Yuan Xie (元勰) (died 508), né Tuoba Xie (拓拔勰, changed 496), courtesy name Yanhe (彥和), formally Prince Wuxuan of Pengcheng (彭城武宣王), later posthumously honored as Emperor Wenmu (文穆皇帝) with the temple name of Suzu (肅祖), was an imperial prince of the Chinese/Xianbei dynasty Northern Wei. He was a son of Emperor Xianwen, and he often assisted his brother Emperor Xiaowen both in military and governmental matters. After Emperor Xiaowen's death, he briefly served as regent for Emperor Xiaowen's son Emperor Xuanwu. Eventually, due to suspicions and jealousy of Emperor Xuanwu's uncle Gao Zhao, Emperor Xuanwu believed false reports that Yuan Xie was going to rebel, and forced him to commit suicide. He was later posthumously honored as an emperor by his son Emperor Xiaozhuang, although subsequently Emperor Jiemin retracted the honors.
It is not known when Tuoba Xie was born, but he was a younger brother to Emperor Xiaowen and was younger to all of the six other sons of their father Emperor Xianwen except Tuoba Xiang (拓拔詳) the Prince of Beihai. His mother was Consort Pan, who died shortly after giving birth to him. In 476, his father Emperor Xianwen (who was then retired emperor after having passed the throne to Emperor Xiaowen in 471) died as well, probably having been poisoned by Tuoba Xie's step-grandmother Empress Dowager Feng, who then assumed regency over Emperor Xiaowen as grand empress dowager. Tuoba Xie was considered studious and well-mannered in his youth, and was much favored by both Emperor Xiaowen and their step-grandmother Grand Empress Dowager Feng.
In 485, Emperor Xiaowen created Tuoba Xie the Prince of Shipping. During the years, as Emperor Xiaowen assumed more and more of governing responsibilities himself, he increasingly had Tuoba Xie participate in his decision-making. In 496, as part of Emperor Xiaowen's sinicization campaign, the entire imperial clan's surname was changed from Tuoba to Yuan, and at the same time, Yuan Xie's title was changed from Prince of Shipping to Prince of Pengcheng. Yuan Xie was apprehensive about having too much power, and several times requested to be relieved of his responsibilities; each time, Emperor Xiaowen refused. Also in 496, Emperor Xiaowen, angry that another brother, Yuan Xi (元禧) the Prince of Xianyang, had married a daughter of a servant as his princess, forcibly ordered all of his brothers to demote their wives to concubine status and marry the daughters of several high level officials, and Yuan Xie was required to marry Li Yuanhua (李媛华)，the daughter of Li Chong (李沖).
In 498, when Emperor Xiaowen carried out a major southern campaign against rival Southern Qi, Yuan Xie was one of the key commanding generals, although it is not clear whether he saw combat. Also that year, Emperor Xiaowen made him in charge of the imperial clan members' education (presumably of a sinicized education). Later that year, due to the military expenditures, Yuan Xie proposed that he himself donate one-year salary for the war effort; in response, Emperor Xiaowen ordered a general one-third reduction in salary for imperial princes and dukes. That winter, Emperor Xiaowen got extremely ill, and Yuan Xie personally attended to him in his illness, praying to the gods and their father Emperor Xianwen, offering to die instead of Emperor Xiaowen. Emperor Xiaowen subsequently recovered from this illness.
