Qiang 羌 references in the Book of the Later Han 后汉书
QIANG 羌 REFERENCES IN THE BOOK OF THE LATER HAN 后汉书INTRODUCTIONThe Book of the Later Han (Hou Han Shu) was compiled by Fan Ye in the 5th century usingearlier documents and histories as his sources. It covers the Eastern Han period from 25 – 220AD and is a valuable source of information about the Qiang peoples on China’s western bordersat that time. In this document I have sought to translate every Qiang reference in the Hou HanShu, omitting only a few very minor references.With much gratitude I have used a freely available on-line text of the Hou Han Shu for thetranslation, which can be found at: http://www.xysa.net/a200/h350/03houhanshu/t-index.htm My aim is to give an overall view of the situation of the Qiang in this time period. I amaware that only translating the Qiang references results in a lack of broader context but I havehad to set limits. Occasionally I have included other references which shed light on aspectswhich relate to the Qiang. My main source and starting point for tracing place locations waswww.baidu.com.Chapter 117, the Biography of the Western Qiang, is long and detailed so I have published itseparately. Chapter 118 has been translated with extensive notes by John E. Hill and is availablein his book, Through the Jade Gate to Rome: A Study of the Silk Routes during the Later HanDynasty, 1st to 2nd Centuries CE.For background information on this period see The Government and Geography of the NorthernFrontier of Late Han by Rafe de Crespigny.1 I also highly recommend Rafe de Crespigny’s lateEastern Han map as a companion for this study.2 To aid understanding of Qiang-relatedlocations, I have tried to find today’s equivalent of many place names and noted them in thefootnotes. My own comments are either in the main body of the text in italics or in the footnotes.I have used the old pinyin ‘Shaanxi’ for 陕西 to differentiate it from Shanxi 山西. In addition tothe chapter numbering, in the original Chinese each chapter is also numbered in relation to itssection within the work. I have generally only translated the basic chapter numbers.The first nine chapters of the Hou Han Shu are chronologically ordered records of the emperorsand they provide a basic outline of conflict between various Qiang groups and the Han, usuallyincluding the location of the conflict and who won. A study of the Qiang references in laterchapters reveals more details of these battles and also some valuable observations about theQiang and their relationships with those around them. The Qiang are frequently described asthe ‘rebellious Qiang’ but it has to be remembered that this is from a Han perspective and thatthe Hou Han Shu is an official historical record. In some situations the Qiang had submitted tothe Han and then rebelled but in other situations they had never submitted and although theHan viewed them as resisting the right of the emperor to rule over them, they were simplyenemies rather than rebels.I have done this work as an independent researcher/translator and would like to thank thosewho have helped make this possible – you know who you are. I taught English from 2006-2008at Aba Teachers College in Wenchuan and from 2008-2009 in Gucheng, Pixian, where thecollege was temporarily relocated after the 2008 earthquake. The earthquake wroughtdevastation in the Qiang areas of Sichuan and as the Qiang community continue to rebuild theirlives, I dedicate this work to the future of this ancient community.Rachel Meakin, October 2011 (firstname.lastname@example.org , website: www.qianghistory.co.uk )1 http://www.anu.edu.au/asianstudies/decrespigny/northern_front.html#str2 https://digitalcollections.anu.edu.au/html/1885/42048/peace_maps/map01.pdf
CHAPTER 1: 光武帝紀第一 The Records of Emperor Guangwu (r.25-57 AD)In the 9th year of Emperor Guangwu (33 AD), the position of Colonel Protector of the Qiang wasre-established.3In the 10th month of the 10th year, the Xianlian Qiang (先零羌4) invaded Jincheng (金成) andLongxi (陇西). The Han attacked them in Wuxi, winning a significant victory.In the 11th year, around the 4th month, the Xianlian Qiang invaded Lintao.5 In the winter of the11th year, Ma Yuan, the governor of Longxi,6 attacked and defeated the Xianlian Qiang, who werethen moved to Tianshui, Longxi and Fufeng.7In the 12th year, the Canlang Qiang ( 参狼羌) invaded Wudu, and the governor of Longxi, MaYuan, dispatched troops against them and they were subdued.In autumn of the 13th year, the Baima Qiang (White Horse Qiang 白马羌) of Guanghan, whichwas beyond the borders, led their type of people to submit to the interior.In the 1st Zhongyuan year (56 AD), the Canlang Qiang invaded Wudu, defeating the commanderytroops, and the Longxi commandery head, Liu Xu, sent reinforcements, so the Wuducommandery soldiers attacked the rebellious Qiang and the Qiang were all defeated.CHAPTER 2: 显宗孝明帝纪第二 The Records of Emperor Ming (r. 57-75)In the autumn of the 2nd Zhongyuan year (57 AD), the Shaodang Qiang (烧当羌) invaded Longxiand defeated the commandery troops at Yunjie.8 There was an amnesty for prisoners in Longxiand taxes were cancelled. The 3,000 men who had been sent to Tianshui were also sent backagain to guard the frontier for a year. The ‘Yezhe’ official,9 Zhang Hong, attacked the rebellingQiang in Yunwu10 but was badly defeated and died in battle. In winter, the 11th month, theZhonglang General Dou Gu and the ‘Seizing the Enemy’ General Ma Wu and their men attackedthe Shaodang Qiang.3 The position of Colonel Protector of the Qiang was first established in 111 BC when the Western Qiangand Xiongnu together had surrounded Fuhan [northeast of today’s Linxia in Gansu]. The ColonelProtector of the Qiang was the chief military official in the Qiang area, overseeing the affairs of the Qiangand responsible for keeping them under control.4 Although the Chinese characters read Xianling, the original pronunciation would have been ‘lian’ so thename is often written as Xianlian. (See: Northern Frontier: the Policies and Strategy of the Later HanEmpire by Rafe de Crespigny, Australian National University Press, 1984, p 471,n.14). They are at timesreferred to as Xianlian Qiang and at times just referred to as Xianlian. They were a relatively large groupalready mentioned in Chapter 69 of the Han Shu, in 63 BC, when they were in eastern Qinghai and feudingwith two other Qiang groups, the Han 罕 and Kai.5临洮: In today’s Dingxi, Gansu.6太守: provincial governor/ commandery chief.7 陇西:Dingxi area of Gansu, south of Lanzhou. 扶风: Baoji area of Shaanxi. 天水: between Longxi andFufeng.8允街: in the Yongdeng area of Gansu, northwest of Lanzhou. Yunjie was in Jincheng commandery.9谒者: an official position.10 允吾: Yunwu was also in Jincheng commandery, with its seat of government in today’s Minhe county,Haidong prefecture, Qinghai.
In the 1st Yongping year (57 AD), in the autumn, General Ma Wu went to war against theShaodang Qiang and won a major victory. Troops were recruited to guard the garrison atLongyou.11In the second year in the 12th month, the Colonel Protector of the Qiang, Dou Lin, wasimprisoned and died.CHAPTER 3: 肃宗孝章帝纪第三 The Records of Emperor Zhang (r.75-88)In the 6th month of the 2nd Jianchu year (77 AD), the Shaodang Qiang rebelled and the governorof Jincheng, Hao Chong, attacked them but was utterly defeated. The Qiang then invadedHanyang. In the 8th month, the General of Cavalry and Chariots, Ma Fang, was sent to attack andpacify them.In the 3rd Jianchu year (78 AD), Ma Fang defeated the Shaodang Qiang at Lintao.In the 10th month of the 3rd Yuanhe year (86 AD), the Shaodang Qiang rebelled and invadedLongxi. That year, the Chief Official of the Western Regions, Ban Chao, attacked and beheaded12the king of Shule (Kashgar).In the 3rd month of the 1st Zhanghe year (87 AD), the Colonel Protector of the Qiang, Fu Yu,pursued and attacked the rebelling Qiang, but was killed in battle. Later that year, the ShaodangQiang invaded Jincheng, and the Colonel Protector of the Qiang,13 Liu Xu, attacked them andbeheaded their leader.CHAPTER 4: 孝和孝殇帝纪第四 The Records of Emperor He (r. 88-106)In the 4th Yongyuan year (92 AD), the Shaodang Qiang invaded Jincheng.In the 5th year, the Colonel Protector of the Qiang, Guan You, attacked the Shaodang Qiang, sothe Qiang fled. An Guo, who was the Southern Shanyu,14rebelled and was beheaded by the Han.In the 4th month of the 6th year, the Qiang beyond the borders of Shu15 commandery led theirkind of people and sent an envoy to offer their submission.In the 9th year (97 AD), the Shaodang Qiang invaded Longxi and killed the senior official. TheAttacking the West General, Liu Shang, and the ‘Yueqi’ Colonel, Zhao Shi, were sent against themand defeated them.In the 12th month of the 10th year, the Shaodang Qiang chief, Mi Tang, led his kind of people tovisit the emperor and offer tribute.In the 12th year the Shaodang Qiang rebelled again.11陇右: the area to the west of the Long Mountains 陇山, also known as the Liupan Mountains, which runsouth from Guyuan in Ningxia, across Gansu into western Shaanxi.12 Beheading seems gruesome but before the advent of fire-arms, this was probably, like the guillotine, thequickest and least torturous way of killing an enemy.13 A certain irony here that the Protector of the Qiang would attack the Qiang and behead their leader buthe was charged with keeping the peace in areas of submitted Qiang, so any Qiang who were hostile to theHan would be seen as a threat. Several Protectors of the Qiang were dismissed from their posts for failingto quell rebellious Qiang.14 The Xiongnu (匈奴) leader was called Shanyu or Chanyu (单于)15 蜀: Shu commandery was centred on the western part of the Sichuan basin.
In the 13th year (101 AD), the Colonel Protector of the Qiang, Zhou Wei, attacked the ShaodangQiang and defeated them.In a summary at the end of the chapter there is a reference to Tang Qiang 唐羌 which seems tobe a personal name: 时临武长汝南唐羌，县接南海，乃上书陈状。CHAPTER 5: 孝安帝紀第五 The Records of Emperor An (r.106-125)16In the 1st Yongchu year (107 AD) the Qiang beyond the borders of Shu entered and becamesubordinate.17 In the same year, the Xianlian type of Qiang rebelled and cut off the Longdistrict18 with much invading and plundering. The General of Chariots and Cavalry, Deng Zhi,and the Attacking the West Colonel, Ren Shang, were sent against them and a pardon wasoffered to the various Qiang who had banded together and plotted rebellion.In the 1st month of the 2nd Yongchu year (108 AD), Deng Zhi was defeated by the Zhong Qiang(钟羌) in Jixi.19In the 7th month, an imperial order was issued which described an earlier time whenthe people of China were hungry and drifting, and the Qiang and the Mo 貊20were hostileenemies of China. Around the 8th month of the 2nd Yongchu year, the Qiang beyond the bordersof Shu chose land and became vassals of China.21 In the 10th month, Ren Shang, the Attacking theWest Colonel, fought with the Xianlian Qiang at Pingxiang22 but his troops were badly defeated.In the 11th month, the Xianlian Qiang leader, Dian Lian,23 was named as ‘Son of Heaven’ inBeidi24 and the Xianlian then invaded Sanfu,25 violated the regions of Zhao and Wei and camesouth into Yizhou,26 killing Dong Bing, the head of Hanzhong commandery.This would have been a bold challenge to the Eastern Han rulers that Dianling would call himselfSon of Heaven, which meant ‘emperor.’In the 12th month of 108 AD, the Canlang Qiang beyond the borders of Guanghan surrendered,and the northern part of Guanghan was assigned as a vassal state [just north of Shu].A general comment follows here that the nation experienced 12 earthquakes that year.In the 3rd Yongchu year (109 AD), the Chief Commandant of Cavalry, Ren Ren attacked theXianlian Qiang but he was unsuccessful and the Qiang then thoroughly defeated Lintao.16 This is a key period in Qiang history – a major Qiang uprising which lasted more than a decade and wasenormously costly for the Han.17 This is significant as it is Qiang moving south or southeast into Shu commandery, which was governedfrom Chengdu.18陇道: this was an ancient place name in Gansu but the exact location is unclear.19 冀西: although this name is also associated with Hebei, it seems here to indicate the area around Ganguon the eastern side of Wushan county in Tianshui, Gansu.20 A term for early tribes of northeast China.21 This Shu vassal state may have included today’s Qiang area.22平襄: Northwest of Tongwei county, Dingxi, Gansu.23 As with Xianling/Xianlian in n.4 above, this may be Dian Lian rather than Dian Ling.24 Beidi 北地: centred on today’s Qingyang in northeastern Gansu (between Ningxia and Shaanxi), Beidiwas the most northeastern commandery of Liangzhou.25 The area around the capital, Chang’an, in the region of today’s Xi’an in Shaanxi.26益州: In the Eastern Han period Yizhou extended as far north as Hanzhong in southern Shaanxi andGuanghan on the Sichuan-Gansu border. In 106 BC, Emperor Wu established Yizhou commandery in theSichuan area, with its administrative centre at Luo county north of Guanghan. In 194 AD, government ofYizhou moved to Chengdu.
