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The Uyghur Khaganate (or Uyghur Empire or Uighur Khaganate, self defined as Toquz-Oghuz country; otk, 𐱃𐰆𐰴𐰕:𐰆𐰍𐰕:𐰉𐰆𐰑𐰣, Toquz Oγuz budun, Tang-era names, with modern
Hanyu Pinyin ''Hanyu Pinyin'' (), often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese, Standard Mandarin Chinese in mainland China and to some extent in Taiwan and Singapore. It is often used to teach Standard Mandarin, w ...
: or ) was a
Turkic Turkic may refer to: * anything related to the country of Turkey * Turkic languages, a language family of at least thirty-five documented languages ** Turkic alphabets (disambiguation) ** Turkish language, the most widely spoken Turkic language * T ...
empire that existed for about a century between the mid 8th and 9th centuries. They were a tribal confederation under the Orkhon Uyghur () nobility, referred to by the
Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a populat ...

Chinese
as the ''Jiu Xing'' ("Nine Clans"), a calque of the name ''
Toquz Oghuz Toquz Oghuz ( otk, 𐱃𐰸𐰆𐰔:𐰆𐰍𐰔, ''Toquz Oγuz''; Chinese: 九姓 ''Jĭu Xìng'' "Nine Surnames"; Tibetan ''Drugu Rus Dgu'' "Turks of Nine Seok (clan), Bones") was a political alliance of nine Turkic peoples, Turkic-speaking Tiele p ...
'' or ''Toquz Tughluq''.


History


Rise

In 657, the
Western Turkic Khaganate The Western Turkic Khaganate () or Onoq Khaganate ( otk, 𐰆𐰣:𐰸:𐰉𐰆𐰑𐰣, On oq budun, Ten arrow people) was a Turkic Turkic may refer to: * anything related to the country of Turkey * Turkic languages, a language family of at lea ...

Western Turkic Khaganate
was defeated by the
Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum An interregnum (plural interregna or interregnums) is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organiza ...
, after which the Uyghurs defected to the Tang. Prior to this the Uyghurs had already shown an inclination towards alliances with the Tang when they fought with them against the
Tibetan Empire The Tibetan Empire (, ; ) was an empire centered on the Tibetan Plateau, formed as a result of imperial expansion under the Yarlung dynasty heralded by its 33rd king, Songsten Gampo in the 7th century. The empire further expanded under the 38th ...

Tibetan Empire
and Turks in 627. In 742, the Uyghurs,
Karluks The Karluks (also Qarluqs, Qarluks, Karluqs, otk, 𐰴𐰺𐰞𐰸, Qarluq, fa, خَلُّخ, ''Khallokh'', ar, قارلوق, ''Qarluq'') were a prominent nomadic A nomad ( frm, nomade "people without fixed habitation") is a member of a ...
, and
Basmyl The Basmyls (''Basmyl''; Basmals, Basmils, otk, 𐰉𐰽𐰢𐰞, Basmïl, < Middle Chinese Zhengzhang Shangfang, ZS: *''bˠɛt̚-siɪt̚-miɪt̚/mˠiɪt̚/miᴇ''; also 弊剌 ''Bìlà'' < MC *''bjiejH-lat''Second Turkic Khaganate , conventional_long_name = Second Turkic Khaganate , image_coat = Tamga of Ashina.png , symbol_type = Tamga of Ashina tribe , government_type = Hereditary monarchy , image_map = Map of Second Turkic Khaganate.png , image_map_alt = Loca ...
. In 744, the Basmyls captured the Turk capital of
Ötüken Ötüken ( otk, 𐰇𐱅𐰰𐰤:𐰖𐰃𐱁, Ötüken yïš, "Ötüken forest", 𐰵𐱅𐰜𐰤:𐰘𐰼, ''Ötüken jer'', "Land of Ötüken", Old Uyghur language, Old Uyghur: 𐰵𐱅𐰜𐰤:𐰘𐰃𐱁 ''Ötüken yïš'') was the capital of ...
and killed the reigning Özmiş Khagan. Later that year a Uyghur-Karluk alliance formed against the Basmyls and defeated them. Their khagan was killed and the Basmyls ceased to exist as a people. Hostilities between the Uyghurs and Karluks then forced the Karluks to migrate west into
Zhetysu Zhetysu, or Jeti-Suu ( kk, , Жетісу, pronounced ; ky, ''Jeti-Suu'', (), meaning "seven rivers"; also transcribed ''Zhetisu'', ''Jetisuw'', ''Jetysu'', ''Jeti-su'', ''Jity-su'', ''Жетысу'',, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agen ...
and conflict with the
Türgesh The Türgesh or Türgish ( otk, 𐱅𐰇𐰼𐰏𐰾:𐰉𐰆𐰑, Türügeš budun, Türgesh people; , Pinyin ''Hanyu Pinyin'' (), often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics ...
, whom they defeated and conquered in 766. The Uyghur khagan's personal name was ''Qullığ Boyla'' (). He took the title '' Kutlug Bilge Kol Khagan'' (''Glorious, wise, mighty khagan''), claiming to be the supreme ruler of all the tribes. He built his capital at
Ordu-Baliq Ordu-Baliqalso spelled ''Ordu Balykh, Ordu Balik, Ordu-Balïq, Ordu Balig, Ordu Baligh'' (meaning "city of the court", "city of the army"), also known as Mubalik and Karabalghasun, was the capital of the first Uyghur Khaganate. It was built on the ...
. According to Chinese sources, the territory of the Uyghur Empire then reached "on its eastern extremity, the territory of Shiwei, on the west the
Altai Mountains The Altai Mountains (), also spelled Altay Mountains, are a mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges with simila ...

