The Yuan dynasty the Great Yuan, was the empire or ruling dynasty of China established by Kublai Khan, leader of the Mongolian Borjigin clan. It preceded the Ming dynasty. Although the Mongols had ruled territories including modern-day North China for decades, it was not until 1271 that Kublai Khan proclaimed the dynasty in the traditional Chinese style, the conquest was not complete until 1279, his realm was, by this point, isolated from the other khanates and controlled most of modern-day China and its surrounding areas, including modern Mongolia. It was the first foreign dynasty to rule all of China and lasted until 1368 which ended in Ming dynasty defeating the Yuan dynasty, the rebuked Genghisid rulers retreated to their Mongolian homeland and continued to rule the Northern Yuan dynasty; some of the Mongolian Emperors of the Yuan mastered the Chinese language, while others only used their native language and the'Phags-pa script. The Yuan dynasty was the khanate ruled by the successors of Möngke Khan after the division of the Mongol Empire.
In official Chinese histories, the Yuan dynasty bore the Mandate of Heaven. The dynasty was established by Kublai Khan, yet he placed his grandfather Genghis Khan on the imperial records as the official founder of the dynasty as Taizu. In the Proclamation of the Dynastic Name, Kublai announced the name of the new dynasty as Great Yuan and claimed the succession of former Chinese dynasties from the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors to the Tang dynasty. In addition to Emperor of China, Kublai Khan claimed the title of Great Khan, supreme over the other successor khanates: the Chagatai, the Golden Horde, the Ilkhanate; as such, the Yuan was sometimes referred to as the Empire of the Great Khan. However, while the claim of supremacy by the Yuan emperors was at times recognized by the western khans, their subservience was nominal and each continued its own separate development. In 1271, Kublai Khan imposed the name Great Yuan. "Dà Yuán" is from the clause "大哉乾元" in the Commentaries on the Classic of Changes section regarding the first hexagram Qián.
The counterpart in the Mongolian language was Dai Ön Ulus rendered as Ikh Yuan Üls or Yekhe Yuan Ulus. In Mongolian, Dai Ön was used in conjunction with the "Yeke Mongghul Ulus", resulting in ᠳᠠᠢᠦᠨᠶᠡᠬᠡᠮᠣᠩᠭᠣᠯᠦᠯᠦᠰ, meaning "Great Yuan Great Mongol State"; the Yuan dynasty is known by westerners as the "Mongol dynasty" or "Mongol Dynasty of China", similar to the names "Manchu dynasty" or "Manchu Dynasty of China" which were used by westerners for the Qing dynasty. Furthermore, the Yuan is sometimes known as the "Empire of the Great Khan" or "Khanate of the Great Khan", which appeared on some Yuan maps, since Yuan emperors held the nominal title of Great Khan. Both terms can refer to the khanate within the Mongol Empire directly ruled by Great Khans before the actual establishment of the Yuan dynasty by Kublai Khan in 1271. Genghis Khan united the Mongol tribes of the steppes and became Great Khan in 1206, he and his successors expanded the Mongol empire across Asia. Under the reign of Genghis' third son, Ögedei Khan, the Mongols destroyed the weakened Jin dynasty in 1234, conquering most of northern China.
Ögedei offered his nephew Kublai a position in Hebei. Kublai was unable to read Chinese but had several Han teachers attached to him since his early years by his mother Sorghaghtani, he sought the counsel of Chinese Confucian advisers. Möngke Khan succeeded Ögedei's son, Güyük, as Great Khan in 1251, he granted his brother Kublai control over Mongol held territories in China. Kublai built schools for Confucian scholars, issued paper money, revived Chinese rituals, endorsed policies that stimulated agricultural and commercial growth, he adopted as his capital city Kaiping in Inner Mongolia renamed Shangdu. Many Han Chinese and Khitan defected to the Mongols to fight against the Jin. Two Han Chinese leaders, Shi Tianze, Liu Heima, the Khitan Xiao Zhala defected and commanded the 3 Tumens in the Mongol army. Liu Heima and Shi Tianze served Ogödei Khan. Liu Heima and Shi Tianxiang led armies against Western Xia for the Mongols. There were 4 Han Tumens and 3 Khitan Tumens, with each Tumen consisting of 10,000 troops.
