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A.d. 376. THE HUNS. 307
of Rome, had been formidable, in a much earlier period, to the empire of China.87 Their ancient, perhaps their original, seat was an extensive, though dry and barren, tract of scat-jfuie country, immediately on the north side of the great wall. Their place is at present occupied by the forty-nine Hords or Banners of the Mongous, a pastoral nation, which consists of about two hundred thousand families.88 But the valour of the Huns had extended the narrow limits of their dominions; and their rustic chiefs, who assumed the appellation of Tanjou, quests in
i ii -l i_ ii i. Scythia.
gradually became the conquerors and the sovereigns of a formidable empire. Towards the east their victorious arms were stopped only by the ocean; and the tribes, which are thinly scattered between the Amoor and the extreme peninsula of Corea, adhered, with reluctance, to the standard of the Huns. On the west, near the head of the Irtish, and in the valleys of Imaus, they found a more ample space, and more numerous enemies. One of the lieutenants of the Tanjou subdued, in a single expedition, twenty-six nations; the Igours,29 distinguished above the Tartar race by the use of letters, were in the number of his vassals; and, by the strange connection of human events, the flight of one of those vagrant tribes recalled the victorious Parthians from the invasion of Syria.30 On the side of the north, the ocean was assigned as the limit of the power of the Huns. Without enemies to resist their progress, or witnesses to contradict their vanity, they might securely achieve a real, or imaginary, conquest of the frozen regions of Siberia. The Northern Sea was fixed as the remote boundary of their empire. But the name of that sea, on whose shores the patriot Sovou embraced the life of a shepherd and an exile,31 may be transferred, with much more probability, to the Baikal, a capacious bason, above three hundred miles in length,* which disdains the modest appellation of a lake,32 and which actually communicates with the seas of the North, by the long course of the Angara, the Tonguska, and the Yenesei. The submission of so many distant nations might flatter the pride of the Tanjou; but the valour of the Huns could be rewarded only by the enjoyment of the wealth and luxury of the empire of the South. In the third century before the Christian aera, a wall of fifteen hundred miles in length was constructed, to defend the frontiers of China against the inroads of the Huns;33 but this stupendous work, which holds a conspicuous place in the map of the world, has never contributed to the safety of
17 M. de Guignes (torn. ii. p. 1-124) has given the original history of the ancient Hiong-nou, or Huns.* The Chinese geography of their country (torn. i. part ii. p. lv.-lxiii.) seems to comprise a part of their conquests.
n See in Du Halde (torn. iv. p. 18-65) a circumstantial description, with a correct map, of the country of the Mongous.
■ The Igours, or Vigours, were divided into three branches—hunters, shepherds, and husbandmen; and the last class was despised by the two former. See Abulghazi, part ii. c. 7.b
word Huns as the collective name of a Altai mountains under a Chinese name,
race, of which the Khazars, Avars, Bui- and who are mentioned as powerful about
garians, and other nations were subdi- Ad. 545. It was to the Khagan or
visions. Now the Khazars, who are first Khan of these Turks, who was named
mentioned in A.d. 626, are expressly said Dizabulus, that Justin Bent an embassy in
by Theophanes to be Turks from the A.d. 569. (See Editor's note, c. xlii., next
East (Tov^tui krn rijf fyat. oSs Ka^d^vt to note 36.)—S.
itui/id^tvrn, Theoph. p. 263, ed. Paris; * Most writers, since the time of Gib
p. 485, ed. Bonn.); and their chief ruler bon, follow De Guignes in identifying the
was Chagan, which is evidently the same Hiong-nou, or Hiong-nii, with the Huns,
as khan or kli.ikan, the title of all the Remusat says (Recherches Bur les Langues
Turkish or Mongolian chiefs or emperors. Tartares, p. 9) that the word Hiong-nu
In the same way the chief ruler of the signifies "revolted slaves" in Chinese,
Avars is called Chagan. Moreover the just as most of the names given by the
description of the manners of the Huns Chinese to the nomadic races are expres
resembles that of the Turks or Mongols, sive of the hatred which the former people
and not that of the Ugrians; while the felt for these disturbers of their peace,
countries occupied by the Huns, which are But if Hiong-nu be the same word as Hun,
the same as the Turkish area, render it it is most likely a native name; since
probable that they were Turks rather than otherwise the Greeks and Romans would
Mongols. hardly have called the people by the same
If the Hiong-nii of the Chinese writers name, and it is very improbable that the
are the same as the Huns of the Classics, Huns should have carried into Europe the
the identity of the Huns and the Turks contemptuous term applied to them by
becomes almost certain. The Chinese the Chinese.—S.
writers say that the Hiong-nii are tho same b The history of the Igours, or Oni
as the Thii-kiu, who are the Turks of the gnurs, as they are more correctly called,
50 Me'inoires de 1'Academic des Inscriptions, torn. xxv. p. 17-33. The comprehensive view of M. de Guignes has compared these distant events.
