Battle of Ikh Bayan

Battle of Ikh Bayan

Infobox Military Conflict

conflict=Battle of Ikh Bayan
partof=The Sino-Xiongnu War
date= June, 89
place=Ikh Bayan, Mongolia
result=Decisive Han victory
combatant1=Northern Xiongnu
combatant2=Han Dynasty
commander1=Northern Shanyu
commander2=Dou Xian
Deng Hong
strength2=46,000 cavalries (Han regulars with 30,000 Southern Xiongnu and 8,000 Qiang auxiliaries)
casualties1=13,000 dead, 200,000 surrendered and 1,000,000 livestocks captured

The Battle of Ikh Bayan (zh-cp|c=稽落山之戰|p=Jìluòshān zhī zhàn), was a major expedition launched against the Xiongnu by the Han Dynasty in June, 89. The battle was a success for the Han under Dou Xian (d. 92)."Book of Later Han", vols. , , , , , .] "Zizhi Tongjian", vol. 47.] An Tian, [ "Dou Xian Po Beixiongnu Zhi Zhan" ("The Battle of Dou Xian's Defeating on the Northern Xiongnu")] .]

In June 89 the Han dispatched a force which promptly advanced from Jilu, Manyi and Guyang in three great columns, composed of their allies, specifically the main army of the Southern Xiongnu.

With minimal resistance they advanced towards Gobi Altai in present-day Mongolia. A large detachment then moved to the northwest, and in the major battle of the campaign they defeated the Northern Shanyu at Ikh Bayan and pursued him westwards into the Altain Nuruu ranges.

Dou Xian brought the main body of his troops in triumphal progress north to the Khangai Mountains, west of present day Kharkhorin. There he erected the Stele of Yanran [《封燕然山铭》辞曰:铄王师兮征荒裔,剿凶虐兮截海外,夐其邈兮亘地界,封神丘兮建隆嵑,熙帝载兮振万世 Stele of Yanran.] , composed by his client, the historian Ban Gu, which celebrated the achievement of the battle.


After the battle, Dou Xian led his forces back, and the Northern Shanyu sought to negotiate peace. The Southern Shanyu Tuntuhe, however, was anxious to destroy his rival completely, and early in 90, as embassies were still being exchanged, he launched an attack, captured his seal and treasure and his wives and daughters."Zizhi Tongjian", vols. 47, 48 (for modern annotation on location see "Bo Yang's Edition of Zhi Tongjian").]

Dou Xian then reported that the Northern Shanyu was so weak there was no point in treating with him further. In February 91, he mounted a final invasion, with two of his generals Geng Kui and Ren Shang in charge. They advanced from Juyan and defeated the shanyu, captured his mother and killed 5,000 of his armies, drove him in flight again to the west from Altayn Nuruu. He was not heard of again.

By 93 those of his 100,000 followers in Mongolian steppe who resisted to surrender, had assumed the name of Xianbei instead of Xiongnu. They eventually emerged as the main body of Toba and Rouran later in between 3rd and 4th-century, its former territory was steadily taken over by the tribes of Xianbei from the northeast.

While the rest of the Xiongnu left in Dzungaria [After the defeat in 91, the shanyu left some 200,000 of his retired veterans and wounded settle at the Dzungaria under his younger brother and later the Prince Huyan, they would continue to be mentioned in annals until 151, when they raided Yiwulu and nearly wrested away from the Han but were driven off by the Governor of Dunhuang, Ma Da, eventually they moved northwest to the steppe of Kazakhstan and became known as the tribes of Yueban in later annals. While the bravest and strongest of the Xiongnu migrated westwards under him in advance. "Book of Later Han", vols. , and "Zizhi Tongjian", vol. 53.] , specifically near Lake Barkol, had not been directly affected, and some part of the shattered polity was reconstructed under a new shanyu, but was killed until 93, no shanyu, however, with an exception for Southern Xiongnu was ever heard of again [Though there was a rebellion by Xiongnu of the north elected a shanyu named Fenghou in 94, but he was of a Southern Xiongnu's royal house (son of Tuntuhe) and soon due to intimidation from the Xianbei in the wild, he was forced surrender to the Han court by 118. "Book of Later Han", vol. and "Zizhi Tongjian", vols. 48, 50.] . On the frontier of China which faced present day Mongolia, the Xiongnu state was ended.



*Fan Ye et al, "Hou Hanshu". Beijing: Zhonghua Shuju, 1965. ISBN 978-7-101-00306-2
*Sima Guang, comp. "Zizhi Tongjian". Beijing: Zhonghua Shuju, 1956. ISBN 978-7-101-00183-9
*An, Tian, [ "Dou Xian Po Beixiongnu Zhi Zhan" ("The Battle of Dou Xian's Defeating on the Northern Xiongnu")] . "Encyclopedia of China", 1st ed.

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