the Northern Xiongnu to withdraw from the east and again expand west and southwest. With the support of China, the Southern Xiongnu eventually forced the Northern Xiongnu to withdraw from the east and again expand west and southwest. While the Northern and Southern Xiongnu were attacking each other, other nomadic groups — the Xianbei from the east, the Dingling in the north and tribes from the Turkistan area from the west (46CE) attacked the Northern Xiongnu. While the Northern and Southern Xiongnu were attacking each other, other nomadic groups — the Xianbei from the east, the Dingling in the north and tribes from the Turkistan area from the west (46CE) attacked the Northern Xiongnu.

33 2015/5/5 33 The Xiongnu Civil Wars (7) In 48, the Shanyu of the Northern Xiongnu died and there was another struggle over succession to the throne. In 48, the Shanyu of the Northern Xiongnu died and there was another struggle over succession to the throne. As the Xiongnu was having internal problems, the Xianbei attacked from the east, and many Northern Xiongnu tribes defected to the south while 58 Northern Xiongnu tribes defected to the Xianbei. As the Xiongnu was having internal problems, the Xianbei attacked from the east, and many Northern Xiongnu tribes defected to the south while 58 Northern Xiongnu tribes defected to the Xianbei. In 87, the Xianbei beheaded the last Northern Shanyu and cut off 1,000 heads and brought them to the Chinese court and was given rich presents. In 87, the Xianbei beheaded the last Northern Shanyu and cut off 1,000 heads and brought them to the Chinese court and was given rich presents. The Xianbei then went into the head hunting business and were paid by the Chinese per head. The Xianbei then went into the head hunting business and were paid by the Chinese per head.

34 2015/5/5 34 The Xiongnu Civil Wars (8) In 88, the Southern Xiongnu sent a memorial to the Han emperor pointing out the weakness of the Northern Xiongnu and urged that it be destroyed and “its territories and its inhabitants given over to the Southern Xiongnu who have consistently shown themselves devoted subject”. In so doing, China would never have to worry about defending her northern frontier. In 88, the Southern Xiongnu sent a memorial to the Han emperor pointing out the weakness of the Northern Xiongnu and urged that it be destroyed and “its territories and its inhabitants given over to the Southern Xiongnu who have consistently shown themselves devoted subject”. In so doing, China would never have to worry about defending her northern frontier. In 89, the brother of the Han dynasty regent, Empress Dowager Dou, together with 8,000 Chinese and 30,000 southern Xiongnu successfully invaded northern Mongolia and the Northern Shanyu fled. In 89, the brother of the Han dynasty regent, Empress Dowager Dou, together with 8,000 Chinese and 30,000 southern Xiongnu successfully invaded northern Mongolia and the Northern Shanyu fled.

35 2015/5/5 35 The End of Xiongnu Power The Han court wanted to keep the Xiongnu weak and so did not support the Southern Xiongnu’s control of Northern Mongolia. The Han court wanted to keep the Xiongnu weak and so did not support the Southern Xiongnu’s control of Northern Mongolia. Instead, it was agreed that Southern Mongolia would be in the hands of the Southern Xiongnu and Northern Mongolia was would be in the hands of the Xianbei. Instead, it was agreed that Southern Mongolia would be in the hands of the Southern Xiongnu and Northern Mongolia was would be in the hands of the Xianbei. The Xianbei which had originally been confined to Northeastern Mongolia and Western Manchuria now became a great power. The Xianbei which had originally been confined to Northeastern Mongolia and Western Manchuria now became a great power. This ended the Xiongnu domination on the steppe. This ended the Xiongnu domination on the steppe. The Xiongnu were no longer a power although they continued to be mentioned in Chinese records until 155. The Xiongnu were no longer a power although they continued to be mentioned in Chinese records until 155.

36 2015/5/5 36 The End of Xiongnu Power (2) Towards the end of the Eastern Han (188) the Han court asked the Shanyu of the Southern Xiongnu for support to suppress the rebellions. Towards the end of the Eastern Han (188) the Han court asked the Shanyu of the Southern Xiongnu for support to suppress the rebellions. The Shanyu agreed but was murdered by some of his own subjects as many of the Xiongnu feared that it would set a precedent for unending military service to the Han court. The Shanyu agreed but was murdered by some of his own subjects as many of the Xiongnu feared that it would set a precedent for unending military service to the Han court. The murdered Shanyu’s son succeeded him, but was soon overthrown by the same faction in 189. The murdered Shanyu’s son succeeded him, but was soon overthrown by the same faction in 189. The son went to the Han capital to ask for help from the Han court, but the Han court was unable to help as it was caught in a clash between the military and the eunuchs. The son went to the Han capital to ask for help from the Han court, but the Han court was unable to help as it was caught in a clash between the military and the eunuchs. The Shanyu’s son and his followers had no choice but to settle down with his followers in Shanxi; he died in 195 and was succeeded by his brother. The Shanyu’s son and his followers had no choice but to settle down with his followers in Shanxi; he died in 195 and was succeeded by his brother.

37 2015/5/5 37 The Xiongnu at the End of the Han During the battle of the warlords for power, many of the Xiongnu supported one faction (Yuan Shao 袁绍 ). During the battle of the warlords for power, many of the Xiongnu supported one faction (Yuan Shao 袁绍 ). In 216, Cao Cao 曹操 ( ) was victorious over most of the other warlords and detained the new Xiongnu Shanyu in the city of Ye, and divided his followers in Shanxi into five divisions to prevent them from rebelling and Cao Cao used the Xiongnu in his cavalry. In 216, Cao Cao 曹操 ( ) was victorious over most of the other warlords and detained the new Xiongnu Shanyu in the city of Ye, and divided his followers in Shanxi into five divisions to prevent them from rebelling and Cao Cao used the Xiongnu in his cavalry. Eventually, the Xiongnu aristocracy in Shanxi changed their surname to Liu claiming that they were related to the Han imperial clan through the old intermarriage policy (Heqin treaty). Eventually, the Xiongnu aristocracy in Shanxi changed their surname to Liu claiming that they were related to the Han imperial clan through the old intermarriage policy (Heqin treaty). Their descendents would establish kingdoms in northern China during the Sixteen Kingdoms Period ( ). Their descendents would establish kingdoms in northern China during the Sixteen Kingdoms Period ( ).

38 2015/5/5 38 Next Reading Barfield, Thomas, “The Xiongnu Confederacy: Organization and Foreign Policy”, Journal of Asian Studies, Vol 41, No. 1, Nov, 1981, pp 45-61; Barfield, Thomas, “The Xiongnu Confederacy: Organization and Foreign Policy”, Journal of Asian Studies, Vol 41, No. 1, Nov, 1981, pp 45-61; OR OR Eberhard, Wolfram, Conquerors and Rulers, Ch. 5: Problems of Nomadic rule. Eberhard, Wolfram, Conquerors and Rulers, Ch. 5: Problems of Nomadic rule. OR. OR. William Montgomery McGovern, The Early Empires of Central Asia:, pp William Montgomery McGovern, The Early Empires of Central Asia:, pp Chinese texts. Chinese texts.


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