- 1 The Mongolian sources used in this paper are mainly from the chronicle Erdeni tunumal neretü sudur (...)
- 2 Taiji and taisi (see below) are two Mongolian transcriptions of Chinese taizi 太子, crown prince (no (...)
1Darqan Sigülengge, an emissary of Altan Khan (1507-1581, ruler of the Tümed Mongols), in negotiations with officials of Ming China in 1570-71, has long been a mystery to scholars of this period, who have been unsure about his true identity and origins. The Mongolian chronicle Erdeni tunumal neretü sudur orusibai (hereafter ETS)1, written in the Tümed area of southern Mongolia around 1607 (some thirty years after the events it recorded) names the adopted son of Altan Khan as Dayun Kiya (Qia Taiji2 恰台吉), also the Ming emissary Buciγdai (Bao Chongde 鮑崇德), as well as many other princes and officials who participated in the exchanges between the two states. However, the identities of other people recorded in the ETS have been unclear as no explanatory annotations appear for them. Darqan Sigülengge has been one of those individuals because all that was known of him was that he was a principal military official (zhongjun qiushou 中軍酋首) in the service of Altan Khan in the months after October 1570 and served as Altan Khan’s principal emissary, equivalent in rank to the Ming emissary Buciγdai, in the Mongol-Ming negotiations in 1570 and 1571. Even though Darqan Sigülengge held such an important position, his true identity has remained unknown until now. This paper aims to clarify his identity through the careful study of the ETS and the Chinese account “The Memorials of the Ministry of the Army” 兵部奏疏 (Bingbu zoushu 兵部奏疏, hereafter BBZS).
2The incident which started the Mongol-Ming talks was the defection on October 16, 1570, of Daicing Taiji (1552-83), Altan Khan’s grandson. Daicing Taiji took flight from his homeland and sought refuge at the garrison of Datong on Ming China’s northern borderland. This sudden defection, which was the result of his personal grudge against Altan Khan, caused a crisis in Sino-Mongol relations. The able governor-general Wang Chonggu 王崇古 of Xuanfu-Datong, who understood the Mongol situation, sheltered Daicing Taiji, then used him as a pawn to begin talks with Altan Khan. Taking advantage of Altan Khan’s concern for his grandson, Wang sought to get the return of some of the Chinese people who had lived in southern Mongolia for decades. These Chinese rebels (bansheng panni 板升叛逆) had been involved in three abortive revolts that took place in the Ming army at Datong, and had fled across the border. There they established themselves in sedentary houses called bansheng 板升 which set them apart from the nomadic Mongols, who lived in yurts. Subsequently, many followers of the so-called White Lotus sect who were persecuted by the Ming government fled China to join those in southern Mongolia, who eventually numbered about 50 000. The discontented leaders of these migrants played agents provocateur between Altan Khan and the Chinese, instigating Altan Khan and other Mongol rulers to invade the Ming borderland many times. Needless to say, the Ming government sought for many years to have the rebels returned to Chinese control. Two months after Daicing Taiji’s flight, on December 16, 1570, eight of the Chinese rebel leaders were caught by the Mongols and extradited to China. In return, Daicing Taiji was sent back to Altan Khan the next day. During the talks between the Ming officials and the Mongols concerning the exchange of the hostages, Altan Khan proposed that trade-and-tribute relations between the two states be formalized. His proposal was promptly forwarded to Beijing for endorsement. A peace agreement was subsequently concluded between the Ming and the Mongols in April 1571.
3Although written more than three decades after the 1570 incident, the ETS records both the incident and the later negotiations. This rare manuscript was discovered in the Right Üjümücin Banner of Inner Mongolia in 1956 and was later added to the collection of the Library of the Inner Mongolian Academy of Social Sciences in Hohhot. However, it only became widely known to scholars after a type-printed Mongolian version, prepared by Jurungγa, was published in Beijing in 1984. The chronicle “created an explosion of interest” among Mongolists in the following twenty years. A Chinese translation with annotation, again by Jurungγa, appeared in 1990 ; two Japanese versions by Morikawa Tetsuo 森川哲雄 and Yoshida Junichi 吉田顺一 were published in 1987 and 1997 respectively ; a German version by Karénina Kollmar-Paulenz, went to press in 2001 ; and an English version by Johan Elverskog, was published in 2003.
