The Hun Empire and Its History

The state, which is called Hiung-nu in Chinese, takes this term from the text of the treaty signed after the Northern Chance War with China in 318 BC. Known as the Hun people, the Hiung-nu is the name of the indigenous people living in the Mongolia region in the northwest of China. The first known Emperor of the Great Huns is Teoman. The most important ruler who introduced the Huns to the whole world is undoubtedly Mete, who was a great commander and ruler. Even looking at the construction of the Great Wall of China, it is known that the Chinese built the Great Wall of China in 214 BC to protect it from the attacks of the Huns. The aforementioned wall continues to preserve its place in the World Wonders List today.


It is claimed that the Hun Empire, known as the Great Hun State, was founded by Teoman in 220 BC. Since the culture of the millennium, which has passed with invasions and wars, has been exposed to fires and attacks from time to time, it has become almost impossible for historical records to reach today.



Mete Han

It was Emperor Mete who made the Hun State a respected and leader in its geography since its establishment. Mete marched on China for the dominance of the Silk Road and defeated the Chinese forces in 200 BC and tied this state to tribute. Later, he defeated the Chinese army, led by Ka-o-ti, in the Pai-Teng Expedition in 187 BC with his army of one hundred thousand people. The Chinese Imperial army is said to be two hundred thousand in some sources and three hundred thousand in some sources. From the time of Mete, the Huns dominated all the lands between Siberia, the China Sea, the Sea of ​​Japan and the Caspian Sea. Mete kept his relations with China at a distance. The first reason for this is to prevent the Hun people from assimilation by mixing with the Chinese society.


The continuous expansion of the Huns without coming under Chinese domination is internal turmoil in China. In fact, the Hun State caused the collapse of the five kingdoms as a result of its attacks on China. Among these kingdoms in China, the Chou Dynasty was also destroyed by the Hun attacks, but the Tis Dynasty, which cooperated with the Huns, rose to the leadership of the state. However, after a while, this dynasty was destroyed and the Hun domination in the region gradually increased.


 The Rise and Ethnicity of the Hun Empire

It has become a great empire from Central Asian tribes such as Huns, Mongols, Turks and Tunguses, which includes elements from many tribes. However, the military and social culture of the Turkish tribes, which were more dominant than these tribes, dominated the entire empire over time. The word "Hun", which was the name of the state, meant man, human and people. The Huns generally hunted in accordance with the steppe life, engaged in animal husbandry, and partially engaged in agriculture. The Huns, who had developed warrior characters, did not keep cattle. They kept herds of sheep and raised horses very well. In the Huns, a valiant's horse was considered his closest companion. The Huns are considered to be the ancestors of the Turkish tribes.


The Huns are the first empire established by the Turks. The Huns, who were constantly moving and nomadic, made constant raids in the geography around them and expanded the borders of the state due to their lifestyle.


 Mete Han and the Rising Period of the Hun Empire

Known as the bravest ruler of the Huns, Mete, despite being exiled out of the country, returned to his country with a large army and killed his father Teoman. When Mete came to power, he first turned to the Eastern tribes and defeated all the Eastern tribes and the state continued to expand. Mete, who also captured the western lands, lasted until the Great Wall of China. After Mete expanded the country in all directions, he began to prepare for expeditions to China.


In this period when Mete wanted to organize an expedition to China, there was the Han Dynasty, which ruled between 206 and 220 BC. Kaoti became the ruler of China and the command of the Tai province was given to Sini with the title of King of Han. Mete first started his campaign by attacking the city of Meji. After this situation, Sin immediately surrendered to the Huns. Mete, with his very few troops, made the Chinese rulers experience hell. The Chinese Emperor Kaoti managed to escape with the help of Mete's wife. Although the king of China later made preparations for an expedition, this idea was abandoned and Sino-Hun peace was established. As a result of the treaty, the Chinese ruler sent one of his concubines to Mete and accepted the provision that he would give a certain amount of food every year. After this situation, the Huns stopped dealing with China and headed for the western lands of the country. At this time, Tibet and Tibetan tribes, Shamo Desert and Lop Lake tribes accepted Hun domination. Mete Han had achieved the goal of uniting all Turkish tribes in Asia under a central authority and a single flag. In addition, most of the Mongols, Tunguses, Tatars and Chinese came under the rule of the Huns during the Mete period.


