An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Ping Fan shimo 平番始末

Jan 7, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Ping Fan shimo 平番始末 "History the pacification of Turfan" is a book on the suppression of a rebellion in Turfan written by Xu Jin 許進 (1437-1510), courtesy name Jisheng 季升, style Dongya 東崖. He hailed from Lingbao 靈寶, Henan, and was a censor during the Chenghua reign-period 成化 (1465-1487), touring the provinces of Gansu and Shandong. Around 1490, he was appointed right Assistant Censor-in-chief (you qian duyushi 右僉都御史) and was responsible for the inspection of the region of Datong 大同, Shanxi. In 1494 he was made surveillance commissioner (anchashi 按察使) of Shaanxi and also responsible for the province of Gansu.

His short book described his experiences during these inspection tours in the west and the rebellion of Turfan (Tulufan 土魯番). He narrates the origins of the rebellion, its course, and how it was suppressed. It began in 1494 when the lord of the Eastern Čaɣatai khanate, Ahmad Alaq (died 1503, in Chinese Sutan Aheima 速檀阿黑麻), whose capital was Turfan, attacked the garrison of Hami 哈密. Xu Jin as the highest inspecting official took over the supreme command over the troops of right commander-in-chief (you dudu 右都督) Liu Shou 劉守 and sent out 500 troops from Handong 罕東, Chijin 赤斤 and Hami to the Jiayu Pass 嘉峪關, from where he liberated Hami.

Because the unrest also touched the region of Hami and the territory of the Oirats (Wala 瓦剌), Xu Jin describes the inhabitants of these regions and their customs and habits. The book is an important source about the situation in the western territories under the Ming dynasty 明 (1368-1644). It was printed by Xu Dong 許董 during the Hongzhi reign-period 弘治 (1488-1505) and is found in the collections Jinyu zhensheng ji 金玉振聲集 and Jilu huibian 紀錄彙編.

Gao Wende 高文德, ed. (1995). Zhongguo shaoshu minzu shi da cidian 中國少數民族史大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin jiaoyu chubanshe), 504.
Zhou Weizhou 周偉洲, Ding Jingtai 丁景泰, ed. (2006). Sichou zhi lu da cidian 絲綢之路大辭典 (Xi'an: Shaanxi renmin chubanshe), 778.