Emperor Jing of Liang

Emperor Jing of Liang (Chinese: 梁敬帝; 543–558), personal name Xiao Fangzhi (蕭方智), courtesy name Huixiang (慧相), nickname Fazhen (法真), was an emperor of the Chinese Liang Dynasty. As the only surviving son of Emperor Yuan, he was declared emperor by the general Chen Baxian in 555, but in 557 Chen forced him to yield the throne and established Chen Dynasty. In 558, Chen had him killed.

Emperor Jing of Liang
ReignNovember 1, 555[1][2] – November 16, 557[1][3]
Born543[4]
DiedMay 5, 558[1][3]
Full name
Era dates
Shàotài (紹泰) 555–556
Tàipíng (太平) 556–557
Posthumous name
Jìng (敬), "alert"
DynastyLiang Dynasty

Background

Xiao Fangzhi was born in 544, when his father Xiao Yi was the Prince of Xiangdong during the reign of his grandfather, the founding emperor Emperor Wu. His mother was Xiao Yi's concubine Lady Xia. He was Xiao Yi's ninth son. He was created the Marquess of Xingliang in 549, probably by Xiao Yi, exercising acting imperial powers, as that year, the capital Jiankang fell to the rebel general Hou Jing, who took Emperor Wu and his crown prince, Xiao Fangzhi's uncle Xiao Gang hostage, and the subsequent acts of Emperor Wu and Xiao Gang (who succeeded to the throne as Emperor Jianwen later that year when Emperor Wu died) were not recognized as genuine imperial edicts.

In 552, after Xiao Yi had defeated Hou and taken the throne at his headquarters of Jiangling (江陵, in modern Jingzhou, Hubei) as Emperor Yuan, he created Xiao Fangzhi the Prince of Jin'an, and honored Xiao Fangzhi's mother Consort Xia as the Princess Dowager of Jin'an. In 553, Xiao Fangzhi was made a general and the governor of Jiang Province (江州, modern Jiangxi), although, because he was just nine years old, actual gubernatorial authorities were probably carried out by staff members.

In winter 554, Jiangling, then the capital, fell to Western Wei forces. Emperor Yuan was captured and subsequently executed around the near year 555, as were all of the then-surviving brothers of Xiao Fangzhi. Western Wei created Xiao Fangzhi's cousin Xiao Cha Emperor of Liang. However, most of the remaining Liang provinces were under the control of Emperor Yuan's general Wang Sengbian and Wang's lieutenant Chen Baxian, and they refused to recognize Xiao Cha as emperor. Rather, they welcomed Xiao Fangzhi to the old capital Jiankang, initially offering him the title of Taizai (太宰) and had him formally exercise imperial power. In spring 555, they declared him the Prince of Liang and had him take the throne—but not with imperial title.

Meanwhile, Emperor Wenxuan of Northern Qi had his own designs on putting an emperor on the Liang throne who would be friendly to Northern Qi. He created Emperor Yuan's cousin Xiao Yuanming the Marquess of Zhenyang, who had been captured by Northern Qi's predecessor state Eastern Wei in 547, and he sent his brother Gao Huan (高渙) the Prince of Shangdang to escort Xiao Yuanming back to Liang. Wang initially rejected Emperor Wenxuan's and Xiao Yuanming's overtures, but after his forces suffered several defeats at Northern Qi's hands, became apprehensive and decided to accept Xiao Yuanming as emperor, after extracting a promise from Xiao Yuanming to create Xiao Fangzhi crown prince. In summer 555, Xiao Yuanming arrived at Jiankang to take the throne, although military authorities remained in Wang's and Chen's hands. Xiao Yuanming created Xiao Fangzhi crown prince, pursuant to his promise.

In fall 555, however, Chen, displeased at Xiao Yuanming's becoming emperor, made a surprise attack on Jiankang from his headquarters at Jingkou (京口, in modern Zhenjiang, Jiangsu). Wang was caught by surprise and was captured and executed by Chen. Xiao Yuanming abdicated, and Xiao Fangzhi took the throne (as Emperor Jing).

