Article name The Four Highest Clans of the Eastern Jin Era
Authors Tsyrenov C.T. Candidate of History,
Bibliographic description Tsyrenov Ch. Ts. The Four Highest Clans of the Eastern Jin Era // Humanitarian Vector. 2020. Vol. 15, No. 6. PP. 189–197. DOI: 10.21209/1996-7853-2020-15-6-189-197.
UDK 1(031)+221
DOI 10.21209/1996-7853-2020-15-6-189-197
Article type
Annotation The article shows the history of the heyday and decline of the four highest clans of the Southern Chinese Eastern Jin dynasty (Wang, Xie, Yu and Huan clans), which alternately with varying degrees of success acted as the second most powerful clan in the entire Eastern Jin Empire when the central power ceased to be a self-sufficient force and badly needed the support of noble clans (strong houses). The purpose of the study is to identify the main factors of the political longevity of the highest clans of the period under review. The methodology of this study includes the method of prosopographic and historical-genetic analysis of the four highest clans of the Eastern Jin era, between which there was a continuous and merciless political struggle for the highest civil and military posts in the Eastern Jin Empire. The perspective of clan issues and inter-clan relations in Jin history lies in the possibility of a detailed reconstruction of the specific historical context of the most important events in the history of China in the 4th‒5th centuries AD and will contribute to the development of elitology of early medieval China. As a result of the analysis of the history of the development of the four clans, it was concluded that the Wang clan achieved the greatest success during the Eastern Jin period, which was able to move from the local level of politics to the level of the Eastern Jin Empire. The very factor of the clan structures of Chinese society had a significant double impact on the historical and political process of the period of the Jin Empire, as well as the era of the Southern and Northern dynasties in general. The duality lies in the fact that, on the one hand, the continuous strife between the regional branches of the Sima clan (the revolt of the eight princes) undermined the basis of the power of the all-Chinese empire of Western Jin from the inside, and on the other hand, the same clan structures in combination with rather strong compatriot ties (the alliance of the regional branch of the ruling Clan Sima and the local noble clan Wang) allowed the ruling house of Sima to retain supreme power and minimized the loss of the Chinese ethnos in a troubled and turbulent era. The system of the highest clans of the Jin era, in fact, developed as a result of the abandonment of the Han institute of examinations for officials, which prevented the highest clans from distributing among themselves the most important posts in the empire.
Key words Western Jin, Eastern Jin, South China, higher clans, examination institute, nine-rank report card, prosopographic analysis
Article information
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