Emperor Huizong of Song
|Emperor Huizong of Song |
|Emperor of the Song dynasty|
|Reign||23 February 1100 – 18 January 1126|
|Coronation||23 February 1100|
7 June 1082
|Died||4 June 1135(aged 52)|
|Burial||1137 (Qin Records)|
|House||House of Zhao|
|Emperor Huizong of Song|
|Literal meaning||"Fine/beautiful Ancestor of the Song"|
|Literal meaning||Besotted Duke|
Emperor Huizong of Song (7 June 1082 – 4 June 1135), personal name Zhao Ji, was the eighth emperor of the Song dynasty in China. He was also a very well-known calligrapher. Born as the 11th son of Emperor Shenzong, he ascended the throne in 1100 upon the death of his elder brother and predecessor, Emperor Zhezong, because Emperor Zhezong's only son died prematurely. He lived in luxury, sophistication and art in the first half of his life. In 1126, when the Jurchen-led Jin dynasty invaded the Song dynasty during the Jin–Song Wars, Emperor Huizong abdicated and passed on his throne to his eldest son, Emperor Qinzong, while he assumed the honorary title of Taishang Huang (or "Retired Emperor"). The following year, the Song capital, Bianjing, was conquered by Jin forces in an event historically known as the Jingkang Incident. Emperor Huizong, along with Emperor Qinzong and the rest of their family, were taken captive by the Jurchens and brought back to the Jin capital, Huining Prefecture in 1128. The Jurchen ruler, Emperor Taizong of Jin, gave the former Emperor Huizong a title, Duke Hunde (literally "Besotted Duke"), to humiliate him. Emperor Huizong died in Wuguo after spending about nine years in captivity.
Despite his incompetence in rulership, Emperor Huizong was known for his promotion of Taoism and talents in poetry, painting, calligraphy and music. He sponsored numerous artists at his imperial court, and the catalogue of his collection listed over 6,000 known paintings.
Emperor Huizong, besides his partaking in state affairs that favoured the reformist party that supported Wang Anshi's New Policies, was a cultured leader who spent much of his time admiring the arts. He was a collector of paintings, calligraphy, and antiques of previous dynasties, building huge collections of each for his amusement. He wrote poems of his own, was known as an avid painter, created his own calligraphy style, had interests in architecture and garden design, and even wrote treatises on medicine and Taoism. He assembled an entourage of painters that were first pre-screened in an examination to enter as official artists of the imperial court, and made reforms to court music. Like many learned men of his age, he was quite a polymath personality, and is even considered to be one of the greatest Chinese artists of all time. However, his reign would be forever scarred by the decisions made (by counsel he received) on handling foreign policy, as the end of his reign marked a period of disaster for the Song Empire.
Emperor Huizong neglected the military, and the Song dynasty became increasingly weak and at the mercy of foreign invaders, despite his recasting of the symbolic Nine Tripod Cauldrons in 1106 in an attempt to assert his authority. When the Jurchens founded the Jin dynasty and attacked the Khitan-led Liao dynasty to the north of the Song, the Song dynasty allied with the Jin dynasty and attacked the Liao from the south. This succeeded in destroying the Liao, a longtime enemy of the Song. However, an enemy of the even more formidable Jin dynasty was now on the northern border. Not content with the annexation of the Liao domain, and perceiving the weakness of the Song army, the Jurchens soon declared war on their former ally, and by the beginning of 1126 the troops of the Jin "Western Vice-Marshal" Wolibu crossed the Yellow River and came in sight of Bianjing, the capital of the Song Empire. Stricken with panic, Emperor Huizong abdicated on 18 January 1126 in favour of his son, now known as Emperor Qinzong (欽宗), and departed the capital.
Overcoming the walls of Bianjing was a difficult undertaking for the Jurchen cavalry, and this, together with fierce resistance from some Song officials who had not totally lost their nerve, as Emperor Huizong had, resulted in the Jurchens lifting the siege of Bianjing and returning north. The Song Empire, however, had to sign a humiliating treaty with the Jin Empire, agreeing to pay a colossal war indemnity and to give a tribute to the Jurchens every year. From 1126 until 1138, refugees from the Song Empire migrated south towards the Yangtze River valley.
