Western Xia

Former empire in northwestern China (1038–1227) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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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[6] 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).[7][8][9]

Quick facts: Great Xia大夏 (白高大夏國) (大白高國), Capital, Common...
Great Xia
𗴂𗹭𘜶𗴲𗂧 (白高大夏國)
𗴂𗹭𗂧𘜶 (大白高國)
Location of Western Xia in 1111 (green in north west)
Location of Western Xia in 1111 (green in north west)
Western Xia in 1150
Western Xia in 1150
CapitalXingqing (modern Yinchuan)
Common languagesTangut, Chinese
Chinese folk religion
Emperor Jingzong (founder)
Emperor Renzong (longest-reigned)
Li Xian (last)
Historical eraPost-classical history
 Li Jiqian rebels against Song dynasty
 Dynasty established by Emperor Jingzong
 Subjugated by Mongol Empire
 Destroyed by Mongol Empire after rebellion
1100 est.[1]1,000,000 km2 (390,000 sq mi)
CurrencyBarter with some copper coins in the cities[5]
(see: Western Xia coinage)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Blank.png Dingnan Jiedushi
Blank.png Xiliangfu
Blank.png Guiyi Circuit
Blank.png Gansu Uyghur Kingdom
Blank.png Liao dynasty
Blank.png Song dynasty
Mongol Empire Blank.png
Today part ofChina
East Asia and Central Asia in AD 1142: the Southern Song dynasty in orange (  ); the Jin dynasty in grey (  ) in the northeast; the Western Xia in turquoise (  ) and the Western Liao (Qara Khitai) in lime green (  ) in the northwest; and the Dali Kingdom in dark green (  ) in the southwest.

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".[10] 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.[11]