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Encyclopedia
The Wūsūn were a nomadic steppe people who, according to the Chinese histories, originally lived in western Gansu
Gansu
' is a province located in the northwest of the People's Republic of China.It lies between the Tibetan and Huangtu plateaus, and borders Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, and Ningxia to the north, Xinjiang and Qinghai to the west, Sichuan to the south, and Shaanxi to the east...

 in northwest China west of the Yuezhi
Yuezhi
The Yuezhi, or Rouzhi , also known as the Da Yuezhi or Da Rouzhi , were an ancient Central Asian people....

 people. After being defeated by the Xiongnu
Xiongnu
The Xiongnu were ancient nomadic-based people that formed a state or confederation north of the agriculture-based empire of the Han Dynasty. Most of the information on the Xiongnu comes from Chinese sources...

 (circa 176 BCE) they fled to the region of the Ili river
Ili River
thumb|right|300px|Map of the Lake Balkhash drainage basin showing the Ili River and its tributariesThe Ili River is a river in northwestern China and southeastern Kazakhstan .It is long, of which is in Kazakhstan...

 and (lake) Issyk Kul
Issyk Kul
Issyk Kul is an endorheic lake in the northern Tian Shan mountains in eastern Kyrgyzstan. It is the tenth largest lake in the world by volume and the second largest saline lake after the Caspian Sea. Although it is surrounded by snow-capped peaks, it never freezes; hence its name, which means "hot...

 where they remained for at least five centuries and formed a powerful force.

The Royal Court of the Wusun, Chigu , was located in a side valley leading to Issyk Kul.

They are mentioned in Chinese historical sources in 436
436
Year 436 was a leap year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Isodorus and Senator...

 CE, when a Chinese envoy was sent to their country and the Wusun reciprocated.

Their later fate is connected with the Turkic Kaganates and the sudden reversals of fortune that fell on Central Asia
History of Central Asia
The history of Central Asia has been determined primarily by the area's climate and geography. The aridity of the region makes agriculture difficult, and its distance from the sea cut it off from much trade. Thus, few major cities developed in the region...

 and, specifically, the Zhetysu area. Considerable traces of their impact on surrounding peoples and events were left in Persian, Muslim, Turkic, and Russian sources extending from the 6th century CE to the present. The modern Uysyn
Uysyn
Uysyn is the name of one of the largest tribes of the Senior Juz in Kazakhstan. Uysyn history can be traced from the 3rd century BC...

who number approximately 250,000 people, are regarded by some as the modern descendants of the Wusun. The Uysyn have two branches, Dulat and Sary Uysyn ("Yellow Uysyn").

Ancient Chinese texts, such as the Hanshu
Book of Han
The Book of Han, Hanshu or History of the Former Han Dynasty |Fan Ye]] . Various scholars have estimated that the earliest material covered in the book dates back to between 206 and 202 BCE...

 and Shiji which mention the Wusun, do not document ethnic appearance of the Wusun, suggesting a Mongoloid-type stock typical of the Asiatic region. However, a much later account in the 7th century Chinese
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 commentator Yan Shigu
Yan Shigu
Yan Shigu , formal name Yan Zhou , but went by the courtesy name of Shigu, was a famous Chinese author and linguist of the Tang Dynasty.-Biography:Yan was born in Wannian , his ancestry was originally from Langya...

 described the Wusun as having Europoid features which may indicate that they were of Tocharian stock
Tocharians
The Tocharians were the Tocharian-speaking inhabitants of the Tarim Basin, making them the easternmost speakers of Indo-European languages in antiquity. They were known as, or at least closely related to, the Yuezhi of Chinese sources...

.

Anthropology and archeology



According to Chinese archaeologists the excavated skeletal remains of the presumed Wusun people are of the short-headed Europoid Central Asian interfluvial type.

Wusun women were first described in a Western Han dynasty book of divination
Divination
Divination is the attempt to gain insight into a question or situation by way of an occultic standardized process or ritual...

