The Liang dynasty (Chinese: 梁朝; pinyin: Liáng cháo) (502–557), also known as the Southern Liang dynasty (南梁), was the third of the Southern Dynasties during China's Southern and Northern Dynasties period. It was located in East China and South China, and replaced by the Chen dynasty in 557. The small rump state Western Liang (555–587), located in Central China, continued until its annexation in 587.
Liang with West Wei and East Wei
|Capital||Jiankang (502–552, 555–557)|
|Emperor Wu of Liang|
|Emperor Jianwen of Liang|
|Emperor Yuan of Liang|
|Emperor Jing of Liang|
|30 April 502|
|24 April 549|
|7 January 555|
|16 November 557|
|16 November 557|
|Currency||Chinese cash coins|
(Taiqing Fengle cash coins)
|Today part of|
|Posthumous Name||Family name and given names||Period of Reigns||Era names and their according range of years|
|Convention: Liang + posthumous name|
|Emperor Wu of Liang - Wu Di
||Xiao Yan (蕭衍 Xiāo Yǎn)||502-549||Tianjian (天監 tiān-jiān) 502-519|
Putong (普通 pǔ-tōng) 520-527
Datong (大通 dà-tōng) 527-529
Zhongdatong (中大通 zhōng-dà-tōng) 529-534
Datong (大同 dà-tóng) 535-546
Zhongdatong (中大同 zhōng-dà-tóng) 546-547
Taiqing (太清 tài-qīng) 547-549
|Emperor Jianwen of Liang - Jianwen Di
||Xiao Gang (蕭綱 xiāo gāng)||549-551||Dabao (大寶 dà bǎo) 550-551|
|Prince of Yuzhang - Yu Zhang Wang
||蕭棟 xiāo dòng||551-552||Tianzheng (天正 tiān zhèng) 551-552|
|Emperor Yuan of Liang - Yuan Di
||蕭繹 xiāo yì||552-555||Chengsheng (承聖 chéng shèng) 552-555|
|Marquess of Zhenyang - Zhen Yang Hou
||蕭淵明 xiāo yuān míng||555||Tiancheng (天成 tiān chéng) 555|
|Emperor Jing of Liang - Jing Di
||蕭方智 xiāo fāng zhì||555-557||Shaotai (紹泰 shào tài) 555-556|
Taiping (太平 tài píng) 556-557
|Liang dynasty and Western Liang|
- Liang emperors
Western Liang emperors-
- Liang throne pretenders
Tombs of a number of members of the ruling Xiao family, with their sculptural ensembles, in various states of preservation, are located near Nanjing. The best surviving example of the Liang dynasty's monumental statuary is perhaps the ensemble of the Tomb of Xiao Xiu (475–518), a brother of Emperor Wu, located in Qixia District east of Nanjing.
Media related to Liang Dynasty at Wikimedia CommonsEmperor Jianwen of Liang
Emperor Jianwen of Liang (梁簡文帝) (2 December 503 – 551), personal name Xiao Gang (蕭綱), courtesy name Shizuan (世纘), nickname Liutong (六通), was an emperor of the Chinese Liang Dynasty. He was initially not the crown prince of his father Emperor Wu, the founder of the dynasty, but became the crown prince in 531 after his older brother Xiao Tong died. In 549, the rebellious general Hou Jing captured the capital Jiankang, and Hou subsequently held both Emperor Wu and Crown Prince Gang under his power, having Crown Prince Gang take the throne (as Emperor Jianwen) after Emperor Wu's death later that year. During Emperor Jianwen's reign, he was almost completely under Hou's control, and in 551, Hou, planning to take the throne himself, first forced Emperor Jianwen to yield the throne to his grandnephew Xiao Dong the Prince of Yuzhang, and then sent messengers to suffocate the former emperor.Emperor Wen of Chen
Emperor Wen of Chen (陳文帝) (522–566), personal name Chen Qian (陳蒨), courtesy name Zihua (子華), was an emperor of the Chinese Chen Dynasty. He was the nephew of the founding emperor, Emperor Wu (Chen Baxian), and after Emperor Wu's death in 559, the officials supported him to be emperor since Emperor Wu's only surviving son, Chen Chang, was detained by rival Northern Zhou. At the time he took the throne, Chen had been devastated by war during the preceding Liang Dynasty, and many provinces nominally loyal to him were under control of relatively independent warlords. During his reign, he consolidated the state against warlords, and he also seized territory belonging to claimants to the Liang throne, Xiao Zhuang and Emperor Xuan of Western Liang, greatly expanding Chen's territory and strength.Emperor Wu of Chen
Emperor Wu of Chen (陳武帝) (503–559), personal name Chen Baxian (陳霸先), courtesy name Xingguo (興國), nickname Fasheng (法生), was the first emperor of the Chen dynasty of China. He first distinguished himself as a Liang dynasty general during the campaign against the rebel general Hou Jing, and he was progressively promoted. In 555, he seized power after a coup against his superior, the general Wang Sengbian, and in 557 he forced Emperor Jing to yield the throne to him, establishing the Chen dynasty. He died in 559, and as his only surviving son Chen Chang was held by Northern Zhou as a hostage, he was succeeded by his nephew Chen Qian (Emperor Wen).Emperor Wu of Liang
Emperor Wu of Liang (梁武帝) (464–549), personal name Xiao Yan (蕭衍), courtesy name Shuda (叔達), nickname Lian'er (練兒), was the founding emperor of the Liang Dynasty of Chinese history. His reign, until the end, was one of the most stable and prosperous during the Southern Dynasties. He came from the same family that ruled Southern Qi, but from a different branch.
