Sui Dynasty

Written by Sally Guo Updated Jun. 10, 2021

Sui Dynasty was a short life and only existed for 37 years. It started in 581 AD when Yang Jian (Wen Di Emperor) founded Sui Dynasty and stopped in 618 AD when Yang Guang (Yang Di Emperor) was killed. But it had a wide influence in history because many systems were proposed and established in that period. Emperor Gao Zu of the Tang Dynasty and Emperor Yang Di of the Sui Dynasty had blood relationships. Therefore, to large extent, Tang Dynasty was the extension of the Sui Dynasty. Many historical books often refer Sui Dynasty and Tang Dynasty together Sui and Tang Dynasty.

During Sui Dynasty, Emperor Wen Di contributed the most. He abolished the Six-Official System in Northern Zhou Dynasty and established a new system of government officials, namely Three Councils and Six Boards. That main body of the system was inherited later by Tang Dynasty and became the major content that Japan had learned from Sui and Tang Dynasties in its Dahua Reform. Besides, Emperor Wen Di also formulated a series of new laws. They played a key role in the improvement and consolidation of feudal laws in the Tang Dynasty. Codes on physical punishment were not as cruel as those in Southern and Northern Dynasties. In addition, the creation and implementation of Imperial Examinations was another feat to history. The new form of examinations was an innovation to the selection of social servants. Moreover, it was more rational and fair than the previous ones.

Emperor Yang Di was remembered by the later generations only because of the great canal he ordered to build (for play as a major purpose). A poet in Tang Dynasty, known as Li Shangyin, once expressed through his poem that Emperor Yang Di was no less indulgent and fatuity than Chen Shubao, the offspring of an emperor in the Jin Dynasty, captured by Wen Di Emperor. Emperor Yang Di was notorious in history for his cruel tyranny. Four of his brothers were killed continuously. Later he ascended the throne by killing his father. However, his people could not bear his inhuman rule and abnormal tyranny any longer and initiated revolts against him. Finally, he got what he deserved and was killed in Jingdu, declaring the end of the Sui Dynasty.

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