Southern Qi and its neighbors. They were bordered by the Northern Wei to the north.
Southern Qi and its neighbors. They were bordered by the Northern Wei to the north.
• 479–482
Emperor Gao
• 482–493
Emperor Wu
• 501–502
Emperor He
• Established
3 June[1] 479
• Disestablished
24 April[2] 502
CurrencyChinese coin,
Chinese cash
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Liu Song
Liang dynasty
Today part ofChina

Qi, known in historiography as the Southern Qi (simplified Chinese: 南齐; traditional Chinese: 南齊; pinyin: Nán Qí or simplified Chinese: 南朝齐; traditional Chinese: 南朝齊; pinyin: Nán Cháo Qí) or Xiao Qi (simplified Chinese: 萧齐; traditional Chinese: 蕭齊; pinyin: Xiāo Qí),[3] was a Chinese imperial dynasty and the second of the four Southern dynasties during the Northern and Southern dynasties era. It followed the Liu Song dynasty and was succeeded by the Liang dynasty. The main polity to its north were the Northern Wei.


The dynasty began in 479, when Xiao Daocheng forced the Emperor Shun of Liu Song (宋顺帝) into yielding the throne to him, ending Liu Song and starting Southern Qi, as its Emperor Gao. The dynasty's name was taken from Xiao's fief, which roughly occupied the same territory as the Warring States era Kingdom of Qi. The Book of the Qi does not mention whether or not Xiao had any blood relationship to either the House of Jiang or House of Tian, the two dynasties which had previously ruled that kingdom.[4]

During its 23-year history, the dynasty was largely filled with instability, as after the death of the capable Emperor Gao and Emperor Wu, Emperor Wu's grandson Xiao Zhaoye (萧昭业) was assassinated by Emperor Wu's intelligent but cruel and suspicious cousin Xiao Luan (萧鸾), who took over as Emperor Ming, and proceeded to carry out massive executions of Emperor Gao's and Emperor Wu's sons, as well as officials whom he suspected of plotting against him.[5][6]

The arbitrariness of these executions was exacerbated after Emperor Ming was succeeded by his son Xiao Baojuan, whose actions drew multiple rebellions, the last of which, by the general Xiao Yan (萧衍) led to Southern Qi's fall and succession by Xiao Yan's Liang Dynasty.[7]

Brick relief from the Dengxian tomb, Dengxian, Henan. Southern Dynasties, c. 500 CE.[8][9]

More than fifty percent of Tuoba Xianbei princesses of the Northern Wei were married to southern Han Chinese men from the imperial families and aristocrats from southern China of the Southern dynasties who defected and moved north to join the Northern Wei.[10] Tuoba Xianbei Princess Nanyang (南阳长公主) was married to Xiao Baoyin (萧宝夤), a Han Chinese member of Southern Qi royalty.[11] Xianbei Tuoba Emperor Xiaozhuang of Northern Wei's sister the Shouyang Princess was wedded to the Han Chinese Liang dynasty ruler Emperor Wu of Liang's son Xiao Zong 蕭綜.[12]

War with Northern Wei

In 479, after Xiao Daocheng usurped the throne of Liu Song, the Northern Wei emperor prepared to invade under the pretext of installing Liu Chang, son of Emperor Wen of Liu Song who had been in exile in Wei since 465 AD. Wei troops began to attack Shouyang but could not take the city. The Southern Qi began to fortify their capital, Jiankang, in order to prevent further Wei raids. Multiple sieges and skirmishes were fought until 481 but the war did not witness any major campaign. A peace treaty was signed in 490 with the Emperor Wu.

Sovereigns of Southern Qi Dynasty (479–502)

Posthumous Name Family name and given names Period of Reigns Era names
Emperor Gao of Southern Qi (齊高帝) Xiao Daocheng (蕭道成) 479–482 Jianyuan (建元) 479–482
Emperor Wu of Southern Qi (齊武帝) Xiao Ze (蕭賾) 482–493 Yongming (永明) 483–493
Xiao Zhaoye (蕭昭業) 493–494 Longchang (隆昌) 494
Xiao Zhaowen (蕭昭文) 494 Yanxing (延興) 494
Emperor Ming of Southern Qi (齊明帝) Xiao Luan (蕭鸞) 494–498 Jianwu (建武) 494–498
Yongtai (永泰) 498
Xiao Baojuan (蕭寶卷) 499–501 Yongyuan (永元) 499–501
Emperor He of Southern Qi (齊和帝) Xiao Baorong (蕭寶融) 501–502[note 1] Zhongxing (中興) 501–502

Sovereigns' family tree

Southern Qi
Xiao Chengzhi 萧承之
Xiao Daosheng 萧道生Xiao Daocheng 蕭道成 (427–482)
(r. 479–482)
Xiao Luan 蕭鸞 (452–498)
(r. 494–498)
Xiao Ni
蕭嶷 444–492
Wenxian of Yuzhang
Xiao Ze 蕭賾 (440–493)
(r. 482–493)
Xiao Baojuan
(483–501; r. 498–501)
Xiao Baoyin
(487–530; r. 527)
Xiao Baorong 蕭寶融 (488–502)
(r. 501–502)
Xiao Zhangmao
蕭長懋 (458–493)
Wen 文皇帝
Xiao Zhaoye
473–494; r. 493-494
Xiao Zhaowen
480–494; r. 494


  1. ^ Emperor Ming's son Xiao Baoyin, who was then a Northern Wei general, rebelled against Northern Wei and claimed imperial title in 527–528, but is not listed because his claim of imperial title was temporary, long after Emperor He's reign, and also did not include any territory that was previously Southern Qi territory.



  1. ^ Book of Southern Qi, vol. 1.
  2. ^ Zizhi Tongjian, vol. 145.
  3. ^ "汉典:萧齐".
  4. ^ Book of the Southern Qi 南齊書, chapter 1
  5. ^ 川本『中国の歴史、中華の崩壊と拡大、魏晋南北朝』、P150
  6. ^ 川本『中国の歴史、中華の崩壊と拡大、魏晋南北朝』、P152
  7. ^ 川本『中国の歴史、中華の崩壊と拡大、魏晋南北朝』、P153
  8. ^ "Late 5th to early 6th century" in Valenstein, Suzanne G. (2007). Cultural Convergence in the Northern Qi Period: A Flamboyant Chinese Ceramic Container : a Research Monograph. Metropolitan Museum of Art. p. 42. ISBN 978-1-58839-211-4.
  9. ^ Juliano, Annette L. (1980). "Teng-Hsien: An Important Six Dynasties Tomb" (PDF). Artibus Asiae. Supplementum. 37: III–83. doi:10.2307/1522695. ISSN 1423-0526.
  10. ^ Tang, Qiaomei (May 2016). Divorce and the Divorced Woman in Early Medieval China (First through Sixth Century) (PDF) (A dissertation presented by Qiaomei Tang to The Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the subject of East Asian Languages and Civilizations). Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University. pp. 151, 152, 153.
  11. ^ China: Dawn of a Golden Age, 200–750 AD. Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2004. pp. 30–. ISBN 978-1-58839-126-1. Xiao Baoyin.
  12. ^ Ancient and Early Medieval Chinese Literature (vol.3 & 4): A Reference Guide, Part Three & Four. BRILL. 22 September 2014. pp. 1566–. ISBN 978-90-04-27185-2.


See also