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Forum LockedWhy did Persia never expand into China?

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Iranian41ife View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Iranian41ife Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Why did Persia never expand into China?
    Posted: 19-Mar-2006 at 11:12
Why is it that Persia never fought the chinese, when they knew that they existed?  Why was Persia always focused on the west?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Voyager Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Mar-2006 at 18:26
Ah, is this what Persians are? A bellicose people that attacks its neighbours?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Mar-2006 at 21:20
Persia evolved and expanded within the frame of the Near East. We can well say that Greece belonged somehow to the Near East, we can also extend that consideration to India. But China doesn't: ity is beyond huge deserts or steppes, dwelt by probably hostile peoples, and unsurmontable mountains. It would have been a mad expedition.

Instead from India to Greece and Egypt it was all a continuum of civilizations, without any major barrier, at least of the size of the ones that make China so distant.

In fact no civilization ever conquered the Asian steppes before the Russians did.

So Persia had two lines of expansion: westward to where the riches and cities were, eastward to maybe less atractive India. And that's all. China just was beyond their reach.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Iranian41ife Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Mar-2006 at 23:45

but the chinese expanded all the way to the caspian sea at one point. im sure if the chinese could do it the persians could definetly have been able to send a few armies or two.

infact, until the arabs defeated china at the battle of talas, everything from the caspian sea to china was under chinese control.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote snowybeagle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Mar-2006 at 01:41
Originally posted by prsn41ife

but the chinese expanded all the way to the caspian sea at one point. im sure if the chinese could do it the persians could definetly have been able to send a few armies or two.

infact, until the arabs defeated china at the battle of talas, everything from the caspian sea to china was under chinese control.

Uhm, borders of Chinese dynasties never quite reached the Caspian Sea, though through diplomatic efforts from the Han Dynasty onwards, their influence did.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Mar-2006 at 02:39
Originally posted by prsn41ife

but the chinese expanded all the way to the caspian sea at one point. im sure if the chinese could do it the persians could definetly have been able to send a few armies or two.

infact, until the arabs defeated china at the battle of talas, everything from the caspian sea to china was under chinese control.



China did have some control of Central Asia at some point. But it never meant to invade Persia or India. Equally Persia never meant to invade China. Keeping the steppes under control was in the common interest of both.

Early Muslims were a crazy bunch of war-mongering illuminati and they surely would have aimed to conquer the Moon if that would have seem feasible at the time... but they never had the slightest possibility of conquering China - I believe. You must be settled in the steppes before you can conquer its margins (or so it would seem from history) and Arabs just never settled there.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Imperator Invictus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Mar-2006 at 03:25
In the Parthian Period, the Kushan Empire was a powerful state between Parthia and the Han. The Parthians could not expand into Kushana, let alone China.

In the Sassanid Period, The Kushan Empire was replaced by the Kidarites, who controlled the land between Persia and China.

In the later Sassanid Period, powerful nomadic groups such as the Chionites, Hephalites, and the Gok Turks controlled the steppes northeast of the Sassanids.

As said above, none of the Chinese Empires had enough expansion potential to go further west.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote tadamson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Mar-2006 at 05:39
Why did Persia never expand into China?

Well they are a long way apart.....
There are some very big mountains in between...


The closest historical action was Timur Lenk.  His Central Asian Empire expanded South to include Persia and he died en route to attack China
rgds.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Anujkhamar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Mar-2006 at 07:44

Originally posted by Maju



So Persia had two lines of expansion: westward to where the riches and cities were, eastward to maybe less atractive India.

 

In what time period are you exactly talking about? (just so i can comment later)

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Iranian41ife Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Mar-2006 at 09:59

There are maps which show Sui Dynasties control of norther central asia, which. and i read some where that the chinese, while conquering northern central asia, reached the caspian sea, thought they reached the end of the world, and turned back.

so even if persia couldnt get all the way to china, and vice versa, couldnt they have atleast been able to attack chinese holdings in central asia?