The three Khitan Generals Shimobeidier and Xiaozhacizhizizhongxi commanded the three Khitan Tumens and the four Han Generals Zhang Rou, Yan Shi, Shi Tianze, Liu Heima commanded the four Han tumens under Ogödei Khan. Möngke Khan commenced a military campaign against the Chinese Song dynasty in southern China; the Mongol force that invaded southern China was far greater than the force they sent to invade the Middle East in 1256. He died in 1259 without a successor. Kublai returned from fighting the Song in 1260 when he learned that his brother, Ariq Böke, was challenging his claim to the throne. Kublai convened a kurultai in Kaiping. A rival kurultai in Mongolia proclaimed Ariq Böke Great Khan. Kublai depended on the cooperation of his Chinese subjects to ensure that his army received ample resources, he bolstered his popularity among his subjects by modeling his government on the bureaucracy of traditional Chinese dynasties and adopting the Chinese era name of Zhongtong. Ariq Böke was hampered by inadequate supplies and surrendered in 1264.
Lop Nur or Lop Nor is a former salt lake, now dried up, located between the Taklamakan and Kumtag deserts in the southeastern portion of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Administratively, the lake is in Lop Nur town known as Luozhong of Ruoqiang County, which in its turn is part of the Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture; the lake system into which the Tarim River and Shule River empty is the last remnant of the historical post-glacial Tarim Lake, which once covered more than 10,000 km2 in the Tarim Basin. Lop Nur is hydrologically endorheic— it is landbound and there is no outlet; the lake measured 3,100 km2 in 1928, but has dried up due to construction of dams which blocked the flow of water feeding into the lake system, only small seasonal lakes and marshes may form. The dried-up Lop Nur Basin is covered with a salt crust ranging from 30 to 100 cm in thickness. Lop Nur has been used as a nuclear testing site, since the discovery of potash at the site in the mid-1990s it is the location of a large-scale mining operation.
There are some restricted areas under military management and cultural relics protection points in the region, which are not open to the public. From around 1800 BC until the 9th century the lake supported a thriving Tocharian culture. Archaeologists have discovered the buried remains of settlements, as well as several of the Tarim mummies, along its ancient shoreline. Former water resources of the Tarim River and Lop Nur nurtured the kingdom of Loulan since the second century BC, an ancient civilization along the Silk Road, which skirted the lake-filled basin. Loulan became a client-state of the Chinese empire in renamed Shanshan. Faxian went by the Lop Desert on his way to the Indus valley, followed by Chinese pilgrims. Marco Polo in his travels passed through the Lop Desert, the famous explorers Ferdinand von Richthofen, Nikolai Przhevalsky, Sven Hedin and Aurel Stein visited and studied the area, it is likely that Swedish soldier Johan Gustaf Renat had visited the area when he was helping the Zunghars to produce maps over the area in the eighteenth century.
The lake was given various names in ancient Chinese texts. In Shiji it was called Yan Ze, indicating its saline nature, near, located the ancient Loulan Kingdom. In Hanshu it was called Puchang Hai and was given a dimension of 300 to 400 li in length and breadth, indicating it was once a lake of great size; these early texts mentioned the belief, mistaken as it turns out, that the lake joins the Yellow River at Jishi through an underground channel as the source of the river. The lake was referred to as the "Wandering Lake" in the early 20th century due to the Tarim River changing its course, causing its terminal lake to alter its location between the Lop Nur dried basin, the Kara-Koshun dried basin and the Taitema Lake basin; this shift of the terminal lake caused some confusion amongst the early explorers as to the exact location of Lop Nur. Imperial maps from the Qing Dynasty showed Lop Nur to be located in similar position to the present Lop Nur dried basin, but the Polish geographer Mikołaj Przewalski instead found the terminal lake at Kara-Koshun in 1867.
