Obscure event on November 2nd in History

619 A qaghan of the Western Turkic Khaganate is assassinated in a Chinese palace by Eastern Turkic Rivals after the approval of Tang emperor Gaozu.

Wow, what is a qaghan? I looked it up and can’t find a straight definition. It appears to be a group or gathering of some sort. It also seems to have a few possible spellings. But I find it interesting that it appears one group of turks killed another group of turks at a Chinese location over something to do with a Chinese emperor. Oddly enough, he was known for being able to deal with the Gokturks and he only served as Emperor for 8 years, after which he retired and passed on the throne to someone else. Mostly because he was afraid of being murdered himself.

Although retired, he seemed to have retained the title and still performed political functions. In an attempt to learn about this event, I’ve mostly learned that Chinese history is much confused by the fact that the participants seem to change their names when they have major changes in their lives.

He also started a dynasty that lasted nearly 300 years, with a short break when the only Empress ever ruled china and significantly expanded its boarders. She was the concubine of one Tang emperor and became the First Wife/Empress of the next Tang Emperor. When he had a stroke she took over and ruled under her own name for a time. The only time it happened in 4,000 years. She must have been one impressive woman.

Apparently the turks were made of up smaller tribal units and the overall Turkish people split into two main divisions. The western group, that was assassinated, sought closer ties to Rome and the western world of the time. I’m guessing the eastern factions looked farther east, to China, for political connections.

For some reason, I can’t find much information on this particular meeting. Too bad. History can be very obscure sometimes.

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