The Xianbei were an nomadic tribal confederation residing in what is today's eastern Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, Northeast China. Along with the Xiongnu, they were one of the major nomadic groups in northern China from the Han Dynasty to the Northern and Southern dynasties, they established their own northern dynasties such as the Northern Wei founded in the 4th century AD by the Tuoba clan. During the Uprising of the Five Barbarians they became categorized as one of the Five Barbarians by the Han Chinese. Paul Pelliot tentatively reconstructs the Later Han Chinese pronunciation of 鮮卑 as *serbi after noting that Chinese scribes used 鮮 to transcribe Middle Persian sēr; the other character 卑 was used to transcribe foreign syllable /pi/. Moreover, 室韦 （Chinese: 室韋. *Särpi may be linked, on the one hand, to Mongolic root *ser ~*sir which means "crest, sticking out, etc.". On the other hand, Mänchen-Helfen considers *särpi to be an Indo-European loanword, it is theorized that the Xianbei spoke a language related to the Mongolic languages.
Claus Schönig writes: The Xianbei derived from the context of the Donghu, who are to have contained the linguistic ancestors of the Mongols. Branches and descendants of the Xianbei include the Tabghach and Khitan, who seem to have been linguistically Para-Mongolic. Opinions differ as to what the linguistic impact of the Xianbei period was; some scholars have preferred to regard the Xianbei and Tabghach as Turks, or as Bulghar Turks, with the implication that the entire layer of early Turkic borrowings in Mongolic would have been received from the Xianbei, rather than from the Xiongnu. However, since the Mongolic identity of the Xianbei is obvious in the light of recent progress in Khitan studies, it is more reasonable to assume that the flow of linguistic influence from Turkic into Mongolic was at least reversed during the Xianbei period, yielding the first identifiable layer of Mongolic loanwords in Turkic, it is possible that the Xianbei spoke more than one language. The origins of the Xianbei are unclear.
It is proven. Chinese anthropologist Zhu Hong and Zhang Quan‐chao studied Xianbei crania from several sites of Inner Mongolia and noticed that anthropological features of studied Xianbei crania show that the racial type is related to the modern East-Asian Mongoloids, some physical characteristics of those skulls are closer to modern Mongols and Han Chinese. Genetic analyses of Xianbei populations about 1,500-1,800 years old were made on the remains of 17 Tuoba Xianbei mtDNA individuals from Shangdu Dongdajing cemetery; the haplogroups presented are characterized in mongoloid Asian population such as 29.5% C, 23.5% D4, 17.6% D5, 17.6% A, 5.9% B and 5.9% G. Analyses about the y-DNA markers of ancient individuals of northern China and modern Mongolia showed that Xianbei individuals belong to the Haplogroup C-M217, Haplogroup N-M231 Haplogroup O-M175 and Haplogroup Q-M242. Xianbei are on the one hand most related to samples of the Xiongnu and Mongols and on the other hand to Han Chinese, it is possible that the Xianbei were a multi-ethnic federation consisting of northern nomadic people and southern agriculturalists who joined or adopted a nomadic life.
Other research found a relation between Xianbei individuals with modern Oroqen and Outer Mongolian people. Tungusic Oroqen show close relation to Xianbei. Chinese historical texts unequivocally state that the Xianbei were descendants of the earlier Donghu, the “Eastern Hu” based on Chinese records. After the Donghu were defeated by Modu Chanyu around 208 BC, the Donghu splintered into the Xianbei and Wuhuan; the Book of the Later Han says that “the language and culture of the Xianbei are the same as the Wuhuan”. The Records of the Three Kingdoms say: Tanshihuai of the Xianbei divided his territory into three sections: the eastern, the middle and the western. From the You Beiping to the Liao River, connecting the Fuyu and Mo to the east, it was the eastern section. There were more than twenty counties; the darens were called Mijia, Queji and Huaitou. From the You Beiping to Shanggu to the west, it was the middle section. There were more than ten counties; the darens of this section were called Kezui, Murong, et al.
