Former Liang

The Former Liang (Chinese: 前涼; pinyin: Qián Liáng; 320–376) was a state of the Sixteen Kingdoms during the Jin dynasty (265–420) in China. It was founded by the Zhang family of the Han Chinese. Its territories included present-day Gansu and parts of Ningxia, Shaanxi, Qinghai and Xinjiang.

All rulers of the Former Liang remained largely titularly under the court of the Jin dynasty as the Duke of Xiping except Zhang Zuo who proclaimed himself wang (prince/king). However, at times the other Former Liang rulers also used the wang title when imposed on them when they were forced to submit to Han Zhao, Later Zhao, or Former Qin.

In 327, the Gaochang commandery was created by the Former Liang under the Han Chinese ruler Zhang Gui. After this, significant Han Chinese settlement occurred in Gaochang, a major, large part of the population becoming Chinese. In 383 The General Lu Guang of the Former Qin seized control of the region.[5]

Former Liang (前涼)

西平, 涼
320–376
Former Liang in the northwest
Former Liang in the northwest
StatusVassal of Jin Dynasty (265-420), Han Zhao, Later Zhao, Former Qin
CapitalGuzang
GovernmentMonarchy
Prince 
• 320-324
Zhang Mao
• 324-346
Zhang Jun
• 346-353
Zhang Chonghua
• 353-355
Zhang Zuo
• 355-363
Zhang Xuanjing
• 364-376
Zhang Tianxi
History 
• Zhang Gui's creation as Duke of Xiping
4 March 314[1][2]
• Zhang Mao's issuance of general pardon, usually viewed as establishment
320
• Zhang Mao's acceptance of Prince of Liang title
323
• Zhang Zuo's formal rejection of Jin suzerainty
354
• Zhang Xuanjing's formal acceptance of Jin suzerainty
361
• Disestablished
26 September[3][4] 376
• Zhang Tianxi's death
406
CurrencyChinese coin, Chinese cash (Wu Zhu)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Jin Dynasty (265-420)
Former Qin

Rulers of the Former Liang

Temple names Posthumous names Family names and given name Durations of reigns Era names and their according durations
Chinese convention: use family and given names
Did not exist Ming (明 Míng) Zhang Shi (張寔 Zhāng Shí) 314-320 Jianxing (建興 Jiànxīng) 314–320
Did not exist Cheng (成 Chéng) Zhang Mao (張茂 Zhāng Mào) 320–324 Jianxing (建興 Jiànxīng) 320–324
Did not exist Zhongcheng (忠成 Zhōngchéng) Zhang Jun (張駿 Zhāng Jùn) 324-346 Jianxing (建興 Jiànxīng) 324-346
Did not exist Huan (桓 Huán) Zhang Chonghua (張重華 Zhāng Chónghuá) 346-353 Jianxing (建興 Jiànxīng) 346-353
Did not exist Ai (哀 āi) Zhang Yaoling (張曜靈 Zhāng Yàolíng) 3 months (the ninth to the twelfth month) in 353 Jianxing (建興 Jiànxīng) 353
Did not exist King Wei (威王 Wēi Wáng) Zhang Zuo (張祚 Zhāng Zuò) 353-355 Jianxing (建興 Jiànxīng) 353-354

Heping (和平 Hépíng) 354-355

Did not exist Jingdao (敬悼 Jìngdào) or Chong (沖 Chōng) Zhang Xuanjing (張玄靚 Zhāng Xuánjìng) 355-363 Jianxing (建興 Jiànxīng) 355-361

Shengping (升平 Shēngpíng) 361-363

Did not exist Dao (悼 Dào) Zhang Tianxi (張天錫 Zhāng Tiānxí) 364-376 Shengping (升平 Shēngpíng) 364-376

