|Jin Mingdi (晉明帝)|
|Family name:||Sima (司馬; sīmǎ)|
|Given name:||Shao (紹, shaò)|
|Temple name:||Suzu (肅祖, sùzǔ)|
|Posthumous name:||Ming (明, míng),|
literary meaning: "understanding"
Emperor Ming of Jin (simplified Chinese :晋明帝; traditional Chinese :晉明帝; pinyin :Jìn Míng Dì; Wade–Giles :Chin Ming-ti; 299 – 18 October 325), personal name Sima Shao (司馬紹), courtesy name Daoji (道畿), was an emperor of the Eastern Jin Dynasty (265-420). During his brief reign (323-325), he led the weakened Jin out of domination by the warlord Wang Dun, but at his early death, the empire was left to his young son Emperor Cheng, and the fragile balance of power that he created was soon broken, leading to the Su Jun Disturbance and weakening the Jin state even further.
Sima Shao was born in 299, as the oldest son of his father Sima Rui, then the Prince of Langya, by his lowly-born concubine Lady Xun, who then in 300 gave birth to another son, Sima Pou (司馬裒). Sima Rui's wife, Princess Yu Mengmu (虞孟母), who was herself childless, became very jealous of Lady Xun and mistreated her greatly. Lady Xun, not able to bear the abuse, complained bitterly, and was thrown out of the household. Sima Shao was therefore raised by Princess Yu, with whom he apparently had a cordial relationship. During his youth, he was considered intelligent and quick-thinking, although eventually his brother Sima Pou became more favored by their father.
While Sima Rui served as Left Prime Minister under Emperor Min, the teenage Sima Shao was put in charge of defending Guangling. After Sima Rui declared himself the Prince of Jin following Emperor Min's capture by Han Zhao in 316, he initially wanted to make Sima Pou his crown prince, but after Wang Dao pointed out that traditionally the older son should succeed him, he created Sima Shao crown prince. Sima Shao remained in that status after his father declared himself emperor (as Emperor Yuan) in 318, after Han Zhao executed Emperor Min.
While crown prince, Sima Shao was known for seeking out talented men and befriending them, treating them as friends and not as subordinates. These included Wang Dao, Yu Liang (whose sister Yu Wenjun he married), Wen Jiao, Huan Yi (桓彝), and Ruan Fang (阮放). He was also known for his filial piety and his literary studies. He later also added martial arts to his studies, and he often visited troops to encourage them.
When Wang Dun rebelled against Emperor Yuan in 322, the capital Jiankang fell easily to Wang. Upon hearing news that Wang had breached Jiankang's defenses, Crown Prince Shao was going to himself make a last stand, but Wen stopped him by cutting off the ropes off his horse. When Wang subsequently forced Emperor Yuan into submission, he considered deposing Crown Prince Shao by falsely accusing Crown Prince Shao of being disobedient to Emperor Yuan. However, Wen prevented this by publicly praising Crown Prince Shao of filial piety, making Wang's putative accusations not credible.
Early in 323, Emperor Yuan died in distress after his defeat by Wang. Crown Prince Shao succeeded to the throne as Emperor Ming.
One of the first things that Emperor Ming did was locating his birth mother Lady Xun, putting her in a mansion, and creating her the Lady of Jian'an. However, perhaps out of respect for his deceased stepmother Princess Yu (who had died in 312 but was posthumously honored as an empress), he never gave her an empress dowager title—and Emperor Ming honored Princess Yu's family as appropriately he would a mother's family—and he was particularly close to Princess Yu's brother Yu Yin (虞胤). A few months after he took the throne, Lady Xun moved into the palace. Emperor Ming also created his wife, Crown Princess Yu, empress.
Wang Dun did not think much of the new emperor, and he plotted usurping the throne. In summer 323, he had Emperor Ming summon him to the capital, but actually did not go to the capital, but only moved his headquarters from Wuchang (武昌, in modern Ezhou, Hubei) to Gushu (姑孰, in modern Ma'anshan, Anhui), closer to the capital, and also taking over the governorship of the capital province. When Emperor Ming tried to commission the official Chi Jian as the military commander at Hefei, positionally behind Wang, Wang resisted, and Emperor Ming was forced to recall Chi.
