Names of Beijing
|Look up Beijing or 北京 in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
The spelling Beijing was adopted for use within the People's Republic of China upon the approval of Hanyu Pinyin on February 11, 1958, during the Fifth Session of the 1st National People's Congress. It became obligatory for all foreign publications issued by the People's Republic on 1 January 1979. It was gradually adopted by various news organizations, governments, and international agencies over the next decade.
The Chinese characters 北 ("north") and 京 ("capital") together mean the "Northern Capital". The name was first used during the reign of the Ming dynasty's Yongle Emperor, who made his northern fief a second capital, along with Nanjing (南京, the "Southern Capital"), in 1403 after successfully dethroning his nephew during the Jingnan Campaign. The name was restored in 1949 at the founding of the People's Republic of China.
|Look up Peking in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
"Peking" is a romanization created by 17th- and 18th-century French missionaries. In De Christiana expeditione apud Sinas (1615), Matteo Ricci calls the city Pechinum. (The English translation gives Pequin.) "Peking" appears in A Description of the Empire of China (1735) by Jean-Baptiste Du Halde. These early spellings may represent pronunciation in the Nanjing dialect, which was used as a lingua franca at this time, or the various other southern Chinese languages (e.g., Cantonese, Hokkien and Hakka) used by the traders of the port cities visited by early European traders. Peking was the English name of the city until the adoption of pinyin. However, it is still employed adjectivally in terms such as "Pekingese", "Peking duck", "Peking Man" and various others. The name is retained at Peking University as well. The name remains in common and official use in many other languages.
Historical names of Beijing
|City of Ji 薊城||Zhou,
|221 BC||Qin||[Note 2]|
|106 BC -
|City of Ji
|Han, Wei, Western Jin (晉)||[Note 3]|
|319||Later Zhao||[Note 4]|
|350||Eastern Jin (晉)||[Note 5]|
|352–57||Former Yan||[Note 6]|
|370||Former Qin||[Note 7]|
|385||Later Yan||[Note 8]|
|397||Northern Dynasties||[Note 9]|
|607||Zhuojun 涿郡||Sui||[Note 10]|
|911-13||Yan (Five Dynasties)|
|938||Nanjing 南京||Liao||[Note 12]|
|1151||Zhongdu 中都||[Note 13]|
|1368||Beiping 北平||Ming||[Note 14]|
|1912||Republic of China|
|Beijing||People's Republic of China|
| Capital of regional dynasty or kingdom|
Capital of China
The city has had many other names. The chronological list below sets out both the names of the city itself, and, in earlier times, the names of the administrative entities covering the city today.
- Ji: The first major known settlement was the eponymous capital of the ancient Ji state between the 11th and 7th centuries BC. The settlement was also known as Jicheng. It was located in the current city's Guang'anmen neighborhood south of the Beijing West railway station.
- Yan: Ji was conquered by Yan around the 7th century BC but was employed as its conqueror's new capital. Although the official name remained as Ji, the city also became known as Yan and Yanjing ("Capital of Yan"). The name was employed in the titles of An Lushan (as Emperor of Yan), Liu Rengong (as King of Yan), and the Princes of Yan. The Khitans of the 10th- to 12th-century Liao Dynasty fully restored the name Yanjing, and it remains a name for Beijing in literary usage today, as reflected in the locally brewed Yanjing Beer and the former Yenching University (since merged into Peking University).
- Guangyang: After the Qin conquest, Ji was made the capital of the Guangyang Commandery.
- Youzhou and Fanyang: Under the Tang Dynasty, being the seat of the You Prefecture, the city generally employed Youzhou as its name. During the Tianbao Era of Emperor Xuanzong, however, You Prefecture was renamed Fanyang Commandery, and the name Fanyang became associated with the city as well.
- Nanjing: In the 10th and 12th centuries, the northerly Liao Dynasty restored the name Yanjing. They also knew the city as Nanjing as it was the southernmost of their secondary capitals.
