Chronology of Inner Asian History, 7th-9th centuries:
the Tibetans, Uighurs and T'ang

(Items of particular relevance to Uighurs italicized.)

Date

Event

608

Tibetan embassy to China: "first contact of the Tibetans with the outside world" (Beckwith)

640

Tibetans extort favorable treaty from T'ang, including marriage to royal princess.

649

T'ang emperor gives Tibetan ruler epithet "Pao-wang" (Precious King), associated with Amitabha, the Buddha of the Western Paradise. Suggests likely influence of Chinese and Nepalese Buddhist princesses on spread of Buddhism in Tibet.

660s

Tibetan power extended into Pamir and Karakoram regions in West, including Kashgar. Khotan captured in 670, ending "two decades of Chinese domination of the Tarim Basin." (Beckwith)

690s

Revival of Chinese fortunes in Tarim.

694

Manichaean church dignitary arrives at T'ang court.

715

Political/military confrontation amongst Arab, Tibetan and T'ang interests in the Ferghana Valley; in succeeding years, those resisting Arabs in Central Asia appeal to T'ang for help.

732

T'ang emperor condemns Manichaeism.

744

Founding of Uighur state, with capital at Karabalghasun on Orkhon R. in Mongolia.

750

Peak of T'ang power in Inner Asia; nadir of Tibetan fortunes. Tarim basin under Chinese colonial rule; Pamir states vassals; influence extended to Ferghana Valley.

751

Battle of Talas, Arabs defeating T'ang; marks beginning of rollback of T'ang successes.

755-63

An Lu-shan rebellion against the T'ang, who are saved by Uighur support. T'ang forced to withdraw forces in West, opening way to Tibetan control. Over next two decades, "Tibet cut T'ang China off from direct contact with the West...China was no longer a major factor in Central Asian history; but Central Asia and Central Asians continued to be major factors in Chinese history" (Beckwith, 146-7)

759-779

Uighurs expand under kaghan Mou-yŁ, who adopts Manichaeism and decrees it as "state religion" in 763.

768

T'ang emperor orders Manichaean temples built.

787

Tibetans capture Dunhuang.

ca. 791

Tibetans capture Khotan, but defeated in north by Uighurs.

821

Arab Tamim ibn Bahr visits Uighurs in Mongolia.

821-823

Tibetan treaties with Chinese and Uighurs begin nearly two decades of relative stability in Inner Asia.

840

Uighurs defeated by Kyrgyz.

ca. 850

Uighurs settle in Turfan region and create a state straddling the Tien-shan Mountains, with capital at Qocho.

851

Zhang Yichao informs T'ang he has driven Tibetans out of Dunhuang. Khotan regains independence from Tibet.

1209

Uighur ruler of Qocho submits to Chingis Khan.

© 2000 Daniel C. Waugh