Reign

Emperor Jing honored his mother Consort Xia as empress dowager and his wife Princess Wang as empress. However, actual powers were in Chen Baxian's hands.

War broke out as soon as Emperor Jing took the throne, as generals loyal to Wang, including Xu Sihui (徐嗣徽), Ren Yue (任約), Hou Tian (侯瑱), Wang's son-in-law Du Kan (杜龕), and brother Wang Sengzhi (王僧智), all rose to resist Chen, and Xu and Ren sought Northern Qi aid. In winter 555, Northern Qi forces crossed the Yangtze River into Liang territory to aid Xu and Ren, but soon, the armies stalemated near Jiankang. Around the new year 556, Chen put Shitou, a heavy fortified fortress in Jiankang's vicinity, which the Northern Qi general Liu Damo (柳達摩) had taken, under siege, and Liu sought peace. While Chen did not favor peace with Northern Qi, most imperial officials did, and Chen agreed to peace, sending his nephew Chen Tanlang (陳曇朗), Emperor Jing's nephew Xiao Zhuang the Prince of Yongjia, and Wang Min (王珉), the son of the key official Wang Chong (王沖), to Northern Qi as hostages, permitting Northern Qi forces to withdraw, and Xu and Ren went with them to Northern Qi. In spring 556, Du was either defeated or surrendered, and Chen killed him. Wang Sengzhi fled to Northern Qi, and the Jiankang region was largely pacified. Soon, Hou, who controlled Jiang Province, submitted as well.

Soon, however, Northern Qi forces, along with Xu and Ren's forces, attacked again. They arrived at Jiankang again in summer 556. Chen defeated them several times, however, and cut off their food supplies, leading to a major rout. Xu was captured and executed, as were a large number of Northern Qi generals. Chen had Emperor Jing create him the Duke of Changcheng, and then the greater title of Duke of Yixing. The general Wang Lin, who controlled Xiang (湘州, modern Hunan) and Ying (郢州, modern eastern Hubei) Provinces, however, resisted Chen's orders for him to report to Jiankang, although he still recognized Emperor Jing as emperor.

In spring 557, Xiao Bo (蕭勃), the governor of Guang Province (廣州, modern Guangdong), apparently believing that Chen was about to seize the throne, rebelled and tried to advance north. Soon, however, Chen's general Zhou Wenyu (周文育) captured Xiao Bo's general Ouyang Wei (歐陽頠), and Xiao Bo's own generals rose and killed him.

In summer 557, Chen had Emperor Jing create him the Duke of Chen. In winter 557, he had Emperor Jing create him the Prince of Chen, and then three days later, yield the throne to him, establishing Chen Dynasty with Chen as its Emperor Wu.

Death

Chen created Emperor Jing as the Prince of Jiangyin. However, in summer 558, he sent assassins to kill the former emperor. As the young emperor was without sons, his cousin Xiao Jiqing (蕭季卿) was created the Prince of Jiangyin to succeed him.

Family

  • Parents:
    • Xiao Yi (元皇帝 蕭繹; 508 – 555)
    • Lady Xia (皇太后 夏氏), personal name Wangfeng (王豐)
  • Consorts:
  1. Lady Wang of Langxie (皇后 琅邪王氏)

References

  1. ^ a b c Academia Sinica Chinese-Western Calendar Converter Archived May 22, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Zizhi Tongjian, vol. 166.
  3. ^ a b Zizhi Tongjian, vol. 167.
  4. ^ Book of Liang, vol. 6.
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Xiao Yuanming (Marquess of Zhenyang)
Emperor of Liang Dynasty (Eastern)
555–557
Succeeded by
Xiao Zhuang (Prince of Yongjia)
Emperor of China (Southern)
555–557
Emperor of China (Southeastern)
555–557
Succeeded by
Emperor Wu of Chen
Chinese nobility

In Chinese sovereignty and peerage, the nobility of China, was an important feature of the traditional social and political organization of Imperial China.