In the 3rd month of the 4th year (110 AD), the Southern Shanyu of the Xiongnu surrendered. TheXianlian Qiang invaded Baozhong in the Hanzhong27 region. The head of Hanzhong commandery,Zheng Qin, died in battle.In the 2nd month of the 5th year (111 AD), the Xianlian Qiang invaded Hedong and then reachedHenei28.Possibly as a result of this major onslaught by the Xianlian, the next sentence says that in the 3rdmonth, under imperial order, (the administration of) Longxi was moved to Xiangwu, Anding wasmoved to Meiyang, Beidi was moved to Chiyang, and Shang commandery was moved to Ya.Also in the 5th year, in the 9th month, two men of Hanyang, Du Xi and Wang Xin, rebelled andjoined the Xianlian and various kinds of Qiang (先零诸种羌) to take Shanggui city29.In the 6th year, Dian Lian of the Xianlian Qiang died. His son, Lian Chang inherited his false title.[I.e. the title of ‘Son of Heaven.’]In autumn of the 7th year (113 AD), the Colonel Protector of the Qiang and the ChiefCommandant of Cavalry, Ma Xian, defeated the Xianlian Qiang.In the 5th month of the 1st Yuanchu year (114 AD) the Xianlian Qiang invaded Yongcheng30 andin the 9th month they invaded Wudu and Hanzhong, cutting off the Long region (陇道). In the10th month, the Xianlian Qiang defeated the Liangzhou provincial governor, Pi Yang, in the Diregion (狄道)[Another general reference to earthquakes: 15 across China in 114 AD.]In the 3rd month of the 2nd Yuanchu year (115 AD), the Xianlian Qiang invaded Yizhou, and theZhonglang General, Yin Jiu, was dispatched to suppress them. In the 10th month, the Youfufengofficial, Zhong Guang, the governor of Anding, Du Hui, and the Chief Tiger Tooth Commandant ofthe capital, Geng Pu, fought the Xianlian in Dingxi31 city. Guang and his men suffered a greatdefeat and were routed.In the 5th month of the 3rd Yuanchu year (116 AD), the Duliao General, Deng Zun led thesouthern Xiongnu against the Xianlian in Lingzhou32 and defeated them. [The Yi beyond theborders of Yuesui submitted to the Han.] In the 6th month, the Zhonglang General, Ren Shang,dispatched troops to attack and defeat the Xianlian Qiang in Dingxi city.33 In the 12th month, RenShang sent troops to attack and defeat the Xianlian Qiang in Beidi.In the 9th month of the 4th year, the Colonel Protector of the Qiang, Ren Shang, sent someone toassassinate Lian Chang (零昌) – the rebellious Qiang. In the 12th month, Ren Shang and the ChiefCavalry Commandant, Ma Xian fought the Xianlian Qiang at Fuping [in Beidi] above the river and27 In southern Shaanxi, bordering northeastern Sichuan.28 Hedong and Henei, literally ‘east of the river’ and ‘within the river.’ These areas, along with Henan, werearound the Luoyang stretch of the Yellow River.29 上邽城: today’s Qincheng area of Tianshui municipality in Gansu.30 雍城: Yongcheng had been the capital of the Qin state. In the Baoji region of Shaanxi, not far from theborder with Gansu.31定西: today’s Dingxi in Gansu, southeast of Lanzhou.32 灵州 Wuzhong area of Ningxia.33 丁奚城: northwest of Maling county in Qingzhou, Gansu.
won a major victory. The Qianren Qiang (虔人羌34) led a large number to surrender andLongyou was pacified.In the 3rd month of the 1st Yongning year (120 AD), the Shendi Qiang (沈氐羌) invaded Zhangye.In the 6th month, the Shendi type of Qiang rebelled and invaded Zhangye. Ma Xian, the ColonelProtector of the Qiang, attacked and defeated the Shendi Qiang. In the same year, the ShaodangQiang also rose up.The Xianlian seem to have been operating out of Beidi in the area around northwestern Gansu,southern Ningxia and western Shaanxi. By contrast, these Shendi Qiang are attacking Zhangye,which is halfway along the Gansu corridor, north of today’s Qilian mountains. It doesn’t seem verylikely that they were closely connected with the Xianlian. In the next passage we see that theShaodang Qiang are also a problem in Jincheng which straddled the Gansu-Xining border south ofthe Qilian mountains. So the Han are dealing with a variety of possibly unrelated Qiang groupsscattered from Beidi to the Gansu corridor to today’s eastern Qinghai region.In the 8th month of the 1st Jianguang year (121 AD), Ma Xian, the Colonel Protector of the Qiang,attacked the Shaodang in Jincheng but was defeated.In the 7th month of the 1st Yanguang year (122 AD), the Qianren Qiang rebelled and attackedGuluo City.35 The Duliao General, Geng Kui attacked and defeated them. In the 11th month, theShaoguang Qiang chief36 surrendered.CHAPTER 6: 孝顺孝冲孝质帝纪第六 The Records of Emperor Shun (r. 125-144) andEmperor Di (r.145-146)In the first Yongjian year (126 AD) the Zhong Qiang (钟羌37) of Longxi rebelled and the ColonelProtector of the Qiang, Ma Xian, attacked and defeated them.In the 7th month of the 3rd year, the Zhong Qiang invaded Longxi and Hanyang. The ColonelProtector of the Qiang, Ma Xu, attacked and defeated them. In the 11th month, the Qiang of theagricultural garrison on the Wudu border and the Qiang outside the border both attacked anddefeated the officials of the agricultural garrison, driving out and plundering people andlivestock.In spring of the 4th year (129 AD), Ma Xian [now the Yezhe official], attacked and won a majorvictory over the Zhong Qiang.In the 2nd month of the 2nd Yonghe year (137 AD), the Chief Commandant of the Guanghan vassalstate attacked and defeated the Baima Qiang. [In Chapter One these Baima Qiang had submittedbut it was obviously a fragile peace.]In the 10th month of the 3rd year (138 AD), the Shaodang Qiang invaded Jincheng, the ColonelProtector of the Qiang, Ma Xian, attacked and defeated them and the Qiang then spurred oneanother on and rebelled. [This seems to be a variety of Qiang groups inciting each other.]In the 3rd month of the 4th year, Ma Xian attacked the Shaodang Qiang and won a major victory.34 虔人羌: the character 虔 can mean pious/devout. Whether this was a descriptive term or atransliteration of a Qiang word is difficult to know.35 谷罗城: I couldn’t find this location36烧光羌豪 This is the only ‘Shaoguang’ reference. It could be the chief’s name or the name of a relativelysmall clan. ‘Shaodang’ instead of ‘Shaoguang.’37 钟羌: ‘zhong’ can be a surname but is also a clock or a kind of goblet.
In the 5th month of the 5th year, the Qiedong Qiang (且冻羌) invaded San Fu38 and killed thecommander. In the 9th month the Qiedong Qiang invaded Wudu and set fire to Long Pass (陇关).Julong Wusi [a Southern Xiongnu leader] enticed the Wuhuan in the east and the Qiang Hu39 (羌胡) in the west and invaded Shang commandery, establishing Che Niu as Shanyu. [I.e. an allianceof three significant non-Han groups.] Shortly after this, Che Niu was forced to surrender to theHan.In the 1st month of the 6th year (141 AD) Ma Xian, the Attacking the West General, fought theQiedong Qiang at Shegu mountain40 but Xian’s troops were routed and the head of Andingcommandery, Guo Huang, was imprisoned and died. The Gongtang Qiang 巩唐羌 invaded Longxiand then also invaded San Fu. In the 3rd month, the Wuwei commander, Zhao Chong, sent apunitive force against the Gongtang Qiang and defeated them. In the 5th month, the XiongnuZhonglang General, Zhang Geng, defeated the Wuhuan and the Qiang Hu at Tianshan. TheGongtang Qiang invaded Beidi. In the 9th month, various kinds of Qiang invaded Wuwei. Therewas a solar eclipse.In the 2nd year, Shanshan state [in today’s eastern Xinjiang] sent envoys with tribute. In the 4thmonth of the 2nd year (142 AD), the Colonel Protector of the Qiang, Zhao Chong, with theHanyang commander, Zhang Gong, attacked and defeated the Shaohe Qiang (烧何羌) in Can(?).41In the 10th month, Zhao Chong attacked and defeated the Shaodang Qiang in Ah Yang.42 There isalso a mention here of Linqiang county 临羌县 which was east of Qinghai Lake, near Xining.Linqiang means ‘overlooking the Qiang’ so it seems this was a significant border between the Hanand some Qiang.In the 3rd month of the 1st Jiankang year (144 AD), the Colonel Protector of the Qiang, Wei Ju,pursued and attacked the rebelling Qiang and defeated them. In the 4th month, the XiongnuZhonglang General, Ma Shi, attacked the southern Xiongnu of the left,43, and defeated them and,as a result, the Hu Qiang (胡羌) and the Wuhuan all came to Ma Shi and surrendered. Also inthat year, the Colonel Protector of the Qiang, Zhao Chong, pursued and attacked rebelling Qiangat Zhanyang River44 but he was routed.In the 2nd month of the first Yongxi year (145 AD), rebellious Qiang came to the Pingyi official ofthe Right (左冯翊), Liang Bing, and surrendered.38三辅: San Fu. In the Western Han the ‘San Fu’ were the three officials governing the capital and itssurrounding area. Later, the term ‘San Fu’ came to represent the regions controlled by these threeofficials. Although the capital moved from Chang’an to Luoyang, it seems San Fu continued to indicate thecentral area of today’s Shaanxi province.39 This juxtaposition of Qiang and Hu together seems sometimes to mean the Qiang and Hu, as inreferences where ‘Hu’ refers to the Yuezhi or Xiongnu, but it also sometimes seems just to be describingthe Qiang, i.e. the Qiang type of Hu. The character ‘hu 胡’ means beard or facial whiskers, so the use of thisterm for foreigners from the northwest may imply they were more hirsute than the Chinese. The Han Shushows a significant Qiang presence in Xinjiang in late BC which suggests possible Central Asianconnections.40射姑山: northwest of Qingyang county in Gansu. In ancient Beidi.41 Some versions of the text read ‘参 B171’ which indicates a missing or unknown character. Threepossibilities are Canxian 参屳, Canjie 参疖, or Cansi 參丝, all counties in Anding commandery.42 阿阳: Possibly in the region of Tianshui? Although it seems more likely to have been nearer to Jinchengaround the Qinghai-Gansu border.43 Left represented east and right represented west.44 鹯阴河: a stretch of the Yellow River near Baiyin, north of Lanzhou.