, the Jiaoshi Yilin
Jiaoshi Yilin
Jiaoshi Yilin is a Chinese book of divination composed during the Western Han Dynasty. Modeled on the I Ching, the work was attributed to Jiao Yanshou , though not much is known about the author....

, as "ugly and dark colored people with deep eye sockets," who presumably resembled South Asians, as suggested by the reported skin complexion. However, a very brief pejorative quote from an ancient book of divination is hardly a reliable source for determining ethnic characteristics.

The 7th century commentary to the Hanshu by Yan Shigu
Yan Shigu
Yan Shigu , formal name Yan Zhou , but went by the courtesy name of Shigu, was a famous Chinese author and linguist of the Tang Dynasty.-Biography:Yan was born in Wannian , his ancestry was originally from Langya...

 says: "Among the various Rong in the Western Regions, the Wusun's shape was the strangest; and the present barbarians who have green eyes and red hair, and are like macaques, belonged to the same race as the Wusun."

History



At the beginning of what is known about the history of the Wusun, they lived near the Yuezhi
Yuezhi
The Yuezhi, or Rouzhi , also known as the Da Yuezhi or Da Rouzhi , were an ancient Central Asian people....

 people.

Chinese records first mention the "Ushi" in Andin and Pinlian (modern Pinlian and Guüan in the Peoples Republic of China), between the Lu-hun and Kuyan
Huyan
The Huyan was a noble house that led the last remnants of the Northern Xiongnu, to Dzungaria during the 2nd century, after the Battle of Ikh Bayan...

 tribes. The transcription of Ushi means "raven generation", and is semantically identical with U-sun - "raven descendants". In Wusun legend their ancestors were a raven and a wolf.

The first historical records concerning the Wusun name them as a separate and distinct tribe of the Xiongnu
Xiongnu
The Xiongnu were ancient nomadic-based people that formed a state or confederation north of the agriculture-based empire of the Han Dynasty. Most of the information on the Xiongnu comes from Chinese sources...

 confederacy, living on the territory of the modern province of Gansu
Gansu
' is a province located in the northwest of the People's Republic of China.It lies between the Tibetan and Huangtu plateaus, and borders Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, and Ningxia to the north, Xinjiang and Qinghai to the west, Sichuan to the south, and Shaanxi to the east...

, in the valley of the Ushui-he (Chinese Raven river). It is not clear whether the river was named after the tribe or vice versa.

To the west the Wusun bordered Kangju
Kangju
Kangju was the name of an ancient people and kingdom in Central Asia. It was a nomadic federation of unknown ethnic and linguistic origin which became for a couple of centuries the second greatest power in Transoxiana after the Yuezhi....

, located in modern Kazakhstan. To the south was Sogdiana
Sogdiana
Sogdiana or Sogdia was the ancient civilization of an Iranian people and a province of the Achaemenid Empire, eighteenth in the list on the Behistun Inscription of Darius the Great . Sogdiana is "listed" as the second of the "good lands and countries" that Ahura Mazda created...

, which then consisted of 70 sovereign mini-states. East of the Wusun towered the Xiongnu state.

Early in their history, the Wusun migrated in three stages, lasting near two hundred years. The first exodus from Shaanxi
Shaanxi
' is a province in the central part of Mainland China, and it includes portions of the Loess Plateau on the middle reaches of the Yellow River in addition to the Qinling Mountains across the southern part of this province...

 to the Qilian Mountains in around 410 BC was forced by the Yuezhi
Yuezhi
The Yuezhi, or Rouzhi , also known as the Da Yuezhi or Da Rouzhi , were an ancient Central Asian people....

. Between 410 BC and 177 BC, the Wusun were vassals of the Tocharic
Tocharians
The Tocharians were the Tocharian-speaking inhabitants of the Tarim Basin, making them the easternmost speakers of Indo-European languages in antiquity. They were known as, or at least closely related to, the Yuezhi of Chinese sources...

 Yuezhi coalition.

