Wei (/w/), known in historiography as the Western Wei (Chinese: 西魏; pinyin: Xī Wèi), was an imperial dynasty of China that followed the disintegration of the Northern Wei. One of the Northern dynasties during the era of the Northern and Southern dynasties, it ruled the western part of northern China from 535 to 557. As with the Northern Wei dynasty that preceded it, the ruling family of the Western Wei were members of the Tuoba clan of the Xianbei.

Western Wei and neighbors
Western Wei and neighbors
• 535–551
Emperor Wen of Western Wei
• 552–554
Emperor Fei of Western Wei
• 554–557
Emperor Gong of Western Wei
Historical eraSouthern and Northern Dynasties
• Establishment of Eastern Wei, start of division of Northern Wei
8 November 534[2]
• Emperor Wen's ascension, often viewed as establishment
18 February 535[1] 535
• Disestablished
14 February 557[3] 557
CurrencyChinese coin,
Chinese cash
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Northern Wei
Liang Dynasty
Northern Zhou
Today part ofChina

History Edit

After the Xianbei general Yuwen Tai killed the Northern Wei emperor Yuan Xiu, he installed Yuan Baoju as emperor of Western Wei while Yuwen Tai would remain as the virtual ruler. Although smaller than the Eastern Wei in territory and population, Western Wei was able to withstand the attacks from the eastern empire, most notably at the Battle of Shayuan in 537. Due to its better economical conditions, Western Wei was even able to conquer the whole western part of the Liang empire in the south and occupied the territory of modern Sichuan. In 557 Yuwen Tai's nephew Yuwen Hu deposed Emperor Gong and placed Yuwen Tai's son Yuwen Jue on the throne, ending Western Wei and establishing Northern Zhou.

Religion and art Edit

Buddhism and Buddhist art flourished under the Western Wei, even though the dynasty along lasted twenty-two years. Western Wei caves opened at Dunhuang and Maijishan.[4]

Rulers Edit

Posthumous Name Personal Name Period of Reign Era Name
Emperor Wen of Western Wei Yuan Baoju 535–551 Datong (大統) 535–551
Emperor Fei of Western Wei Yuan Qin 551–554
Emperor Gong of Western Wei Tuoba Kuo 554–557

See also Edit

References Edit

Citations Edit

  1. ^ Zizhi Tongjian, vol. 157.
  2. ^ Zizhi Tongjian, vol. 156.
  3. ^ Zizhi Tongjian, vol. 166.
  4. ^ Juliano, Annette L. (2007). Buddhist Sculpture from China: Selections from the Xi'an Beilin Museum : Fifth Through Ninth Centuries. China Institute Gallery. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-9774054-2-8. Although Western Wei lasted only twenty-two years, and Northern Zhou just twenty-four years, Buddhism and Buddhist art flourished during these two regimes. Western Wei and Northern Zhou caves opened at Dunhuang , Maijishan...

Sources Edit