Emperor Taizu of Jin

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Emperor Taizu of Jin
Wanggiyan Aguda.jpg
Emperor of the Jin dynasty
Reign 28 January 1115 – 19 September 1123
Born (1068-08-01)1 August 1068
Died 19 September 1123(1123-09-19) (aged 55)
Spouse Empress Shengmu
Empress Guangyi
Empress Qinxian
Empress Xuanxian
Consort Yuan
Consort Chong
Dunuke
Issue Sons:
Shengguo
Wulie
Moliye
Woben
Wolibu
Eluguan
Elu
Eliduo
Eluduo
Wuzhu
Alu
Alubu
Xinilie
Ningji
Yansun
Wohu
Daughters:
Wulu
Princess of Bi
Pucha Shijianu's wife
Full name
Wanyan Min (sinicised name)
Aguda (Jurchen name)
Era dates
Shouguo (收國; 1115–1116)
Tianfu (天輔; 1117–1123)
Posthumous name
Emperor Yingqian Yuyun Zhaode Dinggong Renming Zhuangxiao Dasheng Wuyuan (應乾興運昭德定功仁明莊孝大聖武元皇帝)
Temple name
Taizu (太祖)
Father Helibo
Mother Lady Nalan
Emperor Taizu of Jin
Chinese 金太祖
Wanyan Aguda
Traditional Chinese 阿骨打
Simplified Chinese 阿骨打
Wanyan Min
Traditional Chinese 完顏旻
Simplified Chinese 完颜旻

Emperor Taizu of Jin (August 1, 1068 – September 19, 1123), personal name Aguda, sinicised name Wanyan Min, was the founder and first emperor of the Jurchen-led Jin dynasty, which ruled northern China between the 12th and 13th centuries. He was initially the chieftain of the Wanyan tribe, the most dominant among the Jurchen tribes which were subjects of the Khitan-led Liao dynasty. Starting in 1114, Aguda united the Jurchen tribes under his rule and rebelled against the Liao dynasty. A year later, he declared himself emperor and established the Jin dynasty. By the time of his death, the Jin dynasty had conquered most of the Liao dynasty's territories and emerged as a major power in northern China. In 1145, he was posthumously honoured with the temple name Taizu by his descendant, Emperor Xizong.

The name [Wanyan] Aguda is transcribed [Wan-yen] A-ku-ta in Wade-Giles;[1] the alternative but official spelling Akutta (possibly from reconstruction of Jurchen language) appears in a very small number of books as well.[2][3]

Life[edit]

Aguda was the second son of Helibo, the chieftain of the Wanyan tribe. His mother was a daughter of the chieftain of the Nalan (拏懶) tribe. He was born in 1068 near the Ashi River in present-day Harbin, Heilongjiang Province.[4] He was well-known within his tribe for his bravery, and had participated in numerous campaigns against rival Jurchen tribes at the command of the Khitan-led Liao dynasty. In 1109, during the height of a widespread famine, Aguda assisted his father in absorbing famished warriors from other Jurchen tribes to strengthen his own tribe. Later, he fought wars against other Jurchen tribes and succeeded to unify all Jurchens under the Wanyan tribe's leadership. In 1113, Aguda succeeded his elder brother, Wuyashu, as the leader of his tribe. Like other Jurchens, Aguda loathed what he considered the exploitation of his tribesmen by corrupt Liao officials. In 1122, when the Liao ruler, Emperor Tianzuo, went on a fishing expedition in Jurchen territory, he ordered all the chieftains to dance for him. Aguda became famous among the Jurchens when he was the only person who defied the order.[5]

