Later Shu

Last updated
Hòu Shǔ

后蜀 / trad. 後蜀
934–965
Later Zhou.png
Later Shu shown in light red
Capital Chengdu
Common languages Ba-Shu Chinese
GovernmentMonarchy
Emperor  
 934
Emperor Gaozu
 934–965
Emperor Houzhu
Historical era Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period
 Established in Chengdu
934 934
 Surrendered to Song
965 965
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Blank.png Later Tang
Song Dynasty Blank.png

Shu (referred to as Later Shu (simplified Chinese :后蜀; traditional Chinese :後蜀; pinyin :Hòu Shǔ) to differentiate it from other states named Shu in Chinese history), also known as Meng Shu (Chinese :孟蜀), was one of the Ten Kingdoms during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period in China. It was located in present-day Sichuan with its capital in Chengdu and lasted from 934 to 965. It was the fourth and latest state of this name on the same territory.

Simplified Chinese characters standardized Chinese characters developed in mainland China

Simplified Chinese characters are standardized Chinese characters prescribed in the Table of General Standard Chinese Characters for use in mainland China. Along with traditional Chinese characters, they are one of the two standard character sets of the contemporary Chinese written language. The government of the People's Republic of China in mainland China has promoted them for use in printing since the 1950s and 1960s to encourage literacy. They are officially used in the People's Republic of China and Singapore.

Traditional Chinese characters Traditional Chinese characters

Traditional Chinese characters are Chinese characters in any character set that does not contain newly created characters or character substitutions performed after 1946. They are most commonly the characters in the standardized character sets of Taiwan, of Hong Kong and Macau, and in the Kangxi Dictionary. The modern shapes of traditional Chinese characters first appeared with the emergence of the clerical script during the Han Dynasty, and have been more or less stable since the 5th century.

Pinyin Chinese romanization scheme for Mandarin

Hanyu Pinyin, often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese in mainland China and to some extent in Taiwan. It is often used to teach Standard Mandarin Chinese, which is normally written using Chinese characters. The system includes four diacritics denoting tones. Pinyin without tone marks is used to spell Chinese names and words in languages written with the Latin alphabet, and also in certain computer input methods to enter Chinese characters.

Contents

Background and founding

The other Shu kingdom of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period, today known as the Former Shu, was founded in 907 after the end of the Tang dynasty. It was conquered in 925 by the Later Tang, the second of the five dynasties that would rule the Central Plain during this period.

Former Shu former country

Great Shu called in retrospect Former Shu or occasionally Wang Shu (王蜀), was one of the Ten Kingdoms formed during the chaotic period between the rules of the Tang dynasty and the Song dynasty. It existed in 907–925 CE. It was the third state named "Shu" on the same territory, the second one having been Shu Han.

Tang dynasty State in Chinese history

The Tang dynasty or the Tang Empire was an imperial dynasty of China spanning the 7th to 10th centuries. It was preceded by the Sui dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. Historians generally regard the Tang as a high point in Chinese civilization, and a golden age of cosmopolitan culture. Tang territory, acquired through the military campaigns of its early rulers, rivaled that of the Han dynasty. The Tang capital at Chang'an was the most populous city in the world in its day.

Later Tang Chinese dynasty

Tang, known in history as Later Tang, was a short-lived imperial dynasty that lasted from 923 to 937 during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period in the history of China.

Meng Zhixiang, one of the Later Tang military governors assigned to the conquered Shu territories, became remarkably powerful in the years following the invasion. In 930 he entered into open rebellion with fellow military governor Dong Zhang; although their rebellion was initially successful, Meng wished to submit once more to the rule of the Later Tang and so in 932 the two rebel leaders turned on each other. Meng defeated Dong and, in addition to taking control of Dong's lands, was given even greater authority than before by the Later Tang government. This arrangement did not last long: in December of 933 the emperor Li Siyuan died of an illness and was succeeded by the 19-year-old Li Conghou, and in the spring of 934 Meng declared himself the Emperor of a newly independent Shu.

Meng Zhixiang was a general of the Later Tang who went on to found the independent state of Later Shu during the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. Meng Zhixiang was an in-law of the Later Tang ruling family, who went by the family name Li. Meng married the eldest sister or perhaps a cousin of the founding emperor, Zhuangzong. Meng served the Later Tang as the military governor (Jiedushi) of Xichuan Circuit, after the conquest of Former Shu. After Emperor Zhuangzong's death, Meng was more distant to the succeeding emperor. The new emperor was Emperor Zhuangzong's adoptive brother, Emperor Mingzong. Meng, fearing accusations by Emperor Mingzong's chief advisor An Chonghui, rebelled, in alliance with Dong Zhang, military governor of neighboring Dongchuan Circuit. The Meng-Dong alliance repelled subsequent attempts to suppress or control them, although they continued as nominal subjects of Mingzong. Eventually, Meng overpowered Dong, thus assuming control of both allied domains. Meng continued as titular vassal to Mingzong for the rest of that emperor's reign; but, afterwards, Meng Zhixiang declared himself suzerain of an independent state named Shu, in 934, now called Later Shu to avoid confusion with other political entities sharing the same name.