Altai Mountains
, on the south it controlled the
Gobi Desert The Gobi Desert () is a large desert upright=1.5, alt=see caption, Sand dunes in the Rub' al Khali ("Empty quarter") in the United Arab Emirates">Rub'_al_Khali.html" ;"title="Sand dunes in the Rub' al Khali">Sand dunes in the Rub' al ...

Gobi Desert
, so it covered the entire territory of the ancient
Xiongnu The Xiongnu (, ) were a tribal confederation A confederation (also known as a confederacy or league) is a union of sovereign groups or states united for purposes of common action. Usually created by a treaty A treaty is a formal ...

Xiongnu
". In 745, the Uyghurs killed the last khagan of the Göktürks, Báiméikèhán Gǔlǒng (), and sent his head to the Tang.


Tribal Composition

Tang Huiyao The ''Tang Huiyao'' () is an institutional history of Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum between 690 and 705. It was preceded by the Sui dy ...
, vol. 98, listed nine Toquz Oghuz surname tribes (姓部 ''xìngbù''); another list of tribes (部落 ''bùluò'') was recorded in the ''
Old Book of Tang The ''Old Book of Tang'', or simply the ''Book of Tang'', is the first classic historical work about the Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregn ...
'' and the ''
New Book of Tang The ''New Book of Tang'' (''Xīn Tángshū''), generally translated as "New History of the Tang", or "New Tang History", is a work of official history covering the Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dyna ...
''. According to Japanese scholars Hashimoto, Katayama, and Senga, each name in the lists in the Books of Tang recorded each subtribal surname of each chief, while the other list in Tang Huiyao recorded the names of the Toquz Oghuz tribes proper.
Walter Bruno Henning Walter Bruno Henning (August 26, 1908 – January 8, 1967) was a German scholar of Middle Iranian The Iranian or Iranic languages are a branch of the Indo-Iranian languages in the Indo-European languages, Indo-European language family that ar ...
(1938) linked nine names recorded in the
Saka language Saka, or Sakan, was a variety of Eastern Iranian languages The Eastern Iranian languages are a subgroup of the Iranian languages The Iranian or Iranic languages are a branch of the Indo-Iranian languages in the Indo-European language ...
" Staël-Holstein Scroll" with those recorded by Han Chinese authors.


Notes


Golden Age

In 747, the Qutlugh Bilge Köl Kaghan died, leaving his youngest son,
Bayanchur Khan)''Heavenborn State Founding Wise Qaghan'', birth_name=Yàolúogě Mòyánchùo (藥羅葛磨延啜)Bayanchur Qaghan (b. 713 - d.759) — was second qaghan of Uyghur Khaganate. His Tang dynasty invested title was Yingwu Weiyuan Pijia Qaghan () or sim ...
to reign as Khagan ''El etmish bilge'' "State settled, wise". After building a number of trading outposts with the Tang, Bayanchur Khan used the profits to construct the capital, Ordu-Baliq, and another city further up the
Selenga River The Selenga or Selenge ( ; bua, Сэлэнгэ гол / Сэлэнгэ мүрэн, translit=Selenge gol / Selenge müren; russian: Селенга́, ) is a major river in Mongolia and Buryatia, Russia. Originating from its River source, headwate ...
, Bai Baliq. The new khagan then embarked on a series of campaigns to bring all the steppe peoples under his banner. During this time the Empire expanded rapidly and brought the Sekiz Oghuz, Kyrgyz, Karluks, Turgesh, Toquz Tatars, Chiks and the remnants of the Basmyls under Uyghur rule. In 755
An Lushan An Lushan or An Lu-shan (20th day of the 1st month (February), 703 – 25/29 January 757) was a general in the Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an int ...
instigated a rebellion against the
Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum An interregnum (plural interregna or interregnums) is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organiza ...
and
Emperor Suzong of Tang Emperor Suzong of Tang (''yihai'' day, 711 – 16 May 762; r. 756 – 762), personal name Li Heng, né Li Sisheng (), known as Li Jun () from 725 to 736, known as Li Yu () from 736 to 738, known briefly as Li Shao () in 738, was an emperor of th ...
turned to Bayanchur Khan for assistance in 756. The khagan agreed and ordered his eldest son to provide military service to the Tang emperor. Approximately 4,000 Uyghur horsemen assisted Tang armies in retaking
Chang'an Chang'an (; ) is the traditional name of Xi'an Xi'an ( , ; ; Chinese: ), sometimes romanized as Sian, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between ...
and
Luoyang Luoyang is a city located in the confluence area of Luo River and Yellow River The Yellow River (Chinese: , Jin Chinese, Jin: uə xɔ Standard Beijing Mandarin, Mandarin: ''Huáng hé'' ) is the second-longest river in China, afte ...

