Uyghur timeline

From Kazakhstan Encyclopedia


This timeline is a supplement of the main article Uyghur. Dealing with the centuries between 400 and 900 AD, it refers to a critical period in the cultural formation of the Uyghur nation, as they transitioned from a minor Turkic tribe to an empire.

Events leading to the formation of the Uyghur Empire

Date People Event Geopolitical Context
546 Tumen Pre-emptively strikes a planned Töle revolt Attempt of the vassal Turks to gain ascendancy over the vassal Gaoqu People
560 Muqan Annexes Töle tribes under a federal system Muqan demonstrates his qut by the submission of the Töle (i.e. the right of taxation over their livestock); resolves internal power struggle
565 Wu Chen-Di Civil war divides the Wei Kingdom Muqan demonstrates his qut by the submission of the Töle (i.e. the right of taxation over their livestock); resolves internal power struggle
572 Istämi Divides Muqan’s realm between his rival successors: Taspar-Qağan rules in the central region, Istämi-Yabgu in the far-west, Shetu in the east and Jotan in the west Traditional power transfer from elder to younger brother, subsequently from youngest uncle to eldest nephew
575 Tardu Takes power in far-west region His father dies in Taraz
575 You-Zhou Qi dynasty collapses Qi = Eastern Wei, Rouran allies; Zhou = Western Wei, Turk allies
578 Taspar Repeatedly raids the Zhou Kingdom Under the influence of the Qi exiles
578 Wu-Di Gives Taspar 100,000 bales of silk and the Princess Zhou Tsienkien Marriage alliance prevents raids
578 Wu-Di Kidnaps Prince Kaozhou as he is hunting To eliminate rival to power
578 Taspar Takes no action against the Zhou Kingdom’s violation of his power. Instead, he places 10,000 Turks as 'guests' in Zhou He has a secret agreement to trade the Prince Kaozhou for Princess Tsienkien. The lack of honor to a guest outrages the common people. This period shows the beginning of class separation and the movement of Turkic nobility into the Chinese cultural sphere.
580 Shang Sun Arrives with Zhou Tsienkien and befriends Shetu To collect information about the Turks for Zhou
581 Wen-Di At the death of Emperor Jing-Di, he seizes power as regent for the new Emperor who is still a child His dynastic claim is based on his daughter, the Emperor's Mother
581 Taspar  ???Muqan Maybe as part of an agreement between Muqan and Taspar
581 Shetu (Ishbara) Swearing he will attack Talopien to uphold tradition, he is the voice of conservative factions If tradition is followed, he will be the next Qağan
581 Änlo Taspar dies and the toy appoints Änlo To avoid conflict between the three conflicting claims of Tardu, Shetu and Talopien
581 Talopien Threatens Änlo He views himself as the legal Qağan because he has been given the title by the previous one
581 Änlo Cedes title to Shetu at Ötükän and takes title of second Qağan In exchange for protection, the empty title and to control the Tola Valley (Uyğur tribes)
582 Wen-Di Deposes Zhou Emperor and expels the 10,000 Turks from Changan To show his independence and to end the drain on the treasury
582 Shetu Forms a coalition force with Tardu, Jotan and Talopien To reinforce his position as Qağan and to avenge his wife’s family
582 Wen-Di Sends ambassador Yuan Huei to recognize him as Qağan by presenting him with the symbolic wolf flag at Hami Tardu is upset that he was not made Qağan by the toy, so Wen-Di gives him diplomatic recognition which legitimizes his claim. He thereby acquires qut
582 Tardu Declares the far-west region as sovereign and separate with himself as Qağan The far-west region has de facto independence since the Istämi-Muqan era
583 Shetu Blames Talopien for the failures of the campaign Rivalry and the influence of Shang Sun
583 Talopien Joins Jotan and Boru in the west region. They are all opposed to Shetu's paranoia, assassination and tyranny


583 Shetu Kills Talopien's family and burns his yurt in revenge Altay mountains
583 Tardu and Wen-Di Attack simultaneously with Khitan (Shetu’s own vassals in the east) To block Shetu’s power. The attack by his nominal vassals and allies erodes the credibility of Shetu, meaning he has lost qut
583 Shetu As he only controls the central region, it is hit by famine; he asks for Sui Imperial protection This act officially marks the end of his sovereignty, he is now a Chinese vassal
584 Talopien Takes control of east, central and west regions Talopien proves himself as the true Qağan by his qut
585 Wen-Di Renames Zhou Tsienkien as Sui Dai To make Shetu his vassal (son-in-law) because he now fears the growing power of Tardu and Talopien
585 Shetu Sends his son Kohoden as a hostage to Changan To seal the peace agreement
585 Talopien Defeats Tardu and takes over far-west region, now controlling all four regions Tardu no longer enjoys Sui Imperial support and is a rival to power that has to be eliminated as a threat
585 Tardu Flee to Sui protection Tardu no longer enjoys Sui Imperial support and is a rival to power that has to be eliminated as a threat
