Revised 17/01/2020




The Great Wall of China
{17 September 1985)



The Wei Dynasty, (founded in 386CE by T'o-pa (Toba) of the Xianbei tribe), was divided into Northern Wei (386-535), Western Wei (535-57) and Eastern Wei (534-50), with the latter two overlapping.

The individuals had two names: their original Xianbei names and later (posthumous) Chinese Han surnames. To reduce confusion, the Han names have been used where possible, as they were unique, rather than their correct Xianbei forms, which were duplicated.

It was the practice that when a Crown Prince was named, his mother was forced to commit suicide. Therefore a Emperor never had a mother, nor would he have a younger full-blood brother as a potential rival.


[CHIA271] T'o-pa Gui/Kuei (latterly Dao Wu Di) (either son of grandson of Prince T'o-pa Shiyijian of Dai), Prince of Dai (386), later styled Prince of Wei, declared himself EMPEROR OF NORTHERN WEI (399-409). He married [PAEK272] Princess --- of Paekche (daughter of King Kun Kusu, see PAEKCHE KINGDOM).

[CHIA281] T'o-pa Si (latterly Ming Yuan Di), EMPEROR OF NORTHERN WEI (409-23).

[CHIA291] T'o-pa T'ao (latterly Tai Wu Di), EMPEROR OF NORTHERN WEI (423-51).

[CHIA301] T'o-pa T'ao (Wu Di Yuan).

[CHIA311] T'o-pa June (latterly Wen Ch'eng Di), EMPEROR OF NORTHERN WEI (451-65), married Feng. After his death (465).

Feng now became EMPRESS DOWAGER (465) and Regent (465-69) for his son and successor Xian Wen Di. This son was made Crown Prince, presumably in 469 because this is when his mother Consort Li died, presumably after having been made to commit suicide in accordance with the current law, which decreed that when the son of the king was made Crown Prince, the mother had to commit suicide. The EMPRESS DOWAGER then resigned her Regency (469) to raise her step-grandson Crown Prince Xiao Wen Di.

In 476, the EMPRESS DOWAGER had Xian Wen Di (her step-son) assassinated, in revenge for her lover Li Yi having been put to death on Xian Wen Di's orders (470). She now re-assumed Regency (476) over Crown Prince Xiao Wen Di (still only 9 years old), and also assumed the title of GRAND EMPRESS DOWAGER. To forestall Crown Prince Xiao Wen Di's maternal forebears from exacting revenge, she falsely accused his grandfather [LIHU311] Li Hui of treason, and he and his clan were slaughtered (478). She eventually died, latterly as a Buddhist nun, (490).

[CHIA321] T'o-pa Hong (born 454, but mother's name is not known) (latterly Xian Wen Di), EMPEROR OF NORTHERN WEI (465-71), at first under the Regency of his step-mother EMPRESS DOWAGER FENG (465-69). One of his Consorts was [LIHU322] Li (daughter of [LIHU311] Li Hui, an official). Xian Wen Di handed over the Emperorship to his young son, Crown Prince Xiao Wen Di (471), and himself took the title of RETIRED EMPEROR (471-76). However, as the Crown Prince was only age 4, he continued to be in control of affairs. He was assassinated (476, see earlier).

[CHIA331] T'o-pa Hong (eldest son, born 467 eldest son of Xian Wen Di who was only age 13, by Consort Li) (latterly Xiao Wen Di), Crown Prince at the age of 2 (469), EMPEROR OF NORTHERN WEI (471-99). He married 1. Feng Qing (created EMPRESS 493, deposed 496); then 2. Feng Run (created EMPRESS 497, forced to commit suicide after his death 499). He also had several concubines: 1. Consort Lin (forced to commit suicide according to custom 483, after bearing his eldest son who would become Crown prince); and 2. Consort Gao (died probably by poisoning, c.497); and 3. Consort Yuan (mother of Prince Yu); and 4. Consort Luo; and 5. Consort Zheng. He moved his capital moved from Pincheng (in present-day Datong) to Luoyang (494). He forced his Xianbei people to adopt Chinese Han surnames, changing his own from T'o-pa to Yuan (496). These and his other policies led to the disintegration of the Northern Empire, which eventually split into Western and Eastern. He died 499, and in accordance with the terms of his Will, his widow, EMPRESS FENG RUN was obliged to commit suicide.

[CHIA341] Yuan Yu (born c.488, by Consort Yuan), Prince of Jingzhao (497), rebelled and was executed by Gao Zhao (508).


[CHIA351] Yuan Baoju (son of Yuan Yu), EMPEROR OF WESTERN WEI (535-51).

[CHIA362] Ch'ang-lo (daughter of EMPEROR YUAN) married [TELA361] Xak'an of the Tetalatsik (see TETALATSIK).