Sven Hedin visited the area in 1900-1901 and suggested that the Tarim river periodically changed its course to and fro between its southbound and northbound direction, resulting in a shift in the position of the terminal lake. The change in the course of the river, which resulted in Lop Nur drying up, was suggested by Hedin as the reason why ancient settlements such as Loulan had perished. In 1921, due to human intervention, the terminal lake shifted its position back to Lop Nur; the lake measured 2400 km2 in area in 1930-31. In 1934 Sven Hedin went down the new Kuruk Darya in a canoe, he found the delta to be a maze of channels and the new lake so shallow that it was difficult to navigate in a canoe. In 1900 he had walked the dry Kuruk Darya in a caravan. In 1952 the terminal lake shifted to Taitema Lake when the Tarim River and Konque River were separated through human intervention, Lop Nur dried out again by 1964. In 1972, the Great West Sea Reservoir was built at Tikanlik, water supply to the lake was cut off, all the lakes for the most part dried out, with only small seasonal lakes forming in local depressions in Taitema.
The loss of water to the lower Tarim River Valley led to the deterioration and loss of poplar forests and tamarix shrubs that used to be extensively distributed along the lower Tarim River Valley forming the so-called'Green Corridor'. In 2000, in an effort to prevent further deterioration of the ecosystem, water was diverted from Lake Bosten in an attempt to fill the Taitema Lake; the Taitema Lake however had shifted 30 to 40 kilometres westwards during the past 40 years due in part to the spread of the desert. Another cause of the destabilization of the desert has been the cutting of poplars and willows for firewood; the Kara-Koshun dried basin may be considered part of the greater Lop Nur. On 17 June 1980, Chinese scientist Peng Jiamu disappeared while walking into Lop Nur in search of water, his body was never found, his disappearance remains a mystery. 3 On June 1996, the Chinese explorer Yu Chunshun died. China established the Lop Nur Nuclear Test Base on 16 October 1959 with Soviet assistance in selection of the site, with its headquarters at Malan, about 125 km northwest of Qinggir.
The first Chinese nuclear bomb test, code
A county-level municipality, county-level city, or county city is a county-level administrative division of mainland China. County-level cities are governed by prefecture-level divisions, but a few are governed directly by province-level divisions. Known as prefecture-controlled city. Most county-level cities were created in the 1990s by replacing counties. A county-level city is a "city" and "county"; as such it is a city, a municipal entity, a county, an administrative division of a prefecture. County-level cities are not "cities" in the strictest sense of the word, since they contain rural areas many times the size of their urban, built-up area; this is because the counties that county-level cities have replaced are themselves large administrative units containing towns and farmland. To distinguish a "county-level city" from its actual urban area, the term "市区", or "urban area", is used. In France, an equivalent of a county-level city is an agglomeration community. While the idea of a "city" being a unit consisting of several "towns" is not a common one in English-speaking world, a somewhat similar naming convention is used for local government areas in some parts of Australia.
For example, in New South Wales such a unit may be called a "city", consist of "towns". E.g. City of Blue Mountains is made of a number of towns. Another example would be "municipal government" in the Canadian province of Ontario. Small municipalities and towns, along with urban, sub-urban and rural areas were merged or integrated into a "super" area, in part to obtain economies in administrative overhead by not having for each city and town individual library commissions, fire fighting units, health care, other social services common to all areas. So for example, there has been for less than 10 years the "Municipality of Chatham-Kent" wherein the Corporation of the City of Chatham serves as the "seat" for the newly Chatham-Kent merged municipality; this agglomeration includes all of the "townships" in the county of Kent, with cities and towns like Wallaceberg, Dresden, Wheatley. This "amalgamation" as it is referred to, was controversial when it was "forced" upon the constituents through provincial legislation.
Today, instead of each city having its own mayor and city councillors, there is a council with representatives from the various areas surrounding Chatham city. As of September 2018, there are 375 county-level cities in total: A sub-prefecture-level city is a county-level city with powers approaching those of prefecture-level cities. Examples include, Qianjiang and Jiyuan. Administrative divisions of China Counties of the People's Republic of China Prefecture-level city List of cities in China
Abraham Ortelius was a Brabantian cartographer and geographer, conventionally recognized as the creator of the first modern atlas, the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. Ortelius is considered one of the founders of the Netherlandish school of cartography and one of the most notable figures of the school in its golden age; the publication of his atlas in 1570 is considered as the official beginning of the Golden Age of Netherlandish cartography. He is believed to be the first person to imagine that the continents were joined together before drifting to their present positions; the Google Doodle of May 20, 2018, recognised Ortelius's endeavours the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. Ortelius was born in the city of Antwerp, in the Habsburg Netherlands; the Orthellius family were from Augsburg, a Free imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1535, the family had fallen under suspicion of Protestantism. Following the death of Ortelius's father, his uncle Jacobus van Meteren returned from religious exile in England to take care of Ortelius.
