Daqin (Chinese: 大秦; pinyin: Dàqín; Wade–Giles: Ta4-ch'in2; alternative transliterations include Tachin, Tai-Ch'in) is the ancient Chinese name for the Roman Empire or, depending on context, the Near East, especially Syria.[1] It literally means the "great China", Qin (Chinese: ; pinyin: Qín; Wade–Giles: Ch'in2) being the name of the founding dynasty of the Chinese Empire. Historian John Foster defined it as "the Roman Empire, or rather that part of it which alone was known to the Chinese, Syria".[2] In various texts its capitals were given as Antioch and Constantinople, with no clear descriptions of the city of Rome. Its basic facets such as laws, customs, dress, and currency were explained in Chinese sources. Its medieval incarnation was described in histories during the Tang dynasty (618–907 AD) onwards as Fulin (Chinese: 拂菻; pinyin: Fúlǐn)河=Putlen, which Friedrich Hirth and other scholars have identified as the Byzantine Empire.[3] Daqin was also commonly associated with the Syriac-speaking Nestorian Christians who lived in China during the Tang dynasty.

Chinese sources describe several ancient Roman embassies arriving in China, beginning in 166 AD and lasting into the 3rd century. These early embassies were said to arrive by a maritime route via the South China Sea in the Chinese province of Jiaozhi (now northern Vietnam). Archaeological evidence such as Roman coins points to the presence of Roman commercial activity in Southeast Asia. Later recorded embassies arriving from the Byzantine Empire, lasting from the 7th to 11th centuries, ostensibly took an overland route following the Silk Road, alongside other Europeans in Medieval China. Byzantine Greeks are recorded as being present in the court of Kublai Khan (1260–1294), the Mongol ruler of the Yuan dynasty in Khanbaliq (Beijing), while the Hongwu Emperor (r. 1368–1398), founder of the Ming dynasty, sent a letter of correspondence to Byzantine emperor John V Palaiologos.

Daqin (大秦國) appears at the Western edge of this Chinese world map, the Sihai Huayi Zongtu.



The term Daqin (Chinese: 大秦; pinyin: Dà qín; Wade–Giles: Ta4-ch'in2), meaning "Great Qin," is derived from the dynasty founded by Qin Shi Huang, ruler of the State of Qin and China's first emperor who unified China's Warring States by 221 BC.[4] The prefix "da" (大) or "great" signified that the Roman Empire was on par with the might of the Qin Empire and was viewed as a utopian land located to the northwest of the Parthian Empire.[4] The title "Daqin" does not seem to have any phonetic derivation from Latin Roma or Greek Romaikē, although it is possible that the Latin term used for China, Serica (i.e. "Land of Silk", derived from Greek Serikon, Chinese si Chinese: ; pinyin: , meaning silk), originates from the name Qin using Early Middle Chinese pronunciation (with the final consonant pronounced with an -r sound).[5]


The term "Daqin" was used from the Han dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD) onwards,[4] but by the beginning of the Tang dynasty (618–907 AD) a new name emerged in Chinese historical records for distinguishing the Eastern Roman Empire: Fulin (Chinese: 拂菻; pinyin: Fú lǐn). Friedrich Hirth surmised that Fulin may have been based on the accusative form of Constantinopolis in Greek, -polin in Constantinopolin, the Eastern Roman Empire's capital city Constantinople.[6] Using historical phonetic pronunciations of Cantonese and Japanese, Hirth also speculated that Fulin in Middle Chinese was pronounced Butlim or Butlam and came from the Syriac pronunciation for Bethlehem.[7] While some scholars of the 20th century believed that Fulin was a transliteration of Ephrem, an ancient word for Israel, Samuel N. C. Lieu highlights how more recent scholarship has deduced that Fulin is most likely derived from the Persianate word for the Roman Empire shared by several contemporaneous Iranian languages (Middle Persian: hrwm; Parthian: frwm; Sogdian: ßr'wm-; Bactrian: фромо).[8]


Daqin in Sancai Tuhui
The Chinese impression of the Daqin people, from the Ming Dynasty encyclopedia Sancai Tuhui (The caption reads: "Daqin: The western merchants end their journeys here. Its king wears embroidered tissues sewn with gold threads on his head. The land produces corals, grows golden flowers, coarse fabrics, pearls, etc.")

Early descriptions by Gan Ying

Following the opening of the Silk Road in the 2nd century BC, the Chinese thought of the Roman Empire as a civilized counterpart to the Chinese Empire. The Romans occupied one extreme position on the trade route, with the Chinese located on the other.

China never managed to reach the Roman Empire directly in antiquity, although general Ban Chao sent Gan Ying as an envoy to "Daqin" in 97 AD. Gan Ying did not reach Daqin: he stopped at the coast of a large sea, because "sailor(s) of the Parthian west border" told him that the voyage to cross the sea might take a long time and be dangerous. Gan Ying left a detailed account of the Roman Empire, but it is generally considered to have been based on second hand information from Parthians:


The Kingdom of Da Qin (the Roman Empire) is also called Lijian. As it is found to the west of the sea, it is also called the Kingdom of Haixi ("West of the Sea"). The territory extends for several thousands of li. It has more than four hundred walled towns. There are several tens of smaller dependent kingdoms. The walls of the towns are made of stone. They have established postal relays at intervals, which are all plastered and whitewashed. There are pines and cypresses, as well as trees and plants of all kinds.[9][10]

Gan Ying gives a very idealistic view of Roman governance which is likely the result of some story he was told while visiting the Persian Gulf in 97 AD. He also described, less fancifully, Roman products:


Their kings are not permanent. They select and appoint the most worthy man. If there are unexpected calamities in the kingdom, such as frequent extraordinary winds or rains, he is unceremoniously rejected and replaced. The one who has been dismissed quietly accepts his demotion, and is not angry. The people of this country are all tall and honest. They resemble the people of the Middle Kingdom and that is why this kingdom is called Da Qin. This country produces plenty of gold [and] silver, [and of] rare and precious they have luminous jade, "bright moon pearls", Haiji rhinoceroses, coral, yellow amber, opaque glass, whitish chalcedony [i.e., langgan], red cinnabar, green gemstones, gold-thread embroideries, woven gold-threaded net, delicate polychrome silks painted with gold, and asbestos cloth.


