Tumblelog by Soup.io
Newer posts are loading.
You are at the newest post.
Click here to check if anything new just came in.

About the Qiang.

I’ve been trying to nail down who I’d select as representatives of the Qiang. The problem is that we’re spoiled for choice. There are a large number of Qiang chieftains mentioned in the SGZ and related accounts; candidates are not hard to come by. The issue is find one who - by importance or longevity - distinguishes himself above the others.

<!-- more -->

The Xiongnu were a unified polity, so it is easy to pick out leaders to represent them. The Xianbei were recently unified as well, and the various Wuhuan chieftains formed a confederacy with clear leaders. This is not the case with the Qiang tribes. They were numerous and disunified, so picking out just one or two chieftains to represent them is difficult.

Mídāng (迷当) seems to be a popular choice, but I don’t really see anything in particular to recommend him. He was involved in a single campaign in 240 (easily crushed by Guo Huai) and there is no further mention of him.

My choice would be the chieftain Zhìwúdài (治无戴) of Liang province. There was a very large Qiang revolt in 247, in which Zhiwudai was a leading member. These Qiang gained support from Shu and seized territory in Wei, but they were defeated by Guo Huai. Zhiwudai continued to revolt in the next year, again with assistance from Shu. After being defeated a second time, he made formal submission to Shu.

A second leader of note is Zhēsāi (遮塞), who was involved in the same conflicts as Zhiwudai. He is mentioned twice in Guo Huai’s biography - first as Ézhēsāi 蛾遮塞. His second mention drops the character 蛾 , suggesting that it was likely an error in the first instance.

Between these two men, I would lean towards Zhiwudai. Zhesai is mentioned only in Guo Huai’s biography. The biographies of Jiang Wei and Liu Shan only mention Zhiwudai (and his surrender to Shu), which seems to imply that he was the stronger of the two (or perhaps the only one who lived).

There is, of course, nothing to suggest that these men weren’t involved in previous revolts or that - having survived the events of 248 - they did not participate in subsequent revolts. The same can be said for any other Qiang leaders one could name.

But working entirely from textual evidence, Zhiwudai seems to have been the more prominent member. If we are to select a representative

Don't be the product, buy the product!