This article includes a list of general references, but it remains largely unverified because it lacks sufficient corresponding inline citations . (April 2009) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Emperor Jing of Northern Zhou|
|Emperor of Northern Zhou|
|Reign||April 1, 579 – March 4, 581|
|Consorts||Sima Lingji of Henei|
Emperor Jing of Northern Zhou ((北)周靜帝) (573–581), personally name né Yuwen Yan (宇文衍), later Yuwen Chan (宇文闡), was the last emperor of the Xianbei dynasty Northern Zhou. He became emperor at the age of six, after his father Emperor Xuan formally passed the throne to him, but Emperor Xuan retained the imperial powers. After Emperor Xuan's death in 580, the official Yang Jian, the father of Emperor Xuan's wife Yang Lihua, seized power as regent. Yang soon defeated the general Yuchi Jiong, who tried to resist him, and in 581 had the young Emperor Jing yield the throne to him, ending Northern Zhou and establishing Sui Dynasty. Yang soon had the young emperor, as well as other members of Northern Zhou's imperial Yuwen clan, put to death.
Yuwen Chan was born in 573, initially with the name Yuwen Yan. (It is not known when the name was changed to Yuwen Chan.) His father Yuwen Yun was then crown prince under Yuwen Chan's grandfather Emperor Wu, and Yuwen Chan was his oldest son. Yuwen Chan's mother Zhu Manyue was Yuwen Yun's concubine, who, on account of her low birth, was not made Yuwen Yun's wife. Rather, nine months after Yuwen Chan's birth, Yuwen Yun married Yang Lihua, the daughter of the general Yang Jian the Duke of Sui, as his wife and crown princess.
Emperor Wu died in summer 578, and Yuwen Yun took the throne as Emperor Xuan. In spring 579, Emperor Xuan created Yuwen Chan, then six-years-old, as the Prince of Lu—echoing the title of Duke of Lu that both Emperors Wu and Xuan carried prior to their becoming emperor. 14 days later, Emperor Xuan created Yuwen Chan crown prince. Less than a month later, Emperor Xuan formally passed the throne to Yuwen Chan (as Emperor Jing), Emperor Xuan himself becoming retired emperor (with the atypical title of "Emperor Tianyuan" (天元皇帝, Tianyuan Huangdi). Emperor Jing's palace became known as Zhengyang Palace (正陽宮), and he received the same complement of staff as his father Emperor Xuan.
Emperor Xuan, even though he formally passed the throne to Emperor Jing, retained imperial powers, and there was no indication that the young Emperor Jing exercised any actual authority.
In summer 579, because Emperor Jing was now emperor, Emperor Xuan created Emperor Jing's mother Consort Zhu the special title of "Empress Tianyuan" (天元帝后, Tianyuan Di Hou), slightly subordinate to the title of Emperor Xuan's wife Empress Yang.
In fall 579, Emperor Jing formally married Sima Lingji, the daughter of the general Sima Xiaonan (司馬消難) as his wife and empress, and she carried the semi-official title of "Empress Zhengyang" (正陽皇后) to distinguish her from Emperor Xuan's empresses.
In summer 580, the erratic Emperor Xuan died. Empress Yang's father Yang Jian quickly took control of power and served as regent. The general Yuchi Jiong, believing that Yang's intentions were to seize the throne, rose in rebellion, and he was joined by Sima Xiaonan and Wang Qian (王謙). The central government forces, following Yang's orders under the command of the general Wei Xiaokuan, quickly defeated Yuchi, forcing Yuchi to commit suicide. Wang was also defeated and killed, while Sima Xiaonan fled to rival Chen Dynasty. On account of Sima Xiaonan's resistance of Yang Jian, Emperor Jing's wife Empress Sima was deposed.
Prior to Yuchi's rebellion, Yang Jian, apprehensive that Emperor Jing's granduncles Yuwen Zhao (宇文招) the Prince of Zhao, Yuwen Chun (宇文純) the Prince of Chen, Yuwen Sheng (宇文盛) the Prince of Yue, Yuwen Da (宇文達) the Prince of Dai, and Yuwen You (宇文逌) the Prince of Teng, whom Emperor Xuan had sent to their fiefs, would resist him, summoned them to the capital Chang'an. Soon, believing that the princes would act against him, he first executed Yuwen Xian (宇文賢) the Prince of Bi (Emperor Xuan's cousin). When Yuwen Zhao did subsequently carry out an attempted assassination of Yang, Yang had Yuwen Zhao and Yuwen Sheng as well as their households put to death. Following Yuchi's defeat, Yang continued to execute the princes in earnest. Around the new year 581, he had Emperor Jing create him the Prince of Sui and bestow the nine bestowments on him. Two months later, he had Emperor Jing yield the throne to him, ending Northern Zhou and establishing Sui Dynasty, with Yang taking the throne as its Emperor Wen.
