Timeline of Central Asia During the Tang Dynasty
December 9, 2002

(Do not copy for your own site without first asking permission.)

Appendices: 1. Sources 2. Also

Prelude to the Struggle (all years are AD)

Mid-5th century: The A-zha (Mongolic-speaking people also known as the T'u-yü-hun or Togon in Tibetan or T'ui-hun or A'ch-ai in Chinese) conquer southeast Tarim Basin including Koko Nor area and influence Khotan.

  1. Turks or T'u-chüeh drive out the Mongolic Juan-juan and establish the two friendly khanates of the Eastern and Western Turks. The eastern half has capital in Mongolia and stretches from Manchuria and continues along the Great Wall all the way to Hami while the western is from Hami to Lake Aral and Persia, including Bactria and Sogdiana (after helping Persia (the Sassanians) to defeat the Ephthalites between 565 and 568). The western half will have substantial dealings with the Byzantine empire in the face of their common foe, Persia, and later conflict in the Crimea over the Byzantines helping their former foe, the Juan-juan. The western khanate traditionally deferred to the eastern, but over time, internal squabbles within each half as well as squabbles between the halves erode this. The Sui Dynasty also plays a role in encouraging this and directly benefits as Sui supported rivals in each half become dominant and dependent on Chinese support.
  2. Sui Dynasty Emperor Yang-Ti expresses desire to control routes to the West. Chinese minister P'ei Chü persuades T'ieh-le Turks to attack the A-zha and during the 7th month of the year, the Turks do inflict a severe defeat on them.
  3. On July 5, Yang-Ti leads forces in battle to crush the A-zha and capture two of their cities. Most of them surrender, a small band retreating with their leader the qaghan to the Great Snow Mountains, finding refuge with the Tanguts. China and Tibet now border one another directly.
    · Chinese armies crush the Mongolic Hsien-Pi of the T'u-yü-huen whose presence in Kansu had troubled Chinese outposts for three centuries. The Hsien-Pi are forced to flee to Tibet. (Perhaps this event marks the start of Mongolian influence on Tibetan culture? as well as Tibetan awakening to the outside world?) Tibet sends first embassies to China, via Shu country.
  4. Emperor Sui Yang-ti suffers disastrous losses against Korean kingdom of Koguryo.
  5. Nine different rebellions break out throughout China. Sui Yang-ti reduced to only controlling the southern area around Yangzhou. The Tang take Chang-an and proclaim the 13-year old heir as (puppet) emperor.
  6. Heads of state of China and Tibet, Sui Yang-ti and Gnam ri slon mtshan, both die (the Chinese emperor killed by soldiers of his own guard). A-zha regain much of their power. New Tibetan ruler, Sron btsan sgampo, puts down rebellion, reduces opposition on Tibetan plateau. Tibet subjugates the Sumpas in the northeast and makes a marriage alliance with the Zan-zun which leads to their destruction. Kucha pays homage to China.
  7. Tang finish consolidating rule over China, in the process Tang T'i-tsung winning an important and devastating victory over the Eastern Turks.

The Main Events

  1. Tang T'ai-tsung ascends the Chinese throne. A-zha raid Chinese border towns during tumultuous transition in China.
  2. Tang T'ai-tsung supports dissidents within the Eastern Turks in Tarbagatai (later to be called the Uighur) and near Kobdo.
  3. Tang T'ai-tsung supports anti-khan T'u-li within the Eastern Turks
  4. Chinese invade Eastern Turks under command of Li Tsing and Li Shih-tsi. A surprise attack takes the khan and the Eastern Turks will be subject to China until 682. In this year also, the Chinese pilgrim Hsüan-tsang will meet T'ung Shih-hu, khan of the Western Turks, who at this time was treated by the Chinese as an ally. A few months later, the Qarluqs rebel against T'ung Shih-hu and put him to death. The khanate is split in two. The king of Kucha avows himself a vassal of China.
  5. The Lao rebel in southern Lingnan. An army is sent to put them down.
  6. Karashar recognizes Chinese suzerainty. Kashgar and Khotan pay homage as well.
  7. T'ai-tsung organizes a punitive expedition against the A-zha using Chinese border troops, levies of Ch'i-pi Turks and Tanguts. General Tuan Chih-hsüan's forces defeat the A-zha on October 29 and pursue them for 800 li, capturing a great deal of livestock. Tibet sends an embassy to China on December 11. China replies by sending ambassador Feng Te-hsia. On December 28, China organizes an expeditionary force under Li Ching to attack the A-zha.
  8. Tanguts switch allegiance and join the A-zha. Ch'iang tribes of T'ao chou rebel against China – China suppresses. On May 29, the A-zha are defeated at K'u Shan and several times thereafter, being totally crushed. Chinese forces reach Tibetan borderlands. Sron btsan sgampo sends another embassy with the returning Feng, proposing marriage alliance, having learned that the A-zha and Turks had received such. China demurs. Yarkand pays homage to China.
  9. Tibet strengthens forces with Zan-zun troops and led by their emperor, defeats the A-zha, attacking from the south. Then they subjugate the Tanguts (living between the A-zha and the Sumpa of Rgyaron and the Po-lan who were living between the A-zha and Central Tibet). Sassanid Empire of Persia loses important battle to Muslims at Qadisiya.
  10. Tibet raids the Chinese border town of Sung chou on September 12, sending the emperor a demand for a princess. A Chinese counterattack by the local force commander is defeated and local Ch'iang tribes are incited to rebel against China. Another Chinese surprise counterattack on October 18 inflicts a minor defeat. Tibetans retreat and send an embassy begging forgiveness and renewing request for a marriage alliance, which is now granted.
  11. The ruler of Indo-European Turfan rebels against Chinese authority. Chinese General Heu Kiun-tsi is sent against them and the ruler dies of shock. Turfan is annexed and make a seat of a new prefecture. In response, Karashar allies with the Western Turks. China sends General Kuo Hiao-k'o to retaliate and captures the city in a surprise attack. A brother of the deposed king is enthroned. An army from Canton puts down another rebellion in Lingnan. On December 11, 640, Tibetan minister Mgar Stori rtsan "the Conqueror" arrives at the Tang court with 5000 ounces of gold and agreement was reached.
  12. On February 20, Mgar returned to the court and on March 2, brought back to Tibet the Princess Wen-ch'eng, initiating a period of peace lasting throughout the lives of the emperors. Tibet consolidates conquests, especially the Zan-zun. China subjugates T'ieh-le turks and kingdom of Kucha.
  13. The Western Turks, finally re-united, make an attack on the Chinese colonies near Hami. They are defeated by General Kuo Hiao-k'o between Kucheng and Urumqi. The Tang support one Turk faction against the other. Sassanid Empire of Persia loses important battle to Muslims at Nehavend.
  14. Kucha allies with the Western Turks, being opposed to Chinese interventionist policy.
  15. Chinese subjugate Kucha under forces commanded by Turkish prince, A-shih-na Shö-eul. (The battle in the desert may be the subject of the glorious Kizil frescoes.) A Kuchean noble returns with reinforcements from the Western Turks and in surprise kills the Chinese General Kuo Hiao-k'o. A-shih-na Shö-eul slays 11,000 people in reprisal. A new puppet ruler is placed on the throne. The Indo-European society of Kucha and Kizil never really recover.
  16. China invades the northernmost Korean kingdom, Koguryu, Tang Taizong leading the troops personally. He is an excellent commander and very successful, but like Napoleon in Moscow, must retreat when winter arrives. The main problem is that the fortress of Ansisong proves just too difficult to take except by long siege. Of course the Koreans have the advantages of defending their own homeland. Raids into Koguryu by China continue over the next few years. Some cities are taken. In Karashar, the puppet king is deposed. China sends Turkish prince A-shih-na Shö-eul to subdue the city. The usurper is beheaded and the throne given to another member of the royal family. Chinese authority extends to the Pamirs.
  17. Tibet supports Tang ambassador Wang Hsüan-ts'e in defeat and subjugation of Indian kingdom of Tîrabhukti.
  18. Tang Tai Zong dies, cancelling a planned enormous Korean campaign. New Chinese emperor: Kao-tsung. Tibetan emperor dies and is succeeded by his grandson – real power is in the hands of Mgar for two decades due to his control of the army and international image.
  19. Fighting half his khanate along with their Chinese supporters, the Western khan is forced to flee to Bactria and disappears. Muslims occupy Herat.
