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Chinese History - Sui Dynasty 隋 (581-618)

The Sui dynasty 隋 (581-618) was a relatively short-lived house that reunited China after long centuries of division that are known in history as the Southern and Northern Dynasties 南北朝 (300~600). Yang Jian 楊堅 (known as Emperor Wen 隋文帝, r. 581-604), a relative of Emperor Jing 北周靜帝 (r. 579-581) of the Northern Zhou empire 北周 (557-581), was able to control the whole imperial army and forced the weak Northern Zhou ruler to abdicate. After his foundation of the Sui dynasty, Yang Jian first reunited northern China and then conquered the territory of the Chen dynasty 陳 (557-589) in the south. While the dynastic founder, Emperor Wen, was praised by historians as the great unifier of China, his successor, Emperor Yang 隋煬帝 (r. 604-617) was criticized for his extravagant spendings for a third capital and the Great Canal.
Some historians compare the Sui dynasty with the Qin dynasty 秦 that was able to conquer the whole of China proper but not to create a stable government. While the Qin was succeeded by the glorious Han, the Sui period was ended by the "golden age" of the Tang dynasty 唐 (618-907).


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