Emperor Xiaowen of Northern Wei

Emperor Xiaowen of Northern Wei ((北)魏孝文帝) (October 13, 467 – April 26, 499), personal name né Tuoba Hong (拓拔宏), later Yuan Hong (元宏), or Toba Hung II, was an emperor of the Northern Wei from September 20, 471 to April 26, 499.[1]

Emperor Xiaowen implemented a drastic policy of sinicization, intending to centralize the government and make the multi-ethnic state more easy to govern. These policies included changing artistic styles to reflect Chinese preferences and forcing the population to speak the language and to wear Chinese clothes. He compelled his own Xianbei people and others to adopt Chinese surnames, and changed his own family surname from Tuoba to Yuan. He also encouraged intermarriage between Xianbei and Han.

In 494, Emperor Xiaowen moved the Northern Wei capital from Pingcheng (平城, in modern Datong, Shanxi) to Luoyang, a city long acknowledged as a major center in Chinese history. The shift in the capital was mirrored by a shift in tactics from active defense to passive defense against the Rouran. While the capital was moved to Luoyang, the military elite remained centered at the old capital, widening the differences between the administration and the military. The population at the old capital remained fiercely conservative, while the population at Luoyang were much more eager to adopt Xiaowen's policies of sinicization. His reforms were met with resistance by the Xianbei elite. In 496, two plots by Xianbei nobles, one centered on his crown prince Yuan Xun, and one centered on his distant uncle Yuan Yi (元頤). By 497, Xiaowen had destroyed the conspiracies and forced Yuan Xun to commit suicide.

Unfortunately for Emperor Xiaowen, his sinicization policies had their downsides—namely, he adopted the Jin Dynasty social stratification methods, leading to incompetent nobles being put into positions of power while capable men of low birth not being able to advance in his government. Further, his wholesale adoption of Han culture and fine arts caused the nobles to be corrupt in order to afford the lifestyles of the Han elite, leading to further erosion to effective rule. By the time of his grandson Emperor Xiaoming, Northern Wei was in substantial upheaval due to agrarian revolts, and by 534 had been divided into two halves, each of which would soon be taken over by warlords.

One of Xiaowen's enduring legacies was the establishment of the equal-field system in China, a system of government-allotted land that would last until the An Shi Rebellion in the mid Tang Dynasty (618–907).

Yuan Hong 元宏
Emperor Xiaowen of Northern Wei
Emperor of Northern Wei Dynasty
ReignSeptember 20, 471 – April 26, 499
PredecessorEmperor Xianwen
SuccessorEmperor Xuanwu
RegentEmpress Wencheng Wenming
BornOctober 13, 467
DiedApril 26, 499 (aged 31)
SpouseFeng Qing
Feng Run
Empress Xiaowen Jin 孝文貞皇后
Empress Wenzhao 文昭皇后
IssueYuan Xun, Crown Prince 太子元恂
Yuan Ke, Emperor Xuanwu 宣武帝元恪
Yuan Yu, Emperor Wenjin 文景帝元愉
Yuan Yi, Prince Wenxian of Qinghe 清河文獻王元懌
Yuan Huai, Emperor Wumu 武穆帝元懷
Yuan Yue, Prince Wenxuan of Yunan 汝南文宣王元悅
Full name
Family name: Initially Tuoba (拓拔, tuò bá),
later Yuan (元, yuán)
(changed 496)
Given name: Hong (宏, hóng)
Posthumous name
Xiaowen (孝文, xiào wén),
literary meaning:
"filial and civil"
Temple name
Gaozu (高祖, gāo zǔ)
FatherEmperor Xianwen of Northern Wei
MotherEmpress Li Si

Early life and regency of Emperor Xianwen

Tuoba Hong was born in 467, when his father Emperor Xianwen was himself young—at the age of 13, and not yet ruling by himself, but instead was emperor under the regency of Emperor Xianwen's stepmother Empress Dowager Feng. Tuoba Hong was Emperor Xianwen's oldest son. His mother Consort Li was the daughter of Li Hui, a mid-level official at the time, who was a brother of Emperor Xianwen's mother. Empress Dowager Feng, following Tuoba Hong's birth, ended her regency and returned power to Emperor Xianwen, while spending her time raising Tuoba Hong. In 469, at age two, Tuoba Hong was created crown prince. That same year, his mother Consort Li died—and while traditional histories did not describe how she died, it appeared likely that she was forced to commit suicide according to the Northern Wei tradition of forcing crown princes' mothers to commit suicide, for it was written that the entire palace mourned her bitterly.