  20. Muslims reach Balkh.
  21. Chinese General Su Ting-fang with support of Uighur Turks pursue the khan of the West Turks to Tashkent where the city turns him over to Chinese forces. Two Turks friendly to China are appointed the new khans of the divided (and thus weakened) Western Turkish realm.
  22. Tu-man, the irkin of the *Ärski tribe of Western Turks, leads his army plus contingents from Kashgar and two small western Tarim principalities to capture Khotan. China sends Su Ting-fang to punish them, forcing a surrender at the Jaxartes. Su presented his prisoners at Loyang and was then re-assigned to Korea. While gone, the *Köngül Turks of the Tien Shan with the Yen-mien to their north and Tibetans to their south united to capture Kashgar. Chinese General Cheng-Jen-t'ai defeats the Ssu-chieh, Bayarqu, P'u-ku and Tongra tribes of the T'ieh-le confederation which are further to the east of the *Köngül. This prompts a major uprising of the related tribes in the Tien Shan area.
  23. China allies with Koguryo's Korean neighbor, Shilla, this time to fight the southernmost Korean kingdom, Paekche. 1900 ships are constructed. 100,000 - 130,000 soldiers are used. Shilla adds 50,000. The invaders are completely victorious and China leaves 10,000 as a garrison.
  24. In February, Tibet subjugates the kingdom of Wakhan. Three Tang armies are formed to attack the Turkish rebels. Commander-in-Chief against the T'ieh-le is Cheng Jen-t'ai. Commander-in-Chief of the Hsien-o army is Hsiao Ssu-yeh. Commander-in-Chief of the Ch'ang-ts'en army is the Turk *Arsïla Chung. The first two armies defeat the Turks somewhere in the Tien Shan during the spring and they surrender. The *Köngül and Kashgar surrender without a fight.
  25. Mgar gathers an army in Zan-zun and Tibet allies with *Köngül and Kashgar. Su returns and causes chaos among Western Turks by killing *Arsïla Mi-she, theoretical ruler of the eastern branch of the On oq. Su pacifies these tribes and and then ran into the Tibetan-Turkish forces. Su buys them off with military equipment, makes peace and withdraws. Tukhâristân and Sigistân thrown into civil war and the Western Turks are in virtual revolt against China. A Chinese naval landing invests Koguryu, only being able to cross the Yalu when it freezes. But the attack is called off due to the above rebellion. The entrenched forces are successfully counterattacked by Koguryu and once again forced by enemies and conditions to retreat to China.
  26. By now, Tibet in possession of the far northwest Tibetan plateau where the Karakorum range meets the Pamirs, the kingdom of Bolor, the kingdom of Wakhan and an area around Kashgar. They are reaching the Tarim basin via the high passes north of Gilgit. Tibet goes to war with the A-zha and both sides appeal to China. China supports the latter and sent General Cheng Jen-t'ai's force to save them. An A-zha defector gives away the defense plans and Tibet wins a crushing victory, the A-zha court fleeing to Liang chou. Tibet controls the entire kingdom. In this year and the next, Chinese and Shilla fight hard to put down rebellion in Paekche, including destroying a Japanese fleet.
  27. On January 26, Kao Hsien is appointed chief of a new army to attack the *Köngül, possibly the Tibetans, and save Khotan. (Outcome is unknown.) Tibet consolidates A-zha conquest.
  28. Tibetan embassy arrives in China on February 14 seeking to restore good relations with the A-zha and to get the Ch'ih Shui region for animal grazing. China demurs. At some time in the next 5 years, Tibet will conquer Khotan (as well as the other three of the Four Garrisons: Karashar, Kucha and Kashgar). Two groups of Western Turks rebel against their appointed khans and regain their independence.
  29. The strong chancellor of Koguryu dies and civil war breaks out. China marches in and finally conquers Koguryu. But then war breaks out with Shilla since the Chinese aim is to incorporate the entire peninsula.
  30. Mgar dies. Western Turks are without a qaghan and submit in unity to Tibet.
  31. Tibet constructs fortifications near the Jima Gol River south of Koko Nor.
  32. Tibet launches major offensive from Chinese-held city of Aksu which is part of Kucha. Kucha and Agni hold out. On May 3, Hseih Jen-kuei is named to lead a new Chinese army which arrives at Ta-fei Ch'uan in late summer to badly defeat the Tibetans at the river's mouth, capturing over 10,000 cattle and sheep. Proceeding to a rendezvous with his assistant at Wu Hai, he is attacked by an enormous Tibetan army led by Mgar Khri`brin and severely defeated. They abandon their supplies and thus must hurry to their camp. There they are defeated again. Virtually only the generals escape the slaughter. China prepares to defend against Tibetan invasion and moves its An-shi general back to Hsi chou in the Turfan Depression. (At this time Tibet is probably sovereign over Khotan and Kashgar (two of what the Chinese called the Four Garrisons) as well as Aksu and probably the western branch of the On oq. Local dynasts are left in control and Tibet merely exacts tribute. Thus the dynasts behave fairly independently. By this time, the Muslims had reached western Tukhâristân and Sigistân.)
  33. Chinese try to re-establish control of the *Tardus tribes of the Western Turks by appointing *Arsïla Tu-chih as military general and Governor-General over the Ch'u-muk-k'un, one of the five tribes of On oq. (Outcome unknown.)
  34. Chinese move T'u-yü-hun further into China, away from Shan chou, because fear of Tibetans making them restless. Shilla has a serious defeat. It embarks on a defensive fortification strategy and then defeats a Chinese army of 30,000. It gains control of Paekche.
  35. Muslims, led by Ubaidallah b. Ziyad, Governor of Khurasan, make first major raid into Transoxiana. They reach Bukhara and after a short skirmish are bought off by the khatun (queen) and return to Merv.
  36. The kings of *Köngül and Kashgar visit Ch'ang-An to "surrender", i.e. probably as refugees. Chinese establish a Governor-General in Kashgar.
  37. Chinese name the former Khotan king, Fu-she Hsiung, as Governor-General in Khotan. Tibetan Great Minister Mgar Btsan sna ldombu musters Zan-Zun troops and leads them into Turkistan. China opens negotiations with Shilla.
  38. Tibetan Great Minister Mgar Btsan sna ldombu again leads Zan-Zun troops into Turkistan, this time with cooperation of *Arsïla Tu-chih (qaghan of the Western Turks) and Li Che-fu. They campaign in the area of the former Four Garrisons from west of Agni and as far east as Dun Huang. The Chinese lose all of the Four Garrisons.
    · Muslims repeat their raid of Bukhara under the new Governor of Khurasan, Said b. Uthman. Peace is again made with the khatun of Bukhara and Said went on to Samarkand, but fails to take the town and returns to Medina with 50 Sogdian hostages which he forces into slavery. The Sogdians prove to love freedom more than life however as they kill Said and then commit suicide.
  39. Early in the year, Khri man slon, Emperor of Tibet, dies; the Zan-Zun revolt. Tibetans raid Chinese fortified prefectural at Shan chou, K'uo chou and Ho chou. Tang government organizes the T'ao chou tao and Liang chou tao Expeditionary Armies to punish Tibet, but it never campaigns. Tibet controls the entire Tarim basin and the mountainous lands to the southwest. In Korea, China agrees that Shilla will take over most of the Korean peninsula, under nominal Chinese overlordship.
  40. On January 25, China authorizes a levy of men from Kuan-tung, Ho-tung, Chien-nan, Ho-pei and other prefectures. Li Ching-hsüan is appointed Commander-in-Chief of the T'ao Ho tao Expeditionary Army and Inspector of the Shan chou Military Governorship. They are victorious over the Tibetans at Lung-chih (in Shan chou) in the late summer. On October 3, they fight a great battle across the Koko Nor with Tibetans commanded by Mgar Khri `brin btsan brod and suffer a major defeat, two of their generals, Liu-Shen-li and Wang Hsiao-chieh, being captured as well. Li retreats to Ch'eng-feng Ling (in southwestern K'uo chou), but is in a vulnerable position. He orders a Korean suicide squad under Hei-ch'ih Ch'ang-chih to make a night attack and force the Tibetan force to withdraw in order to be able to retreat to Shan chou.
  41. P'ei Hsing-chien employs the refugee king of Persia as a spy on the Western Turks. P'ei escorts him and under the ruse of a hunting party, manages to capture *Arsïla Tu-chih (qaghan of the Western Turks) and thus force Li Che-fu to surrender. The commanders of the ten Turkic tribes are captured as well as the city of Sûyâb (western Central Asia). P'ei appoints Wang Fang-i in charge there, which he is to fortify. P'ei returns to China with his prisoners. Tibetans capture Tang fortress of An-jung City on Tibet's eastern border. Tibet has secure control over all of China's western frontier to the south of Qocho.
