Tuesday, July 20, 2010
China I - Tang Taizong and his steeds
I am planing to start blogging more about the Eastern Eurasian Steppe, the Altai Saka, Xiongnu, Tocharians of Eastern Turkestan, Turkic empires, Mongolian and Chinese cavalry and horsemanship. While I am not planing to abandon European knights and horses, I think I must devote much more space and time to these splendid cavaliers of the Ordos Steppe and Orkhon River plains.
Actually, I am very fascinated with the early nomads of the eastern Eurasia, especially the Upper Altai of South Siberia during the Bronze Age and in the first millennium BC . And in the light of their development in the arts of horsemanship and horse tack, their ( Saka and Xiongnu) influence on their southern neighbours - the Chin, Han, Sui and Tang Chinese, and the Koreans and Tibetans.
I have been working on some illustrations showing Tang and Sui Chinese horse tack based on their art, especially the famous sculpted horses. We shall revisit writings of Karl Hrinz Ranitzsch, Albert Dien, Di Cosmo, and other scholars studying Han, Sui and Tang Chinese cavalries (that were not necessarily Han Chinese per se, but included Saka, Tocharians, Xiongnu, Persians, Uigurs, Turks, Tibetans etc).
So let us treat this entry as a introduction to the subject or perhaps rather an announcement. And in order to put some cream on this bland cake :) let me provide you with a link to the fascinating subject regarding my most favorite emperor of the Chinese history - Tang Taizong http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emperor_Taizong_of_Tang - and his six horses.
This link comes via Facebook from Penn State and it is the entire dissertation of Xiugin Zhou on the Tang Taizong mausoleum to himself and his six steeds - tang taizong horses
In addition there is this essential work on the Eastern Eurasian horse warriors and their swords during the ancient and early medieval periods - titled 'The Long Sword and Scabbard Slide in Asia'by William Trousdale, profusely illustrated with period images smithsoniananthropologyTrousdale
I hope to start writing soon on these Eastern horses and their riders
for some reason my links did not want to display themselves properly so I am attaching them for a 'copy and paste' 'linking'