Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Emperor Xiaowen of Northern Wei China

Xiaowen was an emperor of the Northern Wei dynasty around the 5th century

In 494, he moved the Northern Wei capital to Luoyang, a city long acknowledged as a major center in Chinese history. He then implemented a drastic policy of sinicization, changing artistic styles to reflect Chinese taste and requiring the Xianbei and others to adopt Chinese surnames, speak the language, and wear Chinese clothes. The resentments engendered by these policies contribute to the downfall of the dynasty in the mid-6th century.