Emperor Wen created the young emperor the Duke of Jie. However, he had all of close male clansmen of the duke—all other male descendants of Emperor Jing's great-grandfather Yuwen Tai—put to death, as well as Emperor Jing's brothers Yuwen Kan (宇文衎) the Duke of Lai and Yuwen Shu (宇文術), the Duke of Yan. He also executed those of Yuwen Tai's elder brother Yuwen Hao. About three months later, Emperor Wen had the Duke of Jie secretly assassinated as well, but pretended to be shocked and declared a mourning period, and then buried him with honors due an emperor. The dukedom was passed to a distant relative, Yuwen Luo (宇文洛).
Emperor Wen of Sui, personal name Yang Jian (楊堅), Xianbei name Puliuru Jian (普六茹堅), alias Narayana deriving from Buddhist terms, was the founder and first emperor of China's Sui dynasty. He was a hard-working administrator and a micromanager. The Sui Shu records him as having withdrawn his favour from the Confucians, giving it to "the group advocating Xing-Ming and authoritarian government." As a Buddhist, he encouraged the spread of Buddhism through the state. He is regarded as one of the most important emperors in ancient Chinese history, reunifying China in 589 after centuries of division since the fall of the Western Jin dynasty in 316. During his reign, the construction of the Grand Canal began.
The Northern Zhou followed the Western Wei, and ruled northern China from 557 to 581 AD. The last of the Northern Dynasties of China's Northern and Southern dynasties period, it was eventually overthrown by the Sui Dynasty. Like the preceding Western and Northern Wei dynasties, the Northern Zhou emperors were of Xianbei descent.
Emperor Ming of (Western) Liang ( 梁明帝) (542–585), personal name Xiao Kui (蕭巋), courtesy name Renyuan (仁遠), was an emperor of the Chinese Western Liang dynasty. He, like his father Emperor Xuan and his son Emperor Jing, controlled little territory and relied heavily on military support from Northern Zhou and Northern Zhou's successor state Sui dynasty.
Emperor Wu of Northern Zhou ( 周武帝) (543–578), personal name Yuwen Yong (宇文邕), Xianbei name Miluotu (禰羅突), was an emperor of the Xianbei dynasty Northern Zhou. As was the case of the reigns of his brothers Emperor Xiaomin and Emperor Ming, the early part of his reign was dominated by his cousin Yuwen Hu, but in 572 he ambushed Yuwen Hu and seized power personally. He thereafter ruled ably and built up the power of his military, destroying rival Northern Qi in 577 and annexing its territory. His death the next year, however, ended his ambitions of uniting China, and under the reign of his erratic son Emperor Xuan, Northern Zhou itself soon deteriorated and was usurped by Yang Jian in 581.
Empress Ashina (551–582) was an empress of the Chinese/Xianbei dynasty Northern Zhou. She was the daughter of Göktürk's Muqan Qaghan, and her husband was Emperor Wu.
Wei Xiaokuan (韋孝寬) (509–580), formal personal name Wei Shuyu (韋叔裕), known by the Xianbei name Yuwen Xiaokuan (宇文孝寬) during late Western Wei and Northern Zhou, formally Duke Xiang of Xun (勛襄公), was a general of the Chinese/Xianbei states Western Wei and Northern Zhou. He first became a prominent general during Western Wei as he defended the fortress of Yubi against a vastly larger army commanded by rival Eastern Wei's paramount general Gao Huan, and he eventually contributed greatly to the destruction of Eastern Wei's successor state Northern Qi by Northern Zhou. His final campaign, in 580, saw him siding with the regent Yang Jian against the general Yuchi Jiong in Northern Zhou's civil war, allowing Yang to defeat Yuchi and take over the throne as Sui Dynasty's Emperor Wen.
Yuchi Jiong (尉遲迥), courtesy name Bojuluo (薄居羅), was a general of the Chinese/Xianbei states Western Wei and Northern Zhou. He first came to prominence while his uncle Yuwen Tai served as the paramount general of Western Wei, and subsequently served Northern Zhou after the Yuwen clan established the state after Yuwen Tai's death. In 580, believing that the regent Yang Jian had designs on the throne, Yuchi rose against Yang but was soon defeated. He committed suicide.
Emperor Xuan of Northern Zhou ( 周宣帝) (559–580), personal name Yuwen Yun (宇文贇), courtesy name Qianbo (乾伯), was an emperor of the Xianbei dynasty Northern Zhou. He was known in history as an erratic and wasteful ruler, whose actions greatly weakened the Northern Zhou regime. As part of that erratic behavior, he passed the throne to his son Emperor Jing in 579, less than a year after taking the throne, and subsequently entitled not only his wife Yang Lihua empress, but four additional concubines as empresses. After his death in 580, the government was taken over by his father-in-law Yang Jian, who soon deposed his son Emperor Jing, ending Northern Zhou and establishing Sui Dynasty.