In 471, Emperor Xianwen, who favored Taoist and Buddhist philosophies, tired of the throne, and considered passing the throne to his uncle Tuoba Zitui (拓拔子推) the Prince of Jingzhao. After opposition by virtually all high level officials, however, Emperor Xianwen was still resolved to pass the throne to someone else, but decided to instead yield the throne to Crown Prince Hong. He subsequently did so, and Crown Prince Hong took the throne as Emperor Xiaowen, while Emperor Xianwen took the title of Taishang Huang (retired emperor), although, due to Emperor Xiaowen's young age, Emperor Xianwen continued to be in actual control of important matters. When needed on the frontlines against Rouran, he conducted military campaigns himself, while leaving important officials in charge of the capital Pingcheng (平城, in modern Datong, Shanxi) with Emperor Xiaowen.

In 476, Empress Dowager Feng, resentful that Emperor Xianwen had put her lover Li Yi (李奕) to death in 470, had him assassinated. (Most historians, including Sima Guang, believed that she poisoned him, but another version indicated that Empress Dowager Feng readied assassins who, when Emperor Xianwen came to her palace to greet her, seized and smothered him.) She assumed regency over Emperor Xiaowen and assumed the title of Grand Empress Dowager.

Regency of Grand Empress Dowager Feng

After Grand Empress Dowager Feng re-assumed regency, she was said to be more dictatorial than she was before, but intelligent in her decisions and frugal in her living. Not only was she highly literate, but she also was capable in mathematics. However, she trusted several eunuchs and permitted them to interfere in governmental matters. Further, she greatly promoted her lovers Wang Rui (王叡) and Li Chong (李沖) – both of whom were apparently talented officials, but whose promotions were beyond what their talents and contributions called for. She balanced her reputation by also promoting some honored officials who were not her lovers. Because she was concerned that she would be criticized for what was seen as immoral conduct, she punished those whom she perceived to be criticizing her or parodying her behavior with severe punishment, including death. One of her victims was Li Xin, who had contributed to her prior lover Li Yi's death, as she had Li Xin put to death in 477. Fearful that Emperor Xiaowen's mother's clan would try to take power, she falsely accused his grandfather Li Hui (李惠) the Prince of Nan Commandery of treason in 478 and had him and his clan slaughtered. She apparently accelerated the policy of Sinicization, which included social stratification, as she issued an edict in 478 requiring people to marry in their social classes.

The Northern Wei started to arrange for Han Chinese elites to marry daughters of the Xianbei Tuoba royal family in the 480s.[2] Some Han Chinese exiled royalty fled from southern China and defected to the Xianbei. Several daughters of the Xianbei Emperor Xiaowen were married to Han Chinese elites, the Han Chinese Liu Song royal Liu Hui 刘辉, married Princess Lanling 蘭陵公主 of the Northern Wei,[3][4] Princess Huayang 華陽公主 to Sima Fei 司馬朏, a descendant of Jin dynasty (265–420) royalty, Princess Jinan 濟南公主 to Lu Daoqian 盧道虔, Princess Nanyang 南阳长公主 to Xiao Baoyin 萧宝夤, a member of Southern Qi royalty.[5] Emperor Xiaozhuang of Northern Wei's sister the Shouyang Princess was wedded to The Liang dynasty ruler Emperor Wu of Liang's son Xiao Zong 蕭綜.[6]

In 479, after rival Liu Song's throne was usurped by the general Xiao Daocheng, who established Southern Qi as its Emperor Gao, Northern Wei commissioned Liu Chang (劉昶) the Prince of Danyang, a Liu Song prince who had fled to Northern Wei in 465, with an army and promising him support to rebuild Liu Song. However, Liu Chang's abilities were not up to task, and he was never able to gain much following in the border regions to mount a major drive to reestablish Liu Song. By 481, the campaign had fizzled.[7]

Also in 481, the Buddhist monk Faxiu (法秀) tried to start a popular uprising at Pingcheng, but was discovered, captured, and executed. Some officials advocating the execution of all Buddhist monks, but Grand Empress Dowager Feng refused. Also that year, she started the building of her future tomb at Fang Mountain (方山), near Pingcheng, leaving instructions that after she died that it would be unnecessary for her to be buried with her husband Emperor Wengcheng, who was buried near the old Northern Wei capital Shengle (盛樂, in modern Hohhot, Inner Mongolia). Later that year, a new criminal code that she commissioned Gao Lü to write was completed—with 832 sections, 16 of them prescribing clan-slaughter as penalty, 235 of them prescribing personal death penalty, and 377 prescribing other forms of punishment.

