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The Western Xia
Western Xia
(/ʃjɑː/;[2] Chinese: 西夏; pinyin: Xī Xià; Wade–Giles: Hsi1 Hsia4), also known as the Xi Xia Empire, to the Mongols
Mongols
as the Tangut Empire and to the Tangut people
Tangut people
themselves and to the Tibetans as Mi-nyak,[3] was an empire which existed from 1038 to 1227 in what are now the northwestern Chinese provinces of Ningxia, Gansu, eastern Qinghai, northern Shaanxi, northeastern Xinjiang, southwest Inner Mongolia, and southernmost Outer Mongolia, measuring about 800,000 square kilometres (310,000 square miles).[4][5][6] The early capital was established at Ningxia. By the 12th century Tangut power had shifted to Kharakhoto
Kharakhoto
on the border of Mongolia; with the city's utter destruction in 1227 by the Mongols
Mongols
who founded the Mongol Empire, along with the political entity most of its written records and architecture were destroyed. Therefore, its founders and history remained obscure until 20th-century research in the West and in China. The Western Xia
Western Xia
occupied the area round the Hexi Corridor, a stretch of the Silk Road, the most important trade route between North China and Central Asia. They made significant achievements in literature, art, music, and architecture, which was characterized as "shining and sparkling".[7] Their extensive stance among the other empires of the Liao, Song, and Jin was attributable to their effective military organizations that integrated cavalry, chariots, archery, shields, artillery (cannons carried on the back of camels), and amphibious troops for combat on land and water.[8]

