Thursday, January 16, 2014

Ki Clan and the Kidarite Dynasty (300 AD)


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"The Kidarite (Chinese: Ki-To-Lo) were a dynasty of the "Ki" clan, probably originating from the Uar people…. (the later Kushans)….They were part of the complex of Iranian-speaking tribes known collectively as Xionites or "Hunas"….During the 4th-5th century they established the Kidarite kingdom…..The Kidarites, a nomadic clan, are supposed to have arrived in Bactria with the great migrations of the second half of the 4th century….from 360 AD after Kidara II led a Bactrian portion of "Hunni" to overthrow the Kushans in India…. At this time the Kidarites successfully controlled the length of the Oxus from the Hindu Kush all the way to the Aral Sea…"……GRENET, F. « Regional Interaction in Central Asia and North-West India in the Kidarite and Hephtalite Period », in SIMS-WILLIAMS, N. (ed.), Indo-Iranian Languages and Peoples, (Proceedings of the British Academy), London, 2002, p. 203–224.

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"Chinese chronicles of the Northern Dynasties (386–581 CE) report that the capital of the Kidarites (here recorded as the Da Yuezhi) was Balkh (Boluo). Under the leadership of the king Kidara (Jiduoluo) they crossed the great mountains and invaded India. Also five kingdoms north of Gandhara are supposed to have been under Kidarite dominance. Jiduoluo's son is said to have ruled from Fulousho (Peshawar, Pakistan); the Kidarites moved around with their herds, and they used gold and silver coins."….

"The Kidarites are the last dynasty to regard themselves (on the legend of their coins) as the inheritors of the Kushan empire, which had disappeared as an independent entity two centuries earlier….Kidara I….c. 320 AD….

"The Kidarite kingdom was created either in the second half of the 4th century, or in the twenties of the 5th century. The only 4th century evidence are gold coins discovered in Balkh dating from c. 380, where 'Kidara' is usually interpreted in a legend in the Bactrian language. Most numismatic specialists favor this idea. All the other data we currently have on the Kidarite kingdom are from Chinese and Byzantine sources from the middle of the 5th century….

KIDARITE KINGDOM, ….."In the middle of the 4th century AD a Kushan vassal in Pakistan, Kidara by name, rose to power and overthrew the old Kushan dynasty. We call his declining domain the “Kidarite kingdom” but he thought of himself as a Kushan, and so styled himself on his coins. Though he is named as King (Shah) on his coins, it seems that Kidara was probably the head of a confederacy of warlords whose descendants ruled their principalities and issued coins in their own right. …. According to Chinese accounts of the period the Kidarite lands continued to experience the peaceful prosperity of elder Kushan days, though there was a significant reduction in the grandeur quotient due to lack of surplus funds……The Kidarite regime of faded glory succumbed to a social disaster. The whole region - Afghanistan to northern India - was invaded by people we call the Hephthalites (Huns)."…..

Coinage…….."INDIA, KIDARITES IN GANDHARA, KIDARA: SASANIAN STYLE SILVER DRACHM, NAMING KIDARA AS ALCHON……Obverse: Bust of king facing, wearing ornate crown with central globe flanked by ornamental ribbons, two additional ribbons on either side as diadem ends, Brahmi legend above, at left: Kidara Ku, at right: shana Sha…..Reverse: Fire altar, with bust of Ahura Mazda emerging from the flames above, armed attendants standing left and right, Brahmi legend below: Alakha….Date: c. 4th century CE…..An important coin! Note the close parallels of the crown with the gold type of Kidara. We have here a clear legend in Brahmi identifying Kidara. The reverse legend is normally read as Sulakha, but I believe this is a mis-reading. I believe the correct reading is Alakha, and indicates that Kidara was an Alchon Hun, or Chionite, a matter that has been speculated but generally disregarded."…. india_kidarites_in_gandhara_kidara_sasanian_style_silver_drachm_naming_kidara_as_alchon_scarce__choice/81377/Default.aspx