In early 1114, Aguda sent spies into Liao territory and prepared to revolt against the Khitan regime, which he considered decadent. His chief advisors were Wanyan Zonghan and Wanyan Xiyin.[6] In September, Aguda rallied his tribesmen (around 2,500 men) at Liushui (流水; near present-day Lalin River in Fuyu, Jilin Province) and openly rebelled against the Liao dynasty. His cavalry captured Ningjiangzhou (寧江州; present-day Fuyu, Jilin Province) and defeated a 7,000-strong Liao army at the Battle of Chuhedian in November. In January 1115, following a series of military successes, Aguda proclaimed himself emperor, established the Jin dynasty, and adopted the regnal name "Shouguo" (收國). In August, his army conquered Huanglong Prefecture (黄龍府; present-day Nong'an County, Jilin Province) and defeated 700,000 Liao troops with only 20,000 horsemen at the Battle of Hubudagang. By 1116, Aguda had completed the conquest of the entire Liaodong Peninsula. Between 1119 and 1122, his army repeatedly defeated Liao forces and captured all of the Liao dynasty's five capitals.

Since the Jin dynasty was an enemy of the Liao dynasty, the Han Chinese-led Northern Song dynasty considered the Jin dynasty to be their natural allies. In 1117, the Song dynasty sent emissaries to the Jin dynasty, ostensibly to buy horses, but in reality to negotiate an alliance against the Liao dynasty.[7] Between 1117 and 1123, seven Song delegations visited the Jurchens, and six Jin embassies went to the Song capital, Bianjing (present-day Kaifeng, Henan Province).[7] Between 1115 and 1123, the Jin and Song dynasties negotiated and formed the Alliance Conducted at Sea against the Liao dynasty. Under the conditions of the alliance, the Song dynasty would attack the Liao dynasty from the south, while in return, the Jin dynasty would hand over control of the Liao dynasty's Sixteen Prefectures to the Song dynasty.

During the war against the Liao dynasty, Aguda also took time to establish the new feudal governmental system based on Jurchen tribal customs. He also organised the national agriculture with a collectivist system known as the Meng'an-Mouke (猛安謀克). Furthermore, Aguda absorbed elements of Han Chinese culture and ordered his chancellor Wanyan Xiyin to develop a unique Jurchen writing system.

Aguda died in August 1123, at the age of 56. His death came a few months after the Jin and Song dynasties signed a treaty which recognised each other as equals and required the Song to pay the Jin an annual tribute of 200,000 taels of silver and 300,000 bolts of silk.[7] Aguda was succeeded by his younger brother, Wuqimai (Emperor Taizong). Wuqimai continued the campaign against the Liao dynasty and captured the Liao emperor, Emperor Tianzuo in 1125, thereby ending the Liao dynasty's existence. Soon after conquering the Liao dynasty, the Jin dynasty waged war against the Northern Song dynasty. Aguda was buried in the Rui Mausoleum (睿陵) at Dafangshan (大房山) outside Zhongdu (中都; present-day Beijing).

Commemoration[edit]

Mounted statues of Aguda and his chief commander, Wanyan Zonghan, have been erected on the grounds of the Jin Dynasty History Museum (金上京歷史博物馆) at the former location of the old Jin capital, Shangjing (上京),[8] which is near present-day Acheng District, Harbin, Heilongjiang Province.

Family[edit]

