Southern Qi

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Northern and Southern Dynasties 2.png
Southern Qi and its neighbors
Capital Jiankang
Government Monarchy
Emperor Gao
Emperor Wu
Emperor He
3 June [1] 479
24 April [2] 502
Currency Chinese coin,
Chinese cash
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Blank.png Liu Song
Liang dynasty Blank.png
Today part of China

The Southern Qi (simplified Chinese :南齐; traditional Chinese :南齊; pinyin :Nán Qí or simplified Chinese :南朝齐; traditional Chinese :南朝齊; pinyin :Nán Qí) (479–502) also known as Xiao Qi (simplified Chinese :萧齐; traditional Chinese :萧齊; pinyin :Xiāo Qí) [3] was the second of the Southern dynasties in China, followed by the Liang dynasty.



The dynasty began in 479, when Xiao Daocheng forced the Emperor Shun of Liu Song (宋顺帝) into yielding the throne to him, ending Liu Song and starting Southern Qi, as its Emperor Gao. The dynasty's name was taken from Xiao's fief, which roughly occupied the same territory as the Warring States era Kingdom of Qi. The Book of the Qi does not mention whether or not Xiao had any blood relationship to either the House of Jiang or House of Tian, the two dynasties which had previously ruled that kingdom. [4]

During its 23-year history, the dynasty was largely filled with instability, as after the death of the capable Emperor Gao and Emperor Wu, Emperor Wu's grandson Xiao Zhaoye (萧昭业) was assassinated by Emperor Wu's intelligent but cruel and suspicious cousin Xiao Luan (萧鸾), who took over as Emperor Ming, and proceeded to carry out massive executions of Emperor Gao's and Emperor Wu's sons, as well as officials whom he suspected of plotting against him. [5] [6]

The arbitrariness of these executions was exacerbated after Emperor Ming was succeeded by his son Xiao Baojuan, whose actions drew multiple rebellions, the last of which, by the general Xiao Yan (萧衍) led to Southern Qi's fall and succession by Xiao Yan's Liang Dynasty. [7]

Brick relief from the Dengxian tomb, Dengxian, Henan. Southern Dynasties, circa 500 CE. Southern Dynasties Brick Relief 19.jpg
Brick relief from the Dengxian tomb, Dengxian, Henan. Southern Dynasties, circa 500 CE.

More than fifty percent of Tuoba Xianbei princesses of the Northern Wei were married to southern Han Chinese men from the imperial families and aristocrats from southern China of the Southern dynasties who defected and moved north to join the Northern Wei. [10] Tuoba Xianbei Princess Nanyang (南阳长公主) was married to Xiao Baoyin (萧宝夤), a Han Chinese member of Southern Qi royalty. [11] Xianbei Tuoba Emperor Xiaozhuang of Northern Wei's sister the Shouyang Princess was wedded to the Han Chinese Liang dynasty ruler Emperor Wu of Liang's son Xiao Zong 蕭綜. [12]

War with Northern Wei

In 479, after Xiao Daocheng usurped the throne of Liu Song, the Northern Wei emperor prepared to invade under the pretext of installing Liu Chang, son of Emperor Wen of Liu Song who had been in exile in Wei since 465 AD. Wei troops began to attack Shouyang but could not take the city. The Southern Qi began to fortify their capital, Jiankang, in order to prevent further Wei raids. Multiple sieges and skirmishes were fought until 481 but the war did not witness any major campaign. A peace treaty was signed in 490 with the Emperor Wu.

Sovereigns of Southern Qi Dynasty (479–502)

"History of China" for template heading.svg
Posthumous Name Family name and given names Period of Reigns Era names
Emperor Gao of Southern Qi (齊高帝)Xiao Daocheng (蕭道成)479–482Jianyuan (建元) 479–482
Emperor Wu of Southern Qi (齊武帝)Xiao Ze (蕭賾)482–493Yongming (永明) 483–493
Xiao Zhaoye (蕭昭業)493–494Longchang (隆昌) 494
Xiao Zhaowen (蕭昭文)494Yanxing (延興) 494
Emperor Ming of Southern Qi (齊明帝)Xiao Luan (蕭鸞)494–498Jianwu (建武) 494–498
Yongtai (永泰) 498
Xiao Baojuan (蕭寶卷)499–501Yongyuan (永元) 499–501
Emperor He of Southern Qi (齊和帝)Xiao Baorong (蕭寶融)501–502 [note 1] Zhongxing (中興) 501–502

Sovereigns' family tree


  1. Emperor Ming's son Xiao Baoyin, who was then a Northern Wei general, rebelled against Northern Wei and claimed imperial title in 527–528, but is not listed because his claim of imperial title was temporary, long after Emperor He's reign, and also did not include any territory that was previously Southern Qi territory.

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See also