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Emperor Yang of the Sui Dynasty: His Life, Times, and Legacy - Victor Cunrui Xiong - Google книги

University of Michigan Press. At the height of its glory in the mid-eighth century, Chang'an was the most populous, cosmopolitan and civilized city in the world. This volume presents a comprehensive This work is a profound and relateable historic study of the massive Qing Dynasty mausoleums that became home to the imperial elite after death. Through tedious research, author Xu Guangyuan gives the This volume is a comprehensive study of the culture of the Six Dynasties.


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Art, architecture, religion, society, government, among others, are all covered. Includes chronology of major events and an extensive bibliography. From the ninth century on, there was an indigenous Jewish community in the city of Kaifeng in northeastern More about The Chinese Soviets. White Star Publishers. Memorable feats are like milestones in history, but certain of them are intentionally forgotten. Such was the achievement of Admiral Zheng He, who was on the brink of conquering the world with But Yangdi decided to reduce him to commoner status instead, saying, "This emperor believes that 'brothers are rare.

I would bend the law to spare his life. Yuwen Shu submitted a memorial that virtually requested their elimination. Subsequently, on Yangdi's orders, Yang Yan f1hfit the oldest son of Yang Yong's, was killed by poisoned wine, and his seven brothers were dispatched while on their way to banishment.


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Reportedly, they were all buried face down, out of fear their ghosts might haunt the living. He regarded Yang Liang as a little brother who had gone astray but did not deserve to die for his crime. It is true that Yang Liang had taken treasonous action against the court, but deprived of his military power, he was no longer a threat.

The case of Yang Yong was entirely different. As the erstwhile crown prince and the most viable alternative to Yangdi, Yang Yong had posed a serious challenge, real or imagined, to his accession. Even after his death, that challenge remained so long as his direct male descendants were alive. The Kai hejiOOriiJtiG Record of canal digging records some three million six hundred thousand men between the ages of fifteen and fifty or fourteen and forty-nine working on the canal project.

Emperor Yang's Tomb Verified

They were under the supervision of fifty thousand young warriors. For every five households, an additional underage, elderly, or female laborer was recruited to provide food services. The total number of people involved was estimated to be 5,, Multiplying it by 5. Different from this account, the Sui shu and the Tong dian record that more than one million adult males and females were mobilized in the construction of the Tongji Canal.

Theoretically, the local population could support a labor force of this size without risking immediate economic collapse. Officially, the canal was completed in one hundred and seventy-one days. In reality, the project probably dragged on for years. With its potential benefit to the economy still years away, the impact of this project on the labor force was devastating.

One source records that as the Sui government under Yangdi forcibly recruited male laborers to work on the building of the Tongji Canal, corpses of those starved to death appeared in large numbers. It started in the third month of , but its completion date is not documented.

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Of relatively short duration, the project mainly involved dredging, deepening, and widening existing waterways. It employed a relatively small labor force of more than one hundred thousand. Luoyang allowed Yangdi to establish an operational base in the East and constituted an integral part of the imperial residential system composed of Luoyang, Daxingcheng, and Jiangdu. Yangdi would divide his time among these three metropolises, using them as terminuses for his numerous tours, which brought him as far north as the Ordos and southern Manchuria, and as far west as the Gansu corridor.

As soon as Yangdi emerged from the Yang Liang crisis as the victor, he shifted his attention to the East.

He officially unveiled his ambitious plan to build a new capital at Luoyang on the twenty-first of the eleventh month in Renshou four December 17, Even if we interpret this figure in a most conservative manner, that is, taking two million to refer to man-days oflabor, we still end up with close to seventy thousand laborers working on the project on any given day.

About two thousand laborers were needed to haul structural timber on wooden wheels and iron axles from the distant South at the slow pace of 20 to 30 Ii a day before it could be shipped north by water. It often cost hundreds of thousands of man-days to transport a single timber from provenance to destination. Forty to fifty percent of the laborers were said to have succumbed to the crushing weight of the project.

It immediately became the favorite city ofYangdi, the base of his operations in the North and the premium political center of the nation. As the first section of the Grand Canal, the Tongji Canal ran from Luoyang southeast to link up with the Huai valley to the south. This suggests that by that date, Yangdi had arrived in the South.

The precise route of the journey is not documented but it is clear Yangdi did not take the Grand Canal because its Tongji section had yet to be completed. For the occasion, an imperial dragon ship was commissioned.

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Reportedly 45 chi R in height and zhang from bow to stern, it was a colossal vessel offour decks. The top level housed a miniature palace system, complete with the main basilica, the inner basilica, and the east and west audience halls. The next two levels below were divided into one hundred and twenty chambers known as houses, ornamented in gold and jade. The bottom level was occupied by attending eunuchs. The vessel for the empress was constructed and decorated in a similar manner, but on a smaller scale.

Nine accompanying vessels of three decks known as FujingfJ. More than eighty thousand laborers were hired to haul the ships. Among those, nine thousand dressed in silk towed the key ships that set sail before the Yangcai. The imperial, harem, princes, princesses, court officials, Buddhist monks, Daoist adepts, and foreign visitors were in the entourage. Imperial guardsmen of the Twelve Guards were aboard their own ships with their weaponry and tenting equipment.

The whole procession, guarded by cavalrymen moving along the two banks, allegedly extended over a distance of more than Ii 1I!. Wherever the procession passed, prefectures and counties within a radius of Ii were requested to contribute delicacies. The numbers, however, call for caution.


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According to pre Sui standards, the height ofYangdi's dragon ship of four decks 45 chi is equal to a realistic Ifwe use this latter figure, the length would be 59m 47m , which was sustainable by the level of engineering current during Sui times. However, the much smaller size would not allow it to hold one hundred and twenty houses chambers. Thus it is almost certain that these houses were symbolic rather than real.

These inconsistencies in the Zizhi tongjian notwithstanding, there is little doubt that this tour was Yangdi's most ostentatious display of luxury ever recorded.

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Emperor Yang of Sui

From departure to return, it took place between the eighth month of and the fourth month of Judging from records in his basic annals, on his return trip alone Yangdi spent a total of forty days, from the sixteenth of the third month to the twenty-sixth of the fourth month, to travel from , Jiangdu to Luoyang. This indicates the return journey was undertaken at a leisurely pace; Yangdi must have broken his journey on numerous occasions. It is also conceivable that the journey was prolonged by the enormous size of his entourage.

The travel to the South did not interrupt state business. On arrival in the South, Yangdi announced an amnesty for the Yangzi-Huai region and the area to its south. He granted a five-year tax exemption for the territory of Yangzhou, and a three-year tax exemption for the area under the former Yangzhou [Superior] Area Command. These area-specific relief measures provided much economic benefit to the South at a time when the North was under increasingly suffocating financial burdens. So Yangdi's Southern trip, for all its extravagances, had its positive side. As one ofYangdi's two sons by Empress Xiao, Yang Zhao was appointed crown prince in the first month of In spite of his young age, Zhao already possessed a number of desirable virtues such as frugality and benevolence.