House of Li
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House of Li

The House of Li (Chinese: ?; pinyin: L?; Wade-Giles: Li) was the ruling house of the Western Liang and the Tang dynasty of China.

Family history


The Li family originated from the Longxi Commandery.

The Li family belonged to the northwest military aristocracy prevalent during the Sui dynasty[1][2] and claimed to be paternally descended from the Daoist founder Laozi (whose personal name was Li Dan or Li Er),[3] the Han dynasty General Li Guang,[4][5] and Western Liang ruler Li Gao. This family was known as the Longxi Li lineage (?), which includes the Tang poet Li Bai. The Tang Emperors also had Xianbei maternal ancestry,[6][7] from Emperor Gaozu of Tang's Xianbei mother Duchess Dugu. On the other hand it has also been suggested that evidence indicates a matrilineal Xianbei origin of this clan. Northern Zhou General Li Xian, who claimed to have the same ancestor as the imperial family of the Tang, was in fact of Xianbei origin. Genealogical records of the house seem to have been extensively modified during the rule of the Tang dynasty to conceal their Xianbei heritage. The Tang imperial family preserved many Xianbei customs.[8]

The Tang Imperial family was watched over by the Zongcheng si ().[9] Longxi Li were claimed by the Tang Emperors as their ancestors.[10] The bigger Longxi Li lineage outside of the Tang Imperial family had prominent members like Li Jiongxiu, Li Yiyan, Li Kui (chancellor), Li Wei (Tang dynasty), Li Fengji, Li Zhongyan, Li Jing (general), Li Zhaode, and Li Bai. The Tang Imperial Longxi Li lineage also included sub lineages like the Guzang Li (), from which Li Zhuanmei () came from, who served the Later Jin.[11]

During the Tang dynasty the Li family of Zhaojun (?), the Cui clan of Boling, the Cui clan of Qinghe, the Lu clan of Fanyang, the Zheng family of Xingyang (?), the Wang family of Taiyuan (?), and the Li family of Longxi (?) were the seven noble families between whom marriage was banned by law.[12]

The Tang dynasty included in their imperial family the title of Kaghan of the Yenisei Kirghiz, because the Tang dynasty family asserted Li Guang as their ancestor, and one of Li Guang's grandsons, Li Ling, was asserted as ancestor by the Kaghan of the Yenisei Kirghiz.[4]

Some of the Tang dynasty Imperial family's cadet branches ended up in Fujian. The branch founded by Li Dan () became prominent during the Song dynasty,[13] as did another founded by Li Fu ().[14] Descendants of the Tang Emperors now live in Chengcun village near the Wuyi Mountains in Fujian.[15]

There were dukedoms (?) established for the offspring of the royal families of the Zhou dynasty, Sui dynasty, and Tang dynasty during the Later Jin (Five Dynasties).[16]

The Hu family of Xidi are descended from Hu Shiliang, from Wuyuan, who was a descendant of Hu Changyi, a son of Emperor Zhaozong of Tang who was adopted by the Wuyuan Hu family.[17][18][19][20][21][22][23]


Family tree

Tang dynastydotted line denotes passage of more than one generation
Li Er , alias Li Dan
d.? Laozi
Li Zong
Courtesy name Zunzu
Forestry official in the
State of Wei
Li Tong
Grand General in the
State of Zhao
Li Dui
Prime Minister of the
State of Zhao ?
Li Ji
Lord of Yang'an in the
State of Zhao
Li Ke
Courtesy name Daohong
Tutor to the crown prince
of the State of Qin
Li Xingzu , alias Li Wang,?
Courtesy name Yushen
General in the
State of Qin ?
Li Tan
Courtesy name Guiyuan
Marquis of Bairen county in the
State of Zhao, moved to the State of Qin
and became its Supreme Censor
Li Chong
Courtesy name Bo
(Note: the family line of the
Li of Longxi started from him)
Prefect of Longxi and
Duke of Nanzheng
Li Pingyao
Courtesy name Neide
Prefect of Nan and Marquis
of Didao
Li Xin
Courtesy name Youcheng
Grand General and enfeoffed as
Marquis of Longxi ?
Li Chao alias Li Kang
Courtesy name Rengao
Grand General of the Han and
Prefect of Yuyang ?
Li Zhongxiang
Prefect of Hedong
also held the military rank of
General Who Conquers the
West ?
Li Bokao
Prefect of Longxi and
Li Shang
Magistrate of Chengji county
Li Guang[4][5] d.119 BC
General of Front Guard during
the Han dynasty
Li Gan
Courtesy name Youqing
Minister of the Imperial Bodyguard
and Marquis of Guannei ?
Li Danghu

