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Old September 2nd, 2012, 07:33 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Gnaeus View Post
Well, really more of a Steppe State. The Liao were basically like more small scale Mongols. Essentially they were very similar to the Kara Khitans, just that the Kara Khitans were ruling over a Kazakhstani and Uzbekistani Muslim population, while the Liao Khitans were ruling over a Chinese population.
No, not really, the Han people were a minority in Manchuria at this point, there may have been more Koreans there than Han Chinese if anything. the Khitans were most certainly amongst the largest ethnic group in the Liao dynasty (though it had a rather diverse population as well). where as they were a clear minority in the Kara-Khitan.

The Liao court was very much modelled after their southern counter part. (though it was an interesting mix of Tang and Song government on top of nomadic style courts. they essentially used Song style government to run southern Manchuria, and a mixture of Tang + nomad court to rule to northern parts) they even held a few imperial exam (in fact Yelu Dashi who founded the Kara-Khitan ) was the only royal member to ever actually take and pass it.

It had some similarity with the Mongol Yuan dynasty of China, but not the Genghis Khan era Mongols.

Last edited by RollingWave; September 2nd, 2012 at 07:50 PM.
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Old September 3rd, 2012, 03:49 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Gnaeus View Post
Well, really more of a Steppe State. The Liao were basically like more small scale Mongols. Essentially they were very similar to the Kara Khitans, just that the Kara Khitans were ruling over a Kazakhstani and Uzbekistani Muslim population, while the Liao Khitans were ruling over a Chinese population.
The Liao Dynasty had been mostly sinicized by the time of its removal, employing Confucian gentry to run its bureaucracy. When the Liao fled west there is no reason to assume that it would abandon its governmental style, it is well known that the Western Liao kept Temple Names and many of the customs from China. Calling them mostly mongols would be incorrect.
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Old January 27th, 2013, 06:06 AM   #13

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Michael Biran's book on the Qara Khitans appears to be only work out there devoted to this kingdom. You can read a great deal of it on amazon books, but not all since there are pages removed. The book runs in the $100+ range if looking to purchase. Here is the amazon link for the public access version.

The Empire of the Qara Khitai in Eurasian History: Between China and the ... - Michal Biran - Google Books
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Old March 25th, 2017, 07:32 AM   #14

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Currently doing reading for a blog post on the Qara Khitai, and found this book to be helpful:

The Empire of the Qara Khitai in Eurasian History by Michal Biran of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
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Old March 25th, 2017, 10:23 AM   #15

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Originally Posted by Temujin View Post
Yes I have looked up that subject. The people of overthrew the Liao were Jurchen from Manchuria, not Chinese, and the founders of the Jin Dynasty which would later be destroyed by Genghis Khan and his successors. The Jurchen were later renamed Manchu, I'm sure you know who those are.
Concerning the army of the Kara-Khitan, yes I think there was a lot of cavalry, judging from the usual martial habits of the Manchurian tribes. Archery would have been promiment also. The Karakhanid predecessors of the Karakhitans were Central Asian Turkics, with their own highly skilled cavalry. One Chinese addition to the army was that some warriors seemed to have worn paper armour.

I'm sure their Manchurian influence would have led them to have an even greater emphasis on heavy cavalry than the Mongols did. The Mongols relied almost solely on light cavalry before the arrival of Genghis, and even then heavy cavalry in the Mongol Army only gained more importance during the China campaigns.
But the Kara-Khitans were not Manchu, they were the Liao, or Khitan people, called Qidan in chinese. Being defeated by the Jurchen Jin does not necessarilly mean that the Liao automatically begin to fight like the Jurchen Manchus. It is also possible that Jurchen who founded the Jin dymasty did not fight in the same way as the Jurchen who founded the Qing. More evidence is needed to know exactly what kind of armies these troops were composed of. I mean what is clear is that the Kara-Khitan used a lot of cavalry, because thats what everyone on the steppe did
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Old March 25th, 2017, 11:40 AM   #16

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Originally Posted by MughalMuse View Post
Currently doing reading for a blog post on the Qara Khitai, and found this book to be helpful:

The Empire of the Qara Khitai in Eurasian History by Michal Biran of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

There's also a section on Qara Khitai in this book, which is a general history of the Liao and a partial translation of their official histories.
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Old March 25th, 2017, 11:21 PM   #17

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Hello:

was yelu dashi's wife, xiao dabuyen a member of the liao consort clan of xiao? if so, how specifically?
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Old March 26th, 2017, 08:32 AM   #18
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Yelu Dashi sounds very Tibetan. I know Guge Tibetans warred against khara khanid so Khara khitais were probably allies and some cultural interaction took place hence the Tibetan sounding name. Am I right in my theory?
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Old March 26th, 2017, 09:10 AM   #19

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Yelu Dashi sounds very Tibetan. I know Guge Tibetans warred against khara khanid so Khara khitais were probably allies and some cultural interaction took place hence the Tibetan sounding name. Am I right in my theory?
No Tibetan connection that I know of. Yelu was the imperial clan of the Khitan-Liao, so in this case it's used as a surname (I've also seen it spelled I-la). Dashi is just an alternate spelling of the Chinese title taishi. He probably had a Khitan name, but it's not recorded anywhere. The Khitans' original homeland was in Manchuria.

Last edited by stevapalooza; March 26th, 2017 at 09:13 AM.
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Old June 14th, 2017, 05:51 PM   #20

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No Tibetan connection that I know of. Yelu was the imperial clan of the Khitan-Liao, so in this case it's used as a surname (I've also seen it spelled I-la). Dashi is just an alternate spelling of the Chinese title taishi. He probably had a Khitan name, but it's not recorded anywhere. The Khitans' original homeland was in Manchuria.
Interestingly, I read that Dashi was also a play on words to mean Arab. Although that also implies a level of propaganda for Yelu Dashi's part. Legitimization and all.
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