Chen dynasty

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Chen and neighbors
Chen and neighbors
Administrative divisions in 572
Administrative divisions in 572
• 557–559
Emperor Wu of Chen
• 559–566
Emperor Wen of Chen
• 566–568
Emperor Fei of Chen
• 569–582
Emperor Xuan of Chen
• 582–589
Chen Shubao
• Established
16 November[1] 557
• Disestablished
10 February[2] 589
• Chen Shubao's death
16 December 604[3]
CurrencyChinese coin,
Chinese cash
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Liang dynasty
Sui dynasty
Today part ofChina

The Chen dynasty (simplified Chinese: 陈朝; traditional Chinese: 陳朝; pinyin: Chén Cháo; 557-589), also known as the Southern Chen (南陳), was the fourth and last of the Southern Dynasties in China, eventually destroyed by the Sui dynasty.

While it is said that Chen is the only dynasty named after the ruling house in Chinese history, this is in fact a coincidence. The founder of the dynasty, Chen Baxian, had been granted the title of "Prince of Chen", and on taking the throne he followed the Chinese practice of using his former princely title as the name of the new dynasty.

When the dynasty was founded by Emperor Wu, it was exceedingly weak, possessing only a small portion of the territory once held by its predecessor Liang dynasty—and that portion was devastated by wars that had doomed Liang. However, Emperor Wu's successors Emperor Wen and Emperor Xuan were capable rulers, and the state gradually solidified and strengthened, becoming roughly equal in power to rivals Northern Zhou and Northern Qi. After Northern Zhou took over Northern Qi in 577 and reunited the North, Chen was cornered. To make matters worse, its final emperor Chen Shubao was an incompetent and indulgent ruler, and Chen was eventually destroyed by Northern Zhou's successor state Sui.

During the short-lived dynasty, the Rau peoples to the south resumed raids against the region of Jiaozhi, perceiving the dynasty to be weak. The raids ended with the conquest of the Southern Chen by the Sui.[4] The Sui general Yang Su suppressed various Chen rebels in campaigns during the early 590s.

Sovereigns of Chen dynasty (557-589)[edit]

Posthumous name Personal Name Period of Reigns Era names
Emperor Wu of Chen Chen Baxian 557-559 Yongding (永定) 557-559
Emperor Wen of Chen Chen Qian 559-566 Tianjia (天嘉) 560-566
Tiankang (天康) 566
Emperor Fei of Chen Chen Bozong 566-568 Guangda (光大) 566-568
Emperor Xuan of Chen Chen Xu 569-582 Taijian (太建) 569-582
Chen Shubao 583-589 Zhide (至德) 583-586
Zhenming (禎明) 587-589

Sovereigns family tree[edit]

Notable people[edit]



  1. ^ Zizhi Tongjian, vol. 167.
  2. ^ Zizhi Tongjian, vol. 177.
  3. ^ Zizhi Tongjian, vol. 180.
  4. ^ Hall, D.G.E. (1981). A History of South-East Asia, Fourth Edition. Hong Kong: Macmillan Education Ltd. p. 17. ISBN 0-333-24163-0.
  5. ^ K. W. Taylor (9 May 2013). A History of the Vietnamese. Cambridge University Press. pp. 166–. ISBN 978-0-521-87586-8.


External links[edit]