Contents

1 Name 2 History

2.1 Foundations 2.2 Middle period 2.3 Destruction by the Mongols

3 Culture 4 Rulers 5 Gallery 6 See also 7 References

7.1 Citations 7.2 Sources

8 External links

Name[edit] The full title of the Western Xia
Western Xia
as named by their own state is 𗴂𗹭𗂧𘜶 reconstructed as /*phiow¹-bjij²-lhjij-lhjij²/ which translates as "Great State of White and Lofty" (大白高國), also named as 𗴂𗹭𘜶𗴲𗂧 "The Great Xia State of the White and the Lofty" (白高大夏國), or called "mjɨ-njaa" or "khjɨ-dwuu-lhjij" (萬祕國). The region was known to the Tanguts and the Tibetans as Minyak.[3][9] "Western Xia" is the literal translation of the state's Chinese name. It is derived from its location on the western side of the Yellow River, in contrast to the Liao (916–1125) and Jin (1115–1234) dynasties on its east and the Song in the southeast. The English term "Tangut" comes from the Mongolian name for the country, Tangghut (Tangɣud), believed to reflect the same word as "Dangxiang" (traditional Chinese: 党項) found in Chinese literature. History[edit] See also: Timeline of the Tanguts Foundations[edit] Further information: Dingnan Jiedushi, Guiyi Circuit, and Ganzhou Uyghur Kingdom The Tanguts originally came from the Tibet- Qinghai
Qinghai
region, but migrated eastward in the 650s under pressure from the Tibetans. By the time of the An Lushan Rebellion
An Lushan Rebellion
in the 750s they had become the primary local power in the Ordos region
Ordos region
in northern Shaanxi. The Tanguts sometimes fell under direct administration by the Tang dynasty, under which they suffered greatly from the depredations of greedy Tang generals who stole their horses and even sons and daughters for profit. As a result, the Tanguts often cooperated with external powers such as the Uyghurs
Uyghurs
in opposing the Tang. The situation lasted until the 840s when the Tanguts rose in open revolt against the Tang, but the rebellion was suppressed. Eventually the Tang court was able to mollify the Tanguts by admonishing their frontier generals and replacing them with more disciplined ones.[10] In 881 the Tangut general Li Sigong was granted control of the Dingnan Jiedushi, also known as Xiasui, in modern Yulin, Shaanxi
Shaanxi
for assisting the Tang in suppressing the Huang Chao
Huang Chao
Rebellion (874–884). Li Sigong died in 886 and was succeeded by his brother Li Sijian. After the fall of Tang in 907, the rulers of Dingnan were granted honorary titles by the Later Liang. Li Sijian died in 908 and was succeeded by his son Li Yichang, who was murdered by his officer Gao Zongyi in 909. Gao Zongyi was himself murdered by soldiers of Dingnan and was replaced by a relative of Li Yichang, Li Renfu. Dingnan was attacked by Qi and Jin in 910, but was able to repel the invaders with the aid of Later Liang. Li Renfu died in 933 and was succeeded by his son Li Yichao. Under Li Yichao Dingnan successfully repelled an invasion by the Later Tang. Li Yichao died in 935 and was succeeded by his brother Li Yixing. In 944 Li Yixing attacked the Liao dynasty
Liao dynasty
on behalf of the Later Jin. In 948 Li Yixing attacked a neighboring circuit under encouragement from the rebel Li Shouzhen but retreated after Li Shouzhen was defeated. Honorary titles were given out by the Later Han to appease local commanders, including Li Yixing. In 960 Dingnan came under attack by Northern Han
Northern Han
and successfully repelled invading forces. In 962 Li Yixing offered tribute to the Song dynasty. Li Yixing died in 967 and was succeeded by his son Li Kerui. Li Kerui died in 978 and was succeeded by Li Jiyun, who died in 980 and was succeeded by Li Jipeng, who died in 982 and was succeeded by Li Jiqian. Li Jiqian rebelled against the Song dynasty
Song dynasty
in 984, after which Dingnan was recognized as the independent state of Xia. Li Jiqian died in battle in 1004 and was succeeded by his son Li Deming. Under Li Deming, the Xia state defeated the Ganzhou Uyghur Kingdom
Ganzhou Uyghur Kingdom
in 1028 and forced the ruler of the Guiyi Circuit
Guiyi Circuit
to surrender. Li Deming died in 1032 and was succeeded by his son Li Yuanhao. In 1036 the Xia annexed the Guiyi and Ganzhou Uyghur states. In 1038 Li Yuanhao declared himself the first emperor of the Great Xia with his capital at Xingqing in modern Yinchuan. What ensued was a prolonged war with the Song dynasty
Song dynasty
which resulted in several victories. However the victories came at a great cost and the Xia found itself short of manpower and supplies. In 1044 the Xia and Song came to a truce with the Xia recognizing the Song ruler as emperor in return for annual gifts from the Song as recognition of the Tangut state's power. Aside from founding the Western Xia, Li Yuanhao also ordered the creation of a Tangut script
