- Empress Yang Zhi
Empress Yang Zhi (楊芷) (259-292),
courtesy nameJilan (季蘭), nickname Nanyin (男胤), formally Empress Wudao (武悼皇后, literally "the martial and fearful empress") was an empressof Jin Dynasty (265-420). She was Emperor Wu's second wife and cousin to his first wife, Empress Yang Yan.
Marriage to Emperor Wu and life as empress
Not much is known about Yang Zhi's life before she married Emperor Wu. Before Empress Yang Yan died in 274, she was fearful that whoever became empress next would undermine her developmentally-disabled son Crown Prince Zhong's position as
crown prince, and therefore she asked Emperor Wu to marry her cousin Yang Zhi after her death. Emperor Wu agreed and, in 276, married Yang Zhi and created her empress. Her father Yang Jun became a key official in the administration and became extremely arrogant.
The new Empress Yang herself was described as beautiful and virtuous and favored by her husband (who, however, also had upwards of 10,000
concubines). She bore him a son, Sima Hui (司馬恢), in 283, but Prince Hui died in 284. She did not bear him other children afterwards. After Emperor Wu conquered Eastern Wuin 280, he became largely obsessed with feasting and women, and tired of handling important matters of state. Empress Yang's father Yang Jun and her uncles Yang Yao (楊珧) and Yang Ji (楊濟) became those who made actual decisions and became very powerful.
Empress Yang was instrumental in keeping Crown Prince Zhong's wife Crown Princess Jia Nanfeng from being deposed, as Princess Jia was jealous and violent. After several of the crown prince's concubines became pregnant, Princess Jia personally had them killed. When Emperor Wu heard about this, he was angry and wanted to depose the crown princess, but Empress Yang persuaded him to remember the crown princess' father
Jia Chong's contribution to the establishment of Jin. She also rebuked the crown princess to try to rein in her behavior -- but the crown princess, not knowing that the empress had persuaded the emperor not to depose her, bore a grudge against the empress as a result.
In 289, Emperor Wu grew ill, and considered whom to make regent for Crown Prince Zhong. He considered both Yang Jun and his uncle
Sima Liangthe Prince of Ru'nan, the most respected of the imperial princes. As a result, Yang Jun became fearful of Sima Liang and had him posted to the key city of Xuchang (許昌, in modern Xuchang, Henan). Several other imperial princes were also posted to other key cities in the empire. By 290, Emperor Wu resolved to let Yang and Sima Liang both be regents, but after he wrote his will, the will was seized by Yang Jun, who instead had another will promulgated in which Yang alone was named regent. He died soon after. Crown Prince Zhong ascended the throne as Emperor Hui; Empress Yang was honored as empress dowager, and Yang Jun became regent.
As empress dowager
Yang Jun quickly showed himself to be autocratic and incompetent, drawing the ires of many other nobles and officials. He tried to appease them by making many bestowments of titles and honors among them, but this only brought further contempt for his actions. He knew Emperor Hui's empress Jia Nanfeng to be strong-willed and treacherous, so he tried to put people loyal to him in charge of all the defense forces of the capital
Luoyang, and also ordered that all edicts not only be signed by the emperor but also by Empress Dowager Yang before they could be promulgated.
Empress Jia, however, wanted to be involved in the government, and was angry that she was constantly rebuffed by Empress Dowager Yang and Yang Jun. She therefore conspired with the
eunuchDong Meng (董猛) and the generals Meng Guan (孟觀) and Li Zhao (李肇) against the Yangs. She tried to include Sima Liang into the conspiracy, but Sima Liang declined; instead, she persuaded her brother-in-law, Sima Weithe Prince of Chu, to join her plan. In 291, after Sima Wei returned to Luoyang from his defense post (Jing Province (荊州, modern Hubeiand Hunan)) with his troops, a coup went into progress.