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Imperator Invictus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Mar-2006 at 12:35
There are maps which show Sui Dynasties control of norther central asia, which. and i read some where that the chinese, while conquering northern central asia, reached the caspian sea, thought they reached the end of the world, and turned back.


Those maps are incorrect or are exagerrating. And if anything, it couldn't have been the Sui Dynasty.




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Post Options Post Options   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Mar-2006 at 13:50

Even if the natural barriers did not exist, China would just have been over expansion and in the eyes of the Achaemenids they had everything worthwhile to them already.

And India was certainly an attractive prospect, its northern part at least and was a part of the Achaemenid empire.

Originally posted by Voyager

Ah, is this what Persians are? A bellicose people that attacks its neighbours?

Yes, that is why Iran has not started a war in 250 years, because its people are bellicose.



Edited by Zagros
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Mar-2006 at 00:06
Originally posted by Anujkhamar

Originally posted by Maju



So Persia had two lines of expansion: westward to where the riches and cities were, eastward to maybe less atractive India.

 

In what time period are you exactly talking about? (just so i can comment later)



I thought we were talking of Persia: Achaemenid Persia basically.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Kapikulu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Mar-2006 at 10:28
The furthest eastern action being taken was the partition of White Huns(Ephtalites) with Gokturks in Sassanid era. But China was not Persia's cup of tea...Both due to physical conditions, mountains in between..It was way too far.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Mar-2006 at 10:38

This si the Achaemenid empire at its greatest extent.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Iranian41ife Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Mar-2006 at 10:49

im not necessarily talking about the achaeminid empire. any of the persian empires.

actually, i think the arabs had persians in their army during the battle of talas, where they defeated the chinese and kicked them out of central asia.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote CamokaGurth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Mar-2006 at 15:17

They did fight the Chinese, but mostly on the battles they actually had with the Turks coming from Central Asia, who sometimes allied with local Chinese warlords and fought together against Persian armies.

Such confrontations are also mentioned in the epic of Alp Er Tunga, one of the many great Turkish heroes. According to the epic, the Turks called help from the Chinese as a result of the Persian King Keykavus asking Rustem to aid them in destroying the invading Turkish armies, after which a Chinese ruler himself came to aid the Turks with his contingent.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote The Charioteer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Mar-2006 at 12:15

The first Chinese diplomat ZhangQian traveled to central Asia was sent by emperor Wudi of Han dynasty in China's seek of political&militarty alliance with people of the¡°great YueZhi¡±against the nomadic XiongNu confederacy. The Han emperor Wudi see Zhang's diplomatic mission a stratagem of ¡°cutting off XiongNu's right arm¡± as a part of his overall strategy to weaken the XiongNu.

From the incentive of Zhang's mission, its obvious Chinese presence in central Asia was originally due to seeking alliance than complete conquest, since XiongNu was the real threat to the Chinese at the time, and arguably nomads from northern steppe in general throughout Chinese history.

But with later development of the¡°Silk road¡±, Chinese military presence in central Asia also meant to protect this important trade route. As China during Han&Tang dynasty still depended their trades with West heavyly via this land route, as maritime trading route used by the Song dynasty was not yet becoming predominant, coped with the fact that Song Chinese political&cultural centre shifted to south due to incursion&blockade of Jurchen's Jin&Tangut's Western Xia dynasties.

The stripe of land linking¡°China proper¡±and¡°Western region¡±was called ¡°HeXi corridor¡±,originally a major XiongNu pastureland, conquered by Han Wudi,since then the corridor ever became a gateway for China trading with countries of West. During middle Tang era, the rise of Tubo(Tibetan) kingdom posed great threat at time to the Tang dynasty, coped with revolt of AnLuShan, Tang were unable to defend the corridor, and lost it to Tibetan kingdom for nearly a century. Later with the Jurchen Jin invasion of northern&central China, Southern Song controlled only southern half of China,Tangut Xia controlled the corridor, access for Chinese goods(tea&porcelain) which were largely produced in Southern provinces found themselves substitution of early land route used by Han&Tang dynasties with now booming maritime trades of Southern Song dynasty.