But even such humiliating terms could not save the Song dynasty. Within a matter of months, the troops of both Jurchen vice-marshals, Wolibu and Nianhan, were back south again, and this time they were determined to overcome the walls of Bianjing. After a bitter siege, the Jurchens eventually entered Bianjing on 9 January 1127, and many days of looting, rapes, and massacre followed. Emperor Huizong, his son Emperor Qinzong, as well as the entire imperial court and harem were captured by the Jurchens in an event known historically as the Jingkang Incident, and transported north, mostly to the Jin capital of Shangjing (in present-day Harbin). One of the sons of Emperor Huizong managed to escape to southern China where, after many years of struggle, he would establish the Southern Song dynasty, of which he was the first ruler, Emperor Gaozong.
Emperors Huizong and Qinzong were demoted to the rank of commoners by the Jurchens on 20 March 1127. Then on 10 May 1127, Emperor Huizong was deported to Heilongjiang, where he spent the last eight years of his life as a captive. In a humiliating episode, in 1128 the two former Song emperors had to venerate the Jin ancestors at their shrine in Shangjing, wearing mourning dress. The Jurchen ruler, Emperor Taizong, granted the two former Song emperors degrading titles to humiliate them: Emperor Huizong was called "Duke Hunde" (昏德公; literally "Besotted Duke") while Emperor Qinzong was called "Marquis Chonghun" (重昏侯; literally "Doubly Besotted Marquis").
In 1137, the Jin Empire formally notified the Southern Song Empire about the death of their former Emperor Huizong. Emperor Huizong, who had lived in opulence and art for the first half of his life, died a broken man in faraway northern Heilongjiang in June 1135, at the age of 52.
A few years later (1141), as the peace negotiations leading up to the Treaty of Shaoxing between the Jin and the Song empires were proceeding, the Jin Empire posthumously honored the former Emperor Huizong with the neutral-sounding title of "Prince of Tianshui Commandery" (天水郡王), after a commandery in the upper reaches of the Wei River.
Art, calligraphy, music, and culture
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Emperor Huizong was a great painter, poet, and calligrapher. He was also a player of the guqin (as exemplified by his famous painting 聽琴圖 Listening to the Qin); he also had a Wanqin Tang (萬琴堂; "10,000 Qin Hall") in his palace.
The emperor took huge efforts to search for art masters. He established the "Hanlin Huayuan" (翰林畫院; "Hanlin imperial painting house") where top painters around China shared their best works.
The primary subjects of his paintings are birds and flowers. Among his works is Five-Colored Parakeet on Blossoming Apricot Tree. He also recopied Zhang Xuan's painting Court Ladies Preparing Newly Woven Silk, and Emperor Huizong's reproduction is the only copy of that painting that survives today.
Emperor Huizong invented the "Slender Gold" (瘦金體) style of calligraphy. The name "Slender Gold" came from the fact that the emperor's writing resembled gold filament, twisted and turned.
In 1114, following a request from the Goryeo ruler Yejong, Emperor Huizong sent to the palace in the Goryeo capital at Gaeseong a set of musical instruments to be used for royal banquet music. Two years later, in 1116, he sent another, even larger gift of musical instruments (numbering 428 in total) to the Goryeo court, this time yayue instruments, beginning that nation's tradition of aak.
