The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Sui Dynasty

The Sui Dynasty (隋朝 Hanyu Pinyin: Suí, 581-618) followed the Southern and Northern Dynasties and preceded the Tang Dynasty in China. It ended nearly four centuries of rule by warlords.

The Sui Dynasty, founded by Emperor Wen, or Yang Jian, held its capital at Chang'an (present Xi'an). It was marked by the reunification of Southern and Northern China and the construction of the Grand Canal, though it was a relatively short Chinese dynasty. It saw various reforms by Emperors Wen and Yang: the land equalization system, initiated to reduce the rich-poor social gap, resulted in enhanced agricultural productivity; governmental power was centralized, and coinage was standardized and unified; defense was improved, and the Great Wall was expanded. Buddhism was also spread and encouraged throughout the empire, uniting the varied people and cultures of China.

This dynasty has often been compared to the earlier Qin Dynasty in tenure and the ruthlessness of its accomplishments. The Sui dynasty's early demise was attributed to the government's tyrannical demands on the people, who bore the crushing burden of taxes and compulsory labor. These resources were overstrained in the completion of the Grand Canal--a monumental engineering feat-- and in the undertaking of other construction projects, including the reconstruction of the Great Wall. Weakened by costly and disastrous military campaigns against Korea in the early seventh century, the dynasty disintegrated through a combination of popular revolts, disloyalty, and assassination.

Rulers of Sui Dynasty

Posthumous Name (Shi Hao 諡號)
Convention: "Sui" + name
Birth Name Period of Reign Era Names (Nian Hao 年號) and their according range of years
Wendi (文帝 wen2 di4) Yang Jian (楊堅 yang2 jian1) 581-604 Kaihuang (開皇 kai1 huang2) 581-600
Renshou (仁壽 ren2 shou4) 601-604
Yangdi (煬帝 yang2 di4) Yang Guang (楊廣 yang2 guang3) 605-617 aye (大業 da4 ye4) 605-617
Gongdi (恭帝 gong1 di4) Yang You (楊侑 yang2 you4) 617-618 Yining (義寧 yi4 ning2) 617-618

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Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04