From Shanggu to Dunhuang, connecting the Wusun to the west, it was the western section. There were more than twenty counties; the darens were called Rilü Tuiyan, Yanliyou, et al.. These chiefs were all subordinate to Tanshihuai; the Book of the Later Han records a memorial submitted in 177: Ever since the Xiongnu ran away, the Xianbei have become powerful and populous, taking all the lands held by the Xiong-nu and claiming to have 100,000 warriors. … Refined metals and wrought iron have come into the possession of the rebels. Han deserters seek refuge and serve as their advisers, their weapons are sharper and their horses are faster than those of the Xiong-nu. Another memorial submitted in 185 is recorded by the Book of the Later Han: The Xianbei people … invade our frontiers so that hardly a year goes by in peace, it is only when the trading season arrives that they come forward in sub
Concubinage is an interpersonal and sexual relationship in which the couple are not or cannot be married. The inability to marry may be due to multiple factors such as differences in social rank status, an existing marriage, religious or professional prohibitions, or a lack of recognition by appropriate authorities; the woman or man in such a relationship is referred to as a concubine. In Judaism, a concubine is a marital companion of inferior status to a wife. A concubine among polygamous peoples is a secondary wife of inferior rank; the prevalence of concubinage and the status of rights and expectations of a concubine have varied among cultures, as have the rights of children of a concubine. Whatever the status and rights of the concubine, they were always inferior to those of the wife and neither she nor her children had rights of inheritance. Concubinage was entered into voluntarily as it provided a measure of economic security for the woman. Involuntary or servile concubinage sometimes involved sexual slavery of one member of the relationship the woman.
Sexual relations outside marriage were not uncommon among royalty and nobility, the woman in such relationships was described as a mistress. The children of such relationships were counted as illegitimate and were barred from inheriting the father's title or estates in the absence of legitimate heirs. While forms of long-term sexual relationships and co-habitation short of marriage have become common in the Western world, these are not described as concubinage; the terms concubinage and concubine are used today when referring to non-marital partnerships of earlier eras. In modern usage, a non-marital domestic relationship is referred to as co-habitation, the woman in such a relationship is referred to as a girlfriend, fiancée, lover or life partner. Concubinage was popular before the early 20th century all over East Asia; the main function of concubinage was producing additional heirs, as well as bringing males pleasure. Children of concubines had lower rights in account to inheritance, regulated by the Dishu system.
In China, successful men had concubines until the practice was outlawed when the Communist Party of China came to power in 1949. The standard Chinese term translated as "concubine" was qiè 妾, a term, used since ancient times, which means "concubine. Concubinage resembled marriage in that concubines were recognized sexual partners of a man and were expected to bear children for him. Unofficial concubines are of lower status, their children are considered illegitimate; the English term concubine is used for what the Chinese refer to as pínfēi, or "consorts of emperors", an official position carrying a high rank. In premodern China it was illegal and disreputable for a man to have more than one wife at a time, but it was acceptable to have concubines. In the earliest records a man could have as many concubines. From the Eastern Han period onward, the number of concubines a man could have was limited by law; the higher rank and the more noble identity a man possessed, the more concubines he was permitted to have.
A concubine's treatment and situation was variable and was influenced by the social status of the male to whom she was attached, as well as the attitude of his wife. In the Book of Rites chapter on "The Pattern of the Family" it says, “If there were betrothal rites, she became a wife. Wives brought a dowry to a relationship. A concubinage relationship could be entered into without the ceremonies used in marriages, neither remarriage nor a return to her natal home in widowhood were allowed to a concubine; the position of the concubine was inferior to that of the wife. Although a concubine could produce heirs, her children would be inferior in social status to a wife's children, although they were of higher status than illegitimate children; the child of a concubine had to show filial duty to two women, their biological mother and their legal mother—the wife of their father. After the death of a concubine, her sons would make an offering to her, but these offerings were not continued by the concubine's grandsons, who only made offerings to their grandfather’s wife.
