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Chanyu (simplified Chinese: 单于; traditional Chinese: 單于; pinyin: Chányú) or Shanyu (Chinese: 善于), short for Chengli Gutu Chanyu (Chinese: 撐犁孤塗單于; pinyin: Chēnglí Gūtu Chányú; lit. 'Heaven's great son'), was the title used by the supreme rulers of Inner Asian nomads for eight centuries until superseded by the title "Khagan" in 402 CE. The title was most famously used by the ruling Luandi clan of the Xiongnu during the Qin dynasty (221–206 BCE) and Han dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE). It was later also used infrequently by the Chinese as a reference to Gokturk leaders.
According to the Book of Han, "the Xiongnu called the Heaven (天) 'Chēnglí' (撐犁) and they called a child (子) gūtú (孤塗). As for Chányú (單于), it is a "vast [and] great countenance" (廣大之貌)." The term "Chanyu" hence means "great Son of Heaven".
L. Rogers and Edwin G. Pulleyblank argue that the title chanyu may be equivalent to the later attested title tarkhan, suggesting that the Chinese pronunciation was originally dān-ĥwāĥ, an approximation for *darxan. Linguist Alexander Vovin tentatively proposes a Yeniseian etymology for 撐犁孤塗單于, in Old Chinese pronunciation *treng-ri kwa-la dar-ɢwā, from four roots: *tɨŋgVr- "high", *kwala- "son, child", *tɨl "lower reaches of the Yenisei" or "north", and *qʌ̄j ~ *χʌ̄j "prince"; as a whole "Son of Heaven, Ruler of the North".
List of Xiongnu ChanyusEdit
|Chinese name||Pinyin / Wade-Giles||Guangyun||Personal Name||Reign|
|Touman (頭曼單于/头曼单于)||Tóumàn / t'ou-man||240–209 BC|
|Modu Chanyu (冒頓單于/冒顿单于)||mòdú / mou-tun[a]||Luandi Modu (攣鞮冒頓 / 挛鞮冒顿)||209–174 BC|
|Laoshang Chanyu (老上單于/老上单于)||lǎoshàng / lao-shang||174–161 BC|
|Junchen Chanyu (軍臣單于/军臣单于)||jūnchén / chün-ch'en||161–126 BC|
|Yizhixie Chanyu (伊稚斜單于/伊稚斜单于)||yīzhìxié / i-chih-hsieh||126–114 BC|
|Wuwei Chanyu (烏維/乌维)||114–105 BC|
|Er Chanyu (兒[b]單于/儿单于)||Wushilu (烏師廬/乌师庐)||105–102/101 BC|
|Xulihu Chanyu (呴犛湖/呴犁湖)||102/101–101/100 BC|
|Qiedihou (且鞮侯)[c]||101/100–96 BC|
|Hulugu Chanyu (狐鹿姑單于/狐鹿姑单于)||húlùgū / hu-lu-ku||96–85 BC|
|Huyandi Chanyu (壺衍鞮單于/壺衍鞮单于)||húyǎndī / hu-yen-ti||85–68 BC|
|Xulüquanqu Chanyu (虛閭權渠單于/虚闾权渠单于)||xūlǘquánqú / hsü-lü-ch'üan-ch'ü||68–60 BC|
|Woyanqudi Chanyu (握衍朐鞮單于/握衍朐鞮单于)||wòyǎnqúdī / wo-lu-ch'ü-ti||Tuqitang (屠耆堂/ 屠耆堂)||60–58 BC|
|Huhanye Chanyu (呼韓邪單于/呼韩邪单于)||hūhánxié / hu-han-hsieh||Jihoushan:59
|58 – 31 BC |
Tuqi 屠耆單于, 58–56 BC
Hujie 呼揭單于, 57 BC
Juli 車犂單于, 57–56 BC
Wuji 烏籍單于, 57 BC
Runzhen 閏振單于, 56–54 BC
Zhizhi Chanyu 郅支單于, 55 – 36 BC
Yilimu 伊利目單于, 49 BC