Luoyang
in 757. After the battle at Luoyang the Uyghurs looted the city for three days and only stopped after large quantities of silk were extracted. For their aid, the Tang sent 20,000 rolls of silk and bestowed them with honorary titles. In addition the horse trade was fixed at 40 rolls of silk for every horse and Uyghurs were given "guest" status while staying in Tang China. The Tang and Uyghurs conducted an exchange marriage. Bayanchur Khan married Princess Ninguo while a Uyghur princess was married to a Tang prince. The Uyghur Khaganate exchanged princesses in marriage with Tang dynasty China in 756 to seal the alliance against An Lushan. The Uyghur Khagan
Bayanchur Khan)''Heavenborn State Founding Wise Qaghan'', birth_name=Yàolúogě Mòyánchùo (藥羅葛磨延啜)Bayanchur Qaghan (b. 713 - d.759) — was second qaghan of Uyghur Khaganate. His Tang dynasty invested title was Yingwu Weiyuan Pijia Qaghan () or sim ...
had his daughter Uyghur Princess Pijia (毗伽公主) married to Tang dynasty Chinese Prince Li Chengcai ( 李承采), Prince of Dunhuang (敦煌王李承采), son of Li Shouli, Prince of Bin. while the Tang dynasty Chinese princess Ningguo 寧國公主, daughter of
Emperor Suzong Emperor Suzong of Tang (''yihai'' day, 711 – 16 May 762; r. 756 – 762), personal name Li Heng, né Li Sisheng (), known as Li Jun () from 725 to 736, known as Li Yu () from 736 to 738, known briefly as Li Shao () in 738, was an emperor of th ...
, married Uyghur Khagan Bayanchur. In 758, the Uyghurs turned their attention to the northern
Yenisei Kyrgyz The Yenisei Kyrgyz ( otk, 𐰶𐰃𐰺𐰴𐰕:𐰉𐰆𐰑𐰣, Qırqız bodun; ), were an ancient Turkic peoples, Turkic people who dwelled along the upper Yenisei River in the southern portion of the Minusinsk Depression from the 3rd centur ...
. Bayanchur Khan destroyed several of their trading outposts before slaughtering a Kyrgyz army and executing their Khan. In 759 the Uyghurs attempted to assist the Tang in stamping out the rebels but failed. Bayanchur Khan died and his son Tengri Bögü succeeded him as Khagan ''Qutlugh Tarkhan sengün''. In 762 Tengri Bögü planned to invade the Tang with 4,000 soldiers but after negotiations switched sides and assisted them in defeating the rebels at Luoyang. After the battle the Uyghurs looted the city. When the people fled to Buddhist temples for protection, the Uyghurs burnt them down, killing over 10,000. For their aid, the Tang was forced to pay 100,000 pieces of silk to get them to leave. During the campaign the khagan encountered Manichaean priests who converted him to
Manichaeism Manichaeism (; in New Persian New Persian ( fa, فارسی نو), also known as Modern Persian () and Dari (), is the final stage of the Persian language Persian (), also known by its endonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to ...
. From then on the official religion of the Uyghur Khaganate became Manichaeism.