  • Father: Helibo, posthumously honoured as Emperor Shizu
  • Mother: Lady Nalan (拏懶氏), posthumously honoured as Empress Yijian (翼簡皇后)
  • Wives:
    • Lady Tangkuo (唐括氏), posthumously honoured as Empress Shengmu (聖穆皇后), bore Shengguo, Wulie and Moliye
    • Lady Peiman (裴滿氏), posthumously honoured as Empress Guangyi (光懿皇后), bore Woben
    • Lady Heshilie (紇石烈氏), posthumously honoured as Empress Qinxian (欽憲皇后), bore Wolibu, Eluguan and Elu
    • Lady Pusan (僕散氏), posthumously honoured as Empress Xuanxian (宣獻皇后), bore Eliduo and Eluduo
    • Lady Wugulun (烏古論氏), Consort Yuan (元妃), bore Wuzhu, Alu and Alubu
    • Lady Xiao (蕭氏), Consort Chong (崇妃), bore Xinilie, Ningji and Yansun
    • Dunuke (獨奴可), bore Wohu
  • Sons:
    • Shengguo (繩果), sinicised name Wanyan Zongjun (完顏宗峻), posthumously honoured as Emperor Huizong, father of Emperor Xizong
    • Wulie (烏烈), sinicised name Wanyan Zongchao (完顏宗朝), Prince of Feng (豐王)
    • Moliye (沒里野), sinicised name Wanyan Zongjie (完顏宗傑), Prince of Zhao (趙王)
    • Woben (斡本), sincised name Wanyan Zonggan (完顏宗幹), Prince of Liao (遼王)
    • Wolibu (斡離不), sinicised name Wanyan Zongwang (完顏宗望), posthumously honoured as Prince Huansu of Song (宋桓肅王)
    • Eluguan (訛魯觀), sinicised name Wanyan Zongjun (完顏宗雋), Prince of Chen (陳王)
    • Elu (訛魯), Prince of Shen (瀋王)
    • Eliduo (訛里朵), sinicised name Wanyan Zongyao (完顏宗堯), posthumously honoured as Emperor Ruizong
    • Eluduo (訛魯朵), Prince of Bin (豳王)
    • Wuzhu (兀朮), sinicised name Wanyan Zongbi (完顏宗弼), Prince of Liang (梁王)
    • Alu (阿魯), sinicised name Wanyan Zongqiang (完顏宗強), Prince of Wei (衛王)
    • Alubu (阿魯補), sinicised name Wanyan Zongmin (完顏宗敏), Prince of Shu (蜀王)
    • Xinilie (習泥烈), Prince of Ji (紀王)
    • Ningji (寧吉), Prince of Xi (息王)
    • Yansun (燕孫), Prince of Ju (莒王)
    • Wohu (斡忽), Prince of Ye (鄴王)
  • Daughters:
    • Wulu (兀魯), married Tushan Dingge (徒單定哥) and later Tushan Gong (徒單恭)
    • Princess of Bi (畢國公主), married Wugulun Elun (烏古論訛論)
    • Daughter, name unknown, married Pucha Shijianu (蒲察石家奴; Aguda's maternal nephew)

References[edit]

  1. ^ And, thus, appears in this form in more old-fashioned literature in English, e.g. Herbert Franke's account in The Cambridge History of China
  2. ^ Chi-ming Tung, Jiming Dong, An outline history of China, p. 144
  3. ^ Institute of Linguistics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The Contemporary Chinese Dictionary: Chinese-English Edition. ISBN 978-7-5600-3195-8. 
  4. ^ Su, Jinyuan (苏金源), 论完颜阿骨打的政治、经济改革 (Discussion on Wanyan Aguda's political and economic reforms), p. 1.
  5. ^ Franke, 1997 (I), pp. 153–154
  6. ^ Franke 1997(I), p. 154
  7. ^ a b c CHT, pp.224–226
  8. ^ 阿骨打、粘罕雕像落成 ("Aguda's and Nianhan's statues completed"), www.northeast.cn, 2005-09-19 (Including photos of the new statues)
  • Herbert Franke, 1997 (I): "Chinese Texts on the Jurchen (I): a Translation of the Jurchen in the San ch'ao pei-meng hui-pien. Originally published in Zantralasiatische Studien 9. Wiesbaden, 1975. Reprinted in: Herbert Franke and Hok-lam Chan, "Studies on the Jurchens and the Chin Dynasty", Variorum Collected Series Studies: CS591, Ashgate, 1997. ISBN 0-86078-645-5. (The work whose name is transcribed in Wade-Giles as San ch'ao pei-meng hui-pien is Xu Mengxin's (徐夢莘) "Collected Accounts of the Treaties with the North under Three Reigns" (三朝北盟会编, pinyin: San chao beimeng huibian). Franke translates and comments on Chapter 3 of this collection, which deals with the history and customs of the Jurchen people).
  • (CHT) The Cambridge History of China, vol. 6.
  • Jing-shen Tao, The Jurchen in Twelfth-Century China. University of Washington Press, 1976, ISBN 0-295-95514-7.
  • Guy Gavriel Kay, River of Stars is set in a fictionalized Liao China during the Jurchen invasion.