Emperor Zhangzong of Jin

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Emperor Zhangzong
Thirteen Stele Pavilions - south row, 3rd from the east - seen from E - turtle head - P1050627.JPG
Monument in memory of the rebuilding the Temple of Confucius in Year 2 of the Cheng'an era (1197)
Emperor of the Jin Dynasty
Reign January 20, 1189 – December 29, 1208
Full name
at birth

Wanyan Madage 完顏麻达葛 (Jurchen)[1]
Wányán Jǐng 完顏璟 (Chinese)[1]

Era dates
Mingchang 明昌 1190—1196
Cheng'an 承安 1196—1200
Taihe 泰和 1201—1208
Father Wanyan Yungong 完顏允恭 (posthumously honored as Emperor Xianzong)
Mother Lady Tudan 徒單氏 (posthumously honored as Empress Xiaoyi)
Born 31 August 1168
Died 29 December 1208 (aged 40–41)

Zhangzong (August 31, 1168 – December 29, 1208) was emperor of the Jin, the Jurchen dynasty which ruled northern China. He reigned from January 20, 1189 to December 29, 1208. His personal name was Wanyan Madage.[1]

Life[edit]

Zhangzong was the sixth in the line of Jin rulers. He inherited the throne from his grandfather Emperor Shizong of Jin[1] and was succeeded by Emperor Weishaowang of Jin.

To some extent, Zhangzong continued Shizong's policy of encouraging intensive use of Jurchen language and maintaining Jurchen customs. He forbade wearing of Chinese clothes and required his subjects to perform the Jurchen kowtow ceremony. He required his meng'an and mouke (Jurchen hereditary feudal nobility) to take an archery test if they wanted to sit for a jinshi examination. On the other hand, he permitted Jurchen to follow Chinese funeral practices, and Tang and Song rituals are known to have been performed at his court in 1194.

Resuming one of the projects of Hailing, he established Confucian temples in all prefectures and counties of his empire.[1]

He ordered Taiye Lake built in Beijing for him to go fishing. Unlike Shizong, Zhangzong did not consider hunting as a natural and necessary way of military training but viewed it as recreation.[1]

Song invasion of the Jin[edit]

When, in 1206, the troops of the Southern Song prime minister Han Tuozhou invaded the Jin Empire, trying to reunify China from the south, Zhangzong's armies defeated the invaders.[1]

The conflict began when the Song were informed of Jurchen troubles with the rising Mongols and natural disasters. The Song began provoking Zhangzong in 1204 and onward by orchestrating raids on Jin settlements. The fighting continued to escalate, partly aggravated by Song officials in support of revanchism, and war against the Jin was officially declared on June 14, 1206.[2]

The Song advance was impeded by Jin military successes and declining soldier morale that forced many to desert. By the fall of 1206, multiple towns and military bases had been captured by the Jurchens. Neither side was willing to continue fighting, and a peace treaty was signed on November 2, 1208.[2] To obtain peace, the Song had to yield territory, pay an indemnity, and execute their militant prime minister.[1] The Song were obligated to pay an annual tribute of 50,000 taels of silver and 50,000 packs of fabric. They also delivered the severed head of the Chinese minister who had instigated the war to the Jurchens.[2]

Literature[edit]

  • Tao Jingshen. The Jurchen in Twelfth-Century China. Univ. of Washington Press, 1976. ISBN 0-295-95514-7.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Tao, p. 85-86
  2. ^ a b c Franke, Herbert (1994). Denis C. Twitchett; Herbert Franke; John King Fairbank, eds. The Cambridge History of China: Volume 6, Alien Regimes and Border States, 710–1368. Cambridge University Press. pp. 246–249.