Decline

In 779 Tengri Bögü planned to invade the Tang dynasty based on the advice of his Sogdian courtiers. However, Tengri Bögü's uncle,
Tun Bagha Tarkhan TUN or tun may refer to: Science and technology * TUN/TAP, a computer network device driver * TUN (product standard), Danish building materials numbering system * Tun (Maya calendar) * Tun (unit), an antiquated measurement of liquid Biology * ...
, opposed this plan and killed him and "nearly two thousand people from among the kaghan's family, his clique and the Sogdians."
Tun Bagha Tarkhan TUN or tun may refer to: Science and technology * TUN/TAP, a computer network device driver * TUN (product standard), Danish building materials numbering system * Tun (Maya calendar) * Tun (unit), an antiquated measurement of liquid Biology * ...
ascended the throne, with the title ''Alp Qutlugh Bilge'' ("Victorious, glorious, wise"), and enforced a new set of laws, which he designed to secure the unity of the khaganate. During his reign Manichaeism was suppressed, but his successors restored it as the official religion. In 780 a group of Uyghurs and Sogdians was killed while leaving
Chang'an Chang'an (; ) is the traditional name of Xi'an Xi'an ( , ; ; Chinese: ), sometimes romanized as Sian, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between ...
with tribute. Tun demanded 1,800,000 strings of cash in compensation and the Tang agreed to pay this amount in gold and silk. In 789 Tun Bagha Tarkhan died and his son, Tolossu, succeeded him. The Karluks took this opportunity to encroach on Uyghur territory and annexed the Futu valley. In 790 the Uyghurs and Tang forces were defeated by the Tibetans at Tingzhou (Beshbalik). Tolossu died and his son, A-ch'o, succeeded him as ''Qutlugh Bilge''. In 791 the Tibetans attacked Lingzhou but were driven off by the Uyghurs, who presented captured prisoners and cattle to
Emperor Dezong of Tang Emperor Dezong of Tang (27 May 742According to Li Kuo's biography in the ''Old Book of Tang'', he was born on the ''guisi'' day in the 4th month of the 1st year of the Tianbao era of Tang Xuanzong's reign. This date corresponds to 27 May 742 in ...
. The Tibetans and Karluks suffered another defeat against the Uyghurs at Beiting. The captured Tibetan general Zan Rgyal sum was sent to Dezong. In 792 the Uyghurs led by Baoyi defeated the Tibetans and Karluks, taking
Gaochang Gaochang (; Old Uyghur The Old Uyghur language () was a Turkic language which was spoken in Qocho from the 9th–14th centuries and in Gansu Gansu (; Chinese postal romanization, alternately romanized as Kansu) is a landlocked provinces ...
. Not long after the Tibetans attacked Yushu, a fortified town 560 ''li'' east of
Kucha 250px, Location of Kucha within Aksu in yellow Kucha or Kuche (also: ''Kuçar'', ''Kuchar''; ug, كۇچار, Кучар; zh, t=wikt:龜茲, 龜茲, p=Qiūcí also zh, t=wikt:库车, 库车, p=Kùchē; sa, Kucina), was an ancient Buddhist ki ...
. They were besieged by Baoyi there and destroyed. In 795 ''Qutlugh Bilge'' died and the Yaghlakar dynasty came to an end. A general named also called Qutlugh declared himself the new khagan, under the title ''Ay Tängridä ülüg bulmïsh alp kutlugh ulugh bilgä kaghan'' ("Greatly born in moon heaven, victorious, glorious, great and wise Kaghan"), founding a new dynasty, the Ädiz (Chinese: ''Adie''). In 803 the Uyghurs captured
Qocho Qocho (, Mongolian language, Mongolian ' "id."), also known as Idiqut, ("holy wealth"; "glory"; "lord of fortune") was a History of the Uyghur people, Uyghur kingdom created in 843, with strong Chinese Buddhism, Chinese Buddhist and Tocharians ...
. In 808 Qutlugh died and his son Baoyi succeeded him. In the same year the Uyghurs seized
Liangzhou Liangzhou District () is an district and the seat of the city of Wuwei, Gansu, Wuwei, Gansu province of the People's Republic of China, bordering Inner Mongolia to the east. Geography Liangzhou District is located in east Hexi Corridor, north to th ...
from the Tibetans. In 816 a Tibetan raid reached within two days' journey of the Uyghur capital,
Ordu-Baliq Ordu-Baliqalso spelled ''Ordu Balykh, Ordu Balik, Ordu-Balïq, Ordu Balig, Ordu Baligh'' (meaning "city of the court", "city of the army"), also known as Mubalik and Karabalghasun, was the capital of the first Uyghur Khaganate. It was built on the ...
. In 821 Baoyi died and his son
Chongde Tongxiang City () is a county-level city, part of Jiaxing, in northern Zhejiang Province, China, bordering Jiangsu province to the north. It had a population of 815,800 at the 2010 census even though its built-up (''or metro'') area is smaller. T ...
succeeded him. Chongde was considered the last great khagan of the Uyghur Khaganate and bore the title ''Kün tengride ülüg bulmïsh alp küchlüg bilge'' ("Greatly born in sun heaven, victorious, strong and wise"). His achievements included improved trade up with the region of
Sogdia Sogdia () ( sog, soɣd) or Sogdiana was an ancient Iranian peoples, Iranian civilization between between the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya, and in present-day Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. Sogdiana was also a province of the Ac ...
, and on the battlefield he repulsed a force of invading Tibetans in 821. After defeating the Tibetan and Karluk force, the Uyghurs entered the
Principality of Ushrusana The Principality of Ushrusana (also spelled ''Usrushana'', ''Osrushana'' or ''Ustrushana'') was a local Iranian Iranian may refer to: * Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran ( fa, ج ...
and plundered the region. In 822 the Uyghurs sent troops to help the Tang in quelling rebels. The Tang refused the offer but had to pay them 70,000 pieces of silk to go home. In 823 the Tibetan Empire waged war on the Uyghurs. In 824 Chongde died and was succeeded by a brother,
Qasar Qasar (also spelled Hasar or Khasar, and also known as Jo'chi Qasar; Mongolian Mongolian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Mongolia, a country in Asia * Mongolian people, or Mongols * Mongolia (1911–24), the government of Mongol ...
. In 832 Qasar was murdered. He was succeeded by the son of Chongde, Hu. In the same year the Tibetan Empire ceased to make war on the Uyghurs.


