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Laoshang (Chinese: 老上; r. 174–161 BCE), whose proper name was Jiyu (Chinese: 稽粥), was a Chanyu of the Xiongnu Empire who succeeded his father Modu Chanyu in 174 BCE. Under his reign, the Xiongnu Empire continued to expand against the Yuezhi and the Xiongnu thus gained control of the Hexi Corridor.

Laoshang Chanyu
Chanyu of the Xiongnu Empire
Reign174–161 BCE
PredecessorModu Chanyu
SuccessorJunchen Chanyu
BornModern-day Mongolia
Died161 BCE
FatherModu Chanyu


Laoshang in Chinese means "old and elevated' and is probably a translation from a Xiongnu title, but might represent an attempt to phonetically represent a Xiongnu word.[1]


In 177 BCE or 176 BCE, following direction from his father Modu, Jiyu put an end to the danger of the Yuezhi, made their king's skull into a drinking cup, and chased them from Gansu. The Yuezhi migrated west.[2]

In 174 BCE, Modu died and Jiyu became Laoshang Chanyu.

The Shiji chap. 110 says:

"Shortly after this, Maodun died and his son Jizhu was set up with the title of Old Shanyu. When Jizhu became Shanyu [in 174 BCE], Emperor Wen sent a princess of the imperial family to be his consort, dispatching a eunuch from Yan named Zhonghang Yue to accompany her as her tutor.[3]

In 166 BCE, Xiongnu forces under Laoshang raided within sight of Chang'an and carried off a large number of people and animals.[4]

In 165 BCE, the Xiongnu returned and raided within sight of Chang'an again.[4]

In 164 BCE, the Xiongnu under Laoshang overran Gansu and the Tarim Basin completely, driving out the Yuezhi and Sakas, who invaded Bactria and occupied Sogdia. The Yuezhi would be pushed out by the Wusun, forcing them further into Sogdia and driving out the Sakas. The Sakas went to Parthia and some to India. A group known as the Lesser Yuezhi fled into southern Gansu and merged with the Qiang population. Laoshang also defeated a group of people in northern Bactria known as the Hathal and turned their chief's skull into a drinking cup. From this western position the Xiongnu conducted yearly raids on the Han.[5]

In 161 BCE, Laoshang died and was succeeded by his son, Junchen Chanyu.[6]


  1. ^ Hulsewé (1979), p. 120, n. 284.
  2. ^ Grousset, Rene (1970). The Empire of the Steppes. Rutgers University Press. p. 27. ISBN 0-8135-1304-9.
  3. ^ Watson (1993), p. 142.
  4. ^ a b Whiting 2002, p. 140.
  5. ^ Whiting 2002, p. 141.
  6. ^ Loewe 2000, p. 205.


  • Benjamin, Craig G. R. (2007) The Yuezhi: Origin, Migration and the Conquest of Northern Bactria. Silk Road Studies XIV. Brepols, Belgium. ISBN 978-2-503-52429-0.
  • 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. John E. Hill. Book Surge, Charleston, South Carolina. ISBN 978-1-4392-2134-1.
  • Hulsewé, A. F. P. (1979). China in Central Asia: The Early Stage 125 BC – AD 23: an annotated translation of chapters 61 and 96 of the History of the Former Han Dynasty. Introduction by M. A. N. Loewe. ISBN 90-04-05884-2. Leiden: E. J. Brill.
  • Loewe, Michael (2000), A Biographical Dictionary of the Qin, Former Han, and Xin Periods, Brill
  • Whiting, Marvin C. (2002), Imperial Chinese Military History, Writers Club Press
  • Watson, Burton. (1993). Records of the Grand Historian of China. Han Dynasty II. (Revised Edition). New York, Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-08167-7.
  • Yap, Joseph P. (2009). Wars With The Xiongnu, A Translation From Zizhi tongjian", pp. 107–121. Author House (2009) ISBN 978-1-4490-0604-4
Preceded by
Modu Chanyu
Laoshang Chanyu of the Xiongnu Empire
174–160 BCE
Succeeded by
Junchen Chanyu