Jiang Shen

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Jiang Shen (蔣伸) (799881 [1] ), courtesy name Dazhi (大直), formally the Duke of Le'an (樂安公), [2] was an official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty, serving as a chancellor during the reigns of Emperor Xuānzong and Emperor Xuānzong's son Emperor Yizong.

Courtesy name name bestowed in adulthood in East Asian cultures

A courtesy name, also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in the Sinosphere, including China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam.

History of China Account of past events in the Chinese civilisation

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 Yizong of Tang emperor of the Tang Dynasty

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.

Contents

Background

Jiang Shen was perhaps born in 799, during the reign of Emperor Dezong. [1] His family was originally from Yixing (義興, in modern Wuxi, Jiangsu), but had moved to the eastern capital Luoyang at least by the time that his father Jiang Ai (蔣乂) was serving in governmental service. [3] Jiang Ai's grandfather Jiang Gui (蔣瓌) and father Jiang Jiangming (蔣將明), as well as Jiang Ai, all served in the Tang imperial government as governmental scholars, [4] with Jiang Ai reach prominence as a historian, authoring works on the lives of chancellors, as well as a number of contributors to the reign of the great early Tang emperor Emperor Taizong, and being created the Duke of Yixing. Jiang Shen was the second of Jiang Ai's five known sons, with at least one older brother, Jiang Xi (蔣係), who also reached great prominence and was created the Duke of Huaiyang. Jiang Shen had at least three younger brothers who also served in the government, Jiang Jie (蔣偕), Jiang Xian (蔣仙), and Jiang Ji (蔣佶). Jiang Shen himself passed the imperial examinations in the Jinshi class, and thereafter served on the staffs of various regional governors. [5]

Emperor Dezong of Tang emperor of the Tang Dynasty

Emperor Dezong of Tang, personal name Li Kuo, was an emperor of the Chinese Tang Dynasty and the oldest son of Emperor Daizong. His reign of 26 years was the third longest in the Tang dynasty. Emperor Dezong started out as a diligent and frugal emperor and he tried to reform the governmental finances by introducing new tax laws. His attempts to destroy the powerful regional warlords and the subsequent mismanagement of those campaigns, however, resulted in a number of rebellions that nearly destroyed him and the Tang Dynasty. After those events, he dealt cautiously with the regional governors, causing warlordism to become unchecked, and his trust of eunuchs caused the eunuchs' power to rise greatly. He was also known for his paranoia about officials' wielding power, and late in his reign, he did not grant much authority to his chancellors.

Wuxi Prefecture-level city in Jiangsu, Peoples Republic of China

Wuxi is a city in southern Jiangsu province, China. The city borders two other large cities, Changzhou to the west and Suzhou to the east, and borders Zhejiang Province as well in the south. It also covers a coastline of the Yangtze River in the north and two separate coasts of Lake Tai. Wuxi is noted for its modern industry and commerce, along with its resorts around Lake Tai. Wuxi is a famous historical and cultural city of China. It has been a land of fish and rice since ancient times. Wuxi is the cradle of China's national industry and township industry.

Jiangsu Province of China

Jiangsu, is an eastern-central coastal province of the People's Republic of China. It is one of the leading provinces in finance, education, technology, and tourism, with its capital in Nanjing. Jiangsu is the third smallest, but the fifth most populous and the most densely populated of the 23 provinces of the People's Republic of China. Jiangsu has the highest GDP per capita of Chinese provinces and second-highest GDP of Chinese provinces, after Guangdong. Jiangsu borders Shandong in the north, Anhui to the west, and Zhejiang and Shanghai to the south. Jiangsu has a coastline of over 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) along the Yellow Sea, and the Yangtze River passes through the southern part of the province.

During Emperor Xuānzong's reign

In 848, by which time Emperor Dezong's great-grandson Emperor Xuānzong was emperor, Jiang Shen was recalled to the capital Chang'an to serve as You Bujue (右補闕), a low-level advisory official at the legislative bureau of government (中書省, Zhongshu Sheng), as well as an editor of imperial history. (It was said that while both Jiang Shen and his nephew Jiang Zhao (蔣兆, Jiang Xi's son) were talented writers, they were not considered exceptional in their style, but were considered good historians.) He later served as Jiabu Langzhong (駕部郎中), a supervisory official at the ministry of rites (禮部, Libu) and was put in charge of drafting edicts. [3] In 851, when the chancellor Bai Minzhong was put in charge of overseeing the campaign against Danxiang rebellions, Bai was allowed to retain a number of imperial officials to serve on his staff, and he chose Jiang to serve as his deputy in his role as the military governor ( Jiedushi ) of Binning Circuit (邠寧, headquartered in modern Xianyang, Shaanxi). [6] Jiang later returned to Chang'an and was made acting deputy minister of census (戶部侍郎, Hubu Shilang). In 855, he was made an imperial scholar (翰林學士, Hanlin Xueshi), and was later made the chief imperial scholar (承旨, Chengzhi). In 856, he was made the deputy minister of defense (兵部侍郎, Bingbu Shilang) and the director of taxation. [3]

Changan ancient city of China

Chang'an was an ancient capital of more than ten dynasties in Chinese history, today known as Xi'an. Chang'an means "Perpetual Peace" in Classical Chinese since it was a capital that was repeatedly used by new Chinese rulers. During the short-lived Xin dynasty, the city was renamed "Constant Peace" ; the old name was later restored. By the time of the Ming dynasty, a new walled city named Xi'an, meaning "Western Peace", was built at the Sui and Tang dynasty city's site, which has remained its name to the present day.

