Yuezhi

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Map showing Scythia, including the Indo-Scythian region (modern name Punjab region).

Yuezhi (यूची, यूती) were ancient people who lived in northwest part of China. They are considered to be Jats. Khotan (खोतान) was previously known in Chinese as Yutian. According to James Legge, Fahian has mentioned Khotan as Yu-teen.[1][2]

Variants of Yuezhi

Yuezhi and Jats

Ram Swarup Joon[3] writes about Hanga Chaudhary: Hangamas was a General of the Kushan, Yuechi or Tushar kings. Hanga is very well known in history. He belonged to Tushar or Kasvan dynasty and was appointed as the Governor of Mathura. His descendants came to be called Hanga. They have about 80 villages in district of Mathura.


James Todd[4] writes We must therefore voyage up the Indus, cross the Paropanisos, to the Oxus or Jihun, to Sakatai1 or Sakadwipa, and from thence and the Dasht-i Kipchak conduct the Takshaks, the Getae, the Kamari, the Chatti, and the Huns, into the plains of Hindustan. We have much to learn in these unexplored regions, the abode of ancient civilisation, and which, so late as Jenghiz Khan's invasion, abounded with large cities. It is an error to suppose that the nations of Higher Asia were merely pastoral ; and De Guignes, from original authorities, informs us that when the Su invaded the Yueh-chi or Jats, they found upwards of a hundred cities containing the merchandise of India, and with the currency bearing the effigies of the prince.

Hukum Singh Panwar

Hukum Singh Panwar (Pauria)[5] writes - Another term Yuch-Chih, (with its two branches, Siao-Yueh-Chih or little Yueh-Chih and Ta-Yueh-Chih or great Yueh-Chih) is equally noteworthy. This term, variously spelt by scholars, comes from archaic Chinese. It was pronounced from the


The Jats:Their Origin, Antiquity and Migrations: End of page 345


fourth century B.C. to about the first century A.D .. as "ngiwattsic = ngiwattia" which, according to B. Karlgren 100 points to a a foreign word Gut-tia in China. The Chinese adopted this name to designate newly encountered foreigners, probably the Dai or Tai101 (Dahae or Tahae) of the Iranian writers or the Dadicae of Herodotus. Scholars, earlier were doubtful if this was the real import of Yueh-Chih, but the uncertainty was remove by H.W.Bailey, a keen student of Chinese language, who 102 identified the Yueh-Chih with the Jatoi or Iaii, mentioned by Ptolemy and who were the Jats of Cunningham, Tod and Elphinstone etc.103 .

The archaic Chinese pronunciation of Yueh-Chih as nagiwatteh might have been responsible for its vernaculansation as Jatah or Jeteh (Yatah or Yattah) till medieval times and Ywati for other forms prefixed with 'Y'. There is every probability that 'ngiwattia' was transformed into Gut-tia, and was abbreviated as Guti or Gut in course of time. (Guti as a variant will be described in the sequel).

We may also note that what MacRitchie has observed : namely that the form Jaut of Jat, (which he came across in the memoirs of Lord Combermare), appears to offer the best compromise...with the popular English form as a similar word Ghat, viz. Ghaut104 which exactly sounds like Chinese, ngiwat. It is significant, further, that British officers called Jat as Gat but in writing that they spelt it as Gat or Gaut105

What is pertinent to our inquiry is the question of the identity of the foreigners for whom the Chinese use the term Yueh-Chih. Further, from where did these Yueh-Chich penetrate in to China? The term obviously would not indicate the nelghbouring people like the Mongols and the Turks. It is far more plausible to link this term With terms we have already explored at some length, i.e. the getae and with the Iatii of Ptolemy, the Jatii of Pliny and the Jats of Cunningham, who were natives at that period of the countries between the Sindh and Oxus valleys, and whom we have already identified With Sakas.

Some of these adventurous tribes of the Sakas from India at Buddha's time penetrated as far as Kucha, (Kusa in sanskrit106) or Lobnor, where, Chinese gave these aliens the name Yueh-Chih' which came nearest to their original name in sound . These tribes


The Jats:Their Origin, Antiquity and Migrations: End of page 346


derived or we are given a new name in their new home Kucha or (Kusha) and became famous in history as the Kushanas107. Consequently, it was but natural for later historians to regard the Kushanas as a branch the Yueh-Chih108 There is still a tendency among historians to regard the Jats , as the descendants of the Yueh-Chih or to regard them as one of their branches, the Kushanas, but the truth is just the reverse. The names Yueh-Chih and Kushan are later names given to Jats or a branch of them who migrated to Central Asian regions from Sindh in ancient period. Our reading of historical facts pertaining to the tribal movements to and in the Central Asian countries, leads us to the firm conclusion that scholars like Cunningham and Tod, astute and honest though they were, have discovered the Jat horse as well as the Yueh-Chih cart, but have managed only to put the cart before the horse.


