هپتالیان یا هفتالیان یا هونهای سفید قومی بودند که از ایالت گانسوی چین به حدود تخارستان هجوم آوردند. شروع قدرت هفتالیان از سال ۴۲۰ میلادی بود و در سال ۵۶۷ میلادی به دست قوای مشترک خسرو انوشیروان و ترکان از بین رفتند. دربارهٔ منشأ، زبان، تاریخ و فرهنگ و حدود دولت هپتالیان فرضیات و دیدگاههای متفاوتی بین دانشمندان وجود دارد و هنوز دانشمندان دربارهٔ زبان هفتالیان به نظریه واحدی نرسیدند اما بیشتر آنها بر این باورند که زبان هفتالیان از زبانهای ایرانیتبار شرقی بودهاست.
نامهای متعدد هپتالیان[ویرایش]
در منابع مختلف هیتالیان به جز نام هونهای سفید باز نامهای متعددی دارند که همین امر به تنهایی مشکلات زیادی را به وجود آوردهاست. در مآخذ سریانی نام آنها اِپتالیت است در مآخذ یونانی زبان اِفتالیت در مآخذ ارمنی هَپتل در زبان فارسی میانه هِفتالان در زبان عربی هیطل در زبان تاجیکی و فارسی هِتل و هیتل در مآخذ چینی یِه- دَه و یِه- دی- یِن به جز این باید گفت که در مآخذ اوستایی خئیواونا (X’iiaona)، در پهلوی خیون (Xyōn)، در لاتین Chionitae, در هندی هونا نامیدهاند و مآخذ عربی آنها را با ترکها و مآخذ ارمنی با کوشانیان آمیخته کردهاند.
در متون پهلوی و مآخذ هندی هم سرخخیانیان و هم سفیدخیانیان وجود دارند. به باور دانشمندان سرخخیانیان، از سرخ بودن کلاه، زره و جوشن و پرچم آنها بر میآید. در تصاویر روی دیوار افراسیاب در سمرقند نیز دو رنگ متفاوت از هپتالیان دیده میشود، یکی سرخروی و دیگری سفیدروی است و میتوان دلیل آن را موجودیت سرخخیانیان و سفیدخیانیان بهشمار آوریم.
نابودی کیداریان و قدرت گرفتن هپتالیان[ویرایش]
پیروز زمان پادشاهی از ۴۵۹ تا ۴۸۳ میلادی، پادشاه ساسانی توانست بطور قطعی کیدارها را مغلوب کند و آنان به هدایت شاه کیداره، هجرت کردند و در قندهار ساکن شدند اما قوم دیگری موسوم به هفتالیان یا هیاطله که از ایالت چین آمده بودند، به نواحی تخارستان که تازه کیداریان از آنجا رفته بودند، هجوم آوردند. پیروز با این دشمن جدید شروع به جنگ کرد. اما مغلوب و اسیر شد و بناچار شهر تالقان را که قبل از غلبهٔ او بر کیداریان، شهر سرحدی مستحکمی بود بدیشان تسلیم کرد و متعهد شد که از آنجا تجاوز نکند و نیز مجبور شد با پرداخت غرامت جنگ، آزادی خود را بخرد.
پسرش قباد چند سال به عنوان گروگان در دربار پادشاه هفتالیان ماند تا تمام مبلغ پرداخته شد. بعد از آن پیروز با وجود ممانعت سپاهبد وهرام دوباره با هپتالیان وارد جنگ شد. این لشکرکشی در سال ۴۸۴ میلادی سرانجامی بس وخیم یافت، زیرا سپاه ایران که در بیابانی پیش میرفت، کاملاً مغلوب دشمن، بلکه نابود شد و پیروز به قتل رسید و جسد او هرگز به دست نیامد. یکی از دختران پیروز به دست پادشاه هپتالیان افتاد که او را به حرم خود فرستاد. هپتالیان داخل مملکت ایران شدند و چندین ایالت را با شهرهای مرو و هرات تصرف کردند و خراجی سالیانه بر ایرانیان تحمیل کردند. از این پس تحویل به موقع باج یکی از وظایف مهم و شاق شاهان بعدی ایران شد.