Fall

In 839 Hu was forced to commit suicide and a minister named Kürebir seized the throne with the help of 20,000
Shatuo The Shatuo (also transcribed as Sha-t'o, Sanskrit Sart Sart is a name for the settled inhabitants of Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia which stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China and Mongolia in the east, and f ...
horsemen from
Ordos
Ordos
. In the same year there was a famine and an epidemic, with a particularly severe winter that killed much of the livestock the Uyghur economy was based on. In 840, one of nine Uyghur ministers, Kulug Bagha, rival of Kurebir, fled to the
Yenisei Kyrgyz The Yenisei Kyrgyz ( otk, 𐰶𐰃𐰺𐰴𐰕:𐰉𐰆𐰑𐰣, Qırqız bodun; ), were an ancient Turkic peoples, Turkic people who dwelled along the upper Yenisei River in the southern portion of the Minusinsk Depression from the 3rd centur ...
and invited them to invade from the north. With a force of around 80,000 horsemen, they sacked the Uyghur capital at
Ordu-Baliq Ordu-Baliqalso spelled ''Ordu Balykh, Ordu Balik, Ordu-Balïq, Ordu Balig, Ordu Baligh'' (meaning "city of the court", "city of the army"), also known as Mubalik and Karabalghasun, was the capital of the first Uyghur Khaganate. It was built on the ...
, razing it to the ground. The Kyrgyz captured the Uyghur Khagan, Kürebir (''Hesa/Qasar''), and promptly beheaded him. They went on to destroy other cities throughout the Uyghur empire, burning them to the ground. The Uyghurs fled in two groups. A 30,000-strong group led by the aristocrat Ormïzt sought refuge in Tang territory but
Emperor Wuzong of Tang Emperor Wuzong of Tang (July 2, 814 – April 22, 846), né Li Chan, later changed to Li Yan just before his death, was an emperor of the Tang Dynasty of History of China, China, reigning from 840 to 846. Emperor Wuzong is mainly known in moder ...
ordered the borders to be closed. The other group, 100,000 strong, led by Öge, son of Baoyi and the new khagan of the defeated Uyghur khaganate, also fled to Tang territory. However Öge demanded a Tang city for residence as well as the protection of
Manichaeans Manichaeism (; in New Persian ''Āyīn Mānī''; ) was a major religion founded in the 3rd century AD by the Persian or Parthian prophet Mani () in the Sasanian Empire The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire ...
and food. Wuzong found the demands unacceptable and refused. He granted Ormïzt asylum in return for the use of his troops against Öge. Two years later, Wuzong extended the order to
Nestorianism Nestorianism is a polysemic Polysemy ( or ; from grc-gre, πολύ-, , "many" and , , "sign") is the capacity for a word or phrase to have multiple meanings, usually related by contiguity of meaning within a semantic field. Polysemy is thus ...

Nestorianism
,
Zoroastrianism Zoroastrianism or Mazdayasna is an Iranian religions, Iranian religion and one of the world's oldest continuously-practiced organized faiths, based on the teachings of the Iranian peoples, Iranian-speaking prophet Zoroaster (also known as ''Za ...
, and especially
Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and ...

Buddhism
. In 841 Öge led the Uyghurs in an invasion of
Shaanxi Shaanxi (; , ; Chinese postal romanization, alternately Shensi) is a landlocked Provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China. Officially part of Northwest China, it borders the province-level divisions of Shanxi (NE, ...

Shaanxi
. In 843 a Tang army led by Shi Xiong attacked the Uyghurs led by Öge and slaughtered 10,000 Uyghurs on February 13, 843 at "Kill the Barbarians" Mountain (Shahu). After the defeat of Öge, Wuzong ordered Ormïzt's troops to be broken up and dispersed among different units. Ormïzt refused to obey. His troops were massacred by general Liu Mian. With the defeat of the two major Uyghur groups, Wuzong saw his chance to get rid of the Manichaeans. He ordered Manichaean temples in several cities to be destroyed, the confiscation of their estates, and the execution of the clergy. In 846 the penultimate Uyghur khagan, Öge, was killed after having spent his six-year reign fighting the Kyrgyz, the supporters of his rival Ormïzt, a brother of Kürebir, and
Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum An interregnum (plural interregna or interregnums) is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organiza ...
troops in Ordos and
Shaanxi Shaanxi (; , ; Chinese postal romanization, alternately Shensi) is a landlocked Provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China. Officially part of Northwest China, it borders the province-level divisions of Shanxi (NE, ...

Shaanxi
. His brother, Enian Qaghan, was decisively defeated by Tang forces in 847.


Successors

The
Yenisei Kyrgyz The Yenisei Kyrgyz ( otk, 𐰶𐰃𐰺𐰴𐰕:𐰉𐰆𐰑𐰣, Qırqız bodun; ), were an ancient Turkic peoples, Turkic people who dwelled along the upper Yenisei River in the southern portion of the Minusinsk Depression from the 3rd centur ...
who replaced the Uyghur Khaganate were unsophisticated and had little interest in running the empire which they had destroyed. They held the territory from
Lake Baikal Lake Baikal (; russian: Oзеро Байкал, Ozero Baykal ; bua, Байгал далай, Baigal dalai; mn, Байгал нуур, Baigal nuur) is a rift lake A rift lake is a lake A lake is an area filled with water, localized i ...

Lake Baikal
in the east to the
Irtysh River The Irtysh ( otk, 𐰼𐱅𐰾:𐰇𐰏𐰕𐰏, Ertis ügüzüg, mn, Эрчис мөрөн, ''Erchis mörön'', "erchleh", "twirl"; russian: Иртыш; kk, Ертіс, Ertis, ; Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China ...
in the west and left Kulug Bagha, the Uyghur who defected to them, in charge of the
Orkhon Valley Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape (; mn, Орхоны хөндийн соёлын дурсгал, Orkhony xöndiiyn soyoliyn dursgal, Mongolian Script The classical or traditional Mongolian script, also known as the , was the first Mongolian ...
. During the reign of
Emperor Yizong of Tang Emperor Yizong of Tang (December 28, 833 – August 15, 873), né Li Wen, later changed to Li Cui (), was an emperor of the Tang dynasty of China. He reigned from 859 to 873. Yizong was the eldest son of Emperor Xuanzong of Tang (9th century), ...
(860–873), there were three recorded contacts between the Tang and Kyrgyz, but the nature of their relationship remains unclear. Tang policy makers argued that there was no point in building any relations with the Kyrgyz since the Uyghurs no longer threatened them. The
Khitans The Khitan people (Khitan small script The Khitan small script () was one of two writing systems used for the now-extinct Khitan language Khitan or Kitan ( in large script or in small, ''Khitai''; , ''Qìdānyǔ''), also known as Liao, is a n ...

