The BAIYUE, HUNDRED YUE or YUE were various groups of indigenous
non-Chinese tribes who inhabited what is now
Southern China and
Northern Vietnam between the first millennium BC and the first
millennium AD. In the
Warring States period , the word "Yue"
referred to the
State of Yue in
The Yue were gradually displaced and assimilated into Chinese culture as the Han empire expanded into what is now Southern China and Northern Vietnam during the first half of the first millennium AD. Many modern southern Chinese dialects bear traces of substrate languages originally spoken by the ancient Yue. Variations of the name are still used for the name of modern Vietnam, in Zhejiang-related names including Yue Opera , and in the abbreviation for Guangdong.
* 1 Names
* 2 Peoples of the lower
The modern term "Yue" (Chinese : 越 or 粵; pinyin : Yuè; Cantonese
Yale : Yuht;
Wade–Giles : Yüeh4; Vietnamese : Việt; Zhuang : Vot;
Early Middle Chinese : Wuat) comes from
Old Chinese *wjat. It was
first written using the pictograph "戉" for an axe (a homophone), in
oracle bone and bronze inscriptions of the late Shang dynasty
(c. 1200 BC), and later as "越". At that time it referred to a
people or chieftain to the northwest of the Shang. In the early 8th
century BC, a tribe on the middle
The term "Hundred Yue" first appears in the book Lüshi Chunqiu compiled around 239 BC. It was used as a collective term for the non-Chinese populations of south and southwest China and northern Vietnam.
Ancient texts mention a number of Yue states or groups. Most of these names survived into early imperial times:
Ancient Yue states or groups CHINESE MANDARIN CANTONESE (JYUTPING) ZHUANG VIETNAMESE LITERAL ENGLISH TRANS.:
於越/于越 Yūyuè jyu1 jyut6
Ư Việt Yue
揚越 Yángyuè joeng4 jyut6
Dương Việt Yang Yue
閩越 Mǐnyuè man5 jyut6
Mân Việt Min Yue
夜郎 Yèláng je6 long4
Dạ Lang Yelang
南越 Nányuè naam4 jyut6 Namzyied Nam Việt Southern Yue
山越 Shānyuè saan1 jyut6
Sơn Việt Mountain Yue
雒越 Luòyuè lok6 jyut6
Lạc Việt Sea Bird Yue
甌越 Ōuyuè au1 jyut6
Âu Việt Ou Yue
PEOPLES OF THE LOWER YANGTZE
Sword of Goujian , labelled as belonging to a king of Yue
In the 5th millennium BC, the lower
By the 3rd millennium BC, the successor
From the 9th century BC, two northern Yue peoples, the Gou-Wu and
Yu-Yue, were increasingly influenced by their Chinese neighbours to
their north. These two states were based in the areas of what is now
Jiangsu and northern
In the Spring and Autumn period , the two states, now called Wu and Yue , were becoming increasingly involved in Chinese politics. According to the Han historian Sima Qian , King Goujian of Yue was descended from the legendary Yu the Great .
In 512 BC, Wu launched a large expedition against the large state of
Chu , based in the Middle
SINIFICATION AND DISPLACEMENT
Main article: Southward expansion of the Han dynasty Qin empire and Yue peoples, 210 BC
After the unification of China by
Qin Shi Huang , the former Wu and
Yue states were incorporated into the Qin empire . The Qin armies also
advanced south along the
Xiang River to modern
The "Treatise of Geography" in the
Book of Han (completed AD 111)
describes the Yue lands as stretching from
Shaoxing on the southern
Hangzhou Bay to
Jiaozhi in modern north
The kingdom of
Nanyue was founded at the collapse of the Qin dynasty
in 204 BC by the local Qin commander
The Han conquest of Nanyue occurred in 111 BC.
Sinification of these peoples was brought about by a combination of imperial military power, regular settlement and an influx of Han Chinese refugees. According to one Chinese immigrant of the second century BC, the Yue "cut their hair short, tattooed their body, live in bamboo groves with neither towns nor villages, possessing neither bows or arrows, nor horses or chariots." The difficulty of logistics and the malarial climate in the south made the displacement and eventual sinification of the Yue peoples a slow process.
As Han Chinese migrants gradually increased, the Yue were gradually
driven out into poorer land on the hills and into the mountains.
Unlike the nomadic peoples of
Most Yue peoples were eventually absorbed and assimilated by the Han
empire while the remnants of the ancient Yue continue to live in the
Knowledge of Yue speech is limited to fragmentary references and possible loanwords in other languages, principally Chinese. The longest is the Song of the Yue Boatman , a short song transcribed phonetically in Chinese characters in 528 BC and included, with a Chinese version, in the Garden of Stories compiled by Liu Xiang five centuries later.