Emperor Wu created universities and extending the Confucian civil service exams, demanding that sons of nobles study. He was well read himself and wrote poetry and patronized the arts. Although for governmental affairs he was Confucian in values, he embraced Buddhism as well. He himself was attracted to many Indian traditions. He banned the sacrifice of animals and was against execution. It was said that he received the Buddhist precepts during his reign, earning him the nickname The Bodhisattva Emperor. The Emperor is the namesake of the Emperor Liang Jeweled Repentance (梁皇寳懺), a widely read and major Buddhist text in China and Korea.
At the end of his reign, his overly lenient attitude on his clan's and officials' corruption and lack of dedication to the state came at a heavy price; when the general Hou Jing rebelled, few came to his aid, and Hou captured the capital Jiankang, holding Emperor Wu and his successor Emperor Jianwen under close control and plunging the entire Liang state into anarchy. Emperor Liang himself died while under house arrest, with some historians believing that Hou starved him to death.Emperor Yuan of Liang
Emperor Yuan of Liang (Chinese: 梁元帝; pinyin: Liáng Yuándì) (16 September 508 – 27 January 555), personal name Xiao Yi (蕭繹), courtesy name Shicheng (世誠), nickname Qifu (七符), was an emperor of the Chinese Liang Dynasty. After his father Emperor Wu and brother Emperor Jianwen were successively taken hostage and controlled by the rebel general Hou Jing, Xiao Yi was largely viewed as the de facto leader of Liang, and after defeating Hou in 552 declared himself emperor. In 554, after offending Yuwen Tai, the paramount general of rival Western Wei, Western Wei forces descended on and captured his capital Jiangling (江陵, in modern Jingzhou, Hubei), executing him and instead declaring his nephew Xiao Cha (Emperor Xuan) the Emperor of Liang.
Emperor Yuan was a renowned writer and collector of ancient books, but was criticized by historians for concentrating on eliminating potential contenders for the throne rather than on fighting Hou Jing. As Jiangling was besieged by Western Wei troops, Emperor Yuan set his collection of more than 140,000 volumes of ancient books on fire, and this is commonly considered as one of the greatest disasters for the study of ancient works in Chinese history.Former Liang
The Former Liang (Chinese: 前涼; pinyin: Qián Liáng; 320–376) was a state of the Sixteen Kingdoms during the Jin dynasty (265–420) in China. It was founded by the Zhang family of the Han Chinese. Its territories included present-day Gansu and parts of Ningxia, Shaanxi, Qinghai and Xinjiang.
All rulers of the Former Liang remained largely titularly under the court of the Jin dynasty as the Duke of Xiping except Zhang Zuo who proclaimed himself wang (prince/king). However, at times the other Former Liang rulers also used the wang title when imposed on them when they were forced to submit to Han Zhao, Later Zhao, or Former Qin.