"The fame of Sovou, or So-ou, his merit, and his singular adventures, are still celebrated in China. See the Eloge de Moukden, p. 20, and notes, p. 241-247; and Memoires sur la Chine, torn. iii. p. 317-300.
** See Isbrand Ives in Harris's Collection, vol. ii. p. 931; Bell's Travels, vol. L p. 247-254; and Gmelin, in the Hist. Generate des Voyages, torn, xviii. p. 283-S29. They all remark the vulgar opinion, that the holy sea grows angry and tempestuous if any one presumes to call it a lake. This grammatical nicety often excites a dispute between the absurd superstition of the mariners and the absurd obstinacy of travellers.
"The construction of the wall of China is mentioned by Du Halde (torn. ii. p. 45) and De Quignes (torn. ii. p. 59).b
has been collected from Chinese authori- the art of writing. Reniusat, Recherches
ties by Visdelou, Reuiusat, and Klaproth, sur les Longues Tartares, c. 2,6; D'Ohsson,
and by D'Ohsson from manuscripts of the Histoire des Mongols, vol. i.; Prichard,
Mohammedan historians. Their language Researches into the Physical History of
represents the old Turkish language before Mankind, vol iii. p. 311, seq., 3rd edit.
it became corrupted by a mixture of Per- —S.
sian and Arabic words. It was reduced * The modern Russian accounts make
to writing many centuries before letters this lake about 400 miles in length, with
were known among other nations of Cen- a mean breadth of between 30 and 40
tral Asia. The alphabet of the Ouigours miles.—S.
is derived from the Syrian Estranghelo, * This wall was finished by Chi-hoangand was introduced among them by the ti, of the dynasty of Thsin, B c. 244. missionaries of the Nestorian Christians. According to Chinese authorities its It was through the Ouigours that the length is 10,000 11. (On the U see GibSyrian alphabet was diffused among the bon's note below, No. 52.) It is from 20 Mongolian and Tungusian nations. It is to 25 feet high. Rcmusat, Nouveaux Misaid that at the command of Zingis- langes Asiatiques, vol. i. p. 58.—S. Khan the Ouigours taught the Mongols
B.C. 201. THEIR WARS WITH THE CHINESE. 309
an unwarlike people. The cavalry of the Tanjou frequently consisted of two or three hundred thousand men, formidable by the matchless dexterity with which they managed their bows and their horses; by their hardy patience in supporting the inclemency of the weather; and by the incredible speed of their march, which was seldom checked by torrents or precipices, by the deepest rivers, or by the most lofty mountains.
They spread themselves at once over the face of the country; and their rapid impetuosity surprised, astonished, and disconcerted the grave and elaborate tactics of a Chinese army, with the
The emperor Kaoti,34 a soldier of fortune, whose personal Ant. Christ, merit had raised him to the throne, marched against the Huns with those veteran troops which had been trained in the civil wars of China. But he was soon surrounded by the barbarians; and, after a siege of seven days, the monarch, hopeless of relief, was reduced to purchase his deliverance by an ignominious capitulation. The successors of Kaoti, whose lives were dedicated to the arts of peace, or the luxury of the palace, submitted to a more permanent disgrace. They too hastily confessed the insufficiency of arms and fortifications. They were too easily convinced that, while the blazing signals announced on every side the approach of the Huns, the Chinese troops, who slept with the helmet on their head, and the cuirass on their back, were destroyed by the incessant labour of ineffectual marches.15 A regular payment of money and silk was stipulated as the condition of a temporary and precarious peace; and the wretched expedient of disguising a real tribute under the names of a gift or subsidy was practised by the emperors of China as well as by those of Rome. But there still remained a more disgraceful article of tribute, which violated the sacred feelings of humanity and nature. The hardships of the savage life, which destroy in their infancy the children who are born with a less healthy and robust constitution, introduce a remarkable disproportion between the numbers of the two sexes. The Tartars are an ugly and even deformed race; and while they consider their own women as the instruments of domestic labour, their desires, or rather their appetites, are directed to the enjoyment of more elegant beauty. A select band of the fairest maidens of China was annually devoted to the rude embraces of the Huns;" and the alliance of the haughty Tanjous was secured by their marriage with the genuine, or adopted, daughters of the Imperial family, which vainly attempted to escape the sacrilegious pollution. The situation of these unhappy victims is described in the verse3 of a Chinese princess, who laments that she had been condemned by her parents to a distant exile, under a barbarian husband; who complains that sour milk was her only drink, raw flesh her only food, a tent her only palace; and who expresses, in a strain of pathetic simplicity, the natural wish that she were transformed into a bird, to fly back to her dear country, the object of her tender and perpetual regret.37
94 See the life of Lieoupang, or Kaoti, in the Hist, de la Chine, published at Paris, 1777, &o., torn. i. p. 442-522. This voluminous work is the translation (by the P. de Mailla) of the Tong-Kien-Kang-Mou, the celebrated abridgment of the great History of Semakouang (a.d. 1084) and his continuators.*
M See a free and ample memorial, presented by a Mandarin to the emperor Venti (before Christ 180-157), in Du Halde (torn. ii. p. 412-426), from a collection of State papers, marked with the red pencil by Kamhi himself (p. 384-612). Another memorial from the minister of war (Kang-Mou, torn. ii. p. 555) supplies some curious circumstances of the manners of the Huns.