Abraham remained close to his cousin Emanuel van Meteren who would move to London. In 1575 he was appointed geographer to the king of Spain, Philip II, on the recommendation of Arias Montanus, who vouched for his orthodoxy, he traveled extensively in Europe, is known to have traveled throughout the Seventeen Provinces. Beginning as a map-engraver, in 1547 he entered the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke as an illuminator of maps, he supplemented his income trading in books and maps, his journeys included yearly visits to the Frankfurt book and print fair where he met Gerardus Mercator in 1554. In 1560, when travelling with Mercator to Trier and Poitiers, he seems to have been attracted by Mercator's influence, towards the career of a scientific geographer, he died in Antwerp. In 1564 he published his first map, Typus Orbis Terrarum, an eight-leaved wall map of the world, on which he identified the Regio Patalis with Locach as a northward extension of the Terra Australis, reaching as far as New Guinea.
This map subsequently appeared in reduced form in the Terrarum. He published a two-sheet map of Egypt in 1565, a plan of the Brittenburg castle on the coast of the Netherlands in 1568, an eight-sheet map of Asia in 1567, a six-sheet map of Spain before the appearance of his atlas. In England Ortelius's contacts included William Camden, Richard Hakluyt, Thomas Penny, puritan controversialist William Charke, Humphrey Llwyd, who would contribute the map of England and Wales to Ortelius's 1573 edition of the Theatrum. In 1578 he laid the basis of a critical treatment of ancient geography by his Synonymia geographica. In 1596 he received a presentation from Antwerp city, his death on 28 June 1598, his burial in the church of St. Michael's Abbey, were marked by public mourning; the inscription on his tombstone reads: Quietis cultor sine lite, prole. On 20 May 1570, Gilles Coppens de Diest at Antwerp issued Ortelius's Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, the "first modern atlas". Three Latin editions of this appeared before the end of 1572.
Most of the maps were admittedly reproductions, many discrepancies of delineation or nomenclature occur. Errors, of course, both in general conceptions and in detail, its immediate precursor and prototype was a collection of thirty-eight maps of European lands, of Asia, Africa and Egypt, gathered together by the wealth and enterprise, through the agents, of Ortelius's friend and patron, Gillis Hooftman, lord of Cleydael and Aertselaer: most of these were printed in Rome, eight or nine only in the Southern Netherlands. In 1573, Ortelius published seventeen supplementary maps under the title Additamentum Theatri Orbis Terrarum. Four more Additamenta were to follow, the last one appearing in 1597, he had a keen interest and formed a fine collection of coins and antiques, this resulted in the book Deorum dearumque capita... ex Museo Ortelii ("Heads of the gods and goddesses... from the Ortelius Museum". The Theatrum Orbis Terrarum inspired a six volume work entitled Civitates orbis terrarum edited by Georg Braun and illustrated by Frans Hogenberg with the assistance of Ortelius himself, who v
Standard Chinese known as Modern Standard Mandarin, Standard Mandarin, Modern Standard Mandarin Chinese, or Mandarin, is a standard variety of Chinese, the sole official language of China, the de facto official language of Taiwan and one of the four official languages of Singapore. Its pronunciation is based on the Beijing dialect, its vocabulary on the Mandarin dialects, its grammar is based on written vernacular Chinese. Like other varieties of Chinese, Standard Chinese is a tonal language with topic-prominent organization and subject–verb–object word order, it has more initial consonants but final consonants and tones than southern varieties. Standard Chinese is an analytic language, though with many compound words. There are two standardised forms of the language, namely Putonghua in Mainland China and Guoyu in Taiwan. Aside from a number of differences in pronunciation and vocabulary, Putonghua is written using simplified Chinese characters, Guoyu is written using traditional Chinese characters.
