History Files
 

Far East Kingdoms

China

 

Northern Zhou (Chou) Kingdom (Northern & Southern Dynasties China)
AD 557 - 581

The 'Northern & Southern Dynasties' period of Chinese history saw the continuance of a chaotic period of internecine warfare. Restored to unity following the bitter, highly destructive wars of the 'Three Kingdoms' period, China almost immediately fractured again at the start of the 'Sixteen Kingdoms' period. Much of the conflict took place in the north, above the line of the Yangtze, and between various Chinese states and barbarian states. Towards the end of this period it became harder to tell the difference between Chinese and barbarian as the Northern Wei managed to secure control of the entire north. This triggered the start of the 'Northern & Southern Dynasties' period, which saw further warfare and fracturing.

Several regional kingdoms rose and fell, and each fought the other for power and territory. This process continued to permit various barbarian empires also to rise and fall along China's western borders. To the north-west this included the Rouran khaganate, which governed much of Mongolia until the middle of the sixth century AD.

 

Northern & Southern Dynasties / Six Dynasties

(Information by Peter Kessler, with additional information from The Origin of the Turks and the Turkish Khanate, Gao Yang (Tenth Türk Tarih Kongresi, Ankara 1986), from The Turks in World History, Carter Vaughin Findley (Oxford University Press 2005), from The Origins of Northern China's Ethnicities, Zhu Xueyuan (Beijing 2004), from Ethnogenesis in the tribal zone: The Shaping of the Turks, Peter Benjamin Golden (2005), and from External Links: China between empires: the northern and southern dynasties (Internet Archive), and Zizhi Tongjian: Comprehensive mirror to aid in government (ChinaKnowledge.de).)

? - 578

Wu

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577

Northern Zhou conquers Northern Qi and restores northern China as a single political entity for the first time since the Northern Wei.

578 - 581

Yu-wen Bin

x

578 - 581

Yang Jian becomes regent to the infant emperor, his own grandson. A crushing military victory over the kingdom's opponents persuades him to seize the Zhou throne, immediately have scores of Zhou princes murdered, and rename the state after his former title as duke of Sui, giving rise to the Sui dynasty.