The Info List - Northern Zhou

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The Northern Zhou
Northern Zhou
(/dʒoʊ/;[4] Chinese: 北周; pinyin: Bĕi Zhōu) followed the Western Wei, and ruled northern China
from 557 to 581 AD. The last of the Northern Dynasties of China's Northern and Southern dynasties period, it was eventually overthrown by the Sui Dynasty. Like the preceding Western and Northern Wei
Northern Wei
dynasties, the Northern Zhou were members of the Tuoba
clan of the Xianbei. The Northern Zhou's basis of power was established by Yuwen Tai, who was paramount general of Western Wei, following the split of Northern Wei into Western Wei
Western Wei
and Eastern Wei
Eastern Wei
in 535. After Yuwen Tai's death in 556, Yuwen Tai's nephew Yuwen Hu forced Emperor Gong of Western Wei to yield the throne to Yuwen Tai's son Yuwen Jue (Emperor Xiaomin), establishing Northern Zhou. The reigns of the first three emperors (Yuwen Tai's sons) – Emperor Xiaomin, Emperor Ming, and Emperor Wu were dominated by Yuwen Hu, until Emperor Wu ambushed and killed Yuwen Hu in 572 and assumed power personally. With Emperor Wu as a capable ruler, Northern Zhou
Northern Zhou
destroyed rival Northern Qi
Northern Qi
in 577, taking over Northern Qi's territory. However, Emperor Wu's death in 578 doomed the state, as his son Emperor Xuan was an arbitrary and violent ruler whose unorthodox behavior greatly weakened the state. After his death in 580, when he was already nominally retired (Taishang Huang), Xuan's father-in-law Yang Jian took power, and in 581 seized the throne from Emperor Xuan's son Emperor Jing, establishing Sui. The young Emperor Jing and the imperial Yuwen clan, were subsequently slaughtered by Yang Jian.[5][6] The area was known as Guannei 關內. The Northern Zhou
Northern Zhou
drew upon the Zhou dynasty for inspiration.[7] The Northern Zhou
Northern Zhou
military included Han Chinese.[8]


1 Emperors 2 Emperors family tree 3 See also 4 Notes 5 References


Posthumous Names ( Shi Hao 諡號) Born Names Period of Reigns Era Names ( Nian Hao 年號) and their according range of years

Northern dynasty

Northern Zhou
Northern Zhou
Dynasty 557-581

Convention: Northern Zhou
Northern Zhou
+ posthumous name

Xiao Min Di (孝閔帝 xiào mǐn dì) Yuwen Jue (宇文覺 yǔ wén jué) 557 Did not exist

Ming Di (明帝 míng dì) or Xiao Ming Di (孝明帝 xiào míng dì) Yuwen Yu (宇文毓 yǔ wén yù) 557-560 Wucheng (武成 wǔ chéng) 559-560

Wu Di (武帝 wǔ dì) Yuwen Yong (宇文邕 yǔ wén yōng) 561-578 Baoding (保定 bǎo dìng) 560-565 Tianhe (天和 tiān hé) 566-572 Jiande (建德 jiàn dé) 572-578 Xuanzheng (宣政 xuān zhèng) 578

Xuan Di (宣帝 xuān dì) Yuwen Yun (宇文贇 yǔ wén yūn) 578-579 Dacheng (大成 dà chéng) 579

Jing Di (靜帝 jìng dì) Yuwen Chan (宇文闡 yǔ wén chǎn) 579-581[9] Daxiang (大象 dà xiàng) 579-581 Dading (大定 dà dìng) 581

Emperors family tree[edit]

Northern Zhou
Northern Zhou
emperors family tree

Yuwen Gong 宇文肱 (d.526)

Yuan Huai 元怀 (488-517)

Yuwen Hao 宇文顥 (d. 524)

Yuwen Tai 宇文泰 (507–556)

Princess Fengyi (d. 541)

Emp. Xiaowu of Northern Wei r.532–535

Dugu Xin 獨孤信 504-557

Yuwen Hu 宇文護 (513–572)

Yuwen Xian 宇文憲 545–578

Yuwen Jue 宇文覺 (542–557) Xiaomin (r. 557)1

Yuwen Yong 宇文邕 (543–578) Wu (r. 560–578)3

Yuwen Yu 宇文毓 (534–560) Ming (r. 557–560)2

Empress Dugu 獨孤王后 d.558

Dugu Qieluo 獨孤伽羅 544–602

Emperor Wen of Sui r.581–604

Duchess Dugu

Yuwen Yun 宇文贇 (559–580) Xuan (r. 578–579)4

Yang Lihua 楊麗華 561–609

Sui dynasty

Emperor Gaozu of Tang r.618–626

Yuwen Yan 宇文衍 (573–581) Jing (r. 579–581)5

Tang dynasty

See also[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Northern Zhou.

List of pre-modern great powers


^ Zizhi Tongjian, vol. 167. ^ Zizhi Tongjian, vol. 175. ^ Rein Taagepera "Size and Duration of Empires: Growth-Decline Curves, 600 B.C. to 600 A.D.", Social Science History Vol. 3, 115-138 (1979) ^ "Zhou". Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary. ^ Patricia Buckley Ebrey; Anne Walthall (1 January 2013). East Asia: A Cultural, Social, and Political History. Cengage Learning. pp. 76–. ISBN 1-133-60647-4.  ^ Patricia Buckley Ebrey; Anne Walthall (1 January 2013). Pre-Modern East Asia: A Cultural, Social, and Political History, Volume I: To 1800. Cengage Learning. pp. 76–. ISBN 1-133-60651-2.  ^ Charles Holcombe (2011). A History of East Asia: From the Origins of Civilization to the Twenty-First Century. Cambridge University Press. pp. 97–. ISBN 978-0-521-51595-5.  ^ ARS ORIENTALIS. 1986. p. 42.  ^ In 580, after Emperor Xuan's death, the general Yuchi Jiong, believing that the regent Yang Jian was about to seize the throne, rose against Yang and declared a son of Emperor Wu's brother Yuwen Zhao (宇文招) the Prince of Zhao, whose name is lost to history, emperor, but as Yuchi was soon defeated, and nothing further was known about the emperor that he declared, that son of Yuwen Zhao is usually not considered an emperor of Northern Zhou.


Book of Zhou History of Northern Dynasties Zizhi Tongjian

v t e

Northern and Southern dynasties
Northern and Southern dynasties

Northern dynasties

Northern Wei Eastern Wei Western Wei Northern Qi Northern Zhou

Southern dynasties

Liu Song Southern Qi Liang (W