Khitans
seized the Orkhon Valley from the Kyrgyz in 890 and no further opposition from the Kyrgyz is recorded. After the fall of the Uyghur Khaganate, the Uyghurs migrated south and established the
Ganzhou Uyghur Kingdom The Ganzhou Uyghur Kingdom (), also referred to as the Hexi Uyghur Khaganate, Uyghurs, was established in 894 around Zhangye, Ganzhou in modern Zhangye. The kingdom lasted from 894 to 1036; during that time, many of Ganzhou's residents converted t ...
in modern
Gansu Gansu (, ; alternately romanized as Kansu) is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnatio ...

Gansu
and the
Kingdom of Qocho Qocho (, Mongolian Mongolian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Mongolia, a country in Asia * Mongolian people, or Mongols * Mongolia (1911–24), the government of Mongolia, 1911–1919 and 1921–1924 * Mongolian language * M ...
near modern
Turpan Turpan (also known as Turfan or Tulufan, zh, 吐鲁番, pinyin: Tǔlǔfán, ug, تۇرپان) is a prefecture-level city A prefectural-level municipality (), prefectural-level city or prefectural city is an administrative division of the ...

Turpan
. The Uyghurs in Qocho converted to Buddhism, and, according to
Mahmud al-Kashgari Mahmud ibn Hussayn ibn Muhammed al-Kashgari, ''Maḥmūd ibnu 'l-Ḥussayn ibn Muḥammad al-Kāšġarī'', tr, Kaşgarlı Mahmûd, ug, مەھمۇد قەشقىرى, ''Mehmud Qeshqiri'' / Мәһмуд Қәшқири uz, Mahmud Qashg'ariy / М ...
, were "the strongest of the infidels", while the Ganzhou Uyghurs were conquered by the
Tangut people The Tangut people (Tangut language, Tangut: , ''mjɨ nja̱'' or , ''mji dzjwo''; Chinese: 党項, dǎngxiàng) were a Tibeto-Burman languages, Tibeto-Burman tribal union that inhabited Western Xia. The group lived under Tuyuhun authority and move ...
in the 1030s. Even so, Kashgari praised contemporary Uyghurs as bilingual Turkophones whose Turkic dialect remained "pure" and "most correct" (just like dialects spoken by monolingual
Yagma The Yagmas (), or Yaghmas, were a medieval tribe of Turkic people that came to the forefront of history after the disintegration of the Western Turkic Kaganate. They were one component of a confederation which consisted of Yagma, the Karluks, the ...
s, and
Tuhsi The Tuhsis were a medieval Turkic-speaking tribe, who lived alongside the Chigil The Chigil (Chihil, and also (D)Jigil, Cihil, Chiyal) were a Turkic peoples, Turkic tribe known from the 7th century CE as living around Issyk Kul lake area. They ...
s); meanwhile, Kashgari derided other bilingual Turkophones ( Qay,
Tatars The Tatars (; tt, , , , crh, tatarlar; otk, 𐱃𐱃𐰺, Tatar) is an umbrella term for different Turkic peoples, Turkic ethnic groups bearing the name "Tatar". Initially, the ethnonym ''Tatar'' possibly referred to the Tatar confederation ...
,
Basmyl The Basmyls (''Basmyl''; Basmals, Basmils, otk, 𐰉𐰽𐰢𐰞, Basmïl, < Middle Chinese Zhengzhang Shangfang, ZS: *''bˠɛt̚-siɪt̚-miɪt̚/mˠiɪt̚/miᴇ''; also 弊剌 ''Bìlà'' < MC *''bjiejH-lat''Chömüls,
Yabaku Yabaku is a fairly enigmatic tribe out of ten prominent Türkic tribes enumerated by Mahmud al-Kashgari, Mahmut Kashgari (11th century) in the list describing the location of the Türkic polities from the borders of the Byzantine Empire, Eastern Ro ...
s, etc.), for incorporating foreign loanwords and "slurring" in their speeches In 1134, Qocho became a vassal of
Yelü Dashi Yelü Dashi (; alternatively 耶律達實 ''Yēlǜ Dáshí''), also known by his temple name Temple names are posthumous titles that were given to East Asian cultural sphere, Sinospheric monarchs. The practice of honoring monarchs with temple na ...
's nascent
Qara Khitai The Qara Khitai or Kara Khitai (; mn, Хар Хятан; literally "Black Khitan people, Khitan") empire (1124–1218), also known as the Western Liao () dynasty, officially the Great Liao (), was a Sinicization, sinicized dynastic empire in C ...
empire. In 1209, the Qocho ruler Idiqut ( " Lord of happiness" ) Barchuk Art Tegin declared his allegiance to
Genghis Khan ''Chinggis Khaan'' ͡ʃʰiŋɡɪs xaːŋbr>Mongol script The classical or traditional Mongolian script, also known as the , was the first Mongolian alphabet, writing system created specifically for the Mongolian language, and was the most ...