Tangut script
as well as translations of Chinese classics into Tangut. Middle period[edit] After Emperor Jingzong of Western Xia died in 1048, his son Li Liangzuo became Emperor Yizong of Western Xia at the age of two and his mother became the regent. In 1049 the Liao dynasty
Liao dynasty
launched an invasion of Western Xia
Western Xia
and vassalized it. Yizong died in 1067 and his son Li Bingchang became Emperor Huizong of Western Xia at the age of six. Huizong's mother became regent and she invaded the Song dynasty. The invasion ended in failure, and Huizong took back power from his mother. However he died soon after in 1086 and was succeeded by his son Li Qianshun who became Emperor Chongzong of Western Xia at the age of two. After Chongzong became emperor, his grandmother (Huizong's mother) became regent again and launched invasions of the Liao dynasty
Liao dynasty
and the Song dynasty. Both campaigns ended in defeat and Chongzong took direct control of Western Xia. He ended wars with both Liao and Song and focused on domestic reform. In 1115, the Jürchen Jin dynasty defeated the Liao. The Liao emperor fled to Western Xia
Western Xia
in 1123. Chongzong submitted to the Jin demand for the Liao emperor and Western Xia
Western Xia
became a vassal state of Jin. After the Jin dynasty attacked the Song and took parts of the northern territories from them, initiating the Southern Song period, Western Xia also attacked and took several thousands square miles of land. Chongzong died in 1139 and was succeeded by his son Li Renxiao who became Emperor Renzong of Western Xia. Immediately following Renzong's coronation, many natural disasters occurred and Renzong worked to stabilize the economy. Destruction by the Mongols[edit] Main article: Mongol conquest of Western Xia Renzong died in 1193 and his son Li Chunyou became Emperor Huanzong of Western Xia. In the late 1190s and early 1200s, Temujin, soon to be Genghis Khan, began consolidating his power in Mongolia. Between the death of Tooril Khan, leader of the Keraites, until Temujin's Mongol Empire
Mongol Empire
in 1203, the Keraite leader Nilqa Senggum led a small band of followers into Western Xia.[11] However, after his adherents took to plundering the locals, Nilqa Senggum was expelled from Western Xia
Western Xia
territory.[11] Using his rival Nilga Senggum's temporary refuge in Western Xia
Western Xia
as a pretext, Temujin launched a raid against the Western Xia
Western Xia
in 1205 in the Edsin region.[11][12][13] The Mongols
Mongols
plundered border settlements and one local Western Xia
Western Xia
noble accepted Mongol authority.[14] In 1206, Temujin was formally proclaimed Genghis Khan, ruler of all Mongols, marking the official start of the Mongol Empire. In the same year, Huanzong was killed in a coup by his cousin Li Anquan, who installed himself as Emperor Xiangzong of Western Xia. In 1207, Genghis led another raid into Western Xia, invading the Ordos Loop
Ordos Loop
and sacking Wulahai, the main garrison along the Yellow River, before withdrawing in 1208.[13][15] In 1209 Genghis undertook a larger campaign to secure the submission of Western Xia. After defeating a force led by Gao Lianghui outside Wulahai, Genghis captured the city and pushed up along the Yellow River, defeated several cities, and besieged the capital, Yinchuan, which held a well-fortified garrison of 150,000.[16] The Mongols attempted to flood the city by diverting the Yellow River, but the dike they built to accomplish this broke and flooded the Mongol camp.[11] Nevertheless, Xiangzong agreed to submit to Mongol rule, and demonstrated his loyalty by giving a daughter, Chaka, in marriage to Genghis and paying a tribute of camels, falcons, and textiles.[17] After their defeat in 1210, Western Xia
Western Xia
attacked the Jin dynasty in response to their refusal to aid them against the Mongols.[18] The following year, the Mongols
Mongols
joined Western Xia
Western Xia
and began a 23-year-long campaign against Jin. In the same year Xiangzong's nephew Li Zunxu seized power in a coup and became Emperor Shenzong of Western Xia. Xiangzong died a month later. In 1219, Genghis Khan launched his invasion of Khwarezmia and Eastern Iran and requested military aid from Western Xia. However, the emperor and his military commander Asha refused to take part in the campaign, stating that if Genghis had too few troops to attack Khwarazm, then he had no claim to supreme power.[19][20] Infuriated, Genghis swore vengeance and left to invade Khwarazm while Western Xia
