The Han-Xiongnu War, 133 BC–89 AD
The Struggle of China and a Steppe Empire Told Through Its Key Figures
Imprint: Pen and Sword Military
176 Pages, 6.1 x 9.2 in, 20 b/w illustrations
- December 2023
Scott Forbes Crawford examines the war in a lively, engaging narrative. He builds a mosaic encompassing the centuries of conflict through biographies of fifteen historical figures: the Chinese and Xiongnu emperors who first led their armies into battle; ‘peace bride’ Princess Jieyou, whose marriage to a steppe king forged a vital Chinese alliance; the explorer-diplomat Zhang Qian, who almost-inadvertently established the Silk Road, among other key individuals. Their stories capture the war’s breadth, the enduring impact on Han society and statecraft in what became a Chinese golden age, and the doomed resistance of the Xiongnu to an ever-strengthening juggernaut.