The Xianbei In Chinese History
Dai, Empress Dowager Feng (Wenming), Gaxian Grotto, Hu, Khan (qaghan), Koguryǒ, Mulan, Murong, Northern Wei, Sinicization, Tang, Tuoba, Wuhuan, Xianbei, Xiaowen (emperor), Yan (dynasty)
Early Medieval China
The Xianbei were perhaps the most prominent of the various non-Chinese peoples active in north China during the Age of Division. They established a number of imperial dynasties there, some of which were admittedly no more than ephemeral footnotes to history, but others of which-notably including the Northern Wei-are commonly viewed as having been major dynasties, squarely in the legitimate line of Chinese dynastic succession. In addition, the Xianbei were also central to the origins of the gloriously reunified Sui and Tang dynasties, even though the Xianbei role in their formation has not always been sufficiently appreciated. Despite their very real importance in Chinese history, the Xianbei remain today relatively little known, especially in English language scholarship. This article therefore aims to provide the most comprehensive study of the Xianbei available yet in English, to assess the overall role of the Xianbei in Chinese history, and also to examine the Xianbei as a critical case study in the more general, and controversial, process known as sinicization. © Early Medieval China Group 2013.
Department of History
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
Holcombe, Charles, "The Xianbei In Chinese History" (2013). Faculty Publications. 1531.