Fàn Lübing (范履冰, died March 26, 690) was an official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty, serving as chancellor during the first reign of Emperor Ruizong. He was a member of the elite Fàn family.
The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty, during the king Wu Ding's reign, who was mentioned as the twenty-first Shang king by the same. Ancient historical texts such as the Records of the Grand Historian and the Bamboo Annals describe a Xia dynasty before the Shang, but no writing is known from the period, and Shang writings do not indicate the existence of the Xia. The Shang ruled in the Yellow River valley, which is commonly held to be the cradle of Chinese civilization. However, Neolithic civilizations originated at various cultural centers along both the Yellow River and Yangtze River. These Yellow River and Yangtze civilizations arose millennia before the Shang. With thousands of years of continuous history, China is one of the world's oldest civilizations, and is regarded as one of the cradles of civilization.
Emperor Ruizong of Tang, personal name Li Dan, also known at times during his life as Li Xulun, Li Lun, Wu Lun, and Wu Dan, was the fifth and ninth emperor of Tang Dynasty. He was the eighth son of Emperor Gaozong and the fourth son of Emperor Gaozong's second wife Empress Wu.
Fan is the transliteration of several Chinese family names, of which the most common are 范 and 樊.
It is not known when Fàn Lübing was born. Fàn passed the imperial examinations in the Jinshi class and served as Hucao Canjun(戶曹參軍) under Li Xian, Prince of Zhou son of Emperor Gaozong. During Emperor Gaozong's Shangyuan era (674–676), Fàn and several colleagues also known for literary talent—Liu Yizhi, Yuan Wanqing (元萬頃), Miao Chuke (苗楚客), Zhou Simao (周思茂), and Han Chubin (韓楚賓)—were asked to serve as advisors to Emperor Gaozong's powerful wife Empress Wu (later known as Wu Zetian), and they wrote a number of works on her behalf, including the Biographies of Notable Women (列女傳), Guidelines for Imperial Subjects (臣軌), and New Teachings for Official Staff Members (百僚新誡). Collectively, they became known as the "North Gate Scholars" (北門學士), because they served inside the palace, which was to the north of the imperial government buildings, and Empress Wu sought advice from them to divert the powers of the chancellors.
Emperor Zhongzong of Tang, personal name Li Xian, and at other times Li Zhe or Wu Xian, was the fourth Emperor of the Tang dynasty of China, ruling briefly in 684 and again from 705 to 710. During the first period, he did not rule, and the entire government was in the hands of his mother, Empress Wu Zetian. In the second period, most of the government was in the hands of his beloved wife Empress Wei).
Emperor Gaozong of Tang, personal name Li Zhi, was the third emperor of the Tang dynasty in China, ruling from 649 to 683. Emperor Gaozong was the son of Emperor Taizong and Empress Zhangsun.
Liu Yizhi (劉禕之), courtesy name Ximei (希美), was an official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty, serving as chancellor during the first reign of Emperor Ruizong. He was initially a trusted advisor of Emperor Ruizong's powerful mother Empress Dowager Wu, but later offended her by suggesting privately that she should return imperial powers to Emperor Ruizong, and in 687, she ordered him to commit suicide.
Emperor Gaozong died in 683 and was succeeded by his son Li Zhe (i.e. Li Xian, Prince of Zhou) the Crown Prince (as Emperor Zhongzong), but Empress Wu retained actual power as empress dowager and regent. In 684, after he showed signs of independence, she deposed him and replaced him with his younger brother Li Dan the Prince of Yu (as Emperor Ruizong), but thereafter wielded power even more firmly. During her regency over Emperor Ruizong, Fàn Lübing served successively as Luantai Shilang (鸞臺侍郎)—the deputy head of the examination bureau of government (鸞臺, Luantai)—and deputy minister of civil service affairs (春官侍郎, Chunguan Shilang). As of 689, he was serving as the minister of civil service affairs (春官尚書, Chunguan Shangshu), when he was given the designation of Tong Fengge Luantai Pingzhangshi (同鳳閣鸞臺平章事), making him a chancellor de facto. He was also in charge of editing the imperial history. In 690, however, he was accused of having recommended as an official someone who later committed treason, and Empress Dowager Wu ordered him arrested and executed.
Empress dowager is the English language translation of the title given to the mother or widow of a Chinese, Japanese, Korean or Vietnamese emperor.