The second migration in about 178 BC, was connected with the Xiongnu
Xiongnu
The Xiongnu were ancient nomadic-based people that formed a state or confederation north of the agriculture-based empire of the Han Dynasty. Most of the information on the Xiongnu comes from Chinese sources...

 prince Modu Chanyu's campaign against the Yuezhi, and resulted in the reconquest by the Wusun of their Sichen homeland. According to Zhang Qian
Zhang Qian
Zhang Qian was an imperial envoy to the world outside of China in the 2nd century BCE, during the time of the Han Dynasty...

, the Yuezhi were defeated by the rising Xiongnu empire and fled westward, driving away the Saka
Saka
The Saka were a Scythian tribe or group of tribes....

. Before this, they overran the Wusun, whose ruler Nandoumi was killed. His infant son Liejiaomi was left in the wild. He was miraculously saved from hunger being suckled by a she-wolf, and fed meat by ravens.

The Xiongnu ruler was impressed and adopted the child. When the child grew up the Chanyu gave him command in the west. As an act of revenge, the Wusun attacked the Yuezhi, who had taken refuge in the Ili Valley
Ili River
thumb|right|300px|Map of the Lake Balkhash drainage basin showing the Ili River and its tributariesThe Ili River is a river in northwestern China and southeastern Kazakhstan .It is long, of which is in Kazakhstan...

. The Yuezhi were crushed completely and fled further west to Ferghana, and finally settled in Bactria
Bactria
Bactria and also appears in the Zend Avesta as Bukhdi. It is the ancient name of a historical region located between south of the Amu Darya and west of the Indus River...

. The Wusun took over the Ili Valley, expanding over a large area and trying to keep away from the Xiongnu. They were said to number 630,000 with 188,000 men capable of bearing arms, and became a powerful force in Central Asia.

When the Han empire
Han Dynasty
The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin Dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms . It was founded by the rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han. It was briefly interrupted by the Xin Dynasty of the former regent Wang Mang...

 began their counter-offensive against the Xiongnu, the Wusun had become a bitter enemy of the Xiongnu, after repeatedly being threatened by them. The Wusun were won over to the Chinese in a martial alliance, sealed by a political marriage.

The third migration in c.160 BC was a deliberate displacement by the Wusun of the defeated Asii
Asii
Asii, also written Asioi, were one of the nomadic tribes mentioned in Roman and Greek accounts as responsible for the downfall of the state of Bactria circa 140 BCE. These tribes are usually identified as "Scythian" or "Saka" peoples....

 from their temporary residence in Zhetysu. In 160 BC, after the death of the Xiongnu ruler Chanyu Laoshan (173-161), the Wusun separated from the Xiongnu and migrated to the region of the Ili River
Ili River
thumb|right|300px|Map of the Lake Balkhash drainage basin showing the Ili River and its tributariesThe Ili River is a river in northwestern China and southeastern Kazakhstan .It is long, of which is in Kazakhstan...

 and lake Issyk Kul
Issyk Kul
Issyk Kul is an endorheic lake in the northern Tian Shan mountains in eastern Kyrgyzstan. It is the tenth largest lake in the world by volume and the second largest saline lake after the Caspian Sea. Although it is surrounded by snow-capped peaks, it never freezes; hence its name, which means "hot...

, established their independence, and formed a powerful state in the Zhetysu area. Chinese historical annals offer a demographic description of the Wusun at that time, stating that they numbered 630,000 people and 120,000 families.

In 5 BCE, during the reign of Uchjulü-Chanyu
Noin-Ula kurgans
The Noin-Ula kurgans consist of more than 200 large burial mounds, approximately square in plan, some 2 m in height, covering timber burial chambers. They are located by the Selenga River in the hills of northern Mongolia north of Ulan Bator...