There are early records of concubines being buried alive with their masters to "keep them company in the afterlife". Until the Song dynasty, it was considered a serious breach of social ethics to promote a concubine to a wife. During the Qing dynasty, the status of concubines improved, it became permissible to promote a concubine to wife, if the original wife had died and the concubine was the mother of the only surviving sons. Moreover, the prohibition against forcing a widow to remarry was extended to widowed concubines. During this period tablets for concubine-mothers seem to have been more placed in family ancestral altars, genealogies of some lineages listed concubine-mothers. Imperial concubines, kept by emperors in the Forbidden City, had different ranks and were traditionally guarded by eunuchs to ensure that they could not be impregnated by anyone but the emperor. In Ming China there was an official system to select concubines for the emperor; the age of the candidates ranged from 14 to 16.
Virtues, character and body condition were the selection criteria. Despite the limitations imposed on Chinese concubines, there are several examples in history
Shanxi is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the North China region. Its one-character abbreviation is "晋", after the state of Jin that existed here during the Spring and Autumn period; the name Shanxi means "West of the Mountains", a reference to the province's location west of the Taihang Mountains. Shanxi borders Hebei to the east, Henan to the south, Shaanxi to the west, Inner Mongolia to the north and is made up of a plateau bounded by mountain ranges; the capital of the province is Taiyuan. During xia dynasty （ existed from 2070 bc-1600 bc), or 2030 bc--1600 bc, the capital city moved one capital situate in nowadays Yuncheng and nowadays Linfen In the Spring and Autumn period, the state of Jin was located in what is now Shanxi Province, it underwent a three-way split into the states of Han and Wei in 403 BC, the traditional date taken as the start of the Warring States period. By 221 BC, all of these states had fallen to the state of Qin; the Han Dynasty ruled Shanxi as the province of Bingzhou.
During the invasion of northern nomads in the Sixteen Kingdoms period, several regimes including the Later Zhao, Former Yan, Former Qin, Later Yan continuously controlled Shanxi. They were followed by Northern Wei, a Xianbei kingdom, which had one of its earlier capitals at present-day Datong in northern Shanxi, which went on to rule nearly all of northern China; the Tang Dynasty originated in Taiyuan. During the Tang Dynasty and after, present day Shanxi was called Hédōng, or "east of the river". Empress Wu Zetian, China's only female ruler, was born in Shanxi in 624. During the first part of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period, Shanxi supplied rulers of three of the Five Dynasties, as well as being the only one of the Ten Kingdoms located in northern China. Shanxi was home to the jiedushi of Hedong, Li Cunxu, who overthrew the first of the Five Dynasties, Later Liang to establish the second, Later Tang. Another jiedushi of Hedong, Shi Jingtang, overthrew Later Tang to establish the third of the Five Dynasties, Later Jin, yet another jiedushi of Hedong, Liu Zhiyuan, established the fourth of the Five Dynasties after the Khitans destroyed Later Jin, the third.
When the fifth of the Five Dynasties emerged, the jiedushi of Hedong at the time, Liu Chong and established an independent state called Northern Han, one of the Ten Kingdoms, in what is now northern and central Shanxi. Shi Jingtang, founder of the Later Jin, the third of the Five Dynasties, ceded a piece of northern China to the Khitans in return for military assistance; this territory, called The Sixteen Prefectures of Yanyun, included a part of northern Shanxi. The ceded territory became a major problem for China's defense against the Khitans for the next 100 years, because it lay south of the Great Wall; the Zhou, the last dynasty of the Five Dynasties period was founded by Guo Wei, a Han Chinese, who served as the Assistant Military Commissioner at the court of the Later Han, ruled by Shatuo Turks. He founded his dynasty by launching a military coup against the Turkic Later Han Emperor, however his newly established dynasty was short lived and was conquered by the Song Dynasty in 960. In the early years of the Northern Song Dynasty, the sixteen ceded prefectures continued to be an area of contention between Song China and the Liao Dynasty.
