Northern Zhou Dynasty

The Northern zhou dynasty (Chinese: 北周朝; pinyin: Bĕi Zhōu Cháo) followed the western wei, and ruled northern China from 557 to 581. It was overthrown by the sui dynasty.

Northern Zhou Dynasty's basis of power was established by Yuwen Tai, who was paramount general of western wei, following the split of northern wei into western wei and eastern wei in 535. After Yuwen Tai's death in 556, Yuwen Tai's nephew Yuwen Hu forced Emperor Gong of western wei to yield the throne to Yuwen Tai's son Yuwen Jue (Emperor Xiaomin), establishing Northern Zhou Dynasty.

The reigns of the first three emperors (Yuwen Tai's sons) Emperor Xiaomin, Emperor Ming, and Emperor Wu were dominated by Yuwen Hu, until Emperor Wu ambushed and killed Yuwen Hu in 572 and assumed power personally. With Emperor Wu as a capable ruler, Northern Zhou Dynasty destroyed rival northern qi in 577, taking over northern qi's territory. However, Emperor Wu's death in 578 doomed the state, as his son Emperor Xuan was an arbitrary and violent ruler whose unorthodox behavior greatly weakened the state. After Emperor Xuan's death in 580 (when he was already titularly retired emperor (Taishang Huang), Emperor Xuan's father-in-law Yang Jian seized power, and in 581 seized the throne from Emperor Xuan's son Emperor Jing, establishing Sui. The imperial Yuwen clan, including the young Emperor Jing, was subsequently slaughtered by Yang Jian.

Emperors of Northern Zhou Dynasty

Posthumous Names

born names

period of reigns

era names (nian hao年號) and their according range of years

convention: Northern Zhou Dynasty + posthumous name

xiao min di(孝閔帝 xiào mǐn dì)

yuwen jue (宇文覺 yǔ wén jué)


did not exist

ming di(明帝 míng dì) or xiao ming di (孝明帝 xiào míng dì)

yuwen yu (宇文毓 yǔ wén yù)


wucheng (武成 wǔ chéng) 559-560

wu di(武帝 wǔ dì)

yuwen yong (宇文邕 yǔ wén yōng)


baoding (保定 bǎo dìng) 560-565
tianhe (天和 tiān hé) 566-572
jiande (建德 jiàn dé) 572-578
xuanzheng (宣政 xuān zhèng) 578

xuan di(宣帝 xuān dì)

yuwen yun (宇文贇 yǔ wén yūn)


dacheng (大成 dà chéng) 579

jing di(靜帝 jìng dì)

yuwen chan (宇文闡 yǔ wén chǎn)


daxiang (大象 dà xiàng) 579-581
dading (大定 dà dìng) 581

Site Search


Random Articals


Join Our Newsletter



Send This Page to Friend

To Email this page to a friend

1. Use Your Default Email Client
2. Use Our Recommend Page

Online Contact



+ 86 158 00 323 707

+ 86 158 00 323 707

Go back to the previous page

Missing / Incorrect

If you like this article please feel free to share it to your favorite site listed below:

Choose A Style:

Font Family


Courier New

Sans MS

New Roman



Font Colors
black blue green purple red white
Font Size
Site Options Help | Admin Login
control panel