In 324, Wang Dun grew ill, and became resolved to overthrow Jin so that his adopted son, Wang Ying (王應), could be emperor. (This was after his initial two inclinations—ordering that his troops be disbanded after his death, or having Wang Ying continue to control his troops but pledging allegiance to Emperor Ming—were rejected by his strategists.) He also made Wen Jiao, by that point a trusted assistant, the mayor of Jiankang, to keep an eye on the emperor—forgetting that Wen was loyal to Emperor Ming, and upon arrival in Jiankang, Wen informed Emperor Ming of Wang's plans, as well as his illness. Wang Dao, also loyal to Emperor Ming, then falsely declared to the imperial forces that Wang Dun had died, further increasing their morale, and Emperor Ming reinforced his troops by summoning battle-tested soldiers from the northern borders with Later Zhao back to the capital. (When the generals in command of these forces, Su Jun and Liu Xia (劉遐) arrived at Jiankang, even though it was dark in the night, Emperor Ming went to personally visit the troops, greatly enhancing their morale.) Wang Dun then sent his forces east to Jiankang, headed by his brother Wang Han (王含, Wang Ying's biological father) and Qian Feng (錢鳳), but could not decisively defeat the imperial troops. The imperial troops then attacked by, defeating Wang Han. Wang Dun, upon hearing initial news of defeat, died. The imperial forces then defeated Wang Han's troops more completely, forcing Wang Han and Wang Ying to flee, but they were captured by Wang Dun's brother Wang Shu (王舒), who executed them by drowning to show his loyalty.
In 325, Emperor Ming posthumously awarded officials who had died at Wang Dun's hands throughout the years with titles and honors. He also put the general Tao Kan, known for his military and governing capabilities, in charge of most of Wang Dun's former domain, including the key Jing Province (荊州, modern Hubei).
In fall 325, Emperor Ming grew ill. He entrusted his four-year-old son, Crown Prince Yan, to a group of high-level officials, including Sima Yang (司馬羕) the Prince of Xiyang, Wang Dao, Bian Kun (卞壼), Chi Jian, Yu Liang, Lu Ye (陸瞱), and Wen Jiao, perhaps intending that they lead by group with a balance of power. He died soon thereafter—only 26 years old. The balance of power that he left was soon broken, however, as Empress Dowager Yu became the regent, and her brother Yu Liang became the most powerful of the officials, eventually offending Su Jun and Zu Yue into a rebellion that damaged Jin for years.
Emperor Wu of Jin, personal name Sima Yan, courtesy name Anshi (安世), was the grandson of Sima Yi and son of Sima Zhao. He became the first emperor of the Jin dynasty after forcing Cao Huan, last ruler of the state of Cao Wei, to abdicate to him. He reigned from 266 to 290, and after conquering the state of Eastern Wu in 280, was the emperor of a unified China. Emperor Wu was known for his extravagance and sensuality, especially after the unification of China; legends boasted of his incredible potency among ten thousand concubines.
Emperor Huai of Jin, personal name Sima Chi (司馬熾), courtesy name Fengdu (豐度), was an emperor of the Jin Dynasty (265-420).
Emperor Yuan of Jin, personal name Sima Rui (司馬睿), courtesy name Jingwen (景文), was an emperor of the Jin dynasty and the first of the Eastern Jin. His reign saw the steady gradual loss of Jin territory in the north, but entrenchment of Jin authority south of the Huai River and east of the Three Gorges, and for generations Jin was not seriously threatened by Wu Hu kingdoms to the north.
Emperor Cheng of Jin, personal name Sima Yan (司馬衍), courtesy name Shigen (世根), was an emperor of the Eastern Jin Dynasty (265-420). He was the eldest son of Emperor Ming and became the crown prince on April 1, 325. During his reign, the administration was largely dominated by a succession of regents—initially his uncle Yu Liang, then Wang Dao, then the joint administration of He Chong (何充) and another uncle Yu Bing (庾冰). He became emperor at age four, and soon after his accession to the throne, the disastrous rebellion of Su Jun weakened Jin forces for decades.
Emperor Kang of Jin, personal name Sima Yue (司馬岳), courtesy name Shitong (世同), was an emperor of the Eastern Jin Dynasty (265-420). He was a son of Emperor Ming and younger brother of Emperor Cheng. His reign was brief—only two years.
