Lecture 18 “Islamic order” and “Huayi order” — Analysis of the regional order relationship between China and the Abbasid Dynasty in the 8th century, two great empires emerged at the East and West ends of the Asian continent, namely the Abbasid Empire (750-1258) and the Tang Dynasty (618-907). I. some structural characteristics of the Abbas Dynasty and the Tang Dynasty.
In order to understand the similarities and differences between the two empires, it is necessary to first analyze the four noteworthy aspects of the two countries.
There are many nations and empires, but they can still control the vast territory and culture.
The Abbasid Dynasty is the Arab Empire (called “Dashi” in ancient China), with a vast territory.
Its subjects include a large number of Persians, Turks, Berbers, Kurds and Armenians, most of whom have their own language and culture.
In addition, West Asia and North Africa belong to arid and semi-arid areas, where many nomadic tribes move freely between deserts and oases, thus posing a constant threat to the central government.
In fact, the Arabs did not leave nomadic life for a long time, which had a far-reaching impact on the social and political organization of the Empire.
In the early days of the Abbasid Dynasty, the process of Islamization was not completed.
Christians, Zoroastrians and Jews in the Empire are called “Demi” (with Scriptures).
They can freely believe in religion and enjoy judicial autonomy, but they must pay poll tax and abide by the regulations on horse riding and clothing.
Pagans are increasingly converted to Islam and living together with Muslims.
The Caliph intermarries with foreign women and has mixed descendants.
Persians and Christians Become officials, while Persians and Turks have successively become the main force of the army.
Many Arabs are no longer soldiers, but farmers and craftsmen.
In short, the Abbasid Empire has become an Islamic Empire and no longer a Umayyad “Arab Empire”.
Moreover, the Persians, Turks and Berbers became the right assistants of the Arabs in the conquest.
At the same time, the Empire pursued an open policy and absorbed a large number of cultures of different nationalities, which led to the prosperity of the translation movement for a century.
China is also a pluralistic empire.
However, different from the Arab Empire, China has a more dominant ethnic group, namely the Han nationality, which accounts for more than the proportion of Arabs in the population of the Abbasid Empire, and has a long settlement history and occupies the position of ruler for a long time.
Moreover, China has a more centralized bureaucracy and tighter control over other provinces, although the Tang Dynasty also had problems caused by vassal towns.
These factors determine that China’s social cohesion exceeds that of the Arab Empire.
The Tang Dynasty was also famous for its opening to the outside world, which was highlighted in the integration of nationalities.
The royal family originated in Gansu in the northwest and is said to have Turkic descent.
The dynasty formulated different policies to deal with the problem of internal attachments, which are border ethnic groups allowed to move to the mainland.
Some of them served as senior government officials, such as Anlushan’s parents, who are said to be “miscellaneous Hu”.
Chang’an has temples of Nestorianism, Buddhism, Manichaeism and Islam.
It has also become the most important place for Buddhist scripture translation.
The ability of the two empires to maintain control over their vast territory shows that they have a cohesive culture that can unite ethnic minorities.
However, both empires encountered difficulties in this regard and lost territory as a result.
Second, the two empires are economically complementary.
Due to the differences in landform, climate, technology and products, the two empires could provide each other with their own special commodities.
In particular, the Abbas Dynasty made huge profits by transferring Chinese transit commodities to Europe.
As a result, the silk road has become a prosperous trade route and an important channel for cultural exchanges.
It also has strategic significance.
For example, in the 6th century, the Byzantine Empire carried out silk trade with the Turks and jointly attacked Persia, which hindered trade between the two sides.
In contrast, East Asian countries have poor economic complementarity and small trade scale.
Third, both empires belong to universal empires with egocentric ideology and culture, and are committed to establishing universal order.
In fact, the ideology and culture of egocentrism are common to many nationalities in the world.
Before the establishment of Islam, Arabs knew that there were other advanced cultures, such as Byzantium, Western Europe, Persia and China.
However, Muslims believe that Allah is the only God in the world, the prophet is the last prophet, and the Koran contains all the truth.
After the 8th century, Muslims also proposed that the world be divided into two opposing areas, namely, “Dar El Islam” and “Dar El Harb”.
The “Islamic region” is not equal to the “war region” in terms of legitimacy or sovereignty.
The latter should be transformed from a “natural attribute” into the territory of Allah.
Therefore, one of the tasks of the Caliph is to expand the territory of the “Islamic region” through conquest.
China is located in a geographically closed area of East Asia, so the “world” refers to the world in the pre-Qin period.
