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The Western Xia or the Xi Xia (Chinese: 西夏; pinyin: Xī Xià; Wade–Giles: Hsi1 Hsia4), officially the Great Xia (大夏; Dà Xià; Ta4 Hsia4), also known as the Tangut Empire, and known as Mi-nyak to the Tanguts and Tibetans, was a Tangut-led Buddhist imperial dynasty of China that existed from 1038 to 1227. At its peak, the dynasty ruled over the modern-day northwestern Chinese provinces of Ningxia, Gansu, eastern Qinghai, northern Shaanxi, northeastern Xinjiang, and southwest Inner Mongolia, and southernmost Outer Mongolia, measuring about 800,000 square kilometres (310,000 square miles).
|Capital||Xingqing (modern Yinchuan)|
|Common languages||Tangut, Chinese|
Chinese folk religion
|Emperor Jingzong (founder)|
|Emperor Renzong (longest-reigned)|
|Li Xian (last)|
|Historical era||Post-classical history|
• Dynasty established by Emperor Jingzong
• Subjugated by Mongol Empire
• Destroyed by Mongol Empire after rebellion
|1100 est.||1,000,000 km2 (390,000 sq mi)|
|Currency||Barter with some copper coins in the cities|
(see: Western Xia coinage)
|Today part of||China|
|Part of a series on the|
|History of China|
The capital of Western Xia was Xingqing (modern Yinchuan), another major Xia city and archaeological site is Khara-Khoto. Western Xia was annihilated by the Mongols in 1227. Most of its written records and architecture were destroyed, so the founders and history of the empire remained obscure until 20th-century research in China and the West. Today the Tangut language and its unique script are extinct, only fragments of Tangut literature remain.
The Western Xia occupied the area around the Hexi Corridor, a stretch of the Silk Road, the most important trade route between northern China and Central Asia. They made significant achievements in literature, art, music, and architecture, which was characterized as "shining and sparkling". Their extensive stance among the other empires of the Liao, Song, and Jin was attributable to their effective military organizations that integrated cavalry, chariots, archery, shields, artillery (cannons carried on the back of camels), and amphibious troops for combat on land and water.