585 Tiele tribes Submit to Talopien He is strong enough to threaten them, therefore he has consolidated power/qut.
587 Shetu Dies while hunting Possible accident or an assassination
588 Chulo Captures Talopien Family vendetta, his older brother Shetu had been humiliated by this man. The Sui Empire supports this move to balance the growing power of Talopien
588 Nili Replaces Talopien as Qağan; Töle tribes revolt Try to regain lost independence in the chaos of the dynastic struggle
588 Chulo Dies fighting the Töle To reassert control over the tribes that had been vassal to Talopien
588 Tülan Takes power and returns to Mongolian Steppe All the rivals to power in the struggle for succession have been neutralized, so power reverts to the House of Shetu
589 Wen-Di Conquers Chen Kingdom, thus reunifying China  ???
590 Tardu Attacks Nili to regain the far-west region He is supported by Tülan who wants to see his last rival Nili eliminated. In effect, he recognizes the sovereignty of the far-west region
593 Tülan Stops paying taxes  ???
593 Sui Dai Plots with Nili to attack Sui Empire Revenge against Sui Dynasty for overthrowing her family, the Zhou Dynasty
593 Shang Sun Requests Tülan to kill Sui Dai, but he refuses To demonstrate he no longer is a vassal to the Sui
593 Shang Sun Offers Princess Anyi to Zhangar Khan if he will kill Sui Dai To create a rival to Tülan’s power and thus restore a balance of power by creating another civil war
593 Tülan Suspects Zhangar of treason Zhangar has received so many gifts and visits from Chinese, this is tantamount to diplomatic recognition
594 Tülan Makes peace with Tardu Tardu has eliminated his rival; this act formally recognizes the independence of the far-west region from the Khanate
594 Shang sun Bribes an official of the toy and exposes Sui Dai plotting with Chinese (Chen government in exile) and Sogdians (with one of whom she is having an affair) To make the Tülan lose face in front of the toy to weaken his power, also to provide a pretext for killing the troublesome Sui Dai
594 Tülan Executes Sui Dai Under Turkic custom, adultery is punished by the death penalty
597 Zhangar Marries Sui Anyi and rebels against Tülan By marrying the Princess, he has a claim to sovereignty
597 Tülan Kills Zhangar’s family and drives him to the Ordos Loop under Sui Imperial protection Asserts his authority
598 Tardu Defeats Nili, Chulo takes his place Asserts his authority
599 Tülan Killed in Töle revolt Töle tribes take advantage of the chaos to gain independence
600 Tardu Defeats Chulo and declares himself supreme Qağan A vacuum of power has been created by the loss of Zhangar, Chulo and Tülan
600 Chulo Takes Sui Imperial protection The Sui Empire needs him to balance the power of Tardu
600 Erkin Tegin Initiates diplomatic contacts with China This is the first official account of the Uyghur tribe, which at this time lived in the Tola valley with 10,000 yurts
601 Chang Sunsheng Creates an alliance with the Töle Beys including Erkin Tegin of the Uyghur tribe This is the first official account of the Uyghur tribe, which at this time lived in the Tola valley with 10,000 yurts
601 Tardu Attacks Changan As a warning to the Sui Empire not to interfere in the Turk’s internal power struggles
601 Shang sun Poisons all the wells in the Gobi Desert Tardu’s army is superior and cannot be defeated by conventional warfare
