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Persons in Chinese History - Wu Jingdi 吳景帝 Sun Xiu 孫休

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Emperor Wu Jingdi 吳景帝(r. 258-264), personal name Sun Xiu 孫休, courtesy name Sun Zilie 孫子烈, was a ruler of the Wu dynasty 吳 (222-280). He was a younger son of Sun Quan 孫權 (Wu Dadi ) and Lady Wang 王夫人. He succeeded to the throne when his half-brother, Sun Liang 孫亮 (r. 252-258 CE), was demoted by the powerful regent Sun Lin 孫綝. Sun Xiu had been Prince of Langya 琅邪 since 252. Sun Lin sent out Sun Kai 孫楷 and Dong Chao 董朝 to invite the prince to mount the throne, but Sun Xiu, as a sincere and cautious person, several times declined before he could be moved to play the puppet of Sun Lin. Made emperor, Sun Xiu appointed Sun Lin Counsellor-in-chief (chengxiang 丞相) and regional governor (mu 牧) of the province of Jingzhou 荆州. With the support of the generals Zhang Bu 張布 and Ding Feng 丁奉 he was able to arrest and execute Sun Lin, and to end the rule of the imperial princes. Emperor Jing, as he is known posthumously, moved the corpse of late minister Zhuge Ke who had been killed by Prince Sun Jun 孫峻, to another, adequate grave. In 262 he made his son Sun Wan 孫{雨/單} heir apparent and took Lady Zhu 朱氏 as his empress. A year later the state of Wei 曹魏 (220-265) attacked the small empire of Shu 蜀漢 (221-263), so that its ruler, the young Liu Shan 劉禪 (r. 223-263 CE), asked Wu for relief. Ding Feng was sent out with an army but soon returned, when he heard that Wei had conquered Shu. Sun Xiu was a ruler with a great conscience for a human government in the Confucian sense, and also sponsored the study of the Confucian Classics. He nevertheless had to raise taxes to put down internal rebellions like the uprising of Zhang Jie 張節 in 264 and to fight against the army of the Wei empire. He is buried in the tomb mound Dingling 定陵 (near modern Dangtu 當涂, Anhui). The courtiers selected a son of Prince Sun He 孫和 as the next emperor, Sun Hao 孫皓 (r. 264-280).

Source: Chen Quanli 陳全力, Hou Xinyi 侯欣一 (ed. 1988), Diwang cidian 帝王辭典 (Xi'an: Shaanxi renmin jiaoyu chubanshe), p. 56.


January 12, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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