The 唐 Tang Imperial dynasty (618-907) was if not the most glorious, at least one of the most glorious ruling houses of China.

Tang General Li Jing 李 靖 (571-649) defeated in year 630 Illig Qaghan (his title) aka Ashina Duobi (his personal name with the surname first & his given name second), the last Emperor (Qaghan) of the Eastern Turkic Khaganate.

The other component of the whole confederation called the Göktürks (Blue Türks or Heavenly Türks/to be precise, Gök means *azure*, bright blue or blue-green ) is the Western Turkic Khaganate.

Culturally speaking, within the Turkic World, colors are correlated with the cardinal directions. Bright Blue has the preeminence and is used for signaling the superiority or the seniority of a group of Türks among their peoples. Bright Blue/Azure is correlated with the East, the direction of the rising Sun. The West is correlated with White. The North with Black and the South with Red.

If you look at a map, this tradition from the Eurasian steppe still has an impact nowadays. Imagine you’re living in Anatolia, part of modern Turkey : to the West is *Ak Deniz* aka the WHITE SEA or the Mediterranean Sea. To the North is *Kara Deniz* aka the BLACK SEA. To the South is *Kyzyl Deniz* aka the RED SEA. To the East is *Gök Deniz* aka the AZURE SEA or the Caspian Sea.

The Western Turkic Khaganate has been vanquished in 643 by a Chinese military expedition commanded by the Emperor Tang Taizong (born in 598/ruled 626-649). Their defeat in 657 was total under the reign of Taizong’s successor, the Emperor Gaozong (born in 628/ruled 649-683). The Chinese Empire reached its maximal extent ever then, about 15 million square kilometers with the Turkic Protectorates. The Emperor of China was then also the Qaghan of the Türks.

The defeated Türks who did not surrender to the Chinese Tang Empire fled to the West.

They created the Turkic Khazaria Kingdom (630-960)

They also created the Oghuz Yabgu State (loosely translated as The Society ruled by the King/Yabgu). The Oghuz Yabgu State was organized into 24 tribes. The KINIK tribe gave birth to the SALDJUK EMPERORS having ruled Iran & other SALDJUKS SOVEREIGNS having ruled parts of West Asia. The KAYI tribe created the OTTOMAN EMPIRE (1299-1922).

The Battle of 白 江 口 (Bai2 Jiang1 Kou3 in Chinese) or the Battle of Baekgang-gu (in Korean) or the Battle of Hakusukinoe (in Japanese) happened on October 4 & 5, 663. The Tang Imperial troops together with their allies the Koreans of the Silla Kingdom were victorious over Yamato Japan and their allies from Baekje Korea. As a result, the Japanese did not bother the Chinese Empire for almost a millennium. Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537-1598) tried to conquer Korea in 1592. The Japanese troops have been defeated by the Chinese Ming Empire (1368-1644) assisted by their Korean vassals.

The Tang Empire troops led by General Tang Jiahui (commander of China’s four Anxi garrisons in Central Asia) were victorious at the Battle of Aksu (western part of present days Xinjiang province of China) in year 717. In 717, the Umayyad Caliphate’s (661-750) troops and their allies laid siege to the City of Buat-Huan (known as Aksu nowadays). The actual battlefield was near modern China’s border with Kyrgyzstan. The Umayyad Caliphate’s allies were the Turkic confederation named Turgesh and the Tibetans. The allies of the Tang Empire were the Turkic confederation named Karluk and the Western Turks led by the nomadic Gökturk Prince Ashina Xin. After the battle, the Turgesh submitted to the Tang Empire and subsequently attacked the Umayyad Caliphate in Ferghana (eastern part of modern Uzbekistan) and having ultimately conquered Ferghana. The victory near Buat-Huan (Aksu) in 717 by the Tang Empire stopped the advance to the East of the Muslim expansion. It was the eastern equivalent to the victory of Poitiers fifteen years later, in 732 by Charles Martel, Charlemagne’s grand-father, who stopped the advance to the West of the Muslim expansion.


The Guanlong Aristocracy was the fusion of the Grasslands 草 原 (Cao3 Yuan2) nomadic aristocracy AND the Central Plains 中 原 (Zhong1 Yuan2) Confucian aristocracy.

The Guanlong Aristocracy gave birth to 4 imperial dynasties having ruled from 550 to 907 :

●● The Northern Zhou dynasty (557-581) having overthrown the Western Wei dynasty (535-557) and having ended the Northern Qi dynasty in 577.

●● The Northern Qi dynasty (550-577) having destroyed the Eastern Wei dynasty (Nov 5, 534 to 550)

●● The Sui dynasty (581-618)

●● The Tang dynasty (618-907)

關 陇 军 事 贵 族 (Guan1 Long2 Jun1 Shi4 Gui4 Zu3), meaning the Military Guanlong Aristocracy.

關 (Guan1) is the old name for the present Shaanxi province and 陇 (Long2) the old name for the present Gansu province.

Their place of origin was 武 川 (Wu3 Chuan1 town. Wuchuan town was one of the 6 Garrison Towns of the Northern Wei dynasty : 386-535) aptly meaning the *Warriors’ River* and situated in Inner Mongolia, just to the northeast of the horizontal northern section of the Yellow River 黄 河 (Huang2 He2).