Empress Jia, who had her husband easily under her control, had him issue an edict declaring that Yang Jun had committed crimes and should be removed from his posts. It also ordered Sima Wei and Sima Yao (司馬繇) the Duke of Dong'an to attack Yang's forces and defend against counterattacks. Quickly, it became clear that Yang was in trouble. Empress Dowager Yang, trapped in the palace herself, wrote an edict ordering assistance for Yang Jun and put it on arrows, shooting it out of the palace. Empress Jia then made the bold declaration that Empress Dowager Yang was committing treason. Yang Jun was quickly defeated, and his clan was massacred. Only his wife Lady Pang, the empress dowager's mother, was pardoned and allowed to live with the empress dowager. However, Empress Jia continued to be resentful, and soon had Empress Dowager Yang deposed from her position and made a commoner, and then had Lady Pang executed, despite humble pleas from the empress dowager, who was put under house arrest inside the palace. Initially, her closest servants were allowed to remain to serve her, but in 292, Empress Jia had them moved elsewhere. In despair, Empress Dowager Yang refused to eat and died after eight days of not eating.
Empress Dowager Yang was buried in a way most unfitting for an empress. The superstitious Empress Jia thought she might make accusations to the spirit of Emperor Wu after her death, so had her buried face down and also with various amulets and magical herbs that were intended to suppress her spirit. It was not until 307, long after Empress Jia's own defeat and death, that she was restored to her empress title and reburied with imperial honors. She was given a temple in which to be worshipped, but was not worshipped in her husband Emperor Wu's temple. In 341, during the reign of Emperor Cheng, her cult was merged into the temple of Emperor Wu.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Empress Wang Zhi — Queen Wang Zhi (Chinese:王娡) (173 BC–112 BC), the queen of Liu Qi, Han Jing Di.Wang Zhi was born in 173 BC and later she became a queen of Western Han Dynasty. She had a moderate, elegant, demure and noble demeanor. When Liu Qi, Han Jing Di of… … Wikipedia
Empress Yang Yan — (楊艷) (238 274), courtesy name Qiongzhi (瓊芝), formally Empress Wuyuan (武元皇后, formally the martial and discerning empress ) was an empress of Jin Dynasty (265 420). She was the first wife of Emperor Wu. Early life and marriage to Sima Yan Yang Yan… … Wikipedia
Empress Jia Nanfeng — (賈南風) (257 300), nickname Shi (時), of the Jin Dynasty (265 420) was the daughter of Jia Chong and first wife of Emperor Hui. She is commonly seen as a villainous figure in Chinese history, as the person who provoked the War of the Eight Princes,… … Wikipedia
Yang Jun (3rd century) — Yang Jun (楊駿) (d. 291), courtesy name Wenzhang (文長), was a Jin Dynasty (265 420) official during the reign of Emperor Wu and regent for Emperor Hui.BiographyYang Jun was from Hongnong Commandery (弘農, roughly modern Sanmenxia, Henan). His niece… … Wikipedia
Empress Zhangsun — (長孫皇后, personal name unknown) (601 July 28, 636 [ [http://www.sinica.edu.tw/ftms bin/kiwi1/luso.sh?lstype=2 dyna=%AD%F0 king=%A4%D3%A9v reign=%ADs%C6%5B yy=10 ycanzi= mm=6 dd= dcanzi=%A4v%A5f 兩千年中西曆轉換 ] ] ), formally Empress Wendeshunsheng… … Wikipedia
Empress Wang (Gaozong) — Empress Wang (王皇后, personal name unknown) (d. 655? [The timing of Empress Wang s and Consort Xiao s deaths was not clearly indicated in the Book of Tang and the New Book of Tang . The Zizhi Tongjian placed their deaths in 655. See Zizhi Tongjian … Wikipedia
Yang (surname) — Yang is the transcription of the Chinese family name 楊 / 杨. It is the sixth most common surname in Mainland China. Contents 1 Characters 2 … Wikipedia
Emperor Yang of Sui — (隋煬帝, 569 March 11, 618), personal name Yang Guang (楊廣), alternative name Ying (英), nickname Amo (阿摩), known as Emperor Ming (明帝) during the brief reign of his grandson Yang Tong), was the second son of Emperor Wen of Sui, and the second emperor… … Wikipedia
Deng Zhi — This is a Chinese name; the family name is Deng. Deng Zhi Minister of Shu Han Born (Unknown) Xinye, Xiangyang Died 251 Names … Wikipedia
Cao Zhi — Infobox Writer name = Cao Zhi caption = Portrait of Cao Zhi from a Qing Dynasty edition of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms birthdate = 192 birthplace = deathdate = 232 deathplace = occupation = Poet genre = movement = Jian An period =… … Wikipedia