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Chinese History - Empire of Dai 代 (315-376)

Periods of Chinese History
The empire of Dai 代 (315-376) was the precursor to the Northern Wei empire 北魏 (386-534). It was founded by Tuoba Shiyijian 拓跋什翼犍 who belonged to the people of the Taɣbač (Chinese transcription: Tuoba 拓跋) who belonged to the proto-Mongolian Xianbei 鮮卑. The empire of Dai is not counted among the Sixteen Barbarian States 五胡十六國 (300~430) that dominated northern China during the early Southern and Northern Dynasties period 南北朝 (300~600). The empire of Dai covered the region between the northern tip of the great Yellow River Bend and the Gobi desert as well as parts of the modern provinces of Shanxi and Hebei and of Inner Mongolia. The capital was Shengle 盛樂 (near modern Helingeer 和林格爾, Inner Mongolia).
The first historically attested chieftain of the Taɣbač was Tuoba Liwei 拓跋力微 who reigned over a people of pastoral nomads that roamed the region of Yunzhong 雲中 (modern Inner Mongolia). It seems to have been Liwei who united the various tribes in a federation. In 295 his son Tuoba Luguan 拓跋祿官 divided the Taɣbač into an eastern, western and central wing, according to the custom of the steppe federation of the Xiongnu 匈奴. Luguan himself as the Great Chieftain (daqiu 大酋) resided in Shanggu 上谷 (modern Huailai 懷來, Hebei) and commanded the Eastern Wing. Tuoba Yilu 拓跋猗盧 resided near Shengle and commanded the Western Wing. Tuoba Yiyi 拓跋猗㐌 reided in Canhepo 參合陂 (Yanggao 陽高, Shanxi) and commanded the Central Wing. After the death of his brothers, Tuoba Yilu became the sole ruler of the Taɣbač in 307. The regional inspector (cishi 刺史) of Bingzhou 幷州 (modern Shanxi), Liu Kun 劉琨, suggested to the court of the Jin dynasty 晉 (265-420) to enfeoff Tuoba Yili as Duke of Dai. In such a position he would be able to contribute troops for the war against the barbarian leaders Liu Cong 劉聰 (see Former Zhao 前趙, 304-329) and Shi Le 石勒 (see Later Zhao 後趙, 319-350). This happened in 310. Five years later Tuoba Yili was promoted to King of Dai. He was succeeded by Tuoba Shiyijian. Shiyijian enriched the system of military followership by a central government with state offcials like used in China. He had also written down the administratived and penal law codex. Shengle became the permanent capital of his state from 340 on. The population of the empire of Dai was divided into the Taɣbač and the Chinese peasants who were differently administered. In 376 Fu Jian 苻堅 (r. 357-384), ruler of the Former Qin empire 前秦 (351-395), defeated Shiyijian in battle. The troops of Dai disintegrated, and the King was killed by his own son Tuoba Shijun 拓跋寔君. Only a decade later, in 386, Tuoba Gui 拓跋珪 revived the kingdom of Dai and called it Wei 魏 a year later. This is the Northern Wei dynasty (q.v.).


Rulers of Dai 代 (315-376)
Capital: Shengle 盛樂 (near modern Helingeer 和林格爾/Inner Mongolia)
Ethnicity: Xianbei 鮮卑, clan or subtribe Tuoba 拓跋
dynastic title {temple name}
-----reign periods
personal name
Predynastic chieftains (called tuoba 托跋 "rulers of the earth")
A minor son of Chang Yi (Changyi) 昌意, son of the Yellow Emperor (Huangdi 黃帝), is enfeoffed with the northern part of the world
67 generations...
Beiwei Chengdi 成帝Tuoba Mao 拓跋毛
Beiwei Jiedi 北魏節皇帝
Tuoba Dai 拓跋貸
Beiwei Zhuangdi 北魏莊皇帝
Tuoba Guan 拓跋觀
Beiwei Mingdi 北魏明皇帝
Tuoba Lou 拓跋樓
Beiwei Andi 北魏安皇帝
Tuoba Yue 拓跋越
Beiwei Xuandi 北魏宣皇帝
Tuoba Tuiyin 拓跋推寅
Beiwei Jingdi 北魏景皇帝
Tuoba Li 拓跋利
Beiwei Yuandi 北魏元皇帝
Tuoba Si 拓跋俟
Beiwei Hedi 北魏和皇帝
Tuoba Si 拓跋肆
Beiwei Dingdi 北魏定皇帝
Tuoba Ji 拓跋機
Beiwei Xidi 北魏僖皇帝
Tuoba Gai 拓跋蓋
Beiwei Weidi 北魏威皇帝
Tuoba Kuai 拓跋儈
Beiwei Xiandi 北魏獻皇帝
Tuoba Lin 拓跋鄰
Beiwei Shengwudi 聖武帝Tuoba Jiefen 拓跋詰汾
Beiwei Shenyuandi 北魏神元帝 {Shizu 始祖} (58 years)
Tuoba Liwei 拓跋力微
Beiwei Wendi 北魏文帝Tuoba Shamohan 拓跋沙漠汗
Beiwei Zhangdi 北魏章帝 (9 years)Tuoba Xilu 拓跋悉鹿
Beiwei Pingdi 北魏平帝 (7 years)Tuoba Chuo 拓跋綽
Beiwei Sidi 北魏思帝 (1 year)Tuoba Fu 拓跋弗
Beiwei Zhaodi 北魏昭帝 r. 291-304Tuoba Luguan 拓跋祿官
Beiwei Huandi 北魏桓帝 r. 291-303Tuoba Yiyi 拓跋猗㐌
Beiwei Mudi 北魏穆帝 r. 315-337
322 Enfeoffed as King of Dai 代
Tuoba Yilu 拓跋猗盧
Beiwei Pingwendi 北魏平文帝 r. 317-321Tuoba Yulü 拓跋鬱律
Beiwei Huidi 北魏惠帝 r. 321-325Tuoba Heru 拓跋賀傉
Beiwei Shangdi 北魏煬帝 r. 325-329 Tuoba Gena 拓跋紇那
Beiwei Liedi 北魏烈帝 r. 329-335 Tuoba Yikuai 拓跋翳槐
Beiwei Shangdi (2nd time) r. 335-337
Beiwei Liedi (2nd time) r. 337-338
Beiwei Zhaochengdi 北魏昭成帝 r. 338-376
-----Jianguo 建國 338-376
Tuoba Shiyijian 拓跋什翼犍
376 Conquered by Former Qin 前秦.

Sources: Lu Kaiwan 盧開萬 (1992), "Dai 代", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Zhongguo lishi 中國歷史 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), Vol. 1, p. 151. ● Zhongguo lishi da cidian bianzuan weiyuanhui 中國歷史大辭典編纂委員會 (ed. 2000), Zhongguo lishi da cidian 中國歷史大辭典 (Shanghai: Shanghai cishu chubanshe), Vol. 2, pp. 3319, 3321.

October 30, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail

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