It was during this illness that Emperor Xiaowen's (and Yuan Xie's) sister the Princess Pengcheng, not willing to marry Feng Su (馮夙) the Duke of Beiping, the brother of Emperor Xiaowen's wife Empress Feng Run, fled out of the capital Luoyang and joined Emperor Xiaowen and Yuan Xie, informing them that Empress Feng had been carrying on an affair with her attendant Gao Pusa (高菩薩). Upon Emperor Xiaowen's return to Luoyang in early 499, he personally interrogated Gao and another attendant of Empress Feng, Shuang Meng (雙蒙), and then personally interrogated Empress Feng as well. Upon the completion of these interrogations, Emperor Xiaowen summoned Yuan Xie and Yuan Xi, informing them of Empress Feng's indiscretions and, while not deposing her (because she was a daughter of Grand Empress Dowager Feng's brother Feng Xi (馮熙)), told them that he had no intention for them to continue to treat her as a sister-in-law, and they did not after this point. Later that year, Emperor Xiaowen became ill again, and he made Yuan Xie his prime minister, with intention that Yuan Xie serve as regent for his son Yuan Ke. It was said that Emperor Xiaowen was highly irritable during his illness and often ordered attendants' deaths, but Yuan Xie would plead on their behalf and have them saved. When Emperor Xiaowen grew sicker still in the summer while on a campaign against Southern Qi's key general Chen Xianda (陳顯達), he told Yuan Xie that he intended for Yuan Xie to serve as regent, and that Yuan Xie should force Empress Feng to commit suicide after his death. Yuan Xie declined the regency, explaining that this would bring too much suspicion on himself, and Emperor Xiaowen agreed, leaving instructions for Yuan Ke to, once his rule was firm, to allow Yuan Xie to resign his posts. Instead of a sole regency by Yuan Xie, Emperor Xiaowen also, pursuant to his suggestions, entrusted the crown prince to Yuan Xi, his brother Yuan Xiang (元詳) the Prince of Beihai, his cousin Yuan Cheng (元澄) the Prince of Rencheng, his distant uncle Yuan Jia (元嘉) the Prince of Guangyang, and the officials Wang Su (王肅) and Song Bian (宋弁). He soon died, while still on the front, and Yuan Xie, after discussing with Yuan Cheng, chose not to announce the emperor's death but instead headed back toward Luoyang while summoning Yuan Ke to rendezvous with them. They met at Luyang (魯陽, in modern Pingdingshan, Henan), and only then was the death of Emperor Xiaowen announced. Yuan Ke succeeded to the throne as Emperor Xuanwu.
During this transition, many people, particularly Emperor Xuanwu's attendants, suspected Yuan Xie of wanting the throne himself, but Yuan Xie handled the situation carefully and treated his nephew with respect due an emperor, and eventually the suspicion subsided. Meanwhile, pursuant to Emperor Xiaowen's instructions, he sent Yuan Xiang to force Empress Feng to commit suicide.
Emperor Xuanwu, who was 16 at the time of his ascension, initially wanted Yuan Xie to stay as his prime minister, but Yuan Xie repeatedly declined, citing Emperor Xiaowen's agreement for him to leave his posts. Emperor Xuanwu, instead, made him the governor of Ding Province (定州, modern central Hubei), and initially Yuan Xie declined as well, but Emperor Xuanwu forced him to accept. In 500, when the Southern Qi general Pei Shuye (裴叔業) surrendered his city Shouyang to northern Wei, Emperor Xuanwu sent Yuan Xie and Wang Su to secure Shouyang and to assist Pei. They were able to, and Emperor Xuanwu subsequently rebestowed the prime minister title on Yuan Xie, but had him take the post of governor of Yang Province (揚州, modern central Anhui) and defend Shouyang. Soon, he recalled Yuan Xie to the capital to be prime minister again.
In 501, over a power conflict between Yuan Xi and the general Yu Lie (于烈), Yu Lie's son Yu Zhong, a close attendant of Emperor Xuanwu warned Emperor Xuanwu that the princes were too powerful, and that he should assume power himself. Yuan Xiang also reported on Yuan Xi's faults and suggested that Yuan Xie was also too powerful. In spring 501, Emperor Xuanwu summoned his princely uncles to the palace under heavy guard, and then relieved them (except Yuan Xiang) of their posts, and announced that he was assuming power himself. From this point on, however, Emperor Xuanwu's government was dominated by his attendants and his maternal uncle Gao Zhao. In 503, Emperor Xuanwu recalled Yuan Xie to his administration with the honorific title Taishi (太師), but the title, while highly honored, carried little power.
in 504, Yuan Xiang, who was then powerful, was accused by Gao Zhao of corruption, and he was arrested. He soon died while imprisoned. As a result of this episode, Gao further suggested to Emperor Xuanwu to put the imperial princes under heavy guard, a suggestion that Yuan Xie objected to but Emperor Xuanwu accepted. It was said that Yuan Xie was often depressed from this point on. Late that year, Emperor Xuanwu made Yuan Xie be in charge of supervising a team of officials led by Yuan Fan (袁翻) in revising the empire's laws. In 506, when the official Zhen Chen (甄琛) suggested that the state monopoly on salt be ended, Yuan Xie, along with Xing Luan (邢巒), opposed on account that ending the monopoly would lead to wastefulness and draining of the treasury, but Emperor Xuanwu approved Zhen's proposal anyway.
