Western Xia Dynasty
(AD 1038- AD 1227)

An further tribe founding a dynasty after Chinese pattern were the Tanguts, relatives to the Tibetians, who founded a Western Xia Dynasty in 1038. This people was controlling the routes to Inner Asia and demanding high tributes from the Song emperors, after the Song had to sign a peace treaty with them in 1044. The Tangut people of the Western Xia kingdom did not adopt Chinese customs and habits as quick as the Liao-Khitan ruling class had done; the main part of their ruling class remained to be nomads. But they adopted an own script, modeled after the Chinese script, because the Indian or Tibetian alphabet proved not to be suitable for their language.

The political system of the Western Xia empire was a mixture between the old Tangut clan structures and the system of the Song Dynasty bureaucracy. While the chieftains of the Tuoba clan were bestowed by the Chinese rulers of the Tang and the Five Dynasties with Chinese offices like military commissioner over the areas where a larger Chinese population dwelled, the rest of the Xia kingdom and later empire was ruled by Tangut chieftains that were relatively autonomous heads of their tribe. Emperor Li Yuanhao in 1033 introduced the Chinese administration structure of the Song Dynasty, including the highest institutions of state secretariat, bureau of military affairs, three military, judicial and fiscal offices or agencies, the censorate, and the subordinated directorates and offices for the administration of the state finances, state rites, and the imperial court. Most offices were open for both Chinese and Non-Chinese, but some were restricted to Tanguts. In the sphere of civil and crimial law, traditional Tangut laws were employed for a long time, but more and more articles of the Song code were implemented in the Western Xia law code, especially under Emperor Li Renxiao who had composed the Tiansheng lling codex.

The armies were composed of recruited pesasants that had to provide armament, weapons and feeding for themselves. The higher organisation with the officers was composed of Tangut or Non-Chinese people that provided a horse and a camel for themselves. Higher officers took part in a council of war and used to swear a blood oath for loyalty. The Xia rulers often lead troops in own person and commanded a special imperial force and cavalry.
We know that the Tangut state made much use of Chinese books of Buddhist as well as Confucian and pracital content and that a large amount of Chinese literature was translated into Tangutian. But we have not enough historic material to obtain a deeper insight into scholarship and the education system of the Tanguts and the recruitment of state officials.
The Xixia empire was conquered by the Mongols in 1227.

Western Xia Dynasty from 184 to 188 ad

Reign motto
Temple name
Personal name
Times
Age
Regnal Year
XianDao, KaiYun, GuangYun, DaQing, TianShouLiFaYanZuo
JingZhong
Li Yuanhao
(1032)
30
11
YanSiNingGuo, TianYouChuiSheng, FuShengChengDao, SheDanDu, GongHua
YiZhong
Li Liangzuo
(1049)
3
19
QianDao, TianCiLiShengGuoQing, DaAn, TianAnLiDing
HuiZhong
Li Bingchang
(1067)
8
20
TianYiZhiPing, TianYouMinAn, YongAn, ZhenGuan, YongNing, YuanDe, ZhengDe, DaDe
ChongZhong
Li Qianshun
1086
4
54
DaQing, RenQing, TianSheng, QianYou
RenZhong
Li Renxiao
(1140)
17
54
TianQing
HuanZhong
Li Chunyou
1193
17
14
YingTian, HuangJian
XiangZhong
Li anquan
1206
37
6
GuangDing
ShenZhong
Li Zunxu
(1211)
49
13
QingDing
XianZhong
Li Dewang
(1223)
43
4
 
Li A
(1226)
2