Eastern Roman (‘Byzantine’) Empire and the Western Türks during the 6th century A.D. – Silk Road geopolitics

Since the 550s, following the collapse of the Rouran Empire (in Chinese characters 柔然, pronounced róu rán), the Türks (in Chinese characters突厥, pronounced tūjué), a nomadic people, came to prominence (552 AD) to the north of China, then further, after defeating the Hephthalite Empire (in Chinese characters 嚈哒, pronounced yàndā), fast becoming a highly influential military power in the middle section of the Silk Road network. Continue reading “Eastern Roman (‘Byzantine’) Empire and the Western Türks during the 6th century A.D. – Silk Road geopolitics”

Byzantium, Persia and China: Interstate relations on the eve of the Islamic conquest

By Samuel Lieu

The destruction of the Hephthalite Empire in Transoxiana by the combined forces of the Shahanshah Khusrau Anushirvan and the Western Turks in the sixth century (c. A.D. 557) was an event of great significance to the history of China’s trade and diplomatic contacts with the western empires of Iran and Byzantium. Continue reading “Byzantium, Persia and China: Interstate relations on the eve of the Islamic conquest”

Handicrafts and artworks from Greece were found in the ruins of ancient Niya, China

The archeological site known as Niya (hereafter referred to as the Ruins of Ancient Niya), which lies deep in the Takla Makan Desert on the southern rim of the Tarim Basin in present-day Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, has been called the Pompeii of the East, owing to Niya having been buried, quite suddenly, as had ancient Pompeii ages earlier. Or so it seems, for no one really knows what caused the residents of Niya to abandon their city in such a panic that they even left their dogs tethered in front of their houses, apparently fleeing for their lives from some unknown-to-us, impending calamity. Continue reading “Handicrafts and artworks from Greece were found in the ruins of ancient Niya, China”

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