CHAPTER 7: 孝桓帝纪第七 The Records of Emperor Huan (r.146-168 AD)In the 3rd month of the 2nd Jianhe year (148 AD), the Baima Qiang plundered Guanghan vassalstate and killed the senior official. The Yizhou governor led the Banshun Man45 to attack anddefeat them. [I.e. troops from another ethnic group in eastern Sichuan being used to attack Qianginvaders in or near northwestern Sichuan.]In the 12th month of the 2nd Yanxi year (159 AD), eight types of Shaodang Qiang46 rebelled andinvaded western Long (陇右). The Colonel Protector of the Qiang, Duan Jiong, pursued them andattacked them in Luo Ting and defeated them.India 天竺国 brought tribute.Early in the 3rd year (160 AD), the Shaohe Qiang rose up and invaded Zhangye. The ColonelProtector of the Qiang, Duan Jiong, pursued and attacked them, defeating them in Jishi.47 In the11th month of the 3rd year, the Leiqie Qiang (勒姐羌) surrounded Yunjie48 but Duan Jiongattacked and defeated them.In the 6th month of the 4th year, the Lingwu Qiang (零吾羌 – or Lianwu) and the various kinds ofXianlian together rebelled and invaded San Fu. The Yi of the vassal state Qianwei49 invaded androbbed the common people but the governor of Yizhou defeated them. In the 10th month, theXianlian and the Shendi Qiang and various kinds of Qiang50 invaded Bing and Liang provinces51but they were defeated the following month by the Zhonglang General, Huangfu Gui.In the 3rd month of the 5th year, the Shendi Qiang invaded Zhangye and Jiuquan. [There is nomention here that they were defeated.] In the 7th month, the Niaowu Qiang (鸟吾羌) invadedHanyang, Longxi and Jincheng, but the soldiers of the various commanderies attacked anddefeated them.In the 11th month, the Dianna Qiang (滇那羌)52 invaded Wuwei, Zhangye and Jiuquan [also nomention of defeat]. The senior military commander, Liu Ju, was dismissed and replaced [for notrepelling them].In the 7th month of the 6th year, the Longxi commander, Sun Qiang (陇西太守孙羌53) attackedand defeated the Dianna Qiang.45板楯蛮: an ethnic group from Ba prefecture in today’s eastern Sichuan.46 烧当: 8 different kinds of Shaodang Qiang suggests clans with blood-ties from the same ancestor. TheShaodang are the only group who have a documented ancestry tracing back to Wuyi Yuanjian. SeeChapter 117: The Western Qiang Biography.47 积石山:possibly the Anye Machen Mts in southeastern Qinghai, an eastern extension of the Kunlun Mts.This seems far from Zhangye but in Chapter 95 a fuller version of events explains that Duan Jiong pursuedthe Shaohe for 40 days.48 允街: in the Yongdeng area northwest of Lanzhou, towards Wuwei.49 犍为: in Sichuan’s Leshan area.50先零沈氐羌与诸种羌: although there is no ‘and’ between the Xianlian and Shendi, they are mentionedseparately elsewhere in the text. The occurrence of ‘various kinds of Qiang’ alongside specific groupssuggests there were groups not known by name which came under the umbrella term ‘Qiang.’51 并州 was on China’s northern border and included the commanderies of Beidi, Shuofang, Wuyuan,Yunzhong and others. 凉州 was west and southwest of Bing and included the eastern end of the Gansucorridor and the most western commanderies of Longxi, Jincheng and others. If this was a coordinatedattack on such a wide area it would have been on a very large scale.52 Possibly a tribe descended from Dian Lian of the Xianlian mentioned above. The 滇 character is in both.53 This name, ‘grandson + Qiang,’ suggests he was possibly a descendent of Qiang who had submittedearlier.
In the 10th month of the 7th year, the Colonel Protector of the Qiang, Duan Jiong, attacked anddefeated the Dangjian Qiang( 当煎羌).In the 2nd month of the 8th year, Duan Jiong attacked the Hanjie Qiang (罕姐羌) and defeatedthem. In the 6th month Duan Jiong attacked and won a major victory over the Dangjian Qiang inHuangzhong.54In the 7th month of the 9th year, the Shendi Qiang invaded Wuwei and Zhangye. The Xiongnucommander was dispatched against the southern Xiongnu, the Wuhuan and the Xianbei. In the9th month, the state of Da Qin55 sent an envoy with tribute.In the 1st month of the 1st Yongkang year (167 AD), the Xianlian Qiang invaded San Fu and weredefeated and pacified by Zhang Huan, the Zhonglang General. The Dangjian Qiang (当煎羌)invaded Wuwei but the Colonel Protector of the Qiang, Duan Jiong, pursued and attacked themin Luanniao56 and won a major victory. The western Qiang were all pacified.57 In the 4th month,the Xianlian Qiang invaded San Fu. In the 10th month, the Xianlian invaded San Fu but theXiongnu Zhonglang General, Zhang Huan, was dispatched [by the Han] and attacked anddefeated them.CHAPTER 8: 孝灵帝纪第八 The Records of Emperor Ling (r.168-189 AD)In the 1st month of the 1st Jianning year (168 AD), the Colonel Protector of the Qiang, Duan Jiongattacked the Xianlian Qiang. In the 2nd month, Duan Jiong won a major victory over the Xianlianat Feng Yi Mountain.58 In the 7th month, the Defeater of the Qiang General,59 Duan Jiong, againdefeated the Xianlian at Jingyang.60In the 7th month of the 2nd year (169 AD), the Defeater of the Qiang General, Duan Jiong, won amajor victory over the Xianlian Qiang at Tiger Shooting Valley beyond the Wall.61 The EasternQiang (东羌62) were all pacified.There is a gap of 15 years before the next mention of the Qiang or Xianlian so this was a relativelylong period of peace considering the relentless fighting with the Qiang which had preceded it.In the 11th month of the 1st Zhongping year (184 AD), the Xianlian Qiang rose up in alliance withBeigong Boyu of the Yicong Hu63 of Huangzhong [the Xining area]. Two men of Jincheng, BianZhang and Han Sui, were appointed as military commanders and they attacked and killed theColonel Protector of the Qiang, Ling Zheng and the governor of Jincheng, Chen Yi.54 The area around the Huang River near Xining, Qinghai.55 大秦国王: Da Qin was the Han term for the Roman empire. During the Eastern Han period, the Parthianempire lay between the Roman Empire and China.56 鸾鸟: in the region of Wuwei.57 As seen in the following chapter, the Xianlian are now seen as eastern Qiang.58逢义山: northwest of Guyuan in Ningxia province.59 An interesting shift from being the Colonel ‘Protector of the Qiang’ to General ‘Defeater of the Qiang.’60泾阳: in the Xianyang area of Shaanxi (not far from Xi’an).61 射虎谷: Gangu to the west of Tianshui in Gansu.62 This is one of the earliest references to the Eastern Qiang and seems to relate primarily to the Xianlian.They had been moved east by the Han from the Jincheng area in Qinghai to Tianshui, Longxi and Fufeng(Gansu and western Shaanxi). After this, Dian Lian of the Xianlian was made ‘emperor’ in Beidi. From thismore eastern area they continually pushed in all directions – south to Hanzhong (near the juncture oftoday’s Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi provinces), west to Jincheng and the Gansu corridor, and further eastin Shaanxi.63 义从胡北宫伯玉: possibly a Yuezhi or another type of Qiang. (See: A Biographical Dictionary of LaterHan to the Three Kingdoms (23–220 AD) by Rafe de Crespigny, Brill, 2007, pp 14-15.)
In the 11th month of the 2nd year (185 AD), the Zhonglang General, Dong Zhuo, was sent to attackthe Xianlian Qiang but he was unsuccessful. The Xianbei invaded the provinces of You and Bing幽州, 并州.CHAPTER 9: 卷九孝獻帝紀第九 The Records of Emperor Xian (r. 189-220 AD)In the 8th month of the 1st Xingping year (194 AD) The Pingyi64 Qiang (冯翊羌) rebelled andinvaded Shu county 属县.65 Guo Si and Fan Chou attacked and defeated them.From Chapter 10 onwards the chapters are ordered by topic rather than in chronological sequence.Chapter 10: 卷十上 皇后紀第十上 The Records of the Imperial ConsortsIn the 1st Jiankang year (144 AD), the Western Qiang, the Xianbei, and the Rinan Man Yiattacked and plundered the cities, taxes were often levied, and the officials and peoples wereexhausted.This mention of the Qiang within an overview of mid-2nd century AD China indicates that they werethe major threat in the west. The Xianbei were in the north and east, and the Rinan Man Yi were inwhat is now Vietnam.A brief mention of an Attacking the Qiang Marquis: 征羌侯Chapter 21: 志第十一 天文中 The Astronomy Records (II)In the 1st Jianchu year (76 AD), Song Yan, the Chief Pacifier of the Yi, was killed by the Qiang. Thegovernor of Wuwei, Fu Yu, ordered the Colonel Protector of the Qiang and the General ofCavalry and Chariots to march against the Qiang.In the 9th month of the 9th Yongyuan year (97 AD) the Longxi Qiang rose up, and the Attackingthe West General, Liu Shang, and the Yueqi Colonel, Zhao Shi, sent the northern army of Wuxiao,Liyang and Yongying, as well as Hu 胡66 border troops – altogether 30,000 cavalry - to attack theWestern Qiang.An army of 30,000 is not sent to deal with minor skirmishes. These Western Qiang, most probably atemporary alliance of various Qiang-type groups, were a huge problem for the Han.Chapter 23: 志第十三 五行一 The Five Elements (I)67Around the 1st Jianguang year (121 AD), there was excessive rain in the capital (Luoyang) and intwenty-nine commanderies, which damaged the crops. At that time the Qiang were rebellingand there had been no peace for a long time. The common people are in garrisons and there isno way of relieving their distress.64冯翊: Can be pronounced Fengyi or Pingyi. According to the Baidu encyclopaedia it would be Pingyi here.http://baike.baidu.com/view/3384214.htm . Northeast of Xi’an, in the Weinan region.65 Possibly a county in Shaanxi but this could also just mean ‘vassal counties.’66 i.e. other non-Chinese from the northwest. Most likely Xiongnu or Yuezhi who had submitted to the Han.67 The ‘Wu Xing’ were the five elements (metal, wood, water, fire, earth) or the five constant virtues(benevolence, righteousness, propriety, knowledge, faith).
