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Forum LockedThe Battle of Talas

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    Posted: 08-Oct-2004 at 04:36

Just finished reading the article below:

http://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/issue/198205/the.battle.of.t alas.htm

Regretfully there is not much source regarding the event. I ever heard that Tang allied army had 30,000 men while Abbasids had 200,000. And both fought fiercely. Could someone here give me some more detailed/accurate information?

Thanks a lot!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote warhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Oct-2004 at 09:52

Abassid never had 200,000, the Song source, which is the only one regarding the Arab number gives them at 70,000. I also wonder what prove the site has that the Qarluqs were allied to the Arabs in the begining in which it stated as if it was a fact. Did al-Dhahabi even mention the planning? From a political perspective, there is no reason for the Qarluqs to ally with the arabs, they already have a very good relationship with Tang. And ironically, earlier sources from Al Tabari and the Tang shu put very little emphasize on the battle, yet later historian such as al Dhababi and Sima Qian seem to describe more of the battle. Its very clear that contemporary view of the battle is little more than a border skirmish.  

 

Also the author wrongly implies that the battle made Tang withdraw from western central asia. The Tang never had a garrison there, so how could they withdraw? If they are talking about Tashkent, the Tang never stationed troop there after Gao captured the city, The source specifically mention Gao withdrew and left the country to be ruled by the local king.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zhuang Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Oct-2004 at 10:59
Oh warhead you are so kind for providing the information. But again I am confused by "But most importantly, the Battle of Talas led to the An Lushan revolt, which broke out in 755." (Just google "tang talas led" and you see it.) What's the connection between the battle and the revolt?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote warhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Oct-2004 at 11:37

We already had a discussion on this .

 

http://www.allempires.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=76&P N=2&TPN=2

http://www.allempires.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=131& PN=2

 

There isn't any, whoever claimed such obviously didn't study any Chinese sources.

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote warhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Oct-2004 at 15:17

Sorry, Its Sima Guan, messed up with the name.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MengTzu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Oct-2004 at 16:02

Hey warhead,

    Sima Qian is a later historian?   

Peace,

Michael

10-8-2004



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cattus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Oct-2004 at 16:39
that is what he said, later. Talas, no matter what the exact figures can be decided on that joined the fight, it certainly was not a skirmish. It was bloody and many people fought died.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hansioux Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Oct-2004 at 17:11
Originally posted by MengTzu MengTzu wrote:

Hey warhead,

    Sima Qian is a later historian?   

Peace,

Michael

10-8-2004

 

I am sure he probably meant Wang AnShi the one who led the writing of ZiZhiTongJian.  Shima Qian had no way of writing about  this battle, because he's been dead for a long long time.

But regardless.  The truth is no one liked Tang in Central Asia after the broke down of Turkestan.  Sure they were probably allies with Tang in the fight against Turkestan opression, but the central asian countries now face the Tang soldiers invading what ever nation they consider "disrespectful" of the heavenly empire.

To name a few of the nations distroyed by Tang for no good reason.

GaoChang, distroyed for???

Tashkent, dustroyed for???

Actually, Tashkent had a great relations with Tang.  Unlike those in GaoChang, they embraced the Tang culture.  In 750 They welcomed the Corean origined general Gao ShenZhi's visit.  But Gao saw the Tashkent king's wife and wanted her for his own.  Then he ordered to massacre of the entire city.  And his reply back to the Tang court after this "FAILED PEACE MISSION" was that the king of Tashkent was "disrespectful". 

安西節度使高仙芝劾其無蕃臣禮

--唐書

The prince of Tashkent escape and went around central asia to beg for help.  And nations including the 黑衣大食(Black clothesed Persians, Abbasids) assembled and marched to Central Asia the very next year 751.  It wasn't "just" the Abbasids.  It's just they were the core of the coalition.  That's like saying America won the WW2, well, America did a lot of the job, but it was the coalition that completed the task.