The Southern Song Dynasty abandoned all of North China, including Shanxi, to the Jurchen Jin dynasty in 1127 after the Jingkang Incident of the Jin-Song wars. The Mongol Yuan Dynasty did not establish Shanxi as a province. Shanxi only gained its present name and approximate borders during the Ming Dynasty which were of the same landarea and borders as the previous Hedong Commandery that existed during the Tang Dynasty. During the Qing Dynasty, Shanxi extended north beyond the Great Wall to include parts of Inner Mongolia, including what is now the city of Hohhot, overlapped with the jurisdiction of the Eight Banners and the Guihua Tümed banner in that area. With the collapse of the Qing dynasty, Shanxi became part of the newly established Republic of China. During most of the Republic of China's period of rule over mainland China, the warlord Yan Xishan controlled Shanxi. Yan Xishan devoted himself to modernizing Shanxi and developing its resources during his reign over the province. During the Second Sino-Japanese War, Japan occupied much of the province after winning the Battle of Taiyuan.
Shanxi was a major battlefield between the Japanese and the Chinese communist guerrillas of the Eighth Route Army during the war. The soldiers of Shanxi province under Yan Xishan viciously fought against the invading Japanese, which impressed the Japanese to say that nowhere in China did people fight so heroically and bravely. Right after the defeat of Japan, much of the Shanxi countryside became important bases for the communist People's Liberation Army in the ensuing Chinese Civil War. Yan had incorporated thousands of former Japanese soldiers into his own forces to fight against the communists, these soldiers became part of his failed defense of Taiyuan against the People's Liberation Army in early 1949. Shanxi was conquered by the communists, resulting in the warlord Yan Xishan's retreat to Taiwan Island. In September, Shanxi Provincial People's Government was established. For centuries, Shanxi
Fang Qiao, courtesy name Xuanling, better known as Fang Xuanling, posthumously known as Duke Wenzhao of Liang, was a Chinese statesman and writer who served as a chancellor under Emperor Taizong in the early Tang dynasty. He was the lead editor of the historical record Book of Jin and one of the most celebrated Tang dynasty chancellors, he and his colleague, Du Ruhui, were described as role models for chancellors in imperial China. Fang Xuanling was born in 579, shortly before the founding of the Sui dynasty in 581, during Sui's predecessor state, Northern Zhou, his great-grandfather Fang Yi was a general and hereditary count under the Northern Wei dynasty, his grandfather Fang Xiong was an official. His father Fang Yanqian was a county magistrate during the Sui dynasty. Fang Xuanling was said to be intelligent and well-learned in his youth, skillful at calligraphy, it was said that once, when he accompanied his father to the capital Chang'an, the state was peaceful, the popular sentiment was that Sui would last a long time.
However, Fang Xuanling secretly opined to his father: The emperor had no accomplishments or virtues, he gained his power by trickery. He did not think about long-term benefits for his descendants, he allowed his sons to have no differences between the heir and the non-heirs, they therefore compete with each other and plot against each other, they compete in their wastefulness and luxuries. They will kill each other, the state will not be preserved. Though everything is peaceful now, I expect its fall to be soon. Fang Yanqian was surprised by his son's opinion, however turned out to be prophetic; when he was 17, he was successful at the imperial examination, he became a military officer. He impressed the deputy minister of civil service, Gao Xiaoji. However, it appeared that he did not serve long, as his father became ill, the illness lasted 10 years, during which Fang Xuanling attended to him earnestly. After his father's death, he fasted for five days, he became the magistrate of Xicheng County.
In 617, when the general Li Yuan rebelled against the rule of Emperor Wen's son Emperor Yang, one of Li Yuan's major generals was his son Li Shimin. Fang Xuanling offered his services, it was said that as soon as Li Shimin met Fang, they became like old friends, Li Shimin invited him to serve on staff. Fang served Li Shimin faithfully, wherever Li Shimin campaigned, while his staff members would collect treasures, Fang spent the time interviewing the people of the area and retained the capable people to add to Li Shimin's staff. In 618, after news arrived at Chang'an that Emperor Yang had been killed in a coup at Jiangdu, led by the general Yuwen Huaji, Li Yuan had Yang You yield the throne to him, establishing the Tang dynasty as its Emperor Gaozu, he created the Prince of Qin. Fang continued to serve on Li Shimin's staff. In 621, when Li Shimin defeated Tang's major enemy Wang Shichong the Emperor of Zheng and captured the Zheng capital Luoyang, it was said that he sent Fang to the offices of Sui's legislative and examination bureaus of government to try to preserve Sui archives, but Fang's mission turned out to be unsuccessful as the archives had been destroyed by Wang.