They also have a fine cloth which some people say is made from the down of "water sheep", but which is made, in fact, from the cocoons of wild silkworms. They blend all sorts of fragrances, and by boiling the juice, make a compound perfume. [They have] all the precious and rare things that come from the various foreign kingdoms. They make gold and silver coins. Ten silver coins are worth one gold coin. They trade with Anxi and Tianzhu by sea. The profit margin is ten to one. ... The king of this country always wanted to send envoys to the Han, but Anxi, wishing to control the trade in multi-coloured Chinese silks, blocked the route to prevent [the Romans] getting through [to China].[9][10]

Geographical descriptions in the Weilüe

Dahuting tomb mural detail of women wearing hanfu, Eastern Han period
Detail of a mural showing two women wearing Hanfu silk robes, from the Dahuting Tomb (打虎亭汉墓; Dáhǔtíng hànmù) of the late Eastern Han Dynasty (25–220 AD), located in Zhengzhou, Henan, China

In the Weilüe written by Yu Huan (c. 239–265), a text that is preserved in the Records of the Three Kingdoms by Pei Songzhi (published in 429), a more detailed description of the Eastern portion of the Roman Empire is given, particularly the province of Roman Egypt. The 19th-century sinologist Friedrich Hirth translated the passages and identified the places named in them, which have been edited by Jerome S. Arkenberg in 2000 (with Wade-Giles spelling):[3]

Formerly T'iao-chih [Babylonia] was wrongly believed to be in the west of Ta-ts'in [Roman Syria]; now its real position is known to be east. ... Formerly it was, further, wrongly believed that the Jo-shui [Dead Sea] was in the west of T'iao-chih; now the Jo-shui is believed to be in the west of Ta-ts'in. Formerly it was wrongly believed that, going over two hundred days west of T'iao-chih, one came near the place where the sun sets; now, one comes near the place where the sun sets by going west of Ta-ts'in. The country of Ta-ts'in, also called Li-kan [Syria], is on the west of the great sea [Indian Ocean] west of Ar-hsi and T'iao-chih. From the city of Ar-ku [Uruk], on the boundary of Ar-hsi one takes passage in a ship and, traversing the west of the sea, with favorable winds arrives [at Aelana, modern Elat, on the Gulf of Aqaba] in two months; with slow winds, the passage may last a year, and with no wind at all, perhaps three years. This country is on the west of the sea whence it is commonly called Hai-hsi [Egypt]. There is a river [the Nile] coming out from the west of this country, and there is another great sea [the Mediterranean]. In the west of the sea there is the city of Ali-san [Alexandria]. Before one arrives in the country one goes straight north from the city of U-tan [Aden]. In the south-west one further travels by a river which on board ship one crosses in one day [again the Nile]; and again south-west one travels by a river which is crossed in one day [still the Nile]. There are three great divisions of the country [Delta, Heptanomis, Thebaid]. From the city of Ar-ku one goes by land due north to the north of the sea; and again one goes due west to the west of the sea; and again you go due south to arrive there. At the city of Ali-san, you travel by river on board ship one day, then make a round at sea, and after six days' passage on the great sea [the Mediterranean], arrive in this country. There are in the country in all over four hundred smaller cities; its size is several thousand li in all directions of the compass. The residence of their king lies on the banks of a river estuary [Antioch-on-the-Orontes]. They use stone in making city walls. In this country there are the trees sung [pine], po [cypress], huai [sophora?], tzu [a kind of euphorbia?]; bamboos, rushes, poplars, willows, the wu-t'ung tree, and all kinds of other plants. The people are given to planting on the fields all kinds of grain. Their domestic animals are: the horse, the donkey, the mule, the camel, and the mulberry silk-worm. There are many jugglers who can issue fire from their mouths, bind and release themselves, and dance on twenty balls. In this country they have no permanent rulers, but when an extraordinary calamity visits the country, they elect as king a worthier man, while discharging the old king, who does not even dare to feel angry at this decision. The people are tall, and upright in their dealings, like the Han [Chinese], but wear foreign dress; they call their country another "Middle Kingdom" [probably from "Mediterranean" or "Middle of the Land"].[3]

Green glass Roman cup unearthed at Eastern Han tomb, Guixian, China
Green Roman glass cup unearthed from an Eastern Han Dynasty (25–220 AD) tomb, Guangxi, China

The Weilüe also noted that the Daqin had small "dependent" vassal states, too many to list as the text claims, yet it mentions some as being the Alexandria-Euphrates or Charax Spasinu ("Ala-san"), Nikephorium ("Lu-fen"), Palmyra ("Ch'ieh-lan"), Damascus ("Hsien-tu"), Emesa ("Si-fu"), and Hira ("Ho-lat").[3] Perhaps some of these are in reference to certain states that were temporarily conquered during the Roman–Parthian Wars (66 BC – 217 AD) when, for instance, the army of Roman Emperor Trajan reached the Persian Gulf and captured Characene, the capital of which was Charax Spasinu.[11] The Weilüe provides the traveling directions and approximate distances between each of these cities, counted in ancient Chinese miles (li), and along with the Book of Later Han even mentions the pontoon bridge ("flying bridge") across the Euphrates at the Roman city of Zeugma, Commagene (in modern-day Turkey).[3]

Hirth and Arkenberg identified Si-fu (Chinese: 汜復) with Emesa. However, John E. Hill provides evidence that it was most likely Petra (in the Nabataean Kingdom), given the directions and distance from "Yuluo" (i.e. Al Karak) and the fact that it fell under Roman dominion in 106 AD when it was annexed by Trajan.[12] Even more convincing for Hill is the fact that Si-fu in Chinese means "an arm of a river which rejoins the main stream" or more aptly "rejoined water courses".[12] He believes this is directly related to the reservoir and cistern flood-control system harnessing the many streams running through the settlement and nearby canyons, or wadis, such as the Wadi Musa ("Valley of Moses").[12]


Da Qin Pagoda
The Daqin Pagoda, which once formed part of a Nestorian church
The Nestorian Stele entitled 大秦景教流行中國碑 "Stele to the propagation in China of the luminous religion of Daqin", was erected in China in 781.

In later eras, starting in 550 AD, as Syriac Christians settled along the Silk Road and founded mission churches, Daqin or Tai-Ch'in is also used to refer to these Christian populations rather than to Rome or the Roman church.[1] So, for example, when the Taoist Tang Emperor Wuzong closed Christian monasteries in the mid-9th century, the imperial edict commanded:[13]

As for the Tai-Ch'in (Syrian Christian) and Muh-hu (Zoroastrian) forms of worship, since Buddhism has already been cast out, these heresies alone must not be allowed to survive.[14]

The name "Daqin" for Rome was used on Chinese maps as late as the 16th century, such as the Sihai Huayi Zongtu. The identification of "Daqin" with the Western Roman Empire, Eastern Roman Empire, or the Church of the East varies with the era and context of the document. The Nestorian Stele erected in 781 in the Tang capital Chang'an contains an inscription that briefly summarizes the knowledge about Daqin in the Chinese histories written up to that point and notes how only the "luminous" religion (i.e. Christianity) was practiced there.[3]

Capital cities

To the Chinese, the capital of Daqin was "An-tu", or Antioch, the first great Christian city.[15] However, the Old Book of Tang and New Book of Tang, which identified Daqin and "Fulin" (拂菻; i.e. the Byzantine Empire) as the same countries, noted a different capital city (Constantinople), one that had walls of "enormous height" and was eventually besieged by the commander "Mo-yi" (Chinese: 摩拽伐之; Pinyin: Mó zhuāi fá zhī) of the Da shi (大食; i.e. the Arabs).[3] Friedrich Hirth identifies this commander as Muawiyah I, who was first governor of Syria before becoming caliph and founder of the Umayyad Caliphate.[3] The city of Rome itself does not appear to have been described.