Many characters are identical between the two systems. In Chinese, the standard variety is known as: 普通话 in the People's Republic of China, as well as Hong Kong and Macau. Standard Chinese is commonly referred to by generic names for "Chinese", notably 中文. In total, there have been known over 20 various names for the language; the term Guoyu had been used by non-Han rulers of China to refer to their languages, but in 1909 the Qing education ministry applied it to Mandarin, a lingua franca based on northern Chinese varieties, proclaiming it as the new "national language". The name Putonghua has a long, albeit unofficial, history, it was used as early as 1906 in writings by Zhu Wenxiong to differentiate a modern, standard Chinese from classical Chinese and other varieties of Chinese. For some linguists of the early 20th century, the Putonghua, or "common tongue/speech", was conceptually different from the Guoyu, or "national language"; the former was a national prestige variety. Based on common understandings of the time, the two were, in fact, different.
Guoyu was understood as formal vernacular Chinese, close to classical Chinese. By contrast, Putonghua was called "the common speech of the modern man", the spoken language adopted as a national lingua franca by conventional usage; the use of the term Putonghua by left-leaning intellectuals such as Qu Qiubai and Lu Xun influenced the People's Republic of China government to adopt that term to describe Mandarin in 1956. Prior to this, the government used both terms interchangeably. In Taiwan, Guoyu continues to be the official term for Standard Chinese; the term Guoyu however, is less used in the PRC, because declaring a Beijing dialect-based standard to be the national language would be deemed unfair to speakers of other varieties and to the ethnic minorities. The term Putonghua, on the contrary, implies nothing more than the notion of a lingua franca. During the government of a pro-Taiwan independence coalition, Taiwan officials promoted a different reading of Guoyu as all of the "national languages", meaning Hokkien and Formosan as well as Standard Chinese.
Huayu, or "language of the Chinese nation" simply meant "Chinese language", was used in overseas communities to contrast Chinese with foreign languages. Over time, the desire to standardise the variety of Chinese spoken in these communities led to the adoption of the name "Huayu" to refer to Mandarin; this name avoids choosing a side between the alternative names of Putonghua and Guoyu, which came to have political significance after their usages diverged along political lines between the PRC and the ROC. It incorporates the notion that Mandarin is not the national or common language of the areas in which overseas Chinese live. Hanyu, or "language of the Han people", is another umbrella term used for Chinese. However, it has confusingly two different meanings: Standard Chinese; this term, as well as Hànzú, is a modern concept. A related concept is Hànzì; the term "Mandarin" is a translation of Guānhuà, which referred to the lingua franca of the late Chinese empire. The Chinese term is obsolete as a name for the standard language, but is used by linguists to refer to the major group of Mandarin dialects spoken natively across most of northern and southwestern China.
In English, "Mandarin" may refer to the standard language, the dialect group as a whole, or to historic forms such as the late Imperial lingua franca. The name "Modern Standard Mandarin" is sometimes used by linguists who wish to distinguish the current state of the shared language from other northern and historic dialects; the Chinese have different languages in different provinces, to such an extent
Oirats are the westernmost group of the Mongols whose ancestral home is in the Altai region of Xinjiang and western Mongolia. Although the Oirats originated in the eastern parts of Central Asia, the most prominent group today is located in Kalmykia, a federal subject of Russia, where they are called Kalmyks; the Oirats were composed of four major tribes: Dzungar, Torghut, Dörbet, Khoshut. The minor tribes include: Khoid, Myangad, Baatud; the name means "oi" and "ard", they were counted among the "forest people" in the 13th century. Similar to, the Turkic aghach ari, found as place name in many locales, including the corrupted name of the town of Aghajari in Iran. A second opinion believes the name derives from Mongolian word "oirt" meaning "close," as in "close/nearer ones." The name Oirat may derive from a corruption of the group's original name Dörben Öörd, meaning "The Allied Four." Inspired by the designation Dörben Öörd, other Mongols at times used the term "Döchin Mongols" for themselves, but there was as great a degree of unity among larger numbers of tribes as among the Oirats.