And we all know what happened.  Gao got his ass kicked.

It is Gao that lost the faith the central Asians had in Tang.  And that caused the rebelions from Central Asia that kept on after the Talas battle.  Which then forced the creation of the job title 節度使 (JieDuShi) to keep peace on the trade routes.  The general responsable for all the military and political decisions of the Area.  That is a lot of power, and An LuShan abused it.

Begging plea of the weak can only receive disrespect, violence and oppression as bestowments. Blood and sweat of the weak can only receive insult, blame and abuse as rewards.

Lai Ho, Formosan Poet
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cattus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Oct-2004 at 17:18
thats true Simaqian is from the Han dynasty.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote warhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Oct-2004 at 15:29
Why is this thread locked?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote warhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Oct-2004 at 15:34

"It is Gao that lost the faith the central Asians had in Tang.  And that caused the rebelions from Central Asia that kept on after the Talas battle.  Which then forced the creation of the job title 節度使 (JieDuShi) to keep peace on the trade routes.  The general responsable for all the military and political decisions of the Area.  That is a lot of power, and An LuShan abused it."

 

No, I'm tired of replying to the incorrect assumption that An Lu Shan has anything to do with Talas, An lu shan's sphere of power was in Ho bei and the 3 prefectures around it, he has nothing to do with An xi(western protectorate of Tang). Gao Xian Zhi was replaced by Wang Cheng Chien as protector general of the pacified west and remainained in power until he was defeated by An. Your assumption of central asians hating Tang is also misleading, other than Tashkent, few actually resented Tang rule, its the muslims that they hate, for example, all those states in wsogdiana wrote to Tang to support them to overthrow the arabs. The tarim basin gkingdoms prefered Tang control well over those of Tibetans by the very fact that they supported the remaining Tang garrisons even after the rebellion crippled Tang and cut Tang's connection with these states.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote warhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Oct-2004 at 15:37

"I am sure he probably meant Wang AnShi the one who led the writing of ZiZhiTongJian. "

 

Its sima guan that did, and I mistyped sima qian. bBut yes I did meant Zi Zhi Tong Jian.

 

"Talas, no matter what the exact figures can be decided on that joined the fight, it certainly was not a skirmish. It was bloody and many people fought died. "

 

A skirmish doesn's mean its peaceful it was a large skirmish and had little result politically.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cattus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Oct-2004 at 16:26
ok, from this day we will now refer to it as "The Skirmish at Talas".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hansioux Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Oct-2004 at 16:29
Originally posted by warhead warhead wrote:

No, I'm tired of replying to the incorrect assumption that An Lu Shan has anything to do with Talas, An lu shan's sphere of power was in Ho bei and the 3 prefectures around it, he has nothing to do with An xi(western protectorate of Tang). Gao Xian Zhi was replaced by Wang Cheng Chien as protector general of the pacified west and remainained in power until he was defeated by An. Your assumption of central asians hating Tang is also misleading, other than Tashkent, few actually resented Tang rule, its the muslims that they hate, for example, all those states in wsogdiana wrote to Tang to support them to overthrow the arabs. The tarim basin gkingdoms prefered Tang control well over those of Tibetans by the very fact that they supported the remaining Tang garrisons even after the rebellion crippled Tang and cut Tang's connection with these states.

The lost of Talas led to the reform of board power distribution.  That is what led to the loop holes for An's abuse of power.

