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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: October 2019

Chapter 5 - Eastern Jin

from Part 1 - History

Summary

In 311, the Western Jin dynasty capital Luoyang fell to “rebel” forces. In 316, the alternate capital, Chang’an, also fell, and the Western Jin was finished. One sixth-century history claimed, undoubtedly with some exaggeration, that “weeds luxuriated in the deserted fields of China” and half the population had perished. A contemporary lamented that marauding nomads now watered their horses in the Yangzi river, deep in central China. Amid gathering indications of dynastic doom, in 306, Sima Yue (d. 311), the final victor in the vicious “Disturbances of the Eight Princes” (bawang zhi luan), that had been the immediate cause of much of this dynastic collapse, appointed his nephew Sima Rui (276–323) to a garrison command at Xiapei, near the modern city of Xuzhou, toward the south.