These views are confuted by Kempf 2010, who from a historical linguist's point of view argues that the name is a plural coming from *oyiran, from Turkic *ōy ‘a word for a colour of a horse’s coat’. In the 17th century, Zaya Pandita, a Gelug monk of the Khoshut tribe, devised a new writing system called Todo Bichig for use by the Oirat people; this system was developed on the basis of the older Mongolian script, but had a more developed system of diacritics to preclude misreading, reflected some lexical and grammatical differences of the Oirat language from Mongolian. The Todo Bichig writing system remained in use in Kalmykia until the mid-1920s when it was replaced by a Latin-based script, the Cyrillic alphabet, it can be seen in some public signs in the Kalmyk capital, is superficially taught in schools. In Mongolia it was replaced by the Cyrillic alphabet in 1941; some Oirats in China still use Todo Bichig as their primary writing system, as well as Mongolian script. A monument of Zaya Pandita was unveiled on the 400th anniversary of Zaya Pandita's birth, on 350th anniversary of his creation of the Tod Bichig.
The Oirats share some history, geography and language with the Eastern Mongols, were at various times united under the same leader as a larger Mongol entity — whether that ruler was of Oirat descent or of Chingissids. Comprising the Khoshut, Choros or Ölöt, Dörbet ethnic groups, they were dubbed Kalmyk or Kalmak, which means "remnant" or "to remain", by their western Turkic neighbours. Various sources list the Bargut, Buzava and Naiman tribes as comprising part of the Dörben Öörd; this name may however reflect the Kalmyks' remaining Buddhist rather than converting to Islam. After the fall of the Yuan dynasty and Eastern Mongols had developed separate identities to the point where Oirats called themselves "Four Oirats" while they only called those under the Khagans in the east as "Mongols". One of the earliest mentions of the Oirat people in a historical text can be found in The Secret History of the Mongols, the 13th century chronicle of Genghis Khan's rise to power. In the Secret History, the Oirats are counted among the "forest people" and are said to live under the rule of a shaman-chief known as bäki.
They lived in Tuva and Mongolian Khövsgöl Province and the Oirats moved to the south in the 14th century. In one famous passage the Oirat chief, Quduqa Bäki, uses a yada or'thunder stone' to unleash a powerful storm on Genghis' army; the magical ploy backfires however. During early stages of Temujin Genghis's rise, Oirats under Quduqa bekhi fought against Genghis and were defeated. Oirats were submitted to Mongol rule after their ally Jamukha, Temujin's childhood friend and rival, was destroyed. Subject to the khan Oirats would form themselves as a loyal and formidable faction of the Mongol war machine. In 1207, Jochi the eldest son of Genghis, subjugated the forest tribes including the Oirats and the Kyrgyzs; the Great Khan gave those people to his son and had one of his daughters, married the Oirat chief Khutug-bekhi or his son. There were notable Oirats in the Mongol Empire such as his son Nowruz. In 1256, a body of the Oirats under Bukha-Temür joined Hulagu's expedition to Iran and fought against Hashshashins, Abbasids in Persia.
The Ilkhan Hulagu and his successor Abagha resettled them in Turkey. And they took part in the Second Battle of Homs; the majority of the Oirats, who were left behind, supported Ariq Böke against Kublai in the Toluid Civil War. Kublai defeated they entered the service of the victor. In 1295, more than 10,000 Oirats under Targhai Khurgen fled Syria under the Mamluks because they were despised by both Muslim Mongols and local Turks, they were well received by the Egyptian Sultan Al-Adil Kitbugha of Oirat origin. Ali Pasha, the governor of Baghdad, head of an Oirat ruling family, killed Ilkhan Arpa Keun, resulting in the
The Xiongnu were a tribal confederation of nomadic peoples who, according to ancient Chinese sources, inhabited the eastern Eurasian Steppe from the 3rd century BC to the late 1st century AD. Chinese sources report that Modu Chanyu, the supreme leader after 209 BC, founded the Xiongnu Empire. After their previous overlords, the Yuezhi, migrated into Central Asia during the 2nd century BC, the Xiongnu became a dominant power on the steppes of north-east Central Asia, centred on an area known as Mongolia; the Xiongnu were active in areas now part of Siberia, Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang. Their relations with adjacent Chinese dynasties to the south east were complex, with repeated periods of conflict and intrigue, alternating with exchanges of tribute and marriage treaties. During the Sixteen Kingdoms era, they were known as one of the Five Barbarians. Attempts to identify the Xiongnu with groups of the western Eurasian Steppe remain controversial. Scythians and Sarmatians were concurrently to the west.