4In 2007, a photo-print edition of the Bingbu zoushu, “The Memorials of Ministry of Army” (hereafter BBZS), which contains the Ming version of these negotiations was published in Beijing. The codex of this manuscript resides in the Chinese Rare-Book Division of the National Library of China in Beijing. The accounts from both the BBZS and the ETS, produced on opposite sides of the Great Wall, are remarkably similar concerning the incident of 1570 and the making of the Sino-Mongol peace treaty in 1571. Specifically, both accounts contain memorials detailing the work of Darqan Sigülengge in the negotiations between the Mongols and the Chinese. Thus by using the more detailed BBZS accounts it is possible for us to know more about Darqan Sigülengge and to make important annotations to the ETS regarding him.
5The ETS records that, during the months following the defection of Daicing Taiji, Ming officials and the Tümed Mongols kept close contact ; while preparing for the exchange of hostages and the subsequent peace agreement. These were months during which crucial changes occurred in Sino-Mongol relations.
6Both the ETS and the BBZS reveal that in October 1570, upon learning of Daicing Taiji’s defection, Altan Khan returned to southern Mongolia, and, at the instigation of certain Chinese rebel ringleaders, tried to secure his grandson’s release by military threats, followed by attacks on the border forts. Wang Chonggu’s emissary Bao Chongde (Buciγdai in ETS) paid a visit to Altan Khan and persuaded him to withdraw his army by telling him that his grandson could be released peacefully. Based on a reading of the relevant sections of the “Ming History” (Ming Shilu 明實錄), Fr. Henry Serruys, who had been a missionary in Mongolia for ten years in the 1930s and 1940s and became a specialist of Mongolian history and Sino-Mongol relations in the 14th to 16th centuries, remarked that :
“after Ch’ung-ku (Chonggu) was satisfied that the Altan [Khan] was really interested in a peaceful solution and in cessation of the warlike situation that had prevailed for so long, he sent an emissary to Mongolia to sound out the [khan]. This emissary was called a ‘translator’ ; and probably was a Mongol ; as the Ming History indicates, he was able to speak privately with the [khan].”
(Serruys 1975, p. 163)
7Serruys did not refer to the emissary’s name, but according to “The whole story of the Defection of Daicing Taiji” (Kuansai shimo 款塞始末) the emissary was Bao Chongde who was said to be a Han Chinese. Further, the account reported that the emissary had been in the service of either Altan Khan or another strongman in southern Mongolia in his early years, which accounted for his fluency in Mongolian. (Liu Ying-ji 2005, p. 288) The emissary, Bao Chongde [Buciγdai in the ETS], on his second visit to Altan Khan, spoke privately with the Khan, and this meeting was reported in a memorial by Wang Chonggu in the BBZS. The report of Buciγdai’s conversation with Altan Khan was :
(BBZS, pp. 55-57)
On November 23, 1570, Chongde reached the camp of Altan Khan and announced the reasons for his visit. He asked that Altan Khan’s attending loyal guards be dismissed so that they could speak in private, and the guards left. Then Chongde told the whole story of some of the ringleaders among the Chinese migrants who had intended to go back to Ming territory and plot against Altan Khan. The story was interpreted sentence by sentence for Altan Khan, who did not believe what Buciγdai told him and suspected that Chongde had made up the story. At the end of his narrative, Chongde produced a letter to Altan Khan from Zhao Quan and Li Zixin, two of the main Chinese ringleaders. Altan Khan then realized the story was true and reportedly said, “China has such a taishi like [Wang Chonggu] saying these good words, I agree with him completely. Years ago I had actually paid tribute to China. However, Qiufu and Zhao Quan came to me and tricked me into thinking that I could be the Son of Heaven and promised me the right and the left garrison towns of Datong. They encouraged me to attack the borderland. Everything was in chaos. In recent years we have fought each other ; all led difficult lives. Now Heaven has sent my grandson to the South Dynasty to make peace between us. I am aged now. If the Heavenly Dynasty could grant me a title of prince and allow me to administer the northern barbarians, what chieftain would dare defy me ? I will pay tribute every year and will never again engage in border raids. My grandson will succeed me [as ruler]. He has eaten your food and worn your dress, so how could he dare be ungrateful to you ?” [Wang] Chongde had asked Altan Khan to extradite the Chinese traitors to the Ming, at which point the Mongols could apply for a decree returning Na-ji [i.e., Daicing Taiji] to Mongolia. Altan Khan was still hesitant, but Wang said, “Since you do not believe in what I have said, you may dispatch your loyal guard to our Governor-General and arrange an engagement with him.” Altan Khan immediately ordered a captured Chinese named Wang Shike to write a letter, in which Altan Khan said, “Governor-General and other officers, we, both sides, swear to Heaven not to be untruthful. Herewith [I have sent] my five emissaries headed by Da-er-han Shou-ling-ge to meet the emperor so that we can make peace with each other. It will be advantageous to both sides. Please report to the emperor that I would like to have Ba-han-na-ji and the daughter of Jinang back. If you could give them to me, I would not object to anything you would ask of me. If you could send my grandson back, in return I will extradite the three Chinese traitors Zhao Quan, Li Zixin and Liu Si.” At the end of the letter was a list of the Mongol emissaries followed by the print of a Mongolian seal.