"KIDARITES, a dynasty which ruled Tukharistan and later Gandhāra, probably also part of Sogdiana; the initial date is disputed (c. 390 CE for some modern authors, c. 420-430 for others), while the final period is better documented (loss of Tukharistān to the Hepththalites in 467, residual North Indian kingdom, perhaps in Swat, until 477)……the name of Kidara, the founder of the dynasty, is attested in Chinese transcription as Jiduoluo (in the Weishu), in Sanskrit as Kidara or Kidāra (on coin legends in Brāhmī script; the length of the second syllable is uncertain), and in Sogdian as kyδr (on coin legends). The Bactrian form of the name is attested as Kidiro and Kēddiro (Sims-Williams 2005). In Greek we have only the ethnonym: Ounnoi Kidaritai “Kidarite Huns.” So far no convincing etymology has been proposed…..The most precise information concerning the beginning of the Kidarites as an imperial power is in the Weishu : “The king of the Great Yuezhi called Jiduoluo, brave and fierce, eventually dispatched his troops southwards and invaded North India, crossing the great mountains to subjugate the five kingdoms which were located to the north of Gandhāra” (transl. based on Kuwayama 2002, p. 124). This information most probably reached China in 437; in any case the invasion took place after 412, since the Chinese pilgrim Faxian who visited Gandhāra at that time does not mention any such event. The Byzantine chronicler Priscus mentions the “Kidarite Huns” for the first time in 456 as adversaries of the Sasanian king Yazdgird II (438-457), who had discontinued a tribute paid by his predecessors to Iran’s eastern neighbours (Exc. De Leg. Rom. 8, ed. Blockley 1983, pp. 336-7). Two earlier defeats of the latter king on the border of Tukharistān are mentioned by Łazar P’arpets’i (transl. Thomson 1982, pp. 294, 302-3); his foes, though conventionally styled “Kushans,” are probably already the Kidarites. They might have been already involved in the eastern wars of Wahrām V (420-438), but their name does not appear in sources pertaining to his reign."…..

"The Kidarites are one of the few East Hunnic peoples to have been recorded in Western written sources. Of particular interest is the work of Priscus (d. around 474 CE), a late Antique historian writing for the East Roman emperor, which records a conflict between the Sasanian kings Yazdgard II (438–457 CE) and Peroz (459–484 CE) and the Kidarites. This confrontation is said to have been caused by Yazdgard's refusal to continue paying the tribute money agreed upon with the Kidarites. In 467 CE, Peroz defeated the Kidarites, and their capital Balaam – believed to be Balkh in northern Afghanistan – was temporarily taken over by the Sasanian kings. In this context, Priscus speaks explicitly of "Huns, who are called Kidarites"……

"….the Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus (d. ca. 395 CE) that the Sasanian king Shapur II (309–379 CE) spent the winter of 356 CE with his troops on the northeast frontier of his empire – the border region with Bactria – among the Chionites (= Huns) and Kushan (= Kidarites). In this context the titular of a Kidarite ruler found on clay bullae is notable: "King of the Huns, the great Kushan King, Ruler of Samarkand" . The presence of the Kidarites in Sogdiana is confirmed by other clay bullae with the images of Kidarite rulers found during excavations in Kafir Kala, a late Antique settlement 12 km south of Samarkand."……

"…… the Chronicles of Kiev do mention how the Ki Clan founded Kiev after subjugating the eastern Hunno-Bulgars who subsequently became known as the Kazarig….. the work of a monk named Nestor and hence was formerly referred to as Nestor's Chronicle or Nestor's manuscript. His compilation has not been preserved."….

Elizabeth Errington…..British Museum, Dept of Coins and Medals…..Differences in the Patterns of Kidarite and Alkhon Coin Distribution at Begrammore

A study on the Kidarites: Reexamination of documentary sources….by Xiang Wan

Early Buddhist Transmission and Trade Networks: Mobility and Exchange……..By Jason Neelis


John Hopkins.....Northern New Mexico….January 2014


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