See source in traditional Chinese below.

http://www.ntut.edu.tw/~www2crs/tang/hd12-2.htm

I am not saying there is a direct link.  I am just saying the boarder "skirmishs" isn't just at Talas.  Actually, it got worse and worse after Talas, because Tang no longer seems like a undefeatable force.  And 唐宗 Tang Xuan Zhong's (a.k.a. 唐明皇, 李隆基) approach to the problem, is give these 節度使 (protector if you like) even more power.  Including both the military and political power of the region.  Which completely broke Tang's tradition.  See source below:

  玄宗時期,全國一共有安西、北庭、河西
、隴右、朔方、河東、范陽、平盧、劍南等九
個節度使和嶺南經略使。最初節度使只總管一
個地區之軍事,州縣事務則另由諸道的採訪處
置使管理,至天寶中,邊地各道的採訪使也由
節度使兼領。於是各藩鎮之節度使遂獲得了專
制一地的軍政財大權

(translation: During the time of Xuan Zhong, there is a total of AnXi, BeiTing, HeXi, LungYou, ShuoFang, HeDong, FanYang, PingLu and JianNan, etc. 9 protectors and Commander in YuenNan.  At first protector is just responsible for managing one region's military.  The political bussiness of the state and provences are handed by other managers.  By the middle of Tian Bao years, these political rules were also assumed by the protectors.  Hense, every regions's protectors became the ruler of the region controling military, economic and politics.)

The year title Tian Bao is from 742 to 756.  Oh, wait, that's the same time as the Talas battle!  Oh my god, what a surprise?

In fact, by the time of An LuShan's (An's father's a Hun, and mom's a Turk) rebelion:

任范陽、平盧、河東三鎮之節度使,又兼河北道採訪處置使。

An had the power of 3 protector.  Ruler over 3 of the richest regions in China's political and military power were under his own control.  How can a man not abuse that?



Edited by hansioux
Begging plea of the weak can only receive disrespect, violence and oppression as bestowments. Blood and sweat of the weak can only receive insult, blame and abuse as rewards.

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"ok, from this day we will now refer to it as "The Skirmish at Talas"."

 

Call it whatever you want its still a battle.

 

"The lost of Talas led to the reform of board power distribution.  That is what led to the loop holes for An's abuse of power.

The lost of Talas led to the reform of board power distribution.  That is what led to the loop holes for An's abuse of power.

See source in traditional Chinese below.

http://www.ntut.edu.tw/~www2crs/tang/hd12-2.htm"

 

No, it didn't. I don't even know where you got this lousiest conception from. Talas has absolutely NOTHING to do with Tang internal politics. Just what "traditional" pet source is that one? Mine is based on first hand primary source of the time, the Tang Shu and Zi Zhi Tong Jian, even Al Tabari's work mention little of this battle. An Lu shan's rebellion has more to do with Li Lin Fu's death and his growing power in the emperor's favour.

 

"

I am not saying there is a direct link.  I am just saying the boarder "skirmishs" isn't just at Talas. "

 

There isn't any link direct or indirect. If you say otherwisegive me your primary source rather than some petty web site in which where it drew its source from in the first place is in question.

 

 "Actually, it got worse and worse after Talas, because Tang no longer seems like a undefeatable force.  "

 

No it didn't, Tang was very successful after Talas, it repeatedly defeated the Tibetans in the years that followed and drove them completely out of the pamirs.

 

"And ­宗 Tang Xuan Zhong's (a.k.a. ­薳皇, 李隆基) approach to the problem, is give these 節度使 (protector if you like) even more power.  Including both the military and political power of the region.  Which completely broke Tang's tradition. "

Its very difficult to explain the political system of Tang to someone who didn't study it at all, but I'll just sumarize it. The Tang's change of full time professional troop is due to increasing border threat from Turks, kitan and Tibetans, thus in 738 Tang withdrew its Fubing and placed on the border full time professionals, These general's troops became more independent, and An Lu Shan only got prominent power because Li Lin Fu died in 753 and no one is there to check his power. How you are able to connect Talas with it is completely beyond historical reason, at least detailed ones where people don't just copy off from previous unproven claims.