8Bao Chongde’s communication with Altan Khan, as recorded in the BBZS, indicates that Bao Chongde suggested that the Mongol leader should send five emissaries to Ming China. Arriving at Datong with him, these emissaries spoke to Wang Chonggu personally. In the Chinese memorial reporting this meeting, the leading emissary of the five-person Mongol mission was recorded as Da-er-han Shou-ling-ge. From the Mongol perspective, the ETS recorded that Altan Khan met with Buciγdai and sent five good men to the Ming, including the leading emissaries, Üijeng Jaisang and Toγuci Taisi :
Altan qaγan dotuγa-du degüner tüsimed-iyen jöbleldürün, arγa jali yeketü kitad ulus-i yakin itegemü.. aliba ünen qudal-i inu medejü tengsekü-yin tula ariγun uqaγantu tüsimed-i elci oruγulbasu sain buyu kemeldüged, gegen sedkil-degen uqaju qaγan Üijeng jaisang Toγuci-taisi terigüten gem ügei tabun sain kümün-i kitad-un elci-lüge oruγuluγsan”
(ETS 2007, 14a)
The wise Altan Khan consulted with his intimate younger brothers and ministers. They said to one another, “How can we trust the very clever and tricky Chinese nation ? In order to find out and know if this is true or false, it would be good to send a pure [sic] intelligent minister as messenger [to them],” the bright-minded Khan ordered five faultless and respectable men, led by Üijeng Jaisang and Toγuci Taisi, to return with the Chinese messenger.
(My translation, adapted from Elverskog 2003, pp. 119-120)
9About the Mongol emissaries’ meeting with Wang, the ETS reads :
gün bilig-tu Üijing-jaisang Toγuci-taisi terigüten-i Kitad-un elci-lüge kürcü, kitad-un Sulang Duutalang terigülen noyad-tur inu ögülerün, köbegün-i cinu γarγaju öggüged yeke törü neileye qota quriyaqui-ban tüdemü kemen kündülejü Altan qaγan-dur ailadqaγsan üge-ber tan-dur mani ilegebei.
(ETS 2007, 14b.)
At the same time, the wise Üijeng Jaisang and Toγuci Taisi arrived with the Chinese emissary, the Chinese Silang and Dutang, leading their lords, said : “When we release and return your son, tarry [delay ?] the siege of the city and the Great State will be united !” Then their words were transmitted to wise Altan Khan.
(My translation, adapted from Elverskog 2003, pp. 121-122)
10The same meeting is also recorded in BBZS. It reads :
(BBZS, pp. 58-60)
The barbarian emissaries came to me on November 28. Accompanied by Liu Yingji, I learned that Da-er-han is the leading military officer of Altan Khan, and Ya-du-shan is a loyal retainer of Huang-tai-ji [Altan Khan’s elder son]. Others are also Altan’s loyal retainers. Da-er-han said, “Altan sent us to forward his message that he had paid tribute in previous years. Afterwards, he was tricked by Qiufu and Zhao Quan and thus cut off from the path to prosperity. He could do nothing but campaign against faraway peoples. Because China frequently conducted forays against us, killed many people, stole many of our horses, and burned all grassland beyond the border, we had to plunder the border area. It has been difficult for the people on both sides of the border to lead normal lives. We sent letters to the Ming, but they did not reach the emperor. Now that Heaven has made my grandson enter the Southern Dynasty, Heaven is making peace between the two countries. If you could return my grandson, I will extradite five important ringleaders like Zhao Quan. Other Chinese rebels are worthless. Should the Heavenly Dynasty grant me a title, I will have authority in my old age, and I would rule the Mongol groups. I will pay tribute every year without violating the borderland. I fear that others are not to be trusted in communicating my message, so I am sending my leading military officer to meet you.”