Sometime during Emperor Xiaowen's rise to power, Grand Empress Dowager Feng had him detained and considered deposing him in favor of his brother Tuoba Xi (拓拔禧), but her attendants persuaded her otherwise. While Grand Empress Dowager Feng never formally returned imperial powers to him, by about 483 he appeared to be fairly in control of the government, although Grand Empress Dowager Feng continued to retain substantial powers. Indeed, it was by her order that that year, after Emperor Xiaowen's concubine Consort Lin bore his oldest son, Tuoba Xun, Consort Lin was forced to commit suicide pursuant to Northern Wei customs. She raised Tuoba Xun herself. In 485, after Emperor Xiaowen created his younger brothers princes, Grand Empress Dowager Feng established an imperial school for these princes. In 486, perhaps as both a sign of Sinicization and demonstration of Emperor Xiaowen's authority, he began to assume traditional Chinese imperial clothing, including a robe with dragon patterns and a tassled hat. As Emperor Xiaowen was raised by Grand Empress Dowager Feng, he also became very close to the family of her brother Feng Xi (馮熙). For some time, he took two of his daughters as concubines, but one of them soon died of illness, and the other, Consort Feng Run, also suffered a major illness and was sent back to her father house, where she became a Buddhist nun.

The power-sharing arrangement between stepgrandmother and stepgrandson could perhaps be illustrated by an incident in 489, when Emperor Wencheng's younger brothers Tuoba Tianci (拓拔天賜) the Prince of Ruyin and Tuoba Zhen (拓拔楨) the Prince of Nan'an were accused of corruption, a death offense. Grand Empress Dowager Feng and Emperor Xiaowen jointly convened an imperial council to discuss their punishment. Grand Empress Dowager Feng opened by asking the officials, "Do you believe that we should care about familial relations and destroy law, or to disregard familial relations and follow the law?" The officials largely pleaded for the princes' lives. After Grand Empress Dowager Feng fell silent, Emperor Xiaowen stated: "What the two princes committed is unpardonable, but the Grand Empress Dowager takes after the brotherly love that Gaozong [Emperor Wengcheng's Temple name] had. Further, the Prince of Nan'an is filially pious toward his mother. Therefore, the two will be spared the death penalty, but their offices and titles will be stripped from them, and they will be reduced to commoner status with no political rights."

In 490, Grand Empress Dowager Feng died, and she was buried with magnificent honors. Emperor Xiaowen was so distraught that he was unable to take in food or water for five days, and subsequently observed a three-year mourning period for her, notwithstanding officials' pleas for him to shorten the mourning period in accordance with rules that Emperor Wen of Han had set.

Early personal reign

After Grand Empress Dowager Feng's death, Emperor Xiaowen not only continued the sinicization campaign, but carried it out in earnest, changing many laws and customs of the Northern Wei states to conform with Han, particularly Confucian, customs. While he sought out his mother Consort Li's cousins (Consort Li's brothers had been executed with their father Li Hui) and rewarded them with relatively low offices, he later retracted the rewards, bringing criticism that he was treating the Fengs with too much kindness and not treating the Lis with sufficient kindness.

in 492, in conformance with past dynasties' tradition, Emperor Xiaowen demoted the many princes in the state, unless they were descendants of the dynasty founder Emperor Daowu, to the titles of duke, with two exceptions: Baba Guan (拔拔觀) the Prince of Shangdang, because of the great accomplishments of his grandfather Baba Daosheng (拔拔道生), was allowed to remain prince; and the former Liu Song prince Liu Chang the Prince of Danyang, while having his own rank reduced to Duke of Qi Commandery, was given a special title, which appeared to be non-inheritable, of Prince of Song.

In 493, Emperor Xiaowen married another daughter of Feng Xi, Feng Qing, as empress.

Also in 493, Emperor Xiaowen began the first of a number of campaigns that he would conduct against Southern Qi – although in the case of this campaign, it was intended to instead allow him to move the capital from Pingcheng south to the Han heartland of Luoyang, to further his sinicization campaign. As he reached Luoyang in the late fall, he ordered a continued advance despite heavy rains, and then, when the Xianbei officials who opposed the campaign tried again to stop him, he offered a compromise—that the capital be moved to Luoyang, and the campaign be abandoned. The officials agreed. He also entrusted the matters of changing Xianbei ceremonies and music to Han ceremonies to the official Wang Su (王肅), who had only recently defected from Southern Qi.

in 494, Emperor Xiaowen made a return to Pingcheng, and, for reasons that are not clear, reopened the discussions on whether to move the capital to Luoyang. This time, the Xianbei officials largely opposed the move, but Emperor Xiaowen overruled them and continued moving the governmental agencies to Luoyang, although maintaining a fairly substantial governmental presence at Pingcheng for it to serve as the secondary capital. To alleviate the concerns that the move from Pingcheng to Luoyang would cause a supply shortage of horses and other livestock, he had the general Yuwen Fu (宇文福) set up a large livestock grazing zone at Heyang (河陽, in modern Jiaozuo and Xinxiang, Henan).