The “world” can be divided into three regions: China, composed of Kyushu, is the center of the world, and the emperor is the son of heaven.
Outside China, there are “Four Seas” and “four barbarians” (Dongyi, Xirong, Nanman and Beidi) live here.
This region, together with China, constitutes a political entity and wears the emperor of China as its king.
Beyond the four seas is the “four wastelands”, where non-human beings live.
At the same time, with the growth of knowledge, the scope of the four seas is also expanding.
“Siyi” was relatively backward in culture and social economy, so the ancients thought it was lower than that of China.
However, these groups belong to the same company as Huaxia, so the book of rites says: “take the world as one”.
Therefore, the control of the surrounding areas should adopt moral influence.
The so-called “people who are soft and far away will return to them in all directions”.
Unlike Arabia, Chinese culture is basically secular, so it is vulnerable to the infiltration of foreign religions.
Fourth, the two empires pursued different territorial strategies and built their own international systems.
In just 100 years, the Arabs stormed East and West, and finally established a huge empire from the middle of the river in the east to North Africa and Spain in the West.
The reasons for this conquest are various: religious enthusiasm, population pressure on the Arabian Peninsula, the intention of the rulers to shift the attention of the tribe from internal struggle and social contradictions to booty, the desire for trade, land, wealth and market, and the consolidation of the unity of the Arabian Peninsula.
As a result, a “Pax Islamic order” emerged in West Asia and North Africaa) International system.
Many contemporary Muslim scholars and ordinary Muslims equate “Islamic order” with “Islamic region” and Umma, that is, including non muslims.
After the pagans submit to the “Islamic order”, they can still pursue spiritual freedom.
As the Koran says, “religion is not forced” (2:256).
We believe that the early “Islamic order” also includes a layer of meaning, that is, the Caliph must come from Arabs and be of ancient Laixi nationality.
Within the scope of “Islamic order”, a far-reaching Arab Islamic cultural circle has been formed.
In fact, the “Islamic order” has gradually become a hierarchical international system.
The Abbasid Empire had 27 provinces during the Maimon period, and after the mid-8th century, the governors of many distant provinces established independent Dynasties: the post Umayyad Dynasty in Spain (756-1031).
Tahir Dynasty (821-873), Safar Dynasty (873-900) and Saman Dynasty (900-999) in huloshan.
The Tulun Dynasty in Egypt and Syria (868-905).
Lustam Dynasty in Algeria (761-909).
Idriss Dynasty in Morocco (789-926).
Agrarian Dynasty in Tunisia and eastern Algeria (800-909).
After the disintegration of the Tang Dynasty, there were more independent dynasties in the Middle East.
After 945, the Baiyi people even controlled the political and military power of the Empire.
At this time, the Caliph can only play the role of religious leader (the post Umayyad Dynasty and kalmat people also established their own Caliph).
The conflict between the Caliph and the governor is generally out of power and sometimes religious (for example, the Sunni Caliph opposes the Shia governor).
Obviously, the international system of Europe and West Asia contains a number of Empires and kingdoms that are often divided by religion, which is different from East Asia (scholar Xu zhuoyun believes that the above-mentioned regions belong to the institutional order of other countries).
Internationally, the abbasians pursued a policy of “distant communication and close attack”.
For example, they joined forces with the Catholic Franks to deal with the Byzantium of the Orthodox Church.
The territory of the Tang Dynasty was indeed larger than that of the previous dynasty, but the expansion of the territory of China was a gradual process, during which waves of immigrants settled in the Central Plains and married with the Han nationality.
The policy of the Tang Dynasty towards the surrounding nationalities can be summarized as follows: attack the powerful NATIONALITIES (such as Turks, Tubo and Tuyuhun) who often invade the Central Plains and threaten the security of the country, vassal states and commercial routes, and then establish Jimi Prefecture in their area.
Support powerful small countries (such as Nanzhao) to stabilize regional order.
Attack small countries that “disrupt regional order” (such as Koguryo).
Controlling small countries in the western regions.
Spread Chinese culture to the surrounding areas.
Another common strategy is to support small countries and ethnic groups against regional powers, such as Xinluo against Koguryo, xueyantuo against Fudong Turks, Nanzhao and Uighur against Tubo, and Tuqi against big food.
In this way, the Tang dynasty built an international system in East Asia, namely “Hua Yi order”.
It includes five circles: ① in the Tang Dynasty, there were 328 prefectures, which implemented the county system.
② There are 856 prefectures in Jimi Prefecture, which are governed by Han officials and local ethnic leaders, with a high degree of autonomy in land, military and taxation.
