Chinese Southern Dynasty II/79b: 317AD- 589AD

DBA list:
1x 3/4 Kn (General) Wu of Liang
1x 3Cv
1x 2LH
1x 3Bd or 4Cb or 2Ps
3x 4Bd or 4Sp
3x 4Cb or 2Ps
1x 3Bw or 2Ps
1x 3Wb or 4Bd or 4Sp or El

The Southern and Northern Dynasties (420-589 AD) followed the Sixteen Kingdoms and preceded Sui Dynasty in China. It was an age of civil war and political disunity. However it was also a time of flourishing in the arts and culture, advancement in technology, and the spread of foreign Mahayana Buddhism and native Daoism. Distinctive Chinese Buddhism was also matured during this time and shaped by the northern and southern dynasties alike.

The Southern dynasties include Liu Song, Southern Qi, Liang Dynasty and Chen Dynasty whose capitals were largely all at Jiankang (although the Southern Qi capital was briefly at Jiangling during the reign of Emperor He of Southern Qi), and Emperor Yuan of Liang, as well as the later Western Liang emperors (Emperor Xuan, Emperor Ming, and Emperor Jing), also set their capital at Jiangling, and Xiao Zhuang, who is considered by some historians to be a Liang Dynasty emperor, had his capital at Yingcheng ( in modern Wuhan, Hubei).

Cementing their power in the south, the Jin established modern-day Nanjing (then called Jiankang) as their new capital, renaming the dynasty as the Eastern Jin (317 - 420 AD) since the new capital was located southeast of older Luoyang.

Emperor Wu of Liang (464-549) was the founding emperor of the Liang Dynasty. Prior to his accession to the the throne he had a sucessful military and governmental career. His reign, until the end, was one of the most stable and prosperous during the Southern Dynasties.

Emperor Wu created universities and extended the Confucian civil service exams, demanding that sons of nobles study. He was well read himself and wrote poetry and patronized the arts. Although for governmental affairs he was Confucian in values, he embraced Buddhism as well. He himself was attracted to many Indian traditions. He banned the sacrifice of animals and was against execution. He was also a monastic for a brief period of time. It was said that he received the Five Precepts and the Bodhisattva Precepts during his reign, earning him the nickname The Bodhisattva Emperor.

At the end of his reign, his overly lenient attitude on his clan's and officials' corruption and lack of dedication to the state came at a heavy price; when the general Hou Jing rebelled, few came to his aid, and Hou captured the capital Jiankang, holding Emperor Wu and his successor Emperor Jianwen under close control and plunging the entire Liang state into anarchy. Emperor Liang himself died while under house arrest, with some historians believing that Hou starved him to death.

 

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