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Romans in China?

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  • kitmengleong
    Romans in China? by Erling Hoh Baffled peasants in a windswept village in Gansu province are being described by Chinese newspapers as blond-haired, blue-eyed
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 31, 2004
      Romans in China?
      by Erling Hoh

      Baffled peasants in a windswept village in Gansu province are being
      described by Chinese newspapers as blond-haired, blue-eyed descendants
      of Roman mercenaries who allegedly fought the Han Chinese 2,000 years
      ago. While no one in the modern town of Lou Zhuangzi is fair and there
      is no proof that the Romans ever set foot in Gansu before the
      Christian era, the reports have revived discussion over whether a
      group of Romans offered their services to the Hun warlord Jzh Jzh in
      36 B.C. before settling in the Gansu village of Liqian, thought by
      some to be Lou Zhuangzi.

      This idea was first proposed by Homer Hasenphlug Dubs, an Oxford
      University professor of Chinese history, who speculated in 1955 that
      some of the 10,000 Roman prisoners taken by the Parthians after the
      battle of Carrhae in southeastern Turkey in 53 B.C. made their way
      east to Uzbekistan to enlist with Jzh Jzh against the Han. Chinese
      accounts of the battle, in which Jzh Jzh was decapitated and his army
      defeated, note unusual military formations and the use of wooden
      fortifications foreign to the nomadic Huns. Dubs postulated that after
      the battle the Chinese employed the Roman mercenaries as border
      guards, settling them in Liqian, a short form of Alexandria used by
      the Chinese to denote Rome. While some Chinese scholars have been
      critical of Dubs' hypothesis, others went so far as to identify Lou
      Zhuangzi as the probable location of Liqian in the late 1980s.

      Ten years later, still no academic papers have been published on the
      subject, and no archaeological investigation has been conducted in Lou
      Zhuangzi, but the media and local government remain unfazed. County
      officials, sensing potential tourist revenue, have erected a Doric
      pavilion in Lou Zhuangzi, while the county capital of Yongchang has
      decorated its main thoroughfare with enormous statues of a Roman
      soldier and a Roman woman flanking a Communist party official.

      © 1999 by the Archaeological Institute of America
    • kitmengleong
      Romans in China? by Erling Hoh Baffled peasants in a windswept village in Gansu province are being described by Chinese newspapers as blond-haired, blue-eyed
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 27, 2004
        Romans in China?
        by Erling Hoh

        Baffled peasants in a windswept village in Gansu province are being
        described by Chinese newspapers as blond-haired, blue-eyed descendants
        of Roman mercenaries who allegedly fought the Han Chinese 2,000 years
        ago. While no one in the modern town of Lou Zhuangzi is fair and there
        is no proof that the Romans ever set foot in Gansu before the
        Christian era, the reports have revived discussion over whether a
        group of Romans offered their services to the Hun warlord Jzh Jzh in
        36 B.C. before settling in the Gansu village of Liqian, thought by
        some to be Lou Zhuangzi.

        This idea was first proposed by Homer Hasenphlug Dubs, an Oxford
        University professor of Chinese history, who speculated in 1955 that
        some of the 10,000 Roman prisoners taken by the Parthians after the
        battle of Carrhae in southeastern Turkey in 53 B.C. made their way
        east to Uzbekistan to enlist with Jzh Jzh against the Han. Chinese
        accounts of the battle, in which Jzh Jzh was decapitated and his army
        defeated, note unusual military formations and the use of wooden
        fortifications foreign to the nomadic Huns. Dubs postulated that after
        the battle the Chinese employed the Roman mercenaries as border
        guards, settling them in Liqian, a short form of Alexandria used by
        the Chinese to denote Rome. While some Chinese scholars have been
        critical of Dubs' hypothesis, others went so far as to identify Lou
        Zhuangzi as the probable location of Liqian in the late 1980s.

        Ten years later, still no academic papers have been published on the
        subject, and no archaeological investigation has been conducted in Lou
        Zhuangzi, but the media and local government remain unfazed. County
        officials, sensing potential tourist revenue, have erected a Doric
        pavilion in Lou Zhuangzi, while the county capital of Yongchang has
        decorated its main thoroughfare with enormous statues of a Roman
        soldier and a Roman woman flanking a Communist party official.

        © 1999 by the Archaeological Institute of America
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