Talk:Kingdom of Khotan

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Tocharians and Iranian tribes were the original population of Khotan. Possibly someone can add some information about them.-- (talk) 15:35, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Early names[edit]

I added a blockquote from the great Iranist H. W. Bailey today on the early neames of Khotan. Unfortunately, two characters which he used in the early names could not be added as they are not in the WP list of characters. In the italicised names capital "H" should be read as if it has a dot underneath it. Also all the uses of 'm" in the names should have a dot beneath them. Perhaps it is time to ask that more diacritics be added to the sets available to editors? Any comments would be welcome. Many thanks, John Hill (talk) 02:15, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

Going to add a section on Khotanese Buddhism[edit]

I've been looking at the Kingdom of Khotan's page and it's currently lacking details of its Buddhist faith. I think someone should expand on this, perhaps start a page. If anyone has questions or suggestions, let me know. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Nexenhero91 (talkcontribs) 06:29, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

According to Lokesh Chandra in Buddhism:A Way of Values, p. 161, Khotan was"founded by the son and ministers of Emperor Asoka," the ruler who became a devotee of Buddhism. Eternal Gamges Press (English Edition), New Delhi, 2009 ABruck1821 (talk) 11:28, 17 May 2016 (UTC)


According to the book by A. Stein, Ancient Khotan, the orgins of Kotan involve the exile of great families from Taksasila, and not the son of the Emperor. Emma Lakin (talk) 08:58, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

Muslim and Mongol Khotan[edit]

Sections on both of these would be a great comtribution. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Xancb (talkcontribs) 09:32, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

Where's the map?[edit]

It's almost shocking that an article as nearly complete and as beautifully illustrated as this one is lacks the most basic of all illustrations: a map showing where this kingdom was located. A description of its location is not enough.

Articles far less well-developed than this one is include maps. In fact, I can't remember ever having seen an article on a country, region, town, settlement, body of water or geographical feature of any kind that did not include a map, even when the subject was so unremarkable that the map was practically all the article contained.

Worthy map-makers: the ball is in your court; don't drop it! If a map is hidden somewhere within this article's fancy layout, then unhide it!

--Jim10701 (talk) 21:15, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

I suggest this image

Ancient Khotan[edit]

Sand-buried ruins of Khotan : personal narrative of a journey of archaeological and geographical exploration in Chinese Turkestan; with map (1904)

Sand-buried Ruins of Khotan: Personal Narrative of a Journey of ... (1904)

Ancient Khotan, detailed report of archaeological explorations in Chinese Turkestan (1907)

Ancient Khotan 2

Rajmaan (talk) 19:13, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

Turkic Islamic conquest of Iranic Buddhist Khotan[edit]

Mahmud al-Kashgari, Kara-Khanid Khanate, Kingdom of Khotan

Pages 632-633!+We+went+out+among+their+cities!+We+tore+down+the+idol-temples,+We+shat+on+the+Buddha's+head!&hl=en&sa=X&ei=RM8wVN2zE8miyASouoL4Aw&ved=0CB4Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=We%20came%20down%20on%20them%20like%20a%20flood!%20We%20went%20out%20among%20their%20cities!%20We%20tore%20down%20the%20idol-temples%2C%20We%20shat%20on%20the%20Buddha's%20head!&f=false!+We+went+out+among+their+cities!+We+tore+down+the+idol-temples,+We+shat+on+the+Buddha's+head!&hl=en&sa=X&ei=RM8wVN2zE8miyASouoL4Aw&ved=0CCQQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=We%20came%20down%20on%20them%20like%20a%20flood!%20We%20went%20out%20among%20their%20cities!%20We%20tore%20down%20the%20idol-temples%2C%20We%20shat%20on%20the%20Buddha's%20head!&f=false!+We+went+out+among+their+cities!+We+tore+down+the+idol-temples,+We+shat+on+the+Buddha's+head!&hl=en&sa=X&ei=RM8wVN2zE8miyASouoL4Aw&ved=0CCkQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=We%20came%20down%20on%20them%20like%20a%20flood!%20We%20went%20out%20among%20their%20cities!%20We%20tore%20down%20the%20idol-temples%2C%20We%20shat%20on%20the%20Buddha's%20head!&f=false!+We+went+out+among+their+cities!+We+tore+down+the+idol-temples,+We+shat+on+the+Buddha's+head!&hl=en&sa=X&ei=RM8wVN2zE8miyASouoL4Aw&ved=0CC8Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=We%20came%20down%20on%20them%20like%20a%20flood!%20We%20went%20out%20among%20their%20cities!%20We%20tore%20down%20the%20idol-temples%2C%20We%20shat%20on%20the%20Buddha's%20head!&f=false


