François Thierry, « Three Notes on Türgesh Numismatics », Proceedings of the Symposium on Ancient Coins and the Culture of the Silk Road, Sichou zhi lu guguo qianbi ji Silu wenhua guoji xueshu yantaohui lunwenji 絲綢之路古國錢幣暨

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François Thierry, « Three Notes on Türgesh Numismatics », Proceedings of the Symposium on Ancient Coins and the Culture of the Silk Road, Sichou zhi lu guguo qianbi ji Silu wenhua guoji xueshu yantaohui lunwenji 絲綢之路古國錢幣暨 絲路文化國際學術研討會 論文集, Shanghai
  François T HIERRY , Three Notes on Türgesh Numismatics 1 François T HIERRY , « Three Notes on Türgesh Numismatics », Proceedings of the Symposium on  Ancient Coins and the Culture of the Silk Road  , Sichou zhi lu guguo qianbi ji Silu wenhua guoji  xueshu yantaohui lunwenji   絲綢之路古國錢幣暨   絲路文國際學研討會   論文集 , Shanghai Bowuguan, décembre 2006, Shanghaï 2011, 413-442. François Thierry Three Notes on Türgesh numismatics After the publication of two papers recently written by Edward Rtveladze and Michael Fedorov, it is necessary to go back over several points about the Türgesh monetary history (Rtveladze 2001 ; Fedorov). The Rtveladze’s paper abstract is quite clear   : « […] The author presents an unique coin with the inscription “Turkech –Chachanian Ruler” and thinks that this coin gives an important testmony on one of the Pre-islamic Central Asian traditions : the minting of coins with the name of the clan founder. Moreover, he gives the proof that this coin has been cast simultaneously with other Türgesh coins. On the other hand, he thinks that this unicum  must have been cast by the Türgesh kaghanate founder, Sulu whose authentic name was Turkesh and that this coin is the srcin of the minting of square hole cash coins by the Türgesh kaghanates of later times » (Rtveladze 2001 : 47). Fedorov rightly criticizes some of author ass ertions and is very dubitative about the Rtveladze’s new deciphering of the coin incription, but, wrongly in my opinion, he doubts that the Türgesh resided in Sogdiana in the 7th and early 8th centuries. With a view to invalidating the assumption that Turkesh was the name of the Clan founder and the authentic name of Sulu, Federov gives Kliashtornyi’s chronology of the Türgesh kaghans, but it is impossible to accept this questionable list without a serious discussion. We have to discuss the last assumption of Fedorov saying that the Türgesh kaghans did not issue the so-called « Türgesh coins », but that these coins were issued by Sogdian colonies Rulers in Yedisu (Semeretchiye) (Fedorov : 175-178). 1-Could the Türgesh have issued coins in Sogdiana from the 7th century onwards ? In his paper, Rtveladze returned to a coin of Čač ( Fig. 1 ) that himself and L. Baratova previously had read č’čnk gwbw twrk  , « Türkish prince of Čač  » (Baratova 1999 : 247, Klasse 1/group e/type 1, ill. 3, n° 33 ») ; Rtveladze now deciphers twrkš č’čnyn mr’yw , i.e  « Turgesh Čačanian ruler   », with the addition of the letter  š   and the replacement of mr’yw  by gwbw . Moreover, he considers twrkš   not as an ethnonym but as a surname (Rtveladze 2001 : 44). Fedorov contests the new reading principally with two arguments : firstly, with historical arguments, Fedorov makes the demonstration that twrkš   could not be the name of a ruler called Türgesh who would have been the founder of the Türgesh and who would have been the issuer of all the so-called Türgesh coins, including the coins traditionally attributed to Sulu whose previous surname would have been « Turkech ». Secondly, Fedorov considers that the Türgesh never resided in the Čač (Fedorov  : 175-176). Fig. 1  François T HIERRY , Three Notes on Türgesh Numismatics 2 The first argument is convincing and the Rtveladze assumption is definitely unacceptable for every scholar who has a minimum of knowledge in Türkish history. But Fedorov’s second argument is to much affirmative and his question « where did Rtveladze get information that nomad Tiurgesh tribes resided in Chach ? » 1  requires a more detailed answer than that « all this sounds absurd to me » (Fedorov : 176). About the political and military presence of the Türgesh in Sogdiana during the first half of the 8 th  century, the Chinese, Arabic and Sogdian sources are very clear and it is completly useless to contest the eminent place occuped by the Türgesh in both Northern and Southern Sogdiana at that time (Gibb : 59-87 ; Beckwith 1987 : 84-126 ; La Vaissière : 261-262) ; on the other hand, in my opinion, it would be necessary to precise the exact role played in Western Central Asia by the Türgesh during the 7 th  century to know if it had been possible that Türgesh leaders issued coins there. The coin published by Rtveladze clearly belongs to the Sogdian currency of the second half of the 7 th  century and could be dated of this period. Fedorov himself, who advances the hypothesis that this coin could be a coin of Shegui kaghan (603-618), gives an implicit dating in the early 7 th  century (Fedorov : 178). The Türgesh Tribes did not appear ex nihilo  in steppic world in the beginning of the 8 th  century. Both the Tongdian  and the  Jiu Tangshu  say that « in the beginning, Istemi, having instructions of the chanyu  (Mukan), rallied and ruled ten great chiefs, he had a horde of 100 000 soldiers, he went to subjugate all the Barbarians Kingdoms in the Western Countries. From that onwards he proclaimed himself kaghan and [his kaghanate] has been called the Ten Clans Tribes 自為可汗   號十姓部落 . His successors ruled his hordes » ( TD  : CXCIX, 5460 ;  JTS   : CXCIVb, 5188). From these texts, we understand that the conquest of the Hephtalite Empire had been the work of the Ten Tribes, or the Ten Clans ( Shi Xing   十姓 ), ruled by ten great chiefs under the command of Istemi (553-576). What tribes were called the Ten Tribes or Ten Clans ? The Tongdian  says that at the moment of the quarrel between Mukan (553-572) and his nephew Shedu (the futur Isbara kaghan), the people of the Western Türks was a melting pot of different tribes as the Dulu, the Nushibi, the Karluks, the Chuyue, the Chumi, the Yiwu, etc. ( TD  : CXCIX, 5452). The Karluks constitute a specific group known as the Three Clans, San xing   三姓  ; the Chuyue, Chumi et Yiwu later appears as isolated tribes in the Chinese sources. The remaining tribes, the Dulu and the Nushibi, are well known under the Chinese name Shi Xing   十姓 , « Ten Clans » or « Ten Tribes ». According to the  Jiu Tangshu  and the Tang  Huiyao , between the 9 th  and the 12 th  year of the Zhen Guan period (635-638), the Ten Tribes took a form of autonomy ; each of them was ruled by a  şad   who received from the Kaghan an arrow symbolizing his tribal power. The ten  şad   were called the Ten Arrows, On Ok   in Türkish ; and from this date onwards this confederacy has been called the Ten Clans Tribes 自是號為十姓部落  (  JTS   : CXCIVb, 5183-5184 ; THY   : XCIV, 1693). As seen above, the name of Ten Clans Tribes had been already given to the Western Türks during the Istemi rule. In 651 Ashina Helu (Isbara Kaghan) seized the whole Western Türks Kaghanate that from this date onwards (again) would be known as On Ok Kaghanate 2 . As seen above, On Ok   means « Ten Arrows », because each tribal leader,  şad  , was honoured by an arrow. So it is clear that the Ten Tribes of Istemi were the Dulu and the Nushibi. The Türgesh tribes were the fourth 1  - I will not discuss here about the adjective « nomad » because this question will carry us far away from our subject. But both Chinese and Türkish literature and archaeology shows that this label is quite erroneous and it will be more accurate to consider the Türkish society of the 7 th  century as « semi-nomadic », with  partly sedentarized and urbanized elites : the Türk kaghanates of that date were very different from the 6 th  century Türks ; from the second part of the 6 th  century onwards, the Türkish society engaged an obvious  process of sedentarization. 2  - Ashina Helu was promoted to  yabğu  by the Western Türks Dulu Kaghan and he ruled over the Nushibi Tribes, the Karluks, the Chumi, the Chuyue and the Gusu. But quickly, the relations between the Kaghan and the  yabğu  turned sour ; in 648 Helu submitted to the Chinese Court. Whit the Chinese support, he seized the Dulu’s territories, proclamed himself Isbara Kaghan and ruled the Ten Tribes.    