Emperor Renzong of Song

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Emperor Renzong of Song
Renzong.jpg
Emperor of the Northern Song Dynasty
Reign 24 March 1022 – 30 April 1063
Predecessor Emperor Zhenzong
Successor Emperor Yingzong
Empress Empress Guo
Empress Cao
Imperial Concubine Consort Zhang (張貴妃)
Consort Miao (苗德妃)
Consort Zhou (周婉容)
Consort Yang (楊修儀)
Consort Yu (俞昭儀)
Consort Dong (董充媛)
Consort Zhang (張美人)
Consort Zhang (張美人)[1]
Consort Zhu (朱美人)
Consort Zhang (張郡君)
Consort Lian (連郡君)
Consort Yang (楊郡君)
Issue
Zhao Fang, Prince of Yang
Zhao Xin, Prince of Yong
Zhao Xi, Prince of Qiao
Princess Zhouchen
Princess Xu
Princess Deng
Princess Zhen
Princess Chu
Princess Shang
Princess Lu
Princess Tang
Princess Chen
Princess Qinluxianmumingyi
Princess Gun
Princess Yanshu
Princess Yu
Full name
Family name: Zhào ()
Given name:
Shòuyì () (1010-1018)
Zhēn () (1018-1063)
Era dates
Tiānshèng () 1023-1032
Míngdào () 1032-1033
Jǐngyòu () 1034-1038
Bǎoyuán () 1038-1040
Kāngdìng () 1040-1041
Qìnglì () 1041-1048
Huángyòu () 1049-1053
Zhìhé () 1054-1056
Jiāyòu () 1056-1063
Posthumous name
Short: Never used short
Full: Emperor Tǐtiān Fǎdào Jígōng Quándé Shénwén Shèngwǔ Ruìzhé Míngxiào (皇帝)[2]
Temple name
Rénzōng (; "Benevolent Ancestor")
House House of Zhao
Father Emperor Zhenzong of Song
Mother Consort Li
Born (1010-05-30)30 May 1010
Died 30 April 1063(1063-04-30) (aged 52)

Emperor Renzong of Song (Emperor Jen-tsung of Sung; 30 May 1010 – 30 April 1063), personal name Zhao Zhen (趙禎), was the fourth emperor of the Song Dynasty of China, ruling from 1022 to 1063. Renzong was the son of Emperor Zhenzong of Song. Despite his long reign of over 40 years, Renzong is not widely known. His reign marked the high point of Song influences and powers but was also the beginning of its slow disintegration that would persist over the next century and a half.[3]

One possible reason behind its weakness is its interpretation of its own foreign policy. The official policy of the Song Dynasty at the time was one of pacifism and this caused the weakening of the military. Western Xia took advantage of this deterioration and waged small scale wars against Song China near the borders.

When Renzong came into power, he issued decrees to strengthen the military and paid massive bribes to the Liao government, an adversary of Western Xia, in the hope that this would ensure the safety of Song China.

However these policies involved a heavy price. Taxes were increased severely and the peasants lived in a state of perpetual poverty. This eventually caused organized rebellions to take place throughout the country and the breakdown of the government.

Emperor Renzong elevated the 46th generation descendants of Confucius to the current title of Duke Yansheng. They were previously of lower noble ranks.[4]

Renzong died in 1063 without an heir.

Legend[edit]

According to the fourteenth century literary work Outlaws of the Marsh, the first twenty-seven years of Renzong's rule were known as the "Era of Three Abundances." But this was followed by a great plague around the year 1048 that decimated the population. It was only the prayers of the Divine Teacher of the Taoists that eventually lifted this pestilence. Unfortunately, the imperial emissary who had been sent to the Divine Teacher's monastery recklessly entered the Suppression of Demons Hall, thinking the stories of demons a hoax to delude gullible people, and inadvertently released all 108 demons back into the world. This was the cause of the troubles that followed.[5]

Ancestry[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Two different people
  2. ^ This is the final version of the posthumous name given in 1083.
  3. ^ Zhenoao Xu, W. Pankenier, Yaotiao Jiang, David W. Pankenier (2000). East-Asian Archaeoastronomy: Historical Records of Astronomical Observations of China, Japan and Korea. CRC Press. ISBN 90-5699-302-X. 
  4. ^ "Updated Confucius family tree has two million members". News.xinhuanet.com. 2008-02-16. Retrieved 2010-11-07. 
  5. ^ Shi Nai'an and Luo Guanzhong, translated by Sidney Shapiro (1993). Outlaws of the Marsh (Volume I, Chapter 1). Foreign Languages Press, Beijing. ISBN 7-119-01662-8. 
Emperor Renzong of Song
Born: 30 May 1010 Died: 30 April 1063[aged 52]
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Emperor Zhenzong
Emperor of the Song Dynasty
1022–1063
Succeeded by
Emperor Yingzong