27 Facts About Xianbei


Xianbei were a Proto-Mongolic ancient nomadic people that once resided in the eastern Eurasian steppes in what is today Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, and Northeastern China.

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The Xianbei were largely subordinate to larger nomadic powers and the Han dynasty until they gained prominence in 87 AD by killing the Xiongnu chanyu Youliu.

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Xianbei were at one point all defeated and conquered by the Di-led Former Qin dynasty before it fell apart not long after its defeat in the Battle of Fei River by the Eastern Jin.

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The Xianbei later founded their own dynasties and reunited northern China under the Northern Wei dynasty.

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In 85, the Xianbei secured an alliance with the Dingling and Southern Xiongnu.

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In 109, the Wuhuan and Xianbei attacked Wuyuan Commandery and defeated local Han forces.

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Under Tanshihuai, the Xianbei extended their territory from the Ussuri to the Caspian Sea.

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Xianbei divided the Xianbei empire into three sections, each ruled by twenty clans.

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Loose Xianbei confederacy lacked the organization of the Xiongnu but was highly aggressive until the death of their khan Tanshihuai in 182.

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Xianbei rose to power west of Dai Commandery by taking in a number of Chinese refugees, who helped him drill his soldiers and make weapons.

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Many of the Xianbei tribes migrated south and settled on the borders of the Wei-Jin dynasties.

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In 279, the Xianbei made one last attack on Liang Province but they were defeated by Ma Long.

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Xianbei later establish six significant empires of their own such as the Former Yan, Western Yan, Later Yan, Southern Yan, Western Qin and Southern Liang .

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The Xianbei were all conquered by the Di Former Qin empire in northern China before its defeat at the Battle of Fei River and subsequent collapse.

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Art of the Xianbei portrayed their nomadic lifestyle and consisted primarily of metalwork and figurines.

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The style and subjects of Xianbei art were influenced by a variety of influences, and ultimately, the Xianbei were known for emphasizing unique nomadic motifs in artistic advancements such as leaf headdresses, crouching and geometricized animals depictions, animal pendant necklaces, and metal openwork.

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The Xianbei stylistically portrayed crouching animals in geometricized, abstracted, repeated forms, and distinguished their culture and art by depicting animal predation and same-animal combat.

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Xianbei figurines help to portray the people of the society by representing pastimes, depicting specialized clothing, and implying various beliefs.

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Furthermore, the figurine clothing specifies the according social statuses: higher-ranking Xianbei wore long-sleeved robes with a straight neck shirt underneath, while lower-ranking Xianbei wore trousers and belted tunics.

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The Han bureaucrats initially helped the Xianbei run their state, but eventually the Xianbei became Sinophiles and promoted Buddhism.

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Xianbei are thought to have spoken Mongolic or para-Mongolic languages, with early and substantial Turkic influences; as Claus Schonig asserts:.

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Xianbei derived from the context of the Donghu, who are likely to have contained the linguistic ancestors of the Mongols.

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Later branches and descendants of the Xianbei include the Tabghach and Khitan, who seem to have been linguistically Para-Mongolic.

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However, since the Mongolic identity of the Xianbei is increasingly obvious in the light of recent progress in Khitan studies, it is more reasonable to assume that the flow of linguistic influence from Turkic into Mongolic was at least partly reversed during the Xianbei period, yielding the first identifiable layer of Mongolic loanwords in Turkic.

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Genetic study published in The FEBS Journal in October 2006 examined the mtDNA of Twenty one Tuoba Xianbei buried at the Qilang Mountain Cemetery in Inner Mongolia, China.

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Genetic study published in the Russian Journal of Genetics in April 2014 examined the mtDNA of seventeen Tuoba Xianbei buried at the Shangdu Dongdajing cemetery in Inner Mongolia, China.

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The maternal haplogroups of the Murong Xianbei were noticeably different from those of the Huns and Tuoba Xianbei.

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