 (8 BCE – CE 13), the Wusun attempted to raid Chuban pastures, but Uchjulü-Chanyu repulsed them, and the Wusun commander had to send his son to the Chuban court as a hostage. The forceful intervention of the Chinese usurper Wang Mang
Wang Mang
Wang Mang , courtesy name Jujun , was a Han Dynasty official who seized the throne from the Liu family and founded the Xin Dynasty , ruling AD 9–23. The Han dynasty was restored after his overthrow and his rule marks the separation between the Western Han Dynasty and Eastern Han Dynasty...

 and internal strife brought disorder, and in 2 BC one of the Wusun chietains brought 80,000 Wusun to Kangju, asking for Kankalis
Kankalis
Kankalis or Qanqlis or Kangly were a Turkic people of Eurasia. They were three ruling clans of Pechenegs. They first appear on history as minor branch of ancient Oghuz Turks. They formed one of the five sections which Oghuz khan divided his subjects. After the fall of Pecheneg Khanate in early...

 help against the Chinese. In a vain attempt to reconcile with China, he was duped and killed in CE 3.

In the 5th century they were pressured by the Rouran
Rouran
Rouran , Mongolia name Jujan or Nirun Ruanruan/Ruru , Tan Tan , Juan-Juan or Zhu-Zhuwas the name of a confederation of nomadic tribes on the northern borders of Inner China from the late 4th century until the middle 6th century...

 and may have migrated to the Pamir Mountains
Pamir Mountains
The Pamir Mountains are a mountain range in Central Asia formed by the junction or knot of the Himalayas, Tian Shan, Karakoram, Kunlun, and Hindu Kush ranges. They are among the world’s highest mountains and since Victorian times they have been known as the "Roof of the World" a probable...

. From the 6th century onward the former habitat of the Wusun formed part of the western empire of the Göktürks
Göktürks
The Göktürks or Kök Türks, were a nomadic confederation of peoples in medieval Inner Asia. Known in Chinese sources as 突厥 , the Göktürks under the leadership of Bumin Qaghan The Göktürks or Kök Türks, (Old Turkic: Türük or Kök Türük or Türük; Celestial Turks) were a nomadic confederation of...

. After this event the Wusun seem to disappear from Chinese records, though their name was last mentioned on an offering to the court of Liao Dynasty
Liao Dynasty
The Liao Dynasty , also known as the Khitan Empire was an empire in East Asia that ruled over the regions of Manchuria, Mongolia, and parts of northern China proper between 9071125...

 on September 22, 938. The Chinese were involved in a plot with the Wusun involving a "fat King", and "Mad King". The Chinese were involved in a plot to kill the mad king, and a Chinese deputy envoy called Chi Tu who brought a doctor to attend to him was punished by castration when he returned to China.

The Wusun left multiple diaspora islands along their centuries-old trek. As a rule, part of a tribe remained in the old habitats and later on participated in new ethnic unions. Wusun principalities are known in the Ordos Desert
Ordos Desert
The Ordos Desert is a desert and steppe region lying on a plateau in the south of the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China . The soil of the Ordos is a mixture of clay and sand and, as a result, is poorly suited for agriculture. It extends over an area of...

. Separate Wusun princedoms existed for a long time in the Khangai Mountains and along the Bogdoshan ridge (eastern Tian Shan
Tian Shan
The Tian Shan , also spelled Tien Shan, is a large mountain system located in Central Asia. The highest peak in the Tian Shan is Victory Peak , ....

).

Culture and characteristics


According to the Shiji (c.123) and the Hanshu (c.96), a daughter from the Han
Han Dynasty
The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin Dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms . It was founded by the rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han. It was briefly interrupted by the Xin Dynasty of the former regent Wang Mang...

 prince, Liu Jian, was sent to the ruler (kunmo or kunmi) of the Wusun between 110 BCE and 105 BCE. She describes them as nomads who lived in felt tents, ate raw meat and drank fermented mare's milk.

On the other hand, the Wusun were notable for their harmony towards their neighbours, even though they were constantly raided by the Xiongnu and Kangju
Kangju
Kangju was the name of an ancient people and kingdom in Central Asia. It was a nomadic federation of unknown ethnic and linguistic origin which became for a couple of centuries the second greatest power in Transoxiana after the Yuezhi....

. In 71 BCE, a Chinese envoy cooperated with the Wusun and supplied an army of 50,000 to attack the Xiongnu for them, which ended in a great victory. However, a dispute took place soon after the death of their ruler, Nimi, in 53 BCE. The Wusun were divided into two kingdoms, under a little kunmi and greater kunmi, both of whom recognised Chinese supremacy and remained faithful vassals.