|Fuzhulei Ruodi Chanyu:86
|fùzhūléiruòdī/fu-chu-lei-je-ti||Diaotaomogao (彫陶莫皋/雕陶莫皋):86||31–20 BC|
|Wuzhuliu Chanyu:p. 87 (烏珠留若鞮單于/乌珠留若鞮单于)||Nangzhiyasi/Zhi [page needed]
|8 BC – 13 AD|
|Wulei Chanyu:105–107 (烏累若鞮單于/乌累若鞮单于)||Xian (鹹/挛鞮咸)||13–18 AD|
|Huduershidaogao Chanyu:108–109 (呼都而屍道皋若鞮單于/呼都而尸道皋若鞮单于)||Yu (輿/挛鞮舆)||18–46 AD|
|Wudadihou (烏達鞮侯/乌达鞮侯)[page needed]||Wudadi||46 AD|
- a.k.a. Batur < Baγatur 
- "underage" p. 46</ref>
- a.k.a. Quidi, Chedihou
- 若鞮 (pinyin ruòdī), glossed as "respectful to parents;:107 filial piety" in Hànshū; Pulleyblank reconstructs 若鞮's Early Middle Chinese pronunciation as *njak-tei & instead compares this to Tocharian A ñäkci or Toch. B ñäkc(i)ye "godly, heavenly"
Northern Xiongnu (北匈奴)Edit
|Punu Chanyu (蒲奴)||46–? AD|
|Youliu[page needed] (優留)||?–87 AD|
|Northern Chanyu (北單于)||88–? AD|
|Yuchujian[page needed] (於除鞬單于)||91–93 AD|
|Feng-hou (逢侯)||94–118 AD|
Southern Xiongnu (南匈奴)Edit
|Chinese name||Data||Personal Name||Reign|
Huhanxie the Second (呼韓邪第二)
Xiluo Shizhu Ti (醯落尸逐鞮)
|brought the southern Xiongnu into tributary relations with Han China in AD 50||48–56/55 AD|
|Xitong Shizhu Houti/Shi
|Huxie Shizhu Houti/Chang
|Tuntuhe[page needed] Shulan:130–134
Xiulan Shizhu Houti (休蘭尸逐侯提)
|Anguo[page needed] (安國)||started a large scale rebellion against
|Shizi[page needed] (師子)
Tingdu Shizhu Houti (亭獨尸逐侯提)
|Wanshishizhudi/Tan (萬氏尸逐侯提/檀)||opposed by...
Qute Ruoshi Zhujiu (去特若尸逐就)[page needed]
|committed suicide under Chinese pressure||127/128–140/142?|
|Cheniu[page needed]||Popularly elected||140–143 AD|
Hulan Ruoshi Zhujiu(呼蘭若尸逐就)
|appointed puppet at the Chinese court||143–147 AD|
|Jucheer (居車兒)[page needed]
Yiling Ruoshi Zhujiu (伊陵若尸逐就)
|puppet Chinese appointee that escaped Chinese control; incarcerated by Chinese in 158 AD||147–158 AD (d. 172 AD)|
|Tute Ruoshi Zhujiu (屠特若尸逐就):145 (True name unknown; the Chinese moniker has negative connotation; confirmed by Chinese Court as Chanyu in 172 AD)</ref>||158–178 AD|
|Huzheng:145 (呼徵)||178–179 AD|
|Jiangqu;[page needed] killed in Xiuchuge Xiongnu rebellion||179–188 AD|
|a.k.a. Tezhi Shizhuhou (特至尸逐侯).
Homeless puppet Chanyu, overthrown in the Ordos by the unnamed Chanyu of Xiluo 醯落 and Tuge 屠各. Led dozens of refugee Xiongnu tribes to Pingyang (平阳) in Shanxi.
|Huchuquan (呼廚泉)||Yufuluo's brother,[page needed] he ruled over the Pingyang Xiongnu
after Yufuluo died.
Da Chanyu (大單于)Edit
|Chinese name||Data||Personal Name||Reign|
|Liu Bao (劉豹)||Yufuluo's son. He changed the Chanyu clan name from Luanti to Liu, the surname of Han emperors.