Li Yu
Courtesy name Zitong

Li Ling
d.74 BC
General of the Han dynasty

Li Chenggong
Courtesy name Chenggong
Prefect of Henan
Yenisei Kirghiz Khagans
(surname Are [4][25]
Khans of the Kirghiz Khaganate
all claimed descent from
Li Ling during the Tang dynasty
Li Xian
Courtesy name Jingzong
Prefect of Shu and
Li Zhangzong
Courtesy name Boli
Secretary to the Prefect
of Yuyang ?
Li Junkuang
Courtesy names Shu
and Ziqi ?
Imperial Savant, Court Consultant
and Intermediate Minister
Li Ben
Courtesy name Shangming
Served as Court Attendant
and Censor
Li Cigong
Courtesy name Zhongjun
Prefect of Ba and Captain of the
Western Barbarians (in modern day
Li Gui
Courtesy name Wenyi
Prefect of Linhuai in Wei of the
Three Kingdoms, later Minister of
Li Long
Courtesy name Yanxu
Magistrate of Chang'an and
General of Massed Crossbows
Li Ai
Courtesy name Shiji
General of Cavalry and Prefect
of Wei in the Western
Li Yong
Courtesy name Junxi
Prefect of Jibei and Dongguan
in the Western Jin.
Li Yan
Courtesy name Jizi
Served Zhang Jun, king of the
Former Liang, as Prefect of Tianshui,
General of the Bodyguard,
and Marquis of Anxi Pavilion.
Li Chang
Courtesy name Zhongjian
Lecturer to the Crown
Prince of the Former
Li Gao d.417AD
Courtesy name Xuansheng
King Wuzhao of the Western Liang
(founded Western Liang in 400 AD)
and posthumously titled of Emperor
Xingsheng ?
Prince Wuzhao of (Western)
Liang (?)
Li Xin d. 420
Courtesy name Shiye
Sovereign of Western Liang ?
Sovereign of Western Liang ?
Li Xun d. 421
Sovereign of Western Liang ?
Sovereign of Western Liang ?
Li Chong'er
Courtesy name Jingshun
When the Western Liang was conquered
[by the Northern Liang in 421], he fled to the
Liu-Song and was appointed Prefect of Runan.
Later, when the Northern Wei conquered
Yuzhou province he surrendered to them
and was appointed Prefect of Hengnong.
Yuzhou was then recaptured by
General Xue Andu of the Song.
Later served as General Who Subdues
the South and Governor of Yuzhou under
the Northern Wei. ,
Li Xi
Courtesy name Mengliang
General garrisoning Jinmen under
the Northern Wei. Posthumously given
the title Xianzu by the Tang
dynasty ?()
Li Tianci or Li Tianxi
Courtesy name Dezhen
Posthumously given the title
Tang Yizu()
Li Hu d.551
Courtesy name Wenbin
Grand Pillar-of-the-State General
under the Northern Zhou, and enfeoffed
as Duke Xiang of the Duchy of Tang.
Posthumously titled as Tang Taizu.
Duke of Longxi ?
Li Bing d.572
Courtesy name Dezhen
Military Superintendent of Anzhou under the
Northern Zhou, Grand Pillar-of-the-State General,
and Duke Ren of Tang. Posthumously
Tang Daizu. ?
()Duke of Tang
Li Yuan 566-635
Li Jiancheng 589-626
Cr.Prince Yin
Li Shimin 599-649
Li Yuanji 603-626
Prince of Qi
Li Ke d. 653
Prince of Yulin
Li Zhen d. 688
Prince Jing of Yue
Li Chengqian 619-645
Prince Min of Hengshan ?
Li Tai 618-652
Prince Gong of Pu
Li Zhi 628-683
Wu Zhao 624-705
Wu Zetian
145 (1)7 (3)8 (4)
Li Zhong 643-665
Prince of Yan
Li Sujie 646-690
Prince of Xu
Li Hong 652-675
Li Xian 656-710
684, 705-710
Li Dan 662-716
684-690, 710-712
Li Chongmao 695/698-714
Li Chengqi 679-742
Li Longji 685-762
Xuanzong I
Li Cong d. 752
Li Ying d. 737
Crown Prince
Li Heng 711-762
Li Lin d. 757
Prince of Yong
Li Yu 727-779
Li Tan d. 757
Li Gua 742-805
Li Song 761-806
Li Chun 778-820
Li Ning 793-812
Cr.Prince Huizhao ?
Li Heng 795-824
Li Chen 810-859
Li Zhan 809-827
Li Ang 809-840
Li Yang 814-846
Li Cui 833-873
Li Xuan 862-888
Li Yue 867-904
Li Zhu 892-908
Aidi or

