Domain Of Man

General Category => Greek (Ptolemy) & Hasmonean Period => Topic started by: Chuck-Star on January 10, 2016, 01:46:54 PM

Title: Chapter 9: Alexander the Great's Dynasty in China
Post by: Chuck-Star on January 10, 2016, 01:46:54 PM
Chap. 9-Heroes of the Hellensitic Age (2016) Charles N. Pope

Around the time of Artaxerxes II Memnon’s succession in Persia, feudal China was partitioned into three regions (Wei, Han, and Jhou), and with a duke appointed as its overarching governor, which was a quintessentially Persian type of organization.  This Partition of Jin, as it is known, was followed by the building of a new capital city, YueYang in 383 BC.  However, the leading families appointed to administer the individual states of the partition rebelled against the Duke of Jin in 376 BC and successfully gained their independence.  The response was not long in coming and from the province of China most closely accessible from Persia.  Qin was quickly transformed into a military state under the leadership of Duke Xian.  By 364 BC, Xian had defeated the states of Wei and Han by 364 BC and was voluntarily acknowledged as “Hegemon of China” by the third major state of Jhou.  Duke Xiao was succeeded in the hegemony of China by Duke Xian in 361 BC, who was in turn succeeded by Huiwen in 338 BC.   The rule of Artaxerxes III Ochus also ended in 338 BC.  Huiwen, whose given name was Si, corresponds then to Xerxes III/Seleucus, successor to the Persian Empire on the eve of Alexander’s campaign.

A son of Huiwen named DaoWuLie (Wu) was made King of Qin in 311 BC, however the dynasty was short-lived.  By 305 BC Seleucus had been defeated by Chandra-gupta/Alexander.  It is recognized that Seleucus lost territory to Chandra-gupta in Central Asia.   The treaty evidently also involved the transfer of Qin from Huiwen’s son DaoWuLie (King Wu) to the son of Chandra-gupta.  The new king of Qin named Zhouxiang was born around 324 BC, which closely corresponds to the birth Alexander IV.  It was Zhouxiang that is credited with building the first “long walls” in China to curb invaders and would eventually form the Great Wall.  With Alexander the Great’s son firmly in possession of India as well as the West, it was at last time to fulfill his father’s ultimate ambition of bringing all of China into the Empire, even unto the furthest Sea.

Zhouxiang appears to have undergone a name change to Zhuangxiang in 250 BC in an attempt to extend his life or to divert from himself (and his designated successor) the ill-effects of some disaster.  The death of Zhuangxiang around 247 BC coincided closely with that of Alexander IV in the West (under his various aliases of Ptolemy II, Antiochus II, etc.).  The following king of Qin would be the one that re-unified the whole of China and created the first imperial dynasty.  The given Chinese name of Ashoka/Ptolemy III was Zheng, but as the first Emperor he took the more elaborate title of Qin Shi Huang Di.  Chinese tradition makes Zheng a king in China from the age of only nine, however he would have been closer to the age of 30 upon the death of his father.  Likewise, Ashoka of India was only a child of perhaps four or five when he was made king.  The important inscriptions he made in his regnal year 26 correspond to the first year of his reign after the literal death of Bindusara.

Qin Shi Huangdi was highly criticized by Chinese historians, not only for the massacre of so many people, but the forced labor imposed upon those that survived.  Qin Shi Huang Di, in emulation of Sargon the Great, destroyed ancient records and burned valuable books.  Esteemed scholars were executed along with them.  Ptolemy III is downgraded as a pharaoh due to his presumed naval and military failures in the Mediterranean and also for the unrest that took place in Egypt itself during his reign.  Antiochus Hierax was said to have died ignominiously at the hands of Gauls.  (Unlike Sargon the Great’s bitter underdog struggle against Lugalzagesi, the contest between Hierax and Seleucus was highly contrived.)  Ashoka’s kingdom in India was the creation of his father and it only survived another fifty years after Ashoka’s death.  While the scale of Empire over which Ptolemy III (and his alter egos) ruled was certainly greater than the sum of its parts, he did not leave a legacy on par with Thutmose III or even Senusret III.  The greatness of his character was perhaps not commensurate, and his memory suffered on account of it, and much like Sargon II, who also largely failed to impress his contemporaries and attain the reverence of the first Sargon.  On the other hand, Ptolemy III faced no serious challenge to his succession, and lacked the opportunity to prove his mettle in genuine adversity.  He could only simulate the exploits of his role model.

The Mauryan Dynasty founded by Alexander the Great/Chandragupta collapsed soon after the death of Ashoka and swept away much like the kingdom of Biblical Josiah.  Likewise did the first dynasty of China upon the death of Huang Di.  Alexander’s quest to unify the entire Earth had been fulfilled through the determination of his eldest son and grandson, however it would be the line of his younger son that received the vast inheritance.  For this reason, Alexander’s first and second successors are not especially celebrated by posterity.  Although their accomplishments were on par with those of Senusret III and Thutmose III, they received little of the acclaim and even a form of disdain from later histories.