As the years went by, Gao Zhao grew increasingly powerful, particularly more so after his niece Consort Gao became a favorite consort of Emperor Xuanwu. After Emperor Xuanwu's first wife, Empress Yu died in 507, Emperor Xuanwu wanted to make Consort Gao empress. Yuan Xie opposed, but Emperor Xuanwu created her empress in 508 anyway. Gao Zhao thereafter despised Yuan Xie. When Emperor Xuanwu's brother Yuan Yu (元愉) the Prince of Jingzhao rebelled in fall 508, Yuan Yu seized Yuan Xie's maternal uncle Pan Senggu (潘僧固) and forced Pan to join his rebellion, and Gao Zhao used this incident to falsely accuse Yuan Xie of conspiring with Yuan Yu and rival Liang Dynasty (which had replaced Southern Qi). Yuan Xie's attendants Wei Yan (魏偃) and Gao Zuzhen (高祖珍), wanting to please Gao Zhao, testified against Yuan Xie, and Emperor Xuanwu believed him. Later that year, Emperor Xuanwu held a feast and invited the princes and Gao Zhao to attend—requiring Yuan Xie to do so despite the fact that his wife Princess Li was due to give birth. After the feast, the princes were directed to bedrooms in the palace to spend the night. That night, Emperor Xuanwu sent the guard commander Yuan Zhen (元珍) to take poisoned wine to Yuan Xie, ordering him to commit suicide. Yuan Xie initially refused, wanting to make one last appeal to Emperor Xuanwu, but Yuan Zhen's soldiers battered his ribs until he complied. Once he drank the wine, the soldiers killed him even before the poison could take effect. His body was wrapped in blankets and returned to his mansion, under the pretense that he had died from alcohol poisoning, although quickly the populace came to believe that Gao Zhao had killed him. Emperor Xuanwu outwardly mourned Yuan Xie and posthumously honored him.
Consorts and Issue:
Emperor Xiaowen of Northern Wei ( 魏孝文帝), personal name né Tuoba Hong (拓拔宏), later Yuan Hong (元宏), or Toba Hung II, was an emperor of the Northern Wei from September 20, 471 to April 26, 499.
Liu Bian, also known as Emperor Shao of Han and the Prince of Hongnong, was the 13th emperor of the Eastern Han dynasty in China. He became emperor around the age of 13 upon the death of his father, Emperor Ling, and ruled briefly from 15 May to 28 September 189 before he was deposed, after which he became known as the "Prince of Hongnong". His emperor title, "Emperor Shao", was also used by other emperors who were in power for very short periods of time. In 190, he was poisoned to death by Dong Zhuo, the warlord who deposed him and replaced him with his younger half-brother, Liu Xie.
Xuanwu was an emperor of the Xianbei dynasty of Northern Wei (499-515). He is known within China as Beiwei Xuanwudi (北魏宣武帝). He was born Tuoba Ke, but later changed his surname so that he became Yuan Ke. During Xuanwu's reign, Northern Wei appeared, outwardly, to be at its prime, but there was much political infighting and corruption, particularly by Xuanwu's uncle Gao Zhao.
Empress He, personal name unknown, posthumously known as Empress Lingsi, was an empress of the Eastern Han dynasty. She was the second empress consort of Emperor Ling and the mother of Emperor Shao. After the death of Emperor Ling in 189, she became empress dowager when her young son, Liu Bian, became the new emperor. She was caught up in the conflict between her brother, General-in-Chief He Jin, and the eunuch faction, who were both vying for power in the Han imperial court. After He Jin's assassination and the elimination of the eunuch faction, the warlord Dong Zhuo took advantage of the power vacuum to lead his forces into the imperial capital and seize control of the Han central government. He subsequently deposed Emperor Shao, replaced him with Liu Xie, and had Empress Dowager He poisoned to death.
