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Jin Dynasty



The Western Jin Dynasty (yellow) in 280 AD
Capital Luoyang (265311)
Chang'an (312316)
Jiankang (317420)
Language(s) Chinese
Religion Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion
Government Monarchy
 - Establishment 265
 - Reunification of China under Jin rule 280
 - Jin evacuates to region south of the Huai River, Eastern Jin begins 317
 - Abdication to Liu Song 420
 - 290 est. 22,620,000 
Currency Chinese coin, Cash
Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove, an Eastern Jin tomb painting from Nanjing, now located in the Shaanxi Provincial Museum.

The Jìn Dynasty (simplified Chinese: 晋朝traditional Chinese: 晉朝pinyin: Jìn CháoWade-Giles: Chin⁴-ch'ao²; IPA: [tɕin tʂʰɑʊ̯]; 265–420), one of the Six Dynasties, following the Three Kingdoms period and followed by the Southern and Northern Dynasties in China. The dynasty was founded by the Sima family (司馬 pinyin: Sīmǎ). Note that there are four periods of Chinese history using the name "Jin".



The first of the two periods, the Western Jìn Dynasty (ch: 西晉, 265–316), was founded by Emperor Wu, better known as Sima Yan. Although providing a brief period of unity after conquering the state of Eastern Wu in 280, the Jìn could not contain the invasion and uprising of nomadic peoples after the devastating War of the Eight Princes. The capital was Luoyang until 311 when Emperor Huai was captured by the forces of Han Zhao. The successive reign of Emperor Min lasted four years in Chang'an until its conquest by Han Zhao in 316.

Meanwhile remnants of the Jìn court fled from the north to the south and reestablished the Jìn court at Jiankang, south-east of Luoyang and Chang'an and near modern-day Nanjing, under the Prince of Langye. Prominent local families of Zhu, Gan, Lu, Gu and Zhou supported the proclamation of Prince of Langye as Emperor Yuan of the Eastern Jìn Dynasty (ch: 東晉 317420) when the news of the fall of Chang'an reached the south. (Because the emperors of the Eastern Jìn Dynasty came from the Langye line, the rival Wu Hu states which did not recognize its legitimacy would at times refer to Jìn as "Langye.")

Hunping jar of the Western Jìn, with Buddhist figures.

Militaristic authorities and crises plagued the Eastern Jìn court throughout its 104 years of existence. It survived the rebellions of Wang Dun and Su Jun. Huan Wen died in 373 before he could usurp the throne (which he had intended to do). Battle of Fei turned out to be a victory of Jìn under a short-lived cooperation of Huan Chong, brother of Huan Wen and the Prime Minister (or Imperial Secretariat) Xie An. Huan Xuan, son of Huan Wen, usurped and changed the name of the dynasty to Chu. He was toppled by Liu Yu, who ordered the strangulation of the reinstated but retarded Emperor An. The last emperor and brother of Emperor An, Emperor Gong, was installed in 419.

The abdication of Emperor Gong in 420 in favor of Liu Yu, ushered in the Liu Song Dynasty and a series of dynasties in the south, collectively known as the Southern Dynasties. The Jin Dynasty thus came to an end.

Meanwhile North China was ruled by the Sixteen Kingdoms, many of which were founded by the Wu Hu, the non-Han Chinese ethnicities. The conquest of the Northern Liang by the Northern Wei Dynasty in 439 ushered in the Northern Dynasties.


Sovereigns of Jìn Dynasty

History of China
History of China
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Three Kingdoms 220–280
  Wei, Shu & Wu
Jin Dynasty 265–420
  Western Jin 16 Kingdoms
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  ( Second Zhou 690–705 )
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People's Republic
of China

of China

Posthumous names Family name and given names Durations of reigns Era names and their according range of years
Chinese convention: "Jìn" + posthumous name + "di"
Western Jìn Dynasty 265316
Wu Di Sima Yan 265290
  • Taishi 265274
  • Xianning 275280
  • Taikang 280289
  • Taixi January 28, 290 – May 17, 290
Hui Di Sima Zhong 290307
  • Yongxi May 17, 290 – February 15, 291
  • Yongping February 16 – April 23, 291
  • Yuankang April 24, 291 – February 6, 300
  • Yongkang February 7, 300 – February 3, 301
  • Yongning June 1, 301 – January 4, 303
  • Taian January 5, 303 – February 21, 304
  • Yongan February 22 – August 15, 304; December 25, 304 – February 3, 305
  • Jianwu August 16 – December 24, 304
  • Yongxing February 4, 305 – July 12, 306
  • Guangxi July 13, 306 – February 19, 307
none Sima Lun 301
  • Jianshi February 3 – June 1, 301
Huai Di Sima Chi 307311
Min Di Sima Ye 313316
Eastern Jìn Dynasty 317420
Yuan Di Sima Rui 317323
Ming Di Sima Shao 323325
Cheng Di Sima Yan 325342
Kang Di Sima Yue 342344
Mu Di Sima Dan 344361
Ai Di Sima Pi 361365
Fei Di Sima Yi 365372 *Taihe 365372
Jianwen Di Sima Yu 372
Xiaowu Di Sima Yao 372396
An Di Sima Dezong 396419
Gong Di Sima Dewen 419420

Major events

See also


  • Gernet,Jacques (1990). Le monde chinois. Paris: Armand Colin.

External links

Preceded by
Three Kingdoms
Dynasties in Chinese history
Succeeded by
Southern and Northern Dynasties

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