While the concepts of hereditary sovereign and peerage titles and noble families were featured as early as the semi-mythical, early historical period, a settled system of nobility was established from the Zhou dynasty. In the subsequent millennia, this system was largely maintained in form, with some changes and additions, although the content constantly evolved. The last, well-developed system of noble titles was established under the Qing dynasty. The AD-1911 republican Xinhai Revolution saw the dissolution of the official imperial system although the new Republic of China government maintained noble titles like the Duke Yansheng. Though some noble families maintained their titles and dignity for a time, new political and economic circumstances forced their decline. Today, the nobility as a class is almost entirely dissipated in China, and only a very few maintain any pretense or claim to noble titles, which are almost universally unrecognized. Elevation and degradation of rank might occur posthumously, and posthumous elevation was sometimes a consideration; Guan Yu, was styled, during his lifetime, Marquis of Han Shou (漢壽亭侯) in the Han dynasty then posthumously in the later Song dynasty elevated to Duke Zhonghui (忠惠公) then in the Yuan dynasty Prince of Xianling Yiyong Wu'an Yingji (顯靈義勇武安英濟王) then in the Ming dynasty both beatified and royalized as Saintly Emperor Guan the Great God Who Subdues Demons of the Three Worlds and Whose Awe Spreads Far and Moves Heaven (三界伏魔大神威遠震天尊關聖帝君) and in popular culture deified as a God of Prosperity, Commerce, War, and Police.

Emperor Jing

Emperor Jing may refer to:

Emperor Jing of Han (188-141 BC)

Emperor Jing of Jin (208-255)

Emperor Jing of Wu (235-264)

Emperor Jing of Liang (543-558)

Emperor Jing of Northern Zhou (573-581)

Emperor Jing of Western Liang (fl. 607)

Emperor Wu of Chen

Emperor Wu of Chen (陳武帝) (503–559), personal name Chen Baxian (陳霸先), courtesy name Xingguo (興國), nickname Fasheng (法生), was the first emperor of the Chen dynasty of China. He first distinguished himself as a Liang dynasty general during the campaign against the rebel general Hou Jing, and he was progressively promoted. In 555, he seized power after a coup against his superior, the general Wang Sengbian, and in 557 he forced Emperor Jing to yield the throne to him, establishing the Chen dynasty. He died in 559, and as his only surviving son Chen Chang was held by Northern Zhou as a hostage, he was succeeded by his nephew Chen Qian (Emperor Wen).

Head of the former Chinese imperial clan

It is not usual for a Chinese Dynasty to pass smoothly into the next one, as is depicted in history timelines, since dynasties were often established before the overthrow of an existing clan, or continued for a time after they had been defeated. The last Chinese dynasty was the Qing Dynasty, which was abolished in 1912, and there's no officially recognized pretender to the dynasty since as of Yongzheng Emperor's reign, the successors' names were written on two scrolls, placed one scroll in a sealed box and had the box stored behind the stele in the Qianqing Palace, and it can be discovered when the emperor deceased or abdicated. The method is known as "The Secret Designation of the Crown Prince" (Chinese: 秘密建儲制).

In dynasties prior to Yuan Dynasty, however, the reigning dynasties often gave title to certain members (sometimes pretenders) of the previous dynasties as recognition of the legitimacy of the former dynasty and the way to show the right to the dynastic change. The method is known as "The two crownings and the three respects" (二王三恪), the people who were given to such position had right to retain the law from the original dynasty within the land given to them, and the reigning emperor couldn't treat them as his subject.

Liang dynasty

The Liang dynasty (Chinese: 梁朝; pinyin: Liáng cháo) (502–557), also known as the Southern Liang dynasty (南梁), was the third of the Southern Dynasties during China's Southern and Northern Dynasties period. It was located in East China and South China, and replaced by the Chen dynasty in 557. The small rump state Western Liang (555–587), located in Central China, continued until its annexation in 587.