Rulers family tree

Former Liang rulers family tree
Zhang Gui 张轨 (255–314)
Wǔwáng 武王
(r. 301–314)
Zhang Shi 张寔 (d. 320)
Míngwáng 明王 / Zhāowáng 昭王
(r. 314–320)
Zhang Mao 張茂 (276–324)
Chenglie 成烈 / Cheng 成
r. (320–)323–324
Zhang Jun 張駿 (307–346)
Wen 文 / Zhongcheng 忠成
r. 324–346
Zhang Zuo 张祚 (d. 355)
Wei
(r. 353–355)
Zhang Chonghua 張重華 (327–353)
Jinglie 敬烈 / Huan 桓
r. 346–353
Zhang Tianxi 張天錫 (346–406)
Dao 悼
(r. 363–376)
Zhang Yaoling 張曜靈 (344–355)
Ai 哀
(r. 353–355)
Zhang Xuanjing 張玄靖 (350–363)
Jingdao 敬悼 / Chong 沖
r. 355–363
Zhang Yu 张大豫
d. 387; r. 386–387

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ http://www.sinica.edu.tw/ftms-bin/kiwi1/luso.sh?lstype=2&dyna=%A6%E8%AE%CA&king=%B7%5D%AB%D2&reign=%AB%D8%BF%B3&yy=2&ycanzi=&mm=2&dd=&dcanzi=%A4%D0%B1G
  2. ^ Zizhi Tongjian, vol. 89.
  3. ^ http://www.sinica.edu.tw/ftms-bin/kiwi1/luso.sh?lstype=2&dyna=%AAF%AE%CA&king=%A7%B5%AAZ%AB%D2&reign=%A4%D3%A4%B8&yy=1&ycanzi=&mm=8&dd=&dcanzi=%A5%D2%A4%C8
  4. ^ Zizhi Tongjian, vol. 104.
  5. ^ Society for the Study of Chinese Religions (U.S.), Indiana University, Bloomington. East Asian Studies Center (2002). Journal of Chinese religions, Issues 30-31. the University of California: Society for the Study of Chinese Religions. p. 24. Retrieved May 17, 2011.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
    Society for the Study of Chinese Religions (U.S.), Indiana University, Bloomington. East Asian Studies Center (2002). Journal of Chinese religions, Issues 30-31. the University of California: Society for the Study of Chinese Religions. p. 24. Retrieved May 17, 2011.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
Chief Official of the Western Regions

The Chief Official of the Western Regions was a Chinese military official in charge of the Western Regions. Since the Eastern Han no longer maintained the post of Protector General, the duty was assumed by the chief official in the course of his management of the Western Regions during the period of the Qiang's attacks towards the end of the Later Han in the latter part of the 2nd century CE.Unlike the Protector General of the Western Regions, the Chief Official (sometimes referred to as the 'Chief Scribe') did not have a regular office or seat. It corresponded to that of the Assistant (郡丞) for the commandery, who received orders from the Governor of Dunhuang. So in certain extent, the various statelets of Indo-European in the possession of the chief official would be under the jurisdiction of Governor of Dunhuang.The first to assume the duty was Ban Chao in 83, and subsequently was Xu Gan (徐干), after Ban became Protector General in 91. The post was roughly equal to the secondary position in support of the protector general. It was later assumed as the Protector General in 119 under the impulse of the Governor of Dunhuang to disengage the leftover Xiongnu from the Western Regions. Only 5 of their titles were known: Suo Ban (索班), Ban Yong (班勇), Zhao Ping (赵评), Wang Jing (王敬) and Zhang Yan (张晏). The Chief Official of the Western Regions was last seen in 175. It was subsequently re-established and maintained by the Cao Wei and the Western Jin until around 328, during the times of Li Bo (李柏), the Chief Official of the Western Regions in Former Liang.

Empress Dowager Ma

Princess Dowager Ma (馬太后, personal name unknown; died 362) was the mother of the Chinese state Former Liang's ruler Zhang Chonghua. She was a concubine of Zhang Chonghua's father Zhang Jun.

