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Emperor Shenzong of Song (25 May 1048 – 1 April 1085), personal name Zhao Xu, was the sixth emperor of the Song dynasty in China. His original personal name was Zhao Zhongzhen but he changed it to "Zhao Xu" after his coronation. He reigned from 1067 until his death in 1085.

Emperor Shenzong of Song
Shenzong of Song.jpg
Palace portrait on a hanging scroll, kept in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
Emperor of the Song dynasty
Reign 25 January 1067 – 1 April 1085
Coronation 25 January 1067
Predecessor Emperor Yingzong
Successor Emperor Zhezong
Born Zhao Zhongzhen (1048–1067)
Zhao Xu (1067–1085)
(1048-05-25)25 May 1048
Died 1 April 1085(1085-04-01) (aged 36)
Posthumous name
Tiyuan Xiandao Fagu Lixian Dide Wanggong Yingwen Liewu Qinren Shengxiao Huangdi
(體元顯道法古立憲帝德王功英文烈武欽仁聖孝皇帝) (awarded in 1113)
Temple name
Shenzong (神宗)
House House of Zhao
Father Emperor Yingzong
Mother Empress Gao
Emperor Shenzong of Song
Chinese 宋神宗
Literal meaning "Spirit Ancestor of the Song"
Zhao Xu
Traditional Chinese 趙頊
Simplified Chinese 赵顼
Zhao Zhongzhen
Traditional Chinese 趙仲鍼
Simplified Chinese 赵仲针

Contents

Life and reignEdit

During his reign, Emperor Shenzong became interested in Wang Anshi's policies and appointed Wang as the Chancellor. Wang implemented his famous New Policies aimed at improving the situation for the peasantry and unemployed, which some have seen as a forerunner of the modern welfare state. These acts became the hallmark reform of Emperor Shenzong's reign.

Emperor Shenzong sent failed campaigns against the Vietnamese ruler Lý Nhân Tông of the Lý dynasty in 1076.[1]

Emperor Shenzong's other notable act as emperor was his attempt to weaken the Tangut-led Western Xia state by invading and expelling the Western Xia forces from Gansu Province. The Song army was initially quite successful at these campaigns, but during the battle for the city of Yongle, in 1082, Song forces were defeated. As a result, Western Xia grew more powerful and subsequently continued to be a thorn in the side of the Song Empire over the ensuing decades.

During Emperor Shenzong's reign, Sima Guang, a minister interested in the history of the previous 1000 years, wrote a very influential history book, the Zizhi Tongjian or A Comprehensive Mirror for Aid in Government. This book records historical events from the Zhou dynasty to the Song dynasty. Another notable literary achievement which occurred during his reign was the compilation of the Seven Military Classics, including the alleged forgery of the Questions and Replies between Tang Taizong and Li Weigong.[2]

Aside from the ancient Roman embassies to Han and Three-Kingdoms era China, contact with Europe remained sparse if not nonexistent before the 13th century. However, from Chinese records it is known that Michael VII Doukas (Mie li sha ling kai sa 滅力沙靈改撒) of Fo lin (i.e. the Byzantine Empire) dispatched a diplomatic mission to China's Song dynasty that arrived in 1081, during the reign of Emperor Shenzong.[3]

Emperor Shenzong died in 1085 at the age of 36 and was succeeded by his son, Emperor Zhezong.

