An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Suiye 碎葉

Oct 16, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald

Suiye 碎葉 was for several decades one of the four defense commands (sizhen 四鎮) of the Protectorate of the Pacified West (Anxi duhufu 安西都護府) of the Tang empire 唐 (618-907). It was located near Tokmak and Lake Issyk Gul in modern Kirgizstan. Before the Tang period, it had been an important trade spot and was controlled by the Western Türks (Xi Tujue 西突厥). Suiye was made an indirectly administrated prefecture (jimizhou 羈縻州) of the Tang empire after the Türkish leader A-shi-na He-lu 阿史那賀魯 had been defeated, with a Türkish leader named An-che-bi-shi 安車鼻施 as a prefect (cishi 刺史).

In 679, another Türkish leader, A-shi-na Du-zhi 阿史那都支, was defeated by the Tang armies. In order to forestall further uprisings against the Tang, Suiye was transformed into a garrison called Baoda 保大 and replaced Yanqi 焉耆 as defense command. The protector-general (duhu 都護) of Beiting 北庭 sometimes took over the office of the commander of Suiye. The garrison was manned by troops from the garrisons of Tianshan 天山 and Hanhai 瀚海 from the prefectures of Tingzhou 庭州 and Xizhou 西州. In 719 a Western Türkish khan asked for the permission to take residence in Suiye. The Tang court corresponded to his wish, and Suiye was reduced to a normal garrison while the defense command was transferred back to Yanqi.

In the mid-8th century Suiye was lost to the Türgiš 突騎施 and Qarluqs 葛邏祿.

Chen Guocan 陳國燦 (1992). "Suiye 碎葉", 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, 1059.