Jin dynasty (1115–1234)
Jin dynasty (blue) circa 1141
|Languages||Middle Chinese, Jurchen, Khitan|
Chinese folk religion
|•||1115–1123||Emperor Taizu (first)|
|•||1234||Emperor Mo (last)|
|•||Founded by Aguda||28 January 1115|
|•||Destruction of the Liao dynasty||1125|
|•||Capture of Bianliang from the Northern Song dynasty||9 January 1127|
|•||Fall of Caizhou to the Mongol Empire||9 February 1234|
|•||1126 est.||2,300,000 km² (888,035 sq mi)|
|•||1142 est.||3,000,000 km² (1,158,306 sq mi)|
|Currency||Chinese coin, Chinese cash|
|Today part of||China, Russia, North Korea, Mongolia|
|Alternative Chinese name|
|Literal meaning||Great Jin|
|History of China|
|Neolithic c. 8500 – c. 2070 BCE|
|Xia dynasty c. 2070 – c. 1600 BCE|
|Shang dynasty c. 1600 – c. 1046 BCE|
|Zhou dynasty c. 1046 – 256 BCE|
|Spring and Autumn|
|Qin dynasty 221–206 BCE|
|Han dynasty 206 BCE – 220 CE|
|Three Kingdoms 220–280|
|Wei, Shu and Wu|
|Jin dynasty 265–420|
|Eastern Jin||Sixteen Kingdoms|
|Northern and Southern dynasties
|Sui dynasty 581–618|
|Tang dynasty 618–907|
|(Second Zhou dynasty 690–705)|
|Five Dynasties and
|Northern Song||W. Xia|
|Yuan dynasty 1271–1368|
|Ming dynasty 1368–1644|
|Qing dynasty 1644–1911|
|Republic of China 1912–1949|
The Jin dynasty, officially known as the Great Jin, lasted from 1115 to 1234 as one of the last dynasties in Chinese history to predate the Mongol invasion of China. Its name is sometimes written as Kin or Jinn in English to differentiate it from an earlier Jìn dynasty of China whose name is identically spelled using the Latin alphabet. It is also sometimes called the "Jurchen dynasty" or the "Jurchen Jin", because its founding Emperor Taizu of Jin (reign 1115–1123) was of Wanyan Jurchen descent.
The Jin emerged from Taizu's rebellion against the Liao dynasty (907–1125), which held sway over northern China until the nascent Jin drove the Liao to the Western Regions, whence it became known as the Western Liao. After vanquishing the Liao, the Jin launched an over hundred-year war against the Song dynasty (960–1279), which was based in southern China. Over the course of their rule, the Jurchens of Jin quickly adapted to Chinese customs, and even fortified the Great Wall. Domestically, the Jin oversaw a number of cultural and technological advancements, like the development of gunpowder and the revival of Confucianism.
The Jin dynasty was officially known as the "Great Jin" at that time. Furthermore, the Jin emperors referred to their state as Zhongguo (中國) like some other non-Han dynasties. Non-Han rulers expanded the definition of "China" to include non-Han peoples in addition to Han people, whenever they ruled China. Yuan, Jin, and Northern Wei documents indicate the usage of "China" by dynasties to refer to themselves began earlier than previously thought.
In the 17th century, the Jurchen chief Nurhaci combined the three Jurchen tribes after 30 years of struggle and founded the Later Jin dynasty (1616–1636). Nurhaci's eighth son and heir, Huangtaiji, later changed the name of his people from Jurchen to Manchu in 1635. The next year, he changed the name of the Later Jin to Qing in 1636. However, the Qing imperial clan, the Aisin Gioro, are unrelated to the Wanyan clan of the Jin dynasty.
