Shetu Khan


Shetu Khan

Shetu or Ishbara (alternative spellings: "Ïshbara, Shapolo, Shaboüle, Efu-Khan, Shetu-Khan", 沙鉢略可汗) was the first son of Kara Khan, grandson of Tumen Il-Qaghan, and the fifth khagan of the Göktürk Empire. He was the fifth khagan of the first Göktürk Empire (581 - 587)cite book
last =Lovell
first =Julia
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =The great wall: China Against the World, 1000 BC - AD 2000
publisher =Grove Press
date =2007
location =
pages =page 354
url =http://books.google.com/books?id=IWS53cuiuVgC&pg=PA354&dq=shetu+khan&lr=&client=firefox-a&sig=rcy1AkpkicrV2Clh9O8WzIEomPo
doi =
id = ISBN 0802142974
]

He was appointed to the throne by the high council as the legal resolution to the crisis created by his uncle Taspar Khan who had bequeathed the title of khagan to his nephew Tuli (son of Muhan Khan). This act violated the traditional system of inheritance from oldest brother to youngest brother and oldest son to youngest. Immediately after his appointment, the legal basis of his power was contested by the erstwhile heir Tuli, Taspar's younger brother Jotan, and the western yabghu Tardu. This highly unstable situation quickly became a smoldering civil war, which the Sui Chinese took advantage of in every way possible to weaken the Göktürks.

Isbara married the princess Chein-Chin and accepted refugees from the Chen Dynasty, two moves that were undertaken to legitimize his authority. One of the envoys in his wife's escort was the spy/ambassador Zhangsun Sheng. He managed to become a friend of Ishbara, and spent many years with the Turks. Chang Sun-Sheng's knowledge about the customs and institutions of the Gokturks was of great importance for the Sui Empire.

In order to end the civil war Ishbara finally acknowledged the Sui Dynasty as his overlords. With the help of the Chinese he defeated his main rival, Tardu in 603 by poisoning the wells which his army needed to cross the desert into China. In the end Ishbara succeeded in saving the empire, albeit at the price of losing his sovereignty. His reign marks the official split between East and West Göktürk empires. He bequeathed the title of khagan to his brother Chulo-Hou.

References

Footnotes

Notations

* The Turks / editors, Hasan Celal Güzel, C. Cem Oğuz, Osman Karatay. Other author Güzel, Hasan Celâl. Oğuz, Cem. Karatay, Osman, 1971- Ocak, Murat. Imprint Ankara : Yeni Türkiye, 2002. ISBN 9756782552 (set)


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