Nothing is known about Lady Ma's acts during Zhang Jun's reign, other than her status as his heir apparent's mother. (This implies that Zhang Jun's wife Princess Yan had no sons.) After Zhang Jun's death in 346, Zhang Chonghua succeeded him and honored her as "Empress Dowager" while honoring Princess Yan as "Grand Empress Dowager." After Zhang Chonghua died in 353, his son Zhang Yaoling carried the Jin Dynasty (265-420)-created title Duke of Xiping and was the titular ruler, but actual power was in Empress Dowager Ma's and Zhang Chonghua's older brother Zhang Zuo's hands. Most historians believed that she had an affair with Zhang Zuo, and later that year, she deposed Zhang Yaoling and replaced him with Zhang Zuo. In 355, however, the overly extravagant and cruel Zhang Zuo was deposed and killed by a coalition of officials, including Zhang Guan (張瓘) and Song Hun (宋混), and they pressured her into making Zhang Chonghua's younger son, Zhang Xuanjing, the new ruler. (Zhang Yaoling had been killed by Zhang Zuo earlier that year.) Zhang Guan initially served as regent, but was killed in 359 by Song Hun, who served as regent until his death in 361. He was replaced by his brother Song Cheng (宋澄), who was in turn killed by Zhang Yong (張邕) later that year. It was said that Empress Dowager Ma also carried on an affair with Zhang Yong, who was in turn overthrown by Zhang Jun's youngest son Zhang Tianxi late in the year. In 362, Empress Dowager Ma died.

Former Qin

The Former Qin (351-394) was a state of the Sixteen Kingdoms in eastern Asia, mainly China. Founded by an officer in Shi Le's dynasty, it completed the unification of North China in 376. Its capital was Xi'an up to the death of the ruler Fu Jiān in 385. Despite its name, the Former Qin was much later and less powerful than the Qin Dynasty which had ruled all of China during the 3rd century BC. The adjective "former" is used to distinguish it from the "Later Qin" state (384-417).

The severe defeat of the Former Qin in the Battle of Fei River in 383 encouraged uprisings, which split the Former Qin territory into two noncontiguous pieces after the death of Fu Jiān. One fragment, at present-day Taiyuan, Shanxi was soon overwhelmed in 386 by the Xianbei under the Later Yan and the Dingling. The other struggled in greatly reduced territories around the border of present-day Shaanxi and Gansu until disintegration in 394 following years of invasions by Western Qin and Later Qin.

In 327, the Gaochang commandery was created by the Former Liang under the Han Chinese ruler Zhang Gui. After this, significant Han Chinese settlement occurred, meaning that a major part of the population becoming Chinese. In 383, the General Lu Guang of Former Qin seized control of the region.All rulers of Former Qin proclaimed themselves "Emperor", except for Fu Jiān who claimed the title "Heavenly Prince" (Tian Wang) but was posthumousty considered an emperor.

Liu Yao

Liu Yao (died 329), courtesy name Yongming, was the final emperor of the Xiongnu state Han Zhao. He became emperor in 318 after most other members of the imperial Liu clan were massacred by Jin Zhun in a coup. However, the empire was soon divided in half, as the general Shi Le declared independence and established Later Zhao. In a decisive battle in early 329, Shi captured and executed him, and while his sons Liu Xi the Crown Prince and Liu Yin the Prince of Nanyang continued to hold out for nearly a year, the Han Zhao state fell later that year.

Princess Pei

Princess Pei (裴王后, personal name unknown) (died 354) was the wife of the Chinese state Former Liang's ruler Zhang Chonghua. Very little is known about her, including when Zhang Chonghua made her his princess. After Zhang Chonghua's death in 353, Zhang Chonghua's brother Zhang Zuo served as regent, and in early 354, he formally took over the role of ruler, with the approval of the mother of Zhang Chonghua, Princess Dowager Ma (who was said to have had an affair with him). He then, for reasons unknown, executed Princess Pei.

Princess Yan

Princess Yan (嚴王后, personal name unknown) was the wife of the Chinese state Former Liang's ruler Zhang Jun. It is not known when Zhang Jun married her, but it is known that she carried the title of princess even though Zhang, for most of his reign, used the Jin Dynasty (265-420)-created title of Duke of Xiping, and only late in his reign used the title "Acting Prince of Liang" (假涼王). After Zhang Jun's death in 346, his son and heir Zhang Chonghua honored her as "Grand Princess Dowager" and his own mother Lady Ma as "Princess Dowager." (The fact that Zhang Chonghua was not her son but yet was made heir implies that she had no sons.) No further reference was made to her, and by the time that Zhang Chonghua died in 353, she appeared to have died, because only Zhang Chonghua's mother Princess Dowager Ma was mentioned, not she.