Western Xia
attempted to create alliances with the Jin and Song against the Mongols.[21] After defeating Khwarazm in 1221, Genghis prepared his armies to punish Western Xia
Western Xia
for their betrayal. Meanwhile, Shenzong abdicated in 1223 in favor of his son Li Dewang, who became Emperor Xianzong of Western Xia. In 1225, Genghis attacked with a force of approximately 180,000.[22] After taking Khara-Khoto, the Mongols
Mongols
began a steady advance southward. Asha, commander of the Western Xia
Western Xia
troops, could not afford to meet the Mongols
Mongols
as it would involve an exhausting westward march from the capital Yinchuan
Yinchuan
through 500 kilometers of desert, and so the Mongols
Mongols
steadily advanced from city to city.[23] Enraged by Western Xia's fierce resistance, Genghis ordered his generals to systematically destroy cities and garrisons as they went.[19][21][24] Genghis divided his army and sent general Subutai
Subutai
to take care of the westernmost cities, while the main force under Genghis moved east into the heart of the Western Xia
Western Xia
and took Gan Prefecture, which was spared destruction upon its capture due to it being the hometown of Genghis's commander Chagaan.[25] In August 1226, Mongol troops approached Wuwei, the second-largest city of the Western Xia
Western Xia
empire, which surrendered without resistance in order to escape destruction.[26] At this point, Emperor Xianzong died, leaving his relative Emperor Mozhu of Western Xia to deal with the Mongol invasion.[27] In Autumn 1226, Genghis took Liang Prefecture, crossed the Helan Mountains, and in November lay siege to Lingwu, a mere 30 kilometers from Yinchuan.[27][28] Here, at the Battle of the Yellow River, the Mongols
Mongols
destroyed a force of 300,000 Western Xia
Western Xia
that launched a counter-attack against them.[27][29] Genghis reached Yinchuan
Yinchuan
in 1227, laid siege to the city, and launched several offensives into Jin to prevent them from sending reinforcements to Western Xia, with one force reaching as a far as Kaifeng, the Jin capital.[30] Yinchuan
Yinchuan
lay besieged for about six months, after which Genghis opened up peace negotiations while secretly intending to kill the emperor.[31] During the peace negotiations, Genghis continued his military operations around the Liupan mountains near Guyuan, rejected a peace offer from the Jin, and prepared to invade them near their border with the Song.[32][33] However, in August 1227, Genghis died of a historically uncertain cause, and, in order not to jeopardize the ongoing campaign, his death was kept a secret.[34][35] In September 1227, Emperor Mozhu surrendered to the Mongols
Mongols
and was promptly executed.[33][36] The Mongols
Mongols
then pillaged Yinchuan, slaughtered the city's population, plundered the imperial tombs west of the city, and completed the effective annihilation of the Western Xia
Western Xia
state.[21][33][37][38] The destruction of Western Xia
Western Xia
during the second campaign was near total. According to John Man, Western Xia
Western Xia
is little known to anyone other than experts in the field precisely because of Genghis Khan's policy calling for their complete eradication. He states that "There is a case to be made that this was the first ever recorded example of attempted genocide. It was certainly very successful ethnocide."[39] However, some members of the Western Xia
Western Xia
royal clan emigrated to western Sichuan, northern Tibet, even possibly Northeast India, in some instances becoming local rulers.[40] A small Western Xia
Western Xia
state was established in Tibet
Tibet
along the upper reaches of the Yalong River while other Western Xia
Western Xia
populations settled in what are now the modern provinces of Henan
Henan
and Hebei.[41] In China, remnants of the Western Xia persisted into the middle of the Ming dynasty.[42][43] Culture[edit] The kingdom developed a Tangut script
Tangut script
to write its own Tibeto-Burman language.[3][44] Tibetans, Uyghurs, Han Chinese, and Tanguts served as officials in Western Xia.[45] The practice of Tantric Buddhism
Buddhism
in Western Xia
Western Xia
led to the spread of some sexually related customs. Before they could get married to men of their own ethnicity when they reached 30 years old, Uighur women in Shaanxi
Shaanxi
in the 12th century had children after having relations with multiple Han Chinese men, with her desirability as a wife enhancing if she had been with a large number of men.[46][47][48] Rulers[edit] See also: Western Xia
Western Xia
emperors family tree