In the Yuanjia period (151-153 AD) of Emperor Huan, the various Qiang of Liangzhou68 all roseup and moved south into Shu69 and Han and also plundered San Fu to the east, extending to Bingand Ji, which was a great disaster for the people.Chapter 24: 志第十四 五行二 The Five Elements (II)At the end of the first Yongchu year (107 AD) the rebellious Qiang of Liangzhou caused extremeharm and all the commanderies of Liangzhou were temporarily governed from Pingyi andFufeng.Sometimes the Qiang rose up, mainly to invade and do harm. This went on for more than 10years without cease – causing bitter military service for the soldiers.Moving the administration of the Liangzhou commanderies as far east as Pingyi and Fufeng –today’s Weinan and Baoji areas in Shaanxi – indicates a massive retreat by the Han from control ofnorthwestern China and shows how powerful the Qiang groups were when they formed allianceswith each other. In the same year as the start of the Qiang rebellion (107 AD), the Han also decidedto abandon the Western Regions, today’s Xinjiang, which meant that Liangzhou was thewesternmost extent of Han control. This weakening of Han power in the west would have givenhope to the Qiang and other non-Chinese living in Liangzhou that they could regain independence.In the Yanguang period of Emperor An (122 - 125 AD), the Qiang Hu beyond the bordersrebelled.Chapter 26: 志第十六 五行四 The Five Elements (IV)In the 9th Yongyuan year of Emperor He (97 AD) there was an earthquake in Longxi. The Qiangbeyond the borders violated the borders, killing officials and others. The Attacking the WestGeneral, Liu Shang, attacked them.In the 1st Yongchu year (107 AD), there were 18 earthquakes across the commanderies. … Atthat time, empress dowager Deng was acting as regent, … and when she died Emperor An had totake over so the ‘Yin types 阴类’ combined to gain victory and the Western Qiang caused chaosin China for over 10 years. In the 2nd year there were 12 earthquakes. In the 12th month of the3rd year there were 9 quakes. In the 3rd month of the 4th year, there were 4 quakes. In the 1stmonth of the 5th year there were 10 quakes. In the 2nd month of the 7th year, there were 18quakes.In the 10th month of the 3rd Yonghe year (138 AD), 2,000 Western Qiang crossed over theJincheng border in order to harm Liangzhou.70In the 1st Yuanxing year (105 AD) the Western Qiang launched a major invasion in Liangzhou.68凉州: Liangzhou was a strategically crucial province. Chapter 33 below gives a list of the commanderiesin Liangzhou, which covered eastern Qinghai and the whole of the Gansu corridor reaching west to theborder with today’s Xinjiang and the routes to Central Asia and south to Wudu which bordered Guanghan.Guanghan was the most northwestern commandery of Yizhou, on today’s northern border of Sichuan.Once the Xiongnu had been driven out of the Gansu corridor, the various Qiang groups constituted themajor threat to Han trade and expansion via this area.69 I.e. northern Sichuan.70骑入金城塞: it is difficult to know which direction they were coming from but it seems likely they wereentering Jincheng from further south or west in Qinghai, which was territory beyond Han control.
Chapter 33 志第二十三 郡国五 Political zones (V)This chapter lists the commanderies of each province and other geographical details:Yi Province (益州)71 contained the commanderies of :Hanzhong, Ba, Guanghan, Shu, Qianwei, Yuesui, Yizhou, Yongchang, Guanghan vassal state, Shuvassal state, Qianwei vassal state. Guanghan and Hanzhong were the most northerly.Liang Province (涼州)72 contained the commanderies of:Longxi, Hanyang, Wudu, Jincheng, Anding, Beidi, Wuwei, Zhangye, Jiuquan, Dunhuang, Zhangyevassal state, Zhangye Juyan vassal state.Wudu commandery73 had seven districts74, one of which was called Qiang Dao: the Qiangdistrict (羌道).Jincheng had ten districts, one of which was called Linqiang: ‘Overlooking the Qiang’ (临羌).Linqiang is the only entry with the added description: It has the Kunlun Mountains.75Jincheng also had a district called Poqiang: ‘Defeating the Qiang’ (破羌)Chapter 42: 王刘张李彭卢列传第二76 The Biography of Wang, Liu, Zhang, Li, Peng and LuAt the end of the Wang Mang period77 someone called Wen Bo initiated military action with theQiang Hu of the San Shui vassal state78 but Han troops under Emperor Gengshi79 responded andpacified the area westwards from Anding. Gengshi was then defeated and the San Shui chiefsconsulted together, … and established Fang as Senior General and King of Western Peace andsent envoys to the Western Qiang and the Xiongnu to cement an alliance with them.In the 16th Jianwu year (40 AD), Fang presented a grateful memorial to Emperor Guang, the firstemperor of the Eastern Han dynasty, saying that he had been entrusted with Wang Mang’sremains and had disposed of them on the borders. He describes the period of Wang Mang as atime of waste and despair, causing people anxiety, so it is right that [Wang Mang) should bepunished because he connected with the Qiang in the west and had a close relationship with theXiongnu in the north.Chapter 45: 卷十五 李王邓来列传第五 The Biography of Li, Wang, Deng and LaiThis chapter mentions Qiang who had submitted to the Han and were protecting the borders,based in walled camps.71 All these commanderies would be within Sichuan today except for Hanzhong which is in southwestShaanxi, bordering Sichuan.72 See n.67 above73 Wudu was west of Hanzhong, covering roughly southern Gansu and the northern tip of Sichuan aroundRuo’ergai/Zoige.74 The character used is 城 which means a walled city but it seems to indicate a bigger area here.75 Linqiang was in the area of Huangyuan between Xining and Qinghai Lake. However, if it included part ofthe Kunlun Mountains it must have covered extensive territory. This reference to the Kunlun may refer totoday’s Qilian range which could have seemed to be an extension of the Kunlun in southern Xinjiang.However, it may possibly refer to the Anye Machen range south of Xining.76 The absence of commas in lists is common, which emphasises the difficulty of phrases such as 羌胡which can mean Qiang and Hu or just Qiang Hu.77 Wang Mang ruled the Xin Dynasty (9-23 AD) between the Western and Eastern Han periods.78 This was in Anding 安定, a commandery east of Jincheng and south of Beidi.79 Emperor Gengshi (更始帝), whose name was Liu Xuan (劉玄), reigned only from 23-25AD between theend of Wang Mang’s Xin Dynasty (9-23 AD), which had succeeded the Western Han, and the beginning ofthe Eastern Han dynasty under the rule of Emperor Guangwu, whose name was Liu Xiu.
At the beginning of the Wang Mang era, many of the Qiang enemy (羌虏80) rose up but Kui Xiaoappealed to their chiefs and was then able to use them in his service. After Xiao died, … thevarious kinds of Wuxi and Xianlian81 invaded and plundered, and their camps were protected byramparts (or trenches) so the provinces and commanderies could not attack them. Lai Xitherefore made large implements for attack and led Gai Yan, Liu Shang, and the Taizhong Daifu,Ma Yuan, to advance and attack the Qiang in Jincheng. They won a significant victory, beheadingseveral thousand Qiang, taking more than 10,000 cattle and sheep, and several 100,000 hu ofgrain. ... so Western Long was then at peace and there was once again access to Liangzhou.This shows how important it was to keep those Qiang who had surrendered satisfied. Jincheng wasan absolutely key commandery, straddling northeastern Qinghai and the southern part of theeastern entrance to the Gansu corridor. This reference also tells us (a) how rich this Qiang areawas in livestock and grain and (b) that the Qiang were willing to risk being beheaded and losingtheir livestock in battles to keep/regain their grazing grounds and agricultural land. It raises thequestion of how these surrendered Qiang viewed the agreement with the Han. Did they agree to‘protect the border’ because it enabled them to continue using the area for their livestock? Was thesubmission forced or voluntary?Chapter 46: 卷十六 鄧寇列傳第六 The Biography of Deng and KouThe four main characters mentioned in this chapter are Deng Yu 邓禹, his sixth son Xun 训, hisgrandson Zhi 骘, Kou Xun 寇恂, and his great-grandson Rong 荣.The section below is an excellent example of Han interaction with the various groups. It shows howthe Yuezhi, a relatively small group, sometimes switched allegiance between the Qiang and theHan, and how important it was for the Han to hold their allegiance. It highlights the enmitybetween different Qiang groups and yet their ability to unite when the need arose and produce afighting force of 40,000.In the 2nd Zhanghe year (88 AD) the Colonel Protector of the Qiang, Zhang Yu Xiu, put to deathMi Wu of the Shaodang type of Qiang (烧当种羌迷吾) and as a result all the Qiang were furiousand plotted revenge, so the imperial court was very anxious. The high ranking officials held ameeting and chose Xun to replace Yu. All the Qiang were stirred up in anger and resolved thefeuds among themselves, forming alliances through marriage and swearing oaths of allegianceby exchanging hostages. The allied Qiang forces numbered more than 40,000. They crossed theriver to attack Xun. Earlier, the Xiao Yuezhi Hu [小月氏胡] had separated to live within theborders and they had 2-3000 cavalry who were strong, brave and powerful. Whenever theyfought the Qiang, they could control many people with just a few. Although their leaders oftenvacillated, at that time they were also serving the Han. At that time, Mi Wu’s son Mi Tang formeda military alliance with the Wuwei type of Qiang and reached the border with 10,000 cavalrybut they didn’t dare to attack Xun until they had coerced the Yuezhi Hu into joining them, … ButXun ordered the Yuezhi not to fight. The Han officials discussing the situation all thought it wasbetter for the county officials if the Qiang and Hu fought each other, and for Yi to be used toattack Yi,82 so this should not be prohibited [i.e. Xun should let the Yuezhi fight the Qiang]. Xunsaid: “I disagree. Now Zhang Yu has broken his promise, the Qiang hoards are on the move, wehave the expense of transporting provisions, the state treasury is exhausted, and the Liangzhouofficials have little control over the counties. Originally, because the various Hu were difficult tounderstand, there was little trust or kindness [shown to them]. Now because of this oppressionand anxiety, it would be better to treat them with virtue and kindness.” Xun then gave the orderto open the towns and the gates of their dwellings and bring the wives and children of the Hu80羌虏: ‘Lu’ can mean captive/prisoner but seems also to simply mean ‘enemy.’81五溪、先零诸种.82夷: this is evidence that ‘Yi’ was an even broader term than Qiang, generally referring to foreigners.