^1 The first recognized ruler of Former Liang, Zhang Jun's uncle Zhang Mao, was not mentioned as having had a princess; he might have had one, but if he did, her name is lost to history.

Sixteen Kingdoms

The Sixteen Kingdoms, less commonly the Sixteen States, was a chaotic period in Chinese history from AD 304 to 439, when the political order of northern China fractured into a series of short-lived sovereign states, most of which were founded by the "Five Barbarians," ethnic minority peoples who had settled in northern China during the preceding centuries and participated in the overthrow of the Western Jin dynasty in the early 4th century. The kingdoms founded by ethnic Xiongnu, Xianbei, Di, Jie, Qiang, as well as Han Chinese and other ethnicities, fought against each other and the Eastern Jin dynasty, which succeeded the Western Jin and ruled southern China. The period ended with the unification of northern China in the early 5th century by the Northern Wei, a dynasty that evolved from a kingdom founded by ethnic Xianbei.

The term "Sixteen Kingdoms" was first used by the 6th-century historian Cui Hong in the Spring and Autumn Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms and refers to the five Liangs (Former, Later, Northern, Southern and Western), four Yans (Former, Later, Northern, and Southern), three Qins (Former, Later and Western), two Zhaos (Former and Later), Cheng Han and Xia. Cui Hong did not count several other kingdoms that appeared at the time including the Ran Wei, Zhai Wei, Chouchi, Duan Qi, Qiao Shu, Huan Chu, Tuyuhun and Western Yan. Nor did he include the Northern Wei and its predecessor Dai, because the Northern Wei eventually became the ruling dynasty of northern China.

Classical Chinese historians called the period the Sixteen Kingdoms of the Five Barbarians because most of the kingdoms were founded by ethnic Xiongnu, Xianbei, Di, Jie, Qiang, and Dingling rulers who took on Chinese dynastic names. Among the handful of the states founded by Han Chinese (Former Liang, Western Liang, Ran Wei and Northern Yan), several founders had close relations with ethnic minorities. The father of Ran Min, the founder of the Ran Wei, was adopted into a Jie ruling family. Feng Ba, who is considered by some historians to be the founder of the Northern Yan, had been assimilated into Xianbei culture. Gao Yun, considered by other historians to be the Northern Yan founder, was an ethnic Korean who had been adopted by Xianbei nobility.

Due to fierce competition among the states and internal political instability, the kingdoms of this era were mostly short-lived. For seven years from 376 to 383, the Former Qin briefly unified northern China, but its collapse led to even greater political fragmentation. The Sixteen Kingdoms is considered to be one of the most chaotic periods in Chinese history. The collapse of the Western Jin Dynasty and the rise of barbarian regimes in China during this period resembles the decline and fall of the Western Roman Empire amidst invasions by the Huns and Germanic tribes in Europe, which also occurred in the 4th to 5th centuries.

Song Hun

Song Hun (宋混) (died 361) was a regent of the Chinese state Former Liang.

During the reign of the violent and capricious Zhang Zuo, Song Hun served as a general, even though he constantly feared Zhang Zuo, because his older brother Song Xiu (宋修) had previously had a conflict with Zhang Zuo. In 355, when Zhang Guan rose against Zhang Zuo, Song started an uprising of his own against Zhang Zuo as well, and quickly arrived at the capital Guzang (姑臧, in modern Wuwei, Gansu). Zhang Guan's brother Zhang Ju (張琚) and son Zhang Song (張嵩) then started an uprising inside the city and opened the gates to welcome Song's forces in. Zhang Zuo's own troops turned on him and killed him. Song and Zhang Ju jointlly declared Zhang Zuo's nephew, Zhang Xuanjing (whose older brother Zhang Yaoling was the legitimate ruler before Zhang Zuo seized the throne from him and killed him), the Duke of Xiping, a Jin-created title that his ancestors had carried for generations. When Zhang Guan subsequently arrived, Zhang Guan became regent, and Song was a key assistant. Zhang Guan overruled Song's decision and had Zhang Xuanjing claim a title that Jin had never conferred—Prince of Liang.