In 327, the Gaochang commandery was created by the Former Liang under the Han Chinese ruler Zhang Gui. After this, significant Han Chinese settlement occurred in Gaochang, a major, large part of the population becoming Chinese. In 383 The General Lu Guang of the Former Qin seized control of the region.History of the Southern Dynasties
The History of the Southern Dynasties (Nánshǐ) is one of the official Chinese historical works in the Twenty-Four Histories canon. It contain 80 volumes and covers the period from 420 to 589, the histories of Liu Song, Southern Qi, Liang dynasty, and Chen dynasty. Like the History of the Northern Dynasties, the book was started by Li Dashi. Following his death, Li Yanshou (李延壽), son of Li Dashi completed the work on the book between 643 and 659. As a historian, Li Yanshou also took part of some of the compilation during the early Tang dynasty. Unlike the many other contemporary historical texts, the book was not commissioned by the state.Later Liang
Later Liang may refer to the following states in Chinese history:
Later Liang (Sixteen Kingdoms) (後涼; 386–403), one of the Sixteen Kingdoms
Western Liang (555–587), also known as Later Liang (後梁), a state during the Southern and Northern Dynasties period
Later Liang (Five Dynasties) (後梁; 907–923), a state during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms periodShen Yue
Shen Yue (traditional Chinese: 沈約; simplified Chinese: 沈约; 441–513), courtesy name Xiuwen (休文), was a poet, statesman, and historian born in Huzhou, Zhejiang. He served emperors under the Liu Song Dynasty, the Southern Qi Dynasty, and the Liang Dynasty.
He was a prominent scholar of the Liang Dynasty and the author of the Book of Song, an historical work covering the history of the previous Liu Song Dynasty. He is probably best known as the originator of the first deliberately applied rules of tonal euphony (so called "four tones and eight defects" 四聲八病) in the history of Chinese prosody. He was also the leading scholar on the musical practices of his time and author of the essays on qilin and omenology.Southern Qi
The Southern Qi (simplified Chinese: 南齐; traditional Chinese: 南齊; pinyin: Nán Qí) (479-502) was the second of the Southern dynasties in China, followed by the Liang Dynasty. During its 23-year history, the dynasty was largely filled with instability, as after the death of the capable Emperor Gao and Emperor Wu, Emperor Wu's grandson Xiao Zhaoye was assassinated by Emperor Wu's intelligent but cruel and suspicious cousin Xiao Luan, who took over as Emperor Ming, and proceeded to carry out massive executions of Emperor Gao's and Emperor Wu's sons and grandsons, as well as officials whom he suspected of plotting against him. The arbitrariness of these executions was exacerbated after Emperor Ming was succeeded by his son Xiao Baojuan, whose actions drew multiple rebellions, the last of which, by the general Xiao Yan led to Southern Qi's fall and succession by Xiao Yan's Liang Dynasty.Western Liang (555–587)
The Liang (555–587), later called the Western Liang (西梁) or Later Liang (後梁) to distinguish it from the Liang dynasty (502–557), was a small puppet state during the Northern and Southern dynasties period, located in the middle Yangtze region in today's central Hubei province. From 555 to 557 it was subservient to the Western Wei, from 557 to 581 to the Northern Zhou (which replaced Western Wei), and from 581 to 587 to the Sui dynasty (which replaced Northern Zhou) before the Sui annexed it.
The Western Liang's founding emperor Xiao Cha was a grandson of the Liang dynasty founder Emperor Wu of Liang, as a result Western Liang is usually considered a rump state of the Liang dynasty after 557. From 555 to 557 the two states existed simultaneously: Xiao Cha ruled from Jiangling, while the Liang dynasty emperors Xiao Yuanming and Xiao Fangzhi ruled from Jiankang. Before 555, Emperor Yuan of Liang also ruled from Jiangling before he was captured and executed by Xiao Cha and his Western Wei backers, but he is considered a Liang dynasty emperor rather than a Western Liang emperor because, among other things, he (at least nominally) controlled a much larger territory.
