Lu Xiufu (1236-1279), courtesy title Junshi (君实/君實), was a statesman and military commander during the final years of the Chinese Song Dynasty. Originally from Yancheng (modern day Jianhu County) in Jiangsu Province, along with Wen Tianxiang and Zhang Shijie, he is regarded as one of the "Three heroes of the late Song Dynasty".
The capital of the Song at Lin'an in Guangdong fell to Mongol invaders from the north in 1276 CE, and the five-year-old Emperor Gong was taken prisoner. Together with Chen Yizhong, Zhang Shijie and Yang Fei (杨妃), amongst others, Lu took care of the two sons of Emperor Duzong of Song, seven year old Zhao Shi (赵昰) and four year old Zhao Bing (赵昺). Later the same year at Fuzhou in Fujian Province, Zhao Shi was enthroned as Emperor Duanzong of Song and began his Jingyang Era (景炎 literally: bright flame). Emperor Duanzong appointed Lu as military advisor to the Privy Council with the task of continuing resistance to the Mongols.
After the emperor died at the age of ten in 1278 CE, Lu and Zhang Shijie together enthroned his younger brother as Emperor Huaizong of Song whilst Empress Dowager Yang (杨太后) effectively ran the court from behind a screen. Lu became Prime Minister of the West (左丞相) and ran the government together with Zhang Shijie.
In 1279 CE, the second year of Emperor Huizong's Xiangxing Era (祥兴 literally: auspicious start), Mongol General Zhang Hongfan launched a large scale naval offensive against the Song at Mount Ya (modern day Yamen) forcing the emperor to flee. During the ensuing Battle of Yamen on March 19, 1279 CE, the entire Song army and navy were totally wiped out. When the eight-year-old emperor heard the news he was terrified and cursed the disorder of his armed forces.
Lu, unwilling to be taken captive by the Mongols, first ordered his wife to commit suicide then advised the emperor:
|“||The affairs of our nation lie in ruins and our country is destroyed. Your majesty, please do not continue the disastrous policies of your predecessor Emperor Gong whose presence in Dadu is an unbearable shame, we cannot again bear such an insult.||”|
With that, Lu gave the young emperor his seal, picked him up in his arms and jumped from a cliff into the sea, killing them both. Many imperial concubines and ministers also died and by July there were tens of thousands of corpses floating in the sea. Thus ended the Southern Song Dynasty.
Today in Jiangmen City, Guangdong Province there stands a memorial hall to the "Three heroes of the late Song Dynasty". There is also a shrine to the Three heroes in the Shuangxi District of New Taipei City, Taiwan. Built in 1868 during the reign of Qing Dynasty Emperor Tongzhi, the Three Loyalists Temple (三宗庙/三忠廟) is the religious center of the township.
- History of the Song Dynasty
- Society of the Song Dynasty
- Culture of the Song Dynasty
- List of Song Emperors
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- Matthew Bennett (1998), The Hutchinson dictionary of ancient & medieval warfare, Taylor & Francis, 1998, ISBN 978-1-57958-116-9, p. 55
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- Giles, Herbert Allen (1939). A Chinese biographical dictionary (Gu jin xing shi zu pu). Shanghai: Kelly & Walsh. (see here for more)
- Gernet, Jacques (1982), A history of Chinese civilization, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-24130-8
- Kruger, Rayne (2003), All Under Heaven: A Complete History of China, Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 0-470-86533-4
- Lu Xiufu memorial hall
- China 7 BC To 1279
- Song Dynasty at China Heritage Quarterly
- Song Dynasty at bcps.org
This article is based on a translation of 陆秀夫 in Chinese Wikipedia.