Genghis Khan
, and the Uyghurs became important civil servants in the later
Mongol Empire The Mongol Empire of the 13th and 14th centuries was the List of largest empires, largest contiguous land empire in history and the second largest empire by landmass, second only to the British Empire. Originating in Mongolia in East Asia, the ...
, which adapted the
Old Uyghur alphabet The Old Uyghur alphabet was used for writing the Old Uyghur language, a variety of Old Turkic spoken in Turpan, Turfan (also referred to as Turpan) and Gansu that is the ancestor of the modern Western Yugur language. The term "Old Uyghur" used for ...

Old Uyghur alphabet
as its official script. According to the ''
New Book of Tang The ''New Book of Tang'' (''Xīn Tángshū''), generally translated as "New History of the Tang", or "New Tang History", is a work of official history covering the Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dyna ...
'', a third group went to seek refuge among the Karluks. The Karluks, together with other tribes such as the
Chigils The Chigil (Chihil, and also (D)Jigil, Cihil, Chiyal) were a Turkic Turkic may refer to: * anything related to the country of Turkey * Turkic languages, a language family of at least thirty-five documented languages ** Turkic alphabets (disambig ...
and
Yagma The Yagmas (), or Yaghmas, were a medieval tribe of Turkic people that came to the forefront of history after the disintegration of the Western Turkic Kaganate. They were one component of a confederation which consisted of Yagma, the Karluks, the ...
s, later founded the
Kara-Khanid Khanate The Kara-Khanid Khanate (), also known as the Karakhanids, Qarakhanids, Ilek Khanids or the Afrasiabids (), was a Turkic khanate that ruled Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia which stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to C ...

Kara-Khanid Khanate
(940–1212). Some historians associate the Karakhanids with the Uyghurs as the Yaghmas were linked to the
Toquz Oghuz Toquz Oghuz ( otk, 𐱃𐰸𐰆𐰔:𐰆𐰍𐰔, ''Toquz Oγuz''; Chinese: 九姓 ''Jĭu Xìng'' "Nine Surnames"; Tibetan ''Drugu Rus Dgu'' "Turks of Nine Seok (clan), Bones") was a political alliance of nine Turkic peoples, Turkic-speaking Tiele p ...
.
Sultan Satuq Bughra Khan Abdulkarim Satuq Bughra Khan ( ug, سۇلتان سۇتۇق بۇغراخان; also spelled Satuk; died 955) was a Kara-Khanid khan; in 934, he was one of the first Turkic Turkic may refer to: * anything related to the country of Turkey * Turkic la ...
, believed to be a Yagma from
Artux Artux, Artush ( ug, ئاتۇش شەھىرى; Kyrgyz: ; also as ''Atushi''; zh, s=, p=Ātúshí Shì),The official spelling according to is a county-level city A county-level municipality (), county-level city or county city, formerly kn ...

Artux
, converted to Islam in 932 and seized control of
Kashgar Kashgar ( ug, قەشقەر – ''Qeshqer'') or Kashi ( zh, c=喀什) is an oasis In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, feat ...

Kashgar
in 940, giving rise to the new dynasty, known as ''
Karakhanids The Kara-Khanid Khanate (), also known as the Karakhanids, Qarakhanids, Ilek Khanids or the Afrasiabids (), was a Turkic khanate A khaganate or khanate was a political entity ruled by a khan, khagan Khagan or Qaghan ( otk, 𐰴𐰍 ...

Karakhanids
''.


Relationship with the Sogdians

In order to control trade along the
Silk Road The Silk Road () was and is a network of trade routes connecting the Eastern world, East and Western culture, West, from the 2nd century BCE to the 18th century CE. It was central to the economic, cultural, political, and religious interactions ...

Silk Road
, the Uyghurs established a trading relationship with the Sogdian merchants who controlled the oases of
Turkestan Turkestan, also spelled Turkistan ( fa, ترکستان, Torkestân, lit=Land of the Turks), is a historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geographical Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything o ...

Turkestan
. As described above, the Uyghur adoption of
Manichaeism Manichaeism (; in New Persian New Persian ( fa, فارسی نو), also known as Modern Persian () and Dari (), is the final stage of the Persian language Persian (), also known by its endonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to ...
was one aspect of this relationship—choosing Manichaeism over
Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and ...

