The Northern Qi (), also called Later Qi and Gao Qi, was one of the in imperial Chinese history and ruled northeastern China from 550 to 577. The dynasty was founded by , and it was ended following attacks from .


Northern Qi was the successor state of the Chinese state of and was founded by . Emperor Wenxuan had an father (specially, he is a Xianbei in cultural conception), and a Xianbei mother, . As Eastern Wei's powerful minister Gao Huan was succeeded by his sons and Gao Yang, who took the throne from in 550 and established Northern Qi as Emperor Wenxuan. Northern Qi was the strongest state out of the three main states (the other two being state and ) in China when Chen was established. Northern Qi however was plagued by violence and/or incompetent emperors (in particular ), corrupt officials, and deteriorating armies. In 571, an important official who guide the emperors and Houzhu, , was killed. Houzhu attempted to strengthen the power of throne, instead he triggered a series of purges that became violent in late 573. In 577, Northern Qi was assaulted by Northern Zhou, a northwestern kingdom with poorer resources. The Northern Qi, with ineffective leadership, quickly disintegrated within a month, with large scale defections of court and military personnel. Both Houzhu and the last emperor were captured, and both died in late 577. Emperor Wenxuan's son , the Prince of Fanyang, under protection by , later declared himself the emperor of Northern Qi in exile, but was turned over by Tujue to in 580 and exiled to modern . It is a matter of dispute whether Gao Shaoyi should properly be considered a Northern Qi emperor, but in any case the year 577 is generally considered by historians as the ending date for Northern Qi.


Emperors family tree

Northern Qi arts

Northern Qi ceramics mark a revival of Chinese ceramic art, following the disastrous invasions and the social chaos of the 4th century.''The arts of China'' by Michael Sullivan p.19''ff''
/ref> Northern Qi tombs have revealed some beautiful artifacts, such as porcelain with splashed green designs, previously thought to have been developed under the . Markedly unique from earlier depictions of the Buddha, Northern Qi statues tend to be smaller, around three feet tall, and columnar in shape. A jar has been found in a Northern Qi tomb, which was closed in 576, and is considered as a precursor of the Tang style of ceramics. Also, brown glazed wares designed with -style figures have been found in these tombs. These works suggest a strong cosmopolitanism and intense exchanges with , which are also visible in metalworks and relief sculptures across China during this period. Cosmopolitanism was therefore already current during the Northern Qi period in the 6th century, even before the advent of the notoriously cosmopolitan Tang dynasty, and was often associated with .


The Northern Qi, although founded by a ruler of mixed / origin, strongly asserted their Xianbei ethnic cultural identity. They regarded surviving ethnic (themselves also Xianbei) and non-Han of the court and as well as literati of all ethnicities as near Han, referring to them as Han'er or Han kids (漢兒). However they employed Han and sometimes Central Asian courtiers. While some Qi elite families had expressed strongly anti-Han sentiments due to unclear reasons, they may also lay claim to Han elite origin. Emperor Wenxuan's father Gao Huan himself, who was reported as having said to his soldiers in the Xianbei language: "You guys are our proud military men and the lowly Han are just your working slaves", was descended from the Chinese Gao family of Bohai (高氏) in what is now modern . He had become Xianbeified as his family had lived for some time in Inner Mongolia after his grandfather was relocated from Bohai.


A Chinese scholar translated the Buddhist text text into a Turkic language during this era. Some influences that went into previous states continued onto the state of Northern Qi court, such as the love for Persian dogs (sacred in Zoroastrianism) as they were taken as pets by nobles and eunuchs. The Chinese utilized a number of Persian artifacts and products.

Northern Qi Great Wall

Faced with the threat of the Göktürks from the north, from 552 to 556 the Qi built up to 3,000 li (about 1,600 kilometres (990 mi)) of wall from Shanxi to the sea at Shanhai Pass. In 552, the Great Wall was built, starting at the northwest frontier, starting from Lishi (离石) and expanding towards west Shuoxian (朔县), with total length of over 400 kilometers. In 555, commanded to repair and rebuild the existing . Over the course of the year 555 alone, 1.8 million men were mobilized to build the Juyong Pass and extend its wall by 450 kilometres (280 mi) through Datong to the eastern banks of the Yellow River. In 557 a secondary wall was built inside the main one, starting from east of Pianguan (偏关), passing , Pingxing (平型) Pass, and continuing to Xiaguan (下关) in Shanxi Province. In 563, built a section of frontier wall along the on the border of Shanxi and Hebei provinces. These walls were built quickly from local earth and stones or formed by natural barriers. Two stretches of the stone-and-earth Qi wall still stand in Shanxi today, measuring 3.3 metres (11 ft) wide at their bases and 3.5 metres (11 ft) high on average. In 577 the Northern Zhou conquered the Northern Qi and in 580 made repairs to the existing Qi walls. The route of the Qi and Zhou walls would be mostly followed by the later west of Gubeikou.

See also






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External links

* {{DEFAULTSORT:Qi 6th-century disestablishments in China