In 2 CE, Wang Mang
Wang Mang
Wang Mang , courtesy name Jujun , was a Han Dynasty official who seized the throne from the Liu family and founded the Xin Dynasty , ruling AD 9–23. The Han dynasty was restored after his overthrow and his rule marks the separation between the Western Han Dynasty and Eastern Han Dynasty...

 issued a list of four regulations to the allied Xiongnu that the taking of any hostages from Chinese vassals, i.e. Wusun, Wuhuan
Wuhuan
The Wuhuan were a proto-Mongolic nomadic people who inhabited northern China, in what is now the provinces of Hebei, Liaoning, Shanxi, the municipality of Beijing and the autonomous region of Inner Mongolia....

 and the statelets of the Western Regions
Western Regions
The Western Regions or Xiyu was a historical name specified in the Chinese chronicles between the 3rd century BC to 8th century AD that referred to the regions west of Jade Gate, most often Central Asia or sometimes more specifically the easternmost portion of it The Western Regions or Xiyu was a...

, would not be tolerated. The Xiongnu obeyed.

Phonetics and etymology


Wusun is a modern pronunciation of the Chinese Character
Chinese character
Chinese characters are logograms used in the writing of Chinese and Japanese , less frequently Korean , formerly Vietnamese , or other languages...

s '烏孫'. Originally, Wusun probably sounded more like Asman (*ah-sman < *asman, or *o-sən, *uo-sen or ?ah-swē depending on the authors) suggesting that they may have been the Asii
Asii
Asii, also written Asioi, were one of the nomadic tribes mentioned in Roman and Greek accounts as responsible for the downfall of the state of Bactria circa 140 BCE. These tribes are usually identified as "Scythian" or "Saka" peoples....

 of Geographica
Geographica (Strabo)
The Geographica , or Geography, is a 17-volume encyclopedia of geographical knowledge written in Greek by Strabo, an educated citizen of the Roman empire of Greek descent. Work can have begun on it no earlier than 20 BC...

.

Around 107 BCE a Han princess married to the Usun Hunmo composed a song that called the Wusun country a Sky (Tian) country, and in China the Wusun horses (Usun ma) were called heavenly horses (Tian ma). Ptolemy (VI, 14, 177 CE) knew an Asman tribe, located east of the Volga River
Volga River
The Volga is the largest river in Europe in terms of length, discharge, and watershed. It flows through central Russia, and is widely viewed as the national river of Russia. Out of the twenty largest cities of Russia, eleven, including the capital Moscow, are situated in the Volga's drainage...

.

The Chinese name '烏孫' ('Wusun') literally means Wu = 'crow' or 'raven' + Sun = 'grandson'. Through the legend of an infant son, left in the wild, miraculously saved from hunger by suckling from a she-wolf, and being fed meat by ravens, they shared a similar ancestor myth with the ruling Ashina clan of the Göktürks
Göktürks
The Göktürks or Kök Türks, were a nomadic confederation of peoples in medieval Inner Asia. Known in Chinese sources as 突厥 , the Göktürks under the leadership of Bumin Qaghan The Göktürks or Kök Türks, (Old Turkic: Türük or Kök Türük or Türük; Celestial Turks) were a nomadic confederation of...

 (Asena legend
Asena
Asena is the name of one of the ten sons, whom mythical female wolf gave birth to, in old Turkic mythology. It is associated with a Göktürk ethnogenic myth "full of shamanic symbolism"...

), and many other Eurasian peoples. See, for example, the legend of Romulus and Remus
Romulus and Remus
Romulus and Remus are Rome's twin founders in its traditional foundation myth, although the former is sometimes said to be the sole founder...

 and the founding of Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

.