The Jin dynasty was created in modern Jilin and Heilongjiang by the Jurchen tribal chieftain Aguda in 1115. According to tradition, Aguda was a descendant of Hanpu. Aguda adopted the term for "gold" as the name of his state, itself a translation of "Anchuhu" River, which meant "golden" in Jurchen. This river known as Alachuke in Chinese, was a tributary of the Songhua River east of Harbin. The Jurchens' early rival was the Khitan-led Liao dynasty, which had held sway over modern north and northeast China and Mongolia, for several centuries. In 1121, the Jurchens entered into the Alliance Conducted at Sea with the Han Chinese-led Northern Song dynasty and agreed to jointly invade the Liao dynasty. While the Song armies faltered, the Jurchens succeeded in driving the Liao to Central Asia. In 1125, after the death of Aguda, the Jin dynasty broke its alliance with the Song dynasty and invaded north China. When the Song dynasty reclaimed the southern part of the Liao where Han Chinese lived, they were "fiercely resisted" by the Han Chinese population there who had previously been under Liao rule, while when the Jurchens invaded that area, the Han Chinese did not oppose them at all and handed over the Southern Capital (present-day Beijing, then known as Yanjing) to them. The Jurchens were supported by the anti-Song, Beijing-based noble Han clans. On 9 January 1127, Jin forces ransacked Bianjing (present-day Kaifeng), the capital of the Northern Song dynasty, capturing both Emperor Qinzong and his father, Emperor Huizong, who had abdicated in panic in the face of the Jin invasion. Following the fall of Bianjing, the succeeding Southern Song dynasty continued to fight the Jin dynasty for over a decade, eventually signing the Treaty of Shaoxing in 1141, which called for the cession of all Song territories north of the Huai River to the Jin dynasty and the execution of Song general Yue Fei in return for peace. The peace treaty was formally ratified on 11 October 1142 when a Jin envoy visited the Song court.
The migration south
After taking over Northern China, the Jin dynasty became increasingly sinicised. About three million people, half of them Jurchens, migrated south into northern China over two decades, and this minority governed about 30 million people. The Jurchens were given land grants and organised into hereditary military units: 300 households formed a mouke (company) and 7-10 moukes formed a meng-an (battalion). Many married Han Chinese, although the ban on Jurchen nobles marrying Han Chinese was not lifted until 1191. After Emperor Taizong died in 1135, the next three Jin emperors were grandsons of Aguda by three different princes. Emperor Xizong (r. 1135–1149) studied the classics and wrote Chinese poetry. He adopted Han Chinese cultural traditions, but the Jurchen nobles had the top positions.
Later in life, Emperor Xizong became an alcoholic and executed many officials for criticising him. He also had Jurchen leaders who opposed him murdered, even those in the Wanyan clan. In 1149 he was murdered by a cabal of relatives and nobles, who made his cousin Wanyan Liang the next Jin emperor. Because of the brutality of both his domestic and foreign policy, Wanyan Liang was posthumously demoted from the position of emperor. Consequently, historians have commonly referred to him by the posthumous name "Prince of Hailing".
Rebellions in the north
Having usurped the throne, Wanyan Liang embarked on the program of legitimising his rule as an emperor of China. In 1153, he moved the empire's main capital from Huining Prefecture (south of present-day Harbin) to the former Liao capital, Yanjing (present-day Beijing). Four years later, in 1157, to emphasise the permanence of the move, he razed the nobles' residences in Huining Prefecture. Wanyan Liang also reconstructed the former Song capital, Bianjing (present-day Kaifeng), which had been sacked in 1127, making it the Jin's southern capital.
Wanyan Liang also tried to suppress dissent by killing Jurchen nobles, executing 155 princes. To fulfil his dream of becoming the ruler of all China, Wanyan Liang attacked the Southern Song dynasty in 1161. Meanwhile, two simultaneous rebellions erupted in Shangjing, at the Jurchens' former power base: led by Wanyan Liang's cousin, soon-to-be crowned Wanyan Yong, and the other of Khitan tribesmen. Wanyan Liang had to withdraw Jin troops from southern China to quell the uprisings. The Jin forces were defeated by Song forces in the Battle of Caishi and Battle of Tangdao. With a depleted military force, Wanyan Liang failed to make headway in his attempted invasion of the Southern Song dynasty. Finally he was assassinated by his own generals in December 1161, due to his defeats. His son and heir was also assassinated in the capital.
Although crowned in October, Wanyan Yong (Emperor Shizong) was not officially recognised as emperor until the murder of Wanyan Liang's heir. The Khitan uprising was not suppressed until 1164; their horses were confiscated so that the rebels had to take up farming. Other Khitan and Xi cavalry units had been incorporated into the Jin army. Because these internal uprisings had severely weakened the Jin's capacity to confront the Southern Song militarily, the Jin court under Emperor Shizong began negotiating for peace. The Treaty of Longxing (隆興和議) was signed in 1164 and ushered in more than 40 years of peace between the two empires.
