Western Xia

The Western Xia or the Xi Xia (Chinese: 西夏; pinyin: Xī Xià; Wade–Giles: Hsi1 Hsia4; also known as the Tangut Empire, and known as Mi-nyak[6] to Tanguts and Tibetans) was a Tangut-ruled empire and a dynasty of China which existed from 1038 to 1227 in what are now the northwestern Chinese provinces of Ningxia, Gansu, eastern Qinghai, northern Shaanxi, northeastern Xinjiang, and southwest Inner Mongolia, and southernmost Outer Mongolia, measuring about 800,000 square kilometres (310,000 square miles).[7][8][9] Its capital was Xingqing (modern Yinchuan), until its destruction by the Mongols in 1227. Most of its written records and architecture were destroyed, so the founders and history of the empire remained obscure until 20th-century research in China and the West.

Western Xia
Location of Western Xia in 1111 (green in north west)
Western Xia in 1150
CapitalXingqing (modern Yinchuan)
Common languagesTangut, Chinese
Chinese folk religion
Emperor Jingzong
Emperor Xiangzong
Emperor Mozhu
Historical eraPost-classical history
 Li Jiqian rebels against Song dynasty
 Dynasty established by Emperor Jingzong
 Subjugated by Mongol Empire
 Destroyed by Mongol Empire after rebellion
1100 est.[1]1,000,000 km2 (390,000 sq mi)
CurrencyBarter with some copper coins in the cities (see: Western Xia coinage)[5]
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Dingnan Jiedushi
Guiyi Circuit
Gansu Uyghur Kingdom
Liao dynasty
Song dynasty
Mongol Empire
Today part ofChina
East Asia and Central Asia in AD 1142: the Southern Song dynasty in orange; the Jin dynasty in grey in the northeast; the Western Xia in turquoise and the Western Liao (Qara Khitai) in lime green in the northwest; and the Dali Kingdom in dark green in the southwest.
Neolithic c. 8500 – c. 2070 BC
Xia c. 2070 – c. 1600 BC
Shang c. 1600 – c. 1046 BC
Zhou c. 1046 – 256 BC
 Western Zhou
 Eastern Zhou
   Spring and Autumn
   Warring States
Qin 221–207 BC
Han 202 BC – 220 AD
  Western Han
  Eastern Han
Three Kingdoms 220–280
  Wei, Shu and Wu
Jin 266–420
  Western Jin
  Eastern Jin Sixteen Kingdoms
Northern and Southern dynasties
Sui 581–618
Tang 618–907
Five Dynasties and
Ten Kingdoms

Liao 916–1125
Song 960–1279
  Northern Song W. Xia
  Southern Song Jin W. Liao
Yuan 1271–1368
Ming 1368–1644
Qing 1636–1912
Republic of China on the mainland 1912–1949
People's Republic of China 1949–present
Republic of China in Taiwan 1949–present

The Western Xia occupied the area around the Hexi Corridor, a stretch of the Silk Road, the most important trade route between North China and Central Asia. They made significant achievements in literature, art, music, and architecture, which was characterized as "shining and sparkling".[10] Their extensive stance among the other empires of the Liao, Song, and Jin was attributable to their effective military organizations that integrated cavalry, chariots, archery, shields, artillery (cannons carried on the back of camels), and amphibious troops for combat on land and water.[11]

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