  42. Serious rebellion of Eastern Turks against China – P'ei appointed to supress it. He is victorious.
    · Muslims under Salm b. Ziyad, Governor of Khurasan, raid Khwarizm, Khujand and Samarkand. They are bought off and withdraw out of Transoxiana.
  43. P'ei is again victorious against Eastern Turks.
  44. In the Spring, the Western Turks under *Arsïla Ch'e-pu rebel. P'ei dies before being able to respond. Wang Fang-i takes command, attacking the Western Turks who have been besieging *Köngül City and defeats them by the Ili River. The Yen-mien Turks counterattack by the Issyk Kul, but are repulsed by Wang and vanquished. Both Turkish leaders are captured and the Chinese continue to dominate the Western Turks north of Tien Shan. But at the end of the year, the remaining Eastern Turks of the *Arsïla clan succeed in rebellion to form the Second Eastern Turkic Empire under Elteris Qaghan. Their opening move is to ravage Shansi.
  45. The second Umayyad caliph, Yazîd b. Mu`âwiya, dies and civil war breaks out. Muslim conquests in Central Asia no longer under central control. On December 27, Kao-Tsung, Emperor of China, dies and his consort, Wu Chao comes to power, first under the name Chung-tsung, then Jui-tsung. Eastern Turks raid the area northwest of Peking.
  46. Further raids by the Eastern Turks around Shansi.
  47. Tibetan Prime Minister Mgar Btsan sna ldombu dies and Khri `dus sron is confirmed as Emperor of Tibet. Mgar's brother, Mgar Khri `brin btsan brod is appointed to replace him. On December 2, Wei Tai-chia is appointed commander-in-chief of an army to attack Tibet by way of the Western Turks. But nothing happens. Eastern Turks raid again, this time defeating a Chinese corps.
  48. Mgar plans to lead an army into Turkistan but is delayed. In the autumn, China appoints Khusrau (known as the Pu-li sad) as a general authorized to inherit the five Nu-shih-pi tribes that his father (*Arsïla Pu-chen) had ruled.
  49. Mgar invades the kingdom of Kucha. China is appointed Wei Tai-chia as commander-in-chief of An-hsi ("Parthia") Expeditionary Army, but campaign is twice more cancelled due to criticism. Eastern Turks raid northwest of Peking, and then suffer a reverse.
  50. On May 28, Wei Tai-chia is appointed again and arrives in *Köngül, north of Tien Shan where they are severely defeated by Tibetans at the Yin-chih-chia River, southwest of *Köngül. The army remnants retreat to Qocho. Wei is demoted and his assistant decapitated. Tang Hsui-ching becomes Governor-General of Qocho. Mgar and his army return to Tibet. Tibetans control Tarim from *Köngül, to Kucha, but Chinese presence in Suyâb and Qocho is threatening. Tibet also have difficulty controlling their conquests because mutinies prevent the standing army from standing vere long and leaders must worry about losing influence at court if away too long.
  51. Wu Chao officially usurps Chinese throne and consolidates control, changing the dynasty name to Chou. In Tibet, as the heir comes of age, he begins removing members of the Mgar clan. Eastern Turks repeatedly raid and rob the On oq.
    · Khusrau leads 60-70,000 Western Turks into Chinese-controlled territory and as a reward receives a new title from China
  52. Umayyads re-establish control over most of the Muslim Empire. China organizes an army to attack the Tibetan eastern flank toward Wu-wei, but recalls it before it reaches that location. Eastern Turks khan dies. Successor Mo-ch'o is arbiter of palace dramas in the Tang Dynasty.
  53. Local rebellions begin in Tibet. On February 25, the Tanguts, former subjects of Tibet, submit to the Chinese. Ho-su, a Tibetan leader, attempts to defect with a large group of followers. He is arrested, but another Tibetan leads 8,000 Ch'iang tribesmen to join the Chinese army. Tang Hsiu-ching, Chinese Governor-General of Qocho, urges Wu Chao to retake the Four Garrisons (at that time, Kucha, Khotan, Kashgar and Suyâb). Wang hsiao-chieh is appointed Commander-in-Chief of a Wu-Wei Expeditionary Army and leads Tang Hsiu-ching and *Arsïla Chung-chieh against the Tibetans. On December 9, they defeat the Tibetans and recover the Four Garrisons. The Protector Generalship of the Pacified West is moved back to Kucha from Qocho and an army garrisoned there. China appoints Hsia, son of the former king, as the new king of Khotan. The seven-year old will later be called King Vijâya Sangrâma "the Lion". Tibet's colonial domination of the Tarim apparently at an end due to internal collapse (and also policy conflicts at court?). (Mo-cho'o) Qapaghan Qaghan comes to power among the Eastern Turks.
  54. In Tibet, Mgar family back in favor. In the winter, Mgar Khri `brin assembles an army in Greater Rtsan and moves into the A-zha country.
  55. In the spring, Wang defeats the Tibetan governor of Khotan at Leng-ch'üan and the allied qaghan of the Western Turks, *Arsïla T'ui-tzu who had attacked from the north in the Ta-ling Valley. Each battle results in the loss of over 30,000 Tibetans and Western Turks. In the far west, Han Ssu-chung in charge of the Suyâb Chinese garrison, defeats the allied leader of the fourth arrow of the western branch of the On oq, taking over 10,000 prisoners and capturing the Tibetan fortified cities of *Bars and *Ärski. The Tibetan leader Mgar Staggu ri zum is taken prisoner by the Sogdians. Thus, serious setbacks for Tibet in Koko Nor, the Pamirs and southwestern Tien Shan. Heads roll among the defeated generals. Eastern Turks raid Lingchow.
  56. Mgar Khri `brin raids Lin-t'ao (T'ao chou).
  57. Chinese put Wang in charge of a Su-pien Expeditionary Army to reply. Mgar mobilizes an army among the A-zha. Tibetans win a great victory on the borders of T'ao chou at a place known to the Tibetans as "Tiger Pass Chinese Graveyard". Tibet sends an embassy to China proposing political marriage hoping their attempt will be encouraged by the fact of the recent resurgence of the Eastern Turks under Qapaghan Qaghan, now regularly raiding the Chinese border and even attacking the fortified city of Liang chou and carrying off the Chinese Governor-General. China also faces revolt in Khitan, further to the east. Kuo Yüan-chen is sent as a diplomat. His advice to the Chinese court is to not abandon the Four Garrisons as Tibet demands, but instead to give up the five Nu-shih-pi tribes in exchange for the Koko Nor lands and the T'u-yü-hun and to press for peace in hopes that this would unseat Mgar and cause Tibet inner turmoil. If Tibet refuses, he says, then the long, drawn out negotiations will also cause domestic conflict in Tibet. The Emperor approves. To reach peace with the Eastern Turks, a marriage alliance is concluded. The Eastern Turks are also upset with Khitan who have broken away from their alliance. Thus Chinese and Eastern Turks ally together to defeat Khitan. Mgar loses ascendancy and the Emperor of Tibet has over 2,000 members of the Mgar clan killed. In Korea, a new revolt in the remaining Chinese territory in the north creates a new independent kingdom as China is too occupied to address the matter.
  58. Mgar defeats and captures the Chinese general Thug Pu-si in Tsonka. Eastern Turks raid Weichow, west of Peking.
  59. Showdown between Mgar and Tibetan Emperor results in loss and suicide for the former. His younger brother Tsan-p'o, a thousand followers, Mgar's son and 7,000 A-zha families flee to China and are enlisted there in the army. The house of Mgar will never again be important in Tibet. Among the Western Turks, there is considerable turmoil and the Türgis (Eastern Turks) take over in a new confederation.
  60. *Arsïla T'ui-tzu comes to Tibetan court and is directed to Turkistan. He leads a rebellion against the Chinese attempting to augment control over the Western Turks via Khusrau where the Tibetan local leader, Po-lu holes up in Suyâb, but loses the city and his life to a Chinese-Turkish force. Tibet launches new raids on Chinese territory, the emperor leading at least one of them. Another general raids Liang chou and Ch'ang-sung hsien.