In the early 1180s, Emperor Shizong instituted a restructuring of 200 meng'an units to remove tax abuses and help Jurchens. Communal farming was encouraged. The Jin Empire prospered and had a large surplus of grain in reserve. Although learned in Chinese classics, Emperor Shizong was also known as a promoter of Jurchen language and culture; during his reign, a number of Chinese classics were translated into Jurchen, the Imperial Jurchen Academy was founded, and the imperial examinations started to be offered in the Jurchen language. Emperor Shizong's reign (1161–1189) was remembered by the posterity as the time of comparative peace and prosperity, and the emperor himself was compared to the mythological rulers Yao and Shun.
Emperor Shizong's grandson, Emperor Zhangzong (r. 1189–1208), venerated Jurchen values, but he also immersed himself in Han Chinese culture and married an ethnic Han Chinese woman. The Taihe Code of law was promulgated in 1201 and was based mostly on the Tang Code. In 1207, the Southern Song dynasty attempted an invasion, but the Jin forces effectively repulsed them. In the peace agreement, the Song dynasty had to pay higher annual indemnities and behead Han Tuozhou, the leader of the hawkish faction in the Song imperial court.
Fall of Jin
Starting from the early 13th century, the Jin dynasty began to feel the pressure of Mongols from the north. Genghis Khan first led the Mongols into Western Xia territory in 1205 and ravaged it four years later. In 1211 about 50,000 Mongols horsemen invaded the Jin Empire and began absorbing Khitan and Jurchen rebels. The Jin army had a half million men with 150,000 cavalry but abandoned the "western capital" Datong (see also the Battle of Yehuling). The next year the Mongols went north and looted the Jin "eastern capital", and in 1213 they besieged the "central capital", Zhongdu (present-day Beijing). In 1214 the Jin made a humiliating treaty but retained the capital. That summer, Emperor Xuanzong abandoned the central capital and moved the government to the "southern capital" Kaifeng, making it the official seat of the Jin dynasty's power. In 1216, a hawkish faction in the Jin imperial court persuaded Emperor Xuanzong to attack the Song dynasty, but in 1219 they were defeated at the same place by the Yangtze River where Wanyan Liang had been defeated in 1161. The Jin dynasty now faced a two front war that they could not afford. Furthermore, Emperor Aizong won a succession struggle against his brother and then quickly ended the war and went back to the capital. He made peace with the Tanguts of Western Xia, who had been allied with the Mongols.
Many Han Chinese and Khitans defected to the Mongols to fight against the Jin dynasty. Two Han Chinese leaders, Shi Tianze and Liu Heima (劉黑馬), and the Khitan Xiao Zhala (蕭札剌) defected and commanded the three tumens in the Mongol army. Liu Heima and Shi Tianze served Genghis Khan's successor, Ögedei Khan. Liu Heima and Shi Tianxiang led armies against Western Xia for the Mongols. There were four Han tumens and three Khitan tumens, with each tumen consisting of 10,000 troops. The three Khitan generals Shimo Beidi'er (石抹孛迭兒), Tabuyir (塔不已兒), and Xiao Zhongxi (蕭重喜; Xiao Zhala's son) commanded the three Khitan tumens and the four Han generals Zhang Rou (張柔), Yan Shi (嚴實), Shi Tianze and Liu Heima commanded the four Han tumens under Ögedei Khan.
Shi Tianze was a Han Chinese who lived under Jin rule. Inter-ethnic marriage between Han Chinese and Jurchens became common at this time. His father was Shi Bingzhi (史秉直). Shi Bingzhi married a Jurchen woman (surname Nahe) and a Han Chinese woman (surname Zhang); it is unknown which of them was Shi Tianze's mother. Shi Tianze was married to two Jurchen women, a Han Chinese woman, and a Korean woman, and his son Shi Gang was born to one of his Jurchen wives. His Jurchen wives' surnames were Monian and Nahe, his Korean wife's surname was Li, and his Han Chinese wife's surname was Shi. Shi Tianze defected to the Mongol forces upon their invasion of the Jin dynasty. His son, Shi Gang, married a Keraite woman; the Keraites were Mongolified Turkic people and considered as part of the "Mongol nation". Shi Tianze, Zhang Rou, Yan Shi and other Han Chinese who served in the Jin dynasty and defected to the Mongols helped build the structure for the administration of the new Mongol state.
The Mongols created a "Han Army" (漢軍) out of defected Jin troops, and another army out of defected Song troops called the "Newly Submitted Army" (新附軍).