11The leading emissary Da-er-han here is clearly Da-er-han Shou-ling-ge who appears in the BBZS. On December 17, when Daicing Taiji returned to Mongolia, it was Da-er-han Shou-ling-ge who escorted him across the border. During the next year when the Sino-Mongol peace treaty was concluded, Da-er-han was granted a title of centurion (baihu 百户), together with Dayun Kiy-a. If Dayun Kiy-a can be considered part of the royal family of Altan Khan, Da-er-han would then be the only non-royal family member to receive a title from the Ming in 1571. An examination of the later part of the ETS states that “Uijeng Jaisang” turned out to be a title that Altan Khan awarded to a man called Darqan Sigülengge in 1571 for his meritorious service in bringing Daicing Taiji back safely as well as concluding the Sino-Mongol peace treaty :
Tere ciγulγan degere Kitad Mongγul-un yeke baγa noyad bügüdeger, degedü boγda Altan qaγan-u jarliγ-un yosuγar joban yabuju, taibing yeke törü-yi toγtaγaju Daicing Ejei-yi acaraba kemejü, Darqan sigülengge-tü üijing jaisang cola soyurqaju Dai darqan bolγabai.
(ETS 2007, 16a-b ; Ch. transl. pp. 76-77, Mo. p. 231)
At this assembly all the Chinese and the Mongol greater and lesser lords together, said, “By the decree of the Supreme Holy Altan Khan, he has endured hardship, brought back Dayicing Ejei, and thus helped establish the Taiping Great State.” Thus Darqan Sigülengge was given the rank Üijeng Jaisang and made a Great Darqan.
(My translation, adapted from Elverskog 2003, p. 127)
12Darqan Sigülengge, who received the title Üijeng Jaisang from Altan Khan, thus can be identified as the same emissary Da-er-han Shou-ling-ge of Altan Khan as recorded in BBZS. When the anonymous author of the Mongolian chronicle looked back upon the events which had happened in 1570, he referred to Darqan Sigülengge by his title, which he had received after 1570. (Yoshida et al. 1998, pp. 301-302, n. 109.) Finally, yet fortunately, the author tells us that Uijeng Jaisang and Darqan Sigülengge are the same person.
13The second question that we have to answer is, who was Toγuci Taisi ? Jurungγa took “Üijeng Jaisang Toγuci Taisi” as one person and suggested Üijeng Jaisang was a title for Toγuci Taisi. (Zhu Rongga 1990, p. 73) However, Yoshida’s team discovered that “Üijeng Jaisang” was the title given to Darqan Sigülengge, not to Toγuci Taisi. As such, they read it as “Üijeng Jaisang, Toγuci Taisi.” Elverskog translated it as “Üijeng Jaisang and Tuguchi Taishi.” Karénina Kollmar-Paulenz took “Üijeng Jaisang Toγuci Taisi” as one person and suggested that Toγuci Taisi was Kiya Taiji, the adopted son of Altan Khan :
“Dieser Toγocitayishi könnte mit dem Adoptivesohn des Altan qaγan, Kiya tayiji, identisch sein. Kiya tayijis persönlicher Name lautede Toyto, s. Serruys, Genealogical Tables, n. 43, S. 92. Für diese Annahme spricht auch, daß einer seiner Söhne der Sereng ist, der in Strophe 228 im Zusammenhang mit Üijeng jayisang erwähnt wird.”
(Kollmar-Paulenz 2001, pp. 259, n. 269)
14Kiya Taiji (ch. Qia Taiji 恰台吉) was an adopted son as well as a family member by blood of Altan Khan. That was why he was listed in the Geneaological Tables. As for Toγuci Taisi, he was only a functionary of Altan Khan. According to another memorial in the BBZS, Toγuci Taisi’s ethnicity was Han Chinese (BBZS, p. 576).