603 Erkin Tegin Töle tribes revolt against Tardu The Chinese are afraid of Tardu and must eliminate his base of power
603 Tardu Abdicates to Tibet  ???
603 Erkin Tegin Töle alliance dissolves in the aftermath of the revolt; three tribes come under Uyghur control (Bugut, Tongra and Bayirqu) The Uyghurs gained enough qut to pull in other tribes to the alliance
603 Zhangar Marries Sui Yicheng and assumes the title Qağan, but as a vassal to china Zhangar is the last of the vassal khans to China. He is particularly devoted and loyal
603 Chulo Assumes title Qağan in the far-west region, but as a vassal to China; rules from Tashkent and Kucha Since Tardu has been eliminated, power reverts to the House of Muqan
605 Sui Yang-Di Ascends the Dragon Throne  ???
609 Shipi Takes power after Zhangar  ???
609 Chang Sunsheng Replaced by Peichu  ???
609 Peichu Offers to support Shipi’s brother Qağan and a Chinese Princess, but he refuses The traditional tactic of dividing power counter Shipi’s growing strength
611 Chulo Attempts to extend his authority over the Töle By taxing their livestock
611 Töle Töle tribes revolt under Syr-Tardush drives out Chulo Uyghurs occupy second position in the alliance
611 Shekuei Takes power and restores House of Tardu  ???
615 Shipi Subjugates the Töle  ???
615 Shipi Stops paying taxes to the Sui Empire Asserts sovereignty
615 Peichu Lures Sogdian vizers to the city of Mai and kills them in a trap To keep them from exposing the Chinese plots to the Qağan
615 Shipi Attacks Sui Yang-Di Revenge for his treachery at Mai
615 Sui Yiching Lies to her husband that the Töle tribes are in revolt So he will leave, saving Sui Yang-Di from capture
615 Yang-Di Sui Empire begins civil war The humiliation of his defeat damages his prestige
616 Tang Taizong Captures Changan with support of Turks; he gains 20,000 horses and 5,000 cavalry in return for giving the rights to plunder all the gold and women in Changan  ???
618 Tang Taizong Places his father as Emperor of the Tang Dynasty  ???
626 Tang Taizong Kills his brothers and becomes Emperor The Wu-men Gate incident
627 Khile Qagan Tries to tax the Töle to replace his horses that were killed during a summer snow  ???
627 Aynan Khan Initiates a Syr-Tardush lead revolt of Töle tribes against Khile-Qağan The Uyghurs again occupy second position under Pusa Ilteber
627 Aynan Khan Declares a Khanate at Otuken  ???
630 Taizong Attacks in coordination with Khitan and Töle, utterly defeating the Turks and taking Khile-Qaghan prisoner Tang-Töle alliance replaces Sui-Töle against the Turks
632 Tang Taizong Annexes all Tokharian city states as vassals Indirect Chinese rule of Tarim city states
640 Tang Taizong Kucha (Kutsi) rebels in alliance with Onoq  ???
640 Songtsen Gampo Unifies Tibet with Buddhism as the state religion  ???
645 Jubi Qağan Unifies Onoq  ???
646 Pusa (菩萨), son of Tejian (特健) Allies with Syr-Tardush to defeat Eastern Qaġanate He is granted with a Chinese title of prefect creating a legal precedent for leadership
646 Tumitu Ilteber (吐迷度) Assassinates Pusa and defeats the Syr-Tardush; declares a state at Otuken First Uyghur state; this becomes the precedent for all later claims for the right to rule. Moreover, he is a Chinese vassal paying a tax of furs
648 Tang Taizong Replaces all vassal Tokharian kings with Chinese officials under the governor-general in Kaochang; the Tarim Basin is now the western protectorate The Chinese are now directly rule the Tarim city states
648 Tumitu Ilteber Assassinated by nephew Wuhe, who is in turn assassinated by Chinese spies Wuhe is a Gokturk sympathizer and therefore an enemy of Chinese interests
648 Pojuan Ilteber (婆闰) Installed as new Khan; he becomes a loyal vassal of China Uyghurs now carry Chinese titles and work as mercenaries in the 'pacifed west'
650  ??? China captures Kashgar and Khotan  ???