into them, and set up good defence around them. The Qiang plunderers didn’t get what they hadhoped and they didn’t dare to coerce the various Hu, so they dispersed. As result of this, thevarious Hu of Huangzhong [the Xining region] all said: “the Han family wanted to fight with us,today Deng’s administrator83 treats us with favour and trust, opening the gates for our wivesand children, so we have gained parents.” … Xun then trained up several hundred brave youngYuezhi men, who were known as the Yicong.84It was a custom of the Qiang Hu that to die of sickness was a disgrace so whenever they were soill that they might die, they would kill themselves with their blade. When Xun heard there werethose who were seriously ill, he would restrain them from killing themselves and make surethey received medical treatment and many were cured so everyone was delighted. As a result,the Qiang were attracted with good things and drawn over to the Han. Mi Tang’s uncle, Hao Wu,then came from beyond the border to surrender to the Han with his mother and 800 households.Because of this,85 Xun sent 4,000 of the Qin, Hu, and Qiang soldiers of Huangzhong out beyondthe border to mount a surprise attack on Mi Tang in Xie Valley, where they beheaded over 600of the enemy [Mi Tang’s men] and took over 10,000 horses, cattle and sheep. Mi Tang thenmoved to Great and Small Elms,86 settling in the steep-sided rocky valleys, and his people splitup and scattered.That spring, Mi Tang again wanted to go back to his old lands so Xun sent 6,000 Huangzhongtroops, with Ren Shang in command of them.87 They made boats of sewn leather and crossed theriver, launching a surprise attack on the settlements of Mi Tang’s main chiefs, beheading andcapturing many. They again pursued them and the Qiang fled but Ren Shang and his men wereattacked at night by the Qiang, so the Yicong88 Qiang and Hu joined forces [with Ren Shang] todefeat them, beheading about 1800, taking captive 2,000 people and more than 30,000 horses,cattle and sheep, so that they were almost wiped out. Mi Tang then gathered his remainingtroops and moved his nomadic settlement far away, going more than 1000 li westwards.89 Thevarious small groups of the adjacent settlements all rebelled against him. The Shaodangcommander, Dong Hao, kowtowed and then went back and died and the remainder all ‘knockedon China’s borders’ and were received by China with hostages given as a guarantee.In the 2nd Yongyuan year (90 AD), Major General Dou Xian led troops to suppress Wuwei. Heordered Xun to let him know the plans of the Qiang Hu and submitted a request that they all go.Xun had initially been favoured by the Ma clan and wasn’t particularly close to the variousmembers of the Dou line, so Dou Xian punished him with death and he couldn’t escape thismisfortune.A memorial to Xun follows: Although Xun was lenient with the Rong hordes, he was very strictwith his own family and all his brothers respected him, … Officials, common people, and theQiang and Hu held him in high esteem, with thousands coming to see him day and night. Thecustoms of the Rong: when their parents die, it is a shame to weep with grief and they all ridetheir horses and sing and shout. When they heard that Xun had died, they all shouted aloud,some cutting themselves with knives, and also killing their dogs, horses, cattle and sheep, saying,“Deng’s administrator is already dead, we too have all died.”83 The characters here are 使君 which meant the same as 刺使 – a provincial level administrator.84 义从: Yicong - righteous and obedient. These were a well-trained group of non-Chinese fighters underHan supervision in the Huangzhong area, including some Yuezhi, some Qiang, and possibly others.85 Presumably because Hao Wu’s defection made Mi Tang weaker and more vulnerable.86 The Guide region of Qinghai, south of Xining.87 The 长史 Zhangshi – some kind of high position serving the prime minister and other high officials andgenerals.88 See n.6589 Literally about 240 miles, but ‘1000 li’ may be non-specific and simply mean very far away.
Xun’s death was a sad loss of someone willing to use negotiating tactics rather than force tocommunicate with the Qiang and other groups. Although Mi Tang remained at large, he hadmoved far from the Han border and been severely weakened by the submission of other Qiang tothe Han, so Xun’s tactics had been quite successful.There is one more reference in this chapter to the great Qiang uprising which began in 107 ADwhich is mentioned in detail in chapter 117 – the Biography of the Western Qiang.Chapter 48: 卷十八 吴盖陈臧列传第八 The Biography of Wu, Ge, Chen and ZangIn the 27th Jianwu year (c.51 AD), Gong and the Yangxu Marquis, Ma Wu, submitted a memorialto the emperor saying, “The Xiongnu are corrupt and profit-seeking, have no etiquette, andwhen they are poor they kowtow but when they are content, they invade and plunder and theborders are suffering their poison. China is worried about withstanding their attacks.90They suggest telling the Gaogouli, Wuhuan and Xianbei to attack the Xiongnu on their easternside, and send the Qiang Hu of the four commanderies of Hexi and of Tianshui and Longxi toattack them on the west. In that way, the northern enemies will be eliminated within a few years.This is a very helpful reference showing that the Qiang of this period were in the Hexi corridor andTianshui and Longxi, which altogether represented today’s eastern Qinghai and much of Gansuexcept the most southerly and easterly parts. Traditionally the four Hexi commanderies were thosein the Gansu corridor: Wuwei, Zhangye, Jiuquan and Dunhuang.91Chapter 49: 卷十九 耿弇列传第九 The Biography of Geng and YanI have omitted references in this chapter to someone called Fan Qiang 范羌, who was a militaryofficer with the Han.Part of this chapter concerns the defeat of the Xiongnu. The ‘Attacking the West’ General, GengBing, garrisoned Jiuquan; Qin Peng and the Yezhe officials, Wang Meng and Huangfu Yuan, weresent to Zhangye, Jiuquan, and Dunhuang commanderies, along with the Shanshan troops, acombined force of more than 7000 men, and in the 1st month of the 1st Jianchu year (75 AD),they met in Liuzhong92 and attacked Jushi,93 attacking Jiaohe City, beheading 3,800, capturingmore than 3,000, as well as 37,000 camels, donkeys, horses, cattle and sheep. The northernenemy [the Xiongnu] fled in fear and Jushi once again surrendered to the Han.… In autumn of the following year (76 AD), the Qiang of Jincheng and Longxi rebelled. Gonginformed the emperor of his strategy, and an imperial edict summoned him to discuss the stateof affairs. Then Gong sent five field officers with 3,000 men, and together with Ma Fang, the90 According to Liu Xinru, the Xiongnu “did not intend to occupy farming lands but only to loot or extractbooty from Han rulers.” Liu Xinru, “Migration and Settlement of the Yuezhi-Kushan: Interaction andInterdependence of Nomadic and Sedentary Societies,” Journal of World History 12, no. 2 (Fall 2001), p263.91 At this point the Jincheng region (eastern Qinghai) was included in Longxi commandery. Jinchengcounty had been established in 86 BC as part of Tianshui commandery. Jincheng commandery wasestablished in 81 BC. It was merged with Longxi commandery in 36 AD but was re-established in thereign of Emperor Ming (57-75 AD). In 110 AD, during the Western Qiang uprising, Jincheng wasdominated by the Qiang so the Han commandery administration retreated from Yunwu (between Minheand Yongdeng) to Xiangwu (in today’s Longxi county, Gansu), only moving back to Yunwu 12 years later.http://baike.baidu.com/view/174289.htm92 Near today’s Shanshan in Xinjiang.93 Also sometimes written as Cheshi. The Jiaohe ruins in the Turpan region of Xinjiang are the remains ofthe ancient capital of Jushi.
deputy General of Cavalry and Chariots, they attacked the Western Qiang. Gong stationed histroops at Fuhan and several times engaged in battle with the Qiang. In autumn of the followingyear,94 the Shaodang Qiang surrendered, Ma Fang returned to the capital and Gong was left toattack the ones who had not yet surrendered, beheading or capturing more than 1,000 andtaking more than 40,000 cattle and sheep. Then the Leijie and Shaohe Qiang (勒姐、烧何羌), 13groups numbering several 10,000, all came to Gong to surrender.This is an enormous number of people for the Han to suddenly have to deal with.Chapter 52: 卷二十二, 朱景王杜马刘傅坚马列传第十二 The Biography of Zhu, Jing, Wang,Du, Ma, Liu, Bo, Xian and MaIn the 25th Jianwu year (49 AD), the Western Qiang invaded western Long, destroying the wholearmy and killing the General, which caused great anxiety at the imperial court. Wu was thenappointed as Seizing the Enemy General, and with other senior military officials, he led theWuhuan, the Liyang battalion, the enlisted soldiers of San Fu, and the Qiang Hu soldiers andconscripted convicts of the various Liangzhou commanderies, altogether 40,000 men to attackthe Western Qiang. When they reached Jincheng, a vast and resolute army, they went into battleagainst the Qiang, beheading 600. They also fought at Luodu Valley95 but were defeated by theQiang, with more than 4,000 dead. The Qiang then led their multitudes out beyond the borderand Wu again went in pursuit of them and reached Eastern and Western Han [邯96] where hewon a major victory over the Qiang, beheading 4,600, capturing 1,600, with the remaindersurrendering and dispersing. Wu returned victorious with his troops to the capital. Sevenhundred families were added to his fiefdom, which already numbered 1,800 households. Hedied in the 4th Yongping year (60 AD).This is a useful reference: non-Chinese Qiang Hu men in Liangzhou were serving as troops for theHan court – fighting against Western Qiang troops who had obviously caused devastation andmust have been a huge threat if 40,000 troops were amassed against them.Chapter 53: 卷二十三, 竇融列傳第十三 The Biography of Dou Rong97This chapter on Dou Rong and his descendants shows the Qiang covering a vast extent of territoryfrom the Gansu corridor down to southeastern Qinghai and up to areas in the northwest. It alsoshows how far those who had submitted to the Han had to go on military expeditions. Althoughthere is clearly cooperation between the Qiang and Han, the massive Qiang uprising of 107 AD wasto show how superficial and tenuous much of this cooperation must have actually been.Dou Rong’s great grandfather had once been governor of Zhangye, a great uncle had beenColonel Protector of the Qiang and a cousin had been governor of Wuwei, so his family had beenin the Hexi corridor for many generations and Dou Rong was familiar with the local customs. Heis quoted as saying to his brothers: “No-one knows how dangerous things may be in the empireat the moment, but Hexi is a prosperous area, the river is reliable, Zhangye vassal state has cracktroops (and) 10,000 cavalry, and whenever there is a dangerous crisis, any enemy can bestopped at the river ford, which is enough defence in itself, …” His brothers all agreed with him.94 It is interesting to note that battles were often fought in the autumn when horses had been wellpastured and were at the peak of health.95雒都谷: most likely in the Ledu area east of Xining.96邯: Although this character nowadays relates to a place in Hebei, in this context it was south of theHualong area of Qinghai, southeast of Xining towards Xunhua, which, according to this passage, wasbeyond Han control.97 16 BC – 62 AD. In the chaos of Wang Mang’s reign, before Emperor Guangwu came to power, Dou Ronghad been commander of Zhangye vassal state, which was north of Zhangye.