François T HIERRY , Three Notes on Türgesh Numismatics 3 of the Dulu tribes and the fourth of the Ten Arrows. The official leader of the Türgesh was the çor   Heluoshi ( TD  : CXCIX, 5457 ;  JTS   : CXCIVb, 5186 ;  XTS   ; CCXVb, 6061 ; Lin G : 125-130 ; Liu XG : 147-153 ) ; it is evident that the Türgesh, as a member of the Ten Tribes, participated in the Western campaign against the Hephtalite Empire.In the light of these historical points, it is necessary to precise the history of the Čač during the 7 th  century. After the Hephtalite Empire had been subjugated by the Türks between 563 and 567, Istemi took the whole country ; temporarely, the Türks let Sasanians have some parts of it, but the Oxus River (Amou-darya) became de facto  the border of the two Empires (Chavannes : 226- 229). The Kingdom of Čač, located at the East of Yaxartes River (Syr-darya), has been integrated into the Türkish Kaghanate as a vassal country since the early stage of the Türkish power, in the second period of the 6 th  century ( Map 1 ). Map of Central Asia, late 6 th  century As reported in the Suishu, because a conflict broke out between the Kaghan and the King of Čač, the Kingdom was attacked and « destroyed » (mie 滅 ) by Shegui Kaghan who « gave tegin Dianzhi 甸職  the order to take the government of the Kingdom in hand » (SS : LXXXIII, 1850 ; BS : XCVII, 3235) 3. In the 5th year of Da Ye period (609), Dianzhi sent an embassy to the Chinese Court with tribute. Since in 603 Shegui Kaghan succeeded to Tardu in the Western part of the Kaghanate, the end of the local dynasty of Čač could be dated between 603 and 609. During the reign of Tong yabğu (618-630), every Barbarian King of the Western Countries was upgraded as xielifa 頡利   3  - The  Xin Tangshu  version slightly differs, « In the beginning of the Da Ye period of the Sui, the Western Türks killed its King and made the tegin  Fuzhi the ruler of the country » (  XTS   : CCXXIb, 6246) ; Fuzhi 匐職  is very probably a mistake for Dianzhi. One can compare this situation with that of the Kingdom of Yepoluo the local dynasty of wich has been replaced by a tegin  when it was conquered by the Hephtalites ; the name of the Kingdom was changed from Yepuluo in Gandhara. When the monk Song Yun arrived there in 520, the new dynasty already held the throne since two generations (  LQJ   : V, 191).  François T HIERRY , Three Notes on Türgesh Numismatics 4 (elteber ?) 4, and was flanked by a Türkish governor, a tudun (chin. tutun 吐屯 ), whose duties were the control of the local King and taxes collection (TD : CXCIX, 5455). But, in the Čač, the local dynasty had been overthrown about 20 years ago and a Türkish tegin was de facto and de jure the King. It is possible to think that it was the political pattern for the tudun system ; but it is also possible that the tegin appointed by Shegui has been as well flanked by a tudun appointed by Shegui’s brother Tong. It is well known that in the 12 th  lunar month of the 8 th  year of Zhen Guan period (26 th  December 634-23 th  January 635) a mission « of the Kingdom of Čač   » arrived at Chang’an Court ( TD  : CXCIII, 5275 ; THY   : XCIX, 1771 ; CFYG  : CMCLXX, 7) : who sent this mission ? That is not a formal question, but a very important one considering the Xuan Zang account on that country political situation. It is actually about in 630- 631 that the famous travelling monk was in the Čač,  Zheshiguo   赭時國 , and he says : « there are several tens fortified cities, each city is ruled by its own chief, therefore there is no unified government ; the whole of [these cities] is subjugated by the Türks » (  XYJ   : I, 82) 5 . At last, it would be necessary to consider the situation of the Čač after the Western Türks Kaghanate had been divided after Tong Yabğu’s death. In 639, when the Nushibi kagha n Dielishi died, the five Nushibi tribes chose Bobu tegin   as a ruler known as