In 621, when Emperor Gaozu, awarding Li Shimin for his great accomplishments, bestowed on him the unprecedented title of "Grand General of Heavenly Tactics", Li Shimin built a mansion where he housed those staff members with the best literary talent, supplying them with the best food and supplies and had them conduct research and writing. Fang was part of this establishment, along with, among others, the fellow future chancellors Du Ruhui and Xu Jingzong; when Du was subsequently commissioned as a prefectural secretary general, Fang told Li Shimin that Du was an uncommon talent that he should do everything he could to retain, Li Shimin thus persuaded Emperor Gaozu to allow Du to remain on his staff. It was said that Fang was capable in planning and strategizing, but not decisive in his decisions, while Du was capable in making quick and correct decisions, they divided their strategical responsibilities while on Li Shimin's staff in that manner. By 626, Li Shimin was locked in an intense rivalry with his older brother, Li Jiancheng the Crown Prince, Fang and Du suggested that he act first against Li Jiancheng.
As both Li Jiancheng and another brother who supported Li Jiancheng, Li Yuanji the Prince of Qi, feared Fang's and Du's strategic capabilities, they falsely accused both Fang and Du and had them demoted out of Li Shimin's staff. In summer 626, when Li Shimin decided to act against Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji, however, he summoned Fang and Du to his mansion. Fang and Du fearing Emperor Gaozu's orders forbidding them to serve Li Shimin, declined. In anger, Li Shimin sent the general Yuchi Gong to summon Fang and Du, with directions if they declined again, to kill them. Yuchi, was able to persuade them that Li Shimin was in fact intending on acting against Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji, so Fang and Du put on disguises as Taoist monks and were able to get to Li Shimin's mansions, where they assisted Li Shimin in planning the ambush against Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji. Li Shimin
Jin dynasty (265–420)
The Jin dynasty or the Jin Empire (. It was founded by Sima Yan, son of Sima Zhao, who himself was made the King of Jin and posthumously declared one of the founders of the dynasty, along with his older brother, Sima Shi, father, Sima Yi, it followed the Three Kingdoms period, which ended with the conquest of Eastern Wu by Jin, culminating in the reunification of China. There are two main divisions in the history of the dynasty; the Western Jin was established as a successor state to Cao Wei after Sima Yan usurped the throne, had its capital at Luoyang and Chang'an. The rebels and invaders began to establish new self-proclaimed states along the Yellow River valley in 304, inaugurating the "Sixteen Kingdoms" era; these states began fighting each other and the Jin Empire, leading to the second division of the dynasty, the Eastern Jin, when Sima Rui moved the capital to Jiankang. The Eastern Jin dynasty was overthrown by Liu Yu and replaced with the Liu Song in 420. Under the Wei, who dominated the northern parts of China during the Three Kingdoms period, the Sima clan—with its most accomplished individual being Sima Yi—rose to prominence after the 249 coup d'état.
After Sima Yi's death, his eldest son, Sima Shi, kept a tight grip on the political scene, after his own death, his younger brother, Sima Zhao, assisted his clans' interests by further suppressing rebellions and dissent, as well as recovering all of Shu and capturing Liu Shan in 263. His ambitions for the throne remain proverbial in Chinese, but he died in 265 before he could rise higher than a King of Jin, a title named for the Zhou-era marchland and duchy around Shaanxi's Jin River; the Jin dynasty was founded in AD 266 by Sima Yan, posthumously known as Emperor Wu. He forced Cao Huan's abdication but permitted him to live in honor as the Prince of Chenliu and buried him with imperial ceremony; the Jin dynasty united the country. The period of unity was short-lived as the state was soon weakened by corruption, political turmoil, internal conflicts. Sima Yan's son Zhong, posthumously known as Emperor Hui, was developmentally disabled. Conflict over his succession in 290 expanded into the devastating War of the Eight Princes.
