I was reading Nicolae Jorga's "History of Ottoman Empire vol. 1" and he gave information that Mete Khan, who freed Hsiung-nu people from the rule of Yue-chi, was a servant of the Chinese Emperor. But at the bottom of the page there is an editorial note saying, "During the time of Mete Khan, Huns were not serving China".

Common sense dictates that Mete Khan is, of course he wasn't serving China but from where did Jorga have the idea?

  • Is this all that he says about it? Could he be talking about a very early time, c. 210, or during wars with the Yuezhi c. 170? Providing more info would help because the book is in Turkish.
    – John Dee
    Apr 4, 2018 at 19:18
  • @congusbongus have you found the passage in question? Can you translate it?
    – John Dee
    Apr 5, 2018 at 19:29

1 Answer 1


The current Wikipedia entry for the Yue-chi depicts them as being mostly friendly trading partners with the Chinese. The (likely Turkish) Xiongnu empire built by the victorious Modu Chanyu (aka: Mete Khan, or "Brave Khan" in Turkish), was anything but.

It wouldn't be too surprising to find that histories sourced mostly from the victorious Turks are a bit dismissive of the losers. Relatively friendly trading relations would be just enough of a germ of truth to build the story around.

  • 2
    In fact, there are no sources coming from Turks during that era. The very first historical resource we have is 12nd century. So literally all of the historical records about Yue-chi, Hsiung-nu and all other tribes are from Chinese chronicles. So your statement about information sourced mostly from the victorious Turks are historically wrong since we have none. My question was not if Mete Khan was in service of China or not. I wonder what pushed Nicolae Jorga to develop that idea? Since he is a great historian. Feb 10, 2014 at 22:41
  • @MertÇelikok I think you are simply misreading the text. The text does not imply that Modu Chanyu was serving China; it implies that the "Huns" were at some point. Mar 13, 2014 at 4:42
  • @congusbongus Can you please refer to the page/paragraph which you are deducing this from the book? Mar 14, 2014 at 18:33

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