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Korean Buddhism: Its History & Cultural Heritage: Pre-Korean Buddhism(China-3)

Battle of Fei River
350px-Feiriverbattle.png [ 67.83 KiB | 1052 번째 조회 ]

The Battle of Fei River or “Feishui” (淝水之战;Féishŭi zhī zhàn) was a battle in 383, where Fu Jiān (苻堅) of the Di Former Qin Empire was decisively defeated by the numerically inferior Jin (Han Chinese-lead) army of Eastern Jin. (The location of the battle, the Fei River, no longer exists, but is believed to have flowed through modern Lu'an,, Anhui, near the Huai River). The battle is considered to be one of the most significant battles in the history of China. The aftermath of the battle includes the Former Qin empire falling into massive civil war and its eventual destruction, ensuring the survival of Eastern Jin and other Chinese regimes south of the Yangtze River (Chang Jiang).

​​Former Qin Army

Fu Jiān's force was composed of many smaller armies levied from the conquered northern territories, along with cavalry drawn from the nomadic peoples of the north (the Xianbei and Xiongnu). Most men had little or no loyalty to the Former Qin, and many were forced to join or joined only because of military rations and pay. Many battalions had problems following orders as instructed by their commanding officers. Fu was warned of the poor training of his heterogeneous army, but instead chose to rely on the vast number of men that made up the army, saying, "My army is so huge that if all the men throw their whips into the Yangtze, its flow will be stopped," (投鞭断流)

Jin Army

Xie Xuan's local army were well motivated to protect their homeland and had a good knowledge of the local terrain—an advantage that would allow them to engage advance elements of the enemy and withdraw quickly.


The Jin army defeated the overwhelming Former Qin forces, with only minor casualties. The Jin had routed and killed most of the escaping soldiers of the Former Qin army, greatly weakening the pool of troops from which the Former Qin could draw. Fu Jiān's forces were not able to be reorganized, even after he eventually withdrew to Luoyang under the protection of Murong Chui, whose 30,000-man army was one of the few that did not collapse.

Meanwhile, agrarian rebellions arose after news of the defeat at Fei River. Murong Chui used this opportunity to ask Fu Jiān to let him try to lead an army to pressure the rebels in the eastern empire back into submission. Instead, Murong Chui himself rebelled in early 384, which started a chain reaction of many Xianbei and Qiang uprisings. The Former Qin capital Chang'an would fall in 385 to the Xianbei forces of Western Yan, and Fu Jiān himself would die later that year at the hands of his former general Yao Chang, the founder of Later Qin. While Former Qin would last until 394, it would never regain its power and glory. In addition, after the battle, Jin forces advanced to the Yellow River and recovered much of the Chinese heartland, forming a basis for Liu Yu's expeditions and the Southern and Northern Dynasties period that would follow soon afterward.

This battle is famous not only because of its significance in history, but also because it demonstrated the importances of troop training, morale, loyalty and organized battle command. The battle was also significant in that it ensured South China would remain independent until 589CE, when North China was again under a Chinese regime.

​​​<From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia>

When we read the ancient history of Korean Buddhism, pre-Korean Budhist history is unknow. There are a couple of Koream Buddhist History texts, but there is no reference to pre-Korean Buddhist history which was in ancient Nortern-China. Our cognitive horizon of pre-Korean Buudhism in China is too narrow to understand. Korean Buddhism was entirely originated from Chinese Buddhism in which Western regional buddhism including Central Asia came to China. Even if Northern part of Chineses Buddhism was introduced to the Korean peninsular, there was Buddhism as a legacy of Han dynasty.

Writer: Dr Lee Chi-ran

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