List of Chinese monarchs

This list of Chinese monarchs includes rulers of China with various titles prior to the establishment of the Republic in 1912. From the Zhou dynasty until the Qin dynasty, rulers usually held the title "king" (Chinese: 王; pinyin: wáng). With the separation of China into different Warring States, this title had become so common that the unifier of China, the first Qin Emperor Qin Shihuang created a new title for himself, that of "emperor" (pinyin: huángdì). The title of Emperor of China continued to be used for the remainder of China's imperial history, right down to the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1912. While many other monarchs existed in and around China throughout its history, this list covers only those with a quasi-legitimate claim to the majority of China, or those who have traditionally been named in king-lists. The following list of Chinese monarchs is in no way comprehensive.

Chinese sovereigns were known by many different names, and how they should be identified is often confusing. Sometimes the same emperor is commonly known by two or three separate names, or the same name is used by emperors of different dynasties. The tables below do not necessarily include all of an emperor's names – for example, posthumous names could run to more than twenty characters and were rarely used in historical writing – but, where possible, the most commonly used name or naming convention has been indicated.

These tables may not necessarily represent the most recently updated information on Chinese monarchs; please check the page for the relevant dynasty for possible additional information.

Follow these links to see how they are related:

Family tree of ancient Chinese emperors → Chinese emperors family tree (early) → Chinese emperors family tree (middle) → Chinese emperors family tree (late)

List of usurpers

The following is a list of usurpers – illegitimate or controversial claimants to the throne in a monarchy. The word usurper is a derogatory term, and as such not easily definable, as the person seizing power normally will try to legitimise his position, while denigrating that of his predecessor.

Military history of the Northern and Southern dynasties

The military history of the Northern and Southern dynasties encompasses the period of Chinese military activity from 420 to 589. Officially starting with Liu Yu's usurpation of the Jin throne and creation of his Liu Song dynasty in 420, it ended in 589 with the Sui dynasty's conquest of Chen dynasty and reunification of China. The first of the Northern dynasties did not however begin in 420, but in 386 with the creation of Northern Wei. Thus there is some unofficial overlap with the era of the Sixteen Kingdoms.

Nine bestowments

The nine bestowments (Chinese: 九錫; pinyin: jǐu xī; literally: "nine tin") were awards given by Chinese emperors to extraordinary officials, ostensibly to reward them for their accomplishments. The reason why the character 錫 (pronounced xī in modern Mandarin and meaning "tin") is used, rather than the expected 賜 (cì, meaning "bestowment"), is because the two characters were interchangeable during times when the ceremonies were first established in the Classic of Rites, and it is not clear whether in modern Mandarin 九錫 should be pronounced jiǔxī or jiǔcì. While the nature of the bestowments was probably established during the Zhou Dynasty, there was no record of anyone receiving them until Wang Mang. Thereafter, the nine bestowments became typically a sign of a powerful official showing off his complete control of the emperor and establishing his intent to usurp the throne. For the rest of Chinese history, it became rare for an usurpation to happen without the nine bestowments having been given sometime before, and just as rare for the nine bestowments to be given without an usurpation happening, however, an example of the latter was Cao Pi giving Sun Quan the nine bestowments in 221 when Sun was briefly a Cao Wei vassal.

The nine bestowments and their meanings, according to the Classic of Rites:

Gift of a wagon and horses: when the official is appropriate in his modesty and walking in an appropriate manner, so that he does not need to walk any more.

Gift of clothes: when the official writes well and appropriately, to show his good deeds.

Gift of armed guards: when the official is brave and willing to speak the truth, so that he can be protected.

Gift of written music: when the official has love in his heart, so that he can teach the music to his people.

Gift of a ramp: when the official is appropriate in his acts, so that he can walk on the ramp and maintain his strength.

Gift of a red door: when the official maintains his household well, so that his household can be shown to be different.

Gift of arms, bow, and arrows: when the official has good conscience and follows what is right, so that he can represent the central government to stamp out treason.

Gift of an axe: when the official is strong, wise, and loyal to the imperial household, so that he can execute the wicked.

Gift of wine: when the official is filially pious, so that he can sacrifice the wine to his ancestors.