The Ming dynasty emperor YongLe relied trade via sea-routes as well,as he sent ZhengHe to the Western ocean seven times in 29 years. But YongLe did try to install Chinese-sponsored local ruler in HaMi(in XinJiang), the establishment of HaMi is one of series of strategical points YongLe set along the entire northern and western Chinese frontiers. Coped with reconstructuon of entire stone-built Great Wall.  It was more of defensive measures against the beaten but not vanished Northern Yuan Mongols presence(and the Mongol in general) than possible resume central Asia to Chinese influence.

The Qing expansion into the region was to crashed the Zhungarian Mongols, Manchu conquered China with the alliance of the Mongols, if Gerdan(leader of Zhungarian) was to be allowed successful in subduing Mongols of outer&inner Mongolia, the political&military alliance between the Manchu&Mongol would crumble, follow that,together with internal revolts of Han-Chinese (which never ceased throughout Qing dynasty), would serious challenge the fate of the dynasty. Thus, Qing's military penetration into Xinjiang was rather emphasized at suppressing rival faction within its political framework(Manchu&Mongol alliance, which formed ever since the era of Nurhachi, first of emperor of LaterJin/Qing dynasty) than territorial ambition on central Asia region, thats why Qing dynasty actually rejected request by Uzbegstan as ¡°vassal state¡±of Qing. The incentive for the Qing into the region was not the same with that of Han&Tang. Also by the fact, Qing has isolationist foreign policy.

Overall, its highly unlikely(not likely at all if one stick to history rather than hypothesis) for Chinese dynasties to take the initiative on military ambition for Persia. China itself was already enough of a "world" for conquest and competition for historical Chinese&non-Chinese factons.



Edited by The Charioteer
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Mar-2006 at 13:10

Good info Charioteer.

CamokaGurth, I believe you are speaking of the Shahnameh, there were no Turks mentioned in that and certainly not Apla Tungra, the stories of the Shahnameh are made from local legends from Sassanids and earlier dynasties, for example, Rostam is the great Sassanid General.

The Turanians of the Shahnameh spoke the same language as the Iranians and were drawn from the same root.  The Turan Vs Iran legends come from the Avestan (Gathas).  They attest that the Iranians and Turanians were on people and were at war on religious grounds.  The Iranians moved to a more organised religion and the Turanians kept their shamanistic beliefs.  Turan = Scythians and Iran = Pre Achaemenid Iranians, the Medes and Persians.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote CamokaGurth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Mar-2006 at 17:28
Originally posted by Guests

Good info Charioteer.

CamokaGurth, I believe you are speaking of the Shahnameh, there were no Turks mentioned in that and certainly not Apla Tungra, the stories of the Shahnameh are made from local legends from Sassanids and earlier dynasties, for example, Rostam is the great Sassanid General.

The Turanians of the Shahnameh spoke the same language as the Iranians and were drawn from the same root.  The Turan Vs Iran legends come from the Avestan (Gathas).  They attest that the Iranians and Turanians were on people and were at war on religious grounds.  The Iranians moved to a more organised religion and the Turanians kept their shamanistic beliefs.  Turan = Scythians and Iran = Pre Achaemenid Iranians, the Medes and Persians.

I was talking about the Epic of Alp Er Tunga, although I've read some part of the Shahname, I was actually talking about the Turkish epic of Alp Er Tunga. It was about the fall of the hero on his ambition to conquer Persia.

Here I'll give you the link if your interested:

http://www.kultur.gov.tr/EN/BelgeGoster.aspx?17A16AE30572D31 3AC8287D72AD903BE44378E39D910E761

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