- Zhongdu: During the 12th-century Later Jin dynasty, it was known as Zhongdu.
- Khanbaliq: The Mongolian Yuan Dynasty originally restored the name Yanjing before constructing a new capital adjacent to the former settlement. This settlement was called Dadu in Chinese and Daidu in Mongolian. (As Khanbaliq, it was noted as Cambuluc by Marco Polo.) This city gradually absorbed the former settlements around the area.
- Beiping: Under the Ming Dynasty, the city itself was initially known as Beiping. The name reads literally as "Northern Peace", although its usage and connotations are closer to the idea of "Northern Plains".
- Shuntian: When the usurping Yongle Emperor established his base of Beiping as a secondary capital in 1403, he renamed the town Shuntian and the province surrounding it Beizhili to mimic the names of Yingtian (modern Nanjing) and the province of Zhili that surrounds it.
- Jingshi and Beijing: When the palace was finally completed in 1420, the Yongle Emperor moved the majority of his court north. The name Jingshi ceased to be used for Yingtian and was now employed for Shuntian. The area around Yingtian became known as Nanjing while Beijing was used to describe the area directly administered by the capital (generally modern Hebei).
- Jingdu: Chinese: 京都; pinyin: Jīngdū; Wade–Giles: Ching-tu; lit. 'Capital City') was declared the official name of Beijing by the Beiyang government in January 1918, and remained so until 1928.
- Beiping (then romanized as Peiping), in both its connotations, was restored as the name in 1928 by the Republic of China following its reconquest of Beijing from the warlords during the Northern Expedition. The occupying Japanese in 1937 imposed the name Peking (Beijing), then with their surrender in 1945, the Nationalist Government restored "Beiping". In 1949, the official name again reverted to "Peking" (the Postal Romanization) when the Communists conquered it during the Chinese Civil War and made it capital of their newly-founded People's Republic of China. As noted above, the pinyin romanization, "Beijing", was adopted for use within the country in 1958, and for international use in 1979. The American government continued to follow the Nationalist government in using "Beiping" until the late 1960s.
Similarly named cities
In addition to Nanjing, several other East Asian and Southeast Asian cities have similar names in Chinese characters despite appearing dissimilar in English transliteration. The most prominent is Tokyo, Japan, whose Han script name is written 東京 (Dongjing, or "Eastern Capital"). 東京 was also a former name of Hanoi (as Đông Kinh or "Tonkin") in Vietnam during the Later Lê Dynasty. A former name of Seoul in South Korea was Gyeongseong, written in Han script as 京城 or "Capital City". Kyoto in Japan still bears the similar-meaning characters 京都: the character "都", du in Chinese, can also mean "capital".
The history of China since the Tang dynasty has also been full of secondary capitals with directional names. Under the Tang, these were Beidu ("north capital", at Taiyuan in Shanxi); Nandu ("south capital", first, Chengdu in Sichuan and, later, Jiangling in Hubei); Dongdu ("east capital", Luoyang in Henan); and Xidu ("west capital", Fengxiang in Shaanxi).
There were two previous Beijings: one, the northern capital of the Northern Song at modern Daming in Hebei; the other, the northern capital of the Jurchen Jin located at Ningcheng in Inner Mongolia.
The Nanjing of the Northern Song was located at Shangqiu in Henan. The Jurchen Jin located theirs at Kaifeng,) which had been the Northern Song's "Dongjing". The Jurchen Jin also had a Dongjing ("Eastern Capital"), which was, however, located at Liaoyang in Liaoning. Apart from these, there were two Xijings (西京, "Western Capital"): one was the "Western Capital" of the Northern Song dynasty, located at Luoyang; the other was held by the Liao and Jurchen Jin at Datong. Liaoyang was the Zhongjing (中京, "Central Capital") of the Liao dynasty and, finally, another Zhongdu ("Central Capital") was planned but never completed. It was the proposed capital of the Ming Dynasty mooted by the Hongwu Emperor in the 14th century, to be located on the site of his destroyed childhood village of Zhongli (鍾離), now Fengyang in Anhui.