  61. Tibetans and Eastern Turks successfully raid Liang chou on a large scale, also Sung chou and T'ao cho.
  62. These raids are repeated. China appoints Kuo Yüan-chen as Governor-General of Liang chou and Grand Commissioner of the armies of Lung-yu, charging him to defend the city. He will be successful for five years. Tibetans hold a great levy of the Sumpas and raid Mao chou (Hsi chou), but are driven off by Governor-General Ch'en Ta-tz'u.
  63. Tibetan Emperor leads armies in a successful campain to subdue `Jan on Tibet's southeastern border. Western Turks reject the cruel and vindictive Khusrau and turn to the Bagha Tarqan *Ocïrlïq, a Türgis who had formerly submitted to him. He gathers the tribes of the Western Turks around Suyâb in defiance and finally captures it. Khusrau flees to China. Many towns fell to rebellion in Lingnan. The rebellion ended this time by treaty.
  64. China appoints Khusrau's son to recapture the lost garrison. The Tibetan Army spends summer on the Yoti River in Rmagrom and in the winter campaigns against the Mywa in Nan-chao, the emperor dying in the campaign. He is succeeded by his son Lha, who is quickly dethroned by the dowager empress Khri ma lod in favor of the infant Rgyal Gtsug ru. Revolts and executions follow. Tibet and Western Turks cooperate in Tirmidh (strategic city on the Oxus controlling the routes south to Balkh and north to the Iron Gate, the mountain pass to Sogdiana), then under control of Mûsâ in open rebellion against the Muslims. Tibetans and Turks make allied assaults on this town, under the probable leadership of *Arsïla T'ui-tzu. Tibet, having lost the Tarim to China, is attempting to keep open the trade route via the Pamirs and Tokharistan, part of which included Tirmidh. But the assaults fail. Later in the year, the new Muslim governor al-Mufaddal b. al-Muhallab, sends an expedition which along with local allies defeats and kills the rebel.
  65. On February 23, the former Tang emperor Chung-tsung is restored and on March 3, the dynastic name is changed back to Tang. Like Tibet, China is consumed by internal power struggles. The general Kuo Ch'ien-kuan and a Western Turkic general, *Arsïla Kül Cur Chung-chieh, join forces to invade Ferghana, with the apparent intention of of raising troops for an attack on *Saqal in order to restore a pro-Tang *Arsïla Turk to power over the On Oq. This fails, but the people of Ferghana call on Tibetans and *Arsïla T'ui-tzu to rid them of the invaders. They win a complete victory and chase the invaders into the Tarim, presumably via the passes above Kashgar.
    · Al-Muhallab b. Abi Sufra, Governor of Khurasan, leads raids into Transoxiana, but they are inconsequential. The Umayyad Dynasty decides to appoint Qutaiba b. Muslim al-Bâhilî Governor of Khurasan, who decides to exploit the internal quarrels of Central Asia. He joins forces with the rulers of Balkh and Chaganiyan to fight their neighbors and learns much about the inner workings of Central Asia.
  66. Qutaiba encounters stubborn resistance in the town of Paikent near the Oxus River. The Muslims are forced to take it twice, killing all the defenders and razing the town. Nîzak, prince of Bâdghîs, submits to Qutaiba, who also captures Baykand, international trade center in Sogdiana. Qutaiba captures the Bukhara towns of Nûmuskath and Râmîthan.
    · Kuo talks *Ocïrlïq to death, giving the Eastern Turk leader Qapaghan Qaghan the chance to invade the Türgis again, but he is unsuccessful. Eastern Turks raid and cut up the forces of Chinese General Sha-ch'a.
  67. *Arsïla T'ui-tzu presumably dies, is succeeded by *Saqal as the Turkic protector of Ferghana. The Tibetan emperor, Lha, is deposed. China decides to conclude a new marriage peace with Tibet and makes new plans to invade Ferghana.
    · On the way to besieging Bukhara, Qutaiba's supply lines are cut by a combined army of Türks, Sogdians and Ferghanians. He escapes back to Merv.
  68. *Saqal discovers the plan and sends twenty thousand riders to the Tarim to attack the Chinese, smashing Chinese forces, trapping Kuo in a palisade outside Kashgar and capturing *Arsïla Kül Cur Chung-chieh alive. *Saqal declares himself Qaghan and has his brother raid the Tang borderlands. The Tang army is lost and the road to the Four Garrisons cut. Tang recognize *Saqal as Qaghan of the Fourteen Surnames and the Türgis leave the Tarim to the Chinese.
    · Qutaiba tries once again to take Bukhara, but is again defeated.
  69. The Türgis are weakened because of conflict between *Saqal and his brother.
    · Qutaiba makes peace with the Sogdian king, Tarkhun, and drives a wedge between the allied forces against him. This enables Muslim conquest of Bukhara. He also suppresses a rebellion in Tukhâristan.
  70. Qutaiba takes Shuman, Kish and Nakhshab. Samarkand makes peace with him in exchange for tribute and hostages. Sogdians, displeased with Tarkhun, despose him and elect Ghurak. Khurrazad, younger brother of the ruler of Khwarizmia, raises a revolt and becomes de facto ruler, using his power to rob the local nobles. However, his brother sends secret requests of assistance to Qutaiba in exchange for promises of tribute, giving him a pretext for operations against Khwarizm.
    · A Tibetan royal, the retired Lha, marries a Chinese princess, but the Chinese general Chang Hsüan-piao invades and plunders northern Tibet. Tibetans are indignant, but do not retaliate, possibly because of internal turmoil. They demand and receive reparations – the "Nine Bends" land west of the Yellow River. Over the next four years the Tibetans will build fortresses, build a bridge over the Yellow River and station two armies in the area.
    · The Eastern Turks, led by Kü Tegin (son of Elteris), invade the lands of the Türgis, with the help of *Saqal's brother, Che-nu. They are successful and *Saqal and his brother are executed. The invaders remain in the west for several years to keep the Western Turks under control.
  71. Qutaiba sends his brother, Abd al-Rahman b. Muslim against Khurrazad. The former wins and the latter is killed. 4,000 prisoners are publicly executed.
  72. Qutaiba finishes taking Khwarizmia and then marches on Samarkand, assisted by Bukharan and Khwarizmian troops. The Sogdians give battle at Arbinjan, but fail. In Samarkand, the ruler is overthrown by his own people and Qutayba begins a month-long siege. Its prince requests help from the king of Tashkent. A response comes from the king's new overlord, the Qapaghan Qaghan of the Eastern Turks, who sends Kü Tegin with an Eastern Turkic army composed of men of Tashkent and Ferghana, who are however, defeated by the besieging Muslims. Finally Samarkand surrenders and Qutaiba establishes a garrison there. Meanwhile two serious rebellions break out in Khwarizmia and have to be suppressed.
    · In Tibet, the eight-year old Mes ag tshoms accedes to the throne in an apparent coup.
    · In China, Jui-tsung's son Hsüan-tsung ascends the throne on September 8. He is better known as Ming Huang (Brilliant Emperor), the patron of the militaristic, empire-building faction.
  73. Qutaiba gathers a sizeable army, mostly of Transoxanians, and sends most of it to capture Tashkent, which is successful. Among the Türgis, the executions end central authority and a revolt breaks out.
  74. Qutaiba leads forces against Khuganda and Kâsân, the two cities of Ferghana, but has no luck with either, retreating to Merv.
    · The rebel leader, Tu-tan captures Sûyâb. Qapaghan Qaghan and Kü Tegin reply, and also send an army to attack Pei-t'ing in Chinese territory, which is crushed by Kuo. The Tashkent governor decides to submit to the Tang. The Chinese governor follows up by seizing Sûyâb, capturing Tu-tan and forcing thousands of Turks to submit. Chinese power is re-established among the Western Turks. Qapaghan Qaghan renews the attack on the Eastern Turks, but Chinese defending armies turn them back. The Eastern Turks retreat to the homes leaving the Türgis to re-organize under new kaghan, Sulu (Abû Muzâhim). Muslim power is reaching its zenith.
    · Tibetans, led by their Great Minister Khri gzigs, and their A-zha vassals raid across the Yellow River, plundering from Lin-t'ao and Lan chou to Wei-yüan (the region around the source of the Wei River). Tang holding actions soften the blows. Tibet sends a mission to propose a peace settlement, which is rebuffed. Henceforth the Tibetans will raid the border annually.
  75. The Tibetans enter into a brief alliance with them. Together they defeat the local potentate and install Alutâr as the new king. The deposed flees to seek help from Chinese forces north of the Tien shan. Muslims pursue to just outside Kashgar.
