||"dawnbreak in the west"|
Sunday, August 16, 2015
I'd left open how, exactly, M33c got from Szechuan to Khazaria. To that, here's a - well, let's call it a guest-post by a western M33c relative (I didn't ask permission to repost), in email. I've taken the liberty of some slight corrections, links, and obfuscations:
The whole of Ibn Khordadbeh is in French, wherein the relevant page is page 512. That "Les Radanites" excerpt may be read about, in English, in James Jacobs. So, in addition to my request to sample the Bolyu, I'll have to add the Kermanis.
These "Radhan" have been linked to the Radan in Beth Aramaye, also pronounced "Radhan" in Syriac. That Rādhān was famed as the estate of Ibn Mas'ud near al-Kufa - so Michael Lecker, "Wa-bi-Rādhān mā bi-Rādhān...: The landed property of Abdallāh ibn Masūd", Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 78.1 (February 2015), 53-66. In concert with that, readers of my books (which I wrote before Lecker wrote this) will recall Rad(h)an as the first recruiting-ground of al-Khirrit the heretic, also, in Iraq. Lecker has cited Moshe Gil at p. 55 from a 1974 article, that the two Rādānayn're related; I haven't read this, but I have read Gil's scholarship in 1992 and, well... not so great. (Lecker, too, had to correct Gil 1974 on another point in p. 56.) My initial thought is that those 'round about Rād(h)ān in al-Kufa in the 600s were Christian(ish); the Radhanites of the Silk Road were Jews. So they should not be associated with one another.
Now, on to the rest of it...
As for when the Rad(h)anites picked up Mama M33c, 870 AD seems late. By then a lot of the Caliphal gains had been frittered away by resurgent Turkic hordes to the north and what was left was getting challenged by Tahirids along the south (the Iranian Intermezzo was about to start...). Also, in Ibn Khordadbeh's account, by then the Silk Road from Balkh now in north Afghanistan was having to scoot north through Ferghana, in order to run through Uyghur territory. That looks like the long way around Tibet; dangerously close to the Taklamakan. From that An Lushan disaster to 821 AD - I'm just finding out - the Tanggut and Tibetans were blocking the western parts of the Gansu Corridor. A couple centuries later the Tanggut would found a kingdom of their own around there, which modern Chinese are pleased to call the "Western Xia". So - Ibn Khordadbeh's ninth-century generation had to be careful around there.
[ASIDE 6/10/2017: I associate M33c with southern provincial Buddhists. Nanzhao in Yunnan was a post-Tang shelter for such. However: to me it looks like a Roach Motel. People checked in, but I don't see where they could check out.]
So I propose that the Radhanites had moved into the trade-routes almost immediately following the Tang victories and Khazar state-formation; early 700s seems about right.
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