450 years after the destruction of the Tangut empire, the "Kingdom of Tenduc or Tangut" was still shown on some European maps as China's northwestern neighbor

Temple Name Posthumous Name Personal Name Reign Dates

Jǐngzōng 景宗 Wǔlièdì 武烈帝 Lǐ Yuánhào 李元昊 1038–1048

Yìzōng 毅宗 Zhāoyīngdì 昭英帝 Lǐ Liàngzuò 李諒祚 1048–1067

Huìzōng 惠宗 Kāngjìngdì 康靖帝 Lǐ Bǐngcháng 李秉常[49][50] 1067–1086

Chóngzōng 崇宗 Shèngwéndì 聖文帝 Lǐ Qiánshùn 李乾順[51][52] 1086–1139

Rénzōng 仁宗 Shèngzhēndì 聖禎帝 Lǐ Rénxiào 李仁孝[53] 1139–1193

Huánzōng 桓宗 Zhāojiǎndì 昭簡帝 Lǐ Chúnyòu 李純佑 1193–1206

Xiāngzōng 襄宗 Jìngmùdì 敬穆帝 Lǐ Ānquán 李安全 1206–1211

Shénzōng 神宗 Yīngwéndì 英文帝 Lǐ Zūnxū 李遵頊 1211–1223

Xiànzōng 獻宗 none Lǐ Déwàng 李德旺[54][55][56] 1223–1226

Mòdì 末帝 none Lǐ Xiàn 李晛 1226–1227

Gallery[edit]