The weakened dynasty was engulfed by the Uprising of the Five Barbarians and lost control of northern China. Large numbers of Chinese fled south from the Central Plains; the Jin capital Luoyang was captured by Xiongnu King Liu Cong in 311. Sima Chi, posthumously known as Emperor Huai, was captured and executed, his successor Sima Ye, posthumously known as Emperor Min, was captured at Chang'an in 316 and later executed. The remnants of the Jin court fled to the south-east, reestablishing their government at Jiankang within present-day Nanjing, Jiangsu. Sima Rui, the prince of Langya, was enthroned in 318; the rival northern states, who denied the legitimacy of his succession, sometimes referred to his state as "Langya". At first, the southerners were resistant to the new ruler from the north; the circumstances obliged the Emperors of Eastern Jin to depend on both local and refugee gentry clans, the latter convinced the former of the emperor enjoying high prestige by showing superficial respect to Rui, the pinnacle of menfa politics, Several immigrated gentry clans were active and they grasped the national affairs: Wang clans from Langya and Taiyuan, Xie clan from Chenliu, Huan clan from Qiao Commandery, Yu clan from Yingchuan.
The Emperors of Eastern Jin had limited power. There was a prevalent remark that "王與（司）馬，共天下" among the people, it is said that when Emperor Yuan was holding court, he invited Dao to sit by himself accepting jointly the congratulations from ministers, but Dao declined it. The local gentry clans were at odds with the immigrants; as such, tensions increased. Two of the biggest local clans: Zhou clan from Yixing and Shen clan from Wuxing's ruin was a bitter blow from which they never quite recovered. Moreover, there was a conflict among the immigrated clans' interests. Although there was a stated goal of recovering the "lost northern lands", paranoia within the royal family and a constant string of disruptions to the throne caused the loss of support among many officials. Military crises—including the rebellions of the generals Wang Dun and Su Jun, but lesser fangzhen revolts—plagued the Eastern Jin throughout its 104 years of existence. Special "commanderies of immigrants" and "white registers" were created for the massive amounts of Han Chinese from the north who moved to the south during the Eastern Jin dynasty.
The southern Chinese aristocrac
The Five Barbarians, or Wu Hu, is a Chinese historical exonym for ancient non-Chinese peoples who immigrated to northern China in the Eastern Han dynasty, overthrew the Western Jin dynasty and established their own kingdoms in the 4th–5th centuries. The peoples categorized as the Five Barbarians were the Xiongnu, Xianbei, Di, Qiang. Of these five tribal ethnic groups, the Xiongnu and Xianbei were nomadic peoples from the northern steppes; the ethnic identity of the Xiongnu is uncertain. The Jie, another pastoral people, may have been a branch of the Xiongnu, who may have been Yeniseian; the Di and Qiang were from the highlands of western China. The Qiang were predominantly herdsmen and spoke Sino-Tibetan languages, while the Di were farmers who may have spoken a Sino-Tibetan or Turkic language; the term "Five Hu" was first used in the Spring and Autumn Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms, which recorded the history of the late Western Jin dynasty and the Sixteen Kingdoms during which rebellions and warfare by and among non-Han Chinese ethnic minorities ravaged Northern China.
The term Hu in earlier texts had been used to describe the Xiongnu, but became a collective term for ethnic minorities who had settled in North China and took up arms during Uprising of the Five Barbarians. This term included the Xianbei, Di, Qiang and Jie. Historians determined that more than five nomadic tribes took part, the Five Barbarians has become a collective term for all nomadic people residing in northern parts of the past empires of China, they were a mix of tribes from various stocks, such as proto-Mongolic, Turkic and Yeniseian. Others divide them into two Turkic tribes, one Tungusic tribe, two Tibetan tribes, yet others into Tibetan and Altaic; the Xiongnu were a people who had migrated in and out of China proper during times of turmoil at least since the days of the Qin dynasty. The Chanyu Huhanye signed a heqin agreement with Han China in 53 BCE. In 48 CE, after a dynastic conflict within the Xiongnu confederacy, an unnamed Shanyu brought eight tribes of the Western Wing to China under a renewed heqin treaty, creating a polity of Southern Xiongnu in vassalage to China and a polity of Northern Xiongnu who maintained their independence.
