Dai Commandery was a commandery (jùn) of the state of Zhao established c. 300 BC and of northern imperial Chinese dynasties until the time of the Wen Emperor of the Sui dynasty (reigned AD 581–604). It occupied lands in what is now Hebei, Shanxi, and Inner Mongolia. Its seat was usually at Dai or Daixian (near present-day Yuzhou in Hebei), although it was moved to Gaoliu (present-day Yanggao in Shanxi) during the Eastern Han.
Dai Commandery was first established around 300 BC during China's Warring States Period by the state of Zhao's King Yong, posthumously known as the Wuling ("Martial-&-Numinous") King. The commandery seat—then known as Dai—was southwest of present-day Yuzhou in Hebei. It was the former capital of the independent state of Dai, which had been conquered by King Yong's ancestors around 476 BC. He created Dai Commandery along with its companion commanderies of Yanmen and Yunzhong to consolidate his conquests from invasions of the Loufan (t 樓煩, s 楼烦, Lóufán) and "forest nomads" (林胡, Línhú) in 306 and 304 BC.
Following the Qin conquest of Zhao, Zhao Jia attempted to regroup at Dai, declaring himself its king. This Kingdom of Dai was ended by Qin in 222 BC, just prior to the declaration of the Qin Empire two years later.
|New Pingshu||新平舒縣||新平舒县||Xīnpíngshū Xiàn|
|East Anyang||東安陽縣||东安阳县||Dōng'ānyáng Xiàn|
Western Han EmpireEdit
Under the Han, Dai Prefecture formed part of the province of Bingzhou and oversaw 18 counties, both within and beyond the Great Wall. Along with Yunzhong and Yanmen, it also formed part of the Principality of Dai, used as an imperial appanage. The Book of Han records Dai Commandery having 278,754 people living in 56,771 households. The Han administration kept the seat at Daixian near present-day Yuzhou and continued the Qin-era counties (renaming "New Pingshu County" to simply "Pingshu County"), with the addition of:
|Additional Han-era counties|
Eastern Han EmpireEdit
Separate from these, Tuoba Yilu was declared "Duke of Dai" (代公) by the Jin in AD 310 and (vassal) "King of Dai" by the same court in 315. This Xianbei Kingdom of Dai lasted until 376, and its dynasts were responsible for the later state of Northern Wei. It held some lands in northern Shanxi and Hebei but was mostly to their north in what is now Inner Mongolia, with their capital at Shengle (northwest of present-day Horinger).
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