Donghu (simplified Chinese: 东胡; traditional Chinese: 東胡; pinyin: Dōnghú; Wade–Giles: Tung-hu; literally: "Eastern foreigners" or "Eastern barbarians") was a confederation of Eurasian nomads that was first recorded from the 7th century BCE and was destroyed by the Xiongnu in 150 BCE. They lived in northern Hebei, southeastern Inner Mongolia and the western part of Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang along the Yan Mountains and Greater Khingan Range.
Part of a series on the
|History of Manchuria|
The Classical Chinese name Chinese: 東胡 literally means "Eastern Barbarians". The term Donghu contrasts with the term "Western barbarians" (Chinese: 西胡, meaning "non-Chinese peoples in India, Persia, Turkestan, etc."[clarification needed] and Five Barbarians 五胡 "five northern nomadic tribes involved in the Uprising of the Five Barbarians (304–316 CE)". Hill (2009:59) translates Xihu as "Western Hu" and notes:
The term hu 胡 was used to denote non-Han Chinese populations. It is, rather unsatisfactorily, commonly translated as 'barbarian'. While sometimes it was used in this general way to describe people of non-Han descent, and carried the same negative overtones of the English term, this was not always the case. Most frequently, it was used to denote people, usually of Caucasoid or partial Caucasoid appearance, living to the north and west of China. (2009:453)
The usual English translation of Donghu is "Eastern Barbarians" (e.g., Watson, di Cosmo, Pulleyblank, and Yu), and the partial translation "Eastern Hu" is occasionally used (Pulleyblank). Note that "Eastern Barbarians" is also a translation for Dongyi 東夷, which refers to "ancient peoples in eastern China, Korea, Japan, etc."[clarification needed]
Chinese Sinocentrism differentiates the Huaxia 華夏 "Chinese" and the Yi 夷 "barbarians, non-Chinese, foreigner": this is referred to as the Hua–Yi distinction. Many names besides Hu originally had pejorative "barbarian" meanings, for instance Nanman 南蠻 ("southern barbarians") and Beidi 北狄 ("northern barbarians"). Edwin G. Pulleyblank explains:
At the dawn of history we find the Chinese, self-identified by such terms as Hsia and Hua, surrounded and interspersed by other peoples with whom they were frequently in conflict and whom they typically looked down upon as inferior beings in the same was the Hellenes looked down on the barbaroi and, indeed, as human we-groups have always looked down on their neighbors.
The historian Nicola di Cosmo concludes:
We can thus reasonably say that, by the end of the fourth century B.C., the term "Hu" applied to various ethnic groups (tribes, groups of tribes, and even states) speaking different languages and generally found living scattered across a wide territory. Their fragmentation, however, could be turned, when the need arose, into a superior form of political organization (a "state"). This explains why hu appears often preceded by a qualifier that we may take for a specific ethnic group, as with the Lin Hu and the Tung Hu. Whether or not it had originally been an ethnonym, such a designation had been lost by the Warring States period.
In modern Standard Chinese usage hu has lost its original meaning although it still appears in words like erhu 二胡 (lit. "two foreign") "Chinese two-string fiddle", hutiao 胡桃 ("foreign peach") "walnut", and huluobo 胡萝卜 ("foreign radish") "carrot".
The modern pronunciation Dōnghú differs from the Old Chinese pronunciation, which roughly dates from the Warring States Period (476–221 BCE) when Donghu was first recorded. Old Chinese reconstructions of Dōnghú include *Tûngγâg, *Tungg'o, *Tewnggaγ, *Tongga, and *Tôŋgâ.
The etymology of Donghu is unknown. The traditional explanation, going back to the second-century Han dynasty scholar Cui Hao 崔浩 is that the Donghu were originally located "east of the Xiongnu" who were one of the "Five Barbarians" (Hu). Modern Chinese apologetics suggests that "Donghu" was a transcription of an endonym and did not literally mean "Eastern Barbarian".
Some dictionaries confuse Donghu 東胡 with Tungusic peoples, Tonggu 通古. This "chance similarity in modern pronunciation", writes Pulleyblank, "led to the once widely held assumption that the Eastern Hu were Tungusic in language. This is a vulgar error with no real foundation."
Among the northern ethnic groups, the Donghu was the earliest to evolve into a state of civilization and first developed bronze technology. They spoke proto-Mongolian language and their culture was associated with the Upper Xiajiadian culture, characterized by the practice of agriculture and animal husbandry supplemented by handicrafts and bronze art. Through the use of cavalry and bronze weaponry in warfare, they dominated over the Xiongnu on their west.
At this time Qin and Jin were the most powerful states in China. Duke Wen of Jin expelled the Di barbarians and drove them into the region west of the Yellow River between the Yun and Luo rivers; there they were known as the Red Di and the White Di. Shortly afterwards, Duke Mu of Qin, having obtained the services of You Yu, succeeded in getting the eight barbarian tribes of the west to submit to his authority.