A fief of 100 households and the rank of 崇聖侯 Marquis who worships the sage was bestowed upon a Confucius descendant, Yan Hui's lineage had 2 of its scions and Confucius's lineage had 4 of its scions who had ranks bestowed on them in Shandong in 495 and a fief of ten households and rank of 崇聖大夫 Grandee who venerates the sage was bestowed on 孔乘 Kong Sheng who was Confucius's scion in the 28th generation in 472 by Emperor Xiaowen of Northern Wei.[8][9]

Late personal reign

Late in 494, under the stated reason that Southern Qi's Emperor Ming had usurped the throne (from his grandnephew Xiao Zhaowen), Emperor Xiaowen prepared a major campaign against Southern Qi, departing Luoyang about new year 495. He initially put the important cities Shouyang (壽陽, in modern Lu'an, Anhui) and Yiyang (義陽, in modern Xinyang, Henan) under siege, but could not capture them easily, and battles that his armies conducted against Southern Qi armies were largely indecisive. By late spring 495, he abandoned the campaign.

In summer 495, Emperor Xiaowen issued a number of edicts that made what was stated policy official law—that Xianbei clothing and language be prohibited, and that the Han clothing and language be used instead. (An exemption was given to those over 30.) In spring 496, he also ordered that the Xianbei family names be changed to Han ones, changing his own clan's name from Tuoba to Yuan. He also strengthened the social stratification that had already been underway for some time, making eight Xianbei clans and five Han clans particularly honored, and ordering that all political offices be given by clan status, not by abilities, despite heavy opposition by his official Li Chong. The particularly honored clans were:

  • Xianbei
    • Mu (穆, originally Qiumuling)
    • Lu (陸, originally Buliugu)
    • He (賀, originally Helai)
    • Liu (劉, originally Dugu)
    • Lou (樓, originally Helou)
    • Yu (于, originally Wuniuyu)
    • Xi (奚, originally Daxi)
    • Yu (尉, originally Yuchi)
  • Han
    • Lu (盧)
    • Cui (崔)
    • Zheng (鄭)
    • Wang (王)
    • Li (李)

Emperor Xiaowen went as far as ordering his six younger brothers to demote their current wives to concubine status, and taking the daughters of officials from the five Han clans to be their new wives, an action heavily criticized by historians.

Sometime prior to fall 496, Emperor Xiaowen had, perhaps due to recommendation from Empress Feng, welcomed her older sister Feng Run back to the palace to again be his concubine, and Feng Run, believing herself to be the older sister, refused to yield to Empress Feng and began to find ways to undermine her position. In summer 496, Emperor Xiaowen deposed Empress Feng, who then went to Yaoguang Temple (瑤光寺) and became a Buddhist nun.

Also in fall 496, the crown prince Yuan Xun, who did not adjust well to Han customs or the much hotter weather in Luoyang, plotted with his followers to flee back to Pingcheng, perhaps to hold that city against his father. His plot, however, was discovered, and Emperor Xiaowen, after asking his brother Yuan Xi (元禧) the Prince of Xianyang to cane Yuan Xun with him, deposed Yuan Xun. However, a second plot quickly arose, organized by the officials Mu Tai (穆泰) and Lu Rui (陸叡), who intended to again hold the northern regions against the Emperor. However, their plot was revealed by Emperor Xiaowen's distant uncle Yu Yi (元頤) the Prince of Yangping, whom they had intended to make their leader but who had only pretended to go along with their plot. Emperor Xiaowen sent a force commanded by his cousin Yuan Cheng (元澄) the Prince of Rencheng to Pingcheng, putting down the plot before it started in earnest, and putting Mu and Lu to death.

In spring 497, Emperor Xiaowen created another son, Yuan Ke, crown prince. Believing in reports by the official Li Biao (李彪), who then had the former Crown Prince Xun under house arrest, that Yuan Xun was still plotting rebellion, he forced Yuan Xun to commit suicide. In fall 497, Emperor Xiaowen created Feng Run to be empress, and when Yuan Ke's mother Consort Gao subsequently died, common belief was that Empress Feng had her secretly poisoned so that she could raise Yuan Ke herself.

Also in fall 497, Emperor Xiaowen launched another major attack against Southern Qi, this time first concentrating on the city Wancheng (宛城, in modern Nanyang, Henan). While he was able to capture Wancheng and Xinye (新野, also in modern Nanyang), the battles were still largely indecisive. During his absence, a major conflict erupted between Li Chong and Li Biao in the capital Luoyang, and Li Chong, after putting Li Biao under arrest, died in anger. Partly because of this and partly because, once Southern Qi's Emperor Ming died in fall 498, that he should not continue to attack a country that was mourning for its emperor, he ended the campaign in fall 498. At that same time, he himself was falling ill, and he entrusted the important matters to his brother Yuan Xie the Prince of Pengcheng, although he subsequently recovered and was able to return to Luoyang.