Emperor Mu of Jin, personal name Sima Dan (司馬聃), courtesy name Pengzi (彭子), was an emperor of the Eastern Jin Dynasty (265-420). While he "reigned" 17 years, most of the years were as a child, with the actual power in such figures as his mother Empress Chu Suanzi, He Chong (何充), his granduncle Sima Yu the Prince of Kuaiji, Yin Hao, and Huan Wen. It was during his reign that Jin's territory temporarily expanded to its greatest extent since the fall of northern China to Han Zhao, as Huan destroyed Cheng Han and added its territory to Jin's, and Later Zhao's collapse allowed Jin to regain most of the territory south of the Yellow River.
Emperor Jianwen of Jin, personal name Sima Yu (司馬昱), courtesy name Daowan (道萬), was an emperor of the Eastern Jin Dynasty (265-420) in China. He was the younger brother of Emperor Ming and installed by military leader Huan Wen. Prior to taking the throne, he had served in important roles in the administrations of his grandnephews Emperor Mu, Emperor Ai, and Emperor Fei. Both in his service to his grandnephews and in his own reign as emperor, he is generally viewed as a weak-willed figure who showed enough wisdom to continue to survive and extend Jin rule, but whose effectiveness was also compromised by his over-dedication to philosophical discussions of Taoism and other related philosophies.
Emperor Xiaowu of Jin, personal name Sima Yao (司馬曜), courtesy name Changming (昌明), was an emperor of the Eastern Jin Dynasty (265–420) in China. During his reign, Jin saw his dynasty survive a major attempt by Former Qin to destroy it, but he would nevertheless be the last Jin emperor to actually exercise imperial power, as his sons Emperor An and Emperor Gong would be controlled by regents and warlords. Emperor Xiaowu died an unusual death—he was killed by his concubine Honoured Lady Zhang after he insulted her.
Emperor An of Jin, personal name Sima Dezong (司馬德宗), was an emperor of the Eastern Jin Dynasty (265-420) in China. He was described as so developmentally disabled that he was unable to speak, clothe himself, or be able to express whether he was hungry or full. He was created crown prince in 387 and ascended the throne in 397. Because of his disability, the actual power was controlled by his uncle, Sima Daozi, Prince of Kuaiji. During his reign, regents and warlords dominated the Jin regime. Revolts by various governors also ravaged the land. From 398 to 403, there were constant revolts and civil war campaigns. In 403, the Jin regime was usurped by the warlord Huan Xuan, and while Emperor An was restored in 404, the Jin Dynasty was nearing its end. With the warlord Liu Yu as the actual power, Jin destroyed Southern Yan and Later Qin, greatly expanding its territory. However, with Liu Yu up in the north, the renegade governor of Guang Province, Lu Xun, rebelled and threatened the capital city Jiankang, before Liu Yu returned and crushed the revolt. In 419, Emperor An was strangled under the order of Liu Yu and replaced with his brother Emperor Gong, who would be the last emperor of the dynasty, before Liu Yu would take the throne and establish the Liu Song Dynasty.
Emperor Gong of Jin, personal name Sima Dewen, was the last emperor of the Eastern Jin Dynasty (265-420) in China. He became emperor in 419 after his developmentally disabled brother Emperor An was killed by the regent Liu Yu, and during his brief reign, actual power was in Liu Yu's hands. In 420, under pressure from Liu Yu, he yielded the throne to Liu Yu, ending Jin's existence. Liu Yu founded Liu Song, and in 421, believing that the former Jin emperor posed a threat to his rule, had him asphyxiated with a blanket.
Emperor Wen of (Liu) Song, personal name Liu Yilong (劉義隆), courtesy name Che'er (車兒), was an emperor of the Chinese dynasty Liu Song. He was the third son of the dynastic founder Emperor Wu. After his father's death in 422, Liu Yilong's eldest brother Liu Yifu took the throne as Emperor Shao. In 424, a group of officials, believing Emperor Shao to be unfit to be emperor, deposed Emperor Shao and placed Liu Yilong on the throne as Emperor Wen.