تسلط هپتالیان بر ایران موجد خواری و ذلت بسیار برای ایرانیان بود، و زیانها و خسارتهای مادی و معنوی جبرانناپذیری به بار آورد. به همین مناسبت سردار ایرانی به نام گشنسپداذ ملقب به نخوارک که از طرف زرمهر مأمور مذاکره با ارمنیان شده بود، در ضمن صحبت خود با واهان مامیکونی رئیس شورشیان ارمنیان چنین گفت «او (یعنی پیروز) کشوری چندان بزرگ و آبادان و مستقل را تسلیم هپتالیان کرد و تا تسلط این طایفه باقیاست، کشور ایران از قید عبودیت و زنجیر هولناک اسارت نجات نخواهد یافت.» بهترین افراد سپاه هلاک شده بودند و دولت در خزانهٔ خود پولی که حقوق سپاهیان را کافی باشد نداشت. مورخان ایرانی نوشتهاند که زرمهر از پادشاه هفتالیان انتقام گرفت و عاقبت با آن طایفه صلحی شرافتمندانه کرد و پادشاه هپتالیان تمام غنائمی را که در جنگ اخیر از پیروز گرفته بود، پس داد و دختر او را نیز پس فرستاد. اما این موضوع درست بهنظر نمیآید زیرا پادشاه هپتالیان از او دختری پیدا کرد که بعدها همسر قباد یکم پادشاه ساسانی گردید. دولت هپتالیان تا سال ۵۶۷ میلادی دوام داشت. انوشیروان پادشاه ساسانی، این دولت را که بر اثر حملهٔ یک قبیلهٔ ترک، به سرداری سینجیبو (سیلزیبول) متزلزل شده بود، برانداخت.
هپتالیان نوادگان مردم ایرانیتباری بودند که در آسیای میانه و باختر چین به صحراگردی و کوچروی مشغول بودند اما به تدریج توسط اقوام بیابانگرد ترک-مغول (آلتاییزبان) به جنوب و جنوبغربی محل سکونتشان رانده شده و در آنجا حکومتهایی تأسیس کردند.
طبق روایت بعضی از مآخذ هپتالیان مردمان شهری بودند. اما مآخذ چینی به کلی حرف دیگری میزنند. طبق خبر آنها «هیتالیان شهر ندارند و در جاهای پرآب و علف در خانههای سیاه زندگی میکنند.» چینیها میگویند آنها در چادرهای پوستی زندگی میکردند و کوچنشین بودند. از سوی دیگر خبر داده میشود که در گذشته آنها ممالک بسیاری را تصرف نمودند. فئوفان بیزانسی میگوید که هیتالیان پارسیها (ایرانیان) را مغلوب ساخته و شهرها و بنادر آنها را تصاحب کردند. بدین طریق مؤلفان غربی احتمالاً بنابر همین دلیل هیتالیان را مردمان شهری گفتهاند که آنها صاحب شهرها بودند و در دورههای بعدی اعیان و اشراف هیتالیان در شهرها سکونت اختیار مینمودند.
در جامعه هیتالیان چند شوهری رسم بود. برادران یک زن مشترک داشتند و زنی که شوهرش برادر نداشت یعنی زن تک شوهر کلاه یک گوشه بر سر میکرد. زن چند شوهردار کلاهی داشت که تعداد گوشههای آن متساوی با تعداد شوهرهای وی بود در لباس هم وابسته به تعداد شوهرها پوپک دوخته میشد. دربارهٔ این عرف و عادت که همزمان با چندزنی در بین والیان معمول بود، بسیاری مآخذ چینی خبر میدهند.
به نوشته منابع، هپتالیان در ابتدا خدایان خود مثلاً خدای آتش را میپرستیدند. آنها هر صبح از چادر خود بیرون آمده و نماز میگزاردهاند. شاید آنها آفتاب را هم پرستش میکردهاند؛ ولی در جامعه هپتالیان، کمکم ادیان قومهایی که سرزمینشان تحت تصرف هیتالیان بود، رواج مییابد. مثلاً دین بودایی رفتهرفته گسترش پیدا کرد و برپایهٔ یک سند دیگر دین نصرانی نیز معمول بودهاست.
پیوند به بیرون[ویرایش]
The Hephthalites (or Ephthalites), sometimes called the White Huns, were a people who lived in Central Asia during the 5th to 8th centuries. Militarily important during 450 to 560, they were based in Bactria and expanded east to the Tarim Basin, west to Sogdia and south through Afghanistan to northern India. They were a tribal confederation and included both nomadic and settled urban communities. They were part of the four major states known collectively as Xyon (Xionites) or Huna, being preceded by the Kidarites, and succeeded by the Alkhon and lastly the Nezak. All of these peoples have often been linked to the Huns who invaded Eastern Europe during the same period, and/or have been referred to as "Huns", but there is no consensus among scholars about such a connection.