Empress Chen of Wu (孝武陳皇后), was empress of the Han dynasty and the first wife of Emperor Wu of Han. She was also known as Chen Jiao or as her milk name ChenA'Jiao (陈阿娇). She was born to Chen Wu (father) and Liu Piao (mother), also making her Liu Che's older cousin. Her given name Jiao means talented and beautiful and features in various Chinese poems and idioms.
Lady Zhen, personal name unknown, was the first wife of Cao Pi, the first ruler of the state of Cao Wei in the Three Kingdoms period. In 226, she was posthumously honoured as Empress Wenzhao when her son, Cao Rui, succeeded Cao Pi as the emperor of Wei.
Tuoba Huang (拓拔晃), Xianbei name Tianzhen (天真), formally Crown Prince Jingmu (景穆太子), later further formally honored as Emperor Jingmu (景穆皇帝) with the temple name Gongzong (恭宗) by his son Emperor Wencheng, was a crown prince of the Chinese/Xianbei dynasty Northern Wei. He was the oldest son of Emperor Taiwu, and was created crown prince in 432 at the age of four, and as he grew older, Emperor Taiwu transferred more and more authority to him. However, in 451, he incurred the wrath of his father due to false accusations of the eunuch Zong Ai, and many of his associates were put to death. He himself grew ill in fear, and died that year.
Emperor Xianwen of Northern Wei ( 魏獻文帝), personal name Tuoba Hong, Xianbei name Didouyin (第豆胤), was an emperor of the Xianbei dynasty Northern Wei. He was the first emperor in Chinese history who, after retiring at age 17 in favor of his 4-year old son Emperor Xiaowen to become Taishang Huang in 471, continued to hold on to power until his death in 476—when the official history states vaguely that he may have been killed by his stepmother Empress Dowager Feng.
Gao Zhao (高肇), courtesy name Shouwen (首文), was a high-level official of the Chinese/Xianbei dynasty Northern Wei. He was a maternal uncle of Emperor Xuanwu, and he became increasingly powerful during Emperor Xuanwu's reign, drawing anger from other high-level officials not only for his powerplay and corruption, but also because he was a mere commoner before Emperor Xuanwu's reign and not from the aristocracy and might have been Korean in origin. After Emperor Xuanwu died in 515, the other officials set a trap for Gao Zhao and had him killed.
Yu Zhong (于忠) (452–518), né Wuniuyu Qiannian (勿忸于千年), courtesy name Sixian (思賢), formally Duke Wujing of Lingshou (靈壽武敬公), was an official of the Northern Wei dynasty. He briefly served as a regent during the reign of Emperor Xiaoming.
Yuan Yong (元雍), né Tuoba Yong (拓拔雍), courtesy name Simu (思穆), formally Prince Wenmu of Gaoyang (高陽文穆王), was an imperial prince of the Chinese/Xianbei dynasty Northern Wei. He was very powerful during the reign of his grandnephew Emperor Xiaoming, and by corrupt means grew very rich. This, however, drew resentment from the populace, and after Emperor Xiaoming's death in 528 and the subsequent overthrowing of Emperor Xiaoming's mother Empress Dowager Hu by the general Erzhu Rong, Erzhu had him and over 2,000 other officials slaughtered at Heyin.
Emperor Jiemin of Northern Wei ( 魏節閔帝), also known as Emperor Qianfei (前廢帝), at times referred to by pre-ascension title Prince of Guangling (廣陵王), personal name Yuan Gong (元恭), courtesy name Xiuye (脩業), was an emperor of Northern Wei. He became emperor after the clan members of the paramount general Erzhu Rong, after Erzhu Rong was killed by Emperor Xiaozhuang, overthrew Emperor Xiaozhuang. Emperor Jiemin tried to revive the Northern Wei state, but with his power curbed by the Erzhus, was not able to accomplish much. After the general Gao Huan defeated the Erzhus in 532, Emperor Jiemin was imprisoned by Gao and subsequently poisoned to death by Emperor Xiaowu, whom Gao made emperor.