The identity of the ethnic core of Xiongnu has been a subject of varied hypotheses, because only a few words titles and personal names, were preserved in the Chinese sources. The name Xiongnu may be cognate with that of the Huna, although this is disputed. Other linguistic links – all of them controversial – proposed by scholars include Iranian, Turkic, Yeniseian, Tibeto-Burman or multi-ethnic. An early reference to the Xiongnu was by the Han dynasty historian Sima Qian who wrote about the Xiongnu in the Records of the Grand Historian, drawing a distinct line between the settled Huaxia people to the pastoral nomads, characterizing it as two polar groups in the sense of a civilization versus an uncivilized society: the Hua–Yi distinction. Pre-Han sources classify the Xiongnu as a Hu people, a blanket term for nomadic people in general. Ancient China came in contact with the Xianyun and the Xirong nomadic peoples. In Chinese historiography, some groups of these peoples were believed to be the possible progenitors of the Xiongnu people.
These nomadic people had repeated military confrontations with the Shang and the Zhou, who conquered and enslaved the nomads in an expansion drift. During the Warring States period, the armies from the Qin and Yan states were encroaching and conquering various nomadic territories that were inhabited by the Xiongnu and other Hu peoples. Sinologist Edwin Pulleyblank argued that the Xiongnu were part of a Xirong group called Yiqu, who had lived in Shaanbei and had been influenced by China for centuries, before they were driven out by the Qin dynasty. Qin's campaign against the Xiongnu expanded Qin's territory at the expense of the Xiongnu. In 215 BC, Qin Shi Huang sent General Meng Tian to conquer the Xiongnu and drive them from the Ordos Loop, which he did that year. After the catastrophic defeat at the hands of Meng Tian, the Xiongnu leader Touman was forced to flee far into the Mongolian Plateau; the Qin empire became a threat to the Xiongnu, which led to the reorganization of the many tribes into a confederacy.
Chubei Huyan Lan Luandi Qiulin Xubu In 209 BC, three years before the founding of Han China, the Xiongnu were brought together in a powerful confederation under a new chanyu, Modu Chanyu. This new political unity transformed them into a more formidable state by enabling formation of larger armies and the ability to exercise better strategic coordination; the Xiongnu adopted many of the Chinese agriculture techniques such as slave labor for heavy labor, wore silk like the Chinese, lived in Chinese-style homes. The reason for creating the confederation remains unclear. Suggestions include the need for a stronger state to deal with the Qin unification of China that resulted in a loss of the Ordos region at the hands of Meng Tian or the political crisis that overtook the Xiongnu in 215 BC when Qin armies evicted them from their pastures on the Yellow River. After forging internal unity, Modu expanded the empire on all sides. To the north he conquered a number of nomadic peoples, including the Dingling of southern Siberia.
He crushed the power of the Donghu people of eastern Mongolia and Manchuria as well as the Yuezhi in the Hexi Corridor of Gansu, where his son, made a skull cup out of the Yuezhi king. Modu reoccupied all the lands taken by the Qin general Meng Tian. Under Modu's leadership, the Xiongnu threatened the Han dynasty causing Emperor Gaozu, the first Han emperor, to lose his throne in 200 BC. By the time of Modu's death in 174 BC, the Xiongnu had driven the Yuezhi from the Hexi Corridor, killing the Yuezhi king in the process and asserting their presence in the Western Regions; the Xiongnu were recognized as the most prominent of the nomads bordering the Chinese Han empire and during early relations between the Xiongnu and the Han, the former held the balance of power. According to the Book of Han quoted in Duan Chengshi's ninth century Miscellaneous Morsels from Youyang: Also, according to the Han shu, Wang Wu and others were sent as envoys to pay a visit to the Xiongnu. According to the customs of the Xiongnu, if the Han envoys did not remove their tallies of authority, if they did not allow their faces to be tattooed, they could not gain entrance into the yurts.
Wang Wu and his company removed their tallies, submitted to tattoo, thus gained entry. The Shanyu looked upon them highly. After Modu leaders formed a dualistic system of political organisation with the left and right branches of the Xiongnu divided on a regional basis; the chanyu or shanyu, a ruler equivalent to the Emperor of China