Zheng Su

Last updated

Zheng Su (Chinese :鄭肅), courtesy name Aijing (乂敬), was an official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty, serving as a chancellor during the reigns of Emperor Wuzong and Emperor Wuzong's uncle Emperor Xuānzong.

Contents

Background and early career

It is not known when Zheng Su is born, and little is known about his ancestry (as his family tree was not listed in the table of the chancellors' family trees in the New Book of Tang with the other chancellors named Zheng [1] ) other than that his family was originally from Yingyang (滎陽, in modern Zhengzhou, Henan), and that both his grandfather Zheng Lie (鄭烈) and father Zheng Yue (鄭閱) were Confucian scholars. [2] [3] In 808, Zheng Su passed the imperial examinations in the Jinshi class, and further passed a special imperial examination for those good at making rulings. He subsequently served on the staffs of regional governors. [2]

During Emperor Wenzong's reign

Early in Emperor Wenzong's Taihe era (827-835), Zheng Su was recalled to the capital Chang'an to serve as a supervisory official at one of the ministries under the executive bureau (尚書省, Shangshu Sheng). In 832, he was made the deputy minister of worship (太常少卿, Taichang Shaoqing). As Zheng was capable in reading ancient texts and knowledgeable about the Confucian classics, it was said that whenever there were disputes among the scholars at the ministry of worship about the meanings of the Zuo Zhuan or the three texts about rites (i.e., the Rites of Zhou , the Etiquette and Rituals , and the Classic of Rites ), Zheng was the one who would settle the disputes. [2]

At that time, Emperor Wenzong favored his oldest son Li Yong the Prince of Lu and wanted famed Confucian scholars to serve on his staff, so he selected Yu Jingxiu (庾敬休) to serve as Li Yong's teacher, Li Jianfang (李踐方) to serve as Li Yong's military advisor, and Zheng to serve as Li Yong's secretary general, with all three continuing to hold their other posts as well; it was from this point that Zheng began to become well-known. After Li Yong was subsequently created crown prince, Zheng was given an additional title as imperial attendant (給事中, Jishizhong). [2] In 834, he, along with his colleague Han Ci (韓佽), made an unsuccessful attempt to stop the promotions Emperor Wenzong was bestowing on the emperor's close associate Li Zhongyan (on account of Li Zhongyan's past crimes). [4] In 835, he was made the deputy minister of justice (刑部侍郎, Xingbu Shilang), and was soon made Shangshu You Cheng (尚書右丞), one of the secretaries general at the executive bureau; he was also put in charge of selecting officials at the ministry of civil service affairs (吏部, Libu). [2]

Early in Emperor Wenzong's Kaicheng era (836-840), Zheng was sent out of Chang'an to serve as the governor (觀察使, Guanchashi) of Shanguo Circuit (陝虢, headquartered in modern Sanmenxia, Henan). In 837, he was recalled to Chang'an to serve as the deputy minister of civil service affairs (吏部侍郎, Libu Shilang). As Emperor Wenzong knew that Zheng had previously served under Li Yong and was righteous in his behavior and words, he also made Zheng an advisor to Li Yong and had him teach Li Yong the Confucian classics. Subsequently, when Li Yong began to lose Emperor Wenzong's favor due to accusations made against him by Emperor Wenzong's favorite concubine Consort Yang, Emperor Wenzong considered deposing Li Yong. Zheng tried to intercede on Li Yong's behalf by discussing with Emperor Wenzong the Confucian principles on lord-subject and father-son relationships, and Emperor Wenzong thanked him. [2] However, after Li Yong was nearly deposed in 838 and died later that year, [5] Zheng was sent out of Chang'an to serve as the military governor ( Jiedushi ) of Hezhong Circuit (河中, headquartered in modern Yuncheng, Shanxi) as well as the mayor of its capital Hezhong Municipality. [2]