Emperor Huizong of Song, Ladies making silk, (a remake of an 8th-century original by artist Zhang Xuan)
Titles from birth
- Prince of Suining Commandery (遂寧郡王)
- Prince of Duan (端王)
- Emperor Jiaozhu Daojun (教主道君皇帝)
- Duke Hunde (昏德公)
- Prince of Tianshui Commandery (天水郡王)
- Zhao Xu (神宗 趙頊; 1048 – 1085)
- Lady Chen (欽慈皇后 陳氏; 1058 – 1089)
- Consorts and Issue:
- Lady Wang (顯恭皇后 王氏; 1084 – 1108)
- Lady Zheng (顯肅皇后 鄭氏; 1079 – 1131)
- Lady Zhao Yupan (嘉德帝姬 趙玉盤; 1100 – 1141), m. Wanyan Dan
- Zhao Cheng (兗王 趙檉; 1101)
- Princess Shoushu (壽淑帝姬; c. 1104 – c. 1106)
- Lady Zhao Jinluo (安德帝姬 趙金羅; 1106 – 1127)
- Princess Rongshu (榮淑帝姬; c. 1107 – c. 1110)
- Lady Zhao Hu'er (成德帝姬 趙瑚兒; b. 1110)
- Lady Liu (明達皇后 劉氏; c. 1087 – 1113)
- Princess Anshu (安淑帝姬; c. 1105 – c. 1109)
- Lady Zhao Fujin (茂德帝姬 趙福金; 1106 – 1128), m. Wanyan Xiyin
- Zhao Yu (益王 趙棫; 1107 – 1137)
- Zhao Mo (祁王 趙模; 1107 – 1138)
- Lady Zhao Fujin (洵德帝姬 趙富金; b. 1110)
- Zhao Zhen (信王 趙榛; 1111 – 1139)
- Lady Liu (明節皇后 劉氏; 1088 – 1121)
- Zhao Yang (建安王 趙柍; 1115 – 1127)
- Lady Zhao Jinzhu (和福帝姬 趙金珠; b. 1116)
- Zhao Yi (嘉公 趙椅; 1118 – 1130)
- Zhao Si (英公 趙楒; b. 1120)
- Lady Wei (顯仁皇后 韋氏; 1080 – 1159)
- Zhao Gou (高宗 趙構; 1107 – 1187)
- Lady Wang (懿肅貴妃 王氏; c. 1087 – 1117)
- Princess Huishu (惠淑帝姬; c. 1105)
- Princess Kangshu (康淑帝姬; c. 1106 – c. 1108)
- Zhao Zhi (莘王 趙植; 1108 – 1148)
- Lady Zhao Huanhuan (柔福帝姬 趙嬛嬛; 1111 – 1142), m. Wanyan Sheng
- Lady Zhao Jin'er (賢福帝姬 趙金兒; 1112 – 1127)
- Zhao Ji (陳公 趙機; 1114)
- Lady Wang (貴妃 王氏)
- Zhao Kai (鄆王 趙楷; 1101 – 1130)
- Princess Chongde (崇德帝姬; c. 1105 – 1121)
- Princess Baoshu (保淑帝姬; c. 1107)
- Princess Xishu (熙福帝姬; c. 1110 – c. 1112)
- Zhao Chan (相公 趙梴; 1112 – 1137)
- Lady Qiao (貴妃 喬氏; b. 1081)
- Zhao Qi (景王 趙杞; 1104 – 1138)
- Zhao Xu (濟王 趙栩; b. 1106)
- Lady Cui (貴妃 崔氏; 1091 – 1130)
- Lady Zhao Jinxian (悼穆帝姬 趙金仙; c. 1110 – c. 1117)
- Lady Zhao Sanjin (敦福帝姬 趙三金; c. 1111 – c. 1112)
- Zhao Chun (漢王 趙椿; 1112 – 1113)
- Lady Zhao Xiangyun (仁福帝姬 趙香雲; 1112 – 1127)
- Lady Zhao Fubao (永福帝姬 趙佛保; b. 1112)
- Lady Zhao Chuanzhu (寧福帝姬 趙串珠; b. 1114), m. Wanyan Dan
- Lady Wang (貴妃 王氏; 1092 – 1127)
- Zhao E (沂王 趙㮙; 1110 – 1132)
- Princess Shenfu (申福帝姬; c. 1113 – c. 1114)
- Lady Yang (賢妃 楊氏; c. 1085 – 1115)
- Princess Shunshu (順淑帝姬; c. 1103 – c. 1105)
- Zhao Shi (和王 趙栻; 1111 – 1128)
- Lady Wang (婉容 王氏)
- Zhao Zhuzhu (惠福帝姬 趙珠珠; b. 1112)
- Lady Yan Baose (婉容 閻寶瑟; 1109 – 1133)
- Zhao Zhu (趙柱; b. 1130)
- Lady Zheng Meiniang (昭媛 鄭媚娘)
- Zhao Tan (趙檀; b. 1131)
- Lady Han (修容 韓氏)
- Lady Zhao Xianlang (保福帝姬 趙仙郎; 1112 – 1127)
- Lady Wang (婕妤 王氏)
- Zhao Ji (趙極; b. 1127)
- Lady Qiao (才人 喬氏)
- Lady Zhao Qiaoyun (顯德帝姬 趙巧雲; b. 1111)
- Zhao Ji (荊王 趙楫; 1102 – 1103)
- Zhao Shu (肅王 趙樞; 1103 – 1130)
- Zhao Cai (邠王 趙材; 1107 – 1116)
- Zhao Pu (儀王 趙樸; 1109 – 1123)
