Monday, October 08, 2018

Modu Chanyu (234 BC-174 BC): The founder of the empire of the Xiongnu

The Xiongnu were ancient nomadic people who roamed the steppes north of China between 220 BC and 2nd century AD and built a powerful nomadic empire. In the 3rd century BC, Tümen, the third recorded leader of the Xiongnu, also known as Chanyu of the Xiongnu, settled the Xiongnu in Inner Mongolia to the east of Bugthot.

Tümen’s son, Modu Chanyu (reigned 209–174 BC), executed his father and established the Xiongnu empire by subduing the neighboring tribes.

Under the dynamic leadership of Modu Chanyu the Xiongnu rapidly defeated steppe-zone rivals, the Donghu and the Yuezhi, and became a fully fledged imperial state encompassing much of Inner Asia.

It was the most powerful and prosperous period of the Xiongnu, who claimed sovereignty over the area from the Liao River in the east, Pamir in the west, Baikal in the north, and the Great Wall in the south.

Modu then inflicted a humiliating defeat on the nascent Han Empire in 200 bce at the battle of Ping Cheng, where he surrounded the main Han army commanded by the Chinese emperor Gaozu in person and forced him to buy his freedom by agreeing to terms that essentially reduced the Han to the status of tributary state in relation to the Xiongnu.
Modu Chanyu (234 BC-174 BC): The founder of the empire of the Xiongnu
Empire of the Xiongnu
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