Dong Zhang (董璋) was a general of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period states Later Liang and Later Tang. After submitting to Later Tang after Later Liang's destruction, he became a general favored by both Later Tang's founding emperor Li Cunxu and Li Cunxu's chief of staff Guo Chongtao, causing Guo to commission Dong as the military governor (Jiedushi) of Dongchuan Circuit after Guo's conquest of Former Shu. Because of this, after Li Cunxu's downfall and succession by his adoptive brother Li Siyuan, Li Siyuan's chief of staff An Chonghui came to suspect both Dong and Meng Zhixiang, the military governor of neighboring Xichuan Circuit. Dong and Meng jointly rebelled against Li Siyuan and were successful military, forcing the imperial government to eventually move into a reconciliatory posture. Dong, however, as his son Dong Guangye (董光業) and Dong Guangye's family were slaughtered, refused the imperial overture, and later launched an attack on Meng, as Meng was moving to reconciliation with the imperial government. Meng defeated him, and he was later killed by his own subordinates.

Li Siyuan, also known by his temple name Mingzong (明宗), was the second emperor of imperial China's short-lived Later Tang during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period, reigning from 926 until his death. He was an ethnic Shatuo originally named, in the Shatuo language, Miaojilie (邈佶烈).

Territorial Extent

The Later Shu kingdom held essentially the same territory as the Former Shu kingdom. The kingdom held most of present-day Sichuan, along with southern Gansu and Shaanxi, western Hubei and all of present-day Chongqing. As with the Former Shu, the capital of the kingdom was at Chengdu.

Sichuan Province

Sichuan is a province in southwest China occupying most of the Sichuan Basin and the easternmost part of the Tibetan Plateau between the Jinsha River on the west, the Daba Mountains in the north, and the Yungui Plateau to the south. Sichuan's capital city is Chengdu. The population of Sichuan stands at 81 million.

Gansu Province

Gansu is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the northwest of the country.

Shaanxi Chinese province

Shaanxi is a province of the People's Republic of China. Officially part of the Northwest China region, it lies in central China, bordering the provinces of Shanxi, Henan (E), Hubei (SE), Chongqing (S), Sichuan (SW), Gansu (W), Ningxia (NW), and Inner Mongolia (N). It covers an area of over 205,000 km2 (79,151 sq mi) with about 37 million people. Xi'an – which includes the sites of the former Chinese capitals Fenghao and Chang'an – is the provincial capital. Xianyang, which served as the Qin dynasty capital, is located nearby. The other prefecture-level cities into which the province is divided are Ankang, Baoji, Hanzhong, Shangluo, Tongchuan, Weinan, Yan'an and Yulin.

Succession

Meng Zhixiang died less than a year after declaring himself emperor of Shu. His son Meng Chang ruled for thirty years until the kingdom was invaded by and incorporated into the expanding Song empire in 965.

Meng Chang (孟昶), originally Meng Renzan (孟仁贊), courtesy name Baoyuan (保元), formally Prince Gongxiao of Chu (楚恭孝王), was the second emperor of Later Shu during imperial China's Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. He ruled from 934 until 965, when his state was conquered by the Song Dynasty. He died soon afterwards.

Song dynasty Chinese historical period

The Song dynasty was an era of Chinese history that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song following his usurpation of the throne of the Later Zhou, ending the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. The Song often came into conflict with the contemporary Liao and Western Xia dynasties in the north. It was eventually conquered by the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Song government was the first in world history to issue banknotes or true paper money nationally and the first Chinese government to establish a permanent standing navy. This dynasty also saw the first known use of gunpowder, as well as the first discernment of true north using a compass.

Rulers of the Later Shu

Temple name Posthumous name Family name and given name Reign Era names and their corresponding years
高祖Emperor Wénwǔ Shèngdé Yīngliè Míngxiào (文武聖德英烈明孝皇帝) Mèng Zhīxíang (孟知祥)934Míngdé (明德) 934
後主Prince Gongxiao of Chu (楚恭孝王) Mèng Chǎng (孟昶)934–965Míngdé (明德) 934–938

Guǎngzhèng (廣政) 938–965

Rulers family tree

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References

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