- Zhao Di (徐王 趙棣; b. 1109)
- Zhao Gong (鄆王 趙栱; 1110 – 1112)
- Zhao Wo (安康王 趙楃; b. 1112)
- Zhao Jian (廣平王 趙楗; b. 1112)
- Zhao Yue (瀛公 趙樾; 1115 – 1131)
- Zhao Dong (溫公 趙棟; b. 1119)
- Zhao Tong (儀公 趙桐; 1121 – 1148)
- Zhao Bing (昌公 趙柄; 1122 – 1132)
- Zhao Cong (潤公 趙樅; b. 1123)
- Zhao Xiang (韓公 趙相; b. 1125)
- Untitled son
- Untitled son
- Untitled son
- Lady Zhao Yingluo (順德帝姬 趙纓絡; 1111 – 1137), m. Wanyan Zonghan
- Lady Zhao Yuanzhu (儀福帝姬 趙圓珠; b. 1111), m. Wanyan Zongbi
- Lady Zhao Jinyin (令福帝姬 趙金印; b. 1118), m. Wanyan Dan
- Lady Zhao Saiyue (華福帝姬 趙賽月; b. 1119), m. Wanyan Dan
- Lady Zhao Jingu (慶福帝姬 趙金姑; b. 1121), m. Wanyan Dan
- Lady Zhao Jinling (純福帝姬 趙金鈴; b. 1124)
- Lady Zhao Xiaojin (恭福帝姬 趙小金; c. 1126 – c. 1129)
- Princess Quanfu (全福帝姬)
- Lady Zhao
- Lady Zhao
- Lady Zhao
- Lady Zhao
- Lady Zhao
- Lady Zhao
- Lady Zhao
- Chinese emperors family tree (middle)
- List of emperors of the Song dynasty
- Architecture of the Song dynasty
- Culture of the Song dynasty
- Economy of the Song dynasty
- History of the Song dynasty
- Society of the Song dynasty
- Technology of the Song dynasty
- Ebrey, Cambridge, 149.
- Ebrey, 165.
- Book of Song – Scroll 66
- Frederick W. Mote (2003). Imperial China: 900-1800. Harvard University Press. p. 53. ISBN 978-0-674-01212-7.
- Robert Hymes (2000). John Stewart Bowman, ed. Columbia Chronologies of Asian History and Culture. Columbia University Press. p. 33. ISBN 978-0-231-11004-4.
- Tao (1976). Pages 20–21.
- Franke (1994), p. 233-234.
- Ebrey, Patricia Buckley. (2013). Emperor Huizong (Harvard University Press; 2013) 661 pages; scholarly biography online review
- Ebrey, Patricia Buckley. (1999). The Cambridge Illustrated History of China. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-66991-X (paperback).
- Ebrey, Walthall, and Palais (2006). East Asia: A Cultural, Social, and Political History. Boston: Houghton and Mifflin.
- Jing-shen Tao (1976) The Jurchen in Twelfth-Century China. University of Washington Press. ISBN 0-295-95514-7.
- Herbert Franke, Denis Twitchett. Alien Regimes and Border States, 907–1368 (Cambridge History of China, vol. 6). Cambridge University Press, 1994. ISBN 0-521-24331-9. Partial text on Google Books.
- Huiping Pang (2009), "Strange Weather: Art, Politics, and Climate Change at the Court of Northern Song Emperor Huizong," Journal of Song-Yuan Studies, Volume 39, 2009, pp. 1–41. ISSN 1059-3152.
- Please see: References section in the guqin article for a full list of references used in all qin related articles.
Emperor Huizong of SongBorn: November 2 1082 Died: June 4 1135
| Emperor of the Song Dynasty
Title last held byEmperor Zhaozong of Tang
| Retired Emperor of China
Title next held byEmperor Gaozong of Song