So Dou Rong…became commander of Zhangye vassal state, moving his family members west.Once he arrived he fostered excellent relations, nurturing peace with the Qiang Lu (enemies),even winning their favour, and Hexi harmoniously submitted to his supervision.This is very revealing regarding the location of some Qiang: Zhangye vassal state was north ofZhangye and although the Qiang seem to have been scattered along the Hexi corridor, it seemslikely that some were actually in Zhangye vassal state.At that time Liang Tong, the governor of Jiuquan, Ku Jun, the governor of Jincheng, Shi Bao, thecommander of Zhangye, Zhu Zeng, the commander of Jiuquan and Xin Rong, the commander ofDunhuang, combined their skilled men and Dou Rong viewed them with favour. Gengshi wasdefeated and Tong discussed the situation with these Hexi corridor leaders, saying,“Everywhere in the empire is in chaos at the moment, … Hexi is isolated among the Qiang (and)Hu.98 If we don’t unite we won’t be able to defend ourselves….” He then suggests choosing oneperson as Major General, uniting the five commanderies99 and watching to see how things weregoing to develop in the empire. The others agreed with this but modestly declined to be themain leader and … Rong became the Major General of the five commanderies of Hexi. At thattime, the governors of Wuwei and Zhangye considered themselves too isolated andunsupported so they resigned their posts (removed their Han seal and silk ribbons) and left.Then Liang Tong [the governor of Jiuquan] became the governor of Wuwei, Shi Bao [thecommander of Zhangye] became governor of Zhangye, Zhu Zeng became governor of Jiuquan,Xin Peng became governor of Dunhuang, and Ku Jun became governor of Jincheng. Rong lived inthe Zhangye vassal state, holding the office of commander as before, and establishedsupervision of the five commanderies. The customs of the people of Hexi were simple andunpretentious and Dou Rong and his people governed with tolerance. The upper and lowerranks had good relationships and there was peace and prosperity. The troops were trained,practising fighting and shooting, setting up warning beacon towers and when the Qiang (and)Hu100 violated the borders, Dou Rong would always personally lead the various commanderiesin saving each other. After that, the Xiongnu invaded…the Qiang Hu who were defending thepass were all afraid and surrendered [to the Xiongnu] and an unending flow of (Han) exiles fledback to Anding, Beidi and Shang commandery, away from the violence and the hunger.…In earlier times, the emperor heard that Hexi was extremely rich territory which adjoinedLong and Shu101…In the time of Emperor Gengshi (23-25 AD), Feng He of the Xianlian Qiang, with various groups[of Qiang], killed the governor of Jincheng and occupied his commandery. Kui Xiao sent anenvoy to bribe Feng He to form an alliance… Dou Rong attacked Feng He and defeated him,beheading 1,000, and taking 10,000 cattle, horses and sheep, and several 10,000 hu of grain…In summer of the 8th year (of Emperor Guangwu: 32 AD) Dou Rong led several 10,000 foot andcavalry soldiers of the governors of the five commanderies and of the Qiang Lu and Lesser98 This suggests that the Qiang were the dominant non-Chinese presence in the four prefectures of theHexi/Gansu corridor, along with some Xiao Yuezhi and possibly still some Xiongnu.99 Dunhuang, Jiuquan, Zhangye, Wuwei, and Jincheng.100 The use of ‘Qiang Hu’ rather than specific groups of Qiang, such as the Leijie or Xianlian for example,may indicate new arrivals or it may just be an umbrella term for northwestern non-Chinese nomads ofthis period. It seems that there were Qiang living in the five commanderies who were appreciative of DouRong, but other Qiang beyond the borders who were ‘the enemy.’ It is unclear whether they were comingfrom the Western Regions beyond Dunhuang or coming over today’s Qilian from western Qinghai.101地接陇,蜀: this is an interesting note. If the Hexi region adjoined Long (central Gansu) and Shu (part ofSichuan) it must have extended down through Jincheng (eastern Qinghai) to the northwestern Sichuanborder. However, as Hexi essentially means ‘west of the river’ it was possibly a loosely defined term.
Yuezhi (羌虏小月氏) with a large amount of food supplies and met with the main army… theyyielded to the emperor and the head of each commandery was given an Eastern Han title andDou Rong, also honoured, went back west to his garrison.Emperor Guangwu, founder of the Eastern Han dynasty, clearly commanded more respect andwielded more power than his predecessors, Wang Mang and Geng Shi, regaining a degree of Hancontrol over the Gansu corridor.Sometime around 44 AD, one of Dou Rong’s relatives, named Lin, became Colonel Protector ofthe Qiang but in the second Yong Ping year (58 AD) Lin was executed for his crimes – asexplained in the Biography of the Western Qiang.In about 72 AD, Gu [a relative of Dou Rong] and someone called Zhong, led soldiers of Jiuquan,Dunhuang and Zhangye as well as the Lu Shui Qiang Hu,102 12,000 cavalry, out of the borderbeyond Jiuquan, and Geng Bing and Qin Peng led recruited soldiers and Qiang Hu from Wuwei,Longxi and Tianshui, 10,000 cavalry, beyond the border at Juyan.103 Also Zhai Rong, the Taipuofficial, and Wu Tang, the Duliao General, led Qiang Hu and troops of the Southern XiongnuShanyu of the area northeast of the river and west of the river, 11,000 cavalry, out of Gao QueSai104 … The following year, Jushi surrendered to Gu… Gu remained at his post on the bordersfor several years and the Qiang Hu responded to his kindness and trustworthiness.Dou Xian was a descendant of Dou Rong and in the Yongping era (57-75 AD) he was out offavour with the empress dowager and was afraid he would be killed so to redeem himself heasked to be sent to attack the Xiongnu. His troops against the Xiongnu included Qiang Hu. Andthe following year, the troops of the Duliao General, including ‘8,000 Yicong Qiang Hu cavalry’105went beyond the border at Guyang.106Chapter 54: 卷二十四 马援列传第十四 The Biography of Ma YuanIn the 9th Jianwu year (33 AD), Ma Yuan was appointed ‘Taizhong Daifu’ and his deputy Lai Xisupervised the various generals in pacifying Liangzhou. From the end of the Wang Mang periodthe Western Qiang had invaded and settled within the borders, especially in many of the vassalcounties of Jincheng.This indicates a significant increase in Qiang inhabitants in western Gansu and eastern Qinghai. Itis unclear which borders they were crossing into China, but the following paragraph mentionsQiang being defeated at Lintao, which was east of Qinghai Lake so the above paragraph could beQiang entering from the direction of Xinjiang and/or from southeastern Qinghai. If they werecoming from Xinjiang, it’s possible that they were some of the Erh Qiang mentioned in the Han Shualong the southern rim of the Tarim Basin102卢水羌胡: Although the Lu Shui are noted as of Qiang stock here, they were also at times referred tojust as Lu Shui Hu 卢水胡 and, according to a Baidu entry, originally included Xiongnu and Yuezhi andgradually absorbed people of other groups including Chinese, Qiang and others. This strongly suggeststhat the term Qiang Hu served as a broad umbrella for various groups.http://baike.baidu.com/view/1191127.htm103 Juyan Lake, now a wetland area rather than a lake, was in what is now western Inner Mongolia nearthe eastern border of Xinjiang, so these troops were quite a distance from Tianshui etc. From 2 nd C BC to8th C AD, although somewhat northerly, it was viewed as part of the Gansu Corridor.104高闕塞 ‘the pass of the high watchtowers’ – in the region of the Urat plain in Bayan Nur, Inner Mongolia,on the northernmost bend of the Yellow River.105 See n.84 and n.39 above. We know that the Yicong included Qiang and Yuezhi so there is a strongpossibility that the phrase ‘Qiang Hu’ at times included Yuezhi who lived in areas inhabited by the Qiang.106 The Baotou area of Inner Mongolia
In the 11th year (35 AD) Ma Yuan was appointed governor of Longxi and he sent 3,000 foot andcavalry soldiers and defeated the Xianlian Qiang at Lintao, beheading several hundred andcapturing more than 10,000 horses, cattle and sheep. More than 8,000 Qiang who wereguarding the border came to Ma Yuan to surrender. There were several 10,000 of their type ofQiang who were invading and raiding and they were holding Haomen Pass.107 Ma Yuan and theYangwu General, Ma Chen, attacked them. Because the Qiang had moved their wives andbaggage to Yunwu Valley,108 Ma Yuan sneaked along between the paths to their camp. The Qiangwere greatly alarmed and fled far away to Tangyi Valley,109 but Ma Yuan pursued them andattacked them there. The Qiang gathered their crack troops together at Bei Shan.110 Ma Yuanand Ma Chen’s troops moved towards the mountain and detached several hundred cavalry tomake a surprise attack from behind, taking advantage of the dark to start fires, beating drumsand shouting loudly. The Qiang fled in all directions, with more than 1,000 beheaded. Ma Yuandid not have enough soldiers to pursue them so he took their livestock and grain and retreated.He was wounded by an arrow, the emperor expressed his appreciation and awarded himseveral thousand cattle and sheep, ...At this time, the court councillors wanted to abandon Jincheng west of Poqiang,111 because itwas distant and there was too much plundering. Ma Yuan said, “… west from Poqiang the townsare very sturdy, so they are very reliable and solid and the land there is fertile and well-irrigated.The situation is like todays Qiang in Huangzhong, who constantly cause trouble, but the areashould not be abandoned.” The emperor agreed with this and sent an edict to the governor ofWuwei, to order all the Chinese who had left Jincheng to go back there. Three thousand wentback, each returning to where they had lived before. Ma Yuan applied to the emperor to install ahigh official there and repaired the city walls, built trenches, straightened out the irrigated fields,gave advice on tilling and pasturing, and the people of the commandery were happy in theirwork. He also sent the Qiang chief, Yang Feng Pi, to speak to the Qiang beyond the borders andthey all came amicably. The Di people of Wudu rebelled against Gongsun Shu [a warlord of Shu,based in Chengdu], and came to surrender. Ma Yuan rewarded them with honours. The emperormade Ma Yuan a general when he heard of this.In the thirteenth year [37 AD], the Canlang Qiang of Wudu and the various kinds beyond theborders, invaded and killed the high official.112 Ma Yuan attacked with more than 4,000 men, asfar as Didao county.113 The Qiang were in the mountains and Ma Yuan’s army occupied theconvenient territory and seized their pasture land but didn’t engage the Qiang in battle. TheQiang were left in dire poverty. Their chiefs and several 100,000 households fled beyond the107(诣种有数万，屯聚寇抄，拒浩亹隘) There is a Haomen Pass, to the east of Ledu county, near Minhe.In the time of Wudi, there were agricultural garrisons from Haomen to Linqiang, i.e. stretching along theHuang River valley from today’s Qinghai-Gansu border to near Qinghai Lake.108允吾: between today’s Minhe and Yongdeng in the Qinghai-Gansu border area.109 唐翼谷: Thought to be west of Ledu county, Qinghai.http://www.qh.xinhuanet.com/peachblossom/2011-04/25/content_22609357.htm110 北山: North Mountain. Possibly Huzhu county north of Xining – in the foothills of the eastern end of theQilian Range.111 破羌: ‘Defeating the Qiang.’ This was the name of a county established in the Western Han period, inthe Ledu region of Qinghai.112 This is an interesting alliance. Wudu, the location of the Canlang Qiang (武都参狼羌), borderedGuanghan in the south (northern Sichuan), Longxi in the north and Hanzhong in the east (Sichuan-Gansu-Shaanxi border) but beyond the narrow border in the west was non-Han territory of southeasternQinghai close to the Anye Machen Range, which may well be where these various kinds of Qiang beyondthe border were located. As seen in the next sentence, many thousands fled across the borders to escapeMa Yuan, so they were most likely fleeing west into the Anye Machen area and southeastern Qinghai.113 氐道县:south of Tianshui in Longxi commandery.
