1st Edition

China’s Northern Wei Dynasty, 386-535
The Struggle for Legitimacy

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after December 21, 2020
ISBN 9780367347444
December 21, 2020 Forthcoming by Routledge
216 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations

USD $155.00

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Book Description

The Northern Wei was a dynasty which originated outside China and which ruled northern China at the time when the south of China was ruled by a series of dynasties which originated inside China.


Both during the time the Northern Wei were in power, and over many centuries subsequently, the legitimacy of the Northern Wei was questioned. This book outlines the history of the Northern Wei, including their origins, and the history of their southern rivals, considers the practices adopted by both the Northern Wei and their rivals to establish legitimacy, and examines the debates which preoccupied Chinese scholars subsequently.


The book thereby casts much light on traditional ideas about legitimate rule in China, ideas which have enduring relevance as tradition continues to be very significant in contemporary China.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. History of the Northern Wei and the Southern Dynasties

Chapter 2. Establishing Legitimacy: The Northern Wei’s Practice

Chapter 3. Preserving Legitimacy: The Southern Dynasties’ Practices

Chapter 4. Tang Scholars’ views on the Northern Wei’s Legitimacy

Chapter 5. Song Scholars’ views on the Northern Wei’s Legitimacy

Chapter 6. Ming and Qing Scholars’ views on the Northern Wei’s Legitimacy

Chapter 7. Traditional Chinese Views of Legitimacy and its Evolution



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Puning Liu is an Associate Professor in the History Department, Jinan University, Guangzhou, China.