A regent is a person appointed to govern a state because the monarch is a minor, is absent or is incapacitated. The rule of a regent or regents is called a regency. A regent or regency council may be formed ad hoc or in accordance with a constitutional rule. "Regent" is sometimes a formal title. If the regent is holding his position due to his position in the line of succession, the compound term prince regent is often used; if the regent of a minor is his mother, she is often referred to as "queen regent".
Fàn had three sons, each of whom passed the imperial examinations in the Jinshi class.
Jiangxi is a landlocked province in Eastern China. Its capital and largest city is Nanchang. Spanning from the banks of the Yangtze river in the north into hillier areas in the south and east, it shares a border with Anhui to the north, Zhejiang to the northeast, Fujian to the east, Guangdong to the south, Hunan to the west, and Hubei to the northwest.
Fàn also had a 6th-generation grandson named Fàn Sui (范隋) who would serve as county magistrate of Lishui during the reign of Emperor Yizong of Tang. Fàn Sui was better known as the 5th-generation ancestor of Fàn Zhongyan.
Emperor Yizong of Tang, né Li Wen, later changed to Li Cui, was an emperor of the Tang dynasty of China. He reigned from 859 to 873. Yizong was the eldest son of Emperor Xuanzong. After Emperor Xuanzong's death in 859, Emperor Yizong was placed on the throne by the eunuch Wang Zongshi (王宗實), who killed other eunuchs supporting another son of Emperor Xuanzong, Li Zi the Prince of Kui.
Fan Zhongyan from Wu County of Suzhou, courtesy name Xiwen (希文), ratified as the Duke of Wenzheng (文正公) posthumously, and conferred as Duke of Chu (楚國公) posthumously, is one of the most prominent figures in the Chinese history, as a founder of Neo-Confucianism and a great statesman, philosopher, writer, educator, military strategist, and philanthropist. Fan was one of the most prominent figures of the Song dynasty, an era when China possessed the world’s largest economy and population. After serving the central government for several decades, Fan rose to a seat of Chancellor over the entire Chinese empire nearing the zenith of its pre-modern economic, social, and cultural development. Fan's philosophical, educational and political legacy is one that changed the course of the Chinese history, one so powerful that it continues to exert a profound impact on the Chinese civilization today, and his philosophy and writings remain a core component of the Chinese literary canon. While Fan spent the majority of his time governing China, his myriad deeds and teachings, well represented by his well-known saying "Be the first to bear the world's hardship, and the last to enjoy its comfort" (先天下之憂而憂，後天下之樂而樂), have served as an inspiration to the Chinese people for a thousand years. Fan is one of the most prominent members of the Fan family and is considered a Saint in China by some, other Saints including the philosophers Confucius and Mencius.
The New Book of Tang, generally translated as "New History of the Tang", or "New Tang History", is a work of official history covering the Tang dynasty in ten volumes and 225 chapters. The work was compiled by a team of scholars of the Song dynasty, led by Ouyang Xiu and Song Qi.
The Zizhi Tongjian is a pioneering reference work in Chinese historiography, published in 1084 in the form of a chronicle. In 1065 AD, Emperor Yingzong of Song ordered the great historian Sima Guang to lead with other scholars such as his chief assistants Liu Shu, Liu Ban and Fan Zuyu, the compilation of a universal history of China. The task took 19 years to be completed, and, in 1084 AD, it was presented to his successor Emperor Shenzong of Song. The Zizhi Tongjian records Chinese history from 403 BC to 959 AD, covering 16 dynasties and spanning across almost 1,400 years, and contains 294 volumes (卷) and about 3 million Chinese characters.
Li Jiao, courtesy name Jushan (巨山), formally the Duke of Zhao (趙公), was an official of the Chinese Tang Dynasty and Wu Zetian's Zhou Dynasty, serving as chancellor during the reigns of Wu Zetian, her sons Emperor Zhongzong and Emperor Ruizong, and her grandson Emperor Shang.
Di Renjie, courtesy name Huaiying (懷英), formally Duke Wenhui of Liang (梁文惠公), was an official of Tang and Zhou dynasties, twice serving as chancellor during the reign of Wu Zetian. He was one of the most celebrated officials of Wu Zetian's reign.