100. Mukherjee, B.N.; Kushan Genealogy, Skt. Coll., Calcutta, 1967, p. 37. Karlgren. JAOS, 1945, Vol. LXV, p. 77. B. Karlgren, Analytic Dic. of Chinese and Sino-Japanese, nos. 879 and 1347; Paris, 1923.

101. Mukherjee, B.N.; op.cit., p. 38, Camb. His. Vol.II, pt.I, LVIIIf. JIH, Vol. XII p.6.

102. Mukherjee, B.N., op.cit., p. 39. J. Marquardt, Eranshahr, p. 206, Cf. also E. G.Polleyblank, Asia Major, ns. 1963, Vol. IX, p. 109; Asia Maj., 1964, Vol. XI 6; JRAS, 1966, p. 17. Pulleyblank equates ngiwat-cie + ngiwat-tehy with Iato (= Ywati).

103. Ibettson, Denzil; op.cit., 1916, p. 97.

104. Mac. Ritchie, op.cit., p. 78.

105. Princep, Sett, R. of Sialkot, S. 136; 1865. H.A Rose, Gloss. of Trib. and Castes Vol. III, p. 416.

106. Bagchi, P.C; Ind. and Cen. Asia, Calcutta, 1955, p. 68. Mukherjee B.N., op., cit., pp. 6-7, 11-12, Sakas also were driven to that region from Ind.; Mukherjee B.N.; op.cit., pp. 26-27. For Indian rule and influence in Cen. Asia, Cf. Kalyanraman, Aryatarangini, vol. II, Bombay, 1970. p. 9, A Stein also sopports it.

107. Ibid. Bagchi holds that Kuci or Kuchi or Kusi is the archaic pronunciatio Kucinam of Kucina from which a genetive plural form would be Kusana. Most ancient name of Khotan was Godana (Ibid. p. 49) which proves the existence of Indians there in the remote past.

108. Ogel, B.; in Central Asia in Kushan period-Dushanbe Report, vol. II, Moscow, 1975, p. 172. Ali Sami, in Ibid., p. 146, Y. Zuev, in Ibid., Vol. II, p. 277; Y. Zadneprovs],:y, in Ibid., p. 296. Bongard Levin and G. Kotovsky, A His. of Ind., Bk., I, Moscow, 1979, p. 117. K.V. Trever, q. by Gankovsky, op.cit., p. 86.

Thot: the Jat King of Yutivansha

Thot (थोत) was an ancient Jat King of Yuti vansha of Bundi area in Rajasthan around 4-6th century . The Ancestry of Thot was:

ThotChandrasenaKartika (m. Gunaniwas) → Daruka (+Mukunda) → KuhalaDhunaka

According to Thakur Deshraj, Yuezhi people lived in north-west China. In 165 BCE, there was a war of these people with Hignu people in which Yuezhi were defeated and they moved to west in search of new lands. One of the groups of Yuezhi people was Kushan. Kadphises united all the five branches of Yuezhi and hence forth they were called Kushan. Thakur Deshraj says that Kushans were the people from Krishnavanshi, who moved with Pandavas in the great migration to north. The word Kushan has been derived from the sanskrit word 'Karshney' or 'Karshnik'. Kushan is nothing but Kaswan gotra found in Jats.

Bhim Singh Dahiya has also proved in his book Jats: The Ancient Rulers that Yuezhi are Jats and Kaswan is nothing but Kushan.

Alexander Cunningham considers Jats of India, Goths of Europe and Yuezhi of China as same people.

James Tod found an inscription of Jat Raja Thot at Ramchandrapura.

Yuezhi and Scytho-Siberian culture

Esther Jacobson in his book 'The Deer Goddess of Ancient Siberia: A Study in the Ecology of Belief' , notes:

"The most western of the Early Nomads' relatives and those most familiar to the modern observer were Scythians. They are believed to have arrived in the lands of the Caucasus, the Crimea, and the rich steppe north of the Black Sea by the sixth century B.C.... In the late years of the first millennium B.C., the successors to the Early Nomads and Sakas served as the vehicles for the transformation of Eurasian nomadism into statehood. The Xiongnu of Mongolia gathered an array of nomadic peoples together into a confederation which became the major geopolitical opponent of the Chinese Han Dynasty. In the same period, the second and first centuries B.C., the Yuezhi established hegemony over the vital steppe region west of the borders of Han China and extending through Bactria to the borders of India. Indeed, after their conversion to Buddhism, the Yuezhi- by then known as the Kushans- proceeded to conquer India and to establish the great Kushan Dynasty. Despite these political transformations and despite significant distinctions in language and physical anthropology between the Xiongnu and their Early Nomadic relatives, they as well as the Yuezhi/Kushans may properly be considered to have belonged to the larger Scytho-Siberian culture."[6]

