Battle of Talas

The Battle of Talas/怛罗斯之战


The Battle of Talas, Battle of Talas River, or Battle of Artlakh (Chinese: 怛羅斯戰役; Arabic: معركة نهر طلاس‎) was a military engagement between the Arab Abbasid Caliphate along with their ally the Tibetan Empire against the Chinese Tang dynasty, governed at the time by Emperor Xuanzong. In July 751 CE, Tang and Abbasid forces met in the valley of the Talas River to vie for control over the Syr Darya region of central Asia. After several days of stalemate, the Karluks originally allied to the Tang defected to the Abbasids and tipped over the balance of power, resulting in a Tang rout. The defeat marked the end of Tang westward expansion and resulted in Muslim control of Transoxiana (即“中亚河中地区”,包括今乌兹别克斯坦全境和哈萨克斯坦西南部) for the next 400 years. Control of this region was economically beneficial for the Abbasids because it was on the Silk Road.

Historians debate whether or not Chinese prisoners captured in the aftermath of the battle brought paper-making technology to the Middle East, where it eventually spread to Europe.


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