* On this work see Remusat, ut supra, vol. ii. p. 156.—S.
The conquest of China has been twice achieved by the pastoral
tribes of the North: the forces of the Huns were not inferior
bii of the to those of the Mojnils, or of the Mantcheoux; and their
Huns. ,.. • , • 1 • t f
ambition might entertain the most sanguine hopes of success. But their pride was humbled, and their progress was checked, by the arms and policy of Vouti,38 the fifth emperor of the powerful dynasty Ant.chri.t. °f tne Han. In his long reign of fifty-four years, the 141-8'- barbarians of the southern provinces submitted to the laws and manners of China; and the ancient limits of the monarchy were enlarged from the great river of Kiang to the port of Canton. Instead of confining himself to the timid operations of a defensive war, his lieutenants penetrated many hundred miles into the country of the Huns. In those boundless deserts, where it is impossible to form magazines, and difficult to transport a sufficient supply of provisions, the armies of Vouti were repeatedly exposed to intolerable hardships: and, of one hundred and forty thousand soldiers who marched against the barbarians, thirty thousand only returned in safety to the feet of their master. These losses, however, were compensated by splendid and decisive success. The Chinese generals improved the superiority which they derived from the temper of their arms, their chariots of war, and the service of their Tartar auxiliaries. The camp of the Tanjou was surprised in the midst of sleep and intemperance; and, though the monarch of the Huns bravely cut his way through the ranks of the enemy, he left above fifteen thousand of his subjects on the field of battle. Yet this signal victory, which was
36 A supply of women is mentioned as a cuBtomary article of treaty and tribute (Hist, de la Conqudte de la Chine par lea Tartares Mantcheoux, torn. i. p. 186, 187, with the note of the editor).
37 De Guignes, Hist, des Huns, torn. ii. p. 62.
M See the reign of the emperor Vouti, in the Kang-Mou, torn. iii. p. 1-98. His various and inconsistent character seems to be impartially drawn.
A.l). 48. OF THE HUNS. 311
preceded and followed by many bloody engagements, contributed much leas to the destruction of the power of the Huns, than the effectual policy which was employed to detach the tributary Antchrist. nations from their obedience. Intimidated by the arms, or 70, allured by the promises, of Vouti and his successors, the mo3t considerable tribes, both of the East and of the West, disclaimed the authority of the Tanjou. While some acknowledged themselves the allies or vassals of the empire, they all became the implacable enemies of the Huns: and the numbers of that haughty people, as soon as they were reduced to their native strength, might, perhaps, have been contained within the walls of one of the great and populous cities of China.39 The desertion of his subjects, and the perplexity of a civil war, at length compelled the Tanjou himself to renounce the dignity of an independent sovereign, and the freedom of a warlike and highspirited nation. He was received at Sigan, the capital of Ant.chrbt the monarchy, by the troops, the mandarins, and the em- Mperor himself, with all the honours that could adorn and disguise the triumph of Chinese vanity.40 A magnificent palace was prepared for his reception; his place was assigned above all the princes of the royal family; and the patience of the barbarian king was exhausted by the ceremonies of a banquet, which consisted of eight courses of meat, and of nine solemn pieces of music. But he performed, on his knees, the duty of a respectful homage to the emperor of China; pronounced, in his own name, and in the name of his successors, a perpetual oath of fidelity; and gratefully accepted a seal, which was bestowed as the emblem of his regal dependence. After this humiliating submission, the Tanjous sometimes departed from their allegiance, and seized the favourable moments of war and rapine; but the monarchy of the Huns gradually declined, till it was broken, by civil dissension, into two hostile and separate kingdoms. One of the princes of the nation was urged by fear and ambition to retire towards the south with eight hords, which composed between forty and fifty thousand families. He obtained, with the title of Tanjou, a convenient territory on the verge of the Chinese provinces; and his constant attachment to the service of the empire was secured by weakness and the desire of revenge. From the time of this fatal schism, the Huns of the north continued to languish about fifty years, till they were oppressed on every side by their
"ThiB expression is used in the memorial to the emperor Venti (Du Halde, torn. ii. p. 417). Without adopting the exaggerations of Marco Polo and Isaac Voseius, we may rationally allow for Pekin two millions of inhabitants. The cities of the south, which contain the manufactures of China, are Btill more populous.
40 See the Kang-Mou, torn. iii. p. 150, and the subsequent events under the proper years. This memorable festival is celebrated in the Eloge de Moukden, and explained in a note by the P. Gaubil, p. 89, 90.