Historical Geography Research ›› 2019, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (1): 58-67.

Previous Articles     Next Articles

The City Defense of Chang’an and the Establishment of the North Army in the Early Stage of Han Dynasty

Luo Kai   

  1. School of History and Culture, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065, China
  • Received:2019-03-12 Online:2019-08-20 Published:2019-08-20


The North Army was the city defense force set up with the construction of Chang’an during the later period of the Emperor Hui’s reign, and was an important armed force in Han Dynasty. In the early stage of Han Dynasty, there were mainly two palaces lying in southern Chang’an and the leader of the palace defense army (Weiwei) was in charge of the palace defense issues. The city defense army could only be stationed in northern Chang’an. Accordingly, the palace defense army was known as the South Army and the city defense army was known as the North Army. Based on Law of the 2nd Year: the Payroll Law discovered on bamboo slips from Zhangjiashan, the chief officer of North Army was Guard General (Wei jiangjun). Secretary of Guard General (Wei jiangjun zhangshi), Chief Assistant (Houcheng), Chief Colonel (Xiaozhang) and lower-ranked civilian officers were also in the administrative system of North Army. At that time, Guard General was the only permanent General in the entire bureaucratic hierarchy of Han Dynasty. After Emperor Wen ascended the throne, Guard General obtained more power by taking command of the South Army in addition to the original North Army. After that, the North Army had been dismissed and reestablished for several times. The position of Gurad General was eventually abolished and the North Army became subordinates to the Imperial Guard Officer (Zhongwei).

Key words: early stage of Han Dynasty, Chang’an, North Army, Guard General

CLC Number: 

  • K928