|Emperor Ming of Southern Qi|
|Died||498 (aged 45–46)|
|Father||Xiao Daosheng, Prince Zhen of Shian (Emperor Jing) |
Xiao Daocheng (adoptive)
|Mother||Lady Jiang (Empress Yi)|
Emperor Ming of Southern Qi ((南)齊明帝) (452–498), personal name Xiao Luan (蕭鸞), courtesy name Jingqi (景栖), nickname Xuandu (玄度), was an emperor of the Chinese dynasty Southern Qi in the 5th century. He was a nephew of the founding emperor Emperor Gao, who later became prime minister during the reign of Emperor Gao's great-grandson Xiao Zhaoye.
Believing that Xiao Zhaoye was an incompetent emperor who might act against him, Xiao Luan carried out a coup d'état and assassinated Xiao Zhaoye. After briefly making Xiao Zhaoye's brother Xiao Zhaowen emperor, he deposed Xiao Zhaowen as well, and took over himself as emperor. During his reign, he was known for being exacting and demanding, but also being frugal. He is seen as a very dark figure in history, because he slaughtered the surviving sons of Emperor Gao and Emperor Gao's son Emperor Wu, despite their kindness toward him.
|(Nan) Qi Mingdi ((南)齊明帝)|
|Family name:||Xiao (蕭, xiāo)|
|Given name:||Luan (鸞, luán)|
|Temple name:||Gaozong (高宗, gāo zōng)|
|Posthumous name:||Ming (明, míng),|
literary meaning: "understanding"
Xiao Luan was born in 452. His mother's name is lost to history, and his father was Xiao Daosheng (蕭道生), a mid-low-level official during Liu Song. Xiao Daosheng died early, and Xiao Luan was raised by Xiao Daosheng's younger brother Xiao Daocheng, a Liu Song general. He had two brothers, Xiao Feng (蕭鳳), who was older, and Xiao Mian (蕭緬), who was younger. Xiao Daocheng was said to have loved Xiao Luan greatly, even more so than his own sons. In 472, at the age of 20, Xiao Luan was made a county magistrate, and during the next few years, as his uncle's powers increased, he was promoted through a number of positions, becoming a general in 478. When Xiao Daocheng took over the throne from Emperor Shun of Liu Song in 479, ending Liu Song and establishing Southern Qi, he created Xiao Luan the Marquess of Xichang.
During the reigns of Emperors Gao and Wu, Xiao Luan was steadily promoted, until he reached the higher echelon of power late in the reign of Emperor Wu. He was well regarded by the public and officials alike for his humble attitude and frugality in living, as he did not use luxury items and took on the clothing of an ordinary member of the intelligentsia. At one time, Emperor Wu considered making him the minister in charge of the civil service, but Emperor Wu changed his mind after the idea was opposed by the official Wang Yan (王晏), who believed that Xiao Luan was capable but did not know powerful clans well, and therefore would be ill-equipped to handle the civil service, which at the time weighed the officials' lineages heavily in decisions. Xiao Luan was friendly with Emperor Wu's son Xiao Ziliang (蕭子良) the Prince of Jingling, who served as prime minister. However, Emperor Wu's crown prince Xiao Zhangmao did not like him, and Xiao Ziliang had to defend Xiao Luan before Xiao Zhangmao, and often endorsed Xiao Luan to Emperor Wu. As a result, after the Xiao Zhangmao's death in 493, Emperor Wu, who was himself ill later in the year, designated Xiao Ziliang and Xiao Luan in his will to be the two individuals in charge of the government for his new crown prince, Xiao Zhangmao's son Xiao Zhaoye. Xiao Luan was subsequently instrumental in discovering and thwarting the plot of the official Wang Rong (王融), who tried to divert succession of the throne to Xiao Ziliang. When Emperor Wu died soon thereafter, Xiao Zhaoye succeeded to the throne.