The stronghold of the Hephthalites was Tokharistan on the northern slopes of the Hindu Kush, in what is present-day northeastern Afghanistan. By 479, the Hephthalites had conquered Sogdia and driven the Kidarites westwards, and by 493 they had captured parts of present-day Dzungaria and the Tarim Basin in what is now Northwest China. They expanded into northwestern India as well.
The sources for Hephthalite history are poor and historians' opinions differ. There is no king-list and historians are not sure how they arose or what language they spoke. The Sveta Huna who invaded northern India are probably the Hephthalites, but the exact relation is not clear. They seem to have called themselves Ebodalo (ηβοδαλο, hence Hephthal), often abbreviated Eb (ηβ), a name they wrote in the Bactrian script on some of their coins. The origin of the name "Hephthalites" is unknown, possibly from either a Khotanese word *Hitala meaning "Strong" or from postulated Middle Persian *haft āl "the Seven".
Name and ethnonyms
The name Hephthalites originated with Ancient Greek sources, which also referred to them as Ephthalite, Abdel or Avdel.
In Chinese chronicles, the Hephthalites are usually called Ye-tha-i-li-to 厌带夷栗陁 (pinyin: Yàndàiyílìtuó), or the more usual modern and abbreviated form Yada 嚈噠 (pinyin: Yèdā). The latter name has been given various Latinised renderings, including Yeda, Ye-ta, Ye-tha; Ye-dā and Yanda. The corresponding Cantonese and Korean names Yipdaat and Yeoptal (Korean: 엽달), which preserve aspects of the Middle Chinese pronunciation (roughly yep-daht, [ʔjɛpdɑt]) better than the modern Mandarin pronunciation, are more consistent with the Greek Hephthalite. Some Chinese chroniclers suggest that the root Hephtha- (as in Ye-ta-i-li-to or Yada) was technically a title equivalent to "emperor", while Hua was the name of the dominant tribe.
In Ancient India, names such as Hephthalite were unknown. The Hephthalites were apparently part of, or offshoots of, people known in India as Hunas or Turushkas, although these names may have referred to broader groups or neighbouring peoples.
According to most specialist scholars, the spoken language of the Hephthalites was an Eastern Iranian language, but different from the Bactrian language written in the Greek alphabet that was used as their "official language" and minted on coins, as was done under the preceding Kushan Empire.
According to Xavier Tremblay, one of the Hephthalite rulers was named "Khingila", which has the same root as the Sogdian word xnγr and the Wakhi word xiŋgār, meaning "sword". The name Mihirakula is thought to be derived from mithra-kula which is Iranian for "the Sun family". Toramāna, Mihirakula's father, is also considered to have an Iranian origin. In Sanskrit, mihira-kula would mean the kul "family" of mihira "Sun", although mihira is not purely Sanskrit but is a borrowing from Middle Iranian mihr. Janos Harmatta gives the translation "Mithra's Begotten" and also supports the Iranian theory.
For many years scholars suggested that they were of Turkic stock. Some have claimed that some groups amongst the Hephthalites were Turkic-speakers. Today, however, the Hephthalites are generally held to have been an Eastern Iranian people speaking an East Iranian language. The Hephthalites inscribed their coins in the Bactrian (Iranian) script, held Iranian titles, the names of Hephthalite rulers given in Ferdowsi's Shahnameh are Iranian, and gem inscriptions and other evidence shows that the official language of the Hephthalite elite was East Iranian. In 1959, Kazuo Enoki proposed that the Hephthalites were probably Indo-European (East) Iranians as some sources indicated that they were originally from Bactria, which is known to have been inhabited by Indo-Iranian people in antiquity. Richard Frye is cautiously accepting of Enoki's hypothesis, while at the same time stressing that the Hephthalites "were probably a mixed horde". More recently Xavier Tremblay's detailed examination of surviving Hephthalite personal names has indicated that Enoki's hypothesis that they were East Iranian may well be correct, but the matter remains unresolved in academic circles.
According to the Encyclopaedia Iranica and Encyclopaedia of Islam, the Hephthalites possibly originated in what is today Afghanistan. They apparently had no direct connection with the European Huns, but may have been causally related with their movement. The tribes in question deliberately called themselves "Huns" in order to frighten their enemies.