Marc'aurelio da probalinthos, 161 dc. circa
Bust of Marcus Aurelius from Probalinthos, Attica, Greece, c. 161 AD, now in the Louvre, Paris

Starting in the 1st century BC with Virgil, Horace, and Strabo, Roman histories offer only vague accounts of China and the silk-producing Seres of the distant east.[16] The 2nd-century historian Florus seems to have conflated the Seres with peoples of India, or at least noted that their skin complexions proved that they both lived "beneath another sky" than the Romans.[16] The 1st-century geographer Pomponius Mela noted that their lands formed the center of the coast of an eastern ocean, flanked by India to the south and the Scythians of the northern steppe, while the historian Ammianus Marcellinus (c. 330 – c. 400) wrote that the land of the Seres was enclosed by great natural walls around a river called Bautis, perhaps the Yellow River.[16] In his Geography, Ptolemy also provided a rough sketch of the Gulf of Thailand and South China Sea, with a port city called Cattigara lying beyond the Golden Chersonese (i.e. Malay Peninsula) visited by a Greek sailor named Alexander.[17] Among the proposed sites for Ptolemy's Cattigara are Oc Eo, Vietnam, where Roman artefacts have been found.[18]

In contrast, Chinese histories offer an abundance of source material about their interactions with alleged Roman embassies and descriptions of their country. The first of these embassies is recorded in the Book of Later Han as having arrived by sea in 166 AD and came by way of Jiaozhou, later known as Annam (northern Vietnam), as would later embassies.[3] Its members claimed to be representatives of the Daqin ruler "Andun" (安敦), either Antoninus Pius or his co-emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, and offered gifts to the court of Emperor Huan of Han.[19][20] Other embassies arrived sporadically afterwards. The Book of Liang mentions a Daqin embassy to Sun Quan of Eastern Wu in 226, while the Book of Jin records a Daqin embassy to Emperor Wu of Jin in 284.[3]

Although Emperor Yang of Sui (r. 604–618) had desired to send an embassy to Daqin, this never came to fruition.[3][21] Instead, an embassy from a country that was now called Fulin (拂菻, i.e. the Byzantine Empire), which the Old Book of Tang and New Book of Tang identified as being the same as Daqin, arrived in 643 at the court of Emperor Taizong of Tang and claimed to represent their king Bo duoli (波多力; i.e. Kōnstantinos Pogonatos, "Constantine the Bearded", the nickname of Constans II).[3] Several other Fulin (i.e. Byzantium) embassies during the Tang dynasty are mentioned for the years 667, 701, and 719.[3]

The Wenxian Tongkao written by Ma Duanlin (1245–1322) and the History of Song record that the Byzantine emperor Michael VII Parapinakēs Caesar (Mie li sha ling kai sa 滅力沙靈改撒) of Fulin (i.e. Byzantium) sent an embassy to China that arrived in 1081, during the reign of Emperor Shenzong of Song (r. 1067–1085).[3][22] During the subsequent Yuan dynasty (1271–1368), an unprecedented number of Europeans started to visit and live in China, such as Marco Polo and Katarina Vilioni, and papal missionaries such as John of Montecorvino and Giovanni de Marignolli.[23][24][25] The History of Yuan recounts how a man of Fulin named Ai-sie (transliteration of either Joshua or Joseph), initially in the service of Güyük Khan, was well-versed in Western languages and had expertise in the fields of medicine and astronomy.[26] This convinced Kublai Khan, founder of the Yuan dynasty, to offer him a position as the director of medical and astronomical boards, eventually honoring him with the title of Prince of Fulin (Chinese: 拂菻王; Fú lǐn wáng).[26] His biography in the History of Yuan lists his children by their Chinese names, which are similar to the Christian names Elias (Ye-li-ah), Luke (Lu-ko), and Antony (An-tun), with a daughter named A-na-si-sz.[26]

The History of Ming explains how the founder of the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), the Hongwu Emperor, sent a merchant of Fulin named "Nieh-ku-lun" (捏古倫) back to his home country with a letter announcing the founding of a new dynasty.[3][27][28] It is speculated that this "merchant" was actually a former bishop of Khanbaliq named Nicolaus de Bentra.[29] The History of Ming goes on to explain that contacts between China and Fulin ceased thereafter, whereas an envoy of the great western sea (i.e. the Mediterranean Sea) did not arrive again until the 16th century, with the Italian Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci.[3]

Currency and coinage

Bronze coin of Contantius II 337 361 found in Karghalik
Bronze coin of Constantius II (337–361), found in Karghalik, modern China

Although the ancient Romans imported Han Chinese silk while the Han-dynasty Chinese imported Roman glasswares as discovered in their tombs,[30][31] Valerie Hansen (2012) claimed that no Roman coins from the Roman Republic (507–27 BC) or the Principate (27 BC–284 AD) era of the Roman Empire have been found in China.[32] Yet this assumption has been overturned; Warwick Ball (2016) notes the discovery of sixteen Roman coins found at Xi'an, China (site of the Han capital Chang'an) minted during the reign of various emperors from Tiberius (14–37 AD) to Aurelian (270–275 AD).[33] The earliest gold solidus coins from the Eastern Roman Empire found in China date to the reign of Byzantine emperor Theodosius II (r. 408–450) and altogether only forty-eight of them have been found (compared to thirteen hundred silver coins) in Xinjiang and the rest of China.[32] However, Roman golden medallions from the reign of Antoninus Pius, and possibly his successor Marcus Aurelius, have been discovered at Óc Eo in southern Vietnam, which was then part of the Kingdom of Funan bordering the Chinese province of Jiaozhi in northern Vietnam.[17][34] This was the same region where Chinese historical texts claim the Romans first landed before venturing further into China to conduct diplomacy.[17][3]

Chinese histories offer descriptions of Byzantine coins. In discussing trade with India, the Parthian Empire and the Roman Empire, the Book of Jin, as well as the later Wenxian Tongkao, noted how ten ancient Roman silver coins were worth one Roman gold coin.[3] With fluctuations, the Roman golden aureus was worth about twenty-five silver denarii.[35] The History of Song notes how the Byzantines made coins of either silver or gold, without holes in the middle yet with an inscription of the king's name.[3]