kälginläyü aqtïmïz
kändlär üzä čïqtïmïz
furxan ävin yïqtïmïz
burxan üzä sïčtïmïz

Wir strömten wie eine alles vor sich herschiebende Flut,
wir drangen in ihre Städte ein (eroberten sie),
wir zerstörten die buddhistischen Tempel,
wir koteten auf die Buddha-statuen.

Page 206!+We+went+out+among+their+cities!+We+tore+down+the+idol-temples,+We+shat+on+the+Buddha's+head!&dq=We+came+down+on+them+like+a+flood!+We+went+out+among+their+cities!+We+tore+down+the+idol-temples,+We+shat+on+the+Buddha's+head!&hl=en&sa=X&ei=RM8wVN2zE8miyASouoL4Aw&ved=0CDYQ6AEwBA

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Page 160!+We+went+out+among+their+cities!+We+tore+down+the+idol-temples,+We+shat+on+the+Buddha's+head!&dq=We+came+down+on+them+like+a+flood!+We+went+out+among+their+cities!+We+tore+down+the+idol-temples,+We+shat+on+the+Buddha's+head!&hl=en&sa=X&ei=RM8wVN2zE8miyASouoL4Aw&ved=0CD4Q6AEwBg



Rajmaan (talk) 05:11, 5 October 2014 (UTC)

Mauryan-era myth, Indians and Tibetans[edit]

Can someone verify this stuff after reading these sources, such as:

  • Mallory, J. P.; Mair, Victor H. (2000), The Tarim Mummies: Ancient China and the Mystery of the Earliest Peoples from the West, London: Thames & Hudson.

Honestly, something is very fishy here, aside from the silly tangential legend about Ashoka. What proof is there to suggest Tibetans even existed in the Tarim Basin before the expansion of the much later medieval Tibetan Empire, during China's Tang Dynasty? Anthropologically speaking, the original people of prehistoric and ancient Khotan were Saka and spoke the Saka language, an Eastern Iranian language. The same goes for the ancient people of Kashgar. Other Indo-Europeans living nearby in the Tarim Basin were the Tocharians of Kucha and Turfan, who spoke Tocharian languages, yet another branch of the Indo-European language family. The Tibetan languages belong to the Sino-Tibetan languages, shared by the Chinese language and Burmese language. These are just completely different peoples. Nevermind the fact that it's absurd to think people from the Mauryan Empire of India were settling in the Tarim Basin region during the 3rd century BC. That would have been an invasion of epic proportions recorded in all the contemporary historical accounts of the region.

In either case I've added Xavier Tremblay (2007) to contradict all of this nonsense. Pericles of AthensTalk 10:01, 1 September 2016 (UTC)