Ta-Yue-Che and Siao-Yue-Che

Bhim Singh Dahiya writes:

"It is important to note that the Chinese word 'Yue-che" is pronounced as "Gut-tia" according to Karl-Gren, meaning the "Moon People".[7] Later on, the Chinese chronicles show, that under pressure of another tribe of the same stock, called by the Chinese as Hiung-nu or Hoa, the Yue-che moved southward and westward. The branch that was numerically weaker went to the South towards Tibet and were called 'Siao-Yue-Che", meaning the "little Yue-che". The main body moved westward and occupied Dahia (or Tahia, Bactria, Balkh). They were called "Ta-Yue-che" meaning the "Great Guttia" or great Jats. As shown above the word 'Yue-che' is pronounced as Guttia and therefore Ta-Yue-che is exactly the same as the word "Massa Getae" of the Greeks and the Persians. All the Chinese sources agree that the Kusanas were from the Yue-che race. The Chinese author of Thung-Kiang-Nu, writes in the year 555 A.D. that the Aptal or Hephthalites were of the race of Ta-Yue-che. Further the encyclopaedia of Ma-Tuan-g-Lin says that the Yeta are of the race of Ta-Yue-che, and further that the I-Tan belonged to the same race as Yue-che."[8]

Bhim Singh Dahiya goes on to state that:

"The Chinese were right in stating that the Hiung-nu were a part of the Yue-Che (reads as Guti) people, and these Guti people had two divisions, the Ta-Yue-Che and the Siao-Yue-Che, exactly corresponding to the Massagetae and Thyssagetae of Herodotus (a classical Greek writer of fifth century BC), meaning the "Great-Jats" and the "Little-Jats" respectively. Almost every tribe of Ancient Middle East (West Asia) and Central Asia, is represented among the present day Jats in India."[9]

Suevi and Getes

James Todd[10] writes about the Suiones, Suevi, or Su that Now the Su, Yueh-chi, or Yuti, are Getes, according to De Guignes. Marco Polo calls Cashgar, where he was in the sixth century, the birthplace of the Swedes ; and De la Croix adds, that in 1691 Sparvenfeldt, the Swedish ambassador at Paris, told him he had read in Swedish chronicles that Cashgar was their country. When the Huns were chased from the north of China, the greater part retired into the southern countries adjoining Europe. The rest passed directly to the Oxus and Jaxartes ; thence they spread to the Caspian and Persian frontiers. In Mawaru-l-nahr (Transoxiana) they mixed with the Su, the Yueh-chi, or Getes, who were particularly powerful, and extended into Europe. One would be tempted to regard them as the ancestors of those Getes who were known in Europe. Some bands of Su might equally pass into the north of Europe, known as the Suevi. The meaning of Suevi is uncertain, but the word has no connexion with that of any Central Asian tribe.

See also

Further Readings

External links

References

  1. A Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms/Chapter 2,f.n.13
  2. A Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms/Chapter 3
  3. Ram Swarup Joon: History of the Jats/Chapter V,p. 87
  4. James Todd Annals/Chapter 6 Genealogical history of the Rajput tribes subsequent to Vikramaditya, Vol I, pp.74
  5. The Jats:Their Origin, Antiquity and Migrations/Jat-Its variants,pp.345-347
  6. Jacobson, Esther (1993). The Deer Goddess of Ancient Siberia: A Study in the Ecology of Belief - Volume 55 of Studies in the History of Religions (illustrated ed.). BRILL. p. 6. ISBN 9004096280, 9789004096288. (Please Note : "For the sake of clarity, the general term, Early Nomads, will be used throughout this book to refer to the Scytho-Siberians located in South Siberia and in parts of northern Mongolia, while regional cultural designations will be used as appropriate.")
  7. Jari-Churpentier, Die-Ethno Graphische Stellung der Toohaser, 1917, Pp. 347-388.
  8. Dahiya, Bhim Singh (1980): Jats, the ancient rulers: a clan study (First Edition: 1980). Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. p. 25
  9. http://www.iranian.com/History/2005/March/Gutians/
  10. James Todd Annals/Chapter 6 Genealogical history of the Rajput tribes subsequent to Vikramaditya, Vol I, pp.73fn-4

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