15Sigülengge was the Mongolian name of a functionary, as was recorded in the Mongolian chronicles of the seventeenth century. Darqan Sigülengge in the ETS was another example of the use of this title. Serruys’ “Sülengge-Siülengge” stated that
“There is every reason to believe that the Manchu word derives from the Mongol siulengge, which itself is derived from the Chinese expression shou-ling ‘head and neck, leader’ [首领], and was re-transcribed into Chinese as shou-ling-ko.”
(Serruys 1972, pp. 92-95)
16He is correct in all these points as Darqan Sigülengge in the ETS “was re-transcribed into Chinese as shoulingge” in a memorial in the BBZS. However, the Chinese expression shouling 首领 also appears in the Wanli wugonglu 萬曆武功錄 : a person known as Da-er-han Shou-ling, who was active in Sino-Mongol relations in the 1570s, and his name is recorded several times in the “Biography of Altan Khan”of the Wanli wugonglu, which has subsequently confused Serruys who commented :
I doubt, however, that shou-ling (a) ‘prefect, mandarin’ is the origin of Mongol siülengge. It is virtually certain that siülengge is of Chinese derivation, but it is another word that lies at its base : there is another shou-ling (b) ‘head and neck, leader’, an old word to be sure, dating from pre-Mongol times, but beginning at least in the second half of the sixteenth century regularly applied to some Mongol personalities. Wang Shih-ch’i in his San-Yün ch’ou-tsu k’ao “Plans for Defense of the Three Yün (i.e. Northern Shansi),” section Feng-kung k’ao “Investigation of the (Tümed Mongols’) Enfeoffment and Tribute," lists shou-ling as a Mongol word, and explained it as “an able manager of tribal affairs in the house-hold of a tayiǰi (nobleman).” Evidently, Wang cannot have been ignorant of the fact that shou-ling is a Chinese word, and the remarkable thing is that he lists it in his brief vocabulary as a Mongol word. In this same vocabulary he also lists ch’ia : kiya as an equivalent of shou-ling. The equivalence need not be perfect : Wang probably lists them together as comparable terms. Kiya originally meant “bodyguard, aide-de-camp,” but by this time it had come to be used for various low ranking functionaries.
(Serruys, 1972, pp. 93-94)
17It should be noticed that Da-er-han Shou-ling also appeared in the book by Wang Shiqi 王世琦(1551-1618), San yun chouzu kao 三雲籌俎考. I believe that Wang defined the concept of shouling based on the roles that Da-er-han Shou-ling played in Sino-Mongol relations during 1570s. It is virtually certain that Da-er-han shou-ling is simply an alternate way that Chinese referred to Da-er-han Shou-ling-ge (Darqan Sigülengge). Ming Chinese might not have known that Shou-ling-ge (Sigülengge) was derived from the Chinese word shouling 首领. Da-er-han Shou-ling 打兒漢首领 was just an easy and understandable usage for the Chinese. Fang Fengshi 方逢時’s Yunzhong chuxiang lu 雲中處降錄 or “Records of Dealing with Defectors,” and Liu Shaoxu’s Yunzhong xianglu zhuan 雲中降虜傳 or the “Biography of the Defected Caittiff in Yunzhong”recorded a name Shou-ling-ge Da-er-han 首领哥打兒漢 (Yunzhong chuxiang lu, p. 488, Yunzhong xianglu zhuan, p. 313). He is Da-er-han Shou-ling-ge (Darqan Sigülengge) 打兒漢守领哥. Shou-ling-ge Da-er-han 首领哥打兒漢 was a transitional form between Da-er-han Shou-ling-ge (Darqan Sigülengge) and Da-er-han Shou-ling 打兒漢首领.
18Thus, I hope I have clarified that Buciγdai and Bao Chongde were one and the same person. He was an example of what Frederic Wakeman referred to as “transfrontiersmen”, i.e. those who lived in border areas and were familiar with two languages and two cultures and sometimes mixed the two. Wakeman noted these people had been present on China’s northern border for centuries (Wakeman 1985, pp. 37-49.)