As a result of Wang Rong's plot, Xiao Zhaoye distrusted Xiao Ziliang, and while he granted Xiao Ziliang highly honored titles, actual power rested in Xiao Luan's hands. Soon, however, Xiao Zhaoye demonstrated himself to be a frivolous ruler, spending most of his time in feast and games while expending the treasury surpluses that Emperors Gao and Wu had built up. Xiao Luan tried several times to counsel him to change his ways, with no changes in his behavior, and Xiao Zhaoye in fact began to suspect Xiao Luan and wanted to kill him, but could not resolve to do so, particularly after he consulted with his granduncle (Emperor Wu's son) Xiao Qiang (蕭鏘) the Prince of Poyang, and Xiao Qiang opposed the action. Meanwhile, Xiao Luan also became suspicious that Xiao Zhaoye was going to kill him, and therefore began to set up relationships with key generals—including Xiao Chen (蕭諶) and Xiao Tanzhi (蕭坦之), both of whom were well-trusted by Xiao Zhaoye—while finding pretexts to remove close associates of Xiao Zhaoye, including Xiao Zhaoye's wife He Jingying's lover Yang Min (楊珉), the eunuch Xu Longju (徐龍駒), the general Zhou Fengshu (周奉叔), the teacher Du Wenqian (杜文謙), and the head of the household Qiwu Zhenzhi (綦毋珍之). However, Xiao Zhaoye appeared to be unaware of Xiao Luan's actual intentions, and his own alertness decreased after Xiao Ziliang died of anxiety in summer 494.
By fall 494, however, Xiao Zhaoye was tired of Xiao Luan, and he plotted with Empress He's uncle He Yin (何胤) to have Xiao Luan killed. He Yin did not dare to do so, and suggested that Xiao Luan be observed further. Xiao Zhaoye therefore stopped giving important tasks to Xiao Luan. Xiao Luan then started his coup, in conjunction with Xiao Chen and Xiao Tanzhi—and Xiao Zhaoye, not realizing that Xiao Chen and Xiao Tanzhi had betrayed him, sought help from Xiao Chen when he realized Xiao Luan was beginning an attack on the palace. His hopes were dashed when he saw Xiao Chen enter the palace. His palace guards were still ready to fight, but Xiao Zhaoye instead fled, and Xiao Chen chased him down and killed him. Xiao Luan issued an edict in Empress Dowager Wang's name, demoting Xiao Zhaoye to the rank of prince (with the title of Prince of Yulin, which became the title he was thereafter known for) and making his younger brother Xiao Zhaowen the Prince of Xin'an emperor.
While Xiao Zhaowen, now 14, carried the title of emperor, actual authority was in the hands of Xiao Luan, and Xiao Luan had himself initially created the Duke of Xuancheng, and then the Prince of Xuancheng. In Xiao Zhaowen's name, Xiao Luan soon carried out the executions of a large number of princes who were sons of Emperors Gao and Wu, whom he viewed as threats against himself:
Initially, Xiao Zhaowen's younger brother Xiao Zhaoxiu (蕭昭秀), the Prince of Linhai, was to be killed as well, but was spared at the last minute. In place of these imperial princes from Emperors Gao and Wu's lines, Xiao Luan, because his own sons were young, installed his nephews Xiao Yaoguang (蕭遙光), Xiao Yaoxin (蕭遙欣), and Xiao Yaochang (蕭遙昌) in important posts. Less than three months after Xiao Zhaowen became emperor, Xiao Luan issued an edict in the name of Xiao Zhangmao's wife Empress Dowager Wang Baoming, stating that Xiao Zhaowen was not sufficiently intelligent and healthy to be emperor, giving the throne to Xiao Luan, who then took the throne as Emperor Ming.
Emperor Ming was commonly regarded as an intelligent and frugal ruler, and he took a hands-on approach to governance. He was, however, also known for his suspecting nature, and few high-level officials could feel safe during his reign. He also periodically continued to kill the descendants of (presumably to Emperors Gao and Wu) and cry bitterly, before carrying out the actions.