Meanwhile, however, in Emperor Xiaowen's absence, Empress Feng had been carrying on an affair with the attendant Gao Pusa (高菩薩). When she, also in Emperor Xiaowen's absence, tried to force Emperor Xiaowen's sister Princess Pengcheng, whose husband Liu Chengxu (劉承緒, Liu Chang's son) had died earlier, to marry her brother Feng Su (馮夙) the Duke of Beiping, Princess Pengcheng fled out of Luoyang and arrived at Emperor Xiaowen's camp, accusing Empress Feng of adultery. Once Emperor Xiaowen arrived back in Luoyang, he arrested Gao and Empress Feng's assistant Shuang Meng (雙蒙) and interrogated them. He then interrogated Empress Feng personally as well, concluding that she had in fact committed adultery. However, claiming that he did not want to shame the Feng clan, he did not depose her, but refused to see her again and also ordered Crown Prince Ke to not to see her again either.

Emperor Xiaowen, despite his own weakened physical state, then decided to again advance south to react against a retaliation campaign by the Southern Qi general Chen Xianda (陳顯達). He was able to repel and defeat Chen, but while on the campaign, he died. Yuan Xie and Yuan Cheng kept his death secret until his body could be returned to Luoyang, and then announced his death. Yuan Ke succeeded to the throne as Emperor Xuanwu. By Emperor Xiaowen's will, Empress Feng was forced to commit suicide.

Era names

  • Yanxing (延興 yán xīng) 471–476
  • Chengming (承明 chéng míng) 476
  • Taihe (太和 tài hé) 477–499


  • Parents:
    • Tuoba Hong (獻文皇帝 拓跋弘; 454 – 476)
    • Lady Li of Dunqiu (思皇后 顿丘李氏; d. 469)
  • Consorts and Issue:
  1. Lady Feng of Changle (皇后 長樂馮氏), personal name Qing (清)
  2. Lady Feng of Changle (幽皇后 長樂馮氏; 469 – 499), personal name Run (潤)
  3. Lady Gao of Goguryeo (文昭皇后 高句麗高氏; 469 – 497), personal name Zhaorong (照容)
    1. Yuan Ke (宣武皇帝 元恪; 483 – 515)
    2. Yuan Huai (武穆皇帝 元懷; 488 – 517)
    3. Princess Changle (長樂公主; 489 – 525), personal name Ying (瑛)
  4. Lady Lin (貞皇后 林氏; d. 483)
    1. Yuan Xun (皇太子 元恂; 483 – 497)
  5. Lady Yuan (貴人 袁氏)
    1. Yuan Yu (文景皇帝 元愉; 488 – 508)
  6. Lady Luo (夫人 羅氏; d. 514)
    1. Yuan Yi (清河文獻王 元懌; 488 – 520)
    2. Yuan Yue (汝南文宣王 元悅; 494 – 532)
  7. Lady Zheng (充華 鄭氏)
    1. Yuan Tiao (殤王 元恌; 494 – 500)
  8. Lady Zhao (充華 趙氏; 467 – 514)
    1. Princess Yiyang (義陽公主)
  9. Unknown
    1. Princess Lanling (蘭陵公主)
    2. Princess Huayang (華陽公主; d. 524)
    3. Princess Huaiyang (淮陽公主)
    4. Princess Xihe (西河公主)
    5. Princess Shunyang (順陽公主)
    6. Princess Shiping (始平公主)
    7. Princess Jinan (濟南公主)
    8. Princess Gaoping (高平公主)

See also


  1. ^ Grousset, Rene (1970). The Empire of the Steppes. Rutgers University Press. p. 65. ISBN 0-8135-1304-9.
  2. ^ Rubie Sharon Watson (1991). Marriage and Inequality in Chinese Society. University of California Press. pp. 80–. ISBN 978-0-520-07124-7.
  3. ^ Lee (2014).
  4. ^ Papers on Far Eastern History. Australian National University, Department of Far Eastern History. 1983. p. 86.
  5. ^ China: Dawn of a Golden Age, 200-750 AD. Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2004. pp. 30–. ISBN 978-1-58839-126-1.
  6. ^ Ancient and Early Medieval Chinese Literature (vol.3 & 4): A Reference Guide, Part Three & Four. BRILL. 22 September 2014. pp. 1566–. ISBN 978-90-04-27185-2.
  7. ^ See Zizhi Tongjian, vol. 135.
  8. ^ John Lagerwey; Pengzhi Lü (30 October 2009). Early Chinese Religion: The Period of Division (220-589 Ad). BRILL. pp. 257–. ISBN 90-04-17585-7.
  9. ^ John Lagerwey; Pengzhi Lü (23 November 2009). Early Chinese Religion, Part Two: The Period of Division (220-589 AD) (2 vols). BRILL. pp. 257–. ISBN 978-90-474-2929-6.

External links

Regnal titles
Preceded by
Emperor Xianwen of Northern Wei
Emperor of Northern Wei
Succeeded by
Emperor Xuanwu of Northern Wei

Year 467 (CDLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Pusaeus and Iohannes (or, less frequently, year 1220 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 467 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.


Year 499 (CDXCIX) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Iohannes without colleague (or, less frequently, year 1252 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 499 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.