Genghis Khan died in 1227 while his armies were attacking Western Xia. His successor, Ögedei Khan, invaded the Jin dynasty again in 1232 with assistance from the Southern Song dynasty. The Jurchens tried to resist; but when the Mongols besieged Kaifeng in 1233, Emperor Aizong fled south to the city of Caizhou. A Song–Mongol allied army looted the capital, and the next year Emperor Aizong committed suicide to avoid being captured when the Mongols besieged Caizhou, ending the Jin dynasty in 1234. The territory of the Jin dynasty was to be divided between the Mongols and the Song dynasty. However, due to lingering territorial disputes, the Song dynasty and the Mongols eventually went to war with one another over these territories.
In Empire of The Steppes, René Grousset reports that the Mongols were always amazed at the valour of the Jurchen warriors, who held out until seven years after the death of Genghis Khan.
Contemporary Chinese writers ascribed Jurchen success in overwhelming the Liao and Northern Song dynasties mainly to their cavalry. Already during Aguda's rebellion against the Liao dynasty, all Jurchen fighters were mounted. It was said that the Jurchen cavalry tactics were a carryover from their hunting skills. Jurchen horsemen were provided with heavy armor; on occasions, they would use a team of horses attached to each other with chains (Guaizi Ma).
As the Liao dynasty fell apart and the Song dynasty retreated beyond the Yangtze, the army of the new Jin dynasty absorbed many soldiers who formerly fought for the Liao or Song dynasties. The new Jin empire adopted many of the Song military's weapons, including various machines for siege warfare and artillery. In fact, the Jin military's use of cannons, grenades, and even rockets to defend besieged Kaifeng against the Mongols in 1233 is considered the first ever battle in human history in which gunpowder was used effectively, even though it failed to prevent the eventual Jin defeat.
On the other hand, the Jin military was not particularly good at naval warfare. Both in 1129–30 and in 1161 Jin forces were defeated by the Southern Song navies when trying to cross the Yangtze River into the core Southern Song territory (see Battle of Tangdao and Battle of Caishi), even though for the latter campaign the Jin had equipped a large navy of their own, using Han Chinese shipbuilders and even Han Chinese captains who had defected from the Southern Song.
In 1130, the Jin army reached Hangzhou and Ningbo in southern China. But heavy Chinese resistance and the geography of the area halted the Jin advance, and they were forced retreat and withdraw, and they had not been able to escape the Song navy when trying to return until they were directed by a Han Chinese defector who helped them escape in Zhenjiang. Southern China was then cleared of the Jurchen forces.
The Jin Great Wall
In order to prevent incursion from the Mongols, a large construction program was launched. The records show that two important sections of the Great Wall were completed by the Jurchens.
The Great Wall as constructed by the Jurchens differed from the previous dynasties. Known as the Border Fortress or the Boundary Ditch of the Jin, it was formed by digging ditches within which lengths of wall were built. In some places subsidiary walls and ditches were added for extra strength. The construction was started in about 1123 and completed by about 1198. The two sections attributable to the Jin dynasty are known as the Old Mingchang Walls and New Great Walls, together stretching more than 2,000 kilometres in length.
The government of the Jin dynasty merged Jurchen customs with institutions adopted from the Liao and Song dynasties. The pre-dynastic Jurchen government was based on the quasi-egalitarian tribal council. Jurchen society at the time did not have a strong political hierarchy. The Shuo Fu (說郛) records that the Jurchen tribes were not ruled by central authority and locally elected their chieftains. Tribal customs were retained after Aguda united the Jurchen tribes and formed the Jin dynasty, coexisting alongside more centralised institutions. The Jin dynasty had five capitals, a practice they adopted from the Balhae and the Liao. The Jin had to overcome the difficulties of controlling a multi-cultural empire composed of territories once ruled by the Liao and Northern Song. The solution of the early Jin government was to establish separate government structures for different ethnic groups.
List of emperors
Part of a series on the
|History of Manchuria|
|Convention: "Jin" + temple name or posthumous name|
|1115–1123||Shōuguó (收國, 1115–1116)
Tiānfǔ (天輔, 1117–1123)
|1123–1135||Tiānhuì (天會, 1123–1135)|
|1135–1149||Tiānhuì (天會, 1135–1138)
Tiānjuàn (天眷, 1138–1141)
Huángtǒng (皇統, 1141–1149)
|(2)||Prince Yáng of Hǎilíng
|1149–1161||Tiāndé (天德, 1149–1153)
Zhènyuán (貞元, 1153–1156)
Zhènglóng (正隆, 1156–1161)
|1161–1189||Dàdìng (大定, 1161–1189)|
|1189–1208||Míngchāng (明昌, 1190–1196)
Chéng'ān (承安, 1196–1200)
Tàihé (泰和, 1200–1208)
|(2)||Prince Shào of Wèi
- (1) Too long. Normally not used when referring to this sovereign.