Emperor Ming created his second son Xiao Baojuan crown prince, as his oldest son Xiao Baoyi (蕭寶義) was said to be so disabled that he could not speak (and was also not born of Emperor Ming's wife Liu Huiduan (劉惠端), who had died in 489, long before he became emperor). As Emperor Ming's sons were young, he entrusted great responsibilities to his nephews Xiao Yaoguang, Xiao Yaoxin, and Xiao Yaochang. When Xiao Zhaowen was removed from the throne, the edict that Emperor Ming issued in Empress Dowager Wang's name created him the Prince of Hailing. About a month after he was removed from the throne, however, Emperor Ming, on pretenses that Xiao Zhaowen was ill, sent imperial physicians to see him, but instead instructed the physicians to have him poisoned. Xiao Zhaowen was given the posthumous name Gong (恭, meaning "respectful") and buried with great honors, but not imperial honors.
Meanwhile, Emperor Xiaowen of Northern Wei used Emperor Ming's usurpation of the throne as a pretense to launch a major attack against Southern Qi in late 494. After several largely inconclusive battles, however, Northern Wei forces abandoned the campaign in spring 495. As soon as the campaign was over, Emperor Ming executed Xiao Chen, one general he was allied with during the coup against Xiao Zhaoye, and Xiao Chen's brothers, as he suspected Xiao Chen of plotting a coup. He also, on pretense that they were plotting with Xiao Chen, executed Emperor Wu's sons Xiao Ziming (蕭子明) the Prince of Xiyang, Xiao Zihan (蕭子罕) the Prince of Nanhai, and Xiao Zizhen (蕭子貞) the Prince of Shaoling. In 497, he also killed the high-level official Wang Yan, who had also participated in the coup against Xiao Zhaoye, on suspicion of plotting against him.
In fall 497, Northern Wei's Emperor Xiaowen launched another major attack on Southern Qi. The results were again largely indecisive, although the key border city Wancheng (宛城, in modern Nanyang, Henan) fell to Northern Wei, as did Xinye (新野, also in modern Nanyang). Meanwhile, during the campaign, with Emperor Ming himself being ill, he, in consultation with Xiao Yaoguang, executed 10 more princes from Emperor Gao's line—all of the surviving sons of Emperors Gao and Wu and Xiao Zhangmao, as he perceived them to be threats to his own sons. Each time he conducted these killings, he would first offer incenses
What was particularly unusual about Emperor Ming's actions in executing these princes was that after he executed them, he ordered the high-level officials to accuse these princes of crimes and seek their executions—and then he first formally rejected the recommendations, and then accepted them. This was largely perceived as an attempt by him to be seen as only doing what was necessary.
In summer 498, the retired general Wang Jingze (王敬則), believing that Emperor Ming was about to have him executed, rebelled from his retirement place of Kuaiji (modern Shaoxing in Zhejiang). He claimed to want to support Emperor Gao's grandson (the son of Xiao Ni the Prince of Yuzhang) Xiao Zike (蕭子恪) the Marquess of Nankang as leader. As a result, Emperor Ming, again with counsel from Xiao Yaoguang, ordered all of the male descendants of Emperors Gao and Wu into the palace, ready to poison them. However, after Xiao Zike fled back to the capital Jiankang and showed that he was not part of Wang's rebellion, Emperor Ming changed his mind at the last moment and spared them. About 20 days after the start of Wang's rebellion, he was killed in battle, and his rebellion dissipated.
Three months later, Emperor Ming died. Crown Prince Baojuan succeeded him as emperor (later to be known as the Marquess of Donghun).
Consorts and Issue:
|Xiao Chengzhi (384–447)|
|Xiao Daosheng (427–482)|
|Empress Dowager Gong|
|Emperor Ming of Southern Qi (452–498)|
Emperor Wu of Southern Qi ( 齊武帝) (440–493), personal name Xiao Ze (蕭賾), courtesy name Xuanyuan (宣遠), nickname Long'er (龍兒), was the second emperor of the Chinese Southern Qi Dynasty. He was considered to be an able and diligent emperor, although he was also criticized for wastefulness.
