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CHOTA NAGPUR—CHOUANS

subsidies to Persia. Meanwhile in the east the Hephthalites had been attacked by the Turks, who now appear for the first time in history. Chosroes united with them and conquered Bactria, while he left the country north of the Oxus to the Turks. Many other rebellious tribes were subjected. About 570 the dynasts of Yemen, who had been subdued by the Ethiopians of Axum, applied to Chosroes for help. He sent a fleet with a small army under Vahriz, who expelled the Ethiopians. From that time till the conquests of Mahomet, Yemen was dependent on Persia, and a Persian governor resided here. In 571 a new war with Rome broke out about Armenia, in which Chosroes conquered the fortress Dara on the Euphrates, invaded Syria and Cappadocia, and returned with large booty. During the negotiations with the emperor Tiberius Chosroes died in 579, and was succeeded by his son Hormizd IV.

Although Chosroes had in the last years of his father extirpated the heretical and communistic Persian sect of the Mazdakites (see Kavadh) and was a sincere adherent of Zoroastrian orthodoxy, he was not fanatical or prone to persecution. He tolerated every Christian confession. When one of his sons had rebelled about 550 and was taken prisoner, he did not execute him; nor did he punish the Christians who had supported him. He introduced a rational system of taxation, based upon a survey of landed possessions, which his father had begun, and tried in every way to increase the welfare and the revenues of his empire. In Babylonia he built or restored the canals. His army was in discipline decidedly superior to the Romans, and apparently was well paid. He was also interested in literature and philosophical discussions. Under his reign chess was introduced from India, and the famous book of Kalilah and Dimnah was translated. He thus became renowned as a wise prince. When Justinian in 529 closed the university of Athens, the last seat of paganism in the Roman empire, the last seven teachers of Neoplatonism emigrated to Persia. But they soon found out that neither Chosroes nor his state corresponded to the Platonic ideal, and Chosroes, in his treaty with Justinian, stipulated that they should return unmolested.

2. Chosroes II., “the Victorious” (Parvez), son of Hormizd IV., grandson of Chosroes I., 590–628. He was raised to the throne by the magnates who had rebelled against Hormizd IV. in 590, and soon after his father was blinded and killed. But at the same time the general Bahram Chobin had proclaimed himself king, and Chosroes II. was not able to maintain himself. The war with the Romans, which had begun in 571, had not yet come to an end. Chosroes fled to Syria, and persuaded the emperor Maurice (q.v.) to send help. Many leading men and part of the troops acknowledged Chosroes, and in 591 he was brought back to Ctesiphon. Bahram Chobin was beaten and fled to the Turks, among whom he was murdered. Peace with Rome was then concluded. Maurice made no use of his advantage; he merely restored the former frontier and abolished the subsidies which had formerly been paid to the Persians. Chosroes II. was much inferior to his grandfather. He was haughty and cruel, rapacious and given to luxury; he was neither a general nor an administrator. At the beginning of his reign he favoured the Christians; but when in 602 Maurice had been murdered by Phocas, he began war with Rome to avenge his death. His armies plundered Syria and Asia Minor, and in 608 advanced to Chalcedon. In 613 and 614 Damascus and Jerusalem were taken by the general Shahrbaraz, and the Holy Cross was carried away in triumph. Soon after, even Egypt was conquered. The Romans could offer but little resistance, as they were torn by internal dissensions, and pressed by the Avars and Slavs. At last, in 622, the emperor Heraclius (who had succeeded Phocas in 610) was able to take the field. In 624 he advanced into northern Media, where he destroyed the great fire-temple of Gandzak (Gazaca); in 626 he fought in Lazistan (Colchis), while Shahrbaraz advanced to Chalcedon, and tried in vain, united with the Avars, to conquer Constantinople. In 627 Heraclius defeated the Persian army at Nineveh and advanced towards Ctesiphon. Chosroes fled from his favourite residence, Dastagerd (near Bagdad), without offering resistance, and as his despotism and indolence had roused opposition everywhere, his eldest son, Kavadh II., whom he had imprisoned, was set free by some of the leading men and proclaimed king. Four days afterwards, Chosroes was murdered in his palace (February 628). Meanwhile, Heraclius returned in triumph to Constantinople, in 629 the Cross was given back to him and Egypt evacuated, while the Persian empire, from the apparent greatness which it had reached ten years ago, sank into hopeless anarchy.

