Episode 74 – Southern & Northern #18: The Fall of Northern Qi


In the Northeast of China, Northern Qi just can’t catch a break. First it was Emperor Wenxuan’s murderous paranoia, and now it will be subjected to Wucheng’s indolent hedonism, “immoral games,” and general excesses… and then the penultimate Qi emperor, Houzhi, will decide that the state treasury is his own personal piggy-bank and startin singing “Hakuna Matata” while the state burns.

Meanwhile to the West, Emperor Wu of Northern Zhou will finally break out of his uncle Yuwen Hu’s shadow – by shattering his skull – and then begin eying the swiftly foundering Northern Qi debacle hungrily, eager to reunite the North after almost a half-century of seperation. By episode’s end, it will be a climactic showdown between the two powerful states: one waxing, one waning… which will emerge victorious?

Time Period Covered:
561-578 CE

Notable Figures:

Northern Qi:
Emperor/Retired Emperor Wucheng (Gao Dan) [r. 561-565, d. 569]
Empress Hu [565-572]
Prime Minister He Shikai [524-571]
Zu Ting [550-577]
Emperor Houzhu (Gao Wei) [r. 565-578]
Gao Heng (Youzhu) [570-577]

Northern Zhou:
Emperor Wu (Yuwen Yong) [r. 560-578]
Emperor Xuan (Yuwen Yun) [r. 579-582]
Yang Lihua (Crowned Princess/Empress of Zhou) [r. 579-582]
Prime Minister Yuwen Hu [513-572]
Yang Jian, Duke of Sui [541- ]

Gökturk Khannate:
Muqan Khagan (Ashina Yando) [554-572]
Empress Ashina [551-582]



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4 thoughts on “Episode 74 – Southern & Northern #18: The Fall of Northern Qi

  1. I followed your podcast on the Northern and southern dynasties. It is very good and detailed. I got a better understanding of this messy historical period through your podcasts. How did you get these information in English?I know the primary sources in Chinese are readily available but English sources are really rare! Would you be able to share some sources in English for further readings? Thanks!

    1. Glad you’re enjoying the show!

      In terms of sources for the S&N and beyond , it’s largely been through the Cambridge History of China series, JStor, other online publications, and other published academic works.

      In other words: not terribly cheap 😉

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