There is some disagreement about the languages they spoke, with candidates drawn from the non-Sinitic language families still represented in areas of southern China, Tai–Kadai , Hmong–Mien and Austroasiatic . Chinese, Tai–Kadai, Hmong–Mien and the Vietic branch of Austroasiatic have similar tone systems, syllable structure, grammatical features and lack of inflection, but these features are believed have spread by diffusion across the Mainland Southeast Asia linguistic area , rather than indicating common descent.
Jerry Norman and Mei Tsu-Lin presented evidence that at least some Yue spoke an Austroasiatic language:
Zheng Xuan (127–200 AD) wrote that 扎 (middle Chinese: "jaat",
modern Mandarin Chinese zā, modern Sino-Vietnamese: "trát") was the
word used by the Yue people (越人) to mean "die". Norman and Mei
reconstruct this word as OC *tsət and relate it to Austroasiatic
words with the same meaning, such as Vietnamese chết and Mon chɒt.
* According to the
Shuowen Jiezi (100 AD), "In Nanyue, the word for
dog is (Chinese : 撓獀; pinyin : náosōu; EMC: nuw-ʂuw)", possibly
related to other Austroasiatic terms. Sōu is "hunt" in modern
* The early Chinese name for the
Scholars in China often assume that the Yue spoke an early form of Tai–Kadai. The linguist Wei Qingwen gave a rendering of the "Song of the Yue boatman" in Standard Zhuang . Zhengzhang Shangfang proposed an interpretation of the song in written Thai (dating from the late 13th century) as the closest available approximation to the original language, but his interpretation remains controversial.
They probably spoke an early form of Austro-Tai languages .
The fall of the
In ancient China, the characters 越 and 粵 (both yuè in pinyin) were used interchangeably, but they are differentiated in modern Chinese:
* The character "越" refers to the original territory of the state
of Yue, which was based in what is now northern
* ^ Diller, Anthony (2011). The Oxford Handbook of Chinese
Linguistics. Routledge. p. 11. ISBN 978-0415688475 .
* ^ Wang, William (2015). The Oxford Handbook of Chinese
Linguistics. Oxford University Press. p. 173. ISBN 978-0199856336 .
* ^ A B C D E Meacham, William (1996). "Defining the Hundred Yue".
Bulletin of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association. 15: 93–100. doi
* ^ Barlow, Jeffrey G. (1997). "Culture, ethnic identity, and early
weapons systems: the Sino-Vietnamese frontier". In Tötösy de
Zepetnek, Steven; Jay, Jennifer W. East Asian cultural and historical
perspectives: histories and society—culture and literatures.
Research Institute for Comparative Literature and Cross-Cultural
Studies, University of Alberta. pp. 1–15. ISBN 978-0-921490-09-8 .
* ^ A B Hutcheon, Robin (1996). China–Yellow. Chinese University
Press. p. 4. ISBN 978-962-201-725-2 .
* ^ OC pronunciation from Baxter, William H. (1992). A Handbook of
Old Chinese Phonology. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. p. 806. ISBN
978-3-11-012324-1 . These characters are both given as gjwat in
Grammata Serica Recensa 303e and 305a.
* ^ A B C D Norman, Jerry ; Mei, Tsu-lin (1976). "The
Austroasiatics in Ancient South China: Some Lexical Evidence" (PDF).
Monumenta Serica. 32: 274–301.
JSTOR 40726203 .
* ^ The Annals of Lü Buwei, translated by John Knoblock and
Jeffrey Riegel, Stanford University Press (2000), p. 510. ISBN
978-0-8047-3354-0 . "For the most part, there are no rulers to the
south of the Yang and Han Rivers, in the confederation of the Hundred
* ^ Chang, Kwang-chih; Goodenough, Ward H. (1996). "Archaeology of
southeastern coastal China and its bearing on the Austronesian
homeland". In Goodenough, Ward H. (ed.). Prehistoric settlement of the
Pacific. American Philosophical Society. pp. 36–54. ISBN
978-0-87169-865-0 . CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list (link )
* ^ Li, H; Huang, Y; Mustavich, LF; Zhang, F; Tan, JZ; Wang, LE;
Qian, J; Gao, MH; Jin, L (November 2007). "Y chromosomes of
prehistoric people along the
* "The power of language over the past: Tai settlement and Tai linguistics in southern China and northern Vietnam", Jerold A. Edmondson, in Studies in Southeast Asian languages and linguistics, ed. by Jimmy G. Harris, Somsonge Burusphat and James E.