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Old October 24th, 2012, 03:35 PM   #1

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What did the Chinese think of the Persian Empires?


What views did the Chinese held about the Iranians?
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Old October 24th, 2012, 04:06 PM   #2

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In general, the Chinese viewed themselves as the center of human civilization (The Middle Kingdom) and all non-Chinese as barbarians. Similar to how ancient Indians viewed all non-Indians as barbarians (mlecchas) and the Greeks viewed all non-Greeks as barbarians (barbaroi).

A notable exception would be Chinese Buddhists, who had a very positive view of India as the birthplace of Buddhism. They called it "Tianzhu", meaning "Center of Heaven". The Japanese Buddhists also shared a similar view of India and called it "Tenjiku", meaning the same thing.
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Old October 24th, 2012, 05:46 PM   #3

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Quote:
Originally Posted by civfanatic View Post
In general, the Chinese viewed themselves as the center of human civilization (The Middle Kingdom) and all non-Chinese as barbarians. Similar to how ancient Indians viewed all non-Indians as barbarians (mlecchas) and the Greeks viewed all non-Greeks as barbarians (barbaroi).

A notable exception would be Chinese Buddhists, who had a very positive view of India as the birthplace of Buddhism. They called it "Tianzhu", meaning "Center of Heaven". The Japanese Buddhists also shared a similar view of India and called it "Tenjiku", meaning the same thing.
Yes. China in Chinese literally means ''Middle Kingdom''.
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Old October 24th, 2012, 07:30 PM   #4
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I don't know of any negative views. China recognized the exiled sassanian royals in china as the kings of persia until sometime in the late 600s or 700s, the sassanian royal family ans many exiles fled to china after the arab conquest of iran.
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Old October 24th, 2012, 07:36 PM   #5

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IIRC there were at least two instances where large numbers of Persians living in China (mostly merchants) were slaughtered due to xenophobic feelings. One was the Yangzhou Massacre in 760 and the other was the Guangzhou Massacre in the 9th century C.E.

I'm not sure about Sino-Persian interactions on a state-to-state level.
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Old October 24th, 2012, 07:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by civfanatic View Post
IIRC there were at least two instances where large numbers of Persians living in China (mostly merchants) were slaughtered due to xenophobic feelings. One was the Yangzhou Massacre in 760 and the other was the Guangzhou Massacre in the 9th century C.E.

I'm not sure about Sino-Persian interactions on a state-to-state level.
Those people were slaughtered for being foreigners (and for being wealthy merchants), not for being persian. The guangzhou massacre is only reported by arab historians, chinese annals make no mention. Also guangzhou was sacked by persian and arab pirates a few decades before that.
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Old October 24th, 2012, 07:57 PM   #7

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Originally Posted by civfanatic View Post
IIRC there were at least two instances where large numbers of Persians living in China (mostly merchants) were slaughtered due to xenophobic feelings. One was the Yangzhou Massacre in 760 and the other was the Guangzhou Massacre in the 9th century C.E.

I'm not sure about Sino-Persian interactions on a state-to-state level.
There was active trading between nations least far back as the Parthian Empire and the successor state of that Parthian Empire the Sassanid empire was actively delegated ambassadors to reigning dynasties there. Persian King even send their best musicians and dancers to play for the imperial court. Many instances of Persians coins found in China.
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Old October 25th, 2012, 01:29 AM   #8

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As deke mentioned, Tang monarches gave a shelter to exiled sassanian royal prince Pirooz.
New book of Tang(新唐书)indicated:
"伊嗣俟不君,为大酋所逐,奔吐火罗,半道,大食击杀之。子卑路斯入吐火罗以免。遣使者告难,高宗以远不可 师,谢遣。会大食解而去,吐火罗以兵纳之。龙朔初,又诉为大食所侵,是时天子方遣使者到西域分置州县,以疾 陵城为波斯都督府,即拜卑路斯为都督。俄为大食所灭。虽不能国,咸亨中犹入朝,授右武卫将军, 死。"
I briefly translate it into English:
'Yazdgerd III was exiled by Arabians,he was killed on the way to Tochara. His son- Pirooz fled to tochara and survived. He send a messager to Tang to ask for reinforcement. Gao Emperor refused as it is too far away from China. When the Arabians retreat, Tocharians give a shelter to Pirooz. AD 661, Arabians invaded Tochara again, the Chinese emperor sent a messager to nominate Pirooz as the governor of Persia. Soon after, his force and governance in Tochara was destroyed again by the Arabian army. He fled to China and was nominated as a General, later died in China.'
Tang did provide army for Pirooz's son to recover Persian land, however, it is too far away from China, General Pei Xingjian(裴行俭) and his armies returned when they reached Suyab, the important fortified point of Chinese Western Region Protectorate(安西都护府).
Narsieh stayed in Torchara for more than twenty years, after his men gradually left him, he went back to Tang and died in Luoyang.
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Old October 25th, 2012, 01:38 AM   #9

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In chinese historical records,Rome is the greatest foreign country, and then is persia, whether Pathia or Sassanid.
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Old October 25th, 2012, 04:56 AM   #10

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Originally Posted by Ashiusx View Post
Yes. China in Chinese literally means ''Middle Kingdom''.
Isn't the name China derived from the name 'Qin' empire?
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