FamilyEdit

SpousesEdit

EmpressesEdit

Title Name Born Died Father Mother Issue Notes
Empress Qinsheng
钦圣皇后
Lady Xiang
向氏
1046 1101 unknown unknown 1. Princess of Shuhuai Married Shenzong as Madame of An (安国夫人) in 1066
Became Empress in 1067
Became Empress Dowager (皇太后) in 1085
Posthumously honoured in 1101
Empress Qincheng
钦成皇后
Lady Cui, Zhu
崔氏, 朱氏
1052 1102 Cui Jie
崔杰
Lady Li
李氏
6. Zhezong
13. Prince Rongxian of Chu
10. Princess of Xianjing
Entered Shenzong's harem in 1068
Became Talented Lady (才人)
Promoted to Lady of Handsome Fairness (婕妤)
Promoted to Virtuous Consort (德妃)
Became Consort Dowager Shengrui (圣瑞皇太妃) in 1085
Posthumously honoured in 1102
Empress Qinci
钦慈皇后
Lady Chen
陈氏
1058 1089 Chen Shougui
陈守贵
unknown 11. Huizong Yushi (御侍)
Became Talented Lady (才人) then Beautiful Lady (美人) in 1082
Posthumously honoured in 1101

ConsortsEdit

Title Name Born Died Father Issue Notes
Noble Consort Yimu
懿穆贵妃
Lady Xing
邢氏
unknown 1103 unknown 2. Prince of Hui
5. Prince of Ji
7. Prince Daohui of Yu
8. Prince Chonghui of Xu
Yushi (御侍)
Became Lady of Yongjia Commandery (永嘉郡君) in 1069
Became Beautiful Lady (美人) in 1071
Promoted to Lady of Complete Countenance (充容) in 1074
Promoted to Wanyi (婉仪) in 1077
Promoted to Able Consort (贤妃) in 1078
Promoted to Pure Consort (淑妃) in 1085
Promoted to Noble Consort in 1100
Noble Consort Yijing
懿静贵妃
Lady Yang
杨氏
unknown unknown unknown none Shenzong's concubine
Noble Consort
贵妃
Lady Song
宋氏
unknown 1117 unknown 1. Prince of Cheng
3. Prince Aixian of Tang
4. Princess of Xianxiao
Became Talented Lady (才人) in 1069
Promoted to Lady of Handsome Fairness (婕妤) in 1073
Promoted to Lady of Complete Beauty (充媛)
Promoted to Wanyi (婉仪) in 1085
Promoted to Able Consort (贤妃) in 1097
Promoted to Virtuous Consort (德妃) in 1100
Promoted to Pure Consort (淑妃) in 1108
Promoted in 1113
Pure Consort Yijing
懿静淑妃
Lady Zhang
张氏
unknown 1105 unknown 2. Princess of Xianke Yushi (御侍)
Became Lady of Renshou County (仁寿县君) in 1069
Became Talented Lady (才人) in 1070
Promoted to Lady of Handsome Fairness (婕妤) in 1085
Promoted to Wanrong (婉容) in 1100
Posthumously honoured in 1105
Able Consort Huimu
惠穆贤妃
Lady Wu
武氏
unknown 1107 unknown 9. Prince Rongmu of Wu
9. Princess of Xianhe
Yushi (御侍)
Became Talented Lady (才人) in 1082
Promoted to Beautiful Lady (美人)
Promoted to Lady of Handsome Fairness (婕妤)
Promoted to Lady of Bright Deportment (昭仪) in 1100
Able Consort
贤妃
Lin Zhen
林贞
1052 1090 Lin Zhu
林洙
12. Prince of Yan
7. Princess of Xing
14. Prince of Yue
Lady of Yongjia Commandery (永嘉郡君)
Became Beautiful Lady (美人)
Promoted to Lady of Handsome Fairness (婕妤)

Imperial ConcubinesEdit

Title Name Born Died Issue Notes
Lady of Bright Deportment
昭仪
Lady Gou
勾氏
unknown unknown none Lady of Renshou Commandery (仁寿郡君)
Became Talented Lady (才人) in 1085
Promoted to Beautiful Lady (美人) in 1100
Promoted to Lady of Handsome Fairness (婕妤) in 1108
Promoted in 1116
Lady of Cultivated Countenance
修容
Lady Feng
冯氏
unknown unknown none Lady of Zhiping Commandery (治平郡君)
Became Talented Lady (才人) in 1085
Promoted to Lady of Handsome Fairness (婕妤) in 1099
Promoted in 1100