Northern and Southern dynasties

The Northern and Southern dynasties (Chinese: 南北朝; pinyin: Nán-Běi Cháo) was a period in the history of China that lasted from 420 to 589, following the tumultuous era of the Sixteen Kingdoms and the Wu Hu states. It is sometimes considered as the latter part of a longer period known as the Six Dynasties (220 to 589). Though an age of civil war and political chaos, it was also a time of flourishing arts and culture, advancement in technology, and the spread of Mahayana Buddhism and Daoism. The period saw large-scale migration of Han Chinese to the lands south of the Yangtze. The period came to an end with the unification of all of China proper by Emperor Wen of the Sui Dynasty.

During this period, the process of sinicization accelerated among the non-Chinese arrivals in the north and among the indigenous people in the south. This process was also accompanied by the increasing popularity of Buddhism (introduced into China in the 1st century) in both northern and southern China and Daoism gaining influence as well, with two essential Daoist canons written during this period.

Notable technological advances occurred during this period. The invention of the stirrup during the earlier Jin dynasty (265–420) helped spur the development of heavy cavalry as a combat standard. Historians also note advances in medicine, astronomy, mathematics, and cartography. Intellectuals of the period include the mathematician and astronomer Zu Chongzhi (429–500).

Shen Miaorong

Shen Miaorong (沈妙容) was an empress of the Chinese Chen Dynasty. Her husband was Emperor Wen (Chen Qian), a nephew of the founding Emperor Wu (Chen Baxian).

Timeline of Chinese history

This is a timeline of Chinese history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in China and its predecessor states. To read about the background to these events, see History of China. See also the list of rulers of China, Chinese emperors family tree, dynasties in Chinese history and years in China.

Dates prior to 841 BC, the beginning of the Gonghe Regency, are provisional and subject to dispute.

Timeline of the Northern and Southern dynasties

This is a timeline of the Northern and Southern dynasties in China.

Xia (surname)

Xia is the Mandarin pinyin romanization of the Chinese surname written 夏 in Chinese character. It is romanized Hsia in Wade–Giles, and Ha in Cantonese. Xia is the 154th surname in the Song dynasty classic text Hundred Family Surnames. As of 2008, it is the 66th most common Chinese surname, shared by 3.7 million people.

Xiao Yuanming

Xiao Yuanming (蕭淵明) (died 556), courtesy name Jingtong (靖通), often known by his pre-ascension title of Marquess of Zhenyang (貞陽侯), at times known by his post-removal title Duke of Jian'an (建安公), honored Emperor Min (閔皇帝) by Xiao Zhuang, was briefly an emperor of the Chinese Liang Dynasty. He was the nephew of the founding emperor Emperor Wu. In 555, with Liang in disarray after Western Wei had captured and killed Emperor Yuan, Northern Qi, which had held Xiao Yuanming as an honored captive since 547, forced the general Wang Sengbian to accept Xiao Yuanming as emperor. Soon, however, Wang's subordinate Chen Baxian killed Wang and removed Xiao Yuanming from the throne, replacing him with Emperor Yuan's son Xiao Fangzhi (Emperor Jing). Xiao Yuanming died the following year.

Xiao Zhuang

Xiao Zhuang (蕭莊) (548-577?), often known by his princely title of Prince of Yongjia (永嘉王), was a grandson of Emperor Yuan of Liang, who was declared by the general Wang Lin to be the legitimate emperor of Liang Dynasty in 558, under military assistance by Northern Qi. He thus was one of the three claimants to the Southern dynasties throne, competing with Emperor Xuan of Western Liang, who was supported by Northern Zhou, and Chen Dynasty's founder Emperor Wu of Chen and later his nephew Emperor Wen of Chen. In 560, with Wang Lin defeated by Chen troops, both Wang and Xiao Zhuang fled to Northern Qi, ending their rivalry with Chen and Western Liang. While Northern Qi emperors made promises to return Xiao Zhuang to the Liang throne, Northern Qi was never able to accomplish that promise, and Xiao Zhuang died shortly after Northern Qi's own destruction in 577.

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