During Emperor Wuzong's reign

After Emperor Wenzong died in 840 and was succeeded by his brother Emperor Wuzong, [5] it was said that Emperor Wuzong knew that Li Yong had been falsely accused and therefore executed a number of people involved in falsely accusing Li Yong. Meanwhile, the officials at court praised Zheng Su for his faithfulness, so Emperor Wuzong recalled Zheng to serve as the minister of worship (太常卿, Taichang Qing). [2] He subsequently served as the military governor of Shannan East Circuit (山南東道, headquartered in modern Xiangfan, Hubei). [3] In 845, he was recalled to serve as acting You Pushe (右僕射), one of the heads of the executive bureau, and chancellor de facto with the designation Tong Zhongshu Menxia Pingzhangshi (同中書門下平章事). [6] He was also put in charge of editing the imperial history. [2]

During Emperor Xuānzong's reign

After Emperor Wuzong died in 846 and was succeeded by his uncle Emperor Xuānzong, Emperor Xuānzong, despising the lead chancellor Li Deyu for his hold on power, removed Li Deyu from his chancellor post and sent him out of Chang'an. As Zheng had a strong friendship with Li Deyu, Zheng was also removed. [2] He was sent to Jingnan Circuit (荊南, headquartered in modern Jingzhou, Hubei) to serve as its military governor, continuing to carry the Tong Zhongshu Menxia Pingzhangshi title as an honorary title. [6] When he died, he was given posthumous honors, including the posthumous name Wenjian (文簡, "civil and approachable"); his year of death was not recorded in history. [3]

Notes and references

  1. New Book of Tang , vol. 75. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 19, 2009. Retrieved February 7, 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 20, 2010. Retrieved June 30, 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Old Book of Tang , vol. 176.
  3. 1 2 3 New Book of Tang, vol. 182.
  4. Zizhi Tongjian , vol. 245.
  5. 1 2 Zizhi Tongjian, vol. 246.
  6. 1 2 Zizhi Tongjian, vol. 248.

Related Research Articles

Emperor Wenzong of Tang

Emperor Wenzong of Tang (809–840), personal name Li Ang, né Li Han (李涵), was an emperor of the Tang dynasty of China. He reigned from 827 to 840. Emperor Wenzong was the second son of Emperor Muzong and younger brother of Emperor Jingzong. A rare occurrence in Chinese history, Emperor Wenzong, along with his elder brother Emperor Jingzong and younger brother Emperor Wuzong, reigned in succession.

Niu Sengru (牛僧孺), courtesy name Si'an (思黯), formally Duke Wenzhen of Qizhang (奇章文貞公), was an official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty, serving as a chancellor during the reigns of Emperor Muzong and his sons Emperor Jingzong and Emperor Wenzong. He was commonly regarded as the leader of one of the two court factions at the time — the faction later known as the Niu Faction — during the Niu-Li Factional Struggles.

The Niu–Li factional strife was an ongoing contention at the court of the mid-to late Tang dynasty. It is largely viewed to have started during the reign of Emperor Muzong, circa 821, but having its seeds in the events of his father Emperor Xianzong—between two court factions later to be referred to by Chinese historians as the Niu Faction (牛黨), named after Niu Sengru, which was largely viewed as a faction of officials from humble origins and who passed the imperial examinations to get into government; and the Li Faction (李黨), named after Li Deyu, which was largely viewed as a faction of officials from aristocratic origins. The two factions struggled for decades at court, during the reigns of Emperor Muzong and his sons Emperor Jingzong, Emperor Wenzong, and Emperor Wuzong. The struggles are viewed as having ended at the start of the reign of Emperor Wuzong's successor and Emperor Muzong's younger brother Emperor Xuānzong, in 846. His clear dislike for Li Deyu, and systematic demotion of related officials, led to the complete defeat of the Li Faction.

Zheng Zhu (鄭注), probably né Yu Zhu (魚注), was an official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty. He became a trusted advisor to Emperor Wenzong due to treatments he provided Emperor Wenzong for the emperor's illnesses, and thereafter plotted with Emperor Wenzong and Li Xun to slaughter the powerful eunuchs. However, after the plot failed, Li Xun and he were both killed, along with many other officials that the eunuchs suspected of being complicit.