The dhyana master Buddhabhadra (Chinese: 跋陀; pinyin: Bátuó) was the first abbot of Shaolin Monastery, who hailed from northern India.Former Worthies Gather at the Mount Shuang-feng Stūpa and Each Talks of the Dark Principle contains the following reference to him: "Dhyana Master Buddha says: "The extreme principle is wordless. The sagely mind is unimpeded."According to the Deng Feng County Recording, Bátuó came to China in 464 and preached Nikaya Buddhism for thirty years. Thirty-one years later, in 495, the Shaolin Monastery was built by the order of Emperor Xiaowen of Northern Wei for Batuo's preaching.Batuo's disciples Sengchou and Huiguang were both expert in the martial arts by the time they began their studies of religion with Batuo.

Book of Wei

The Book of Wei, also known by its Chinese name as the Wei Shu, is a classic Chinese historical text compiled by Wei Shou from 551 to 554, and is an important text describing the history of the Northern Wei and Eastern Wei from 386 to 550.

Du (surname)

Du (Chinese: 杜; pinyin: Dù; Wade–Giles: Tu) is a Chinese family name. The name is spelled Tu in Taiwan, in Hong Kong it is translated as To, in Macao it is spelled as Tou, the pronunciation of 杜 in Cantonese. The Vietnamese equivalent of the surname is Đỗ. It is the 129th surname in Hundred Family Surnames and is the 47th most popular surname in China according to the 2006 census.

Emperor Fei of Western Wei

Emperor Fei of Western Wei ((西)魏廢帝) (died 554), personal name Yuan Qin (元欽), was an emperor of the Xianbei state Western Wei—a branch successor state of Northern Wei. He, even more so than his father Emperor Wen, held little actual power in the face of overwhelming control of power by the paramount general Yuwen Tai. In 554, he tried to plot to have Yuwen killed, but his plot was discovered, and Yuwen deposed him, and soon had him killed.

Emperor Gong of Western Wei

Emperor Gong of Western Wei ((西)魏恭帝) (537–557), personal name né Yuan Kuo (元廓), later changed to Tuoba Kuo (拓拔廓), was the last emperor of the Western Wei -- a rump state of and successor to Northern Wei. He was made emperor in 554 after his older brother Emperor Fei was deposed by the paramount general Yuwen Tai. He carried little actual power, and in 556, after Yuwen Tai's death, Yuwen Tai's nephew Yuwen Hu, serving as guardian to Yuwen Tai's son Yuwen Jue, forced Emperor Gong to yield the throne to Yuwen Jue, ending Western Wei and starting Northern Zhou. The former emperor was killed in 557. Because Northern Wei's other branch successor state, Eastern Wei, had fallen in 550, Emperor Gong can be regarded as Northern Wei's final emperor as well.

Fang Rong

Fang Rong (房融) (died 705) was an official of Wu Zetian's Zhou Dynasty, briefly serving as chancellor.

Despite Fang's high status, little is firmly established about his career except for the time that he served as chancellor—as, unusual for a chancellor, he did not have a biography in either the Old Book of Tang or the New Book of Tang. It is known that his clan traced its ancestry to the early Jin Dynasty (265-420) official Fang Qian (房乾), who was sent as an emissary to the Xianbei but was detained and not allowed to return to Jin, whose descendants then took the Xianbei surname Wuyin (屋引) and followed the rulers of Northern Wei back south. They then changed their name back to Fang when Emperor Xiaowen of Northern Wei changed Xianbei names to Han names in 496 and settled in the Northern Wei capital Luoyang. Fang Rong's ancestors served as officials in Northern Wei and succeeding dynasties Northern Qi, Sui Dynasty, and Tang Dynasty, with Fang Rong's father Fang Xuanji (房玄基) serving as a low level official at the department of the treasury.As of 704, Fang Rong was serving as the secretary general of Huai Prefecture (懷州, roughly modern Jiaozuo, Henan), when he was promoted to be Zhengjian Daifu (正諫大夫), a senior advisor at the examination bureau of government (鸞臺, Luantai) and given the designation of Tong Fengge Luantai Pingzhangshi (同鳳閣鸞臺平章事), making him a chancellor de facto. In spring 705, when a coup led by Zhang Jianzhi, Cui Xuanwei, Jing Hui, Huan Yanfan, and Yuan Shuji overthrew Wu Zetian and restored her son Li Xian the Crown Prince, a former emperor, to the throne (as Emperor Zhongzong), her lovers Zhang Yizhi and Zhang Changzong were killed. On the same day, Fang, along with fellow chancellor Wei Chengqing and the minister Cui Shenqing (崔神慶), were accused of being associates of Zhang Yizhi and Zhang Changzong and arrested. Half a month later, Fang was reduced to commoner rank and exiled to Gao Prefecture (高州, roughly modern Maoming, Guangdong), and he died there. HIs son Fang Guan later served as a chancellor during the reign of Emperor Suzong.


