Silk Road in Eastern Han Dynasty
|Tri-color Painted Pottery of |
a Persian Businessman and Camels
In 25, the Eastern Han Emperor Liu Xiu (Guangwu Di) re-established the Han Dynasty with the capital of Luoyang. The minority people in Western Regions couldn't bear the heavy tax under the Northern Huns' cruel rule, so eighteen states in the Western Regions asked Guang Wudi to set up the protectorate in 45. However, in order to stabilize society and develop economy, the emperor refused their request. In 74, the protectorate was re-established by emperor Mingdi (Liu Xiu's son) to oversee the Western Regions. In the next year, as soon as Mingdi died, Yanqi and Qiuci (Kuche) rebelled. This remote region fell into disorder again.
It was not until 91 that the Protectorate of Western Regions was re-established with the protector Ban Chao in Qiancheng (near now Kuche). The famous general and diplomat, Ban Chao lived in the Western Regions for about 31 years, put down countless rebellions and built diplomatic relations with more than 50 states, ensuring the peace and stability along the Silk Road.
Ban Chao pacified the Western Region
Gan Ying went to the Roman
|Silk Products Sold in Kashgar Bazaar; |
Kashgar is a very important
passage along the Silk Road.
Soon after Ban Chao left the Western Regions, the dependent states of the Protectorate rebelled in succession. In 123, Ban Yong was appointed the Protector and stationed 500 soldiers in Liuzhong (in the west of Ruoqing). In the next year, he persuaded Shanshan (Ruoqiang) and Qiuci (Kuche) to return to the Han's dominion, vanquished Cheshi Qianbu (in Turpan) and defeated a king of the Hun, re-opening up the Central Route of the Silk Road. In 126, he sent forces to suppress the Huyan King, capturing more than 20, 000 Huns. Ban Yong consolidated the reign of Eastern Han Dynasty in this faraway area and greatly protected this ancient Silk Road.
Ban Yong stabilized the Western Regions
During the Han Dynasty, the trade of the Silk Road in Western Regions was frequently disrupted by the internal disorder and invasion of the nomad Huns. In a word, the Silk Road emerged through difficulties and rose to be a famous international trade route between China and the Mediterranean.