Lady Xun, formally Lady of Yuzhang (豫章君), was a concubine of Emperor Yuan of Jin while he was the Prince of Langye. Initially, he favored her greatly, and she bore him two sons -- Sima Shao and Sima Pou (司馬裒). Because of the favor that she received, Sima Rui's wife Princess Yu Mengmu (虞孟母) was very jealous of her and mistreated her. Lady Xun, not happy about her low station and Princess Yu's mistreatment, often complained and was rebuked by Prince Rui. Eventually, he threw her out of the household. After Sima Shao succeeded to the throne as Emperor Ming in 323, he gave her a mansion and created her the Lady of Jian'an. Later that year, he welcomed her back to the palace. After he died and his son Emperor Cheng succeeded to the throne, she was treated as virtual empress dowager without the title, and she probably effectively raised Emperor Cheng, since Emperor Cheng's mother Empress Yu Wenjun died in 328 in the midst of the Su Jun Disturbance, while Emperor Cheng was only seven. She died in 335 and was posthumously created the Lady of Yuzhang, and a temple was built for her. Some sources mentions that she was a Xianbei.
Wang Dun (王敦) (266–324), courtesy name Chuzhong (處仲), was a Jin Dynasty (265-420) general and later warlord.
Yu Wenjun, formally Empress Mingmu was an empress of the Chinese Jin dynasty (265-420) by marriage to Emperor Ming of Jin, and Regent during the minority of her son Emperor Cheng from 326 to 327.
Wen Jiao (溫嶠) (288–329), courtesy name Taizhen (太真), formally Duke Zhongwu of Shi'an (始安忠武公), was a renowned Jin Dynasty (265-420) general and governor.
Wang Dao, courtesy name Maohong (茂弘), formally Duke Wenxian of Shixing (始興文獻公), was a Jin Dynasty (265-420) statesman who played an important role in the administrations of Emperor Yuan, Emperor Ming, and Emperor Cheng, including as Emperor Cheng's regent. In these capacities, he served as a crucial governing figure of the Eastern Jin Dynasty during its first decades, as well as the leading member of the prominent Wang clan of Langya. His governance style was to be lenient with the laws, and he handed out few punishments—which stabilized the Jin regime greatly, but which also led to extensive, if moderate, corruption and incompetence in the Jin regime, making it difficult for Jin armies to recapture northern China.
Yu Liang, courtesy name Yuangui (元規), formally Marquess Wenkang of Duting (都亭文康侯), was a Jin Dynasty (265–420) official and general who impressed many with his knowledge but whose inability to tolerate dissent and overly high evaluation of his own abilities led to the disastrous revolt of Su Jun, weakening Jin's military capability for years.
Emperor Wu of (Liu) Song, personal name Liu Yu (劉裕), courtesy name Dexing (德興), nickname Jinu (寄奴), was a statesman and strategist of ancient China, and the founding emperor of the Chinese dynasty Liu Song. He came from a humble background, but became prominent after leading a rebellion in 404 to overthrow Huan Xuan, who had usurped the Jin throne in 403. After that point, using a mixture of political and military skills, Liu Yu gradually concentrated power in his own hands while expanding Jin's territory. In 420, he forced Emperor Gong of Jin to yield the throne to him, thus ending Jin and establishing Song. He ruled only briefly, for two years, before dying and passing the throne to his son, Emperor Shao of Liu Song. The History of the Southern Dynasties described Liu Yu as seven chi and six cun tall.
Emperor Shao of (Liu) Song ( 宋少帝), also known by his post-removal title Prince of Yingyang (營陽王), personal name Liu Yifu (劉義符), nickname Chebing (車兵), was an emperor of the Chinese dynasty Liu Song. He was the oldest son of the founding emperor, Emperor Wu, and became emperor after his father's death in 422. The officials that his father left in charge of the government became convinced that he was unfit to govern, and so deposed and killed him in 424, making his more-capable younger brother Liu Yilong emperor.
Former Deposed Emperor of Liu Song or Emperor Qianfei ( 宋前廢帝), personal name Liu Ziye (劉子業), nickname Fashi (法師), was an emperor of the Chinese dynasty Liu Song. His brief reign as a teenager was known for his violent and impulsive acts, including the slaughter of many high-level officials and his sexually immoral behavior. He was assassinated just a year after becoming emperor.
Emperor Ming of JinBorn: 299 Died: 18 October 325
Emperor Yuan of Jin
| Emperor of China |
Emperor Cheng of Jin