Fu Youyi (傅遊藝), known as Wu Youyi (武遊藝) during the reign of Wu Zetian, was an official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty and Wu Zetian's Zhou Dynasty, serving as a chancellor briefly after she took the throne in 690. He was known for being the first official to publicly petition her to take the throne and establish her own dynasty, and was awarded for his public stance by being promoted within a year from a low level official to the upper echelon of the imperial administration. In 691, however, he was accused of having even greater ambitions and arrested; he committed suicide.
Wang Benli (王本立) was an official of China's Tang Dynasty, serving as chancellor during the first reign of Emperor Ruizong.
Hao Chujun, formally Duke of Zengshan (甑山公), was an official and general of the Chinese Tang Dynasty, serving as chancellor during the reign of Emperor Gaozong. He was known for his honesty and willingness to advise Emperor Gaozong against actions he considered unwise. One advice he gave, however, drew Empress Wu's resentment, and later, after she became regent over her son Emperor Ruizong after Emperor Gaozong and Hao had both died, she had Hao's clan slaughtered.
Wei Xuantong (魏玄同), courtesy name Hechu (和初), was an official of the Chinese Tang dynasty, serving as chancellor during the reign of Emperor Gaozong and the regency of his wife Empress Wu over their sons Emperor Zhongzong and Emperor Ruizong. During Emperor Gaozong's reign, he had drawn hatred from the official Zhou Xing as the conveyor of the bad news that Zhou was not getting promoted, and in 689, Zhou, having by that point become one of Empress Dowager Wu's trusted secret police officials, falsely accused Wei of opposing Empress Dowager Wu. She forced Wei to commit suicide.
Cui Cha (崔詧) was briefly a chancellor of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty, during the first reign of Emperor Ruizong.
Wei Fangzhi, formally the Duke of Fuyang (扶陽公), was an official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty who served as chancellor during the first reign of Emperor Ruizong.
Pei Judao (裴居道) was a general and official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty, serving as a chancellor during the first reign of Emperor Ruizong.
Xing Wenwei (邢文偉) was an official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty, serving as a chancellor during the first reign of Emperor Ruizong and his mother Wu Zetian's Zhou Dynasty.
Wu Youning (武攸寧), formally the Duke of Jiang (江公), was an imperial prince during the reign of Wu Zetian and served as chancellor both during her regency over her son Emperor Ruizong of Tang and her own reign.
Le Sihui (樂思晦) was an official during Wu Zetian's Zhou Dynasty, briefly serving as chancellor.
Lu Yuanfang (陸元方), courtesy name Xizhong (希仲), was an official of Wu Zetian's Zhou Dynasty, twice serving as chancellor.
Wang Fangqing (王方慶), formal name Wang Lin (王綝) but went by the courtesy name of Fangqing, formally Duke Zhen of Shiquan (石泉貞公), was an official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty and Wu Zetian's Zhou Dynasty, serving as a chancellor during Wu Zetian's reign.
Zhang Xi, formally the Duke of Pingyuan (平原公), was an official of the Chinese Tang dynasty and Wu Zetian's Zhou dynasty, serving as chancellor on two occasions.
Wei Anshi, formally Duke Wenzhen of Xun (郇文貞公), was an official of the Chinese Tang dynasty and Wu Zetian's Zhou dynasty, serving as a chancellor several times, during the reigns of Wu Zetian, her sons Emperor Zhongzong and Emperor Ruizong, and her grandson Emperor Shang.
Li Huaiyuan (李懷遠), courtesy name Guangde (廣德), formally Duke Cheng of Zhao Commandery (趙郡成公), was an official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty and Wu Zetian's Zhou Dynasty, serving twice as chancellor during the reigns of Wu Zetian and her son Emperor Zhongzong.
Zhu Jingze, courtesy name Shaolian (少連), was an official of China's Tang Dynasty and Wu Zetian's Zhou Dynasty, serving as a chancellor during Wu Zetian's reign.
Wei Sili, courtesy name Yan'gou (延構), formally Duke Xiao of Xiaoyao (逍遙孝公), was an official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty and Wu Zetian's Zhou Dynasty, serving as a chancellor during the reigns of Wu Zetian, her sons Emperor Zhongzong and Emperor Ruizong, and her grandson Emperor Shang.
Wei Chengqing (韋承慶) (640?–706?), courtesy name Yanxiu (延休), formally Viscount Wen of Fuyang (扶陽溫子), was an official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty and Wu Zetian's Zhou Dynasty, serving as a chancellor during Wu Zetian's reign.