Yuwen Tai (507–556), nickname Heita (黑獺), formally Duke Wen of Anding (安定文公), later further posthumously honored by Northern Zhou initially as Prince Wen (文王) then as Emperor Wen (文皇帝) with the temple name Taizu (太祖), was the paramount general of the Chinese/Xianbei state Western Wei, a branch successor state of Northern Wei. In 534, Emperor Xiaowu of Northern Wei, seeking to assert power independent of the paramount general Gao Huan, fled to Yuwen's domain, and when Gao subsequently proclaimed Emperor Xiaojing of Eastern Wei emperor, a split of Northern Wei was effected, and when Yuwen subsequently poisoned Emperor Xiaowu to death around the new year 535 and declared his cousin Yuan Baoju emperor, the split was formalized, with the part under Gao's and Emperor Xiaojing's control known as Eastern Wei and the part under Yuwen's and Emperor Wen's control known as Western Wei. For the rest of his life, Yuwen endeavored to make Western Wei, then much weaker than its eastern counterpart, a strong state, and after his death, his son Yuwen Jue seized the throne from Emperor Gong of Western Wei, establishing Northern Zhou.
Meng Yi was a Chinese military general and politician. As an official of the Qin dynasty, he served in the court of Qin Shi Huang. He was a younger brother of the general Meng Tian. After Qin Shi Huang's death, Meng Yi and his brother were executed by Qin Er Shi on the urging of Zhao Gao.
Zhu Youyuan, a prince of the Ming dynasty of China. He was the fourth son of the Chenghua Emperor.
This article contains the family trees of members of the Liu clan, who ruled the state of Shu Han (221-263) in the Three Kingdoms period (220-280) in China. They were related to the House of Liu, the imperial clan of the Han dynasty.
This article contains the family trees of members of the Cao clan, who ruled the state of Cao Wei (220-265) in the Three Kingdoms period (220-280) in China. Only Cao Cao's lineage is shown in this article. The lineages of his relatives, such as Cao Ren, Cao Zhen and others, are not included here.
Sima Yi (179–251) was a general, politician and regent of the state of Cao Wei (220–266) in the Three Kingdoms period (220–280) in China. Two of his sons, Sima Shi (208–255) and Sima Zhao (211–265), rose to power in the 250s and consecutively served as regents throughout the reigns of the last three Wei emperors. After Sima Zhao died in September 265, his son Sima Yan (236–290) forced the last Wei ruler, Cao Huan (246–303), to abdicate the throne in his favour in February 266, ending the Wei regime and establishing the Jin dynasty (265–420). This article contains the family trees of Sima Yi, his brothers, and their descendants up to Sima Yan's generation. For more details on the family trees of the Jin emperors, see Chinese emperors family tree (early)#Jin Dynasty and Chu.
The daughter of Emperor Xiaoming of Northern Wei, whose given name is unknown, was briefly the emperor of Northern Wei (386–534), a Xianbei dynasty that ruled Northern China from the late fourth to the early sixth century AD. She bore the surname Yuan, originally Tuoba. Yuan was the only child of Emperor Xiaoming, born to his concubine Consort Pan. Soon after her birth, her grandmother the Empress Dowager Hu, who was also Xiaoming's regent, falsely declared that she was a boy and ordered a general pardon. Emperor Xiaoming died soon afterwards. On 1 April 528, Empress Dowager Hu installed the infant on the throne for a matter of hours before replacing her with Yuan Zhao the next day. Xiaoming's daughter was not recognised as an emperor (huangdi) by later generations. No further information about her is available.
Chu Pou (303-350), courtesy name Jiye was a minister and general of the Jin dynasty (266–420). His daughter was Chu Suanzi, who was the wife of Emperor Kang of Jin and empress dowager to three subsequent Jin emperors. He was originally a mid-level ranking official in the dynasty but after his daughter became empress in 343, he held a number of important posts hereafter. However, he was cautious of his influence and refused to allow himself to monopoly power in the court, isolating himself to border command instead. In 349, he led a northern expedition, the first of a series that continued into the 350s, but was defeated by Li Nong at Dai Slope that same year and died of shame shortly after.