Li Zongmin (李宗閔), courtesy name Sunzhi (損之), was an official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty, serving twice as chancellor during the reign of Emperor Wenzong. He was considered one of the leading figures of the Niu-Li Factional Struggles — factional struggles between two factions at the Tang court that lasted decades — as a leader of the so-called Niu Faction, named after his colleague Niu Sengru.

Li Deyu, courtesy name Wenrao (文饒), formally the Duke of Wei (衛公), was an official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty, serving as a chancellor during the reigns of brothers Emperor Wenzong and Emperor Wuzong and (briefly) their uncle Emperor Xuānzong. He was the leader of the so-called Li Faction in the decades-long Niu-Li Factional Struggles, and was particularly powerful during Emperor Wuzong's reign, dominating the court scene and guiding policies during the campaigns against the crumbling Huigu Khanate and against the warlord Liu Zhen. After Emperor Wuzong's death, Emperor Xuānzong, who had long despised him for his hold on power, had him demoted and banished, where he died in exile.

Li Guyan (李固言), courtesy name Zhongshu (仲樞), was an official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty, serving two terms as chancellor during the reign of Emperor Wenzong.

Zheng Tan (鄭覃), formally the Duke of Yingyang (滎陽公), was an official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty, serving as a chancellor during the reign of Emperor Wenzong. He was viewed as a Li Faction leader in the Niu-Li Factional Struggles.

Chen Yixing (陳夷行), courtesy name Zhoudao (周道), was an official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty, serving twice as a chancellor during the reigns of Emperor Wenzong and Emperor Wuzong. He was viewed as a Li Faction leader in the Niu-Li Factional Struggles.

Yang Sifu (楊嗣復) (783–848), courtesy name Jizhi (繼之), nickname Qingmen (慶門), formally Count Xiaomu of Hongnong (弘農孝穆伯), was an official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty, serving as a chancellor during the reign of Emperor Wenzong and (briefly) the reign of Emperor Wenzong's brother Emperor Wuzong. He was considered one of the leaders of the Niu Faction in the Niu-Li Factional Struggles.

Li Jue, courtesy name Daijia (待價), formally Duke Zhenmu of Zanhuang (贊皇貞穆公), was an official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty, serving as a chancellor during the reigns of Emperor Wenzong and (briefly) Emperor Wenzong's brother Emperor Wuzong. He was considered one of the leaders of the Niu Faction in the Niu-Li Factional Struggles.

Li Shen (李紳), courtesy name Gongchui (公垂), formally Duke Wensu of Zhao (趙文肅公), was an official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty, serving as a chancellor during the reign of Emperor Wuzong. He was also noted as a poet.

Cui Xuan (崔鉉), courtesy name Taishuo (臺碩), formally the Duke of Wei (魏公), was an official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty, serving two terms as a chancellor during the reigns of Emperor Wuzong and Emperor Wuzong's uncle Emperor Xuānzong.

Du Cong (杜悰), courtesy name Yongyu (永裕), formally the Duke of Bin (邠公), was an official of the Tang dynasty of China, serving two terms as chancellor during the reigns of Emperor Wuzong and Emperor Wuzong's cousin Emperor Yizong. He was traditionally considered a skilled politician who maintained his high position throughout his lengthy career, but not a capable chancellor.

Li Hui (李回), né Li Chan (李躔), original courtesy name Zhaohui (昭回), later changed to Zhaodu (昭度), formally Duke Wenyi of Longxi (隴西文懿公), was an official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty, serving as a chancellor during the reign of Emperor Wuzong.

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.

Ma Zhi (馬植), courtesy name Cunzhi (存之), was an official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty, serving as a chancellor during the reign of Emperor Xuānzong.

Wei Mo (793–858), courtesy name Shenzhi (申之), was an official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty, serving as a chancellor during the reign of Emperor Xuānzong.

Zheng Lang, courtesy name Yourong (有融), was an official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty, serving as a chancellor during the reign of Emperor Xuānzong.

Bi Xian, courtesy name Cunzhi (存之), was an official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty, serving as a chancellor during the reign of Emperor Yizong.