See also


  1. ^ Ebrey, Patricia Buckley; Walthall, Anne; Palais, James B. (2006), East Asia: A Cultural, Social, and Political History, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, pp. 90-91, ISBN 0-618-13384-4
  2. ^ Adshead, S.A.M. (2004), T'ang China: The Rise of the East in World History, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 40-41, ISBN 1-4039-3456-8
  3. ^ Kenneth Scott Latourette (1934). The Chinese: their history and culture. Macmillan. p. 191.
  4. ^ a b c d Michael Robert Drompp (2005). Tang China And The Collapse Of The Uighur Empire: A Documentary History. BRILL. pp. 126-. ISBN 90-04-14129-4.
  5. ^ a b Victor H. Mair; Nancy Shatzman Steinhardt; Paul Rakita Goldin (2005). Hawai'i reader in traditional Chinese culture. University of Hawai'i Press. p. 376. ISBN 978-0-8248-2785-4.
  6. ^ Jonathan Karam Skaff (6 August 2012). Sui-Tang China and Its Turko-Mongol Neighbors: Culture, Power, and Connections, 580-800. Oxford University Press. pp. 125-. ISBN 978-0-19-999627-8.
  7. ^ Jeroen Duindam; Tülay Artan; Metin Kunt (11 August 2011). Royal Courts in Dynastic States and Empires: A Global Perspective. BRILL. pp. 177-. ISBN 90-04-20622-1.
  8. ^ Sanping, Chen (Nov 1996). "Succession Struggle and the Ethnic Identity of the Tang Imperial House". Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. Third Series. 6 (3): 379-405.
  9. ^ John W. Chaffee (1999). Branches of Heaven: A History of the Imperial Clan of Sung China. Harvard Univ Asia Center. pp. 8-. ISBN 978-0-674-08049-2.
  10. ^ Revue bibliographique de sinologie. Éditions de l'École des hautes études en sciences sociales. 1960. p. 88.
  11. ^ Chang Woei Ong (2008). Men of Letters Within the Passes: Guanzhong Literati in Chinese History, 907-1911. Harvard University Asia Center. p. 29. ISBN 978-0-674-03170-8.
  12. ^ Tackett, Nicolas Olivier (2006). THE TRANSFORMATION OF MEDIEVAL CHINESE ELITES (850-1000 C.E.) (Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences). COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY. p. 67.f
  13. ^ Hugh R. Clark (2007). Portrait of a Community: Society, Culture, and the Structures of Kinship in the Mulan River Valley (Fujian) from the Late Tang Through the Song. Chinese University Press. pp. 39-40. ISBN 978-962-996-227-2.
  14. ^ Hugh R. Clark (2007). Portrait of a Community: Society, Culture, and the Structures of Kinship in the Mulan River Valley (Fujian) from the Late Tang Through the Song. Chinese University Press. pp. 77-. ISBN 978-962-996-227-2.
  15. ^ "Past Glory Shines in Ancient Village". China Daily. December 9, 2002.
  16. ^ Ouyang, Xiu (5 April 2004). Historical Records of the Five Dynasties. Richard L. Davis, translator. Columbia University Press. pp. 76-. ISBN 978-0-231-50228-3.
  17. ^ "Xidi Village". ChinaTour.Net.
  18. ^ "China Xidi-Huangshan Xidi-Welcome To Xidi". China Xidi.
  19. ^ "Xidi village ancient village in the south of Anhui". China Escapade.
  20. ^ "Xidi Village". Meet China.
  21. ^ ?, ?, ed. (2015-07-07). "Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui - Xidi and Hongcun". English Rednet.
  22. ^ "Two Beauties Below Yellow Mountain". China Digital Review. July 27, 2015.
  23. ^ "Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui - Xidi and Hongcun" (pdf). UNESCO World Heritage Centre. 2 December 2000.
  24. ^ Latourette 1934, p. 191.
  25. ^ Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland (1889). Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland. Cambridge University Press for the Royal Asiatic Society. pp. 386-.

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