- The City of Ji was the capital of the States of Ji and Yan.
- During the Qin dynasty, the City of Ji served as the regional capital of the Guangyang Commandery (广阳郡).
- During the Eastern Han dynasty, Youzhou, as one of 12 prefectures, contained a dozen subordinate commanderies, including the Guangyang Commandery. In 24 AD, Liu Xiu moved Youzhou's prefectural seat from Ji County (in modern-day Tianjin) to the City of Ji (in modern-day Beijing). In 96 AD, the City of Ji served as the seat of both the Guangyang Commandery and Youzhou. The Wei Kingdom reorganized and decentralized the governance of commanderies under Youzhou. Guangyang Commandery became the State of Yan (燕国), which had four counties: Ji County, Changping, Jundu and Guangyang County, and was governed from the City of Ji. Fanyang Commandery was governed from Zhuo County. Yuyang Commandery was governed from Yuyuang (in modern-day Huairou District of Beijing), Shanggu Commandery was governed from Juyong (in modern-day Yanqing County of Beijing).
- In 319, Shi Le captured Youzhou from Duan Pidi
- In 350, Murong Jun captured Youzhou in the name of restoring northern China to Jin rule.
- From 352 to 357, the Former Yan made the city of Ji its capital.
- In 319, Shi Le captured Youzhou from Duan Pidi
- In the second lunar month of 385, Murong Chui seized Youzhou from Former Qin.
- In 397 AD, the Northern Wei captured Ji from the Later Yan and went on to establish the first of the Northern Dynasties.
- During the Sui dynasty, Youzhou became Zhuojun or Zhuo Commandery.
- During the Tang dynasty, the seat of the government of Youzhou remained in place but took on slightly different names. In 616, the government was called Youzhou Zongguanfu (幽州总管府); in 622, Youzhou Dazongguanfu (幽州大总管府); in 624, Youzhou Dadudufu (幽州大都督府) and in 626, Youzhou Dudufu (幽州都督府). From 710, the head of the government in Youzhou became a jiedushi, a military regional commander. In 742, Youzhou was renamed Fanyang Commandery (范阳郡). In 759, during the An-Shi Rebellion, Shi Siming declared himself emperor of the Great Yan dynasty and made Fanyang, Yanjing or "the Yan Capital." After the rebellion was suppressed, the seat of government became Youzhou Lulong Dudufu (幽州卢龙都督府).
- The seat of government in Nanjing was known as Youdufu (幽都府) until 1012, when the name was changed to Xijinfu (析津府).
- After 1151, the capital of the Jin dynasty from Shangjing to Yanjing, which was renamed Zhongdu. Zhongdu refers to the Zhongdulu (中都路), an administrative unit which governed about 12 surrounding prefectures and 39 counties. The governing seat of Zhongdulu was Daxingfu (大兴府).
- The seat of government in Beiping, later Beijing, was called Shuntianfu (顺天府).
- From 1937 to 1940, the city was renamed Beijing by the Provisional Government of the Republic of China, a puppet regime backed by the Japanese occupation. The city's name reverted to Beiping after the defeat of Japan in World War II.
- Lost Laowai. "From Peking to Beijing: A Long and Bumpy Trip". Accessed 21 October 2012.
- De Christiana expeditione apud Sinas, pp. x, 321, 378
- *A discourse of the Kingdome of China, taken out of Ricius and Trigautius, containing the countrey, people, government, religion, rites, sects, characters, studies, arts, acts; and a Map of China added, drawne out of one there made with Annotations for the understanding thereof, and A continuation of the Jesuites Acts and observations in China till Ricius his death and some yeers after. Of Hanceu or Quinsay. (excerpts from De Christiana expeditione, in English translation) in Purchas his Pilgrimes, Volume XII (1625), Chapters VII and VIII. The two preceding chapters, V and VI, also contain related Jesuit accounts. Can be found in the full text of "Hakluytus posthumus" on archive.org.