 After Mete Han, Hun State and Struggle for Domination

Mete Han died in 174 BC after expanding the country's territory to its widest borders. However, the Hun State, administrative, military and cultural and artistic level made the empire the provincial Turkish Empire in Asia. Of course, the central administration of the expanding state was very important. Other rulers who came after Mete Han provided this, albeit partially. The Chinese princesses who came to the country began to divide the state. The Chinese silk brought to the country represented luxury life and pleasures by the dignitaries of the state. Ruler Tanhu, who was in the administration of the state, was beginning to grapple with uncertainty. Because Tanhu did not have a military character. The Chinese had achieved their goal. The Hun state was now in danger of disintegrating.


 Disintegration of Hun State, East and West Hun Wing

Mete died after expanding the territory of the state to the widest borders. With the death of Mete, the Huns started a fight for the throne. After the close relations with China, the Huns now experienced internal turmoil with the espionage activities of the Chinese princesses and the conflict between the Turkish tribes gradually increased. With this internal turmoil of the Huns, China had increased its influence on the Silk Road and seized control. Finally, the multi-headed administration of the state caused the state to be divided into East and West in 46 BC. The main reason for this separation is the negativities experienced after the relations with China between my two brothers, Ho-han-ye and Chichi.


Çiçi, the ruler of the Western Huns, withdrew to Western Turkestan, which is today, and established dominance here. Çiçi, who protected the western wing of the Huns, engaged in a great struggle with the Chinese. However, Çiçi, who had too few members of the Turkish society to apply Akıncı tactics and attack strategies, established a city in the fight against the Chinese, surrounded it with castles and implemented a defensive war against China. Chichi was not liked by the soldiers under his command with his domination as hard-hearted as he was authoritarian. The second mistake of Çiçi is to act cowardly by taking shelter in the castle instead of attacking.


The Eastern Huns, on the other hand, managed to survive until 48 A.D., when the Great Hun Empire was destroyed as the central power in the east of Talas under the rule of Ho-han-ye. The Chinese authority had to divide the Eastern Huns, the central wing of the state. The fragmentation of the state continued to increase and in 48 AD the Eastern Huns were divided into two as the South and the North. They ruled the Mongolian and Siberian steppes until 156 AD under the rule of Tanhu Pi, now the North of the Eastern Huns. The Southern wing of the Eastern Huns, on the other hand, ruled in the Uyghur Basin and regions close to China under the Panhu administration until 216 AD.


The Huns later established short-lived small states in various parts of China. Despite the disappearance of the Hun political power in the field of China, the Hun State, with the collapse of the Cici power, spread around the Aral Sea and tried to shelter in that region. Other Turkish tribes living in this region grew larger and expanded and had to migrate to European lands from the north of the Caspian Sea, as the drought and climate change in the region led the Huns to starvation and misery.


 Great Hun Empire Emperors

Theoman 220-209 BC.

Mete 209-174 BC.

Lao-Shang 174-160 BC.

Kung-Sin 160-126 BC.

Iti-Sie 126-114 BC.

U-vey 114-105 BC.

Ousiuliu 105-102 BC.

Kiuliu-hou 102-101 BC.

Tchietiheu 101-96 BC.

Houloku 96-85 BC.

Houyenti 85-68 BC.

Hiuliukiu 68-60 BC.

Voyenkiu 60-57 BC.

Houhansie 57-31 BC.

Feoutchou 31-20 BC.

Seuhiaijo 20-12 BC.

Tcheyajo 12-8 BC.

Outchou 8 BC - 13 AD.

