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Title: 宋初內臣名將秦翰事蹟考
Other Title: On the military career of QinHan, a senior eunuch in the early Northern Song Dynasty
Authors: Ho, KW
Issue Date: Jul-2012
Source: 中國文化硏究所學報 (Journal of Chinese studies), July 2012, no. 55, p. 23-57
Abstract: This article examines the military career of Qin Han 秦翰 (952–1015), a senior eunuch in the early Northern Song dynasty. He served as the field commander in the northern and western borders against the Liao 遼 and Xia 夏 for more than thirty years during the reigns of Emperor Song Taizong 宋太宗 (r. 978–997) and Emperor Song Zhenzong 宋真宗 (r. 997–1022), where he made significant merits in various great battles, includ-ing the Battle of Chanzhou 澶州之役 in 1004 which resulted in the signing of the Peace Treaty of Chanyuan 澶淵之盟 between Song and Liao.
He was greatly trusted by his masters. Because of his loyalty and bravery in the battlefields plus his highly satisfactory service in the palace, he was subsequently promoted to the newly created post of Principal Director of Inner Bureau of Eunuchs 入內內侍省都都知, the chief eunuch in the Song palace in 1007.
In the eyes of his contemporaries, Qin Han was a model eunuch. On the one hand, he was humble and obedient to his masters, and on the other hand, he was generous and lenient to his subordinates and soldiers. And, most important of all, he was not involved in any kind of factional strife among the civilian officials of the Song court.
The case study of Qin Han confirms the fact that the Song rulers, particularly Emperor Zhenzong, who learned the lesson from the negative experiences of the Tang court, were both cautious and skilful in managing the eunuchs, making sure that they only served as their tools to control the army and that they would not pose any threat to the imperial rule.
Keywords: Qin Han
Emperor Song Taizong
Emperor Song Zhenzong
Battle of Chan-zhou
Peace Treaty of Chanyuan
Principal Director of Inner Bureau of Eunuchs
Publisher: 香港中文大學中國文化硏究所
Journal: 中國文化硏究所學報 (Journal of Chinese studies) 
ISSN: 1016-4464
Rights: © 香港中文大學 The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Posted with permission of the publisher.
Appears in Collections:Journal/Magazine Article

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