A clay head of the Buddha, Western Xia
Western Xia
dynasty, 12th century 

A winged kalavinka made of grey pottery, Western Xia
Western Xia
dynasty 

A painting of the Buddhist manjusri, from the Yulin Caves
Yulin Caves
of Gansu, China, from the Tangut-led Western Xia
Western Xia
dynasty 

Tomb No. 3 of the Western Xia
Western Xia
imperial tombs in Ningxia 

The Xi Xia Bronze Gun is a 108.5kg hand cannon dated to the Western Xia period. Discovered in Gansu
Gansu
Province, 1980. 

Tangut officials 

Tangut printing block 

Tangut movable type print 

See also[edit]

History of Imperial China
Imperial China
portal

Tangut people Tangutology List of Tangut books Eastern Xia History of China Ethnic groups in Chinese history Khara-Khoto One Hundred and Eight Stupas Hongfo Pagoda

References[edit] Citations[edit]

^ Chinaknowledge.de Chinese History - Western Xia
Western Xia
Empire Economy. 2000 ff. © Ulrich Theobald. Retrieved: 13 July 2017. ^ "Xia". Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary. ^ a b c Stein (1972), pp. 70–71. ^ Wang, Tianshun [王天顺] (1993). Xixia zhan shi [The Battle History of Western Xia] 西夏战史. Yinchuan
Yinchuan
[银川], Ningxia
Ningxia
ren min chu ban she [ Ningxia
Ningxia
People's Press] 宁夏人民出版社. ^ Bian, Ren [边人] (2005). Xixia: xiao shi zai li shi ji yi zhong de guo du [Western Xia: the kingdom lost in historical memories] 西夏: 消逝在历史记忆中的国度. Beijing [北京], Wai wen chu ban she [Foreign Language Press] 外文出版社. ^ Li, Fanwen [李范文] (2005). Xixia tong shi [Comprehensive History of Western Xia] 西夏通史. Beijing [北京] and Yinchuan
Yinchuan
[银川], Ren min chu ban she [People's Press] 人民出版社; Ningxia
Ningxia
ren min chu ban she [ Ningxia
Ningxia
People's Press] 宁夏人民出版社. ^ Zhao, Yanlong [赵彦龙] (2005). "Qian tan xi xia gong wen wen feng yu gong wen zai ti [A brief discussion on the writing style in official documents and documental carrier] 浅谈西夏公文文风与公文载体." Xibei min zu yan jiu [Northwest Nationalities Research] 西北民族研究 45(2): 78-84. ^ Qin, Wenzhong [秦文忠], Zhou Haitao [周海涛] and Qin Ling [秦岭] (1998). "Xixia jun shi ti yu yu ke xue ji shu [The military sports, science and technology of West Xia] 西夏军事体育与科学技术." Ningxia
Ningxia
da xue xue bao [Journal of Ningxia
Ningxia
University] 宁夏大学学报 79 (2): 48-50. ^ Dorje (1999), p. 444. ^ Wang 2013, p. 227-228. ^ a b c d May, Timothy (2012). The Mongol Conquests in World History. London: Reaktion Books. p. 1211. ISBN 9781861899712.  ^ C. P. Atwood Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire, p.590 ^ a b de Hartog, Leo (2004). Genghis Khan: Conqueror of the World. New York City: I.B. Tauris. p. 59. ISBN 1860649726.  ^ J. Bor Mongol hiigeed Eurasiin diplomat shashtir, vol.II, p.204 ^ Rossabi, William (2009). Genghis Khan and the Mongol empire. Seattle: University of Washington Press. p. 156. ISBN 9622178359.  ^ Jack Weatherford Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, p.85 ^ Man, John (2004). Genghis Khan: Life, Death, and Resurrection. New York City: St. Martin's Press. p. 133. ISBN 9780312366247.  ^ Kessler, Adam T. (2012). Song Blue and White Porcelain on the Silk Road. Leiden: Brill Publishers. p. 91. ISBN 9789004218598.  ^ a b Kohn, George C. (2007). Dictionary of Wars (3rd ed.). New York City: Infobase Publishing. p. 205. ISBN 9781438129167.  ^ Man, John (2004). Genghis Khan: Life, Death, and Resurrection. New York City: St. Martin's Press. p. 160. ISBN 9780312366247.  ^ a b c Ebrey, Patricia Buckley (2012). East Asia: A Cultural, Social, and Political History (3rd ed.). Stamford, Connecticut: Cengage Learning. p. 199. ISBN 9781133606475.  ^ Emmons, James B. (2012). Li, Xiaobing, ed. Genghis Khan. China at War: An Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. p. 139. ISBN 9781598844153.  ^ Man, John (2004). Genghis Khan: Life, Death, and Resurrection. New York City: St. Martin's Press. p. 212. ISBN 9780312366247.  ^ Mote, Frederick W. (1999). Imperial China: 900-1800. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. pp. 255–256. ISBN 0674012127.  ^ Man, John (2004). Genghis Khan: Life, Death, and Resurrection. New York City: St. Martin's Press. pp. 212–213. ISBN 9780312366247.  ^ Man, John (2004). Genghis Khan: Life, Death, and Resurrection. New York City: St. Martin's Press. p. 213. ISBN 9780312366247.  ^ a b c Man, John (2004). Genghis Khan: Life, Death, and Resurrection. New York City: St. Martin's Press. p. 214. ISBN 9780312366247.  ^ Hartog 2004, pg. 134 ^ Tucker, Spencer C., ed. (2010). A Global Chronology of Conflict: From the Ancient World to the Modern Middle East: From the Ancient World to the Modern Middle East. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. p. 276. ISBN 1851096728.  ^ de Hartog, Leo (2004). Genghis Khan: Conqueror of the World. New York City: I.B. Tauris. p. 135. ISBN 1860649726.  ^ Man, John (2004). Genghis Khan: Life, Death, and Resurrection. New York City: St. Martin's Press. p. 219. ISBN 9780312366247.  ^ Man, John (2004). Genghis Khan: Life, Death, and Resurrection. New York City: St. Martin's Press. pp. 219–220. ISBN 9780312366247.  ^ a b c de Hartog, Leo (2004). Genghis Khan: Conqueror of the World. New York City: I.B. Tauris. p. 137. ISBN 1860649726.  ^ Lange, Brenda (2003). Genghis Khan. New York City: Infobase Publishing. p. 71. ISBN 9780791072226.  ^ Man, John (2004). Genghis Khan: Life, Death, and Resurrection. New York City: St. Martin's Press. p. 238. ISBN 9780312366247.  ^ Sinor, D.; Shimin, Geng; Kychanov, Y. I. (1998). Asimov, M. S.; Bosworth, C. E., eds. The Uighurs, the Kyrgyz and the Tangut (Eighth to the Thirteenth Century). Age of Achievement: A.D. 750 to the End of the Fifteenth Century. 4. Paris: UNESCO. p. 214. ISBN 9231034677.  ^ Mote, Frederick W. (1999). Imperial China: 900-1800. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 256. ISBN 0674012127.  ^ Boland-Crewe, Tara; Lea, David, eds. (2002). The Territories of the People's Republic of China. London: Europa Publications. p. 215. ISBN 9780203403112.  ^ Man, John (2004). Genghis Khan: Life, Death, and Resurrection. New York City: St. Martin's Press. pp. 116–117. ISBN 9780312366247.  ^ Franke, Herbert and Twitchett, Denis, ed. (1995). The Cambridge History of China: Vol. VI: Alien Regimes & Border States, 907–1368. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pg. 214. ^ Mote 1999, pg. 256 ^ Mote, Frederick W. (1999). Imperial China: 900-1800. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. pp. 256–257. ISBN 0674012127.  ^ Frederick W. Mote (2003). Imperial China
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