Ouloijou 13-AD 18.

Houthouulh 18 A.D.- 46 A.D.

Pounou A.D. 46- A.D. 66.

Yeou-lieou 66 AD - 87 AD.

Yu-chukieu AD 87-AD 92.

State Structure and Authority of the Hun Empire

Since the Hun Empire consisted of many tribes, the state order consisted of tribes and smaller tribes. The Tanhu troops, who were subordinate to the emperor, were in charge of governing the whole country. The ruler of the state and his family had the best herds in the country, and these herds were fed on the country's best pastures. In particular, educated Chinese were used in the state and palace bureaucracy, and even consultants who knew China well were used in the expeditions on China. The first state to form a state-like union by gathering the tribes among the Turks was the Hun Empire.


The management of the tribes was divided into right and left. Because the sunrise would rise from the left when the face was turned to the south. In the Huns, this term was subject to distinction as left wise elig and right wise elig. In this distinction, left and right kingdoms are mentioned. The left wise elig represented the ruling family. The army administration was also divided into left and right. The commanders of the army were usually chosen from the brothers and sons of Tanhu. These left and right arms were dependent on certain tribes and tribes for the need for soldiers and shepherding of the herds, though most of them were bound or suppressed. This need was provided by the tribe or leg to which he was responsible and dependent on this subject. According to the necessities brought by the nomadic system, height and ethnicity were shared, on the contrary, land was not given much value. Under the eligs, which ruled the right and left arms, there were autonomous tribes called four corners by the Huns. Apart from the descendants of Tanhu from the Huns, there were four more privileged and noble tribes. According to Chinese historical sources, two were on the right-west and two on the left-east. The migration of these tribes to the eastern and western governments shows their dependence on their lords. All of these noble tribes were related to Tanhu and were also related.


The placements made in the army order did not only consist of soldiers from the tribes. The Huns used the soldiers they captured in the wars in their troops. Mete Han developed the ten army system that would become immortal with his own name. This system will be used continuously after the Huns and will be developed in the time of Genghis Khan and classified into groups of 10, 100, and 1000 people. Especially the terms corporal, captain, major, division chief, which are among the military ranks, come from Mete's decimal army system. The families, tribes and tribes that made up the army were responsible for providing 10 soldiers, 100 tribes and 1000 soldiers for the army. Tanhu divided the country into 24 separate changas. There were right and left eligs around the tanhu and eleven military leaders on each side. The number of these chefs is known as 24. The hierarchy among these chiefs continued between the descendants of the khan and the senior military chiefs. The soldiers placed under the patronage of chiefs could vary according to the chief's seniority and personal qualifications.


The military system was dominated by a system that was dependent on the central government. This system was intended to be included in a system established only under the leadership of the central system, not according to the lineage. The soldiers under the chief's command were also under the chief's command. Although different people were appointed to the head of the tribes from time to time, the tribes were again gathered around their former lords. Even in peacetime, soldiers used to shepherd their own chiefs. These soldiers paid their taxes to the Hun state through their chiefs. Do not think of the size system as a different group. As it is known, the Hun State consisted of tribes and these tribes were identified with the whole system of the state. The Hun State is a good example of the state system built with tribes. The khan used to convene congresses to establish communication between tribes and tribes. Although not frequent, such meetings and mergers were very important for the survival of the state. Although the state level and diplomatic records of the congress were not known, the state seemed strong as Tanhu conquered and expanded the territory. Since the administration of the state was dependent on Tanhu, if the supplies from China and Turkistan were exhausted or cut, the tribes in various regions would revolt against the state. The information obtained and historical records showed that the Huns did not interfere with the tribes and tribes under their orders, and they were in a policy of tolerance towards the tribes and tribes under their rule with a thin bureaucracy. Even the captive tribes paid their taxes and continued all their commercial and agricultural relations under the rule of the state. But in time, according to steppe law, one tribe could dominate the others. Yes, this may be evidence of military slavery between tribes and tribes, but this situation would be reversed very quickly. In addition, just like the Tunguses, the lords of the slave tribes took an active part in the Hun military and administrative relations.