I think you have possibly confused people with language. It is known that people in Khotan spoke Saka, however, the people are not necessarily all Saka. Some think the Saka may have entered the region in the first century BC, before that there may have been other people, for example the Tocharians (and the Yuezhi appeared to have traded in jade from Khotan to China for a long time). The story of their origin actually came from the Khotanese themselves, but again, that does not mean that all the people were from Mauryan Empire. Think for example the Anglo-Saxon invasions of Britain, just because people in Britain now speak English, it does not mean that there weren't other people who spoke very different languages before they arrived. You did raise a valid point about the Tibetans, but that is more that I cannot see that in the source quoted (they appeared to have translated some Khotanese texts, but that is not the same as what the text says in the article). I'll adjust the text later once I've looked through the source. Hzh (talk) 10:54, 1 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks! Please confirm exactly what it says. Feel free to provide quotations here as well so that there is no ambiguity about what the sources say. I consider this to be a very important topic. I was honestly stunned that there was no mention of the Saka language at all, just a myth about Ashoka and very vague statements about Tibetans and Indians. For someone with an academic background, that sort of thing is heart-attack and migraine-inducing, like nails on a chalkboard. Lol. Cheers. Pericles of AthensTalk 11:48, 1 September 2016 (UTC)
I will start editing later in the day or tomorrow, but will likely remove some content. A source for example said that there is no evidence of Andronovo culture in the Tarim Basin, so I may remove that unless you have a source for it. Also if you can find the earliest date of Saka presence in Khotan it would be most helpful. I found one that said there may be presence of Saka as early as 7th century BC in Keriya, but no source yet for Khotan that early - whether it's earlier or later depends on from which direction the Saka moved towards Khotan. At the moment I'm not sure what to include, given that interpretations may differ depending on which scholar you read, but I may just give a vague outline rather than stating anything very specific. Hzh (talk) 16:35, 1 September 2016 (UTC)
So the legend stems from Xuanzang in the 7th century AD then. That makes perfect sense and would have been politically expedient to portray Khotan as an ancient Buddhist kingdom linked to one of the greatest early Buddhist rulers of India, Ashoka. It honestly reminds one of how the ancient Romans claimed to be descended from Aeneas and the Trojans of the Bronze Age (from Homer's epic tales). Ancient people cooked up all sorts of silly things like that, including even the medieval Scottish believing they were descended from an Egyptian prince and princess who fled to Iberia and then the British Isles (I'm not kidding). This sort of stuff is up there with Ashoka's kin settling in the Tarim Basin region, an entertaining fable, but not something useful for serious anthropologists, archaeologists, and professional linguists. In either case, I'll see what I can find about the Saka. Pericles of AthensTalk 01:08, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
Two Buddhist monks on a mural of the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves near Turpan, Xinjiang, China, 9th century AD; the figure on the right is Asiatic, possibly Uyghur or Chinese, while the figure on the left, possibly an Indo-European Tocharian or Sogdian, has Caucasian features, red hair, and blue eyes
Found it, and will be editing the article soon. The Western Han Chinese from the reign of Emperor Wu onwards had called the Saka the "Sai" 塞 (Sāi) and noted that they lived in and around Kashgar; Persian and Greek historical records also attest to their presence in Central Asia before this time. The Saka literature (mostly Buddhist yet some of it pre-Islamic) comes from a later period, though, so you're correct on that. However, if anything it just simply demonstrates that their culture continued in the region for centuries since the Western Han. I also find the following statement in the article now to be rather curious: "Various groups of Caucasians may have inhabited the Tarim Basin." May have? I thought this had been established not only with the Tarim mummies, but also the artwork depicting Tocharians with pale skin, red hair, and blue eyes (see their Wiki article). That doesn't even touch upon the migration of Sogdians (another Eastern Iranian people) into Imperial China during the Jin, Northern Dynasties, Sui, Tang, and Five Dynasties periods (perhaps as far back as Eastern Han considering artwork depicting Sogdians and the recorded trade missions). Sogdians built Zoroastrian temples all over China, in the Tang capital city of Chang'an, let alone in Dunhuang and Turfan. The latter had a large Sogdian community during the Tang and Gaochang periods. Pericles of AthensTalk 01:34, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
Do feel free to edit and adjust the wording (and copyedit while you are at it, I'm just very tired at the moment and made many mistakes). The problem at the moment is that I'm not sure there is concrete proof of Saka being in Khotan in the 3rd century BC. Perhaps look in Tremblay since he argued that the founding legend is a fiction. I'm leaving it for now and may add a bit more tomorrow. The "may have" part is more about the different proposals by different scholars as to which people were in the Tarim Basin. Hzh (talk) 02:18, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
There is no problem with putting legends in the article however as long as it is clearly stated as such. It is hard to tell what is fact and what is legend in any case, it is not for us to make assumptions, we only report what scholars say, and scholars do mention the legends in the history of Khotan. Hzh (talk) 02:44, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
Fair enough. The legend will stay, especially after you did such a good job expounding on it. It's historically relevant in the case that it shows the mindset of Chinese and Indian peoples there during the 7th century, at the very least. In either case the Gandhari Indian language was spoken in the Tarim Basin, yet as I've just demonstrated in my own edits, this had been infused with the Saka language from the very beginning and was strongly connected to the Khotanese royal court. I've also given a rundown of how the Han historians Sima Qian and the Ban family (who wrote the Book of Han) explained that the Saka were already living in Gansu and the Tarim Basin during the 2nd century BC. I've also given linguistic evidence for "Saka" having been behind the name of Khotan and other towns of the region. The article is much more balanced now. Cheers and thanks for your own efforts. Pericles of AthensTalk 06:20, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
Basically, what you should take away from the article now is the fact that even before Emperor Wu of Han conquered the Hexi Corridor of Gansu and extended the Han-era Great Wall through it and all the way to Dunhuang (where the Yumen Pass connected the Han Empire with the Western Regions), both the Indo-European Yuezhi (Kushanas) AND the Indo-European Sai (Saka) were living in Gansu province. The Yuezhi were expelled from Gansu by the expanding Mongolic confederation of the Xiongnu under Modu Chanyu, and in turn the Yuezhi turned on the Saka, pushing them west as well, all the way into modern-day Tajikistan and Afghanistan, yet some of the Yuezhi were able to hook around the Pamirs and head back west to the Tarim Basin while the Yuezhi continued their relentless push to the west. After swallowing Daxia, the Yuezhi would eventually establish the massive Kushan Empire of South Asia (contemporary with the Indo-Scythians, another group of Saka). The Xiongnu would be defeated and subjugated by the Han, yet the Saka would remain in the Tarim Basin...for centuries thereafter! Their Eastern Iranian cultures lived on through Khotan and Kashgar, and their Eastern Iranian language was eventually made the official language of their royal court (not surprising that Gandhari Pakrit and Sanskrit, the widespread languages of Buddhism, were considered more respectable before this than the native barbaric tongue of nomads, the Saka). Pericles of AthensTalk 08:47, 2 September 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Thank you for the edits. One issue I see however is that some of the edits are not relevant to Khotan - ideally what's written should focus on Khotan itself, rather than Tarim Basin in general or the history of the Saka people, because a lot can be written on those. I think parts of what's written, which are well-written and informative, could be moved to the history section of the article on Tarim Basin and the article on Saka, which at the moment are a bit lacking in information. That there were Saka people in Khotan is not in dispute, the question is more when they arrived in Khotan. I think I would also reorganize what's written, moving parts around and maybe creating new sections. Hzh (talk) 12:35, 2 September 2016 (UTC)