- (2) Did not exist
Emperors family tree
|Emperors family tree|
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- Zhao 2006, p. 24.
- 关于契丹小字中的 “金”
- 滿洲源流考 Qing ding Man Zhou Yuan Liu Kao, 本朝者謂雖與大金俱在東方而非其同部則所見殊小我朝得姓曰愛新覺羅氏國語謂金曰愛新可為金源同派之証盖我朝在大金時未嘗非完顔氏之服屬猶之完顔 氏在今日皆為我朝之臣
- Franke 1994, p. 221.
- Twitchett, Franke, & Fairbank (1994), p. 221
- Denis C. Twitchett; Herbert Franke; John King Fairbank (25 November 1994). The Cambridge History of China: Volume 6, Alien Regimes and Border States, 907-1368. Cambridge University Press. p. 39. ISBN 978-0-521-24331-5.
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- Robert Hymes (2000). John Stewart Bowman, ed. Columbia Chronologies of Asian History and Culture. Columbia University Press. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-231-11004-4.
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- Tao (1976), p. 44
- Tao (1976), Chapter 6. "The Jurchen Movement for Revival", Pages 69-83.
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- Collectif (2002). Revue bibliographique de sinologie 2001. Éditions de l'École des hautes études en sciences sociales. p. 147.
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- Gary Seaman; Daniel Marks (1991). Rulers from the steppe: state formation on the Eurasian periphery. Ethnographics Press, Center for Visual Anthropology, University of Southern California. p. 175.
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- Watt, James C. Y. (2010). The World of Khubilai Khan: Chinese Art in the Yuan Dynasty. Metropolitan Museum of Art. p. 14.
- Chan, Hok-Lam (1997). "A Recipe to Qubilai Qa'an on Governance: The Case of Chang Te-hui and Li Chih". Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (Cambridge University Press) 7 (2): 257–83.
- Hucker, Charles O. (1985). A Dictionary of Official Titles in Imperial China. Stanford University Press. p. 66.
- Tao (1976), Chapter 2. "The Rise of the Chin dynasty", Pages 21-24.
- René Grousset (1970). The Empire of the Steppes: A History of Central Asia (reprint, illustrated ed.). Rutgers University Press. p. 137. ISBN 0-8135-1304-9.
The emperor Kao-tsung had taken flight to Ningpo (then known as Mingchow) and later to the port of Wenchow, south of Chekiang. From Nanking the Kin general Wu-chu hastened in pursuit and captured Hangchow and Ningpo (end of 1129 and beginning of 1130. However, the Kin army, consisting entirely of cavalry, had ventured too far into this China of the south with its flooded lands, intersecting rivers, paddy fields and canals, and dense population which harassed and encircled it. We-chu, leader of the Kin troops, sought to return north but was halted by the Yangtze, now wide as a sea and patrolled by Chinese flotillas. At last a traitor showed him how he might cross the river near Chenkiang, east of Nanking (1130).
- Jacques Gernet (1996). A history of Chinese civilization (2, illustrated, revised ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 357. ISBN 0-521-49781-7.
Nanking and Hangchow were taken by assault in 1129 and in 1130 the Jürchen ventured as far as Ning-po, in the north-eastern tip of Chekiang.
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- Tao, Jing-shen (1976). The Jurchen in Twelfth-Century China. University of Washington Press. ISBN 0-295-95514-7.
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- Franke, Herbert (1994). "The Chin dynasty". In Denis Twitchett, Denis C.; John King Fairbank. The Cambridge History of China: Volume 6, Alien Regimes and Border States, 710–1368. Cambridge University Press. pp. 215–320. ISBN 978-0-521-24331-5. (hardcover)
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- Zhao, Gang (January 2006). "Reinventing China: Imperial Qing Ideology and the Rise of Modern Chinese National Identity in the Early Twentieth Century" 32 (Number 1). Sage Publications. doi:10.1177/0097700405282349. JSTOR 20062627. Archived (PDF) from the original on 25 March 2014. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
- Schneider, Julia. 2011. “The Jin Revisited: New Assessment of Jurchen Emperors”. Journal of Song-yuan Studies, no. 41. Society for Song, Yuan, and Conquest Dynasty Studies: 343–404. http://www.jstor.org/stable/23496214.
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