 

 "See source below:

  玄宗時期,全國一共有安西、北庭、河西
、隴右、朔方、河東、­S陽、­盧、劍南等九
­虒`度使和­南經略使。最初節度使只總管一
­茼a區之­x事,州縣事務則另由諸道的採訪處
置使管理,至天寶中,邊地各道的採訪使也由
節度使­搎漶C於是各藩鎮之節度使遂獲得了專
制一地的­x政財大權

(translation: During the time of Xuan Zhong, there is a total of AnXi, BeiTing, HeXi, LungYou, ShuoFang, HeDong, FanYang, PingLu and JianNan, etc. 9 protectors and Commander in YuenNan.  At first protector is just responsible for managing one region's military.  The political bussiness of the state and provences are handed by other managers.  By the middle of Tian Bao years, these political rules were also assumed by the protectors.  Hense, every regions's protectors became the ruler of the region controling military, economic and politics.)"

 

 

Sorry but the site says nothing about Talas in connection with An Lu Shan.

 

"The year title Tian Bao is from 742 to 756.  Oh, wait, that's the same time as the Talas battle!  Oh my god, what a surprise?"

 

And that is connected to Talas in what way? Pardon me if I can't see the connection if there is any to begin with, which there isn't.

 

 

"In fact, by the time of An LuShan's (An's father's a Hun, and mom's a Turk) rebelion:

任­S陽、­盧、河東三鎮之節度使,又­搌e北道採訪處 置使。

An had the power of 3 protector.  Ruler over 3 of the richest regions in China's political and military power were under his own control.  How can a man not abuse that?"

 

 

Sorry, but you still fail to cconnect it with talas in any way your fancy spiel is not anything new, any beginner knows An Lu shan's power base and had 160,000 troops by the end of Tien Bao, its not rocket science, but you consistentl;y fail to connect it with Talas and keep on staying off of that topic and wander to something thats totally unrelated to it.


 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hansioux Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Oct-2004 at 19:53

Ok, stop being condesending to people.  You want to talk source, where's your source?  I don't see you post any passage from Tang Shu or Zi Zhi Tong Jian to prove your point.

So just what kind of connection you are willing to accept that there is a indirect link?  That in Tang Shu and Zi Zhi Tong Jian it somehow says "Due to the battle at Talas, An LuShan was granted these power"? 

Come on, stop biting the history books as if they were bibles.  They are just classic Chinese history books, to record the result of what happened, not to analyze what led to the event.  The connection is to be made using your brain to connect the relationships between each events.

Since you are not a "beginner" like me, then answer me this,

why was the protector's power expanded to include economical and political powers?

It is exactly because the uprising at the boarder, especially along Tibet and Central Asian boarders.

Tibet's invasion during Tang dynasty were focus on attacking Tang through the Central Asian route.  Why? 

Because all the fighting is about resources, and whoever controls the silk road, controls the resources. 

Why did Tibet increase their activity after Talas? 

Quote No it didn't, Tang was very successful after Talas, it repeatedly defeated the Tibetans in the years that followed and drove them completely out of the pamirs.

If they were so sucessful, why do they have to repeatedly defeat the Tibetans over and over again?  And did they really drove the Tibetans out?  Where's the proof for that?  After Tang Shu-Zhong, Tang had no power left in Central Asia.  There was no need for the Tibetans to fight Tang.  Tang had to defend its capital against the Tibetan and Uyghur invasion.  If weren't for Guo Zi-Yi talked the Uyghur's to betray the Tibetans, Tang would have lost its capital.  Yet, you called it "successful and drove them completely out?"  Where's your source? 



Edited by hansioux
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cattus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Oct-2004 at 22:32
Originally posted by warhead warhead wrote:


Call it whatever you want its still a battle.


thank you, i thought you didnt understand that.
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"Ok, stop being condesending to people.  You want to talk source, where's your source?  I don't see you post any passage from Tang Shu or Zi Zhi Tong Jian to prove your point."

 

Why do I need to show the source when there is nothing to support? The source doesn't mention anything about An Lu Shan, obviously that means its unimportant, you are the one that needs to show that its important by quoting it from the source.

