Evidence of Byzantium in the Chinese Chronicles of Tang Dynasty  Cover Image
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Сведения за Византия в хрониките на китайската династия Тан
Evidence of Byzantium in the Chinese Chronicles of Tang Dynasty

Author(s): Dimitar Yankov Dimitrov
Subject(s): History
Published by: Институт за исторически изследвания - Българска академия на науките

Summary/Abstract: Records from the Old and New Book of Tang are discussed and commented in the present paper. Those records concern the Byzantine Empire as well as the Chinese-Byzantine relations. The main data included in the chronicles were based on older reports from the 7th, 8th and 9th centuries. Byzantium (Fulin) and Constantinople were presented in a quite fabulous style breathing of something strange and exotic. We could, however, point out some reliable information hidden under the fairy-tale narrative. Contacts between both Empires were registered by different direct and indirect data for the 7th and the early 8th century, when China and Byzantium were involved in the Eurasian politics, connected with or confronted to Persia, the Turks, and the Arabs. Presumed visits of Chinese (or Sogdian) ambassadors to the Byzantine capital were reflected in certain tracks of correct knowledge on Byzantine habits and topoi, including statues, measures, or the practice of petitions to the Emperor. Those data coincide to a certain extend with Patria Constantinopoleos and Parastaseis syntomoi chronikai, which could be, at least partly, their sources, too. These fragments from Chinese chronicles of the Tang dynasty, just recently translated from Middle Chinese to Bulgarian, support additionally the idea of stronger and more intensive contacts between Byzantium and China than those we have been eager to accept before.

  • Issue Year: 2011
  • Issue No: 5-6
  • Page Range: 229-235
  • Page Count: 7
  • Language: Bulgarian