He bore the title 匈奴單于 but ruled only over the West partition in Jiuyuan (九原) of the
Pingyang Xiongnu newly partitioned into North, South, left (West), right (East), and Centre by Cao Cao
|劉(刘)去卑 Liú Qùbēi||Huchuquan's son. Cao Cao ordered him to rule
over the north partition of Pingyang Xiongnu as
Tiefu Right Virtuous King (鐵弗 右贤王).
|劉誥升爰 Liú Gàoshēngyuán||Son of 劉(刘)去卑 Liú Qùbēi. Bore the title 鐵弗 右贤王||272–309|
|Liu Yuan (劉淵)||Han Zhao state, a.k.a. Emperor Guangwen (光文). Son of Liu Bao (劉豹). Bore the title Xiongnu 匈奴單于 of tribe Yuanhai, so Chinese annals use Yuanhai as his surname ||309–310|
|Liu He, ch. 劉和 py. liú hé||Han Zhao state, personal name Xuantai 玄泰||7 days in 310|
|Liu Cong, ch. 劉聰 py. liú cōng||Han Zhao state, a.k.a. Emperor Zhaowu, ch. 昭武, personal name Xuanmen 玄門, nickname Zai 載||310–318|
|Liu Can, ch. 劉粲 py. liú càn||Han Zhao state, a.k.a. Emperor Yin, ch. 隱, personal name Shiguang 士光||a month and days in 318|
|Liu Yao ch. Liu Yao 劉曜 py. liú yaò||Han Zhao state, a.k.a. Emperor Hou Zhu 後主, personal name Yongming 永明||318–329|
|Liu Xi ch. Liu Xi 劉熙||Last ruler of Han Zhao; statutory Chanyu, probably never raised to the throne||329|
|Liu Hu 劉虎||Liu Qubei's grandson. He was not allowed to call himself Chanyu||329–341|
|劉務恒 Liú Wùhéng||???||341–356|
|劉閼陋頭 Liú èlòutóu||???||356–358|
|劉悉勿祈 Liú Xīwùqí||???||358–359|
|劉衛辰 Liú Wèichén||Posthumously named "Emperor Huan"||359–391|
|劉勃勃 Liú Bóbó||a.k.a. Wulie (武烈 Wǔliè) established Xiongnu Xia 407 and in 413 reverted surname to 赫連 Hèlián||391–425|
|赫連昌 Hèlián Chāng||???||425–428|
|赫連定 Hèlián Dìng||Last native ruler of Xiongnu in China||428–431|
Chanyu family treesEdit
|Chanyu Xiongnu rulers family trees|
- Taskin V.S. "Materials on history of Dunhu group nomadic tribes", Moscow, 1984, p. 305,306, (Таскин В.С. "Mатериалы по истории древних кочевых народов группы Дунху") (in Russian)
- Book of Han, Vol. 94-I, 匈奴謂天為「撐犁」，謂子為「孤塗」，單于者，廣大之貌也.
- Universität Bonn. Seminar für Sprach- und Kulturwissenschaft Zentralasiens: Zentralasiatische Studien, Vol. 24–26, p.21
- "Once again on the Etymology of the title qaɣan", in Studia Etyologica Crocoviensia, (2007) vol. 12, p. 177-185
- "Did the Xiongnu speak a Yeniseian language? Part 2: Vocabulary", in Altaica Budapestinensia MMII, Proceedings of the 45th Permanent International Altaistic Conference, Budapest, June 23–28, pp. 389–394.
- Hirth F. Sinologische Beitrage zur Geschichte der Turk-Volker. Die Ahnentafel Attila's nach Johannes von Thurocz. Bull. Imp. Acad, series V, vol. XIII, 1900, No 2, pp. 221–261.
- Bichurin N.Ya. (1851). Collection of information on peoples in Central Asia in ancient times". 1.
- Pulleyblank, E. G. "Chinese and Indo-Europeans." Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, no. 1/2 (1966): 9–39. www.jstor.org/stable/25202896.
- R. de Crespigny, "Northern Frontier: the policies and strategy of the Later Han empire", Australian National University Faculty of Asian Studies Monographs, New Series No.4, Canberra 1984, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-01-01. Retrieved 2010-12-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
-  Archived 2011-11-30 at the Wayback Machine note 208