Zhang Guan's regency was a dictatorial one, and he suspected people of conspiring against him. He was particularly suspicious of Song, since Song was loyal to the state institutions, and Zhang Guan wanted to eventually take over as ruler himself. In 359, he therefore planned to kill Song Hun and his brother Song Cheng (宋澄). Song Hun heard this and started an uprising, declaring that Zhang Guan had committed treason and that he had authorization from Zhang Xuanjing's grandmother Princess Dowager Ma to kill him. Their forces battled inside the city, but Song Hun's forces prevailed, and Zhang Guan and Zhang Ju committed suicide. He slaughtered their clan.

Song Hun was considered an able and tolerant regent—even, for example, commissioning one of Zhang Guan's bodyguards, Xuan Lu (玄臚), who had, during the battle, tried to kill him with a spear but failed and was captured, as a trusted officer. Under his decision, Zhang Xuanjing relinquished the title Prince of Liang and again claimed the Jin-created title Duke of Xiping. Song himself was created the Marquess of Jiuquan.

In 361, Song Hun grew ill, and Zhang Xuanjing and Princess Dowager Ma visited him personally, asking whether his son Song Linzong (宋林宗) should succeed him if he died. Song Hun noted that Song Linzong was young and weak in personality, and that Song Cheng might be an appropriate choice—but also warned that Song Cheng's reaction was slow and needed to be watched closely. Song Hun warned Song Cheng and his own sons that they needed to be humble and faithful to the state, and he told many officials the same. He soon died, and it was described that the commoners on the street were all mournful and weeping. Song Cheng became regent, but just several months later, the general Zhang Yong (張邕), who was unhappy that Song Cheng became regent, overthrew Song Cheng and slaughtered the Song clan. Zhang Yong and Zhang Xuanjing's uncle Zhang Tianxi served as coregents, and soon Zhang Tianxi killed Zhang Yong (claiming, inter alia, to be avenging the Songs), but eventually overthrew Zhang Xuanjing himself in 363 and took the throne.

Xie Ai

Xie Ai (simplified Chinese: 谢艾; traditional Chinese: 謝艾; pinyin: Xiè ài, 301–354) was a general for the Chinese state Former Liang who served under Zhang Chonghua.

Zhang Chonghua

Zhang Chonghua (Chinese: 張重華; 327–353), courtesy name Tailin (泰臨), formally Duke Jinglie of Xiping (西平敬烈公, posthumous name given by the Jin dynasty) or Duke Huan of Xiping (西平桓公, posthumous name used internally in Former Liang) was a ruler of the Chinese state Former Liang. During his reign, he often not only used the Jin-created title Duke of Xiping, but also used the title "Acting Prince of Liang" (假涼王). During the brief reign of his brother Zhang Zuo, he was honored as Prince Ming of Liang (涼明王).

Zhang Guan

Zhang Guan (張瓘) (died 359) was a general and regent of the Chinese state Former Liang, during the early reign of the young prince Zhang Xuanjing.

Zhang Guan was a distant relative of the ruling family of Former Liang. He was serving as the governor of He Province (河州, modern southwestern Gansu and eastern Qinghai) under Zhang Xuanjing's uncle Zhang Zuo, who had seized the throne from Zhang Xuanjing's older brother Zhang Yaoling in 354. Zhang Zuo, whose reign was marked by violence and extravagance, was fearful of Zhang Guan's military power, so he sent his subordinate Suo Fu (索孚) to replace Zhang Guan while ordering Zhang Guan to attack Xiongnu tribes which had rebelled. He then set up an ambush against Zhang Guan, ready to seize him and/or kill him. However, news leaked, and Zhang Guan executed Suo and then proceeded against the capital, announcing that he was going to store Zhang Yaoling. He won victories over Zhang Zuo's forces and approached the capital Guzang (姑臧, in modern Wuwei, Gansu). He was joined in his cause by the general Song Hun, who also marched on Guzang. In response, Zhang Zuo executed Zhang Yaoling by beating him to death.