See Persia: Ancient History. For the Roman wars see authorities quoted under Maurice and Heraclius. (Ed. M.) 


CHOTA (or Chutia) NAGPUR, a division of British India in Bengal, consisting of five British districts and two feudatory states. It is a hilly, forest-clad plateau, inhabited mostly by aboriginal races, between the basins of the Sone, the Ganges and the Mahanadi. The five British districts are Hazaribagh, Ranchi, Palamau, Manbhum and Singhbhum. The total area of the British districts is 27,101 sq. m. The population in 1901 was 4,900,429. The tributary states are noticed separately below. The Chota Nagpur plateau is an offshoot of the great Vindhyan range, and its mean elevation is upwards of 2000 ft. above the sea-level. In the W. it rises to 3600 ft., and to the E. and S. its lower steppe, from 800 to 1000 ft. in elevation, comprises a great portion of the Manbhum and Singhbhum districts. The whole is about 14,000 sq. m. in extent, and forms the source of the Barakhar, Damodar, Kasai, Subanrekha, Baitarani, Brahmani, Ib and other rivers. Sal forests abound. The principal jungle products are timber, various kinds of medicinal fruits and herbs, lac, tussur silk and mahuá flowers, which are used as food by the wild tribes and also distilled into a strong country liquor. Coal exists in large quantities, and is worked in the Jherria, Hazaribagh, Giridih and Gobindpur districts. The chief workings are at Jherria, which were started in 1893, and have developed into one of the largest coal-fields in India. Formerly gold was washed from the sands in the bed of the Subanrekha river, but the operations are now almost wholly abandoned. Iron-ores abound, together with good building stone. The indigenous inhabitants consist of non-Aryan tribes who were driven from the plains by the Hindus and took refuge in the mountain fastnesses of the Chota Nagpur plateau. The principal of them are Kols, Santals, Oraons, Dhangars, Mundas and Bhumij. These tribes were formerly turbulent, and a source of trouble to the Mahommedan governors of Bengal and Behar; but the introduction of British rule has secured peace and security, and the aboriginal races of Chota Nagpur are now peaceful and orderly subjects. The principal agricultural products are rice, Indian corn, pulses, oil-seeds and potatoes. A small quantity of tea is grown in Hazaribagh and Ranchi districts. Lac and tussur silk-cloth are largely manufactured. The climate of Chota Nagpur is dry and healthy. The Jherria extension branch of the East India railway runs to Katrasgarh, while the Bengal-Nagpur railway also serves the division.

The Chota Nagpur States were formerly nine in number. But the five states of Chang Bhakar, Korca, Sirguja, Udaipur and Jashpur were transferred from Bengal to the Central Provinces in October 1905, and the two Uriya-speaking states of Gangpur and Bonai were attached to the Orissa Tributary States. There now remain, therefore, only the two states of Kharsawan and Saraikela. At the decline of the Mahratta power in the early part of the 19th century, the Chota Nagpur states came under British protection. Before the rise of the British power in India their chiefs exercised almost absolute sovereignty in their respective territories.

See F. B. Bradley-Birt, Chota Nagpore (1903).


CHOUANS (a Bas-Breton word signifying screech-owls), the name applied to smugglers and dealers in contraband salt, who rose in insurrection in the west of France at the time of the Revolution and joined the royalists of La Vendée. It has been suggested that the name arose from the cry they used when approaching their nocturnal rendezvous; but it is more probable that it was derived from a nickname applied to their leader Jean Cottereau (1767–1794). Originally a contraband manufacturer of salt, Cottereau along with his brothers had several times been