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  • 1 Department of History, Rhodes College 2000 North Parkway, Memphis, TN 38112, USA
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One of the most prevalent theories of imperial state formation in Inner Asia argues that steppe empires rose and fell in conjunction with powerful Chinese empires because of important economic and military relationships between the two. The present article examines the application of this theory to the early Turkic states of Inner Asia (6th to 9th centuries) and concludes that this theory is not appropriate for the Turkic cases. The early Turkic states did not rise and fall together with strong Chinese dynasties; therefore, other factors must be considered in understanding their histories.

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