Bai Minzhong (白敏中) (792–861), courtesy name Yonghui (用誨), formally Duke Chou of Taiyuan (太原醜公), was an official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty, serving as a chancellor during the reigns of Emperor Xuānzong and Emperor Xuānzong's son Emperor Yizong. He was a second cousin of the renowned poet Bai Juyi.

Jiedushi regional military governor function.

The jiedushi were regional military governors in China during the Tang dynasty and the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. The post of jiedushi has been translated as "military commissioner", "legate", or "regional commander". Originally introduced in 711 to counter external threats, the jiedushi were posts authorized with the supervision of a defense command often encompassing several prefectures, the ability to maintain their own armies, collect taxes and promote and appoint subordinates.

It was said that Emperor Xuānzong respected Jiang's opinion. [3] On one occasion in 858, when he was meeting Jiang privately (as the officials who were one level below chancellors, known as the "Second Tier Officials" (次對官, Cidui Guan) were allowed to do), [7] Jiang made the comment to Emperor Xuānzong, "These days, it is easy to gain official positions, and people take dangerous risks." Emperor Xuānzong, in surprise, responded, "If this goes on, disturbances will occur." Jiang responded, "Not yet, but if too many people take dangerous risks, it is not difficult for disturbances to occur." As Jiang was about to leave, Emperor Xuānzong kept him three times, stating, "Soon I will not be able to meet with you again privately." Jiang did not understand Emperor's implications, but it soon became clear, as Emperor Xuānzong gave him the designation Tong Zhongshu Menxia Pingzhangshi (同中書門下平章事), making him a chancellor de facto. [6] (After he was named chancellor, he would have to meet with Emperor Xuānzong along with other chancellors, and could no longer meet with Emperor Xuānzong alone.) [7] Four months later, he was relieved of his director of taxation responsibilities, and given the additional title of Zhongshu Shilang (中書侍郎, deputy head of the legislative bureau). [3]

During Emperors Yizong's and Xizong's reigns

Emperor Xuānzong died in 859 and was succeeded by his son Emperor Yizong. [6] Jiang Shen remained chancellor, and was also made the minister of justice (刑部尚書, Xingbu Shangshu) and put charge of overseeing the editing of the imperial history. [3] In 862, he was removed from his chancellor position and made the military governor of Hezhong Circuit (河中, headquartered in modern Yuncheng, Shanxi), continuing to carry the Tong Zhongshu Menxia Pingzhangshi title as an honorary title. [8] He was later transferred to Xuanwu Circuit (宣武, headquartered in modern Kaifeng, Henan); [3] the order transferring him also referred to him as the Duke of Le'an, indicating that he had been created that title sometime prior. [2] Soon thereafter, though, he was made an advisor to the Crown Prince, with his office at Luoyang. [3] [9] In 866, he was made the prefect of Hua Prefecture (華州, in modern Weinan, Shaanxi). He was later again made an advisor to the crown prince, when he retired on account of age. [3] He probably died in 881, during the reign of Emperor Yizong's son Emperor Xizong. [1]

Kaifeng Prefecture-level city in Henan, Peoples Republic of China

Kaifeng, known previously by several names, is a prefecture-level city in east-central Henan province, China. It is one of the Eight Ancient Capitals of China, for being the capital seven times in history, and is most famous for being the capital of China in the Northern Song dynasty.

Henan Province

Henan is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the central part of the country. Henan is often referred to as Zhongyuan or Zhongzhou (中州) which literally means "central plain land" or "midland", although the name is also applied to the entirety of China proper. Henan is the birthplace of Chinese civilization with over 3,000 years of recorded history, and remained China's cultural, economical, and political center until approximately 1,000 years ago.

Weinan Prefecture-level city in Shaanxi, Peoples Republic of China

Weinan is a prefecture-level city in the east of Shaanxi province, China. The city lies about 60 km (37 mi) east of the provincial capital Xi'an.

Notes and references

  1. 1 2 3 These dates are per a short biography for Jiang Shen Archived 2013-12-13 at the Wayback Machine on the Wuxi City Government Web site, which did not cite any sources.
  2. 1 2 Edict Granting Military Governorships to Jiang Shen and Bi Xian , collected in All Tang Texts (全唐文), vol. 83.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 New Book of Tang , vol. 132.
  4. New Book of Tang, vol. 75 Archived 2009-12-19 at the Wayback Machine
  5. Old Book of Tang , vol. 149.
  6. 1 2 3 Zizhi Tongjian , vol. 249.
  7. 1 2 Bo Yang Edition of the Zizhi Tongjian, vol. 60 [858].
  8. Zizhi Tongjian, vol. 250.
  9. As there was no crown prince at the time, the title was entirely honorary.

The Old Book of Tang, or simply the Book of Tang, is the first classic historical work about the Tang dynasty, comprising 200 chapters, and is one of the Twenty-Four Histories. Originally compiled during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period, it was superseded by the New Book of Tang which was compiled in the Song dynasty, but later regained acceptance.

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.

<i>Zizhi Tongjian</i> A chronicle Chinese history by Northern-Song historian Sima Guang

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.

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