Emperor Gao of Southern Qi, personal name Xiao Daocheng (蕭道成), courtesy name Shaobo (紹伯), nickname Doujiang (鬥將)) was the founding emperor of the Chinese dynasty Southern Qi. He served as a general under the preceding dynasty Liu Song's Emperor Ming and Emperor Houfei. In 477, fearful that the young, cruel Emperor Houfei would kill him, assassinated Emperor Houfei and seized power, eventually taking the throne in 479 to start Southern Qi.
Xiao Zhaoye, often known by his posthumously demoted title of Prince of Yulin (鬱林王), courtesy name Yuanshang (元尚), nickname Fashen (法身), was an emperor of the Chinese dynasty Southern Qi. He is known as the Prince of Yulin because that was the title he was posthumously demoted to after his granduncle Xiao Luan assassinated him in 494. During his brief reign, he was known as overly devoting his time on games and pleasure, unaware that the ambitious Xiao Luan had targeted him for removal, and after his death, Xiao Luan briefly made his brother Xiao Zhaowen emperor, but then seized the throne himself.
Xiao Zhaowen (蕭昭文) (480–494), formally Prince Gong of Hailing (海陵恭王), courtesy name Jishang (季尚), was an emperor of the Chinese dynasty Southern Qi. He is known as the Prince of Hailing because that was the title he was demoted to after he was deposed by his granduncle Xiao Luan in 494. After Xiao Luan deposed him and assumed the throne himself, he had Xiao Zhaowen poisoned.
Xiao Baojuan (蕭寶卷) (483–501), né Xiao Mingxian (蕭明賢), commonly known by his posthumously demoted title of Marquess of Donghun (東昏侯), courtesy name Zhizang (智藏), was an emperor of the Chinese dynasty Southern Qi. He was known as a violent ruler who executed high-level officials at his whim, and this drew several major rebellions, the last of which, by his general Xiao Yan, overthrew him and eventually his dynasty, with Xiao Yan establishing Liang Dynasty. He is known as the Marquess of Donghun because Xiao Yan demoted him to that title after he was killed in a siege of the capital Jiankang.
Emperor He of Southern Qi ( 齊和帝) (488–502), personal name Xiao Baorong (蕭寶融), courtesy name Zhizhao (智昭), was the last emperor of the Chinese dynasty Southern Qi. He was put on the throne by the generals Xiao Yingzhou (蕭穎冑) and Xiao Yan in 501 as a competing candidate for the throne to his violent and arbitrary older brother Xiao Baojuan. In 502, with Xiao Baojuan having been defeated and killed and Xiao Yingzhou dead, Xiao Yan seized the throne from Emperor He and took the throne himself, ending Southern Qi and starting Liang Dynasty. Soon, Xiao Yan had the 14-year-old former Emperor He put to death.
Emperor Wu of Liang (梁武帝) (464–549), personal name Xiao Yan (蕭衍), courtesy name Shuda (叔達), nickname Lian'er (練兒), was the founding emperor of the Liang Dynasty of Chinese Northern and southern dynasties era. His reign, until its end, was one of the most stable and prosperous during the Southern Dynasties. He came from the same family that ruled Southern Qi (兰陵萧氏), but from a different branch.
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.
Emperor Wu of Chen, 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 abdicate the throne to him, thereby establishing the Chen dynasty. He died in 559, and as his only surviving son Chen Chang was held by Northern Zhou, he was succeeded by his nephew Chen Qian.
Emperor Jianwen of Liang (梁簡文帝), personal name Xiao Gang (蕭綱), courtesy name Shizuan (世纘), nickname Liutong (六通), was an emperor of the Chinese Liang Dynasty. He was initially not the crown prince of his father Emperor Wu, the founder of the dynasty, but became the crown prince in 531 after his older brother Xiao Tong died. In 549, the rebellious general Hou Jing captured the capital Jiankang, and Hou subsequently held both Emperor Wu and Crown Prince Gang under his power, having Crown Prince Gang take the throne after Emperor Wu's death later that year. During Emperor Jianwen's reign, he was almost completely under Hou's control, and in 551, Hou, planning to take the throne himself, first forced Emperor Jianwen to yield the throne to his grandnephew Xiao Dong the Prince of Yuzhang, and then sent messengers to suffocate the former emperor.