- Du Halde, Jean-Baptiste, Description of the Empire of China (1735)
- Lane Harris, "A 'Lasting Boon to All': A Note on the Postal Romanization of Place Names, 1896–1949". Twentieth Century China 34.1 (2008): 99 
- Coblin, W. South (2000a), "A brief history of Mandarin", Journal of the American Oriental Society, 120 (4): 537–552, doi:10.2307/606615, JSTOR 606615.
- Liberman, Mark (18 August 2008). "How they say "Beijing" in Beijing". Language Log. Retrieved 10 May 2011.
- "Ji, a Northern City of Military Importance in the Qin Dynasty" Beijing Municipal Administration of Cultural Heritage Archived 2012-08-25 at the Wayback Machine 2006-07-19
- (Chinese)"北方军事重镇-汉唐经略东北的基地-秦王朝北方的燕蓟重镇" Beijing Municipal Administration of Cultural Heritage Accessed 2012-12-17
- (Chinese)"北方军事重镇-汉唐经略东北的基地-东汉时期的幽州蓟城" Beijing Municipal Administration of Cultural Heritage 2005-09-01
- (Chinese)"北方军事重镇-汉唐经略东北的基地-民族大融合的魏晋十六国北朝时期" Beijing Municipal Administration of Cultural Heritage 2005-09-01
- (Chinese) "北京城市行政区划述略" 《北京地方志》 Accessed 2012-12-19
- (Chinese) [郗志群, 歷史北京 https://books.google.com/books?id=Q8F9DwAAQBAJ&pg=PA36] p. 36
- (Chinese) 北魏太和造像 2009-01-11
- (Chinese)"北方军事重镇-汉唐经略东北的基地-隋朝统治下的北京" Beijing Municipal Administration of Cultural Heritage 2005-09-01
- (Chinese) 试论北京唐代墓志的地方特色" Beijing Municipal Administration of Cultural Heritage 2005-09-01
- (Chinese) "北半部中国的政治中心-金中都的建立" Beijing Municipal Administration of Cultural Heritage 2005-09-01
- Li, Dray-Novey & Kong 2007, p. 7 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFLiDray-NoveyKong2007 (help)
- Denis Twitchett, Herbert Franke, John K. Fairbank, in The Cambridge History of China: Volume 6, Alien Regimes and Border States (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), p 454.
- "Beijing". The Columbia Encyclopedia (6th ed.). 2008.
- Hucker, Charles O. "Governmental Organization of The Ming Dynasty", p. 5–6. Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, Vol. 21 (December 1958). Harvard-Yenching Institute. Accessed 20 October 2012.
- 『北京档案史料』. 2001. p. 304.
- 「近代城市史研究資料彙編 」. 北平市工務局 [Beiping City Public Works Bureau]. 1947. OCLC 320850375. Quoted in 王伟杰 [Wang Weijie] (1989). 「北京环境史话」. 地質出版社 [Dizhi Chubanshe]. OCLC 24027432.
- Standardization Administration of China (SAC). "GB/T-2260: Codes for the administrative divisions of the People's Republic of China".
- Theobald, Ulrich. China Knowledge. "Chinese History - Tang Dynasty 唐 (618-907): Map and Geography". Accessed 19 October 2012.
- Theobald, Ulrich. China Knowledge. "Chinese History - Song Dynasty 宋 (960-1279): Map and Geography". Accessed 19 October 2012.
- Theobald, Ulrich. China Knowledge. "Chinese History - Jin dynasty 金 (1115–1234): Map and Geography". Accessed 19 October 2012.
- Theobald, Ulrich. China Knowledge. "Chinese History - Liao Dynasty 遼 (907-1125): Map and Geography". Accessed 19 October 2012.
- Eric N. Danielson, "The Ming Ancestor Tomb Archived 2013-09-27 at the Wayback Machine". China Heritage Quarterly, No. 16, December 2008.