Yabğu Kaghan. The new kaghan appointed new governors,  jiedu   節度 , in every vassal Kingdom, and, among them, in the Kingdom of Shi (Čač). In year 641, the Chinese Court confered off  icial kaghan title on Yabğu Kaghan  ; but at the same time, Dulu, the Kaghan of the Dulu Tribes, month after month became more and more powerful, therefore the Werstern Countries joined him. Dulu gave the Čač tudun   the order to attack Yabğu Kaghan who was seized, sent to Dulu and killed (  JTS   : CXCIVb, 5184-5185 ; CFYG  : CMLXIV, 6). From these texts, we should conclude that in the Čač (or in the city of Čač), there was first, under Tong Yabğu’s reign, a tudun  appointed by the Western Türks, then this tudun  was replaced by a  jiedu  appointed by the Nushibi kaghan, and at last, this  jiedu , in his turn, was replaced by a tudun  of the Dulu, a tribes group in which we find the Türgesh. There is a great probability that a tudun  had been appointed in each « fortified city » of the Čač, and that the Chinese texts use equally the word Shi   石  (or Shiguo   石國 ) to designate both the geo-  political whole of the Čač and the city of Čač.   Among the Čačian cities, several toponyms are known from numismatics and the Arabic sources, a s Čač, Kabarna, Farankat, Charaşket and Čanak (Rtveladze 1998  : 314-323 ; Baratova 1999 : 274), and from Chinese texts, as Zheshecheng 柘折城 , i.e . the « city of Čač  », and Kanjie 瞰羯  (  XTS   : CCXXIb, 6246). We could add the name of the city of Tarband : from Baladhuri, we learn that in year 712, the tudun   of Čač was installed in Tarband, an important city situated in the present Otrar oasis (Rtveladze 1998 : 322-323 ; Grenet-La Vaissière : 170 ; La Vaissière : 119) ; Tarband probably appears in the Orkhon inscriptions under the forms Keñgü-Tarban  and Keñgü-Tarman  (Orhun : 38-39). Pr Czeglédy suggested to recognize in the Türkish Keñgü  a transliteration of the Chinese Gongyu   恭御 , the name of a Sogdian city situated North of the city of Čač in the Xuan Zang account (  XYJ   : I, 80 ; Czeglédy : 82). That let us think that the Čač stretched northwards as far as the low valley of the Aris River. It is clear now that after the 30’ of the 7 th   century, the Čač was not an unified Kingdom and that, in the year 635, for the Chinese officials in the imperial offices, a diplomatic mission coming from any city of the Čač could be annouced as a mission of the Kingdom of Čač. But in 658, when the Tang organized the Central Asia after the Western Türks Kaghanate collapsed, the Čač was converted in a so-called Government of Dayuan with the city of Kanjie as the seat of the authority. The title of governor was given a man called « King of Čač  » whose name was Kan tutun Shisheti Yuqu Zhaomu   瞰土屯攝舍提屈昭穆  (  XTS   : CCXXIb, 6246 ; THY   : XCIX, 1771). But this « name » is clearly 4  - About the elteber   transcription for  xielifa/qilifa , see Pelliot 1929 : 227 ; Hamilton 1955 : 97-98, 139. 5  - Literally,  zong chu   總主  means « a ruler who gathers them under his authority » or « a paramount ruler ». Certain editions give wang    王 , « king », instead of  zhu   主 , « ruler » (  XYJ   : I, 82, n.2). That political situation can be compared with that of the Daxia under the Yuezhi (Thierry 2005 : 432-433, 497-498).  François T HIERRY , Three Notes on Türgesh Numismatics 5 composed with a toponym, a title, an ethnomym and a personal name : Kan [  jie ], tutun ,  Shisheti  and  Yuqu Zhaomu , that means « the Shisheti Yuqu Zhaomu, tudun  of Kan[jie] ». Shisheti is the name of the third group of the Dulu Tribes as the Türgesh were the fourth, therefore we can conclude from this ethnomym that the tudun  of Kanjie was a Shisheti born people whose name, er at  ı  (Kliashtornyi 2002 : 197-198), was Yuqu Zhaomu. The tribal srcin of each people or ruler continued to be an important criterion in a society founded on the inequality between the tribes : when the Dulu were the leading group of the Ten Tribes confederacy, the belonging to a Dulu tribe was a great advantage. If a Shisheti was tudun   in a city of the Čač, why should a Türgesh