Modern scholarship has explored aspects of the origin stories of the Shatuo. The latter were the military elite of Turkic extraction who dominated northern China in the second half of the ninth century and built the foundation of four of the northern regimes of the first half of the tenth. This article compares three specific origin stories that differ significantly: 1. the entombed epitaph of Li Keyong (856–907); 2. the Jiu Wudai shi’s chapter “Wuhuang ji” (“Basic Annals of the Martial Emperor [Li Keyong]”); and 3. the “Shatuo liezhuan” (“Shatuo Memoir”), namely, chapter 218 of Xin Tang shu. The primary argument here is that each of these narratives has uniquely reassessed Li Keyong’s historical role and political legitimacy. Moreover, the article questions the narrative of the alleged southeastward migration of the Shatuo– Zhuxie from territories northwest of Beiting to Hedong during the second half of the eighth century and early-ninth century, arguing that this narrative was enhanced in the “Shatuo liezhuan” as a means to create an image of the Shatuo as “subjugated barbarians.”

Representations of Descent: Origin and Migration Stories of the Ninth- and Tenth- Century Turkic Shatuo

Maddalena Barenghi
2019

Abstract

Modern scholarship has explored aspects of the origin stories of the Shatuo. The latter were the military elite of Turkic extraction who dominated northern China in the second half of the ninth century and built the foundation of four of the northern regimes of the first half of the tenth. This article compares three specific origin stories that differ significantly: 1. the entombed epitaph of Li Keyong (856–907); 2. the Jiu Wudai shi’s chapter “Wuhuang ji” (“Basic Annals of the Martial Emperor [Li Keyong]”); and 3. the “Shatuo liezhuan” (“Shatuo Memoir”), namely, chapter 218 of Xin Tang shu. The primary argument here is that each of these narratives has uniquely reassessed Li Keyong’s historical role and political legitimacy. Moreover, the article questions the narrative of the alleged southeastward migration of the Shatuo– Zhuxie from territories northwest of Beiting to Hedong during the second half of the eighth century and early-ninth century, arguing that this narrative was enhanced in the “Shatuo liezhuan” as a means to create an image of the Shatuo as “subjugated barbarians.”
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3720501
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