③ More autonomous ethnic areas, such as Turks, Uighurs, Tubo, Nanzhao and Bohai Sea.
④ Countries with certain dependence, such as Xinluo and Linyi.
⑤ Sovereign states with only the name of tribute, such as Dashi and Japan (and Sassanian Persia, whose King Pylos came to Tang for help).
The first two areas were the territory of the Tang Dynasty, but Jimi Prefecture was easy to lose when the national power declined.
In addition, during this period, East Asia formed a cultural circle.
The Korean Peninsula, Japan and Vietnam fully absorbed Chinese culture, and culture became one of the important manifestations of the strength of the Tang Dynasty.
Xu zhuoyun believes that before the Sui and Tang Dynasties, China suffered from the invasion of Hu people from the west, North and East for a long time, and its north became a battlefield.
Therefore, during this period, China has been in an “invading pattern.
All ethnic groups gathered in China, but did not carry forward the momentum of expansion”.
By the Sui and Tang Dynasties, after accumulating “enough cultural and economic energy”, it finally became the center of East Asian cultural, economic and political order (Asian order).
In addition, China’s political unity is guided by cultural unity.
Comparatively speaking, the establishment of the Arab Empire is that political unity precedes cultural unity, which may be one of the reasons for the differences in the continuity of the two empires.
With the expansion of territory, the conflict between the eastern and Western empires on the Asian continent is inevitable, not only in culture, but also in politics and military.
Second, the relationship between the Abbas Empire and the Tang Dynasty.
First, militarily and politically, it evolved from competing for Central Asia to peaceful coexistence and cooperation.
The Silk Road after the 7th century has four main lines: ① oasis Silk Road, the most important trade route, passes through the western regions dominated by Western Turks.
② The northern grassland Silk Road, controlled by the eastern Turks, was later called “towering Khan road”.
③ Southwest Yi Road, passing through Tuyuhun, also known as “Qinghai Road”.
④ The maritime silk road is the only trade route that is not subject to Siyi.
It can be seen that dealing with the relationship with the above nationalities is a major topic for the Tang Dynasty.
In the western regions and the river region, there are many oasis countries and regional powers (West Turk, Tubo and Tuyuhun).
Before the Tang Dynasty, China had a great influence on the western regions, but the Tang Dynasty expected to establish direct control.
The main purposes were: ① protect the oasis country and build the Silk Road order.
② Prevent the West Turks from taxing these countries and prevent the big food from seizing Central Asia (this paper refers to Hezhong and tuhuoluo).
③ Isolate Tubo and Western Turks.
The Arabs set out from Persia and marched to the East in two directions: Central Asia and India.
In India, after years of war, they occupied several parts of the Indus River Basin.
In Central Asia, the Tang Dynasty was already the local master.
Turkic was a great trouble in the north of the Tang Dynasty.
From 629 to 630, the Tang army defeated the eastern Turks, and Taizong set up Jimi Prefecture in its territory.
Then he accepted the title of “heavenly Khan” from the four kings.
In 634, the West Turk was divided into two.
The Tang army took the opportunity to subdue the countries on the South Tianshan Road and set up the Anxi capital protectorate with four towns.
In 657, the Tang dynasty fell to the West Turks.
In 659 and 661, the nine surnames of Zhaowu in Hezhong and the 16 countries to the east of Persia were attached respectively.
Hezhong, tuhuoluo and the western regions became Jimi Prefecture of the Tang Dynasty.
In 702, the Tang Dynasty set up the northern court capital protector to govern the North Tianshan Road.
In 635, the Tang Dynasty destroyed Tuyuhun and fell into direct confrontation with Tubo.
The Arabs soon occupied Persia, and the river and tuhuoluo became the battlefields of the Tang Dynasty.
However, the great enemy of the Tang Dynasty in the western regions was Tubo, coupled with its control over the western regionsFrequent uprisings against Arabs (e.g. 708-710727-737747-748751759776-883777806-810), and only 70 years after the end of the battle of Talos, the local governor declared independence.
At the same time, the actions of Arabs in Central Asia also restrained Tubo, who could no longer invade the Tang Dynasty at will.
The Arab army’s assistance to Tang after the an Shi rebellion proved that cooperative relations had been formed between the two empires.
As for the economic and cultural exchanges between the two sides, there is no need to say more.
There are other reasons for the peaceful coexistence between the two empires.
For example, the distance between the political centers of the two sides, the religious nature of Islamic civilization and the Secularity of Chinese civilization as a whole (religion can not become the background of the conflict in East Asia).
