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Emperor Huizong by Patricia Buckley Ebrey PDF

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By Patricia Buckley Ebrey

ISBN-10: 0674725255

ISBN-13: 9780674725256

China was once the main complex kingdom on the earth while Huizong ascended the throne in 1100 CE. In his eventful twenty-six-year reign, the artistically talented emperor guided the track Dynasty towards cultural greatness. but Huizong will be recognized to posterity as a political failure who misplaced the throne to Jurchen invaders and died their prisoner. the 1st finished English-language biography of this crucial monarch, Emperor Huizong is a nuanced portrait that corrects the existing view of Huizong as decadent and negligent. Patricia Ebrey recasts him as a ruler certainly ambitious--if an excessive amount of so--in pursuing glory for his flourishing realm.

After a rocky begin attempting to conquer political animosities at courtroom, Huizong grew to become his cognizance to the great he may possibly do. He enormously multiplied the court's charitable ventures, founding colleges, hospitals, orphanages, and paupers' cemeteries. An finished artist, he surrounded himself with notable poets, painters, and musicians and outfitted palaces, temples, and gardens of unsurpassed beauty. what's usually ignored, Ebrey issues out, is the significance of spiritual Daoism in Huizong's figuring out of his function. He handled Daoist religious masters with nice deference, wrote scriptural commentaries, and prompt his matters to undertake his ideals and practices. This devotion to the Daoist imaginative and prescient of sacred kingship finally alienated the Confucian mainstream and compromised his skill to govern.

Readers will welcome this energetic biography, which provides new dimensions to our knowing of a passionate and paradoxical ruler who, such a lot of centuries later, maintains to encourage either admiration and disapproval.

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Example text

Civil officials wore scarlet court robes, their ranks made visible by their hats. As a prince, Huizong would have worn the nine-ribbed hat. The very highest officials would 16 Learning to Rule, 1082–1108 wear identical hats, but lower ranking officials would wear ones with fewer ribs, down to two ribs (see Plate 2). Equally colorful were the banners, pennants, and streamers carried in the procession. There were also pennants for the wind, rain, thunder, lightning, wood, fire, earth, metal, and water star, white bird, and phoenix.

Two officials were assigned to serve as teachers and four eunuchs to manage the establishment. 43 In 1095 Zhezong asked his high officials to nominate older, virtuous men to serve as tutors for his younger brothers. Three men who served as Huizong’s tutors are known: Fu Ji, Zhu Fu, and He Zhizhong. All three had civil ser vice degrees, the first two getting them nearly thirty years earlier in 1067. All three were from the south, Fu Ji and Zhu Fu from the same prefecture in Fujian, He Zhizhong from a little further north in modern Zhejiang.

58 Assisting the State Monastery was nearly as famous for its periodic market which assembled in the huge courtyard five times a month. Dealers in different commodities each had their section of the grounds. Dealers in rare birds were at the gate; in another section were booths selling saddles and bits, bows and swords. 59 To truly enjoy the city, Huizong needed to set up his own residence outside the Palace City. In the tenth month of 1095 when Bi and Huizong were just turning thirteen, Zhezong announced that the five imperial younger brothers would soon be moving out.

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Emperor Huizong by Patricia Buckley Ebrey


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