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Chinese History - Later Liang Dynasty 後涼 (386-403)

Periods of Chinese History
The Later Liang Dynasty Houliang 後涼 (386-403) ruled over one of the so-called 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). It was founded by Lü Guang 呂光 who belonged to the people of the Di 氐. From the capital Guzang 姑臧 (modern Wuwei 武威, Gansu), the dynasty controlled the region of the modern province of Gansu, as well as parts of Ningxia, Qinghai and Xinjiang.
Lü Guang 呂光 was a general of the Former Qin empire 前秦 (351-395). He was sent out to subdue the city-states in the Tarim Basin. He was able to conquer Yanqi 焉耆 and Qiuci 龜茲 and many others. When the Former Qin empire dissolved, Lü Guang wanted to lead back his troops to the east, but he was impeded by Liang Xi 梁熙, regional inspector (cishi 刺史) of the province of Liangzhou 涼州. Lü defeated Liang Xi and named himself regional inspector. In 386 he adopted the title of regional governor (mu 牧) of Liangzhou and named himself Duke of Jiuquan 酒泉. In 389 he named himself King of Sanhe 三河 , and in 395 proclaimed himself Emperor of Liang (Emperor Yiwu 後涼懿武帝, r. 386-399). He died in 399 on the sickbed and was followed by his son Lü Shao 呂紹 (called King Yin 後涼隱王, r. 399), but the latter was killed by his half-brother Lü Zuan 呂纂 (Emperor Ling 後涼靈帝, r. 399-400). Shortly later, a cousin named Lü Long 呂隆 assassinated Lü Zuan and mounted the throne as the last ruler (r. 401-403). The permanent wars with the neighbouring empires of Southern Liang 南涼 (397-414) and Northern Liang 北涼 (398-439/460) weakened Lü Long's realms, and so he submitted to the empire of the Later Qin 後秦 (384-417) in 403.
In the beginning, the empire of Later Liang had been a quite stable state, but it gradually disintegrated during the succession struggles after Lü Guang's death. The economic situation was extremely bad at in the last years because no proper local administration had been done that ensured the supply of grain to the capital and other cities.


Rulers of the Later Liang Dynasty 後涼 (386-403)
Capital: Guzang 姑臧 (modern Wuwei 武威, Gansu)
Ethnicity: Di 氐
dynastic title {temple name}
-----reign periods
personal name
Houliang Yiwudi 後涼懿武帝 (Wudi 武帝) {Taizu 太祖} r. 386-399
-----Taian 太安 (Da'an 大安) 386-388
-----Linjia 麟嘉 389-395
-----Longfei 龍飛 396-398
-----Chengkang 承康 399
Lü Guang 呂光
Houliang Yinwang 後涼隱王 r. 399 Lü Shao 呂紹
Houliang Lingdi 後涼靈帝 r. 399-400
-----Xianning 咸寧 399-400
Lü Zuan 呂纂
The Last Ruler (Houzhu) 後涼後主, Duke of Jiankang 建康公 r. 400-403
-----Shending 神鼎 401-403
Lü Long 呂隆
403 Later Liang conquered by Later Qin 後秦.

Sources: Lu Caiquan 魯才全 (1992), "Houliang 後涼", 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. 375. ● 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, p. 3321.

October 30, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail

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