Thus at this time there lived in the region west of Long the Mianzhu, the Hunrong, and the Diyuan tribes. North of Mts. Qi and Liang and the Jing and Qi rivers lived the Yiqu, Dali, Wuzhi, and Quyuan tribes. North of Jin were the Linhu (Forest Barbarians) and the Loufan, while north of Yan lived the Donghu (Eastern Barbarians) and Shanrong (Mountain Barbarians), each of them with their own chieftains. From time to time they would have gatherings of a hundred or so men, but no one tribe was capable of unifying the others under a single rule.
In 300 BCE Qin Kai, a general taken hostage from the state of Yan (whose capital "Ji" is now present-day Beijing), defeated the Donghu after having gained the esteem of the Donghu and learning their battle tactics. By the time of the rule of the Xiongnu Chanyu Touman (c. 220 BCE to 209 BCE), ". . . the Eastern Barbarians were very powerful and the Yuezhi were likewise flourishing." When the Xiongnu crown prince Modu Chanyu killed his father, Touman (in 209 BCE) and took the title of Chanyu, the Donghu thought that Modu feared them, and they started to ask for tribute from the Xiongnu, and even a consort of Modu's. Not satisfied with this they asked for some of the Xiongnu territories. This enraged Modu who attacked and soundly defeated them, killing their ruler, taking his subjects prisoner, and seizing their livestock, before turning west to attack and defeat the Yuezhi (c. 177 BCE). This caused disintegration in the Donghu federation. Thereafter, the Wuhuan moved to Mt. Wuhuan and engaged in continuous warfare with the Xiongnu on the west and China on the south. As they came to be worn out from the lengthy battles, the Xianbei preserved their strengths by moving northward to Mt. Xianbei. In the 1st century, the Xianbei defeated the Wuhuan and northern Xiongnu, and developed into a powerful state under the leadership of their elected Khan, Tanshihuai.
Chinese historian Yu Ying-shih describes the Donghu.
The Tung-hu peoples were probably a tribal federation founded by a number of nomadic peoples, including the Wu-huan and Hsien-pi. After its conquest of the Hsiung-nu, the federation apparently ceased to exist. Throughout the Han period, no trace can be found of activities of the Tung-hu as a political entity.
Di Cosmo says the Chinese considered the Hu 胡 as "a new type of foreigner", and believes, "This term, whatever its origin, soon came to indicate an 'anthropological type' rather than a specific group or tribe, which the records allow us to identify as early steppe nomads. The Hu were the source of the introduction of cavalry in China."
Pulleyblank cites Paul Pelliot that the Donghu, Xianbei, and Wuhuan were "proto-Mongols".
The Eastern Hu, mentioned in the Shih-chi along with the Woods Hu and the Lou-fan as barbarians to the north of Chao in the fourth century B.C., appear again as one of the first peoples whom the Hsiung-nu conquered in establishing their empire. Toward the end of the Former Han, as the Hsiung-nu empire was weakening through internal dissension, the Eastern Hu became rebellious. From then on they played an increasingly prominent role in Chinese frontier strategy as a force to play off against the Hsiung-nu. Two major divisions are distinguished, the Hsien-pei to the north and the Wu-huan to the south. By the end of the first century B.C. these more specific names had supplanted the older generic term.
Pulleyblank also writes,
Although there is now archaeological evidence of the spread of pastoral nomadism based on horse riding from Central Asia into Mongolia and farther east in the first half of the first millennium B.C.E., as far as we have evidence it did not impinge on Chinese consciousness until the northward push of the state of Zhao 趙 to the edge of the steppe in present Shanxi province shortly before the end of the fifth century B.C.E. brought them into contact with a new type of horse-riding “barbarian” that they called Hu 胡. … In Han times the term Hu was applied to steppe nomads in general but especially to the Xiongnu who had become the dominant power in the steppe. Earlier it had referred to a specific proto-Mongolian people, now differentiated as the Eastern Hu 東胡, from whom the Xianbei 鮮卑 and the Wuhuan 烏桓 later emerged.
- Origins of Minority Ethnic Groups in Heilongjiang
- Janhunen 2006, pp. 405-6.
- Liang (1992) and DeFrancis (2003).
- Pulleyblank (1983), p. 411.
- Di Cosmo (2002), p. 130.
- Dong 1948:?.
- Karlgren 1957:303, 34.
- Zhou 1972:?.
- Baxter 1992:754, 763.
- Schuesler 2007:215, 281.
- Schuessler (2007), p. 281
- Yu (1986), p. 436.
- Hao and Qimudedaoerji (2007), p. 17.
- Pulleyblank (1983), p. 452.