That move, however, did not save Zhang Zuo. As Song arrived at the capital, Zhang Zuo ordered that Zhang Guan's brother Zhang Ju (張琚) and son Zhang Song (張嵩) be arrested and killed, but Zhang Ju and Zhang Song instead started an uprising within Guzang and opened the city gates to allow Song Hun's forces to enter. Zhang Zuo's own forces turned on him and killed him. Song Hun and Zhang Ju then declared the six-year-old Zhang Xuanjing the Duke of Xiping—a hereditary Jin Dynasty (265-420)-created title that his family had held for generations. Upon Zhang Guan's subsequent arrival at Guzang, he became the regent, and he instead had Zhang Xuanjing claim the title of Prince of Liang, a title that Jin did not confer, but continued to claim to be a Jin vassal. He had himself made the governor of Liang Province (涼州, modern central and western Gansu) and the Duke of Zhangyi. In early 356, in response to diplomatic and implicit military pressure that Former Qin put on the state, Zhang Guan submitted Former Liang to formal Former Qin authority.

Once Zhang Guan became regent he became dictatorial and suspicious, making awards and punishments based on his own personal whim. He became apprehensive of Song Hun, and considered killing Song Hun and his brother Song Cheng (宋澄), and further considered deposing Zhang Xuanjing and making himself prince. Once Song Hun heard this news, he gathered his troops and declared Zhang Guan to be treasonous, claiming to have authorization from Zhang Xuanjing's grandmother Princess Dowager Ma to kill him. A battle soon developed within Guzang, but Song prevailed, and Zhang Guan and his brother Zhang Ju both committed suicide, and their clan was slaughtered. Song Hun became the regent.

Zhang Gui

Zhang Gui (Chinese: 張軌, 255–314) was the governor of Liang province and first Duke of Xiping under Western Jin. He was the seventeenth generation descendant of King of Changshan Zhang Er from the Chu–Han Contention era. In 301, appointed as governor of the Liang province. In 313, granted the title Duke of Xiping. The following year, Zhang Gui died from an illness and his followers supported his eldest son Zhang Shi to continue the governor position.

Zhang Jun (prince)

Zhang Jun (張駿 Zhāng Jùn; 307–346), courtesy name Gongting (公庭), formally Duke Zhongcheng of Xiping (西平忠成公, posthumous name given by Jin Dynasty (265-420)) or Duke Wen of Xiping (西平文公, posthumous name used internally in Former Liang) was a ruler of the Chinese state Former Liang. During his reign, he at times used the Jin-created title of Duke of Xiping, but when forced to submit to Han Zhao and Later Zhao, he used the title Prince of Liang. Late in his reign, even when not under Later Zhao's pressure, he claimed the title of "Acting Prince of Liang." During the brief reign of his son Zhang Zuo, he was honored as Prince Wen of Liang (涼文王).

Zhang Mao

Zhang Mao (Chinese: 張茂; pinyin: Zhāng Mào; 277–324), courtesy name Chengxun (成遜), formally Prince Chenglie of (Former) Liang ((前)涼成烈王) (posthumous name given by Han Zhao) or Duke Cheng of Xiping (西平成公) (posthumous name used internally in Former Liang) was a ruler and the commonly accepted first ruler of the Chinese state Former Liang. (Former Liang being a state that transitioned from a Jin Dynasty governorship to an independent or semi-independent state that vacillated between being a Jin vassal and being a vassal of the stronger state controlling the Shaanxi region – Han Zhao, in Zhang Mao's case – it is difficult to define a single founding date or founder for Former Liang; but Zhang's general pardon of the people in his domain when he became ruler was considered by many historians as the sign of effective independence from Jin.) During the brief reign of his grandnephew Zhang Zuo, he was honored as Prince Cheng of Liang (涼成王).

Zhang Shi (Former Liang)

Zhang Shi (Chinese: 張寔, died 320) was the regional warlord and ruler in the Former Liang state. He was the eldest son of Zhang Gui, who was a governor of Liang province under the Jin Dynasty. In 314, Zhang Shi inherited the title Duke of Xiping as well as the governorship of Liang from his father. He was also honored as Prince Ming of Former Liang (Chinese: 涼明王)When the Western Jin Dynasty collapsed, Zhang Shi declared Liang an independent regional state, but decided to retain the Jin calendar system. In 320 AD he was killed by an associate named Yan Sha (Chinese: 閻沙). Zhang's younger brother Zhang Mao replaced him.