MinorEdit

Title Name Born Died Issue Notes
Talented Lady
才人
Lady Guo
郭氏
unknown unknown 10. Prince of Yi Lady of Huaiyang Commandery (淮阳郡君)
Became Talented Lady in 1100

IssueEdit

SonsEdit

# Title Name Born Died Mother Notes
1 Prince of Cheng
成王
Yi
10 Dec 1069 22 Dec 1069 Noble Consort Song Died in infancy
2 Prince of Hui
惠王
Jin
21 Jun 1071 23 Jun 1071 Noble Consort Yimu Died in infancy
3 Prince Aixian of Tang
唐哀献王
Jun
1073 1077 Noble Consort Song Died young
4 Prince of Bao
褒王
Shen
18 Jun 1074 19 Jun 1074 Lady Xiang, Madame
夫人向氏
Died in infancy
5 Prince of Ji
冀王
Xian
15 Jul 1074 26 Jan 1076 Noble Consort Yimu Died in infancy
6 Zhezong
哲宗
Yong, Xu
佣, 煦
4 Jan 1077 23 Feb 1100 Empress Qincheng
7 Prince Daohui of Yu
豫悼惠王
Jia
7 Feb 1077 1078 Noble Consort Yimu Died in infancy
8 Prince Chonghui of Xu
徐冲惠王
Ti
1078 1081 Died young
9 Prince Rongmu of Wu
吴荣穆王
Bi
1082 1106 Able Consort Huimu
10 Prince of Yi
仪王
Wei
1082 1082 Talented Lady Guo Died young
11 Huizong
徽宗
Ji
2 Nov 1082 4 Jun 1135 Empress Qinci
12 Prince of Yan
燕王
Yu
1083 1127 Able Consort Lin Died of starvation during Jingkang Incident march
13 Prince Rongxian of Chu
楚荣宪王
Shi
1083 1106 Empress Qincheng
14 Prince of Yue
越王
Cai
1085 1129 Able Consort Lin Posthumous son
Abducted during Jingkang Incident

DaughtersEdit

# Title Name Born Died Mother Spouses Issue Notes
1 Princess of Shuhuai
淑怀帝姬
unknown 1067 1078 Empress Qinsheng none none Died young
2 Princess of Xianke
贤恪帝姬
unknown c.1067 1072 Pure Consort Yijing none none Died young
3 Princess of Shushou
淑寿公主
unknown c.1070 1111 unknown
4 Princess of Xianxiao
贤孝帝姬
unknown unknown 1108 Noble Consort Song
5 Princess of Yun
郓国公主
unknown unknown 1085 unknown none none Died young
6 Princess of Lu
潞国公主
unknown unknown 1084 Lady Zhu, Virtuous Consort
德妃朱氏
none none Died young
7 Princess of Xing
邢国公主
unknown unknown 1084 Able Consort Lin none none Died young
8 Princess of Bin
邠国公主
unknown unknown 1085 unknown none none Died young
9 Princess of Xianhe
贤和帝姬
unknown unknown 1090 Able Consort Huimu none none Died young
10 Princess of Xianjing
贤静帝姬
unknown 1085 1115 Empress Qincheng

AncestryEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Maspéro, Georges (2002). The Champa Kingdom: The History of an Extinct Vietnamese Culture. White Lotus Press. p. 71. ISBN 978-974-7534-99-3. 
  2. ^ Sawyer, Ralph D. (1993). The Seven Military Classics of Ancient China. Westview Press. p. 489. ISBN 978-0-8133-1228-6. 
  3. ^ Sezgin, Fuat; Ehrig-Eggert, Carl; Mazen, Amawi; Neubauer, E. (1996). نصوص ودراسات من مصادر صينية حول البلدان الاسلامية. Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Institute for the History of Arabic-Islamic Science at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University. p. 25. 
Emperor Shenzong of Song
Born: 25 May 1048 Died: 1 April 1085
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Emperor Yingzong
Emperor of the Song Dynasty
1067–1085
Succeeded by
Emperor Zhezong