Gaozu (Chinese: 高祖; pinyin: Gāozǔ; Wade–Giles: Kao1-tsu3; literally: 'high forefather") is an imperial temple name typically used for Chinese emperors who founded a particular dynasty. It may refer to:

Emperor Gaozu of Han (256 BC or 247 BC – 195 BC)

Cao Pi (187–226) of Cao Wei, the temple name was eventually changed to Shizu

Liu Yuan (Han Zhao) (251–310), the temple name was eventually changed to Taizu

Shi Le (274–333) of Later Zhao

Fu Jian (317–355) of Former Qin

Qifu Gangui (died in 412) of Western Qin

Yao Xing (366–416) of Later Qin

Liu Yu (Emperor Wu of Liu Song) (363–422)

Yuan Hong (Emperor Xiaowen of Northern Wei) (467–499)

Emperor Wu of Liang (464–549)

Emperor Wu of Chen (503–559)

Emperor Wu of Northern Zhou (543–578)

Yang Jian (Emperor Wen of Sui) (541–604) of the Sui dynasty

Emperor Gaozu of Tang (566–635)

Wang Jian (Former Shu) (847–918) of Former Shu

Yang Longyan (897–920) of Wu (Ten Kingdoms)

Meng Zhixiang (874–934) of Later Shu

Liu Yan (emperor) (889–942) of Southern Han

Shi Jingtang (892–942) of the Later Jin (Five Dynasties)

Liu Zhiyuan (895–948) of the Later Han (Five Dynasties)

Chen Youliang (1320–1363) of Great HanIt may also refer to those who never officially declared themselves as emperors, but were posthumously given the title by their imperial descendants:

Sima Yi (179–251), Emperor Gaozu of the Jin dynasty (265–420)

Zhang Shi (Former Liang) (died in 320), Emperor Gaozu of Former Liang (320–376)

Murong Hui (269–333), Emperor Gaozu of Former Yan (337–370)

Gao Huan (496–547), Emperor Taizu of Northern Qi (550–577)

Hedi (Policy)

Hedi was an economic policy of the imperial China. It was the state purchase of food supplies from farmers. As a means to control the price of grains and foods, it is an early example of Government procurement.The policy was adopted in the year of 488 by Emperor Xiaowen of Northern Wei as a counter measure of drought. The state purchases food supplies and stock them. When drought attacks, the stocked foods were sold in order to prevent famine. Later, the purchased foods were also used as rations for the frontier force of Northern Wei dynasty.The policy had always kept the price of state purchased foods higher than the market price of these foods. However, during the reign of Emperor Dezong of Tang, the imperial court purchased foods with a price that was lower than the market price. Chancellor Lu Zhi critically pointed out that, when purchasing food with such low price, the government was turning the policy of Hedi into a type of tax which aggravated the burden of tax payers(since they had to "sell" their harvests with a price that would never benefit them).During the Mongol invasion of Song dynasty, Song army had to constantly engage the Mongols. The cost of war was extremely high and the imperial court began to forcefully purchase food supplies from farmers. The official price by then was considerably lower than the market price. Government officials also acknowledged the fact that the policy had become pure robbery. Since the forced purchase of harvests did not compensate sellers, the policy discouraged the development of agriculture. Between 1159 and 1259, the annual amount of forced purchase of food supplies from farmers had increased from 2,300,000 Picul to 5,600,000 picul. In Yuan dynasty, most of the cases of Hedi were not voluntary. The policy of Hedi continued to exist in Ming and Qing dynasty until the fall of the last dynasty in 1911.The abuse of Hedi did not originate from the late Song dynasty. Recorded abuse of Hedi date back as early as the year of 787. In 1114 and 1126 two different cases of abuse were reported. Local government officials reportedly lowered the price of purchase or collected additional tax without any authorization.

Despite of the later abuses, Hedi did provide farmers benefits. The policy was especially effective in a surplus of food supplies which causes the price of grains to drop. With the state purchase of excessive food supplies, farmers do not need to sell them in a low price in years of surplus

List of people who have had a parent die from suicide

The following is a list of people whose parent committed suicide.

Northern Wei

The Northern Wei or the Northern Wei Empire (), also known as the Tuoba Wei (拓跋魏), Later Wei (後魏), or Yuan Wei (元魏), was a dynasty founded by the Tuoba clan of the Xianbei, which ruled northern China from 386 to 534 CE (de jure until 535), during the period of the Southern and Northern Dynasties. Described as "part of an era of political turbulence and intense social and cultural change", the Northern Wei Dynasty is particularly noted for unifying northern China in 439: this was also a period of introduced foreign ideas, such as Buddhism, which became firmly established.

