Thursday, January 04, 2007

Seen on Yahoo's Singapore news feed:
Climate shift helped destroy China's Tang dynasty: scientists

I just kind of skimmed the article, because all of the good jokes about climate change have already been taken. But this part caught my eye:
The twilight of the Tang began in 751, when the imperial army was defeated by Arabs.
Now I'm no expert on Chinese history, but I don't think any Arab armies ever mixed it up with the Tang imperial army. Some of you accomplished Sinologists out there may feel free to correct my views as you see fit.

ADDED BY EDIT 5 MINUTES LATER: Never mind. Battle of Talas Whowouldathunkit?

ADDED BY SECOND EDIT:
"The Battle of Talas in 751 was a conflict between the Arab Abbasid Caliphate and the Chinese Tang Dynasty for control of Central Asia."
What the heck is an Abbasid Caliphate? Wiki says...
"Abbasid (Arabic: العبّاسيّون, Abbāsīyūn) is the dynastic name generally given to the caliph of Baghdad,..."
No wonder the Chinese didn't object too strenuously to the recent U.S. invasion of Iraq. Revenge being a nice cold dish and all of that. I gotta start reading less Carl Hiaasen and more history.

6 comments:

Red A said...

Supposedly there might have been a Rome / China ancient battle as well, with the Roman prisoners settling in western China.

I have a fair amount of history books if you wish to borrow any...

Red A said...

Qarluq mercenaries....sounds like they will show up in a Star Trek spin off allied to the Ferengis.

Karl said...

What's a Ferengi?

Michael Turton said...

That was Joseph Needham's speculation that Romans captured at Carrhae in 53 BCE by the Persians were transported to the eastern reaches of the Persian empire where they encountered Chinese soldiers. The time gap is large, however...

Michael

Michael Turton said...

here's a linky for Carrhae

http://www.unrv.com/fall-republic/battle-of-carrhae.php

Talas River was one of the most important battles in human history. The arabs took away Chinese engineers who taught the arabs several technologies, and it ensured that central asian would be islamic, not Chinese.

Karl said...

This reminds me that I don't need to read history, because I am friends with Michael Turton. Sweet. I'm going to go order Nature Girl from Amazon.