The second emperor of the Sui Dynasty gets bad rap – his postmortem regnal name means “the Slothful” and he’s commonly lumped together with the rest of the “bad-last emperors” as being hedonistic, wasteful, and just generally monstrous. But is this really the case, or was Emperor Yang the victim of a historical hatchet job?
Today we look at the upbringing and early life of Prince Yang Guang, his unlikely rise to power, and then the early period of his reign over China as Emperor Yang, and how he picked up where his father had left off in trying to reignite the glory of the ancient Han.
Time Period Covered:
Yang Jian (Emperor Wen of Sui) [d. 605]
Empress Dugu [d. 602]
Yang Guang (Emperor Yang of Sui) [r. 605-618]
General Yang “Axe Man” Su
Intelligence Chief Pei Ju
Prince Shotoku [Sovereign of Nihon]
Qimin Khan [alt. Yami Khan]
Goguryeo Kingdom (North Korea and Manchuria)
Sima, Guang. Zizhi Tongjian (Reflections of Governance) (1084 CE)
Vout, Caroline. The Hills of Rome: Signature of an Eternal City
Wei, Zheng, et al. Sui Shu (The Book of Sui). (636 CE)
Wright, Arthur F., Chaffee and Twitchett (ed.) The Cambridge History of China, Vol. 3 (1979)
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