Jin Dynasty (265–420)

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The Jìn Dynasty (simplified Chinese: 晋朝; traditional Chinese: 晉朝; pinyin: Jìn Cháo; Wade–Giles: Chin⁴-ch'ao², IPA: [tɕîn tʂʰɑ̌ʊ̯];), was a dynasty in Chinese history, lasting between the years 265 and 420 CE. There are two main divisions in the history of the Dynasty, the first being Western Jin (ch: 西晉, 265–316) and the second Eastern Jin (ch: 東晉 317–420). Western Jin was founded by Sima Yan, with its capital at Luoyang, while Eastern Jin was begun by Sima Rui, with its capital at Jiankang. The two periods are also known as Liang Jin (ch: 两晋 lit, two Jin) and Sima Jin by scholars, to distinguish this dynasty from other dynasties that use the same Chinese character, such as the Later Jin Dynasty (ch: 后晋).



The Sima clan was initially subordinate to the Wei dynasty, but the clan's influence and power grew greatly after the incident at Gaoping tombs in 249. In 265, Sima Yan forced emperor Cao Huan of Wei to abdicate the throne to him, ending Wei and starting Jin (as Emperor Wu). He named his dynasty after the state of Jin of the Spring and Autumn Period that once ruled the Sima clan's home county of Wen in Henei (present day Wen County, Henan). In 280, the Jin conquered Eastern Wu and unified China, but internal conflicts, corruption, and political turmoil quickly weakened the dynasty, and the unification lasted only ten years. Upon the advent of the second Jin emperor, Emperor Hui, various imperial princes tried to grab power in the devastating War of the Eight Princes. The Wu Hu uprising followed, during which large numbers of refugees fled south while the north was occupied by various nomadic tribes. This marked the end of the Western Jin dynasty in 316 when the Jin court evacuated to the region south of the Huai River, and the beginning of the Eastern Jin and the Sixteen Kingdoms period.

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