not have been the tudun  of a neighbouring city ? In fact, it seems that there were several tudun   in the Čač  : from the numismatic data, we know coins of different tudun  and the Chinese sources mention at least two tudun , the tudun   of Čač who seized Yabğu Kaghan and the tudun  of Kanjie. About ten years after, China lost real control on the Western Türks territories that gradually were recovered by the Ten Tribes confederacy rulers. Then, the Dayuan Government was a pure theoretical administrative district : the reality of power returned to the Western Türks ; but at the same time the Ten Tribes had to reckon with two threatening emergent powers starting to grow in Central Asia, the Tibetan Empire and the Northern Türk Kaghanate. From the Northern Türk stone inscriptions precisely we find a very significant information. A  passage of the Tonyukuk’s stele lets us think that a Türgesh tribe ha d managed to reduce Sogdiana to the rank of vassal country. When the Northern Türks were going to war in Western Central Asia, they reached Westwards as far as Southern Sogdiana ( ca  698-699), and as said by Tonyukuk : « We reached as far as the Iron Gates from where we turned back. Inel kaghan (..?..) being afraid (..?..) Arabs and Tokharians (..... ? ....). From here the whole Sogdian nation the own territory of wich was ruled by the Soq is coming and submitted » 6  (Orhun : 115-116 ; Ergin : 59, 97 ; Giraud 1961 : 63 ; Giraud 1960 : 36-38 ; Kliashtornyi 1954 : 57-59 ; Chavannes : 282-283). The Soq were one (or most probably a group of tribes) of the Türgesh tribes well mentioned in the Chinese texts under the form Suoge   索葛 . At that time, the chief of the So q was Wuzhile (Ocırlıq or Orciliğ ) who was appointed by the Chinese as the governor of Wulu, a district precisely inhabited by the Soq and the Bağa Türgesh tribes settled on the Ili River 7 . Ocırlıq was actually the kaghan of the Türgesh and his son had th e personal name Soq ( Suoge   娑葛 ). The Türgesh, the leading tribes of the On Ok   tribal group, were under the command of the Soq whose paramount clan held the power, therefore it is evident that when the Northern Türks talk about the « Soq » that means « Türgesh ». One can consider that the Türgesh under the Soq suceeded to establish their leadership over Sogdiana. On the other hand, Chinese sources say that Ocırlıq gradually invaded the whole territory of Arsila Khosro, the official kaghan and Commander in chief of the Pacified West Army (  Xipingjun dacongguan ) 8 , and that his empire was contiguous to the Hu Barbarians, that is to say the Sogdiana and precisely their North-Eastern part, the Čač.  Consequently there exists a number of arguments to demonstrate that in the 7 th  century Sogdiana, the Türgesh have been, at first one of the most engaged tribes and afterwards, in the second part of the century, the paramount tribes. Besides, it would be necessary to examine the contribution of numismatics to that question. Now the Sasanian silver drahms of Peroz with Türkish countermarks bearing inscriptions as  Di  şči Bogi , tekin  or kaghan Bogi  are well known ( Fig. 2 ). These punchmarks 6 - « Temir Qapığqa tegi irtimiz. Anda yandurtumuz. Inel Qağanqa  ( añyip ......t sa ķ  a  ?) Tezik Toqar    (s ... in .... ...... ?) [2] anda berüki Soq başliğ Soğdaq budun qop keliti, yükünti  (......... ?) » (Ergin : 97). For the wrong reading  Asok   or  Asuğ  , see note 14). 7  - The translation of the Chinese text could be different : instead of « the Suoge  and  Bağa  of the Türgesh tribes », it is possible to understand « the tribes of the Türgesh Suoge bağa  ». Farther in the West, between the Chu and Ili Rivers, the Alishi Türgesh were ruling the Government of Jieshan. 8  - The Nushibi tribes were settled West of the Alishi Türgesh, between the Chu and the Talas rivers ; their kaghan was Arsila Buzhen (657-666) who was suceeded by his son Arsila Khosro : as well as the Arsila Khosro « official » territories in the East, that region is going under Ocırlıq  control.
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