Language


For some time, it was theorized that the Wusun spoke a Proto-Turkic
Turkic languages
The Turkic languages constitute a language family of at least thirty five languages, spoken by Turkic peoples across a vast area from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean to Siberia and Western China, and are considered to be part of the proposed Altaic language family.Turkic languages are spoken...

 language. Some scholars, including Chinese scholar Han Rulin, as well as G. Vambery, A. Scherbak, P. Budberg, L. Bazin and V.P. Yudin, noted that the Wusun king's name Fu-li, as reported in Chinese sources and translated as "wolf", resembles Proto-Turkic "böri" = "wolf". Other words listed by these scholars include the title "bag/beg" = "lord".

However, this theory is disputed by some Turkologists, including Peter B. Golden and Carter V. Findley, who explain that none of the mentioned words are actually Turkic in origin. Carter V. Findley notes that the term böri is probably derived from one of the Indo-European
Indo-European
Indo-European may refer to:* Indo-European languages** Aryan race, a 19th century and early 20th century term for those peoples who are the native speakers of Indo-European languages...

 Iranian languages
Iranian languages
The Iranian languages form a subfamily of the Indo-Iranian languages which in turn is a subgroup of Indo-European language family. They have been and are spoken by Iranian peoples....

 of Central Asia, while the title beg is certainly derived from the Sogdian
Sogdian language
The Sogdian language is a Middle Iranian language that was spoken in Sogdiana , located in modern day Uzbekistan and Tajikistan ....

 baga ("lord"), a cognate of Middle Persian
Middle Persian
Middle Persian , indigenously known as "Pârsig" sometimes referred to as Pahlavi or Pehlevi, is the Middle Iranian language/ethnolect of Southwestern Iran that during Sassanid times became a prestige dialect and so came to be spoken in other regions as well. Middle Persian is classified as a...

 baγ (as used by the rulers of the Sassanid Empire
Sassanid Empire
The Sassanid Empire , known to its inhabitants as Ērānshahr and Ērān in Middle Persian and resulting in the New Persian terms Iranshahr and Iran , was the last pre-Islamic Persian Empire, ruled by the Sasanian Dynasty from 224 to 651...

), as well as Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 bhaga
Bhaga
Sanskrit is a term for "lord, patron", but also for "wealth, prosperity". The cognate term in Avestan and Old Persian is , of uncertain meaning but used in a sense in which "lord, patron" might also apply. A Slavic cognate is "god"...

and Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

 bog.

Chinese sources name the Scythian Sai (Saka
Saka
The Saka were a Scythian tribe or group of tribes....

), and the Yuezhi
Yuezhi
The Yuezhi, or Rouzhi , also known as the Da Yuezhi or Da Rouzhi , were an ancient Central Asian people....

who are often identified as Tocharians
Tocharians
The Tocharians were the Tocharian-speaking inhabitants of the Tarim Basin, making them the easternmost speakers of Indo-European languages in antiquity. They were known as, or at least closely related to, the Yuezhi of Chinese sources...

, among the people of the Wusun state Zhetysu, but it is very difficult to place the Wusun with the Tocharian
Tocharian languages
Tocharian or Tokharian is an extinct branch of the Indo-European language family. The name is taken from the people known to the Greeks as the Tocharians . These are sometimes identified with the Yuezhi and the Kushans. The term Tokharistan usually refers to 1st millennium Bactria, which the...

 category of Indo-European.

Wusun and Issedones connection


Some scholars have proposed that the Wusun may have been identical with the people described by Herodotus
Herodotus
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus, Caria and lived in the 5th century BC . He has been called the "Father of History", and was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent and arrange them in a...

 (IV.16-25) and in Ptolemy
Ptolemy
Claudius Ptolemy , was a Roman citizen of Egypt who wrote in Greek. He was a mathematician, astronomer, geographer, astrologer, and poet of a single epigram in the Greek Anthology. He lived in Egypt under Roman rule, and is believed to have been born in the town of Ptolemais Hermiou in the...

's Geography as Issedones
Issedones
The Issedones were an ancient people of Central Asia at the end of the trade route leading north-east from Scythia, described in the lost Arimaspeia of Aristeas, by Herodotus in his History and by Ptolemy in his Geography...

.
Their exact location of their country in Central Asia is unknown. The Issedones are "placed by some in Western Siberia and by others in Chinese Turkestan," according to E. D. Phillips.