Li Ezi, later Buddhist nun name Changbei (常悲), was an empress dowager of the Chinese/Xianbei dynasty Northern Zhou. She was the mother of Emperor Xuan.
Yang Lihua was an empress of the Chinese/Xianbei dynasty Northern Zhou, and later a princess of Sui Dynasty. Her husband was Emperor Xuan of Northern Zhou, and her father was Yang Jian who later usurped the Northern Zhou throne to become the Emperor Wen of Sui.
Zhu Manyue, later known by her Buddhist name Fajing (法淨), was a concubine of Emperor Xuan of Northern Zhou, an emperor of the Chinese/Xianbei dynasty Northern Zhou, and she was the mother of Emperor Jing.
Chen Yueyi, later Buddhist nun name Huaguang (華光), was a concubine of Emperor Xuan of Northern Zhou, an emperor of the Chinese/Xianbei dynasty Northern Zhou.
Yuchi Chifan or Yuchi Fanchi (566–595), later Buddhist nun name Huashou (華首), was a concubine of Emperor Xuan of Northern Zhou, an emperor of the Chinese/Xianbei dynasty Northern Zhou.
Sima Lingji was, briefly, an empress of the Chinese/Xianbei dynasty Northern Zhou. Her husband was Emperor Jing, the final emperor of the dynasty.
Dugu Qieluo or Dugu Jialuo, formally Empress Wenxian (文獻皇后), was an empress of the Chinese Sui dynasty. She was the wife of Emperor Wen, who, on account of his love and respect for her, as well as an oath they made while they were young, did not have any concubines for at least most of their marriage, an extreme rarity among Chinese emperors. She also bore him all his 10 children. She was exceedingly powerful and influential during her husband's reign and very effective in managing the government. She was heavily involved in his decision to divert the order of succession from their oldest son Yang Yong to the second son Yang Guang.
Yang Su, courtesy name Chudao (處道), formally Duke Jingwu of Chu (楚景武公), was a powerful general of the Sui dynasty whose authority eventually became nearly as supreme as the emperor's. Traditional historians generally believed that he was involved in the suspected murder of Emperor Wen in 604, at the behest of Emperor Wen's son Yang Guang. His son Yang Xuangan later rebelled against Emperor Yang in 613 but was defeated and killed, and Yang Su's other sons were also executed.
Gāo Jiǒng ) known during the Northern Zhou period by the Xianbei name Dugu Jiong (独孤颎/獨孤熲), was a key official and general of the Chinese Sui Dynasty. He was a key advisor to Emperor Wen of Sui and instrumental in the campaign against rival the Chen Dynasty, allowing Sui to destroy Chen in 589 and reunify China. In 607, he offended Emperor Wen's son Emperor Yang of Sui by criticizing Emperor Yang's large rewards to Tujue's submissive Qimin Khan and was executed by Emperor Yang.
Yuwen Shu, courtesy name Botong (伯通), formally Duke Gong of Xu (許恭公), was an official and general of the Sui Dynasty of China. He was a confidant of Emperor Yang and was instrumental in Yang Guang's displacement of his brother Yang Yong as crown prince; therefore, after Yang Guang became emperor, Yuwen Shu became exceedingly powerful and was one of two generals who spearheaded Yangdi's efforts in the Goguryeo-Sui Wars. His son Yuwen Huaji later led a coup against Emperor Yang in 618 and, after killing Emperor Yang, briefly claimed imperial title in 619, but was soon captured and killed. Another son of Yuwen Shu, Yuwen Shiji, however, was a friend of Tang Dynasty's founder Li Yuan, and after Li Yuan established Tang remained an influential official.
Yuwen Huaji was a general of the Chinese Sui Dynasty who, in 618, led a coup against and murdered Emperor Yang of Sui. He subsequently declared Emperor Yang's nephew Yang Hao emperor and led Emperor Yang's elite Xiaoguo Army (驍果) north. However, he was then repeatedly defeated by Li Mi, Li Shentong (李神通), and finally Dou Jiande. Believing that his defeat was near and wanting to become emperor before his ultimate defeat, he poisoned Yang Hao and declared himself the emperor of a Xu state. Dou captured him in 619 and killed him.
Queen Dugu is a 2019 Chinese web series starring Joe Chen and Chen Xiao. It is based on the life of Dugu Jialuo and her husband Yang Jian, the founders of the Sui dynasty. It started airing online via iQiyi, Youku and Tencent on February 11, 2019.
Emperor Xuan of Northern Zhou
| Emperor of Northern Zhou |
| Emperor of China (Northern/Western)|
Emperor Wen of Sui