Liang dynasty

For other uses, see Liang dynasty (disambiguation).
     Liang dynasty
Capital Jiankang (502–552, 555–557)
Jiangling (553–587)
Government Monarchy
   502–549 Emperor Wu of Liang
  549–551 Emperor Jianwen of Liang
  552–555 Emperor Yuan of Liang
  555–557 Emperor Jing of Liang
  555–562 Emperor Xuan of Western Liang
  585–587 Emperor Jing of Western Liang
   Established 30 April 502[1] 502
  Jiankang's fall to Hou Jing 24 April 549[2]
  Jiangling's fall to Western Wei 7 January 555[3]
  Emperor Jing's yielding the throne to Chen Baxian (often viewed as end of Liang)
   Disestablished 26 October 587[4] 587
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Southern Qi
Chen dynasty
Northern Qi
Western Wei
Sui dynasty
Today part of

The Liang dynasty (Chinese: 梁朝; pinyin: Liáng cháo) (502–587), also known as the Southern Liang dynasty (南梁), was the third of the Southern Dynasties during China's Southern and Northern Dynasties period. Located in central China, north of Lake Dongting, the Liang dynasty was followed by the Chen dynasty. The Western Liang dynasty (西梁), with its capital established at Jiangling in 555 by Emperor Xuan, a grandson of Liang's founder Emperor Wu, claimed to be the legitimate successor of the Liang dynasty; it was subservient to the successive Western Wei Dynasty, Northern Zhou dynasty, and Sui dynasty, and was abolished by Emperor Wen of Sui in 587.


During the Liang dynasty, in 547 a Persian embassy paid tribute to the Liang, amber was recorded as originating from Persia by the Book of Liang.[5]

The ending date for Liang dynasty itself is a matter of controversy among historians. Many historians consider the end of Emperor Jing's reign in 556, when he was forced to yield the throne to Chen Baxian, who established Chen dynasty, to be Liang's end date. Others regard the abolition of Western Liang in 587 to be the true end of Liang.

A Liang scion named Xiao Xian attempted to revive the Liang dynasty during the collapse of the Sui dynasty. He was defeated and executed by Emperor Gaozu of Tang.

Sovereigns of Liang dynasty (502-557)

Posthumous Name Family name and given names Period of Reigns Era names and their according range of years
Convention: Liang + posthumous name
Emperor Wu of Liang - Wu Di
(武帝 Wǔ Dì)
Xiao Yan (蕭衍 Xiāo Yǎn) 502-549[6] Tianjian (天監 tiān-jiān) 502-519
Putong (普通 pǔ-tōng) 520-527
Datong (大通 dà-tōng) 527-529
Zhongdatong (中大通 zhōng-dà-tōng) 529-534
Datong (大同 dà-tóng) 535-546
Zhongdatong (中大同 zhōng-dà-tóng) 546-547
Taiqing (太清 tài-qīng) 547-549
Emperor Jianwen of Liang - Jianwen Di
(簡文帝 jiān wén dì)
Xiao Gang (蕭綱 xiāo gāng) 549-551 Dabao (大寶 dà bǎo) 550-551
Prince of Yuzhang - Yu Zhang Wang
(豫章王 yù zhāng wáng)
蕭棟 xiāo dòng 551-552 Tianzheng (天正 tiān zhèng) 551-552
Emperor Yuan of Liang - Yuan Di
(元帝 yuán dì)
蕭繹 xiāo yì 552-555[7] Chengsheng (承聖 chéng shèng) 552-555
Marquess of Zhenyang - Zhen Yang Hou
(貞陽侯 zhēn yáng hóu)
蕭淵明 xiāo yuān míng 555 Tiancheng (天成 tiān chéng) 555
Emperor Jing of Liang - Jing Di
(敬帝 jìng dì)
蕭方智 xiāo fāng zhì 555-557[8] Shaotai (紹泰 shào tài) 555-556
Taiping (太平 tài píng) 556-557

Western Liang dynasty (555-587)

Temple Names ( Miao Hao 廟號 miào hào) Posthumous Names ( Shi Hao 諡號 ) Personal Names Period of Reigns Era Names (Nián Hào 年號) and their relevant range of years
Convention: Xi Liang + posthumous name
Note: some historians consider Western Liang as a continuation of the Liang dynasty since it was founded by Xiao Cha (Emperor Xuan), a grandson of Xiao Yan (Emperor Wu), the founder of the Liang dynasty.
Zhong Zong (中宗 zhōng zōng) Xuan Di 蕭詧 xiāo chá 555-562 Dading (大定 dà dìng) 555-562
Shi Zong (世宗 shì zōng) Xiao Ming Di 蕭巋 xiāo kuī 562-585 Tianbao (天保 tiān bǎo) 562-585
Did not exist Xiao Jing Di 蕭琮 xiāo cóng 585-587 Guangyun (廣運 guǎng yùn) 562-585

Rulers family tree

Artistic heritage

Tombs of a number of members of the ruling Xiao family, with their sculptural ensembles, in various states of preservation, are located near Nanjing.[9] The best surviving example of the Liang dynasty's monumental statuary is perhaps the ensemble of the Tomb of Xiao Xiu (475–518), a brother of Emperor Wu, located in Qixia District east of Nanjing.[10][11]

See also


  1. Zizhi Tongjian, vol. 145.
  2. Zizhi Tongjian, vol. 162.
  3. Book of Liang, vol. 5.
  4. Book of Sui, vol. 1.
  5. Maurice Fishberg (1907). Materials for the physical anthropology of the eastern European Jews, Issues 1-6 (reprint ed.). New Era Print. Co. p. 233. Retrieved 12 June 2011.
  6. Emperor Wu's nephew Xiao Zhengde the Prince of Linhe, who joined Hou Jing's rebellion, was declared emperor by Hou in 548, but after Hou's victory over Emperor Wu in 549 was deposed and killed by Hou, and is not usually considered a true emperor.
  7. Emperor Yuan's brother Xiao Ji the Prince of Wuling also declared himself emperor in 552, but was defeated and killed by Emperor Yuan in 553, and is usually not considered a true emperor.
  8. In 558, a year after Emperor Jing had yielded the throne to Chen Baxian (and had been killed by Chen), his nephew Xiao Zhuang the Prince of Yongjia, with support from Northern Qi, was proclaimed the emperor of Liang by the general Wang Lin. In 560, Wang Lin defeated the Chen troops, and both he and Xiao Zhuang were forced to flee to Northern Qi. It is a matter of controversy whether Xiao Zhuang should be considered an emperor of Liang.
  9. "Mausoleum Stone Carvings of Southern Dynasties in Nanjing". Archived from the original on July 25, 2011.
  10. Albert E. Dien, «Six Dynasties Civilization». Yale University Press, 2007 ISBN 0-300-07404-2. Partial text on Google Books. P. 190. A reconstruction of the original form of the ensemble is shown in Fig. 5.19.
  11. 梁安成康王萧秀墓石刻 (Sculptures at the Tomb of Xiao Xiu) (Chinese) (description and modern photos)

Media related to Liang dynasty at Wikimedia Commons

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