Law and order

Roman Lictor Clothes
An 1860 sketch depicting a Roman lictor, a bodyguard for Roman magistrates

The History of Song described forms of punishment in criminal law as they were carried out in Daqin (Roman Empire) and Fulin (Byzantine Empire). It states that they made a distinction between minor and major offenses, with 200 strikes from a bamboo rod being reserved for major crimes.[3] It described their form of capital punishment as having the guilty person being stuffed into a "feather bag" and thrown into the sea.[3] This seems to correspond with the Romano-Byzantine punishment of poena cullei (from Latin "punishment of the sack"), where those who committed parricide (i.e. murder of a father or mother) were sewn up into a sack, sometimes with wild animals, and thrown into either a river or sea.[36] The History of Song also mentioned how it was forbidden by law to counterfeit the coins minted by Fulin.[3] These descriptions from the History of Song are also found in the Wenxian Tongkao.[3]

Naming conventions

In the Chinese histories, the names of Romans and Byzantines were often transliterated into Chinese as they were heard, yet occasionally the surname stemmed from their country of origin, Daqin (大秦). For instance, the Roman merchant Qin Lun (秦論), who visited the Eastern Wu court of Sun Quan in 226 AD, bears the surname derived from the name for his homeland, while having a given name that is perhaps derived from the Greek name Leon (e.g. Leon of Sparta).[37] In the Han-era intermediate spoken language between Old Chinese and Middle Chinese, the pronunciation for his given name "Lun" (論) would have sounded quite different than modern spoken Mandarin: K. 470b *li̯wən / li̯uĕn or *lwən / luən; EMC lwən or lwənh.[37]

Granting Roman individuals the surname "Qin" followed a common Chinese naming convention for foreign peoples. For instance, people from the Parthian Empire of ancient Persia such as An Shigao were often given the surname "An" (安) derived from Anxi (安息), the Arsacid dynasty. The Sogdians, an Eastern Iranian people from Central Asia, were also frequently given the surname "An" (e.g. An Chongzhang), especially those from Bukhara, while Sogdians from Samarkand were surnamed "Kang" (康; e.g. Kang Senghui), derived from Kangju, the Chinese term for Transoxiana.[38][39][40][41] The name given for Antoninus Pius/Marcus Aurelius Antoninus in the Chinese histories was "An Dun" (安敦).[19][note 1]

See also



  1. ^ The surname "An" (安) used here for the surname of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus is the same as the aforementioned surname used for Parthians and Sogdians.


  1. ^ a b Jenkins, Philip (2008). The Lost History of Christianity: the Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia – and How It Died. New York: Harper Collins. pp. 64–68. ISBN 978-0-06-147280-0.
  2. ^ Foster, p. 3.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w Hirth, Friedrich (2000) [1885]. Jerome S. Arkenberg, ed. "East Asian History Sourcebook: Chinese Accounts of Rome, Byzantium and the Middle East, c. 91 B.C.E. - 1643 C.E." Fordham.edu. Fordham University. Retrieved 2016-09-10.
  4. ^ a b c Lieu (2013), p. 126.
  5. ^ Lieu (2013), pp 126-127; the same character for "Qin" (i.e. 秦) was used by the Chinese of the Han period to transcribe foreign words ending in an -r sound.
  6. ^ Lieu (2013), p. 227.
  7. ^ Hirth (1939) [1885], pp 286-290.
  8. ^ Lieu (2013), pp 127-128.
  9. ^ a b Hill (2009), p. 25.
  10. ^ a b http://toyoshi.lit.nagoya-u.ac.jp/maruha/siryo/houhan078.html
  11. ^ Garthwaite, Gene Ralph (2005), The Persians, Oxford & Carlton: Blackwell Publishing, Ltd., ISBN 1-55786-860-3, p. 81.
  12. ^ a b c Yu, Huan (September 2004). John E. Hill, ed. "The Peoples of the West from the Weilue 魏略 by Yu Huan 魚豢: A Third Century Chinese Account Composed between 239 and 265, Quoted in zhuan 30 of the Sanguozhi, Published in 429 CE [Section 11 – Da Qin (Roman territory/Rome)]". Depts.washington.edu. Translated by John E. Hill. Retrieved 2016-09-17.
  13. ^ Philip, TV (1998). "Christianity in China". East of the Euphrates: Early Christianity in Asia. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2008-11-30.
  14. ^ Foster, John (1939). The Church in T'ang Dynasty. Great Britain: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. p. 123.
  15. ^ Foster, p. 4.
  16. ^ a b c Max Ostrovsky (2007), Y = Arctg X: the Hyperbola of the World Order, Lanham, Boulder, New York, Toronto, Plymouth: University Press of America, ISBN 0-7618-3499-0, p. 44.
  17. ^ a b c Gary K. Young (2001), Rome's Eastern Trade: International Commerce and Imperial Policy, 31 BC - AD 305, London & New York: Routledge, ISBN 0-415-24219-3, p. 29.
  18. ^ Granville Allen Mawer (2013), "The Riddle of Catigara" in Robert Nichols and Martin Woods (eds), Mapping Our World: Terra Incognita to Australia, 38-39, Canberra: National Library of Australia, ISBN 9780642278098, p. 38.
  19. ^ a b de Crespigny, Rafe. (2007). A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms (23-220 AD). Leiden: Koninklijke Brill, p. 600, ISBN 978-90-04-15605-0.
  20. ^ Yü, Ying-shih. (1986). "Han Foreign Relations", in The Cambridge History of China: Volume I: the Ch'in and Han Empires, 221 B.C. – A.D. 220, 377-462. Edited by Denis Twitchett and Michael Loewe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 460–461, ISBN 978-0-521-24327-8.
  21. ^ Warwick Ball (2016), Rome in the East: Transformation of an Empire, 2nd edition, London & New York: Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-72078-6, pp 152-153.
  22. ^ Fuat Sezgin; Carl Ehrig-Eggert; Amawi Mazen; E. Neubauer (1996). نصوص ودراسات من مصادر صينية حول البلدان الاسلامية. Frankfurt am Main: Institut für Geschichte der Arabisch-Islamischen Wissenschaften (Institute for the History of Arabic-Islamic Science at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University). p. 25.
  23. ^ Jonathan D. Spence (1998). "The Chan's Great Continent: China in Western Minds". The New York Times. ISBN 0-393-02747-3. Accessed 15 September 2016.
  24. ^ Frances Wood (2002), The Silk Road: Two Thousand Years in the Heart of Asia, University of California Press, pp 125-126, ISBN 0-520-24340-4.
  25. ^ Stephen G. Haw (2006), Marco Polo's China: a Venetian in the Realm of Kublai Khan, London & New York: Routledge, p. 172, ISBN 0-415-34850-1.
  26. ^ a b c Bretschneider, Emil (1888), Medieval Researches from Eastern Asiatic Sources: Fragments Towards the Knowledge of the Geography and History of Central and Western Asia from the 13th to the 17th Century, Vol. 1, Abingdon: Routledge, reprinted 2000, p. 144.
  27. ^ R. G. Grant (2005). Battle: A Visual Journey Through 5,000 Years of Combat. DK Pub. pp. 99–. ISBN 978-0-7566-1360-0.
  28. ^ Hirth, Friedrich (1939) [1885]. China and the Roman Orient: Researches Into Their Ancient and Mediaeval Relations as Represented in Old Chinese Records. Leipzig, Munich, Shanghai, & Hong Kong: Georg Hirth; Kelly & Walsh. p. 66.
  29. ^ Edward Luttwak (1 November 2009). The Grand Strategy of the Byzantine Empire. Harvard University Press. pp. 170–. ISBN 978-0-674-03519-5.
  30. ^ Brosius, Maria (2006), The Persians: An Introduction, London & New York: Routledge, pp 122–123, ISBN 0-415-32089-5.
  31. ^ An, Jiayao (2002), "When Glass Was Treasured in China", in Juliano, Annette L. and Judith A. Lerner, Silk Road Studies: Nomads, Traders, and Holy Men Along China's Silk Road, 7, Turnhout: Brepols Publishers, pp. 79–94, ISBN 2-503-52178-9.
  32. ^ a b Hansen, Valerie (2012), The Silk Road: A New History, Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 97, ISBN 978-0-19-993921-3.
  33. ^ Warwick Ball (2016), Rome in the East: Transformation of an Empire, 2nd edition, London & New York: Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-72078-6, p. 154.
  34. ^ For further information on Oc Eo, see Milton Osborne (2006), The Mekong: Turbulent Past, Uncertain Future, Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin, revised edition, first published in 2000, ISBN 1-74114-893-6, pp 24-25.
  35. ^ John Pike. (last modified 11 July 2011). "Roman Money". Globalsecurity.org. Accessed 15 September 2016.
  36. ^ Richard A. Bauman (2005), Crime and Punishment in Ancient Rome, London & New York: Routledge, reprint of 1996 edition, ISBN 0-203-42858-7, p. 23.
  37. ^ a b Yu, Huan (September 2004). John E. Hill, ed. "The Peoples of the West from the Weilue 魏略 by Yu Huan 魚豢: A Third Century Chinese Account Composed between 239 and 265, Quoted in zhuan 30 of the Sanguozhi, Published in 429 CE". Depts.washington.edu. Translated by John E. Hill. Retrieved 2016-09-17.
  38. ^ Hansen, Valerie (2012), The Silk Road: A New History, Oxford University Press, p. 98, ISBN 978-0-19-993921-3.
  39. ^ Galambos, Imre (2015), "She Association Circulars from Dunhuang", in Antje Richter, A History of Chinese Letters and Epistolary Culture, Brill: Leiden, Boston, p. 872.
  40. ^ Hill, John E. (2015) Through the Jade Gate - China to Rome: A Study of the Silk Routes 1st to 2nd Centuries CE. CreateSpace, North Charleston, South Carolina. ISBN 978-1500696702, note 2.17, p. 183.
  41. ^ For information on Kang Senghui, see: Tai Thu Nguyen (2008). The History of Buddhism in Vietnam. CRVP. pp. 36-. ISBN 978-1-56518-098-7.


