Wei–Jie war

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Wei–Jie war
Date350–351 CE
Result Decisive Wei Victory; many Jie and other Wǔ Hú were killed.
Ran Wei Jie and other Wu Hu
Commanders and leaders
Ran Min Shi Zhi
100,000+ 100,000+
Casualties and losses
light Hundreds of thousands of Jie and other Wǔ Hú were killed

The Wei–Jie war was a conflict in North China in 350 CE. Following the fall of the ethnic-Jie Later Zhao regime in 350 to the Chinese state of Ran Wei, tensions were high. The Jie people, who had formed the Later Zhao Dynasty, did not accept Ran Min's rule and rose against him; they were joined by many other Wǔ Hú nations also opposed to Ran Min. The resulting war ended with a decisive victory for Ran Min, who then proceeded to issue his famous "extermination order", which resulted in the extermination of virtually all of the Jie and most of the Wu Hu.


By 350, struggles within the Jie Later Zhao regime benefited Ran Min, who took over the regime and massacred the entire Shi family, who ruled Later Zhao, with the exception of one cousin of Shi Jian, the last emperor of Later Zhao. Later, however, that cousin led an uprising against Ran Min, beginning the Wei–Jie war.

Course of the war[edit]

Outbreak of the war[edit]

Shi Jian's cousin, Shi Zhi, had been a Later Zhao general at Xiāngguó (㐮國). When he heard that Ran Min had massacred the Shi family and declared himself emperor, Shi Zhi rebelled against Ran Min. He was quickly joined by several other Later Zhao border armies, mostly of Jie soldiers who despised Ran Min's rule.[1]

Extermination of the Wu Hu[edit]

When he heard of the Jie revolt against him, Ran Min issued his infamous "extermination order", in which he called on the (Han) Chinese to kill all the Wǔ Hú. The Wǔ Hú had conquered Ran Wei half a century earlier. The effect of Ran Min's order was immense; some 200,000 Jie were killed in Ye city (the Wei capital [邺城]) in a few days, and brutal fighting broke out between Chinese and Wǔ Hú throughout North China.[1] Ran Min's army also killed some 400,000 White Xiongnus.[2]

Battle of Xiangguo[edit]

Meanwhile, Ran Min's army met the main rebel forces under Shi Zhi and defeated them at the Battle of Yecheng. In the spring of 351, Ran Min besieged Shi Zhi's capital, Xiāngguó. Shi Zhi sought aid from Former Yan's prince Murong Jun and was able to deal Ran a major defeat. At this time, the Xiongnu soldiers in Yecheng also rebelled, captured Ran Min's son Ran Yin, and surrendered to Shi Zhi, who executed Ran Yin. Ran Min was thought to be dead, but when he appeared in Yecheng, the city was calmed. Shi Zhi ordered his general Liu Xian (劉顯) to besiege Yecheng, but Ran Min defeated Liu in the siege, awing the latter so much that Liu agreed that upon his return to Xiāngguó he would kill Shi Zhi and surrender. He did so and sent Shi Zhi's head to Ran Min, who had the head burned on a busy street in Yecheng. The Later Zhao dynasty was at its final end. The city of Xiāngguó was burned, and its population moved to Yecheng.[1]

End of the war[edit]

Following the victory at Xiāngguó, Ran Min's forces proceeded northwards and defeated two Later Zhao border armies. Wherever he captured territory from the rebels, Ran Min's forces massacred any Wǔ Hú living there, burying their bodies in large pits. Some 100,000 were reputedly killed in this way. Thousands of Wǔ Hú fled China or were killed. The Jie were particularly hard hit; they were virtually completely wiped out.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c Li and Zheng, pg 402
  2. ^ [1]


  • Li, Bo; Zheng Yin (Chinese) (2001) 5000 years of Chinese history, Inner Mongolian People's publishing corp, ISBN 7-204-04420-7,
  • Book of Jin.