bhchao Posted April 27, 2006 at 12:04 AM Report Share Posted April 27, 2006 at 12:04 AM The Xiongnu and Xianbei were barbarian tribes, but there was a key difference between the two tribes. Han Chinese between the fall of the Eastern Han and the start of Sui considered Xiongnu to be more civilized than Xianbei. The Xiongnu's practice of giving throne succession to the eldest son was the same as the Han rulers. However throne succession in the Xianbei took a different path. Instead, it went to the most capable son or family member. This capability was measured in terms of warlike, fighting abilities and being the most competent on the battlefield. The Xiongnu were also more easier to appease than the Xianbei. If the emperor offered brides and gifts to the Xiongnu, they would cease incursions into China Proper temporarily. The Xianbei operated much differently. They could care less about appeasement gifts. They would attack at will whenever they pleased. But the Xianbei embraced Chinese culture once they became assimiliated into it. Li Shimin was part-Han and part-Xianbei. He deeply resented his father's choice of his brother Li Jiancheng as Crown Prince, since it was he who contributed the most effort on the battlefield to secure the founding of Tang. This resentment reflected his Xianbei heritage where family members in the same clan viewed each other as rivals and schemers for power, with authority and respect given to the one with the highest military prowess. Furthermore Li Shimin's killing of his two brothers, and kicking his father off the throne, greatly departed from the Confucian values of family piety and was very characteristically Xianbei. Even the Xianbei women were headstrong. Dugu, the wife of Sui Yangjian, was a possessive and controlling woman who scared Sui Yangjian himself. Yangjian dared not disagree with his wife. She made him swear an oath of monogamy when they were young, promising never to cheat on her. He dared not touch another woman while she was alive. Later when Yangjian became emperor and flirted with a court lady, Dugu had the court lady killed when Yangjian was addressing a group of officials in a meeting. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.