Rouran ( Chinese 柔然 , Pinyin Róurán , also partially disparaging 蠕蠕 , Ruǎnruǎn / Rúrú , Juan-juan / Ju-ju - "ringing worm") was the name of a late antique tribal federation whose steppe kingdom (the Rouran Khaganate) between the late 4th Century and mid-6th century in Central and East Asia and which had its base in what is now Mongolia and western Manchuria .
The ethnic origin of the Rouran is unknown. It is believed, however, that they were formed from diverse, largely nomadic tribes , believed to be primarily Turkic , Mongolian , Tungusian, and northern Han Chinese .
They introduced themselves to the Tuoba , the Sinitic en Tanguts back and the local tribe of Rouran (柔然). The Tuoba (Tabgatsch) were at times rulers of the northern Wei dynasty , who ruled parts of northern China for 170 years and are known from inscriptions on Orkhon . Both have their origins in the multi-ethnic Xiongnu . Some historians consider them to be descendants of the Wuhuan or Sinite nomads who joined the Xianbei .
The linguist Alexander Vovin takes the view that the language of the Rouran was a non-Mongolian and non-Turkish language. He suspects that the Rouran were displaced by the Mongols and Turkic peoples and that parts of the Rouran fled to Central Europe as Avars. This view is supported by some historians and linguists, and is supported by some earlier theories. Vovin as well as Lajos Ligeti and Edwin G. Pulleyblank suspect that the Rouran spoke a Yenisese language .
The tribal federation of the Rouran is said to have formed under Muyilu in the early 4th century, but it was not until their leader Shelun rose to chagan in 402 . It was also he who, militarily and administratively, rearranged the Rouran into hundreds and thousands. The military capabilities of the Rouran are said to have been considerable. In 429 the Rouran were defeated by troops of the Wei dynasty ; nevertheless, the Rouran could continue to put the northern border of China under pressure.
In this context, the Rouran used the proven system of steppe nomads of exerting pressure on the richer, sedentary society, alternating with periods of inactivity in order to receive loot and gifts. In this context, the Rouran's forays into western Central Asia, along the oases and trade routes.
After protracted border wars with the Wei dynasty, the kingdom of the Rouran under the rule of A-na-kuei (Anagui) was shaken by internal disputes, as the prince Po-lo-men rebelled. A-na-kuei first sought refuge with the Northern Wei Dynasty. The seemingly victorious Po-lo-men followed A-na-kuei to northern China after repelling an attack by the Gaoche . China, for its part, played the two nomadic rulers off against each other by supporting both. A-na-kuei received the eastern area around the Yin-shan mountains , the area west of the Koko-nor fell to Po-lo-men. However, he was not satisfied with the area assigned to him. So now the Poles sought the support of the Hephtalites in Transoxania . This was followed by a punitive expedition under the leadership of the Wei dynasty, which was able to take Polo-men prisoner. He died in captivity under unexplained circumstances.
In the year 552 the now sole ruling A-na-kuei, his vassal, the Turkish tribal leader Bumın , refused to give a princess to wife. He was now looking to join forces with the then Chinese ruler. In the same year A-na-kuei was defeated by the "Turk" under Bumın, other Rouran princes were subsequently defeated. Parts of the Rouran were now incorporated into the emerging empire of the Kök Turks .
- Christoph Baumer : The History of Central Asia. Volume 2, IB Tauris, London 2014, ISBN 978-1-78076-832-8 , pp. 90-94.
- Nikolay N. Kradin: Rouran (Juan Juan) Khaganate. In: The Encyclopedia of Empire. 4 volumes. Chichester 2016, ISBN 978-1-118-44064-3 . ( paid online version )
- Nikolay N. Kradin: From Tribal Confederation to Empire: The Evolution of the Rouran Society. In: Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 58, 2005, pp. 149-169.
- Walter Pohl : The Avars. 2nd Edition. CH Beck, Munich 2002, ISBN 3-406-48969-9 , p. 28ff.
- Walter Pohl: The Avars. Munich 2002, p. 32.
- Cf. Walter Pohl: The Avars. Munich 2002, p. 32f. However, Nikolay N. Kradin agrees: Rouran (Juan Juan) Khaganate. In: The Encyclopedia of Empire. (Online version).
- Wolfgang-Ekkehard Scharlipp: The early Turks in Central Asia. Darmstadt 1992, ISBN 3-534-11689-5 , p. 11; Heinz Dopsch : Steppe peoples in medieval Eastern Europe - Huns, Avars, Hungarians and Mongols PDF on the website of the University of Salzburg (... In the main, however, the Avars are to be addressed as Turkic people, also in terms of their language. ...)
- Ulrich Theobald: Rouran 柔然 (www.chinaknowledge.de). Retrieved September 5, 2018 .
- Ulrich Theobald: Wuhuan 烏桓 (www.chinaknowledge.de). Retrieved September 5, 2018 .
- Alexander Vovin: Some Thoughts on the Origins of the Old Turkic 12-Year Animal Cycle. In: Central Asiatic Journal 48/1, 2004, pp. 118-32.
- Nicola Di Cosmo: Ancient China and Its Enemies. The Rise of Nomadic Power in East Asian History. Cambridge 2002, p. 164; Samuel Szadeczky-Kardoss: The Avars . In: Denis Sinow: The Cambridge History of Early Inner Asia . Vol. 1. Cambridge 1990, p. 221
- Ulrich Theobald: Rouran 柔然 (www.chinaknowledge.de). Retrieved September 5, 2018 . / Ulrich Theobald: Qiang 羌 (www.chinaknowledge.de). Retrieved September 5, 2018 .
- Christoph Baumer: The History of Central Asia. Volume 2, London 2014, p. 90; Nikolay N. Kradin: Rouran (Juan Juan) Khaganate. In: The Encyclopedia of Empire (online version).
- Nikolay N. Kradin: Rouran (Juan Juan) Khaganate. In: The Encyclopedia of Empire (online version).
- Wolfgang-Ekkehard Scharlipp: The early Turks in Central Asia. Darmstadt 1992, p. 11f.
- Christoph Baumer: The History of Central Asia. Volume 2, London 2014, p. 91 and p. 94.