23 Facts About Rouran


Rouran Khaganate, Juan-Juan Khaganate, was a tribal confederation and later state founded by a people of Proto-Mongolic Donghu origin.

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The Rouran Khaganate lasted from the late 4th century until the middle 6th century, when they were defeated by a Gokturk rebellion which subsequently led to the rise of the Turks in world history.

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The Rouran controlled trade routes, and raided and subjugated oases and outposts such as Gaochang.

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The Rouran have been credited as "a band of steppe robbers", because they adopted a strategy of raids and extortion of Northern China.

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Rouran ?? is a Classical Chinese transcription of the endonym of the confederacy; ?? Ruanruan ~ Ruru was used in Tuoba-Xianbei sources such as orders given by Emperor Taiwu of Northern Wei.

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In early Mongol society, a nokur was someone who had left his clan or tribe to pledge loyalty to and serve a charismatic warlord; if this derivation were correct, Rouran ?? was originally not an ethnonym, but a social term referring the dynastic founder's origins or the core circle of companions who helped him build his state.

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Kwok Kin Poon additionally proposes that the Rouran were descended specifically from Donghu's Xianbei lineage, i e from Xianbei who remained in the eastern Eurasian Steppe after most Xianbei had migrated south and settled in Northern China.

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The anecdote of the founder of the Rouran being a slave is a "typical insertion by the Chinese historians intended to show the low birth and barbarian nature of the northern nomads".

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The endonym Rouran itself was distorted by the Sinicized Tuoba Xianbei into exonyms Ruru or Ruanruan, meaning something akin to "wriggling worms".

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Immediately after uniting, the Rouran entered a perpetual conflict with Northern Wei, beginning with a Wei offensive that drove the Rouran from the Ordos region.

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The Rouran expanded westward and defeated the neighboring Tiele people and expanded their territory over the Silk Roads, even vassalizing the Hephthalites which remained so until the beginning of the 5th century.

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In 460, the Rouran subjugated the Ashina tribe residing around modern Turpan and resettled them in the Altai Mountains.

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The Rouran ousted the previous dynasty of Gaochang and installed Kan Bozhou as its king.

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Rouran Khaganate arranged for one of their princesses, Khagan Yujiulu Anagui's daughter Princess Ruru, to be married to the Han Chinese ruler Gao Huan of the Eastern Wei.

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The royal house of Rouran is said to have intermarried with the royal house of the Haital in the 6th century.

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Later the capital of the Rouran became Mumocheng, "encircled with two walls constructed by Liang Shu".

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Rouran was later delivered to Turks by Emperor Gong with his soldiers under pressure from Muqan Qaghan.

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All the Rouran handed over to the Turks, reportedly with the exception of children less than sixteen, were brutally killed.

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Some scholars claim that the Rouran then fled west across the steppes and became the Avars, though many other scholars contest this claim.

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However, it's unlikely that Rouran would have migrated to Europe in any sufficient strength to establish themselves there, due to the desperate resistances, military disasters, and massacres.

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The remainder of the Rouran fled into China, were absorbed into the border guards, and disappeared forever as an entity.

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The Rouran Khaganate had fallen not through gradual decline but through a sudden internal revolution led by the Gokturks, hence the still vivid memories of empire in the Avar Khagan, a fact paralleled later by the Kara-Khitans who migrated a long distance west after being suddenly dislodged from northern China but still kept their pretensions to empire and defeated the Great Seljuk Empire in the Battle of Qatwan as the Western Liao.

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Rouran was found to be a carrier of the paternal haplogroup C2b1a1b and the maternal haplogroup D4b1a2a1.

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