As an illustration of how little we know of the Hephthalites, Kurbanov surveyed the literature and found these opinions: They were named after a king Eftalan or Hephtal. They lived in the Eftali valley (location not given). They called themselves War or Jabula or Alkhon. They were a political rather than ethnic unit. They, the Xionites and Kidarites were the same people or three different peoples. They were the ruling class of the Xionites. They were not Xionites. They were not the "White Huns". They were natives of Bactria, or the Pamirs, or the Kundu Kush. They began as the Hua who were subjects of the Rouran in the Turfan area. They were a branch of the Yuezhi in the Altai area who merged with the Dinglings, defeated the Yueban and moved south. They arose near the Aral Sea from a fusion of Massagetae and Alans and moved southeast under the name of Xionites. They were partly Tibetan or Mongol or Tokharian or Huns who returned east after the fall of Attila. Kurbanov gives a few other theories and makes no attempt to reconcile them.
Ancient Chinese chroniclers, as well as Procopius, wrote various theories about the origins of the people:
Older Chinese sources (c. 125) refer to them as Hua (滑 Huá) or Hudun, and describe the Hephthalites as a tribe living beyond the Great Wall, in Dzungaria. Chinese chronicles state that they were originally a tribe of the Yuezhi, living to the north of the Great Wall, and subject to the Rouran (Jwen-Jwen), as were some Turkic peoples at the time. Their original name was Hoa or Hoa-tun; subsequently they named themselves Ye-tha-i-li-to (厌带夷栗陁, or more briefly Ye-tha 嚈噠), after their royal family, which descended from one of the five Yuezhi families which also included the Kushan.
The Hephthalite was a vassal state to the Rouran Khaganate until the beginning of the 5th century. Between Hephthalites and Rourans were also close contacts, although they had different languages and cultures, and Hephthalites borrowed much of their political organization from Rourans. In particular, the title "Khan", which according to McGovern was original to the Rourans, was borrowed by the Hephthalite rulers. The reason for the migration of the Hephthalites southeast was to avoid a pressure of the Rourans. Further, the Hephthalites defeated the Yuezhi in Bactria and their leader Kidara led the Yuezhi to the south.
The Hephthalites formed in Bactria around 450, or sometime before. In 442 their tribes were fighting the Persians. Around 451 they pushed southeast to Gandhara. In 456 a Hephthalite embassy arrived in China. By 458 they were strong enough to intervene in Persia.
Probably in the late fifth century they took the western Tarim Basin (Kashgar and Khotan) and in 479 they took the east end (Turfan). In 497–509, they pushed north of Turfan to the Urumchi region. In 509 they took 'Sughd' (the capital of Sogdiana).
5th century: conflicts and alliances with the Sasanians
The Hephthalites were originally vassals of the Rouran Khaganate but split from their overlords in the early fifth century. The next time they were mentioned was in Persian sources as foes of Yazdegerd II (435–457), who from 442, fought 'tribes of the Hephthalites', according to the Armenian Elisee Vardaped.
In 453, Yazdegerd moved his court east to deal with the Hephthalites or related groups.
The Hephthalites may have also helped the Sasanians to eliminate another Hunnic tribe, the Kidarites: by 467, Peroz I, with Hephthalite aid, reportedly managed to capture Balaam and put an end to Kidarite rule in Transoxiana once and for all. The weakened Kidarites had to take refuge in the area of Gandhara.
Later however, Peroz I fought three wars with his former allies the Hephthalites. In the first two he himself was captured and ransomed. In the third, at the Battle of Herat (484), he was killed, and for the next two years the Hephthalites plundered parts of Persia.
With the Sasanian Empire paying tribute to the Hephthalites, from 474, the Hephthalites themselves adopted the winged, triple-crescent crown of Peroz I to crown their effigy in their own coinage. They thus expressed symbolically that they had become the legitimate rulers of Iran.
From 484 until the middle of the sixth century, Persia paid tribute to the Hephthalites.
In 488, Kavadh I (488–496, 498–531) made himself king of Persia with Hephthalite help. (He overthrew his uncle, the brother of Peroz).
6th century and later
The period c. 498–555 is almost blank in the standard English sources. In 552, the Göktürks took over Mongolia, and by 558 reached the Volga. By 581 or before, the western part separated and became the Western Turkic Khaganate.
Circa 555–567, the Turks and the Persians allied against the Hephthalites and defeated them after an eight-day battle near Qarshi, the Battle of Bukhara, perhaps in 557. The allies then fought each other and c. 571 drew a border along the Oxus. After the battle, the Hephthalites withdrew to Bactria and replaced king Gatfar with Faghanish, the ruler of Chaghaniyan. What happened in the Tarim Basin is not clear.