The Northern Wei dynasty’s (386-535) rulers were ethnically XianBei 鲜 卑 (Xian1 Bei4) people (Proto-Mongols).

Their Capital City was first established at Pingcheng (modern Datong) then transferred, as part of their sinicization and acceptance of the Confucian Classical Education, to the south at Luoyang in 494. The sinicization process was accelerated during the Taihe period (477-499), meaning the reign of Emperor Xiaowen guided during his minority by Grand Empress Dowager Feng who was born in 442 and ruled as regent for Emperor Xiaowen from 476 till her death in 490 (34 to 48 years old). In 480, Emperor Xiaowen was theoretically major at thirteen years old but retained much deference to Grand Empress Dowager Feng and let her rule till her death in 490. Emperor Xiaowen was 23 years old in 490. He will die 9 years later in 499 at 32 years old.

Their XianBei family name was Tuoba (written Tabgatch in old Western books on Chinese History). They changed it to the Chinese name Yuan 元 (Yuan2). For example, Emperor Xiaowen’s (born in 467/ruled 471 to 499 : nominal rule from 471 to 490 & real rule from 490 to 499) original name was Tuoba Hong 拓 拔 宏 (Tuo4 Ba2 Hong2) and was changed to Yuan Hong 元 宏 !Yuan2 Hong2).

In 535, the Northern Wei dynasty split into the Western Wei dynasty (535-557) & the Eastern Wei dynasty (534-550).

The Chinese historian Chen Yinke 陈 寅 恪 (Chen2 Yin2 Ke4/1890-1969), considered one of the most original and creative historians in 20th century China, described the Guanlong Aristocracy with the following words : ” THEY STUDIED THE BEST OF THE BARBARIANS AND INTEGRATED THEM INTO ANCIENT CHINESE CULTURE, THEY ABOLISHED THE BAD AND EMBRACED THE GOOD, THEY REMOVED THE CORRUPTED , AND OPENED UP TO THE NEW, THEY EXPANDED THEIR INFLUENCE THROUGHOUT CHINA AND CAN SINGLE-HANDEDLY CHANGE THE POLITICAL CLIMATE OF THE ERA. “

●●●●● Yuwen Tai ●●●●●

Yuwen Tai 宇 文 泰 (Yu3 Wen2 Tai4/507-556) was a member of the Guanlong Aristocracy and created the Northern Zhou imperial dynasty (557-581).

Below is the hylerlink to a docudrama (English subtitles available) featuring Yuwen Tai’s frienship with the Chinese scholar 苏 绰 Su Chuo (Su1 Chuo4; 497-547) with whom he built the greatness of the Northern Zhou imperial dynasty :

●●●●● Yang Jian ●●●●●

In 581, the Northern Zhou dynasty ended and was succeeded by the Sui dynasty (581-618).

Yang Jian 杨 堅 (Yang2 Jian1; 541-604), the founding father of the Sui imperial dynasty as Emperor Wen (ruled 581-604) and his wife Dugu Jialuo 独 孤 伽 罗 (Du2 Gu1 Jia1 Luo2; 544-602), were both members of the Guanlong Aristocracy. When they married in 557, he was 16 and she was 13.

From his father’s (Yang Zhong 杨 忠 507-568) side, Yang Jian was a member of the old Chinese (Han) Noble House of the Yang from Hongnong 弘 農 杨 氏 (Hong2 Nong2 Yang2 Shi4). The Hongnong commandery was established in 113 BCE during the 4-century long Han dynasty (206 BCE to 220 CE). His ancestor during the Han dynasty was general Yang Zhen. Their remote ancestor having created the Yang Noble House was a son of Duke Wu (died in 677 BCE) of the Principality of Jin 晋. His personal name was Ji Boqiao 姬 伯 桥 (Ji1 Bo2 Qiao2). The Dukes of Jin form a cadet branch of the Ji 姬 Royal House aka the Zhou 周 dynasty (1046 BCE to 256 BCE).

During the rule of the Northern Wei imperial dynasty (386-435), of the Western Wei imperial dynasty (535-557) and of the Northern Zhou imperial dynasty (557-581), the members of the Hongnong Yang Noble House inter-married a lot with the members of the nomadic aristocracy, thus contributing significantly to the birth of the Guanlong Aristocracy, resulting from the fusion of the Central Plain (中 原 Zhong1 Yuan2) Confucianist aristocracy AND the Grasslands (草 原 Cao3 Yuan2) nomadic aristocracy.

Below is the hyperlink to a docudrama (English subtitles available) about Yang Jian & Dugu Jialuo’s love story :

●●●●● Images from the Tang dynasty ●●●●●

Li Yuan 李 淵 (Li3 Yuan1; 566-635), the founding father of the Tang imperial dynasty (618-907) as Emperor Tang Gaozu (ruled 618-626) was a son of Li Bin and his wife, Duchess Dugu, a sister of Dugu Jialuo; all three were members of the Guanlong Aristocracy.

Below is the hyperlink to a docudrama (English subtitles available) vividly showcasing the lives of some interesting people having flourished during the heyday of the Tang dynasty (618-907) :

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