  • Bauman, Richard A. (2005). Crime and Punishment in Ancient Rome. London & New York: Routledge, reprint of 1996 edition, ISBN 0-203-42858-7.
  • Ball, Warwick (2016). Rome in the East: Transformation of an Empire, 2nd edition, London & New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-72078-6.
  • Bretschneider, Emil (2000) [1888]. Medieval Researches from Eastern Asiatic Sources: Fragments Towards the Knowledge of the Geography and History of Central and Western Asia from the 13th to the 17th Century, Vol. 1, reprint edition. Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Brosius, Maria (2006). The Persians: An Introduction. London & New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-32089-5.
  • Foster, John (1939). The Church in T'ang Dynasty. Great Britain: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.
  • Galambos, Imre (2015). "She Association Circulars from Dunhuang", in Antje Richter, A History of Chinese Letters and Epistolary Culture. Leiden & Boston: Brill.
  • Garthwaite, Gene Ralph (2005). The Persians. Oxford & Carlton: Blackwell Publishing, Ltd., ISBN 1-55786-860-3.
  • Grant, R. G. (2005). Battle: A Visual Journey Through 5,000 Years of Combat. DK Publishers. ISBN 978-0-7566-1360-0.
  • Hansen, Valerie (2012). The Silk Road: A New History, Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-993921-3.
  • Haw, Stephen G. (2006). Marco Polo's China: a Venetian in the Realm of Kublai Khan. London & New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-34850-1.
  • Hill, John E. (2004). The Peoples of the West from the Weilue 魏略 by Yu Huan 魚豢: A Third Century Chinese Account Composed between 239 and 265. Draft annotated English translation. [1]
  • Hill, John E. (2009). Through the Jade Gate to Rome: A Study of the Silk Routes during the Later Han Dynasty, 1st to 2nd Centuries CE. BookSurge, Charleston, South Carolina. ISBN 978-1-4392-2134-1.
  • Hirth, Friedrich (2000) [1885]. Jerome S. Arkenberg, ed. "East Asian History Sourcebook: Chinese Accounts of Rome, Byzantium and the Middle East, c. 91 B.C.E. - 1643 C.E." Fordham.edu. Fordham University. Retrieved 2016-09-10.
  • Hirth, Friedrich (1939) [1885]. China and the Roman Orient: Researches Into Their Ancient and Mediaeval Relations as Represented in Old Chinese Records (reprint ed.). Leipzig, Munich, Shanghai, & Hong Kong: Georg Hirth; Kelly & Walsh.
  • Jenkins, Philip (2008). The Lost History of Christianity: the Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia – and How It Died. New York: Harper Collins. ISBN 978-0-06-147280-0.
  • Lieu, Samuel N.C. (2013). "The 'Romanitas' of the Xi'an Inscription," in Li Tang and Deitmer W. Winkler (eds), From the Oxus to the Chinese Shores: Studies on East Syriac Christianity in China and Central Asia. Zürich & Berlin: Lit Verlag. ISBN 978-3-643-90329-7.
  • Luttwak, Edward. (1 November 2009). The Grand Strategy of the Byzantine Empire. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-03519-5.
  • Mawer, Granville Allen (2013). "The Riddle of Catigara" in Robert Nichols and Martin Woods (eds), Mapping Our World: Terra Incognita to Australia, 38-39. Canberra: National Library of Australia. ISBN 9780642278098.
  • Osborne, Milton (2006) [2000]. The Mekong: Turbulent Past, Uncertain Future. Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin, revised edition. ISBN 1-74114-893-6.
  • Ostrovsky, Max (2007). Y = Arctg X: the Hyperbola of the World Order. Lanham, Boulder, New York, Toronto, Plymouth: University Press of America. ISBN 0-7618-3499-0.
  • Sezgin, Fuat; Carl Ehrig-Eggert; Amawi Mazen; E. Neubauer (1996). نصوص ودراسات من مصادر صينية حول البلدان الاسلامية. Frankfurt am Main: Institut für Geschichte der Arabisch-Islamischen Wissenschaften (Institute for the History of Arabic-Islamic Science at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University).
  • Wood, Frances(2002). The Silk Road: Two Thousand Years in the Heart of Asia. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-24340-4.
  • Young, Gary K. (2001). Rome's Eastern Trade: International Commerce and Imperial Policy, 31 BC - AD 305. London & New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-24219-3.
  • Yü, Ying-shih. (1986). "Han Foreign Relations," in Denis Twitchett and Michael Loewe (eds), The Cambridge History of China: Volume I: the Ch'in and Han Empires, 221 B.C. – A.D. 220, 377-462. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-24327-8.
  • Yule, Henry (1886). Cathay and the Way Thither. Downloaded 22/12/04 from: http://dsr.nii.ac.jp/toyobunko/III-2-F-b-2/V-1/ and http://dsr.nii.ac.jp/toyobunko/III-2-F-b-2/V-2/.