As the Northern Xiongnu declined under internal and external conflicts, the Southern Xiongnu received waves of new migrants, by the end of the first century CE a majority of the Xiongnu resided in China proper and along its northern borders. In the 190s CE the Southern Xiongnu revolted against attempts of the Chinese Court to appoint a puppet Southern Shanyu against their will: "Dong Xian, boastful of his victories, forsook the rules which could keep peace, was unfair and greedy, seized the right to frighten and pardon, again installed Shanyu for Northern Hu, returned him to the old court, began favoring both Shanyus, thus, for his own prosperity, violated the principles of justice and have sown seeds of great evil"; the Southern Xiongnu elected a Shanyu from the Xubu in 188 CE and Chizhishizhuhou Chanyu fled back to the Chinese court. After the death of the new Shanyu in 196 CE, most of the Southern Xiongnu left to join the Northern Xiongnu and only five tribes remained in China; the War of the Eight Princes during the Jin dynasty triggered a large-scale Southern Xiongnu uprising after 304, which resulted in the sacking of the Chinese capitals at Luoyang and Chang'an.
The Xiongnu Kingdom of Han Zhao captured and executed the last two Jin emperors as the Western Jin dynasty collapsed in 317. Many Chinese fled south of the Yangtze as numerous tribesmen of the Xiongnu and remnants of the Jin wreaked havoc in the north. Fu Jian temporarily unified the north but his achievement was destroyed after the Battle of Fei River; the Northern Wei unified North China again in 439 and ushered in the period of the Northern Dynasties. In the first century the Eastern Han dynasty brought the Northern Xiongnu into submission by military measures. Hordes of herdsmen and the Southern Xiongnu subdued by the Northern Xiongnu, began trading without having heavy tribute imposed on them. Horses and animal products were traded for agricultural tools, such as the harrow and the plough, clothing of which silk was most popular. In return those herdsmen helped defend the Han dynasty against any remaining Xiongnu; the more they engaged in commerce with the Chinese, the more they preferred to stay near China's border, to facilitate trade, instead of residing on the steppes of Manchuria and Mongolia.
Some groups of non-Xiongnu herdsmen settled permanently within the Chinese borders, first of, the Wuhuan, who migrated to the area of today's Province of Liaoning during the era of Jiangwu. Note that the Southern Xiongnu migrated before the Wuhuan but not for commercial reasons. Liaison among the dynasty and groups of herdsmen relied on mutual military benefits; as the Northern Xiongnu, the masters of the Mongolian steppes and mortal enemy of the Han dynasty, were still potent enough during the reigns of Emperor Ming, Emperor Zhang and Emperor He to keep the volatile alliance intact, the Eastern Han dynasty enjoyed the most prosperous years of its 200 years of existence. Fragments of the Northern Xiongnu migrated well within the border to the Xihe plain, west of the Yellow River and south of the Ordos Desert); the picture drastically changed in the years of reign of Emperor He, son of Emperor Zhang. Dou Xian, brother-in-law of Emper
Emperor Hui of Jin
Emperor Hui of Jin, personal name Sima Zhong, courtesy name Zhengdu, was the second emperor of the Jin Dynasty. Emperor Hui was a developmentally disabled ruler, throughout his reign, there was constant internecine fighting between regents, imperial princes, his wife Empress Jia Nanfeng for the right to control him, causing great suffering for the people and undermining the stability of the Jin regime leading to Wu Hu rebellions that led to Jin's loss of northern and central China and the establishment of the competing Sixteen Kingdoms, he was deposed by his granduncle Sima Lun, who usurped the throne himself, in 301, but that year was restored to the throne and continued to be the emperor until 307, when he was poisoned by the regent Sima Yue. Sima Zhong was born to Sima Yan and his wife Yang Yan in 259 AD, while Sima Yan was still the assistant to his father, the Cao Wei regent Sima Zhao, he was their second son, but after the early death of his older brother Sima Gui, he became the oldest surviving son.