With the conquest of China, a need for centralized government in India went away with it.  The death of Ashoka did not in fact end royal control over India.  His successors merely shifted the center of empire north in order to better control both ends of the Silk Road.  Much of the Maurya Empire was transferred to the new Greco-Bactrian Empire.  The remainder of India reverted to feudal estates that could still be controlled indirectly by the royal family and contribute to the larger economy.  The Greco-Bactrian dynasty morphed into the Azes dynasty in the time of Julius Caesar and finally became the Kushan dynasty during the early Christian Era.  It was eventually superseded by the Sassanid neo-Persian Empire.  However, there was complete continuity throughout with no actual change in ruling family.

Chinese tradition also gives an age of death for Qin Shi Huang Di as only 49 years, however his actual death would have been closer to 69 years.  His obsession with finding a means of life-extension makes more sense for a man in his 60’s than in his 40’s.  Likewise, the years of his unification of China are more reasonable in the 230’s BC rather than the 220’s.  This allows more time for the massive building works undertaken by Qin Shi Huang Di after the conquest.  The death of older half-brother Seleucus II (Steward Lui Si of China) occurred around 226 BC, which provides further corroboration, as he is believed to have supported the conquest through to its conclusion.

Favoring the Prodigal Son

By 209 BC Antiochus III had reached Bactria and India, and from there he would have continued on to China in the wake of Qin Huang Di’s actual death.  It was Antiochus III under the Chinese name of Xiang Yu (“Joseph”) that initially divided the country up into 18 districts.  The eventual heir, Lui Bing, was first designated by Xiang Yu as king of one of the 18 districts.  Antiochus returned to the West briefly in 205/204 BC, but was evidently back in China (in person or name) to become a foil for Lui Bing’s popular uprising that reunited all of China by 202 BC.  Lui Bing assumed the imperial name of Gao-zu, but was passed off as a humble commoner that had been designated for greatness by various signs and wonders.  This can now be seen merely as a ploy to assure his popular acceptance by manufacturing the rise of a “native born” (rather than farangi) dynasty.  Upon the death of Qin Shi Huang Di (the former Ptolemy III) there was intense resentment in China, which was resolved by a nominal change in dynasty from Qin to Han.

Lui Bing was known to be a lover of leisure and drinking from his youth.  In Egypt, Ptolemy IV (successor of the “Do-Gooder”) gained the reputation of a “Do-Nothing” pharaoh, ala his role model Akhenaten, who on the surface at least showed no interest in following in the footsteps of his ambitious father.  And like Akhenaten his death after a much-criticized reign of 17 years went unrecorded.  He was deposed and simply vanished.  However, it can now be discerned that Ptolemy IV was called upon to lead an Exodus (as Moses/Akhenaten) and resumed his career outside of Egypt under the Persian name of Hyrcanus and Chinese name of Lui Bing.  Josephus clearly typecasts the figure of Hyrcanus as a Moses, who spends long years languishing in the Trans-Jordan only to die there as an outcast.

The careers of Ptolemy IV and Lui Bing dovetail perfectly.  Just as the dissolute 17-year reign of Ptolemy IV was coming to an end in Egypt, Lui Bing was rising from his stupor to renew the fortunes of China.  Egypt was turned over to Ptolemy IV’s five-year old son (or younger brother) Ptolemy V, so that Ptolemy IV (Lui Bing) could concentrate on affairs in the East (i.e., from the Jordan River and far beyond).  In 202 BC, Antiochus (“Joseph”) lost his bid (intentionally) to become Emperor of China (under the name Xiang Yu).  However, this was only done to establish his son as Emperor!  As Antiochus III had suffered defeat at Raphia before the army of Ptolemy IV, so he now performed the same maneuver in China!

Hui (Huy) is a name that hails back to late Egyptian 18th Dynasty, when it served as a short form of the formal Egyptian name Amenhotep.  It also corresponds to the Biblical (Hebrew) name of Hanan (Jo-Hanan/John).  The “new” dynasty of China that Emperor Hui ruled was in fact called the “Han Dynasty” and the history of the Amarna Period was also being re-enacted at that very time with its prominent Amenhotep’s  -  Amenhotep III, Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten), and Vizier Huy/Amenhotep (Aanen).  The Amarna Period also featured the prominent Joseph-figure, Yuya, as well as the leading princes, S’menkhkare and Tutankhamun.

In 195 BC, Liu Bing/ Gao-zu (the former Ptolemy IV) turned the throne of China over to his son Lui Ying (Ptolemy V), who assumed the Chinese name of Hui as Emperor.  This enabled the Great King in training to resumed his career among the Romans under the name of Scipio Africanus, and defeat his own father (Antiochus III) once again at Thermopylae and Magnesia!  As Antiochus had previously aroused the passions of the Egyptian and the Chinese, he now baited the Romans into action as part of a larger agenda.  And as he had launched the career of Ptolemy IV in Egypt, Lui Bing in China, he would now do the very same thing for Scipio Africanus in Rome.