Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/62619
Title: A power struggle between Fan Zhongyan and Yan Wenying during the reign of Emperor Song Renzong
Authors: Ho, KW 
Keywords: Emperor Song Renzong
Empress Guo
Fan Zhongyan
Lü Yijian
Regent Empress Dowager Liu
Yan Chenghan
Yan Wenying
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Chinese University of Hong Kong, Institute of Chinese Studies
Source: Journal of Chinese studies, Jan. 2014, no. 58, p. 65-88 How to cite?
Journal: Journal of Chinese studies 
Abstract: This article examines the relationship between civilian officials and eunuchs in the Northern Song dynasty with a special case study of the power struggle between Fan Zhongyan ... (989-1052), a political reformer, and ... (?-1039), a senior eunuch. According to contemporary accounts, Empress Guo ... (1012-1035) was deposed in 1033 after a dramatic confrontation with Emperor Song Renzong ... (r. 1022-1033). It was said that Yan had convinced the Emperor to depose the Empress. Upon learning about the news, Fan went to the palace with ten other officials in protest, but failed to get the Emperor's consent to reverse the decision. In 1035, the deposed Empress died of an unnatural cause. It was rumoured that Yan had in fact murdered the Empress. For unknown reasons, the Emperor refused to investigate the case even at the request of the officials. Fan again sought audience with the Emperor, demanding that Yan be punished. Under pressure, the Emperor finally gave in to the consensus opinion. Yan was dismissed from his post as Chief Eunuch, banished from the capital and was dead a few years later. Yan's downfall was indeed an uneasy victory for the civilian officials who fought against the eunuchs. This article also looks at Yan's rise to power. Yan was the adopted son of Yan Chenghan ... (947-1014), the Chief Eunuch during the reign of Emperor Song Zhenzong ... (r. 997-1022). With blessings from his adopted father, Yan eventually won the trust of both the Regent Empress Dowager Liu ... (r. 1022-1033) and Emperor Renzong. As a result, many senior civilian officials, including the prime minister, Lü Yijian ... (979-1044), had to bribe him for support. Together with his cohorts, Fan launched a severe campaign against Yan, calling him a petty man. The challenge eventually led to another continuing power struggle, this time between the prime minister and the officials, during the reign of Renzong. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] . Copyright of Journal of Chinese Studies is the property of Institute of Chinese Studies and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.).ISSN:1016-4464.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/62619
ISSN: 1016-4464
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