The First Known Turkish Carpet: Pazirik Carpet (Huns)

The Huns continued their military life against all kinds of dangers. Apart from war and grazing, men made items used in daily life. Women and girls were engaged in carpet weaving and felt making, apart from cooking and caring for children. This carpet making art, which the Turks are famous for, first came from the Huns. These carpets, which were made for the spouses they value, became increasingly important in later dates. At the same time, the Huns adorned their horses and the figures of both harnesses and saddles were unique motifs. The order inside the tent was strict and no one could move the furniture. In the middle of the tent, a hearth was set up in the sacred place, and tools and equipment were hung on the walls of the tent. The inhabitants of the tent were set up around it. Behind the hearth, there was a corner of honor reserved for old men and guests, and this place was called tor, which means seat of honor. This was the most precious corner of the tent and was adorned with carpets embroidered with gold. Beds were set up around the hearth in the evening, and in the morning, the beds were gathered and adorned with embroidered covers. It was very easy to make use of wool, especially for these communities with animal herds. Because wool allowed them to make clothing or household items for themselves. In addition, the first known knotted carpet, the Pazirik Carpet, which was discovered mysteriously, belongs to the Hun Turks.

Culture and Art in the Hun Empire

The Huns laid the foundations of the later Turkish civilization. Huns, who pioneered Turkish history, advanced further and instilled their order and systems into later generations. Altai mountains as the center of the first Turkish art. Especially the kurgans (graves) found in the Altai mountains are the most important proof of this. The dead who were buried in these graves were buried with their valuables. Contrary to the straight swords used up to that time, curved swords used by the Turks were very common in kurgans.


Especially in the belief of Göktanrı, which is the common belief of the Turks, the Huns regarded the east as sacred and turned to the east in religious rites. Especially the Huns, who developed a gold culture, used gold motifs by taking advantage of the aylin mines located in the north of Atlay. Most of the historical artifacts made by the Huns were moved to the capital next to the Orkhon river. The Huns used not only their own shape but also the Chinese and Iranian weavings with which they interacted with other cultures. Especially gold ornamented felts were used for different purposes. In ornamental paintings, hunting scenes were first described. In the archaeological researches made after the Huns, the Mazırık region in the Altai Mountains was the fusion point of Eastern and Western cultures. The Huns appeared on the stage of history as the creators of their culture. In particular, they developed the motifs of the Greeks who came to Western Turkestan with Alexander the Great, by taking the Huns. The Huns used Chinese motifs along with Greek motifs in their felts.


The lives and wars of animals were told at every moment of the culture of the Huns. And the Huns tried to sculpt every animal you can think of. They used bronze while making these sculptures. In particular, they used figures that were half deer and half human to represent spirits. Thanks to the Turks, the Altai mountains became the place where the sprouts of the first culture were planted. Especially in the paintings, sky motifs were frequently used due to the belief of the Turks in the sky. The feature that distinguishes the Turks from other societies is that they follow the stars in the sky and follow the climatic changes. When the Turks saw that the sky covered every place, they saw the sky as a god. According to the Huns, there was the pole star in the middle of the sky and they called this star the iron stake. According to them, the earth revolves around the pole star and this iron stake was considered the center.



God Mountains

In the Huns, the Tian Shan was poorer than the Altai region. However, the two regions were very close to each other, and the fact that the clouds in the God Mountains were less than the Altays actually proved this for the Huns. To explain the importance of the Altays for the Huns, the Iron Age, which started in the Altays, spread to almost all regions. Therefore, according to the general opinion of historians, Altays were cultural centers because they had all the characteristics of Hun culture.


At the same time, the Orkhon river and its shore bear many traces of Hun culture. Orkhon river is full of Turkish cultural documents. The Huns, who were the first creators of Central Asian Turkish culture, also brought their culture to all the lands they went to.


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