Zhang Tianxi

Zhang Tianxi (Chinese: 張天錫; 346–406), original courtesy name Gongchungu (公純嘏), later Chungu (純嘏), nickname Duhuo (獨活), formally Duke Dao of Xiping (西平悼公), was the last ruler of the Chinese state Former Liang. He was the youngest son of Zhang Jun (Duke Zhongcheng), and he seized the throne from his nephew Zhang Xuanjing (Duke Jingdao) in 363. During his reign, he claimed vassal status with regard to both Jin Dynasty (265-420) and Former Qin, but eventually, under Former Qin pressure to completely submit, he tried to resist militarily, but could not and surrendered in 376, ending Former Liang. He became a Former Qin official (with the title Marquess of Guiyi (歸義侯)), but after Former Qin's failed attempt to conquer Jin in 383 at the Battle of Fei River, he fled to Jin. Although the Jin imperial government was not happy about some of his actions as the ruler of Former Liang (including his vacillation and his use of an era name), it recognized how his ancestors had long formally held out as a Jin vassal, and Emperor Xiaowu restored him to the title of Duke of Xiping. He died in 406, 30 years after his state was destroyed.

Zhang Xuanjing

Zhang Xuanjing (張玄靚 or 張玄靖) (350–363), courtesy name Yuan'an (元安), formally Duke Jingdao of Xiping (西平敬悼公, posthumous name given by Jin Dynasty (265-420)) or Duke Chong of Xiping (西平沖公, posthumous name used internally in Former Liang) was a ruler of the Chinese state Former Liang. He became the titular ruler at the young age of five after his violent uncle Zhang Zuo, who had seized the title from his older brother Zhang Yaoling and subsequently killed him, was himself killed in a coup. Zhang Xuanjing was addressed as Prince Chong of (Former) Liang (Chinese: (前)涼沖王)The years of his rule were characterized by political instability, as he went through a progression of regents who overthrew each other -- Zhang Guan (張瓘), Song Hun (宋混), Song Cheng (宋澄), Zhang Yong (張邕), and finally his uncle Zhang Tianxi, who eventually had him killed and took over the title in 363. During Zhang Guan's regency, he temporarily used the title Prince of Liang, but after Song Hun overthrew Zhang Guan, he again used the Jin-created title of Duke of Xiping.

Zhang Yaoling

Zhang Yaoling (Chinese: 張曜靈; 344–355), courtesy name Yuanshu (元舒), formally Duke Ai of Xiping, was briefly the ruler of the Chinese state Former Liang in 353 and early 354.Zhang Yaoling was the oldest son of his father Zhang Chonghua (Duke Jinglie) and therefore was designated his heir apparent. When Zhang Chonghua died in 353, he succeeded Zhang Chonghua as the ruler of Former Liang (with the title Duke of Xiping), but actual power was in the hands of his uncle, Zhang Zuo the Marquess of Changning. In early 354, Zhang Zuo, who had carried on an affair with Zhang Chonghua's mother Princess Dowager Ma, gained her support to take over as ruler, and Zhang Yaoling was demoted to the title of Marquess of Liangning.

Zhang Zuo was a violent and frivolous ruler, and there was soon much opposition against him, particularly after he completely broke away from Jin Dynasty (265-420). In 355, the generals Zhang Guan and Song Hun rebelled against Zhang Zuo and announced that they wished to restore Zhang Yaoling. In response, Zhang Zuo executed Zhang Yaoling by beating him to death. Zhang Zuo, however, would soon be overthrown and replaced by Zhang Yaoling's younger brother Zhang Xuanjing.

Zhang Zuo

Zhang Zuo (Chinese: 張祚; died 355), courtesy name Taibo (太伯), formally Prince Wei of (Former) Liang ((前)涼威王) was a ruler of the Chinese state Former Liang. He was the only ruler of Former Liang to formally declare a break from Jin Dynasty (265-420), and historical sources variously report him as having declared himself an emperor (per Jin Shu) or a prince (per Zizhi Tongjian). He was commonly viewed as a usurper (having seized the throne from his nephew Zhang Yaoling after his brother Zhang Chonghua's death) and initially not acknowledged as a Former Liang ruler, but his brother Zhang Tianxi later nevertheless gave him the posthumous name of Wei.

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