    · In Baghdad, Sulaiman (715-717) succeeds to the Caliphate. On the outs with the new regime, Qutaiba moves to Ferghana – is it an invasion or an escape? Certainly it is a rebellion. But his army turns on him and he is killed, ending Muslim conquests in Central Asia for quite some time. The only other activity before 720 was a raid on Kashgar and conquest of Dihistan on the Caspian Sea. Instead they consolidate their existing holdings.
    · China musters an army of 10,000 under General Chang Hiao-sung – levies of Central Asians – and force marches from Kucha to Ferghana. In December, they attack Alutâr who is defeated and flees, ending Muslim-Tibetan rule in Ferghana. For the first time, the three Empires converge. Sulu sends an embassy to the Chinese and receives two titles in return.
  76. Tibet continues to raid China's eastern border. (Mo-cho'o) Qapaghan Qaghan's reign ends after he leads the Eastern Turks north to devastate the Bayarqu tribes. Although completely victorious, he is ambushed and killed by Bayarqu on his return journey. This prompts the T'ieh-le tribes of Bayarqu, Uighur, Hsi and P'u-ku to surrender to China. Kü Tegin kill's the Qaghan's son and then places his older brother on the throne, Bilgä Qaghan. The Eastern Turks request peace with China. Sulu and the Türgis gain strength and he declares himself Qaghan.
  77. The Türgis regain much of their strength. They continue to send tribute to China, but also are spying on China. Chinese refuse a request from the On Oq Qaghan for permission to attack Sulu. China also refuses to accept gifts from Sulu's envoys, a diplomatic rebuff. On July 10, China recognized the "King of Bolor" making it clear that it intended to replace Tibet as dominant power in Karakorum, Pamir and the Hindu Kush. Among the Muslims, the new caliph extends offers of equality to the Transoxanian kings – which is generally accepted. A Tibetan delegation visits the new governor of Kurasan. On August 15, a Türgis-led army of Tibetans, Muslims and Türgis lay siege to Aksu and Üc-Turfan and harass the Four Garrisons. The Chinese order *Arsïla Hsien, the Western Turkic qaghan, to lead the Qarluqs in an attack on them. The attack succeeds, the Muslims escaping back to Islamic territory and then to Tashkent. The Tibetan army is defeated at the "Bends of the Yellow River" by Kuo-Chih-Yün, military governor of Lung-yu.
  78. Over the next three years, China employs diplomacy. Various peoples from Khurasan request help against the Muslims, including Maimargh and Samarkand. The Chinese grant an official title to Sulu. Tibetans pass through Little Bolor and Wakhan to raid the Four Garrisons.
  79. Kumidh, Samarkand, Bukhara, the Yabghu of Tukharistan and the king of Kapisia request help. Sulu responds with a tribute mission. The Türgis nevertheless take Suyab from China and pose as protectors of Khurasan from the Muslims.
  80. Wakhan, Udyana, Khuttal, Chitral, Kashmir, Zabulistan and South Hindustan send missions to the Chinese court. China bestows titles on Udyana, Khuttal and Chitral. The king of South Hindustan wishes to be ordered to attack the Muslims and Tibetans. An envoy of Bilga Qaghan arrives at the Tibetan court. The Eastern Turks foil a Tang-inspired plot to overthrow their qaghan. They besiege Pei-t'ing and enslave the Basmil Turks. The then go on to raid Kan chou and Liang chou, defeating the military governor of Ho-hsi and robbing the Ch'i-pi Turkic tribes who live there. Tibetans capture a "Chinese fort" called Sog-son. Stalemate ensues between the China and the Eastern Turks.
    · Muslims impose a poll tax (jizya) on all nonbelievers. From 717, the more stringent application of this law (circumcision and quizzes on the Koran) by Abdallah al-Hakami, Governor of Khurasan, gives rise to a large-scale anti-Umayyad movement in Samarkand. With the aid of the Türks, they expel their rulers and all attempts by the new Governor, Said b. Abd al-Aziz b. al-Hakam fail.
  81. A new, expansionist caliph takes the throne and a new governor of Khurasan, Said b. Amr al-Harashi, is appointed. A Turgis army led by Kul Cur enters Sogdiana to support a rebellion of nobles who renounce Islam. But then, the wished-for leader of the rebels, Ghurak, decides to support Said. Thus weakened, the rebels send envoys to the king of Ferghana, at-Tar, who agrees to help them. The rebels flee to Ferghana.
    · Bilga Qaghan sends an envoy to China. There is no treaty, but a tacit peace ensues.
    · Kuo dies and is succeeded by Wang Chun-cho, who proceeds to antagonize the Uighur, Chi-pi, Ssu-chieh and Hun tribes living between Kan chou and Liang chou.
  82. In Ferghana At-Tar imprisons the Samarkand rebels and informs Said who sends a large detachment to kill them. Having destroyed one group, they encounter Sogdians led by Divashtich at the fort of Abargar (aka "the castle on Mt. Mug) on the left bank of the Zerafshan. Fighting in a gorge, the Muslims win a sortie and lay siege. The Sogdians are forced to surrender. Then the Turks advance as far as Qasr al-Bahili on the road to Samarkand when Said leads an army to victory against them. But Said does not follow up and is defeated. He is forced to hold Samarkand. Damascus sends a new governor, the military leader, Mugassir b. Muzahim al-Sulami.
    · Tibet occupies Little Bolor. Its king escapes to China. China marches into Bolor with an army of 4,000 Chinese and foreign troops under Chang Ssu-li of Kashgar. On October 29, they rout the Tibetan army and capture thousands. Tibet is set back in the West for several years. Great rebellion in Annan (the south) is assisted by Cham and Khmer. It is put down by China.
  83. A Turgis army pushes the Muslims back across the Oxus in a major defeat for the latter.
  84. Muslims are moderately successful. Said leads an army into Ferghana and devastates the country. The approach of a Turgis army causes them to flee. They are caught by forces of Tashkent and Ferghana before them. Only some manage to escape.
    · Tu Hsien is appointed military governor by the Chinese in the east. He accuses the king of Khotan of plotting rebellion, captures and decapitates him.
  85. Tu imprisons a Turgis envoy and allows 1000 of their horses to die. He then goes to Loyang.
    · Tibet raids the Chinese Ta-Tou Valley, attacks Kan chou, burning villages and retreating. Wang advances with an army in pursuit. Tibetan army withdraws to the Ta-fei River (Jima Gol). A heavy snowfall claims many Tibetans. Chinese pursue to Koko Nor where Chinese had already burned the grasses, causing deaths of many Tibetan horses. Just as the Tibetans had crossed the river, they are attacked. Wang captures the supply train including 10,000 sheep and horses. The Lao rebel in the south and are put down after a year.
  86. On September 27, Tibetans and the A-zha attack and capture the Chinese fortified city of Kua chou, capturing a great deal of silk. Tibetans then atttack the Yu-men chun (Jade Gate), capturing and releasing many monks. Another group of Tibetans besiege Ch'ang-lo hsien in Kua chou, but fail to capture it. Then the two Tibetan forces combine to attack Kucha where with Turgis help they raided throughout the region and besiege the city. China's one attempt to attack is rebuffed. Kucha city held although there was much damage elsewhere. The siege is ended after 80 days by winter. The Eastern Turks refuse to join in these Tibetan adventures. Uighurs murder Wang and flee to Tibet.
  87. On January 26, Chinese forces repulse Tibetan raiders. The Lao rebel in the south and are put down after a year. In the autumn, Tibetans raid Kua chou, but are driven off, then attacked and pursued to Ta-mo-men where the Chinese capture 100 prisoners and much else. China forces burn the Camel Bridge and return completely victorious. In the next month, Tibetans are again defeated while on a raid at Chi-lien City (near Kan chou).
    · Al-Sulami, Governor of Khurasan, tries to reduce discontent by relaxing the poll tax. But this backfires and revenues become too low, so the policy is reversed. This leads to a major rebellion centered in Bukhara for a year with help of Türks. The Muslims retain only Samarkand and Dabusiyya.
  88. In April, Tibet loses 2 battles to China in the northeast, the Chinese capturing Shih-pao City and establishing a garrison there. In summer, the Tibetans win a victory at Mu le cu le, killing many Chinese. A Tang envoy does obeisance at the Tibetan central court.
    · The Tibetan main army is in Sogdiana where with the Turgis and Sogdians, they drive the Muslims almost completely out of Sogdiana except for Samarkand, al-Dabusiyya and Kamarga. These would have been lost as well but for the indecisiveness of Ghurak. After a summer of hard fighting, al-Sulami recaptures Bukhara.