Feel free to move stuff to the Tarim Basin article, or things you find tangential. I thought it was necessary to explain what happened to the Saka in these preceding centuries, in order to give context for how, all of the sudden, Saka is influencing the Gandhari language of Khotan in the 3rd century AD. If someone didn't understand the backstory to that or the movements of the Saka in Central Asia, they'd be like: "what? Where the hell did these guys come from all of the sudden?" That was my thinking, anyway. Pericles of AthensTalk 12:52, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
The good thing about Wikipedia is that articles are linked, so extra information could be added to other pages, and they would be available just a click away. I'm still considering what to write at the moment - a source says that the Saka were present in Khotan in the first millennium BC (which is a very broad time-span), I don't know if it is possible but I'll see if I can find more precise date. Hzh (talk) 13:20, 2 September 2016 (UTC)

Timeline section[edit]

Is this section really necessary? I feel like all of its content could be incorporated into the various sections above that are already designated by era. Plus having a laundry list of chronologically-ordered events goes against the narrative style and encyclopedic format found in Wikipedia articles, no? I'd like to gain the opinions of others on this before I hypothetically start shifting things around and getting rid of that section. The pictures used in that section are lovely (and informative) so they should certainly be retained as well. Pericles of AthensTalk 11:38, 9 September 2016 (UTC)

It's something I have thought of doing, but put it off because of the work involved in incorporating the information in that section into the history section (finding citations, etc.). If you feel it is something you want to do, then by all means delete the section and move the information into other sections, although avoid deleting information given unless you feel they are superfluous. Hzh (talk) 12:29, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
I might do that soon, but I'll feel more confident doing so after I've hunted down enough sources to offer citations for all the statements lacking them. That's the obstacle convincing me to delay this; that and the belief that we should probably build a bigger consensus on the issue. I'm not sure if anyone else watches this talk page, but if you're out there, speak now, or foreover hold your peace! Lol. Pericles of AthensTalk 14:44, 9 September 2016 (UTC)

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