Invasion of the Sasanid Empire (7th century)
Circa 600, the Hephthalites were raiding the Sasanian Empire as far as Spahan in central Iran. The Hephthalites issued numerous coins imitating the coinage of Khosrow II, adding on the obverse a Hephthalite signature in Sogdian and Tamgha symbol. In ca. 606/607, Khosrow recalled Smbat IV Bagratuni from Persian Armenia and sent him to Iran to repel the Hephthalites. Smbat, with the aid of a Persian prince named Datoyean, repelled the Hephthalites from Persia, and plundered their domains in eastern Khorasan, where Smbat is said to have killed their king in single combat. Khosrow then gave Smbat the honorific title Khosrow Shun ("the Joy or Satisfaction of Khosrow"), while his son Varaztirots II Bagratuni received the honorific name Javitean Khosrow ("Eternal Khosrow").
Small Hephthalite states remained, paying tribute either to the Turks or the Persians. They are reported in the Zarafshan valley, Chaghaniyan, Khuttal, Termez, Balkh, Badghis, Herat and Kabul. Circa 651, during the Arab conquest, the ruler of Badghis was involved in the fall of the last Sassanian Shah Yazdegerd III. Circa 705, the Hephthalite rulers of Badghis and Chaghaniyan surrendered to the Arabs under Qutaiba ibn Muslim.
Religion and culture
They were said to practice polyandry and artificial cranial deformation. Chinese sources said they worshiped 'foreign gods', 'demons', the 'heaven god' or the 'fire god'. The Gokturks told the Byzantines that they had walled cities. Some Chinese sources said that they had no cities and lived in tents. Litvinsky tries to resolve this by saying that they were nomads who moved into the cities they had conquered. There were some government officials but central control was weak and local dynasties paid tribute.
According to Song Yun, the Chinese Buddhist monk who visited the Hephthalite territory in 540 and "provides accurate accounts of the people, their clothing, the empresses and court procedures and traditions of the people and he states the Hephthalites did not recognize the Buddhist religion and they preached pseudo gods, and killed animals for their meat." It is reported that some Hephthalites often destroyed Buddhist monasteries but these were rebuilt by others. According to Xuanzang, the third Chinese pilgrim who visited the same areas as Song Yun about 100 years later, the capital of Chaghaniyan had five monasteries.
According to historian André Wink, "...in the Hephthalite dominion Buddhism was predominant but there was also a religious sediment of Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism." Balkh had some 100 Buddhist monasteries and 30,000 monks. Outside the town was a large Buddhist monastery, later known as Naubahar.
Hephthalites or "White Huns" in Southern Central Asia
It is not clear whether the people called Hunas, or Sveta Huna (White Huns) in Sanskrit were the Hephthalites or a related people, the Xionites. In the northwest of the Indian subcontinent, the Hephthalites were not distinguished from their immediate Chionite predecessors; both are known as Huna (Sanskrit: Sveta-Hūna, White Huns). In Ancient India, names such as Hephthalite were unknown. The Hephthalites were apparently part of, or offshoots of, people known in India as Hunas or Turushkas.
Historians such as Beckwith, referring to Étienne de la Vaissière, say that the Hephthalites were not necessarily one and the same as the Hunas (Sveta Huna). According to de la Vaissiere, the Hephthalites are not directly identified in classical sources alongside that of the Hunas.
The Huna had already established themselves in Afghanistan and the modern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa of Pakistan by the first half of the 5th century, and the Gupta emperor Skandagupta had repelled a Hūna invasion in 455 before the Hephthalite clan came along. These attacks on the Guptas were therefore probably made by the predecessors of the Hephthalites, the Kidarites.
India was invaded during the 5th century by a people known in the Indian Subcontinent as the Hunas – including the Alchon Huns and possibly an alliance broader than the Hephthalites and/or Xionites. The Hunas were initially defeated by Emperor Skandagupta of the Gupta Empire. By the end of the 5th century, however, the Hunas had overrun the part of the Gupta Empire that was to their southeast and had conquered Central and North India. Gupta Emperor Bhanugupta defeated the Hunas under Toramana in 510. The Hunas were driven out of India by the kings Yasodharman and Narasimhagupta, during the early 6th century.
The Hephthalites had their capital at Badian, modern Kunduz, but the emperor lived in the capital city for just three winter months, and for the rest of the year, the government seat would move from one locality to another like a camp. The Hephthalites continued the pressure on ancient India's northwest frontier and broke east by the end of the 5th century, hastening the disintegration of the Gupta Empire. They made their capital at the city of Sakala, modern Sialkot in Pakistan, under their Emperor Mihirakula. But later the Huns were defeated and driven out of India by the Indian kings Yasodharman and Narasimhagupta in the 6th century.
A number of groups in Afghanistan and India may be partly descended from the Hephthalites.