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Domain and influence of the Eastern Huns
Preceded by Laoshang Chanyu
Succeeded by Ichise Chanyu

Gunchen Chanyu (aka Junchen Chinese: 單于, 軍臣; r. 161–126 BCE), whose proper name is unknown, was a Chanyu of the Xiongnu, the successor to Laoshang Chanyu (老上單于). During his long reign Gunchen Chanyu outlived the Han emperors Wendi Liu Heng 文帝劉恆 (r. 180–157 BC, Hyao Wyn Huan-di in Bichurin), Jingdi Liu Qi 景帝 劉啟 (r. 157–141 BC, Hyao-Jing-di in Bichurin), and died during the reign of the Han emperor Wudi Liu Che 武帝 劉徹 (r. 141–87 BC). All three Chinese emperors confirmed the heqin 和親 peace and kinship treaty with the Huns, pledging to live by its terms.

The treaty generally held during the reign of Gunchen Chanyu, however, the Chinese annals note that the mutual relations were imperiled on a number of occasions, which included appeals of the Chinese contenders for the Hun's assistance and protection, the Hun's retaliatory raids as punishments for violation of the treaty terms, and one direct Chinese assault against the Chanyu. The Huns were especially sensitive about unimperiled trade relations, which were one of the terms of the heqin treaty, and the Chinese annals specifically note a number of instances of the border trade opening, implying that the border trade was at times banned. The ambush happened in the 133 BCE, when Gunchen Chanyu was lured inside the border, and he almost run into an ambush of a 300,000 strong Chinese army. Only a diclosure by a Chinese officer about the planned ambush saved the Chanyu. After the failed ambush, the treaty was practically abrogated, the relations soured, the border traders were assaulted, in 127 BC the Chinese army attacked and expelled the Hun's tribes Leu-fan (楼烦, 樓煩, Leufang, Liufan, Loufan, Loufang) and Bayan (白羊王) from the Ordos, and then built fortifications and forts to retain the captured territory.

The next winter, 126 BCE, Gunchen Shanyu died; his younger brother, a Eastern Luli-Prince Ichise (or Ichisye) ascended the Chanuy throne (r. 126-114 BCE).[1]


  1. Bichurin N.Ya., "Collection of information on peoples in Central Asia in ancient times", vol. 1, Sankt Petersburg, 1851, p. 32–37


  • Bichurin N.Ya., "Collection of information on peoples in Central Asia in ancient times", vol. 1, Sankt Petersburg, 1851, reprint Moscow-Leningrad, 1950
Preceded by
Laoshang Chanyu
Gunchen Chanyu of the Xiongnu Empire
161–126 BCE
Succeeded by
Ichise Chanyu

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