    · Sulu fails to take the fortified Kamarga, despite Tibetan help.
  89. A Tibetan envoy arrives at China to request peace. China agrees and it is settled by the end of the year. The Turgis send an envoy as well and they also conclude peace with China. Tibetan armies try to re-assert control over the Pamirs. They cross some of the highest passes in the world to enter both Khurasan and the Chinese Four Garrisons. By the end of the year the king of Wakhan had fled to China.
    · Samarkand rebels against Muslims, with Turgis aid. A new governor is appointed for Khurasan, Junaid b. Abd al-Rahman al-Murri. With al-Sulami they fight through to Samarkand, but it will not be fully reconquered until 737-8.
  90. Envoys from both the Turgis and the Muslims arrive at the Tibetan court, coming through the Pamirs via Wakhan and Bolor. Tibet has neutralized Chinese influence in these regions.
  91. Drought in Transoxania and Khurasan.
  92. Famine in Transoxania and Khurasan caused by the drought of the previous year. An anti-government movement led by Harith b. Suraij breaks out in Khurasan, but is rapidly put down by new governor, Asad b. Abdallah.
    · Tibet and Turgis conclude a marriage alliance.
    · The king of Kashmir sends an envoy to China claiming that the king of Central Hindustan has defeated the Tibetans and blocked the five great Tibetan roads. He offers to supply any Chinese army willing to come to Bolor. China suspects Tibetan activities in the West. China captures a Turgis mission to Tibet crossing the Pamirs and discovers the closeness of the Turgis-Tibetan alliance. Turgis raid Chinese western holdings in retaliation for the execution of their envoy. Turgis besiege Kasghar, Qocho and possibly Aksu, but without success. Wang and the general of the Muslim east, Amir of Khurasan, conclude an informal alliance which is approved by the Chinese court. The objective is joint attack of the Turgis. The Khan of the Eastern Turks dies of poisoning by one of his ministers.
  93. Turgis mount major assaults against fortifid Pei-t'ing and Aksu.
  94. The siege of Pei-t'ing is defeated and Chinese General Kai Kia-yun, governor of Pei-t'ing, inflicts a crushing defeat on Sulu and the Turgis. Sulu calls for peace following the death of his important general. China finally accepts on September 16.
    · Later, the Tibetans march into Turkistan via Little Bolor.
    · Asad transfers his capital from Merv to Balkh. Tibetans join the Turgis army and small Central Asian states to make war on the Muslims.
  95. China's reaction is to break the seven-year old treaty and invade northeastern Tibet. China gets surprise and enjoys victory after victory. Tibetans send a peace envoy to China, but hostilities continue. The Tibetans capture the pro-Tang king of Little Bolor, securing routes through the Pamirs to the west. Tibetans capture all of Little Bolor; tribute ceases to arrive in China.
    · Asad launches invasion of Khuttal. Its lord requests Turgis help. Assistance has also come from Sughd and Tashkent. Sulu marches from Su-yab in 17 days to find the Muslims already fleeing. The Turks attack them crossing the Oxus and inflict serious losses. They capture a supply train. The Muslims retreat to Balkh and de-mobilize for winter. The Turgis remain in the field, gather troops from around Sogdiana, split into small detachments and raid Khurasan. In early December they attack Khulm, but are driven off by the garrison. They bypass Balkh and take the capital city of Guzgan. Sulu with a small force of 4000 is then surprised by a reconstituted Muslim army at Kharistan – the Turgis are devastated. Almost all their armies are lost. Some Sogdians flee to Tashkent. Three different leaders proclaim themselves Qaghan.
  96. Nasr b. Sayyar is appointed new governor of Khurasan and holds the job for 10 years, consolidating the Muslim position on Transoxania. Having served under Qutaiba, he understands the situation well and tries a pacification policy by establishing close relations with local elites, even marrying one of them. But discontent simmers among the masses.
    · Tibet raids Ho-hsi, but are driven off. China then takes "New City" from Tibet, establishing a garrison there. In the summer, 3 Chinese armies invade Tibet from 3 directions, taking the Yellow River bridge and building a city on the right bank. Chinese forces successfully withstand Tibetan counterattack. On the eastern front, Tibet is successful in defeating a large force trying to recapture An-jung, the most important fortress on Tibet's eastern frontier. Tibetan attempts to follow-up go nowhere.
  97. Sulu is assassinated as the Chinese assist one of the Turgis pretenders, Baga-tarkhan, to eliminate his two rivals. Turgis submit to China on November 4.
  98. China takes An-jung by treachery in the spring. Tibet at a new low. China appoints a controversial qaghan of the On Oq to keep the Turgis confederation divided. The Turgis respond by rebelling. Chinese relent. The Turgis once again submit to China.
    · The Muslim governor of Khurasan leads a major campaign against Tashkent, now held by Sogdian rebels. He twice fails, but gets minor concessions and then goes to Ferghana, not encountering any Turks.
    · In the Pamirs, Tibetans conclude marriage alliance with Little Bolor and solidify control of Wakhan and Chieh-shih. Tibetans send an envoy to Chang-an to report their mourning for the death of the Chinese princess and request peace, but are refused. In the 740's the Ghwang clan of Annan wage private wars in the area.
  99. Muslims again raid Ferghana. They regain Tashkent by treaty, allowing the Sogdian nobles to depart peaceably. The Muslims send a formal embassy to China. Ferghana and Tashkent are still nominally part of China and their rulers often try to get Chinese assistance. The Muslims become too preoccupied with the collapse of the Umayyad dynasty to do very much in Central Asia.
    · In the summer the Tibetans assault Ch'eng-feng Fort, survive a counterattack and turn west to attack the Ch'ang-ning Bridge and the An-jen Armym, but are repulsed by the Chinese garrison. At the end of the year, Meg leads a campaign against the Tang, destroying the fortified city of Ta-hua hsien, killing the inhabitants as retaliation for the massacre of An-Jung. They also take the strategic fortress of Shih-pao City. The khan of the Eastern Turks is murdered by an officer and three vassal states rebel: Qarluqs, Basmil and Uighurs.
  100. China again attempts to install a new qaghan of the On Oq who is immediately killed. China installs a new pretender among the Turgis. Revolt among the Eastern Turks begin to tear apart their empire. China raids northeastern Tibet, capturing 5000 out of a 30000 man Tibetan army. Tibet has another army defeated by the military governor of Ho-hsi..
  101. In the spring, Huang-fu leads a major expedition into Tibet all the way to Hung-chi City which he takes.
  102. China under General Fu-mung Ling-cha campaigns against the Turgis qaghan and kills him. A Turgis envoy appears at the Tibetan court. The Eastern Turkish empire is succeeded by a Uighur and a Qarluq state. By 751 the Qarluqs will dominate.
  103. In the autumn, Huang-fu attacks Shih-Pao and is severely beaten by a combined Tibetan-A-zha force.
  104. Huang-fu is replaced by Wang Chung-ssu. Tibet seems to control the areas during the winter while Chinese armies were immobilized. When the grain is ripe, Tibetans would raid and collect it. The Tang are powerless to prevent this.
  105. By now China has failed three times to retake Little Bolor from Tibet. A Korean, Kao Hsien-chih, is appointed to govern the Chinese west. Kao sets out with 10000 mounted warriors, Chinese and non-Chinese, marching from Kucha to Aksu, to Gustik, to Kashgar, to Ts'ung-ling in the Pamirs, to the Pamir Valley, to the T'e-le-man Valley where the army is split into three parts and ordered to rendezvous at the Tibetan fortress of Lien-yun in the So-le Valley. After an all day battle, the Tang are victorious and 5000 Tibetans perish. A thousand men, a thousand horses and many supplies are captured. Kao leaves a garrison of 3000 and invades Little Bolor, capturing the capital A-nu-yueh without a fight. He destroys the suspension bridge leading to the east, preventing the Tibetan army from coming to the rescue. He leaves a garrison of 2000 and returns to Lien-yun. In November he reaches the Pamirs and then returns to Chang-an. On December 25, Qosu Khan appointed military governor of Lung-yu. The military governor of Ho-hsi is An Ssu-shun, cousin of An Lu-shan.
    · Abbasids, descendants of Abbas, the uncle of Muhammad, begin a secret propaganda campaign agains the Umayyads. They send Abu Muslim to Khurasan and Transoxania for this purpose. As a result, rebels seize Merv and then all of Khurasan. The Umayyads eventually collapse and the Abassids begin a new Arab dynasty.
