az118: (red dragon)
[personal profile] az118
1. The Da Yuezhi 大月氏 [Ta Yüeh-chih]. There is a translation of this whole passage, plus many others on the Kushans, in the very useful and interesting article by Zürcher (1968), pp. 346-390. See also: Enoki (1968), pp. 1-13.  

          There have been many theories about the possible connections of this name, Yuezhi. Translated literally it would mean something like “The Moon People,” but this explanation seems to lead us nowhere, and finds little additional support other than as a direct translation of the characters.
          Of more interest, perhaps, are the theories connecting the Chinese name (Da) Yuezhi with one or the other tribes or peoples mentioned by Classical and Indian writers as invading first the Bactrian region and, later, India itself. 
          The first theory, developed by W. B. Henning in his 1965 paper, “the first Indo-Europeans in history,” is discussed at some length in Mallory and Mair (2000), pp. 281-282. They explore Henning’s suggestion that the ancient pronunciation of ‘Yuezhi” could be approximately reconstructed as *Gu(t)-t’i and related it to the ‘Guti’ people who began harassing the western borders of Babylon from c. 2100 
          According to Assar (2003), people the Parthian king Mithradates II mounted a major campaign into the “Gutian country” circa 120 
BCE and there is a reference to actions by Parthia involving the Guti as late as circa 77 BCE.
          Apparently, Henning believed that Guti in the ‘Kuchean-Agnean’ or ‘KA’ language “would have been rendered Kuči, and hence be equivalent to Kuchean. As for the toχri mentioned in the Uighur colophon, Henning believed one need look no further than the name of the Tukriš who had been neighbours of the Guti in western Persia and hence had given their name both to the toχri of the northern Tarim and the Tocharians of Bactria.”
          Unfortunately, for this theory, Mallory and Mair find his supposed support on the basis of similar ceramics unconvincing but, “Of greater detriment to such a theory is that Henning accepted a reconstructed Chinese pronunciation of Yuezhi as *Gu(t)-t’i when, in fact, it is commonly reconstructed now as *ng
wāt-tĕgwhich makes it a far less transparent correspondence.”

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