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Heguo 何國

Jun 2, 2017 © Ulrich Theobald

The state of Heguo 何國 was located near Aktash and Kattakurgan in modern Uzbekistan, a land formerly known as Soghdia or Soghdiana, in Chinese Sute 粟特. According to traditional belief, the city was founded by one of the Nine Tribes from Zhaowu (Zhaowu jiuxing 昭武九姓). It flourished during the sixth and seventh centuries CE, and was subject to the state of Kangguo 康國 (the former Kangju 康居), but was culturally and politically influenced by the Western Turkish Khanate. The capital city was located at the banks of River Nami 那密 (today called Zeravshan, in Chinese Zelafushan 澤拉夫善河, a tributary of the Amu Darya), and was able to raise an army of thousand men.

Map 1. The Nine States of the Soghdiana
The Soghdia around 600 CE. Based on Tan Qixiang 譚其驤, ed. (1995), Zhongguo lishi ditu ji 中國歷史地圖集, Vol. 5, Sui, Tang, Wudai Shiguo shiqi 隋唐五代十國時期 (Beijing: Zhongguo ditu chubanshe, 1996).

In the official dynastic history Xintangshu 新唐書 it is called Qushuangnijia 屈霜你迦 or Guishuangni 貴霜匿, a transliteration of the Persian word Kushanik (related to the kingdom of Kushan, Chinese name Guishuang 貴霜, with which the state of Heguo had nothing to do).

The first tribute missions were brought to China during the Sui 隋 (581-618) period, and then to the court of the Tang dynasty 唐 (618-907). Emperor Gaozong 唐高宗 (r. 649-683) transformed the state into the indirectly administrated prefecture (jimizhou 羈縻州) of Guishuang 貴霜. Its ruler Zhaowu Poda 昭武婆達 was formally appointed regional inspector (cishi 刺史). The city of the king of Heguo was famous for its paintings and buildings. In the 8th century the state was conquered by Muslim invaders.

Sources:
Gao Wende 高文德, ed. (1995). Zhongguo shaoshu minzu shi da cidian 中國少數民族史大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin jiaoyu chubanshe), 1086.
Pu Kaifu 蒲開夫, Zhu Yifan 朱一凡, Li Xingli 李行力, ed. (2006). Xinjiang baike zhishi cidian 新疆百科知識辭典 (Lanzhou: Gansu renmin chubanshe), 392.
Qian Boquan 錢伯泉 (1994). "Heguo 何國", in Xue Li 雪犁, ed. Zhongguo sichou zhi lu cidian 中國絲綢之路辭典 (Ürümqi: Xinjiang renmin chubanshe), 14.
Tan Qixiang 譚其驤 (1996). Zhongguo lishi ditu ji 中國歷史地圖集, Vol. 5, Sui, Tang, Wudai, Shiguo shiqi 隋唐五代十國時期 (Beijing: Zhongguo ditu chubanshe).
Zhang Guangda 張廣達 (1992). "Sute 粟特", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Zhongguo lishi 中國歷史 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), Vol. 2, 1030.
Zhang Guangda 張廣達 (1992). "Zhaowu jiuxing 昭武九姓", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Zhongguo lishi 中國歷史 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), Vol. 3, 1514.