  106. In January, Qosu reports that he has constructed a fortification on the shores of Koko Nor, but later in this year he is attacked and defeated there. He then builds a fortress named Ying-lung City on the island in the Koko Nor. Tibet now avoids the area. In the midsummer, Qosu leads an army of 63,000 agains Shih-pao City. After several days battle, Chinese take the fortress, but at the cost of tens of thousands. Qosu then sends troops to dominate the west of C'ih-ling to establish military-agricultural colonies. He also garrisons the island fortress with 2000 convicts. On July 21, Shih-pao is renamed Shen-wu. In the autumn, Lo Chen-t'an, king of Wakhan, travels to the Chinese court and asks for permission to stay. Probably Wakhan has become a Chinese vassal. An envoy from the Yabghu of Tukharistan presented a petition concerning the Tibetans in the Pamirs because it had been necessary to import supplies from Kashmir through Chieh-shih because the Little Bolor garrison could not be supported by the limited local agriculture. But the king of Chieh-shih had taken Tibetan bribes and allowed them to build one or more fortresses in his country with the intent of seizing the main road to Little Bolor. In addition, Chieh-shih and Tibet had been raiding Tukharistan. China approves sending an army to Little and Great Bolor. Probably the Chinese had been raiding in Chieh-shih giving the king no option but to ally with Tibet.
  107. Kao again defeats the Tibetans in the Pamirs. In April, a new king of Chieh-shih is appointed. In Koko Nor, the Chinese attack Tibet's Five Bridges and capture Shu-tun City. Nan-chao, a kingdom in Yunnan, voluntarily submits to Tibet. This is the acme of Chinese power in Central Asia, including direct rule of the Tarim Basin states, Jungaria, Pamirian vassals of Little Bolor, Chieh-shih and Wakhan, and a firm allince with Ferghana. The Turgis are under heavy Chinese influence and the Tibetans in the west only control Great Bolor. Tibetan power is at its nadir. The Qarluqs were struggling with the weak Turgis for control of the Western Turks.
    · A rebellion of the masses erupts in Bukhara against both the Arabs and the local elites. It is led by Sharik b. Shaikh. Abu Muslim sends a force of 10,000 against them, led by Ziyad b. Salih, but in 37 days the rebels win every battle. Then, Qutaiba, ruler of Bukhara, brings another 10,000 forces to the struggle and the rebels are defeated, their leader killed. A similar rebellion in Samarkand is also suppressed. Eastern Tukharistan and Khuttal maintain virtual independence. Tashkent pretends submission to China, but is autonomous.
    · In the early part of the year, the kings of Ferghana and Tashkent open hostilities against each other. This prompts the Turgis to revolt and side with Tashkent. Ferghana probably has the assistance of Khuttal, recently fled from the Muslims, and also asks China for help. China sends 100,000 warriors to besiege Tashkent, which submits. Tashkent is plundered and the Turgis qaghan captured, as well as some Tibetan chiefs. The son of the Tashkent ruler escapes to the Muslims at Samarkand whose ruler appeals to the governor of Khurasan.
  108. Muslim reinforcements arrive in Samarkand in May. Kao hears rumors that Muslims and Central Asians intend to attack the Four Garrisons. He gathers his army and marches west, including Qarluq and Ferghana forces. In July, the two forces meet at Talas (Taraz). The fierce battle lasted 5 days until the Qarluqs switched sides. The Tang forces are routed, the escape route blocked by Ferghanian troops, camels and horses. Some cut their way through, others were captured and taken back to Samarkand. Some of the captives teach the Muslims the art of papermaking. This is the only major military confrontation between the Muslims and the Chinese.
  109. Qosu captures the Tibetan cities of Hung-chi and Ta-mo-men and gathers all the tribes of the Nine Bends area. New armies are set up to hold the territories. The new military governor of the Chinese West, Feng Ch'ang-ch'ing invades Great Bolor. His forces reach P'u-sa-lao, defeats the city defenders and receive submission. The Tibetans are entirely rooted out of the Pamirs.
  110. Chinese become aware of major internal problems in Tibet. A prince of the Sumpa surrenders to China. The emperor is murdered in a revolt by the ministers On December 16, the Turco-Sogdian military governor, An Lu-shan rebels against China, causing extreme disruption.
    · The Abassid rulers in Baghdad do not trust Abu Muslim and have him killed. This gives rise to a number of rebellions since Abu had once promised to improve the lot of the common man. The rebels, led by Sumbad, began in Nishapur and spread throughout Khurasan and Tabaristan. The rebellion was brutally suppressed, but sowed the seeds for further outbreaks in Transoxania in the 770's.
  111. The emperor's attempts to put down the rebellion fails and both Feng Ch'ang-ch'ing and Kao Hsien-chih are executed. Qosu is recalled and ordered to station his army at the strategic T'ung Pass east of Chang-an and then attack, only to be totally crushed and Qosu captured. The rebels pour through the pass to Chang-an and the court flees. On the second night, the party encounters a Tibetan embassy at Ma-wei Station and slaughters them. The emperor's consort and rumored lover of An Lu-shan, Yang Kuei-fei is strangled by demand of the army. The emperor flees to Szechuan while the heir apparent goes with a small force to Ling-wu (in the northwest) to organize resistance. Once there, the heir usurps the throne and Hsuan-tsung surrenders the regalia. Envoys from the western regions of Black *Ganjak, Wakhan and Shugh nan pay homage at the Tibetan court. With the Chinese garrisons in northeastern Tibet and Central Asia gone, Tibet re-expands its frontiers. First to fall was Sui chou on Tibet's eastern border, next a number of Chinese forts in northeastern Tibet including Wei-jung, Shen-wei, Ting-jung, Hsuan-wei, Chih-sheng, Chin-t'ien and T'ien-ch'eng as well as the fortified cities of Pai-ku, Tiao-ko and Shih-pao. Then T'ao chou. Troops are pulled out of Annan to fight An Lu Shan and the Ghwang allegedly raised 200,000 troops in rebellion.
  112. Tibetans capture the eastern part of Lung-yu tao.
  113. Uighurs, former allies of the Qarluqs, destroy an army of some 50,000 Kirghiz, occupy some of the territory and cut off their communiction with China. The Kirghiz move away and come to agreements with the Qarluqs, Tibetans and Muslims. These are mostly concerning safe passage for traders, which the Uighurs do not provide. Uighurs are raiding/controlling the trade route between the Muslim Empire and the Tibetan holdings. Tibet does not control the Jungarian Basin, the Qarluqs do. Ghwang leader is captured, but military conditions will persist in Annan to 771.
  114. Tibet re-takes Chang-an from new emperor Tang Tai-tsung (also areas north and west of it) and install a Chinese emperor. From this point, China is almost completely cut off from Central Asia, although small garrisons are maintained in the Tarim Basin. China no longer a major factor in Central Asian history.
  115. Tibet takes Liang chou which they have been raiding between 758-60.
  116. Kan chou and Su chou fall to Tibet.
  117. Tibetans take Kua chou.
    · Hashim b. Hakim, nicknamed al-Muqanna, former Muslim commander under Abu Muslim, leads the people in open revolt in Transoxania. He receives support from 60 towns in the Zerafshan Valley and Kashka Darya. Then Kish falls to the rebels dressed all in white to contrast with the black of the Abassids. The caliph al-Mahdi (775-785) sends a large force under Jibra'il b. Yahya to crush them. They attack Narshakh near Bukhara, but take it only after a four-month siege. They also defeat a reinforcing army.
  118. Rebels in Transoxiana take over the entire Zerafshan Valley, almost all of the Kashka Darya Valley and areas south of Termez. Sughd becomes the rebellion's center. Jibra'il is dealt a severe defeat near Samarkand.
  119. A new governor of Khurasan, Muaz b. Muslim, advances with a large force. Rebels gather at a mountain fortress, Sanam, near Kish, and put up a stubborn resistance. A long siege begins.
  120. Rebels at Sanam finally surrender, al-Muqanna committing suicide. The ideas and spirit of the "people of the white clothes" will survive to the 12th century.
  121. Tibetans take the town and county of Shou-ch'ang (150 li south of Tun-Huang). They are unsuccessful in their siege of Tun-Huang. They also take Hami.