It is not known when his developmental disabilities became apparent, but, in any case, after Sima Zhao died in September 265, Sima Yan subsequently forced the Cao Wei emperor Cao Huan to abdicate to him in February 266, he made the seven-year-old Prince Zhong crown prince in 267 AD. As Crown Prince Zhong grew in age, his developmental disabilities became clear to his parents and the imperial officials alike, he learned how to write and speak, but appeared to be unable to make logical decisions on his own at all. Once, when he heard frogs croaking, he asked, in all seriousness, "Do they croak because they want to, or because the government ordered them to?" Several times, officials reminded Emperor Wu of this, but Emperor Wu, not realizing the extent of Crown Prince Zhong's disability, resisted the implicit calls for him to be replaced. Indeed, because Emperor Wu was concerned that many officials were impressed with his talented younger brother, Sima You the Prince of Qi and might want Prince You to replace him instead, he had Prince You sent to his principality, Prince You died in anger in 283.
In 272, at age 12, Crown Prince Zhong married Jia Chong's daughter Jia Nanfeng, who at 14 was two years older. Crown Princess Jia was violent and jealous, but had her methods of controlling Crown Prince Zhong so that he both loved and feared her, she bore him four daughters during their marriage, but she would not bear his only son Sima Yu – whose mother Consort Xie Jiu was a concubine of Emperor Wu, but had been given to Crown Prince Zhong prior to his marriage to Crown Princess Jia, so that Consort Xie could teach him how to have sexual relations. Consort Xie became pregnant and bore Sima Yu, much favored by his grandfather Emperor Wu. Emperor Wu considered Prince Yu intelligent and much like his own grandfather Sima Yi, this played into his decision not to replace Crown Prince Zhong. However, other than Consort Xie, no other concubine would bear Crown Prince Zhong a child—as several had been pregnant but each was murdered by Crown Princess Jia, in fits of jealousy. In 289, as Emperor Wu neared death, he considered.
He considered both Empress Yang's father Yang Jun and his uncle Sima Liang the Prince of Ru'nan, the most respected of the imperial princes. As a result, Yang Jun had him posted to the key city of Xuchang. By 290, Emperor Wu resolved to let Yang and Sima Liang both be regents, but after he wrote his will, the will was seized by Yang Jun, who instead had another will promulgated in which Yang alone was named regent. Emperor Wu died soon thereafter, Crown Prince Zhong ascended the throne as Emperor Hui. Crown Princess Jia became empress, Prince Yu became crown prince. During his 17-year reign, Emperor Hui would come under the control of a number of regents, never being able to assert authority on his own; the rough succession order of the regents were: Yang Jun: 290–291 Sima Liang/Wei Guan: 291 Empress Jia Nanfeng: 291–300 Sima Lun: 300–301 Sima Jiong: 301–302 Sima Ai: 302–304 Sima Ying: 304 Sima Yong: 304–306 Sima Yue: 306–307 Yang Jun showed himself to be autocratic and incompetent, drawing the ire of many other nobles and officials.
He tried to appease them by making many bestowments of titles and honors among them, but this only brought further contempt for his actions. He knew Emperor Hui's empress Jia Nanfeng to be strong-willed and treacherous, so he tried to put people loyal to him in charge of all the defense forces of the capital Luoyang, ordered that all edicts not only be signed by the emperor but by Empress Dowager Yang before they could be promulgated. Empress Jia, wanted to be involved in the government, was angry that she was rebuffed by Empress Dowager Yang and Yang Jun, she therefore conspired with the eunuch Dong Meng and the generals Meng Guan and Li Zhao against the Yangs. She tried to include Sima Liang into the conspiracy. In 291, after Sima Wei returned to Luoyang from his defense post with his troops, a