Further reading

  • Leslie, D. D., Gardiner, K. H. J.: "The Roman Empire in Chinese Sources", Studi Orientali, Vol. 15. Rome: Department of Oriental Studies, University of Rome, 1996
  • Pulleyblank, Edwin G.: "The Roman Empire as Known to Han China", Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 119, No. 1 (1999), pp. 71–79

External links

2012 China League Two

The 2012 Chinese Football Association Division Two League season is the 23rd season since its establishment in 1989. It is divided into two groups, North and South. There are total 26 teams participating in the league with 13 teams in each group. The league is made up of two stages, the group stage and the play-off. The Group Stage is a double round-robin format. Each team in the group will play the other teams twice, home and away. It will start on April 20 and end on September 28. The Play-off Stage is a two-legged elimination. It will start in October. At the end of the season, the two finalists of the Play-off will qualify for promotion to 2013 China League One.

China Railway Taiyuan Group

China Railway Taiyuan Group, officially abbreviated as CR Taiyuan or CR-Taiyuan, formerly, Taiyuan Railway Administration is a subsidiaries company under the jurisdiction of the China Railway (formerly the Ministry of Railway). It supervises the railway network within Shanxi and the entire Daqin railway under a subsidiary Daqin Railway Company. The railway administration was reorganized as a company on November 2017.

China Railways DJ1

The China Railways DJ1 is a high power mainline electric freight locomotive built as a double locomotive unit of two nominally independent single cab units.

China Railways HXD1

The China Railways HXD1 (also known as the DJ4) is an eight axle high power heavy freight twin unit locomotive of axle configuration Bo'Bo'+Bo'Bo'. Both the HXD1 and HXD2 double unit locomotives were designated DJ4, the HXD2 units being disambiguated DJ4-6000. The 7.34 billion Yuan order for 180 locomotives was given in 2004, with the first locomotive manufactured by November 2006. Production of the 180 locomotives in the class took place between 2006 and 2008. A second batch of 40 was delivered between 2009 and 2010.

In 2012 CSR began testing of a revised version of the locomotive, built by using higher levels of domestically sourced equipment. 50 units were delivered (1001 - 1050). Another unit (6001) was built at the end of 2012 by CSR Ziyang using Zhuzhou plans.

In 2013, CSR delivered 2 3xBo'Bo' to Shenhua Mining Group (14.4 MW), directly issued from "normal" HXD1, but with a modernized frontcab. The same operator ordered 8 2xBo'Bo' in the first quarter 2013.

China Railways HXD2

The HXD2 locomotives are a series of related locomotive classes built by CNR Datong Electric Locomotive and Alstom. The locomotives designs are based on the Alstom Prima electric locomotives, and are a product of a cooperation agreement signed between the two companies in 2004. All locomotives are intended for heavy freight work, including coal trains on the Datong Qinhuangdao line (Daqin Railway).

The original HXD2 locomotives are twin unit Bo′Bo′+Bo′Bo′ vehicles whereas the HXD2B and HXD2C versions are single unit Co′Co′ machines. At the time of their construction the HXD2 and HXD2B locomotives were amongst the most powerful locomotives in the world. The HXD2C is similarly specified to the HXD2B but of reduced power, and with increased localisation of components for lower cost.

The HXD2 was originally described as the DJ4-6000 class.Variants of the type were produced for railways other than China Railway: in 2010 Belarus state railways ordered a HXD2 twin unit locomotive variant (BCG-1); and in 2012 Shenhua Group also ordered twin section locomotives.

In 2012 CNR Datong announced a new sub-version of the HXD2 class, built using fully localised production; the HXD2-1000 series. In 2014 a new localised variant, in 2(Bo′Bo′) wheel arrangement and 9.6MW power, with axle load of 27tonnes (up to 30 tonnes on specialised line) was unveiled, designated HXD2F, and officially nicknamed 超级大力士.

Daqin Pagoda

The Daqin Pagoda (大秦塔) is a Buddhist pagoda in Zhouzhi County of Xi'an (formerly Chang'an), Shaanxi Province, China, located about two kilometres to the west of Louguantai temple. The pagoda has been controversially claimed as a Nestorian Christian church from the Tang Dynasty.

Daqin Railway (company)

Daqin Railway Co., Ltd. is a Chinese company that operates several railways with a total length of 1000 km, including the Daqin Railway. The company is based in Datong, Shanxi. It was listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in 2006 with IPO capital raising of $1.9 billion US dollars.Daqin Railway is a component of SSE 50 Index. The ultimate parent company of Daqin Railway was China Railway, a state-owned enterprise that the Ministry of Finance acted as a shareholder.

Datong railway station

The Datong railway station (Chinese: 大同站; pinyin: Dàtóng Zhàn) is a railway station of Jingbao Railway, Tongpu Railway and Daqin Railway. The station located in Datong, Shanxi, China.

Datong–Qinhuangdao railway

Daqin railway (simplified Chinese: 大秦铁路; traditional Chinese: 大秦鐵路; pinyin: dàqín tiělù), also known as the Daqin line (simplified Chinese: 大秦线; traditional Chinese: 大秦線; pinyin: dàqín xiàn), is a 653 km coal-transport railway in north China. Its name is derived from its two terminal cities, Datong, a coal mining center in Shanxi province, and Qinhuangdao, of Hebei province, on the Bohai Sea.