The Western Liang had 3 emperors, Xiao Cha (Emperor Xuan), Xiao Kui (Emperor Ming), and Xiao Cong (Emperor Jing). From 617 to 621, Xiao Cha's great-grandson Xiao Xian occupied the former Western Liang territory (and more) and proclaimed himself King of Liang, but his short-lived state is usually considered separate.Xiao Cha
Emperor Xuan of (Western) Liang ((西)梁宣帝; 519–562), personal name Xiao Cha (蕭詧), courtesy name Lisun (理孫), was the founding emperor of the Chinese Western Liang dynasty. He took the Liang throne under support from Western Wei after Western Wei forces had defeated and killed his uncle Emperor Yuan in 554, but many traditional historians, because he controlled little territory and relied heavily on military support by Western Wei and Western Wei's successor state Northern Zhou, did not consider him and his successors true emperors of Liang. Instead, their state is traditionally considered separate, as Western Wei (or Later Wei).Xiao Cong
Emperor Jing of (Western) Liang ((西)梁靖帝, as later honored by Xiao Xi in 617), personal name Xiao Cong (蕭琮), courtesy name Wenwen (溫文), known during the Sui dynasty as the Duke of Ju (莒公) then Duke of Liang (梁公), was the final emperor of the Chinese Western Liang dynasty. He died at an unknown date after 607, by which time he was at least into middle age. Both he and his father Emperor Ming heavily relied on the military support of the Sui. In 587, after Emperor Jing's uncle Xiao Yan (蕭巖) and brother Xiao Huan (蕭瓛), surrendered to Chen Dynasty after suspecting Sui intentions, Emperor Wen of Sui abolished Western Liang, seized the Western Liang territory, and made Emperor Jing one of his officials, ending Western Liang.Xiao Dong
Xiao Dong (Chinese: 蕭棟; died 552), courtesy name Yuanji (元吉), sometimes known by his pre-ascension title of Prince of Yuzhang (豫章王), was briefly an emperor of the Chinese Liang Dynasty. In 551, with the general Hou Jing in control of the imperial government at the capital Jiankang, Hou, wanting to show off his strength, deposed Xiao Dong's granduncle Emperor Jianwen and replaced him with Xiao Dong, the grandson of Emperor Jianwen's older brother Xiao Tong, who was originally the founder Emperor Wu's crown prince.
During his brief reign, Xiao Dong was entirely under Hou's control. Just two and a half months after Xiao Dong became emperor, Hou forced him to yield the throne to himself, who took the throne as the Emperor of Han. In 552, troops under Wang Sengbian, a general loyal to Xiao Dong's granduncle Xiao Yi retook Jiankang, and the general Zhu Maichen (朱買臣), under Xiao Yi's instructions, threw Xiao Dong and his two brothers into the Yangtze River to drown.Xiao Kui
Emperor Ming of (Western) Liang ((西)梁明帝) (542–585), personal name Xiao Kui (蕭巋), courtesy name Renyuan (仁遠), was an emperor of the Chinese Western Liang dynasty. He, like his father Emperor Xuan and his son Emperor Jing, controlled little territory and relied heavily on military support from Northern Zhou and Northern Zhou's successor state Sui dynasty.Xiao Tong
Xiao Tong (traditional Chinese: 蕭統; simplified Chinese: 萧统; pinyin: Xiāo Tǒng; Wade–Giles: Hsiao T'ung, September/October 501 – 30 May 531), courtesy name Deshi (德施), formally Crown Prince Zhaoming (昭明太子, literally "Accomplished and Understanding Crown Prince"), was a Crown Prince of the Chinese Liang Dynasty, posthumously honored as Emperor Zhaoming (昭明皇帝). He was the oldest son of Emperor Wu of Liang, whom he predeceased. Xiao Tong's enduring legacy is the literary compendium Wen Xuan (Literary Anthology).Xiao Yu
Xiao Yu (574–647), courtesy name Shiwen, posthumously known as Duke Zhenbian of Song, was an imperial prince of the Western Liang dynasty who later became an official under the Sui and Tang dynasties. He served as a chancellor during the reigns of the emperors Gaozu and Taizong in the early Tang dynasty.Xiao Yuanming
Xiao Yuanming (蕭淵明) (died 556), courtesy name Jingtong (靖通), often known by his pre-ascension title of Marquess of Zhenyang (貞陽侯), at times known by his post-removal title Duke of Jian'an (建安公), honored Emperor Min (閔皇帝) by Xiao Zhuang, was briefly an emperor of the Chinese Liang Dynasty. He was the nephew of the founding emperor Emperor Wu. In 555, with Liang in disarray after Western Wei had captured and killed Emperor Yuan, Northern Qi, which had held Xiao Yuanming as an honored captive since 547, forced the general Wang Sengbian to accept Xiao Yuanming as emperor. Soon, however, Wang's subordinate Chen Baxian killed Wang and removed Xiao Yuanming from the throne, replacing him with Emperor Yuan's son Xiao Fangzhi (Emperor Jing). Xiao Yuanming died the following year.Yan Zhitui
Yan Zhitui (Chinese: 顏之推; pinyin: Yán Zhītuī; Wade–Giles: Yen2 Chih1-t'ui1, 531–591) was a Chinese calligrapher, painter, musician, writer and politician who served four different Chinese states during the late Southern and Northern Dynasties: the Liang Dynasty in southern China, the Northern Qi and Northern Zhou Dynasties of northern China, and their successor state that reunified China, the Sui Dynasty. Yan Zhitui was a supporter of Buddhism in China despite criticism by many of his Confucian-taught peers. Yan was also the first person in history to mention the use of toilet paper.