Buddhism
may have been motivated by a desire to show independence from Tang influence. Not all Uyghurs supported conversion—an inscription at
Ordu-Baliq Ordu-Baliqalso spelled ''Ordu Balykh, Ordu Balik, Ordu-Balïq, Ordu Balig, Ordu Baligh'' (meaning "city of the court", "city of the army"), also known as Mubalik and Karabalghasun, was the capital of the first Uyghur Khaganate. It was built on the ...
states that Manichaens tried to divert people from their ancient shamanistic beliefs. A rather partisan account from a Uyghur-Manichean text of that period demonstrates the unbridled enthusiasm of the khaghan for Manichaeism: As conversion was based on political and economic concerns regarding trade with the Sogdians, it was driven by the rulers and often encountered resistance in lower societal strata. Furthermore, as the khaghan's political power depended on his ability to provide economically for his subjects, "alliance with the Sogdians through adopting their religion was an important way of securing this objective." Both the Sogdians and the Uyghurs benefited enormously from this alliance. The Sogdians enabled the Uyghurs to trade in the Western Regions and exchange silk from China for other goods. For the Sogdians it provided their Chinese trading communities with Uyghur protection. The 5th and 6th centuries saw a large emigration of Sogdians to China. The Sogdians were main traders along the Silk Roads, and China was always their biggest market. Among the paper clothing found in the
Astana Nur-Sultan (; ; kz, Нұр-Сұлтан, Nūr-Sūltan; russian: Нур-Султан), formerly known as Akmolinsk (russian: Акмолинск, Akmolinsk), Tselinograd (russian: Целиногра́д), and Astana (, cyrl, Астана), is t ...
cemetery near
Turfan Turpan (also known as Turfan or Tulufan, zh, 吐鲁番, pinyin: Tǔlǔfán, ug, تۇرپان) is a prefecture-level city A prefectural-level municipality (), prefectural-level city or prefectural city is an administrative division of the ...
is a list of taxes paid on caravan trade in the
Gaochang Gaochang (; Old Uyghur The Old Uyghur language () was a Turkic language which was spoken in Qocho from the 9th–14th centuries and in Gansu Gansu (; Chinese postal romanization, alternately romanized as Kansu) is a landlocked provinces ...
kingdom in the 620s. The text is incomplete, but out of the 35 commercial operations it lists, 29 involve a Sogdian trader. Ultimately both rulers of nomadic origin and sedentary states recognized the importance of merchants like the Sogdians and made alliances to further their own agendas in controlling the Silk Roads.


Karabalghasun

The Uyghurs created an empire with clear Persian influences, particularly in areas of government. Soon after the empire was founded, they emulated sedentary states by establishing a permanent, settled capital, Karabalghasun (
Ordu-Baliq Ordu-Baliqalso spelled ''Ordu Balykh, Ordu Balik, Ordu-Balïq, Ordu Balig, Ordu Baligh'' (meaning "city of the court", "city of the army"), also known as Mubalik and Karabalghasun, was the capital of the first Uyghur Khaganate. It was built on the ...
), built on the site of the former Göktürk imperial capital, northeast of the later Mongol capital,
Karakorum Karakorum ( Khalkha Mongolian: Хархорум, ''Kharkhorum''; Mongolian Script The classical or traditional Mongolian script, also known as the , was the first Mongolian alphabet, writing system created specifically for the Mongolian l ...

Karakorum
. The city was a fully fortified commercial center, typical along the Silk Road, with concentric walls and lookout towers, stables, military and commercial stores, and administrative buildings. Certain areas of the town were allotted for trade and handcrafts, while in the center of the town were palaces and temples, including a monastery. The palace had fortified walls and two main gates, as well as moats filled with water and watchtowers. The khaghan maintained his court there and decided the policies of the empire. With no fixed settlement, the
Xiongnu The Xiongnu (, ) were a tribal confederation A confederation (also known as a confederacy or league) is a union of sovereign groups or states united for purposes of common action. Usually created by a treaty A treaty is a formal ...

Xiongnu
had been limited in their acquisition of Chinese goods to what they could carry. As stated by Thomas Barfield, "the more goods a nomadic society acquired the less mobility it had, hence, at some point, one was more vulnerable trying to protect a rich treasure house by moving it than by fortifying it." By building a fixed city, the Uyghurs created a protected storage space for trade goods from China. They could hold a stable, fixed court, receive traders, and effectively cement their central role in Silk Road exchange. However, the vulnerability that came with having a fixed city was to be the downfall of the Uyghurs.


List of Uyghur Khagans

The following list is based on Yihong Pan's "Sui-Tang Foreign Policy: Four case studies".


Images of Buddhist and Manichean Uyghurs

Images of Buddhist and Manichean Uyghurs from the Bezeklik caves and Mogao grottoes.


See also

*
List of Turkic dynasties and countries A ''list'' is any enumeration An enumeration is a complete, ordered listing of all the items in a collection. The term is commonly used in mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity ( ...
* History of Turkic people * History of the Uyghur people * An Lushan Rebellion * Ethnic groups in Chinese history * Guo Ziyi


References


Bibliography

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *Mackerras, Colin, The Uighur Empire: According to the T'ang Dynastic Histories, A Study in Sino-Uighur Relations, 744–840. Publisher: Australian National University Press, 1972. 226 pages, * * * * * *


Further reading

*Jiu Tangshu () Old Book of Tang]
Chapter 195
(in Chinese) *Xin Tangshu ()
New Book of Tang The ''New Book of Tang'' (''Xīn Tángshū''), generally translated as "New History of the Tang", or "New Tang History", is a work of official history covering the Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dyna ...
, chapter 217,
part 1
an
part 2
(in Chinese). Translation in English her

(most of part 1 and beginning of part 2).
Die chinesische Inschrift auf dem uigurischen Denkmal in Kara Balgassun (1896)
{{Empires Uyghur Khaganate, Historical Turkic states Turkic peoples of Asia Former countries in Chinese history Former monarchies of Asia 744 establishments States and territories established in the 740s 848 disestablishments Khanates States and territories disestablished in the 9th century