The railway also passes through the municipalities of Beijing and Tianjin. Unlike most other railways in China, which are run by the Ministry of Railways, the Daqin railway is operated by Daqin Railway Company Limited, a publicly traded stock company.

Daqin railway forms a transport pattern integrating collection, distribution and transport, and shapes up a traffic organization pattern that runs more than 100 pairs of trains at the speed of 80 km/h per day, generating a daily transport capacity of 1 million tons.

The electrified double track line serves as a major conduit for moving coal produced in Shanxi, Shaanxi, and Inner Mongolia to Qinhuangdao, China's largest coal-exporting seaport, from there coal is shipped to south China and other countries in Asia.

The line was constructed in two phases between December 1984 and December 1992, with specifications changed from single-track to double-track during construction. Design capacity was 100 million tonnes a year, which it reached after ten years, but continuous upgrades (wider subgrade, 75 kg/m rails, wagons with higher capacity and top speed, longer trains and stronger locomotives, radio operation and centralised traffic control, automatic train inspection) quadrupled capacity. It carries more coal than any other railway line in China and the world.Freight trains operating on the Daqin line can carry up to 20,000 metric tons, the largest carrying capacity in China.In 2006, powerful locomotive models HXD1 and HXD2, with 9.6 MW and 10 MW power output respectively, entered Daqin line to replace the older DJ1 models.

Guo Chunquan

Guo Chunquan (Chinese: 郭纯泉; born 2 January 1985) is a Chinese football player who currently plays for Liaoning F.C. in the China League One.

Inner Changshan Garrison Division

The Inner Changshan Fort District, former 78th Division, is a military formation of the People's Liberation Army.It's now a coastal defense formation of Jinan Military Region.

78th Division(Chinese: 第78师) was created in February 1949 under the Regulation of the Redesignations of All Organizations and Units of the Army, issued by Central Military Commission on November 1, 1948, basing on the 24th Division, 8th Column of Huadong Field Army. Its history could be traced to Security Brigade of Luzhong Military District, formed in July 1946.

The division was a part of 26th Corps. Under the flag of 78th the division took part in major battles during the Chinese Civil War.

In November 1950 the division entered Korea as a part of People's Volunteer Army. During its deployment in Korea, it took part in the Second, Fourth and Fifth Offensives in late 1950 and early 1951, consisting of the 232nd, 233rd, and the 234th Regiments.In June 1952 the division pulled out of Korea and renamed as 78th Infantry Division(Chinese: 步兵第78师). In October 1954, the division moved to Changdao and became Changshan Fort District(Chinese: 长山要塞区) of the People's Liberation Army Navy.

On May 4, 1960, the fort district was transferred to Jinan Military Region's control, and expanded to army corps level.

In March 1961 the district was renamed as Inner Changshan Fort District(Chinese: 内长山要塞区). From the 1960s to late-1970s, the Fort District was composed of:

1st Garrison District, division-level, at Daqin Island;

2nd Garrison District, division-level, at North Changshan Island;

3rd Garrison District, division-level, at Penglai, Shandong;From 1967 Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment, Inner Changshan Fort District was activated. The regiment was completely equipped with SU-76s.

In 1976 2nd Garrison District was disbanded. Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment, Inner Changshan Fort District detached from the Fort District and became Tank Regiment 67th Army Corps. Soon after Tank Regiment, Inner Changshan Fort District was activated.

In 1980, 1st Garrison District was renamed as 6th Garrison Division of Jinan Military Region, and 3rd Garrison District was renamed as 7th Garrison Division of Jinan Military Region. The fort district was then composed of:

6th Garrison Division of Jinan Military Region;

7th Garrison Division of Jinan Military Region;

29th Garrison Regiment;

30th Garrison Regiment;

31st Garrison Regiment;

Tank Regiment.In 1985 the district was reduced to division level and renamed as Inner Changshan Garrison Division(Chinese: 内长山守备师). Both 6th and 7th Garrison Division were disbanded.

In February 1993 the division was renamed as Inner Changshan Fort District(Chinese: 内长山要塞区) again, now a division-level unit. The fort district is now composed of:

1st Coastal Defense Regiment;

2nd Coastal Defense Regiment;

3rd Coastal Defense Regiment;

Shipping Group.

Jingjiao Documents

The Jingjiao Documents (Chinese: 景教經典; pinyin: Jǐngjiào jīngdiǎn; also known as the Nestorian Documents or the Jesus Sutras) are a collection of Chinese language texts connected with the 7th-century mission of Alopen, a Church of the East bishop from Sassanian Mesopotamia. The manuscripts date from between 635, the year of Alopen's arrival in China, and around 1000, when the cave at Mogao near Dunhuang in which the documents were discovered was sealed.

By 2011, four of the manuscripts were known to be in a private collection in Japan, while one was in Paris. Their language and content reflect varying levels of interaction with Chinese culture, including use of Buddhist and Taoist terminology.


The Louguantai Temple (Chinese: 楼观台寺), in Tayu village (塔峪村), Zhouzhi county, Shaanxi province, about 70 km, west of Xian, is the place where tradition says that Lao Tze composed the Tao Te Ching.

The Daqin Pagoda is located less than one mile to the west of Louguantai.

Nestorian Stele

The Nestorian Stele, also known as the Nestorian Stone, Nestorian Monument, or Nestorian Tablet, is a Tang Chinese stele erected in 781 that documents 150 years of early Christianity in China. It is a 279 cm tall limestone block with text in both Chinese and Syriac describing the existence of Christian communities in several cities in northern China. It reveals that the initial Nestorian Christian church had met recognition by the Tang Emperor Taizong, due to efforts of the Christian missionary Alopen in 635. According to the Stele, Alopen and his fellow Syriac missionaries came to China from Daqin (the Eastern Roman Empire) in the ninth year of Emperor Taizong (Tai Tsung) (635), bringing sacred books and images. Buried in 845, probably during religious suppression, the stele was not rediscovered until 1625.

Qin dynasty

The Qin dynasty (Chinese: 秦朝; pinyin: Qíncháo; Wade–Giles: Chʻin²-chʻao²) was the first dynasty of Imperial China, lasting from 221 to 206 BC. Named for its heartland in Qin state (modern Gansu and Shaanxi), the dynasty was founded by Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor of Qin. The strength of the Qin state was greatly increased by the Legalist reforms of Shang Yang in the fourth century BC, during the Warring States period. In the mid and late third century BC, the Qin state carried out a series of swift conquests, first ending the powerless Zhou dynasty, and eventually conquering the other six of the Seven Warring States. Its 15 years was the shortest major dynasty in Chinese history, consisting of only two emperors, but inaugurated an imperial system that lasted from 221 BC, with interruption and adaptation, until 1912 CE.

