Did a Lost Roman Legion Settle in Ancient China?

By Matthew Bossons, January 11, 2019

0 0

The cover story from our November issue of That’s Beijing, That’s Shanghai and That’s PRD is now online. Below, an brief introduction to this intriguing tale:

In 1957, American sinologist Homer H. Dubs published A Roman City in China, a book detailing the academic’s theory that a group of Roman soldiers worked as border guards for the Western Han Dynasty at the empire’s western edge. These ancient expatriates, Dubs suggests, were survivors of Rome’s catastrophic loss to Parthia at the Battle of Carrhae in 53 BCE, afterwards moving to the eastern front of the Parthian Empire before eventually finding their way into battle with Chinese troops. In defeat, Dubs claims, the out-of-place legionaries were moved by the Western Han Dynasty to “a specially created frontier city, to which the Chinese of course gave their name for Rome, which was Lijien (now Liqian).”

Today, Liqian is a small village of earth-rammed homes located in Gansu province and, in the decades since the publication of A Roman City in China, Dubs’ theory has led researchers, archeologists and even geneticists to visit the town, all looking to answer the same tantalizing questions: did a Roman legion settle in ancient China? And, if so, are those living in Liqian today the descendants of these lost troops?

In the cover story for our November 2018 issue, we explore these questions while transporting you to modern day Liqian. You can read this fascinating story right now by clicking here.

[Cover image via HelloRF]

more news

This Day in History: The Death of Puyi, China’s Last Emperor

Puyi was only 3 years old when he sat on the 'Dragon Throne.'

This Day in History: China’s First Man in Space

On this day in 2003, Yang Liwei endured a 21-and-a-half-hour flight, completing 14 orbits of the Earth

A Seller's Story on Building a Fake Goods Empire in China

We're not just talking Louis Vuitton handbags, Armani suits and Yeezy boots.

This Day in History: Old Shanghai’s Biggest Ever Gangster Heist

The life and crimes of Elly 'the Swiss' Wilder.

This Day in History: Bloody Saturday, Shanghai's Darkest Day

New York Times bestselling author's new book on the 1937 Japanese bombing of the city.

This Day in History: The 2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony

A look back at the first ever Olympics to be hosted in China.

This Day in History: Founding of the Communist Party of China

The Communist Party of China turns 100 this month, founded in Shanghai in July 1921.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at ThatsSuzhou for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in Suzhou With thatsmags.com

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday

Subscribe

Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Suzhou!

Visit the archives