650 Tang Taizong Dies, his son Kaozong creating a scandal by marrying Taizong's former concubine Zhou Wu-Mei By custom, Wu-Mei should have retired to a convent after her husband's death. This unusual marriage indicates she had an extramarital affair with Kaozong prior to Taizong's death
651 Holu Khan Unifies the Onoq and threatens China  ???
651 Pojuan Ilteber Defeats Korean rebellion The Uyghurs view the Chinese as both allies and kingmakers
651  ??? Arabs advance to Herat  ???
652  ??? Arabs sack Balkh, then return to Khorosan  ???
657 Pojuan Khan Leads Uyğur army and defeats Holu in the name of the Tang Empire Onoq power is broken, the Uyghurs ally with China to defeat the last remnants of their ancestral enemy, the Turks Chu valley
657 Pojuan Khan Killed during the battle of Goguryeo (高句丽) The Chinese break off diplomatic ties with Uyghur
659 Kaozong Creates 10 tribal states in Onoq territory of which each one is governed by a vassal khan The far-western region of the Turks is now subdued by China
659 Xuanzong China annexes Suyab and Tashkent, marking the maximum extent of Chinese power  ???
660 Gaozong Suffers stroke and delegates power to his wife Wu Zetian  ???
661  ??? Onoq and Tibet drive the Tang out of Tarim  ???
660 Tiele Revolt against China Tribute has not been paid
661 Pilatu Succeeds her brother as Ilteber  ???
621 Wu Zetian Suppresses revolt at Khangai  ???
663 Pilatu Uyghur power declines  ???
663  ??? Arabs invade Bactria  ???
663  ??? Tibet takes Vakhan, Gilit and Kashgar  ???
665  ??? Onoq enters revolt  ???
670  ??? Tibet seizes four garrisons with the Chinese army retreating to Turpan The Chinese divert their trade route north from Turpan to Beshbaliq, Suyab and Tashkent
679  ??? Tibet controls four garrisons  ???
680 Kutlug Declares Orkhon Khanate End of Tang Imperial control of Mongolian Steppe
681 Pro-China Tiele Escapes to Liangzhou They have lost qut and must flee to the steppe
682 Kutlug Reunites the 16 tribes Rise of Turk power
682 Tuchiachi Is defeated by Kutluk; the Uyghurs move to the Selenga valley The Uyghur lose sovereignty but not autonomy
683 Wu Zetian Takes the Dragon Throne This is a coup d'état
688 Kutlug Defeats Uyğurs  ???
690 Wu Zetian Seizes absolute power by appealing to Buddhist millennialism  ???
691 Kutlug Defeats Toquz-Oghuz  ???
692 Wu Zetian Recovers Karashahr and Kucha  ???
692 Kapğan Succeeds his brother as the new Qağan Traditional succession from older to younger brother
692  ??? Tang Imperial army retakes the four garrisons  ???
693 Kapğan Defeats Tang Imperial army  ???
694 Wu Zetian Recovers Khotan and Kashgar  ???
698 Kapğan Defeats Türğish at the battle of Bolchu near Lake Urungu This rendered the western steppe region vassal to the Orkhon Khanate
700 Bilgä shad Attacks Tangut Kingdom  ???
701 Tonyukuk-Ayguchy Captures Sogdiana This was a vassal of the Onoq to achieve total victory over his enemies
702 Kapğan Attacks Xia Kingdom  ???
703  ??? Turko-Tibetan alliance is formed, but fails to defeat Tang army  ???
703  ??? Onoq retakes Suyab  ???
705 Wu Zetian Abdicates to Zhongzong  ???
705  ??? Tibetan-Gandharan alliance is formed and drives the Arabs from Bactria  ???
705 Qutayba Appointed governor of Khorosan  ???
706 Qutayba Captures Bukhara  ???
707 Bukharan leader Asks Khapgan for military support against the Arabs  ???
708 Xuanzong Offers reward to three vassal tribes for the head of Kapğan  ???
710 Zhongzong Poisoned by his wife Empress Wei who has an affair with Wu Sansi  ???
710 Xuanzong Takes power with his aunt Princess Taiping (daughter of Empress Wu)  ???
710 Krygyz tribes Revolt and are defeated  ???
710 Qutayba Places Tugshada on the throne of Bukhara and Ghurek on the throne of Samarkand  ???
711 Turgish Khan Revolt begins  ???
711 Qarluk Revolt and are defeated in 714  ???
712 Xuanzong Begins reign and kills Princess Taiping  ???
712 Qutayba Invades Bactria  ???
712 Samarkand leader Asks Khapgan for military support against the Arabs  ???
712  ??? Turks control Sogd  ???
