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"Northern Wei" Topic

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441 hits since 24 Nov 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse24 Nov 2018 9:09 p.m. PST

"Much of the history of ancient China is of kingdoms and dynasties rising and falling, sometimes lasting little longer than the lifespan of the man who created them. The fourth century was no exception, as it saw the chaotic period known as the Sixteen Kingdoms, when Northern China was ruled by many such states. An exception was founded in 386 by the Tuba tribe, a Turco-Mongolian people that came down from the north but quickly adopted many of the native Han Chinese ways to establish what would prove to be a more durable realm. They are known as the Northern Wei, and in 439 they achieved the complete unification of Northern China for the first time in over a century. Their history is naturally one of conflicts with neighbouring ‘barbarian' states as well as warfare with their southern Chinese neighbours, but their power endured until 534, when internal conflict split them into Western and Eastern Wei, and they constantly fought each other before eventually both being consumed in their turn by others.

As a Turco-Mongolian people, the heart of their armies was the cavalry, although some are thought to have acted as infantry as well. However the bulk of their infantry was conscripted from the native Chinese people, and the Northern Wei were noted for making better use of this resource than many other states of the time. Such men were recruited for the start of a campaign, then released once it was over, and the good organisation of the state meant very large numbers of such infantry could be fielded where necessary…."
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