borders, with more than 10,000 of the various kinds surrendering, so Longyou was peaceful andquiet.This was an effective but cruel strategy, cutting the Qiang off from the land they were using fortheir livestock. It is clear from various chapters that their livestock often numbered thousands ofsheep, cattle and horses. For them to lose their pasturelands and be restricted to only mountainareas would have made life impossible, as evidenced by the flight of some and submission of others.It seems likely that these mountains were in southwestern Gansu, so those who fled may have gonetowards the Anye Machen Range.A speech further down the page, gives a brief summary of the 35 AD conflict with the XianlianQiang: “Ma Yuan was appointed envoy to the west by imperial order to suppress and comfort thepeople in the border regions, so he recruited some outstanding men, knowing it would enticethe Qiang Rong (羌戎), scheming like a bubbling spring, …then he rescued the collapsingcounties…preserving the settlements that had been abandoned. Whole divisions of soldiersadvanced, and because of the grain from the enemy, Long and Ji114 were pacified, just guardingan empty commandery. The troop movements were successful and the commanders advancedand were victorious. They hardly eliminated any Xianlian because the Xianlian went into themountain valleys and fought ferociously with all their might and an arrow pierced Ma Yuan’sshin.”In the 2nd Jianchu year (77 AD), the Qiang protecting the borders of Jincheng and Longxi allrebelled.115 Thirty thousand troops were sent against them. The army arrived in Ji116 but theQiang chief, Bu Qiao, and his men surrounded the commander of the southern troops in Lintao.Ma Fang wanted to save him but the road to Lintao was dangerous and vehicles and horsescould only go two abreast, so Fang chose two generals with several hundred cavalry andseparated them into an advance and rear army and set up camp about 10 li from Lintao, withmany banners on wooden poles, letting it be known a great army was about to advance. Whenthe Qiang chiefs saw this, they galloped back and said that the Han soldiers were many. On thenext day, the Han troops advanced making a great uproar and the Qiang enemy fled in fearbecause they were being pursued and defeated. More than 4,000 were beheaded and the siegeof Lintao was broken. Ma Fang offered mercy and the Shaodang kind of Qiang all surrendered.Only Bu Qiao and more than 20,000 people went southwest of Lintao to Qugu.117 In the 12thmonth, the Qiang again defeated Minister of War, Geng Gong, and the head official of Longxi atHeluo Valley, killing several hundred.In spring of the following year, Ma Fang sent Sima Xia Jun ahead from Dadao with 5,000 people,and then secretly sent Sima Ma Peng with 5,000 soldiers on a bypath to attack their strategicposition. He also ordered the troop commander, Li Diao and his men to surround them on thewest, so that the three would attack together. They defeated them again and beheaded morethan 1,000 people, taking more than 100,000 cattle and sheep (no mention of horses). TheQiang retreated and Xia Jun went after them and they were defeated. Ma Fang then led hissoldiers to do battle in Western Suo and also defeated them. Bu Qiao was then under pressureand anxious so he led more than 10,000 of his kind to surrender.114冀: Wushan area west of Tianshui. See n.20 above.115This rebellion of Qiang ‘guarding’ the border seems to have been quite a frequent occurrence andshows how easily the balance could be upset by ill treatment, heavy taxes, or enticement by Qiang groupsbeyond the border.116冀 See n.19 above.117曲谷: ‘Crooked Valley.’ Nowadays there is a Qiang area called Qugu in Maoxian county in Sichuan’s Abaprefecture. It is common for names to travel with people as they migrate – as seen in more recent historywith New York, Boston and many other place names.
Ma Fang was a real favourite of the emperor …he was ill but recovered and again pacified theWestern Qiang. He was rewarded with a further 1,350 households… Ma Fang also had manyhorses and much livestock and he levied taxes on the Qiang Hu. The emperor was unhappyabout this (the heavy taxes), …. so Fang’s power was somewhat decreased.Chapter 58: 卷二十八上 桓谭冯衍列传第十八上 The Biography of Huan, Tan, Fengand YanThis chapter just has a couple of brief but descriptive references:Firstly in a speech: “…the Qiang, like their ancestors, were tough and upright and able to endurehard times. (行劲直以离尤兮，羌前人之所有)Secondly, a line which seems to be saying that the Qiang realised their own (cultural)impoverishment and then adopted Han culture. (盖隐约而得道兮，羌穷悟而入术)Chapter 60: 卷三十上 苏竟杨厚列传第二十上 The Biography of Su Jing and Yang HouIn the third Yangjia year (134 AD), the Western Qiang invaded western Long and the next yearthe Wuhuan encircled the Duliao General, Geng Ye.In this chapter various problems are being discussed in sequence. The Qiang problem isincluded in the fifth issue on the list:The 5th issue: …The court councillors feared that after the start of autumn,118 the regions of Zhao,Wei, and Guanxi119 would suffer the scourge of Qiang plundering and uprisings. So they shouldprepare in advance and tell all the commanderies to respectfully instruct the people, not lay aheavy corvee burden on them, not tax them heavily, ... prepare guards, choose talented andvirtuous people, in order to suppress and pacify them [the Qiang].It had obviously been seen that good treatment of the Qiang was better than oppression.Chapter 61: 卷三十一 郭杜孔张廉王苏羊贾陆列传第二十一 The Biography of Guo, Du,Kong, Zhang, Lian, Wang, Su, Yang, Jia and Lu.This chapter has an interesting reference to a prosperous place called Guzang,120 where there wasexchange of goods with the Qiang Hu.118 This seems to have been a favourite time for the Qiang to attack – when their horses had beenstrengthened by the abundance of the summer pastures and there were ample supplies for the men.119关西: ‘west of the pass.’ In this context, the pass was likely to be Tong Pass in the Weinan region ofShaanxi.120 姑臧: Guzang, a non-Chinese word. This was apparently in the Wuwei area. It became the capital of theFormer and Latter Liang states in the 4th century AD. http://baike.baidu.com/view/125186.htm. In ‘Indo-Scythian Studies: Being Khotanese Texts Volume VII,’ pp 18-19, (Cambridge University Press, 2009), H. W.Bailey mentions a vihara college being founded by the Queen of Guzan. In ‘The culture of the Sakas inancient Iranian Khotan’ (Bibliotheca Persica. Columbia Lectures on Iranian Studies, No. 1. Caravan Books,1982, p57), Bailey had originally thought that Guzan was in the vicinity of Qinghai Lake but he laterrevised this to north of Turpan. John Hill suggests Guzan was in the Kucha area (quoted in Doug Hitch,“The Special Status of Turfan,” Sino-Platonic Papers, 186, March, 2009, p12). Bailey suggests ‘Guzan’ maybe an Iranian name from the Yuezhi. It seems possible that there is some connection between ‘Guzang’ (aChinese transliteration) and Guzan in Khotanese Saka. Bailey mentions that the vihara college was called‘Ermono,’ the adjective in Iranian from ‘Erma.’ He also gives a Khotanese Saka reference to ‘woollen clothbeing carried to the people of Erma.’ It may just be coincidence but ‘erma’ is the autonym used by today’sQiang in Aba Prefecture, Sichuan. (There are perhaps echoes of Guzan in Afghanistan’s Ghazni provinceand in Guzana in northeastern Syria.)
In the 8th Jianwu year (32 AD) … everything was chaotic, and only Hexi was quiet… Guzangbecame known as a wealthy settlement, with trade of goods with the Qiang Hu and on marketday people came from all around,…In the mid Yongchu period [107-113] the Western Qiang invaded Ba commandery121 and causedtrouble for the locals. An edict was sent to the Zhonglang General to attack them but oversuccessive years he could not overcome them. Tang was made governor of Ba commandery. Hetook soldiers to fight the ‘thieves’ [i.e. the Qiang], beheaded more than 1,000, and Ba and Yong[commanderies] were peaceful.Chapter 72: 卷四十二 光武十王列傳第三十二 The Biography of the Ten Kings ofGuangwuIn the Yongchu period (107-113 AD), the Qiang were still not peaceful over in the west, whichcost the empire more than 20 million ‘cash.’In the Emperor Shun era (125-144 AD), the Qiang Lu often rebelled, incurring great expense...Chapter 76: 卷四十六 郭陳列傳第三十六 The Biography of Guo and ChenThis chapter gives a general comment that in Bing and Liang provinces (并州, 凉州) the QiangRong were rebelling.122 Liang province stretched from eastern Qinghai and southwestern Gansuup into the Gansu corridor. It bordered Bing province in the northeast and Bing extended up to theYellow River in Inner Mongolia, bordering the Gobi desert, so these Qiang Rong were scatteredover a wide area.Chapter 77: 卷四十七 班梁列傳第三十七 The Biography of Ban (Chao123) and Liang(Jin)The first Qiang reference is a brief mention of the rebellious Qiang invading San Fu andsomeone called Xiong leading five battalions of soldiers to garrison Chang’an.The following section highlights just how much damage the Qiang rebellion of 107 - 118 AD did,cutting off Han access to the Western Regions, which then allowed the Xiongnu to reassert theirinfluence over the states of the Western Regions. Yong’s speech comes shortly after the Qiangrebellion had been suppressed and there is a possibility of the Han regaining influence in theWestern Regions.In the 6th Yuanchu year (119 AD), the governor of Dunhuang, Cao Zong, sent the ‘zhangshi’official, Suo Ban, to lead more than 1,000 people to garrison Yiwu [today’s Hami]. The king ofNearer Jushi and the king of Shanshan both came and surrendered to Ban. A few months later,the Northern Shanyu [Xiongnu leader], together with the king of Further Jushi, attacked andwiped out Ban and his forces and then advanced and attacked the king of Nearer Jushi, planningto control the northern region. The king of Shanshan was worried and asked Cao Zong to savehim so Zong asked for permission to take 5,000 men and attack the Xiongnu, to avenge Ban’shumiliation and to retake the Western Regions. Empress dowager124 Deng then summoned Yong121 Northeastern Sichuan.122 Still a variety of terms used: Qiang Hu, Qiang Rong, Qiang Lu…123班超. 33 – 102 AD. Ban Chao’s father, older brother and sister were the authors of the Qian Han Shu. Hebecame ‘Protector General of the Western Regions’ having regained the Western Regions in the 1 stcentury AD but Chinese influence in the area diminished after his death in 102 AD.124 In the Han period, the term ‘taihou 太后’, often translated as ‘empress dowager,’ was also a title for themothers of feudal vassals and kings. It seems these women often wielded considerable power.http://xh.5156edu.com/html5/113995.html
to court to discuss the situation. In the beginning, many of the high-ranking officials thought itbetter to close the Yumen Pass and to abandon the Western Regions but Yong submitted hisopinion:“In former times Emperor Wu suffered from the Xiongnu who were strong and flourishing, andat the same time there were 100 Man (蛮) exerting pressure on and obstructing the borders. Sohe opened the Western Regions, … breaking off the right arm of the Xiongnu. Then Wang Mangusurped the throne, … and the Hu and Yi (胡夷) were angry and rebelled. Then, in therestoration (of the Han) under Guangwu, there was no time for external affairs, so the Xiongnuwere strong again and exerting their power over various states. By the Yongping period(Emperor Ming: 57-75 AD), they again attacked Dunhuang and the various commanderies ofHexi, so the city gates were closed in the daytime. Emperor Ming … then ordered his braveministers to lead an expedition to the Western Regions, so the Xiongnu fled far away and theborders were peaceful. By the Yongyuan period (Emperor He: 89-105 AD), everyone came tosubmit. In the period of the Qiang upheaval, the Western Regions were again cut off (107 ADonwards), and the Xiongnu took advantage of this to extort tribute from the states who wereonce again cut off from Han influence. Shanshan and Jushi were both very resentful, thinkingpositively towards the Han [in contrast with the Xiongnu] but with no way to connect withthem. … In the past, Dunhuang commandery had a battalion of 300 soldiers, and today it wouldbe good to restore that, and establish an assistant Colonel Protector of the Western Regionsliving in Dunhuang, as was the situation in the Yongyuan period [which ended in 105 AD, justbefore the major Qiang rebellion began in 107 AD]. It would also be good to send a WesternRegions chief ‘zhangshi’ officer to lead 500 people to garrison Loulan, serving as a pathway toYanqi and Qiuci (Kucha) further west and to strengthen the will and courage of Shanshan andYutian in the south, resist the Xiongnu in the north and get closer to Dunhuang in the east. Thiswould be the most advantageous way.”Liang Jin was from Beidi commandery. … In the 1st Yanping year (106 AD), he became assistantColonel of the Western Regions. He moved to Hexi and at that time the various states of theWestern Regions rebelled and attacked Ren Shang, the Protector General of the WesternRegions, in Shule (Kashgar). Ren Shang sent a request for help and Liang Jin was ordered to lead5,000 Qiang Hu cavalry from the four Hexi commanderies [Wuwei, Jiuquan, Zhangye andDunhuang] to go quickly to his assistance. Before Liang Jin could get there, Ren Shang hadalready got free. … Ren returned and he and another Western Regions official were replaced byDuan Xi and Zhao Bo, who were stationed guarding Tagancheng,125 which was small and LiangJin thought it couldn’t be strengthened so he deceived the king of Kucha, Bai Ba, wanting toenter his city and protect it with him. Bai Ba allowed him in. The officials and peopleremonstrated with Bai Ba but he wouldn’t listen…and he sent his high officers to welcome Xiand Bo, with their combined army of 8-9,000. Then the officials and people of Kucha rebelledagainst their king, and with Wensu and Gumo126 they rose up, several 10,000 soldiers, andtogether surrounded the settlement (of Kucha). Liang Jin and his men came out [from Kucha] tofight and soundly defeated them. A succession of soldiers came over several months, and theHu127 multitudes were defeated and fled. The Han troops went after them and beheaded morethan 10,000, and took several 1,000 captive, as well as taking several 10,000 camels and otherlivestock/animal products. Then Kucha was pacified. However, the route was still cut off. … Thehigh officials discussed the situation and thought the Western Regions were inaccessible and faraway, several settlements had rebelled and there was the never-ending expense of maintainingthe officials and the agricultural garrisons. In the 1st Yongchu year (107 AD) the position of chiefadministrator of the Western Regions was terminated and the Chief Cavalry Commandant,125 它干城: thought to be near Kucha, Xinjiang.126 These were also settlements in Xinjiang127 This seems here to be the people of Kucha who had rebelled against their king.
