Duan Siping

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Duan Siping
Reign c. 937 CEc. 944 CE
Born c. 894 CE
Xizhou, Dali
Died c. 944 CE
Full name
Family name: Duàn
Given name: Sīpíng
Posthumous name

Duan Siping was a statesman who founded and became the first ruler of the Kingdom of Dali in 937.[1] The Kingdom retained independence from Han China until the Mongol invasion in 1253 led by Kublai Khan.[2]


The Duan family claimed descent from a Han Chinese family originating in Gansu province, however it is widely accepted that Duan Siping was a member of the Bai ethnic group.[3] The Dian zaiji (Chinese: 滇載記) records that Duan's ancestor was from Wuwei and, having assisted the Meng clan in battle, was awarded with political rank. However, "his descendant six generations later, Siping, was born under different omens."[4]

Duan was a governor of Tonghai County. Yang Ganzhen (Chinese: 楊干貞), ruler of the Great Yining kingdom, feared him and attempted to imprison him.[5] Duan went into hiding and gathered soldiers and horses to fight. Allegedly, Duan was eating a wild peach, when he noticed two characters written on the fruit's skin: qing xi 青昔. Duan determined that the first character, qing, referred to the twelth month, whilst the second, xi, indicated the twenty-first day. He understood this as an omen of when he should attack Great Yining.[6]



  1. ^ http://www.kepu.net.cn/gb/civilization/nation/hundred/hun307.html
  2. ^ Zhao (2002).
  3. ^ Mote (2003), p. 710.
  4. ^ Yang (1500s), “六传而生思平,思平生有异兆。”
  5. ^ Yang (1500s)
  6. ^ Yang (1500s), “思平折之曰:「青乃十二月,昔乃二十一日。今杨氏政乱,吾当以是日举义乎?」”

Works cited[edit]

  • Mote, F. W. (2003). Imperial China 900-1800 (2 ed.). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 
  • Zhao 赵, Yinsong 寅松 (2002). "试论大理国的建立和段思平的出身 trans-title=Preliminary study of the founding of the Dali Kingdom and Duan Siping's ancestry". Yunnan minzu xueyuan xuebao. 19 (5): 75–78. 
  • Yang, Shen (1500s). 滇載記 [Records of Dian].