 

 

"So just what kind of connection you are willing to accept that there is a indirect link?  That in Tang Shu and Zi Zhi Tong Jian it somehow says "Due to the battle at Talas, An LuShan was granted these power"? "

 

Yes. 

 

"Come on, stop biting the history books as if they were bibles.  They are just classic Chinese history books, to record the result of what happened, not to analyze what led to the event.  The connection is to be made using your brain to connect the relationships between each events."

 

And exactly anyone with brains would not connect them because there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that they are connected. Every major battle that has great loss are clearly recorded with the number of gold spent, thats not the case with Talas, signifying its unimportance.

 

 

"why was the protector's power expanded to include economical and political powers? It is exactly because the uprising at the boarder, especially along Tibet and Central Asian boarders."

 

No one said otherwise.

 

"Tibet's invasion during Tang dynasty were focus on attacking Tang through the Central Asian route.  Why? 

Because all the fighting is about resources, and whoever controls the silk road, controls the resources.  "

 

Absolutely wrong, resource is but a small fraction of the reason for control. The main objective is political, central asia's expense in maintaining military actually surpassed its economic benefit, thats why Tang garrisons withdrew from it during Gao Zong and didn't take much effort in preventing the Tibetans from overrunning it.

"Why did Tibet increase their activity after Talas? "

 

They didn't. They were defeated and politicfal activity ceased until after An Lu Shan's rebellion. 

 

"If they were so sucessful, why do they have to repeatedly defeat the Tibetans over and over again?"

 

 

Because none of the successes were decicive.

 

"  And did they really drove the Tibetans out?  Where's the proof for that?"

 

 

Jiu Tang Shu 128: 3583,  Feng Chang Ching, protector general of pacified west, invaded great balur, readched city of Pu sa lao, defeated its defenders, and received the submission of the country, Tibetan counterattack defeated. Same year, Qosu Han attacked and captured Tibetan cities of Hong Qi and Da mo men and he gathered all the tribes of the nine bends of the yellow river. the new army of Shen Ce.

Happy with the source or do you want more?

 

 "After Tang Shu-Zhong, Tang had no power left in Central Asia.  There was no need for the Tibetans to fight Tang.  Tang had to defend its capital against the Tibetan and Uyghur invasion.  If weren't for Guo Zi-Yi talked the Uyghur's to betray the Tibetans, Tang would have lost its capital.  Where's your source? "

 

First, reread my post because you're obviously not understanding it, I said they are completely droved out of the pamirs in 753. You muttered about Tibetan's attack on Tang capital which is quite irrelevant consider it happened in 763 well after An Shi rebellion. you are trolling off topic again, stick to the topic and tell me why Talas has anything to do with An lu shan's rebellion. And I 've already posted the source above. As for Tang losing capital without Uighurs, you're muttering nonsense again, Uighurs never helped Tang drive the Tibetans out of Chang An, they helped crush Tibetan raids, and Guo Zi Yi himself said that he did not need uighur help but it will ensure his victory and scement better friendship(see Zi Zhi Tong Jian,233:7521)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote warhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Oct-2004 at 00:54

"thank you, i thought you didnt understand that."

 


I don't believe there is any post I made that shows I didn't, it was a battle just like any other raids and skirmishes.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote warhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Oct-2004 at 01:00

People seem to confuse the Uighur support of Tang in fighting Tibetan by Guo Zi Yi is the one which drove Tibetans out of Chang An. This only shows they have not read the primary source. Tibetans occupied Chang An in 763. And they withdrew after a few days because the Tang army returned after crushing the rebels, the Uighur helping Guo Zi Yi was a totally different event, that happened in 765 two years after Tibetans withdrew from Chang An, this time the khaghan allied with the Tubo and invaded the Tang border, the uighurs submitted and the Tubo was crushed losing over 50,000 men. This has nothing to do with Chang An and Tubo never reached anything near it in that year.

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