- Lin (2007)[page needed]
- Ma (1962)[page needed]
- Liu (1994)[page needed]
- Wang (2007)[page needed]
- Lü (2002), pp. 15–16.
- Watson (1993), p. 132.
- Watson (1993), p. 134.
- Watson (1993), p. 135.
- Ma (1962)[page needed]
- Liu (1994)[page needed]
- Wang (2007)[page needed]
- Lü (2002)[page needed]
- Yu (1986), p. 436.
- Di Cosmo (1999), pp. 951–52.
- Pulleyblank (1983), p. 452
- Pulleyblank (2000), p 20.
- Baxter, William H. (1992). A Handbook of Old Chinese Phonology. Mouton de Gruyter.
- DeFrancis, John, (2003). ABC Chinese-English Comprehensive Dictionary. University of Hawaii Press.
- Di Cosmo, Nicola. (1999). "The Northern Frontier in Pre-imperial China", in Cambridge History of Ancient China, Cambridge University Press, pp. 885–966.
- Di Cosmo, Nicola. (2002). Ancient China and its Enemies: The Rise of Nomadic Power in East Asian History. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-77064-5 (hbk); ISBN 0-521-54382-7 (pbk).
- Dong, Tonghe [董同龢]. (1948). "Shanggu yinyun biao gao 上古音韻表搞", Bulletin of the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica 18:1–249. (Chinese)
- Hao, Weimin [郝维民] and Qimudedaoerji [齐木德道尔吉]. (2007). Neimenggu tong shi gang yao [Outline of Comprehensive History of Inner Mongolia] 内蒙古通史纲要. Beijing [北京], Renmin chubanshe [People's Press] 人民出版社.
- Hill, John. 2009. Through the Jade Gate to Rome: A Study of the Silk Routes during the Later Han Dynasty, First to Second Centuries CE. BookSurge. ISBN 978-1-4392-2134-1.
- Janhunen, Juha (2003). The Mongolic Languages. Routledge.
- Janhunen, Juha (27 January 2006). The Mongolic Languages. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-135-79690-7.
- Karlgren, Bernhard. (1957). Grammata Serica Recensa. Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities.
- Lebedynsky, Iaroslav. (2007). Les nomades. Editions Errance, Paris. ISBN 978-2-87772-346-6
- Liang Shih-Chiu (1992). Far East Chinese-English Dictionary. Far East Book Co.
- Lin, Gan [林干]. (2007). Donghu shi [A History of the Donghu] 东胡史. Huhehaote [呼和浩特], Nei Menggu renmin chubanshe [Inner Mongolia People's Publishing House] 内蒙古人民出版社.
- Liu, Xueyao [劉學銚] (1994). Xianbei shi lun [the Xianbei History] 鮮卑史論. Taibei [台北], Nantian shuju [Nantian Press] 南天書局.
- Lü, Jianfu [呂建福]. (2002). Tu zu shi [The Tu History] 土族史. Beijing [北京], Zhongguo shehui kexue chubanshe [Chinese Social Sciences Press] 中囯社会科学出版社.
- Ma, Changshou [馬長壽]. (1962). Wuhuan yu Xianbei [Wuhuan and Xianbei] 烏桓與鮮卑. Shanghai [上海], Shanghai renmin chubanshe [Shanghai People's Press] 上海人民出版社.
- Pulleyblank, Edwin G. (1983). "The Chinese and Their Neighbors in Prehistoric and Early Historic China," in The Origins of Chinese Civilization, University of California Press, pp. 411–466.
- Pulleyblank, Edwin G. (2000). "Ji 姬 and Jiang 姜: The Role of Exogamic Clans in the Organization of the Zhou Polity", Early China 25:1–27.
- Schuessler, Axel. (2007). An Etymological Dictionary of Old Chinese. University of Hawaii Press.
- Wang, Zhongluo [王仲荦] (2007). Wei jin nan bei chao shi [History of Wei, Jin, Southern and Northern Dynasties] 魏晋南北朝史. Beijing [北京], Zhonghua shuju [China Press] 中华书局.
- Watson, Burton. (1993). Records of the Grand Historian by Sima Qian. Translated by Burton Watson. Revised Edition. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-08167-7.
- Yu Ying-Shih. (1986). "Han Foreign Relations," in The Cambridge History of China. 1. The Ch'in and Han Empires, Cambridge University Press, pp. 377–462.
- Zhou Fagao [周法高]. (1972). "Shanggu Hanyu he Han-Zangyu 上古漢語和漢藏語", Journal of the Institute of Chinese Studies of the Chinese University of Hong Kong 5:159–244. (Chinese)
- The Hu Peoples, Silk Road Seattle Virtual Art Exhibit.
- Non-Chinese peoples and neighboring states: Hu 胡, ChinaKnowledge.