During the Taihe period (477–499) of Emperor Xiaowen, court advisers instituted sweeping reforms and introduced changes that eventually led to the dynasty moving its capital from Datong to Luoyang, in 494. The Tuoba renamed themselves the Han people surname Yuan (元) as a part of systematic Sinicization. Towards the end of the dynasty there was significant internal dissension resulting in a split into Eastern Wei and Western Wei.

Many antiques and art works, both Taoist art and Buddhist art, from this period have survived. It was the time of the construction of the Yungang Grottoes near Datong during the mid-to-late 5th century, and towards the latter part of the dynasty, the Longmen Caves outside the later capital city of Luoyang, in which more than 30,000 Buddhist images from the time of this dynasty have been found.


Taihe (mainly 太和) may refer to:

Princess Taihe (fl. 821–843), Tang dynasty princess and a Huigu Khatun by marriage

Hall of Supreme Harmony

Timeline of the Northern and Southern dynasties

This is a timeline of the Northern and Southern dynasties in China.


The Tuoba, also known as the Taugast or Tabgach (Tabgaç), was a Xianbei clan in ancient China.The Tuoba founded the Northern Wei (386–535) around the Yellow River delta and became increasingly sinicized. As a result, from 496, the name "Tuoba" disappeared by an edict of Emperor Xiaowen of Northern Wei, who adopted the Chinese language surname of Yuan (元) instead. A surviving branch of the Tuoba established the state of Tuyuhun before submitting as a vassal of the Tang dynasty; they later established the Western Xia, whose rulers adopted the Chinese surname Li (李). The ruling families of the Western Wei and Northern Zhou dynasties that followed the fall of Northern Wei were also of Tuoba ethnicity.


Xiaowen may refer to:

King Xiaowen of Qin (reigned 250 BC)

Emperor Xiaowen of Northern Wei (467–499)

Emperor Wen of Han (202 BC–157 BC)

Jiang Xiaowen

Ye Xiaowen (born 1950), Chinese politician who held various top posts relating to state regulation of religion from 1995 to 2009

Xiaowen Zeng, Chinese author living in Toronto, Canada

Zhou Xiaowen (born 1954), Chinese filmmaker

Xiao Wen Ju (born 1992), Chinese fashion model

Ye (Hebei)

Ye or Yecheng (simplified Chinese: 邺城; traditional Chinese: 鄴城; pinyin: Yèchéng; Wade–Giles: Yeh4-ch'eng2) was an ancient Chinese city located in what is now Linzhang County, Handan, Hebei province and neighbouring Anyang, Henan province.

Ye was first built in the Spring and Autumn period by Duke Huan of Qi, and by the time of the Warring States period the city belonged to the state of Wei. Ye was a political and economic center of China during the Three Kingdoms Period and Northern Dynasties. It served as the military headquarters of the warlords Yuan Shao and Cao Cao in the last years of the Eastern Han Dynasty.

Shi Le made Ye the capital of his Later Zhao dynasty of the fourth century.In the 490s, Emperor Xiaowen of Northern Wei moved his capital from Pingcheng (平城, in modern Datong, Shanxi) to Luoyang. This move was not welcomed by all. Antagonism grew between Xiaowen and his sinicized court and those who preferred to cling to the traditional Tuoba tribal ways, and it only increased with further changes calling for the abandonment of Tuoba dress and names. Eventually, under the leadership of Gao Huan (a Chinese general who was Tuoba in his ways and "outlook"), the sinicization-dissenting 'northern garrisons' mutinied and captured Luoyang in 534. "At three days' notice its inhabitants were required to accompany Gao Huan to his own base, the city of Ye...where he declared himself the first Eastern Wei emperor." "During most of the sixth century Ho-pei [Hebei] [was] the heart of an independent state with its capital at Yeh [Ye]...." It remained the capital of the Eastern Wei dynasty and the Northern Qi Dynasty until it was razed to the ground in 580, after Yang Jian, founder of the Sui Dynasty, defeated a resistance force led by Yuchi Jiong, which used Ye as a base of operations.

Some scholars, such as Ku Chi-kuang believed that Hebei and the region continued to harbour separatist sympathies into the Tang Dynasty; it was the region from which An Lushan launched his rebellion during the reign of the Tang Emperor Xuanzong.

Extensive excavations of the city have been made in recent years, allowing Chinese historians to make detailed plans of the site. In 2012, archaeologists unearthed nearly 3,000 Buddha statues during a dig outside Ye. Most of the statues are made of white marble and limestone, and could date back to the Eastern Wei and Northern Qi dynasties (534-577 CE).A community of merchant Sogdians resided in Northern Qi era Ye.

Yuan Hong

Yuan Hong is the name of:

Yuan Hong (Jin dynasty) (328–376), Jin dynasty scholar-official and historian

Emperor Xiaowen of Northern Wei (467–499), Northern Wei emperor known as Yuan Hong after 496

Yuan Hong (actor) (born 1982), Chinese actor

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