On the contrary, in West Asia and Europe, there are great powers and competing religions such as Arab Empire, Byzantium and Persia, which are easy to lead to war.
In addition, although the two empires are strong, they still have various problems in peripheral relations and domestic ethnic affairs.
The Abbasid Empire faced challenges from Christian countries, while the Tang Dynasty was plagued by Turks, Tubo, Tuyuhun and Nanzhao.
In Abbas, the relationship between Arabs and Persians and Turks is becoming more and more complex.
The senior officials of the latter two groups either declare independence or monopolize power, making the Caliph the master of Baghdad.
The Tang Dynasty also suffered the turbulence of the an Shi rebellion, and finally fell into division and war, and many of these rulers came from ethnic minorities.
The division of Five Dynasties and ten countries marks the end of China’s political center in East Asia.
Since then, East Asia has formed a foreign system in which song, Liao, Xia and Jin stand side by side, and song is in a weak position.
Korea, Japan and Dali (the former Nanzhao) no longer regard song as the superior state of the Chinese dynasty.
The silk road has played an important role in the history of China Arab relations and the world economic and cultural history.
A huge Eurasian trade system has been formed along the silk road.
As scholars said, after the formation of Islam, international trade and cultural exchanges in Eurasia expanded rapidly, and more regions and countries were involved, such as the Korean Peninsula and Japan, Southeast Asia, Russia, Europe and Africa.
As mentioned above, the Arab Empire, the Tang Dynasty, Tubo and Western Turks all deliberately controlled the Silk Road, regardless of whether their economic basis was agriculture or nomadism.
In short, this struggle proves the conflict between the agricultural civilization in the South (Arab Empire, Tang Dynasty) and the nomadic civilization in the North (Western Turks, etc.
) around the Silk Road: the agricultural civilization tries to protect the Silk Road, while the nomadic civilization tries to harass it.
But in fact, nomads also hope to benefit from trade and cultural exchanges between the East and the west, and they have directly established the grassland Silk Road (with photos).
The two empires at their peak ensured the smooth flow of the silk road.
After the decline of the two empires, the Silk Road trade degenerated into regional trade until the rise of the Mongols, during which the maritime Silk Road became the main east-west trade route.
India in the south of the silk road also benefits from international trade, but it is often under the pressure of division and foreign invasion, and it is difficult to make a significant contribution to the security of the silk road.
However, India is an important transit point for maritime trade.
The history of the relationship between Abbas and the Tang Dynasty makes people see the significance of coordinating different civilizations and strengthening peaceful economic and cultural exchanges.
The postscript “Eighteen lectures on the history and current situation of the Middle East” describes the history of the Middle East for thousands of years.
To some extent, it is also a summary of my own research on the Middle East for a quarter of a century.
Some of the chapters are originally published papers, which have been revised after being included.
Others are specially written according to the requirements of the lecture style.
In terms of content, the content of this lecture covers a wide range, including ancient history and religion in the Middle East, ancient civilization exchanges, medieval Islamic political and religious relations, modern nationalist movement, modern Zionism, Afghanistan issue, Palestine issue, Islamic revolution in Iran, Iraq issue, economic development and social changes of oil producing countries The characteristics of the modernization of the Middle East and the relationship between the medieval Arab Empire and China.
Due to the rich content of the history of the Middle East, this lecture mainly selects some important topics, and the focus is to take care of some contemporary hot issues.
At the same time, there are two lectures at the beginning of the lecture, which summarize the geography, ancient and modern history of the whole Middle East, so as to achieve the combination of point and area.
Related to this, the lectures also try to take into account the academic nature, so as to achieve the combination of popularization and scholarship.
A major feature of the history of the Middle East is its fracture, which is prominently reflected in religion.
Therefore, the general reader’s impression of the Middle East often separates the Islamic period from the ancient period and believes that the two are definitely different.
In terms of discipline, they are also divided into two independent fields, namely, Islamic Middle East and ancient civilization.
The languages they use in their research are also different: the former is Arabic, Turkish, Persian, Pashto, etc.
, and the latter is Egyptian hieroglyphics, Mesopotamian cuneiform, Hittite, Hebrew, Aramaic, etc.
However, ancient civilizations have a profound impact on the Islamic Middle East.
Therefore, this lecture includes some preliminary research results of the author in this regard, from which we can clearly understand this point.
The history of the Middle East is very long and brilliant, and its research is also very difficult.
Although I have studied the Middle East for many years and covered a wide range, there are inevitably many problems due to my limited personal ability and mainly based on Western languages.
I hope readers can correct me.
Huang Minxing September 2008.