16. Danes, Goths and Wends in Scandinavia
18. The White and Superior's Great Land
On "John Thompson on the Guqin Silk String Zither" homepage the poem "Da Hujia" can be found (Nomad Reed Pipe, Long Version) in eighteen verses translated into English, originally written ca. 770 AC by Liu Shang. Each verse is illustrated by an original Song Dynasty painting.
The poem is about the beautiful young girl, Cai Wenjie, who is abducted by steppe nomads because of her beauty. The verses are very beautiful, quiet and sad.
In the poem is told that the nomads buttoned their coats on the left side, and that women and men were both excellent horsemen and archers. Hence the deduction that they must have been Qi Dans or some of their ancestors.
It is also told that the nomads arranged their hair with fat from sheep, and it smelled awful. It recalls the Goths, who used butter for this purpose, to the cleanly Romans disgust.
Se: Da Hujia - John Thompson on the Guqin Silk String Zither
"The Outlaws of the Marsh" can be found as cartoon on the internet: Tale of Water Margin - China Guide
In Chinese the novel is called "Tale of Water Margin" or "Shui Hu", meaning "Vand Tiger". Chose "Tale of Water Margin" and thereafter "page 1".
It is difficult to stop reading. Only one out of 100 images will not appear. The 100 cartoon images cover only the introduction to the novel. However we must face it, it is better than "Robin Hood".
Read Historical Development of the Pre-dynastic Khitan (pdf) by Xu Elina-Qian, there are quotes from all classical Chinese documents that mention the early Qi-Dan, in Chinese and English, plus some other interesting observations.
Among other things Elina-Qian discusses the meaning of "Dan" or "Tan" (page 9) and concludes that "Qi Dan" means those who live among (the people) "Qi". So, it basically means "people". For understanding it helps to think about that "dan" in Chinese also means "egg", i.e. an egg among the people Qi, a limited and well defined group among the Qi.
She writes on page 9: "Suffix dan/tan means "someone who looks like - - "or" some who live in between - - ". "Xidan" means "a group of people, who resemble the Xi people" or "a group of people who live among the Xi people. "However, as she elsewhere express that the Xi people has a completely different language and is quite different from the Xi Dan, then it must be the latter meaning that is most valid.
A thanks to China History Forum for information and inspiration.
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