Wang Hong sent the soldiers of Guanzhong to welcome Liang Jin, Duan Xi and Zhao Bo, as wellas the officials of the Lu and Liao agricultural garrisons in Yiwu (Hami).This was a massive retreat from what is now Xinjiang, pulling back to Guanzhong which wasaround the Wei River valley in Shaanxi.However, in the spring of the 2nd Yongchu year [108 AD], they returned to Dunhuang. When theQiang masses rebelled, the court sent many troops west to attack them and Liang Jin wasretained to provide military aid for the armies. Liang Jin reached Rile128 in Zhangye. More than10,000 of the various kinds of Qiang attacked ‘Tinghou’129 killing and robbing the minor officialsand people. Liang Jin advanced with his soldiers and attacked and defeated them, pursuing themto Zhaowu,130 and the enemy scattered, (with only 12 or 13 able to break away?). Then theywent to Guzang131 and more than 300 Qiang chiefs came to visit Liang Jin to surrender. He set asympathetic example and allowed them to go back to their old territory and the fourcommanderies of Hexi were again peaceful.Liang Jin then received an order to manage the garrison at Jincheng. He heard that the Qiangwere on the move to invade San Fu and were approaching the imperial tombs, so he promptlyled soldiers to attack them. The fighting moved to Wugong132…. Liang Jin was wounded as hewent into battle but despite that he continued to attack, taking as many prisoners and as muchlivestock as possible, including a large amount of possessions. The Qiang then fled and scattered.The court was delighted by this, and … Liang Jin was entrusted with the affairs of the west andmade the official in charge of all the armies.In the 5th Yongchu year (111 AD), Anding, Beidi, and Shang commanderies were all invaded bythe Qiang, and the nobles of the valleys moved away, unable to maintain their positions. LiangJin was ordered to send border soldiers to welcome the governors of the three commanderiesand the generals, officials and people were sent to live on the edge of Fufeng.133 Liang Jinimmediately sent the Southern Shanyu (Xiongnu) and his brother Yougu Tunu to lead his troopsto welcome them. After he returned, Liang Jin … appointed Tunu as ‘Qiang marquis’ with a Hanseal and silk ribbon but this was done without authorisation so Liang Jin was imprisoned andpunished. … When the rebellious Qiang invaded San Fu and the brigands of Guanzhong rose up,Liang Jin was given the post of Yezhe official and led his troops against them. When theyreached Hu county,134 he fell ill and died.Chapter 78: 卷四十八 杨李翟应霍爰徐列传第三十八 The Biography of Yang, Li, Zhai,Ying, Huo, Yuan and XuIn the third Yanguang year (124 AD), Zhai Ying went to serve as Jiuquan governor. More than1,000 rebellious Qiang riders moved to Dunhuang to plunder the borders of the commanderyand Zhai Ying went to attack them, beheading 900. The Qiang were almost finished off, whichshook their confidence. He then became mayor of the capital.In the 2nd Zhongping year (185 AD), the Hanyang brigands, Bian Zhang and Han Sui joined withthe Qiang Hu and went east to invade San Fu and at that time the General of Cavalry andChariots, Hou Fu Song, went west to attack them. Song asked for permission to send 3,000128 West of Yongchang in the Gansu corridor.129 亭侯: this usually means some kind of feudal lord but is possibly a place name here?130昭武: west of Zhangye in the region of Linze131 See n.120 above.132 Possibly today’s Wugong county just east of Xi’an, Shaanxi.133扶风: Baoji area, west of Xi’an on the Gansu-Shaanxi border.134胡县: possibly a place name but possibly just ‘the counties of the Hu.’
Wuhuan fighters. The Marquis of the northern army, Zou Jing, submitted, “The Wuhuan hordesare weak, so it would be good to enlist the Xianbei.” … Han Zhuo thought, “The Wuhuan soldiersare few and they have been enemies of the Xianbei for generations, so if the Wuhuan are sent,the Xianbei will make a surprise attack on their homes. If the Wuhuan hear of this, they willagain desert the army and go back to save their homes. …This is an interesting insight into how the Han had to balance their relationships with the variousnon-Chinese groups in the border regions. The discussion continues with Shao Bo who highlightsthe dangers of using one group to resist another. Here the Xianbei have been invited to fightagainst the Qiang but have then taken advantage of this invitation to oppress the local people and,moreover, the Xianbei haven’t dealt with the Qiang so the situation is worse than before.Shao Bo said, “The Xianbei are separated on the north of the Gobi desert with their herds of dogsand sheep, with no commander-in-chief as ruler, living in temporary settlements and by naturethey are corrupt and violent, with no sense of honour, therefore they often violate and block thepasses, so there has been no peace for a long time. … In the past the Xiongnu rebelled and theDuliao General Ma Xu, and the Wuhuan Colonel, Wang Yuan, sent 5,000 Xianbei cavalry and thegovernor of Wuwei, Zhao Chong, also led Xianbei to attack the rebellious Qiang. … but theXianbei were increasingly excessive and many behaved lawlessly. … They raided the people,robbed the travelling merchants, stole livestock… and because their rewards were great, theyweren’t willing to leave, wanting again to exchange their goods for iron. … Today the craftyinvaders (i.e. the Xianbei) have not been destroyed and the Qiang are still causing enormousdamage, … The officials stupidly think it’s possible to recruit the Qiang Hu of Longxi as gooddefenders who won’t rebel, but will simply be excellent and brave, reliable and admirable.Governor Li Can calmly has a plan, but he will have to reward evil to gain the military force [ofthe Qiang].The final Qiang reference in Chapter 78 emphasises how beneficial it was to have officials whowere culturally adaptable and sensitive:Shi Jun was the governor of Jincheng. He was intelligent and broadminded as well as sincere andmagnanimous. He was able to use favour and trust to deal with those of different customs andhe was greatly esteemed by the Qiang Hu.Chapter 81: 卷五十一 李陈庞陈桥列传第四十一 The Biography of Li, Chen Chan, Pang,Chen Gui and QiaoEarly in the chapter there is a useful description of the Western Regions:The Western Regions are very prosperous with many precious gems, and the rulers and the Huofficials and merchants of these various vassal states often presented Li Xun with slave servants,Yuan horses,135 gold and silver, and fragrant ‘Ji’ cloth.136 The Northern Xiongnu frequently cut ofJushi (nr Turpan) and Yiwu (Hami) in the Western Regions so missions were not able to go westbeyond the sands of Long (陇沙). Li Xun set up rewards and then beheaded the commander ofthe enemy (i.e. the Xiongnu), hanging his head at the entrance to the military camp. From thenon the road was smooth and clear and power and kindness went hand in hand.Xun then became the governor of Wuwei but he was dismissed for some misdemeanour andreturned to his native place, living in seclusion in Shanze,137 making a hut from grass, … When135宛马: this is the character used in 大宛 Ferghana, so these are probably the famous Ferghanan horses.136罽: Ji was a kind of woollen fabric.137山泽: A place name? The literal translation is ‘mountain swamp/marsh,’ two words which seemtopographically incompatible.
the Western Qiang rebelled, Xun reached Tianshe138 and was captured by them. The Qiang hadoften heard his name so they released him. … He died aged 96 years old.In the first Yongchu year (107 AD), the Xianlian type of Qiang in Liangzhou rebelled and DengZhi, the General of Chariots and Cavalry, was sent to fight them. Pang Can made his son Jun writesaying: “At present, the refugees are in uproar in the western provinces and there are endlessmilitary expeditions, endless floods, and the soil has lost its fertility. The strong ones are in themain army, the exhausted ones are in the distant garrisons, agricultural harvests disappear inthe grain transports and wealth is all used up in the military expeditions. Farmland is notcultivated, there is no income from crops, and (people are) impoverished with no hope of aharvest in the autumn. Life has become intolerable for the common people. The officials stupidlythink they can transport grain across 10,000 li, moving far away towards the Qiang Rong, notlike the garrison commander supporting his people, caring for his exhausted ones. Deng Zhi, theGeneral of Chariots and Cavalry, should for the time being bring the army back, and leave RenShang, the Attacking the West Colonel, to oversee the people of Liangzhou, and move to live inSan Fu….Another quote also mentions the trouble being caused by the Qiang Rong and a large armystationed in the west.In the 4th Yongchu year (110 AD), the Qiang invaded and flourished, soldier expenses wereincreasing daily, … and Can wrote to Deng Zhi saying, “In recent years the Qiang invaders haveexerted a lot of pressure on Longyou…. Externally we have the damage inflicted by the Qiangand internally we have the pressure of heavy taxation.”It is clear at this juncture that the losses inflicted by the Qiang rebellion were making manyofficials consider withdrawing from the western regions.In the first Yuanchu year (114 AD), Can became the Colonel Protector of the Qiang and therebellious Qiang appreciated his kindness and trust. The following year, many of the Shaodangtype of Qiang surrendered and began to return to their old capital at Lingju,139 opening the Hexiroute. At that time, the Xianlian Qiang chief took upon himself a title in Beidi, an action seen asillegal by the Han. Can was ordered to lead 7,000 men of the surrendered Qiang and the YicongHu of Huangzhong140 and to meet the Attacking the West General Sima Jun in Beidi and attackthe Xianlian. Can was defeated by the Qiang on the road. Since he was already late [because ofthis defeat], Can pleaded sickness and led his soldiers back. He was punished for feigningsickness and was imprisoned. [He was later pardoned.]When the Qiang Hu invaded the borders, they killed the high officials, driving out andplundering the people. Emperor Huan (146-168 AD) ordered Gui Shi to have a good knowledgeof the border customs and made him Duliao General.Chapter 84: 卷五十四 杨震列传第四十四 The Biography of Yang and ZhenThis chapter just has one reference which again emphasises that the Qiang were exacting aterrible toll on the Han empire. The speech is by someone called Zhen Fu, around the 2nd Yanguangyear (123 AD):138 田舍 This can mean ‘farmhouse’ or ‘peasant family’ but is possibly a place name here.139令居: northwest of Yongdeng in Gansu. This was the seat of the Colonel Protector of the Qiang in theHan dynasty.140 See n.84 above.