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.
Xiao Ni (蕭嶷) (444–492), courtesy name Xuanyan (宣儼), formally Prince Wenxian of Yuzhang (豫章文獻王), was an imperial prince during the Chinese dynasty Southern Qi. He was a son of the founder Emperor Gao and a brother of Emperor Wu.
Xiao Zhangmao (蕭長懋) (458–493), courtesy name Yunqiao (雲喬), nickname Baize (白澤), formally Crown Prince Wenhui, later further posthumously honored as Emperor Wen (文皇帝) with the temple name of Shizong (世宗), was a crown prince of the Chinese dynasty Southern Qi. He was Emperor Wu 's oldest son, but predeceased his father. After his death, his son Xiao Zhaoye became crown prince and eventually succeeded Emperor Wu, but was soon thereafter overthrown by Emperor Wu's cousin Xiao Luan, who took over the throne. By 498, all of Xiao Zhangmao's descendants had been exterminated.
He Jingying (何婧英) was an empress of the Chinese dynasty Southern Qi. Her husband was Xiao Zhaoye, who is commonly known by his posthumously demoted title of Prince of Yulin.
Empress Dowager Wang Baoming (王寶明) (455–512), formally Empress An, semi-formally Empress Dowager Xuande (宣德太后), was an empress dowager of the Chinese dynasty Southern Qi. She was never empress, but as she was the wife of Xiao Zhangmao, the oldest son and crown prince of Emperor Wu, who was posthumously honored as an emperor, and the mother of his son Xiao Zhaoye, who later became emperor, she was considered an empress.
Wang Shaoming (王韶明) was an empress of the Chinese dynasty Southern Qi. Her husband was Xiao Zhaowen, known by his post-removal title of Prince of Hailing.
Xiao Baoyin (蕭寶寅) (487–530), courtesy name Zhiliang (智亮), was an imperial prince of the Chinese dynasty Southern Qi. In 502, as Southern Qi was on the edge of being taken over by the general Xiao Yan, who was preparing by killing the imperial princes, Xiao Baoyin fled to rival Northern Wei and became an official and general in the Northern Wei government. In 527, as Northern Wei was embroiled in agrarian rebellions, Xiao Baoyin rebelled and tried to reestablish Southern Qi, but was soon defeated and forced to flee to a rebel leader, Moqi Chounu (万俟醜奴), and he served under Moqi until both were captured in 530 by the paramount general Erzhu Rong's nephew Erzhu Tianguang. He was forced to commit suicide.
Xiao Yuanming (蕭淵明), 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. Xiao Yuanming died the following year.
Emperor Jing of Liang, 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.
Wang Lin (526–573), courtesy name Ziheng (子珩), formally Prince Zhongwu of Baling (巴陵忠武王), was a general of the Chinese dynasties Liang Dynasty and Northern Qi. He initially became prominent during Emperor Yuan of Liang's campaign against the rebel general Hou Jing, and later, after Emperor Yuan was defeated and killed by Western Wei forces in 554, he maintained a separate center of power from the dominant general of the remaining Liang provinces, Chen Baxian. After Chen Baxian seized the Liang throne in 557 and established Chen Dynasty, Wang, with Northern Qi support, declared the Liang prince Xiao Zhuang emperor in 558, making Xiao Zhuang one of the three contestants for the Southern Dynasty throne, against Chen Baxian and Emperor Xuan of Western Liang, supported by Western Wei. In 560, while trying to attack Chen Baxian's nephew and successor Emperor Wen of Chen, Wang was defeated, and both he and Xiao Zhuang fled to Northern Qi. Wang subsequently served as a Northern Qi general, and during a major Chen offensive against Northern Qi in 573, he was captured by the Chen general Wu Mingche and executed.
Xiao Zhaowen (Prince of Hailing)
| Emperor of Southern Qi |
Xiao Baojuan (Marquess of Donghun)