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《Cultural Relics of Central China》 2016-05
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On the Stone Edict of Tang Dynasty from Balasagun in Suyab River

Lin Meicun;  
In the early 20 thcentury, the Abraham epigraph for a Persian Nestrorianist preacher hadbeen unearthed in Luoyang and it has been considered as one of the most important archaeological finds forthe Silk Road studies. However, no common agreement about the interpretation of the place named"Fulin" 拂菻, where is the suggested terminal of Abraham's diplomatic visit to Central Asia. With somerecent archaeological studies, it has been argued that the Zuo Xiaowei Zhangshi(Left Imperial GuardSecretary) Wang Xuance led the Tang Chinese embassy to Tukharistan in May 658 AD. He was theambassador and Wang Mingyuan as well as Dong Jisheng were the "Zhi Zhou Xian Shi"(the diplomatfor appointing the local governors,). Their visit had been to the Sogdian states in Semiryechye, theTukharistan, Hidukush Mountain and finally they entered Tibetan Kingdom from Little Bruzha. In ouropinion, the stone edict of the Tang dynasty established in Central Asia by Abraham is not the one erectedby Wang Mingyuan during his visit to Tukharistan. And also some scholars have wrongly linked this stoneedict to the Credit Monumental Tablet written by Tang Gaozong and recorded in the Jin Shi Lu(Catalogueof Bronze and Epigraph) by Zhao Mingcheng. By December 657, an edict issued by Tang Gaozong hadestablished the Kunling and Mengchi Frontier Commands in the West Turkic Khaganate. In March 659,after the Kunling Commander Ashina Mishe subjugated the Zhenzhu Yabgu in Shuang He(Turkic iki-oguz,in the southern Kazakhstan), Tang China had finally completed the establishment of Mengchi FrontierCommand around the five Nushibi tribes. It is highly possible that Abraham was the archbiship of theNestorianist district in Semiryechye at that time and he had been therefore summoned to Chang'an by theGrand Councilor Lu Chengqing. And in the next year Abraham was following Lu Chengqing to establish theMengchi Frontier Command in Suyab River Basin. At the same year, Lu Chengqing established SuyabPrefecture in the Ak-Beshim site of Kyrgyzstan, and appointed a local Sogdian person named An Chabishthe local governor. Soon after Suyab Prefecture had been promoted to be one of Four Garrisions of Anxi,and it had been separated from the Mengchi Frontier Command to a different administrative centre. Theadministrative centre of Mengchi Frontier Command was situated within eight kilometres of the southeastBalasagun(present day Burana site). It has been believed that a local unearthed head of a stone editctdated to Tang dynasty was originally erected by Abraham during his diplomatic visit to Central Asia. Thename of ‘Fulin' and ‘Burana' are both originated from the βwr'n' in the Sogdian language. Moreover,according to the Abraham epigraph from Luoyang, the stone edict established in Central Asia by Abrahamshould be a royal tablet written by Tang Gaozong.
【Fund】: 教育部人文社会科学重点研究基地重大项目《丝绸之路天山廊道文物古迹调查》的资助 项目批准号15JJD780001
【CateGory Index】: K883.64
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