  122. Treaty of Ch'ing Shui in 783 brings peace between Tibet and China. A Chinese rebel, Chu Tz'u, is aided by the Uighurs, but a Tibetan force led by a Chinese general crushes Chu's army and turns the tide in favor of the Tang. The Tang refuse to honor their treaty obligations to hand over the military governships of the west, angering the Tibetans. They consider the treaty broken. Tibetans resume raiding.
  123. Tibetans threaten Chang-an. On December 10, they occupy Yen chou in the southern Ordos, just north of the Great Wall. They also raid and occupy Hsia chou, Lin chou and Yin chou, all located further east along the Great Wall. This encirclement cause the Tang to again sue for peace.
  124. The treaty of P'ing-liang is abortive. Tibetans therefore kidnap many of the officials and withdraw their garrisons at Yen chou and Hsia chou because they are too distant to easily supply, burning them before departure. The Chinese minister Li Mi develops his "Grand Alliance" strategy of containment: make peace with the Uighurs (in the north), come to terms with Nan-chao (in the south) and unite with the Muslims and Hindustan (in the west). All of this is meant to cause trouble for Tibet and gain more horses. The emperor is first opposed to any accommodation with the hated Uighurs, but finally agrees. War breaks out between the Muslims and Tibet. The Uighurs take the Chinese Central Asia garrisons before a peace is concluded. Tibet takes Tun-Huang and are poised to invade Lop Nor and the area of the Two Garrisons, Pei-t'ing and Kucha. Khotan is still nominally governed by a Chinese resident and the native king. Kashgar is probably already dominated by the Qarluqs. Uighurs are harassing the people of Pei-t'ing and some neighboring Qarluqs, both expanding their areas as well as exorting exorbitant fees to passing traders. These peoples secretly submit to the Tibetans.
  125. Together they and the Tibetans attack Pei-t'ing at the end of the year.
  126. The Uighurs attack the besiegers, but are defeated. The city surrenders, the Chinese governor fleeing with 2000 to Hsi chou. Due to this defeat and political turmoil in their capital at Ordubaliq, the Uighurs withdraw. They return in the autumn with a large force along with the Chinese governor. Tibetans kill half the force in the battle and the governor is killed by the Uighur general. Kucha, the one remaining Chinese garrison, is now completely cut off. The Qarluqs follow up by taking the Fu-t'u Valley from the Uighurs, who retreat to their capital.
  127. China loses Qocho to Tibet. Tibetans attack Ling chou, but are driven off by the Uighurs, who present the prisoners to China. Tibetans and Qarluqs suffer a major defeat when the Uighurs retake part of Pei-t'ing. The siege of the city continues.
  128. Tibet takes Khotan. Uighurs retake Pei-t'ing with many casualties on the losing side. Uighurs also take Qocho and attack the Tibetan army besieging Kucha. Tibetans are forced to retreat to Yu-shu, a fortified town (560 li east of Kucha and 70 li west of Agni) where they are besieged by Uighurs and destroyed.
  129. As a result of Tibetan defeats, it requests soldiers from Nan Chao, which refuses and defects back to China. This weakens Tibet on its southeastern border. Tibet settles down to a war of attrition with the Uighurs around Qocho, eventually to be won by the Uighurs. Tibet is involved in protracted war with the Muslims and expands unassisted into the Hindu Kush via the Pamirs. There is another rebellion in Annan which is put down.
  130. Tibetans are defeated in a battle with China and Nan chao. Fighting with the Tibetans were Samarkandi and Abbasid Muslim troops, perhaps those previously captured in battle.
  131. A major uprising breaks out in Sughd, led by Rafi b. Laith, as a continuation of the rising of the "people in white clothes". It has repercussions in Nasaf, Tashkent, Ferghana, Khujand, Ustrushana, Bukhara and elsewhere.
  132. Samarkand rebels against the Muslims. Tibetans join in. Uighurs take Liang chou from Tibet. Tibet try to move the Sha-t'o tribes away from the area, but they resist and flee down the Yellow River to the north while fighting off the Tibetans. A remaining 1300 surrender to China in Ling chou.
  133. Chinese move the Sha-t'o east of the Yellow River. Tibet's northern military governor leads a raid agasint the Uighurs. 50000 cavalry ride via P'i-t'i Springs (300 li north of Hsi Shou-hsiang City) to the Great Stone Valley and plunder a Uighur embassy returning from China. The Muslim caliph Harun al-Rashid himself sets out for Khurasan to deal with this problem but dies en route. His two sons divided the empire and are soon at civil war.
  134. The Qarluqs throw off Muslim subjugation and the king of Kabul raids Khurasan.
    · Rafi is treacherous and the caliphate is thus able to put down the rebellion.
  135. The son who has inherited the eastern Muslim empire is victorious.
  136. He wins another victory and changes the Muslim capital to Merv. He now encourages a jihad against the Central Asian nations with which he had made peace, in particular, Kabul, the kingdom of the Utrarbandah, the Qarluqs and Tibet. Kabul submits, the king becoming Muslim. He had previously been a Tibetan vassal. The Muslim commander Al-Fadl next triumphs in Wakhan and Bolor, then Utrar (Qarluqs). He also captures Kasan and other citadels in Ferghana. Tibet recovers somewhat and holds onto some of their positions in the Pamirs until later in the century. Tibetans complete a bridge across the Yellow River at Wu-lan and increase their raiding. A Uighur army crosses the Gobi Desert to the south and attacks the Tibetans west of Liu Ku (near Hsi Shou-hsiang City). Several thousand Uighur cavalry ride to P'i-t'i Springs. Tibetans continue to raid the area northeast of Lan chou up to the Gobi.
  137. A Tibetan thrust penetrates to within 2-3 days of the Uighur capital.
  138. Uighur empire at its greatest extent. A Uighur force appears in Usrusana after attacking at Tibetan-Qarluq force to their west and chasing them across the Jaxartes into Ferghana. Uighurs control the lands near Talas, the Issyk Kul and Jungaria. Muslim envoy visits the Uighur capital. Kirghiz war with Uighurs constantly. Tibetans in Hami and Lop Nor keep the Uighurs out of the southern Tarim and Kansu while Tibetans in Ho-hsi threaten the only Uighur direct route to China (via P'i-t'i Springs). Landmark Sino-Tibetan Treaty ends hostilities, but Uighurs are to receive a Chinese princess in marriage alliance. Tibet feels slighted and raids Ch'ing-sai Fort. A counterattack out of Yen chou forces them to withdraw. Treaty is finally signed November 8.
  139. Tibet makes peace with the Uighurs and also with Nan chao.
  140. The last Sino-Tibetan treaty, carefully treating the two countries as equals, is signed. Both sides observe its stipulations to the letter and peace lasts over twenty years.
  141. A Uighur general defects to the Kirghiz and with Kirghiz cavalry attacks the Uighur cities, killing the qaghan and setting fire to the capital. Uighurs flee in all directions. The breakup of the Uighur empire is destabilizing
  142. The Emperor of Tibet is assassinated by a Buddhist hermit. In the succession dispute, central authority disappears. Two generals fight over power.
  143. One general inflicts a serious defeat on the other at the Yellow River Bridge. Many Tibetan holdings in the Ho-hsi area surrender or fall to China.
  144. One of the generals marches into the pastures west of Kan chou, perhaps to attack the Uighurs (moving into the area via Etsin Gol). His rival tries to pursue with 5000 cavalry, but gave up and then plunders Shan, K'uo, Kua, Su, Hami, Qocho and others.
  145. Tibetan prefect of Tun-Huang defects to China. He then leads a campaign which takes Kua, Kan, Su, Lan, Shan, Ho, Mink, K'uo, Hami and Qocho from the Tibetans. China appoints him military governor, although he is quite independent. Khotan regains its independence in the same year.
  146. The military governor takes Liang chou from Tibet. Little remains of Tibet's empire.
  147. A new upheaval shakes the Uighur state in the Tien Shan. Tibet has retaken K'uo and the rival general loses a battle and his life. His head is sent to Chang-an. His followers flee to China. Tibet only retains Lop Nor, Liang chou and parts of the Pamirs.
[Top of Page]


[Top of Page]

Also ...

[Top of Page]

The struggles of the Tang Dynasty of China, the Muslim Empire and the Tibetan Empire over Central Asia during the 7th through 9th centuries would seem to make an interesting subject for a conflict simulation, although none exist to my knowledge. It would probably be a three-player game with the Eastern and Western Turkish states acting as neutrals. Since the campaign was so long, probably a point-to-point system à la that of We, the People would be the best approach.