Duomi Khan

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Duomi Khan (多彌可汗) (died 646), personal name Bazhuo (拔灼),[1] full regal name Jialijulixueshaduomi Khan (頡利俱利薛沙多彌可汗), was a khan of the Xueyantuo. After the death of his father, the Zhenzhu Khan Yi'nan, he disputed with and killed his older brother, Yemang (曵莽), and became khan in 645. Then, reversing his father's peaceful policy with the Tang Dynasty, Duomi Khan immediately started incursions into their territory. This drew a heavy response from Emperor Taizong of Tang, who sent the generals Qiao Shiwang (喬師望), Zhishi Sili (執失思力), and Li Daozong to defend. They proved too strong for Duomi Khan's attacks, so he fled. But he did not live long. He was betrayed by his own vassal, Huige, who rebelled and killed him.

Under Yi'nan[edit]

It is not known when Bazhuo was born, but it was known that he was not his father Yi'nan's oldest son—although throughout historical records, Yi'nan's oldest son was various referred to as Jialibi (頡利苾), Dadu (大度), and Yemang (曳莽), who might or might not be the same person—but as he was born of Yi'nan's wife, he was in an honored position at Yi'nan's court starting from early times in Yi'nan's reign. As of 638, with Yi'nan having more than 200,000 soldiers under him, Yi'nan was said to have divided his army between Bazhuo and Jialibi, having Bazhuo command the army to the south and Jialibi to the north; it was further said that Emperor Taizong of Tang, in order to foster dissent between the brothers, created them both subordinate khan titles under Yi'nan and awarded them drums and banners, ostensibly to honor them.[2] In a reference that was either referring to the same event or not, Bazhuo and Yemang were described to have been both created subordinate khan titles, at Yi'nan's request, with Yemang given the eastern part of the khanate to govern over various tribes, with the title of Tulishi Khan, and with Bazhuo given the western part of the khanate to govern over the Xueyantuo people, with the title of Siyehu Khan.[3]

As khan of Xueyantuo[edit]

Yi'nan died in fall 645. Both Yemang and Bazhuo attended the funeral. It was said that Yemang was violent and disturbed, and also having a bad relationship with Bazhuo. After the funeral, Yemang, fearing that Bazhuo would harm him, left suddenly to return to the eastern part of the khanate. Bazhuo chased him down and killed him, and then took the throne with the title of Jialijulixueshaduomi Khan (or Duomi Khan for short).

Bazhuo, after he took the throne, decided to attack China's Tang Dynasty, believing that with Emperor Taizong then on a campaign against Goguryeo, that Tang borders would be undefended. However, Emperor Taizong, anticipating the possibility of a Xueyantuo attack, had had the general Zhishi Sili (執失思力) command Tujue soldiers to defend Xia Prefecture (夏州, roughly modern Yulin, Shaanxi). Once Bazhuo attacked, Zhishi Sili and another general, Tian Renhui (田仁會), set a trap to induce Bazhuo to attack Xia Prefecture, and dealt him a defeat once he was at Xia Prefecture. Bazhuo withdrew, but soon attacked Xia Prefecture again. Briefly after new year 646, Emperor Taizong ordered, in addition to Zhishi and Tian's troops, for troops to be mobilized under the generals Li Daozong the Prince of Jiangxia, Xue Wanche (薛萬徹), Ashina She'er (阿史那社爾), Song Junming (宋君明), and Xue Guwu (薛孤吳), to defend against Bazhuo's attack, which Bazhuo called off after reaching the Great Wall and realizing that Tang forces had been mobilized. In turn, in spring 646, Zhishi and Qiao Shiwang (喬師望) counterattacked, defeating Bazhuo and forcing him to flee, throwing Xueyantuo into a state of confusion.

Meanwhile, it was said that Bazhuo was intolerant and ill-tempered, as well as suspicious. He removed Yi'nan's chief advisors and replaced them with people close to him, which led to the nobles despising him—and he responded by killing a large number of them, throwing the Xueyantuo court into terror. Yaoluoge Tumidu (藥羅葛吐迷度), the chieftain of Xueyantuo's vassal tribe Huige, rebelled along with the Pugu (僕骨) and Tongluo (同羅) tribes and dealt Bazhuo a great defeat. Emperor Taizong took the chance to order a major assault against Xueyantuo proper by Li, Ashina, Zhishi, Qibi Heli (契苾何力), Xue Wanche, and Zhang Jian (張儉). As the assault was beginning, by chance a Tang officer, Yuwen Fa (宇文法), was serving as an emissary to the Wuluohu (烏羅護) and the Mohe and returning toward Tang, when he encountered the Xueyantuo general Abo (阿波). Yuwen attacked Abo with the Mohe troops with him at the time and defeated Abo—which led to even greater confusion for Xueyantuo, whose people believed that the main Tang army had already arrived. In panic, Bazhuo fled to the vassal Ashide (阿史德) tribe, and when Huige forces heard this, they attacked and killed Bazhuo, slaughtering the Xueyantuo imperial clan members that they could find. The Huige took over most of Xueyantuo territory, while many Xueyantuo generals surrendered to Tang. Bazhuo's cousin Duomozhi tried to revive Xueyantuo fortunes, but soon surrendered to Tang, ending Xueyantuo as a khanate.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ For the dispute regarding the surname of the Xueyantuo khans, see Xueyantuo.
  2. ^ Zizhi Tongjian, vol. 195.
  3. ^ Zizhi Tongjian, vol. 198.
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Zhenzhu Khan (Yi'nan)
Khan of Xueyantuo
Succeeded by
Yitewushi Khan (Duomozhi)