712 King of Fargana Flees to Kucha under Chinese protection  ???
714 Izgil tribe Revolt and are defeated in 715  ???
715 Toquz-Oguz tribe Revolt and are defeated in 716 (this revolt includes the Uyghur tribe)  ???
715 Qutayba Assassinated by his troops in the Fargana valley because he wishes to continue the campaign against the orders of the Caliph
715 King of Faragana Returns as a Chinese vassal  ???
715 King of Faragana Returns as a Chinese vassal  ???
716 Bayirqu tribe Revolt and are defeated, but a rouge warrior ambushes Kapğan and kills him and sends his head to Changan with envoy Ho Lingchüan (July 22, Tola river)  ???
716 Uyğur tribe Revolt with Qarluk and Toquz-oguz Although defeated they become autonomous vassals in the Selenga valley
716 Bilgä Kills Inel, Kapğan’s whole family and all his officials Inel is not fit to rule, moreover, by Turk law the throne should pass to Bilgä
718 Bilgä Restores peace and ends all revolts  ???
720 Xuanzong Tries to attack Bilgä in coordination with Basmyl and Khitans, but fails, therefore accepting the terms of Bilgä’s peace  ???
721 Xuanzong China controls Suyab, Kucha, Kashgar, Tashkent and Fargana  ???
721 Xuanzong Arabo-Turgish-Tibetan alliance defeats Chinese army; the Arabs take Faragana and the Turgish take Suyab  ???
721  ??? Tashkent becomes independent  ???
721  ??? Sogdo-Turgish alliance attacks Arabs  ???
725 Tonyukuk Dies  ???
727 Bilgä Refuses an anti-Tang alliance with the Tibetans  ???
728  ??? Sogdo-Turgish alliance liberates Sogd  ???
729  ??? Arabs control Bactria and Samarkand Turgish control of Sogd, Fargana and Suyab; China control of North Tarim and Tibet control South Tarim
731 Köl Tegin Dies  ???
734 Bilgä Poisoned by Buyruk Chor as part of a Chinese conspiracy  ???
736  ??? Sino-Arabian alliance is formed and defeats the Turgish at Suyab China annexes Suyab, while Arabs occupy Sogd
739  ??? Tibet allies with Gandhara China annexes Suyab, while Arabs occupy Sogd
739 Ghurek Reign ends  ???
742 Xuanzong Begins affair with Yang Gueifei and leaves power in the hands of An Rokhan  ???
744 Ozmish Khan Killed by Uyghur, Basmyl, Qarluk rebellion  ???
745  ??? Qarluk and Uyghur overthrow Basmyl Khan  ???
745  ??? Uyghur defeat Qarluk and declare a new Khanate at Otuken; the Qarluk move to the far-west region  ???
745 Abu Muslim Begins a Jihad in Sogd  ???
747 Bayan Chor Begins reign  ???
748  ??? Abbasid Caliphate begins  ???
750 Chabish of Tashkent and Ilkhshid of Fargana Begin a dispute; Chinese ally Ilkhshid and Turkish ally the Chabish send for help  ???
750 General Kao Hsienchih Sacks Tashkent after it surrenders, taking the Chabish and the Khan to be executed in Changan  ???
750 Son of Chabish Petitions governor Ziyad ibn Salih in Samarkand for revenge  ???
751 Abu Muslim Sends army at the request of Governor Salih, meeting the Kao Hsienchih at Talas  ???
755 Abu Muslim Assassinated  ???
755 An Rokhan Rebels against Xuanzong  ???
755 An Rokhan Captures Changan  ???
756 Xuanzong Abdicates and Yang Guifei is killed  ???
759 Bogu Khan Begins reign  ???
763 Bogu Khan Ends Ungluk Suyluk Topilingi (An Lushan) rebellion  ???