The Qin sought to create a state unified by structured political power and a large military supported by a stable economy. The central government moved to undercut aristocrats and landowners to gain direct administrative control over the peasantry, who comprised the overwhelming majority of the population and labour force. This allowed ambitious projects involving three hundred thousand peasants and convicts, such as connecting walls along the northern border, eventually developing into the Great Wall of China.The Qin introduced a range of reforms such as standardized currency, weights, measures, and a uniform system of writing, which aimed to unify the state and promote commerce. Additionally, its military used the most recent weaponry, transportation, and tactics, though the government was heavy-handedly bureaucratic. Han dynasty Confucians portrayed the dynasty as a monolithic tyranny, notably citing a purge known as the burning of books and burying of scholars although some modern scholars dispute the veracity of these accounts.

When the first emperor died in 210 BC, two of his advisers placed an heir on the throne in an attempt to influence and control the administration of the dynasty. These advisors squabbled among themselves, resulting in both of their deaths and that of the second Qin Emperor. Popular revolt broke out and the weakened empire soon fell to a Chu general, Xiang Yu, who was proclaimed Hegemon-King of Western Chu, and Liu Bang, who later founded the Han dynasty. Despite its short reign, the dynasty greatly influenced the future of China, particularly the Han, and its name is thought to be the origin of the European name for China.

Sino-Roman relations

Sino-Roman relations comprised the mostly indirect contact, flow of trade goods, information, and occasional travellers between the Roman Empire and Han Empire of China, as well as between the later Eastern Roman Empire and various Chinese dynasties. These empires inched progressively closer in the course of the Roman expansion into the ancient Near East and simultaneous Han Chinese military incursions into Central Asia. Mutual awareness remained low, and firm knowledge about each other was limited. Only a few attempts at direct contact are known from records. Intermediate empires such as the Parthians and Kushans, seeking to maintain lucrative control over the silk trade, inhibited direct contact between these two Eurasian powers. In 97 AD, the Chinese general Ban Chao tried to send his envoy Gan Ying to Rome, but Gan was dissuaded by Parthians from venturing beyond the Persian Gulf. Several alleged Roman emissaries to China were recorded by ancient Chinese historians. The first one on record, supposedly from either the Roman emperor Antoninus Pius or his adopted son Marcus Aurelius, arrived in 166 AD. Others are recorded as arriving in 226 and 284 AD, with a long absence until the first recorded Byzantine embassy in 643 AD.

The indirect exchange of goods on land along the Silk Road and sea routes included Chinese silk, Roman glassware and high-quality cloth. Roman coins minted from the 1st century AD onwards have been found in China, as well as a coin of Maximian and medallions from the reigns of Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius in Jiaozhi in modern Vietnam, the same region at which Chinese sources claim the Romans first landed. Roman glassware and silverware have been discovered at Chinese archaeological sites dated to the Han period. Roman coins and glass beads have also been found in Japan.

In classical sources, the problem of identifying references to ancient China is exacerbated by the interpretation of the Latin term Seres, whose meaning fluctuated and could refer to several Asian peoples in a wide arc from India over Central Asia to China. In Chinese records, the Roman Empire came to be known as Daqin or Great Qin. Daqin was directly associated with the later Fulin (拂菻) in Chinese sources, which has been identified by scholars such as Friedrich Hirth as the Byzantine Empire. Chinese sources describe several embassies of Fulin arriving in China during the Tang dynasty and also mention the siege of Constantinople by the forces of Muawiyah I in 674–678 AD.

Geographers in the Roman Empire such as Ptolemy provided a rough sketch of the eastern Indian Ocean, including the Malay Peninsula and beyond this the Gulf of Thailand and South China Sea. Ptolemy's Cattigara was most likely Óc Eo, Vietnam, where Antonine-era Roman items have been found. Ancient Chinese geographers demonstrated a general knowledge of West Asia and Rome's eastern provinces. The 7th-century AD Byzantine historian Theophylact Simocatta wrote of the contemporary reunification of northern and southern China, which he treated as separate nations recently at war. This mirrors both the conquest of Chen by Emperor Wen of Sui (reigned 581–604 AD) as well as the names Cathay and Mangi used by later medieval Europeans in China during the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty and Han-Chinese Southern Song dynasty.

South of the Clouds (2004 film)

South of the Clouds is a 2004 Chinese film and the second film directed by the writer Zhu Wen. The film stands in stark contrast to Zhu's previous film. In terms of production, South of the Clouds received the cooperation of the state apparatus unlike 2001's Seafood which was an underground production shot on digital hand-held cameras. In terms of story, the transgressive tale of a prostitute and a policeman in Seafood is a far cry from South of the Cloud's gentle tale of a retiree who fulfills a lifelong desire to travel to the southern province of Yunnan (literally "South of the Clouds").

South of the Clouds stars Li Xuejian as the protagonist, Xu Daqin, and features a cameo by director Tian Zhuangzhuang as the police chief in a small town in Yunnan. It was produced by China Film Assist, an independent production company in China; South of the Clouds was the company's first production.

Thaddeus Ma Daqin

Thaddeus Ma Daqin (Chinese: 马达钦; born 1968, Shanghai, China) is the Roman Catholic bishop of Shanghai. He was appointed as auxiliary bishop with the approval of the Holy See and Chinese Government in July 2012. He announced his resignation from the Chinese government mandated Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association at his episcopal ordination Mass, and was taken into custody as a result. The Chinese Government has detained him under house arrest ever since (largely confined to Sheshan Seminary) and has prevented him from carrying out his episcopal duties.

Xi'an guyue

Xi'an guyue (西安鼓乐), also Shaanxi guyue (陕西鼓乐), is the regional Chinese ritual music genre featuring a type of wind and percussion ensemble named for its place of origin, Xi'an, in Shaanxi Province. It is also, somewhat misleadingly, called Xi'an drum music. A folk genre, sustained by amateur groups before the 1960s, it was placed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List in 2009.The music is split into two categories based on performance, sitting and walking (the latter including chorus), and into three repertoires based on transmission, Buddhist (Seng), Daoist (Dao), and secular (Su).Though associated with the Tang dynasty (due to its prestige and history), the genre shares more with the late Ming and Qing dynasties. The ensembles formerly included other instruments, such as the pipa and daqin (presumably the zheng), as witnessed in gongche manuscripts. Famous musicians include An Laixu (1895-1977), Daoist master of Xi'an's Chenghuangmiao temple. Manuscripts collected during the fifties date as far back as 1689, but the knowledge of how to perform pieces that old is lost. The genre flourished in the thirties and forties, with ensembles going from temple to temple, "but tacitly it was also treated like a competition." The number of musical ensembles and temples of all kinds was greatly reduced during the cultural revolution in the sixties and seventies, beginning to return more as historical preservation, academic research, or tourism then as religious practice in the eighties.

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