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大理國
Kingdom of Dali

937 – 1095
1096 – 1253

Location of Dali in 1142
Capital Dali
Religion Buddhism
Government Monarchy
Emperor
 - 937-944 Duan Siping
 - 1081-1094 Duan Zhengming
 - 1096-1108 Duan Zhengchun
 - 1251-1254 Duan Xingzhi
History
 - Established 937 937
 - Coup d'etat by Gao Shengtai 1095
 - Restablished 1096
 - Ended by the Mongol Empire 1253 1253

Dali (simplified Chinese: 大理国traditional Chinese: 大理國pinyin: Dàlǐguó) was a Bai kingdom centred in what is now Yunnan Province of China. Established by Duan Siping in 937, it was ruled by a succession of 22 kings until the year 1253, when it was destroyed by an invasion of the Mongol Empire. The capital city was at Dali.

The Kingdom of Dali was preceded by the Nanzhao Dynasty, which was overthrown in 902. Three dynasties followed in quick succession, until Duan Siping seized power in 937 and established Dali. Gao Shengtai forced the puppet king Duan Zhengming to abdicate and become a monk in 1095, and renamed the state Dazhong. He returned the power to the Duan family upon his death. Duan Zhengchun renamed the state Hou Li (lit. The later Dali) in the next year.

The 11th king of Nanzhao established Buddhism as the state religion. Ten of the 22 kings of Dali gave up the throne and became monks.[1].

It is claimed that despite their military prowess and superior numbers, the Mongols could not breach the defenses of the Erhai valley, which was so suited to defense that even just a few defenders could hold out for years. It is said that the Mongols found a traitor who led them over the Cangshan mountains along a secret path, and only in this way were they able to penetrate and overrun the Bai defenders. Thus ended five centuries of independence. In 1274 the Province of Yunnan was created, and the region has since been incorporated within China.

References

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