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Emperor Hsiao-wen of the Northern Wei dynasty issued an edict in the year 495 which established a procedure for defining, classifying, and ranking T'o-pa lineages. This procedure would be carried out once, and the resulting ranks would be hereditary thereafter. The intention was to create a hereditary aristocracy among the T'o-pa which would be similar to that which already existed among the Chinese, so that both the T'o-pa and the Chinese could be considered for bureaucratic office on a comparable basis. This was one of a number of edicts issued around this time which sought to make T'o-pa customs and practices more similar to Chinese ones.

Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient

Journal d'Histoire Economique et Sociale de l'Orient



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