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Chinese History - Western Xia Empire Geography

Periods of Chinese History
Map Western Xia (Xixia, Tangut)Map Western Xia (Xixia, Tangut)Map Western Xia (Xixia, Tangut)
Map Western Xia (Xixia, Tangut)Map Western Xia (Xixia, Tangut)Map Western Xia (Xixia, Tangut)
Map Western Xia (Xixia, Tangut)

The Western Xia empire 西夏 (1038-1227) was founded by the nomad people of the Tanguts. They originally lived in the prefecture Xia 夏州 located to the northeast of modern Hengshan 橫山, Shaanxi. From there the Western Xia empire expanded along the middle course of the Yellow River and the Gansu corridor to the west. This territory remained stable through the near 200 years. The capital was Xingqing 興慶 (modern Yinchuan 銀川, Ningxia; later called Zhongxing 中興). The local administration was different than that from the Song empire 宋 (960-1279) and was influenced by a military structure. It consisted of army superintendencies (junsi 軍司) with subordinated prefectures (zhou 州). There were four superior prefectures (fu 府): Xingqing 興慶府, Xiping 西平府 (Lingzhou 靈州, modern Lingwu 靈武, Ningxia), Xiliang 西涼府 (modern Wuwei 武威, Gansu) and Xuanhua 宣化府 (modern Zhangyi 張掖, Gansu), and one military prefecture (jun 軍) nearby: Xiangqing 祥慶軍.

Army Superintendencies of the Western Xia Empire
army superintendency (junsi) modern location
Youxiang-Chaoshun 右廂朝順軍司 Keyimen 克夷門, north of Shizuishan Zhan 石咀山/Ningxia
Baima-Qiangzhen 白馬強震軍司 Loubobei 婁博貝, Jartai 吉蘭泰/Inner Mongolia
Heishan-Weifu 黑山威福軍司 within Bayannur League 巴彥爾淖盟/Inner Mongolia
Zuoxiang-Shenyong 左廂神勇軍司 SE of Yulin 榆林/Shaanxi
Xiangyou 祥祐軍司 Shizhou 石州, W of Hengshan 橫山/Shaanxi
Jianing 嘉寧軍司 Youzhou 宥州, Duiziliang 堆子梁/Shaanxi
Jingsai 靜塞軍司 Weizhou 韋州/Ningxia
Xishou-Baotai 西壽保泰軍司 SW of Zhongning 中寧/Ningxia
Zhuoluo-Henan 卓囉軍司 N of Lanzhou 蘭州/Gansu
Gansu 甘肅軍司 Xuanhua 宣化府, Zhangyi 張掖/Gansu
Heishui-Zhenyan 黑水鎮燕軍司 Ejin Banner 額濟納旗 (Edzina, Edsina)/Gansu
Xiping 西平軍司 Guazhou 瓜州, SE of Anxi 安西/Gansu

In the early thirteenth century various Mongolian tribes united under the leadership of Chinggis Khan. In 1209 and 1226 he attacked the Western Xia empire. It was the first state on Chinese soil that became victim to the military machine of the Mongols.
The western neighbours of the Western Xia empire were the Uighurian communities in the Tarim Basin (Xizhou Huigu 西州回鶻) and the so-called Yellow Head Uyghurs (Huangtou Huigu 黃頭回鶻) in the Tsaidam Basin. From 1124 on the western region was under control of the Western Liao empire 西遼 (1124-1218) that was a foundation of a branch of the Liao dynasty 遼 (907-1125). This dynasty was a foundation of the proto-Mongolian Khitans and had ruled over northern China. It was conquered by the Tungusian people of the Jurchens from the northeast that had founded the Jin empire 金 (1115-1234). From this conquest on, the eastern neighbour of the Western Xia empire was the Jin empire. It was the second state on Chinese soil that was conquered by the Mongols.


2000 ff. © Ulrich Theobald · Mail

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