About 齊高帝 蕭道成(三)
Xiao Daocheng 蕭道成 (427–482), zi Shaobo 紹伯, Emperor Gao 高 of Southern Qi (479–482)
Xiao Daocheng's original ancestral home was Lanling 蘭陵 in Donghai 東海 commandery (modern Shandong). In the Eastern Jin the Xiao family moved south to Nan Lanling (northwest of modern Changzhou). Xiao Daocheng's childhood name was Doujiang 斗將. Xiao Daoheng's father Xiao Chengzhi 蕭承之 (384–447) was a prominent military man in the late Eastern Jin and early Song period.
Xiao Daocheng received a good literary education. At the age of thirteen, he studied the Rites Classics and the Zuo zhuan with the famous scholar Lei Cizong 雷次宗 (386–448). In 446, he accompanied the regional inspector of Yongzhou 雍州, Xiao Sihua 蕭思話 (400–455), to his headquarters in Xiangyang, where Xiao Daocheng served as one of his aides. In 452, he led a successful expedition against a Di force at Qiuchi 仇池 (southwest of modern Xihe 西和, Gansu). Upon his return the next year, Xiao Daocheng was assigned as an aide on the staff of Liu Yigong 劉義恭 (413–465), Prince of Jiangxia, who was then serving as commander-in-chief and had full charge of military matters.
During the Daming period (457–464) of Emperor Wu (r. 453–464), Xiao Daocheng served as magistrate of Jiankang, which was part of the capital administration. When Liu Ziye 劉子業 (449–465) took the throne in 465, Xiao Daoheng was named General of the Rear Army. In the following year, with the accession of Emperor Ming (r. 465–472), he was appointed General of the Right Army. He played a leading role in putting down a rebellion in Xunyang 尋陽 (modern Jiujiang, Jiangxi) nominally led by the Prince of Xunyang Liu Zifang 劉子房 (456–466) and the Prince of Jin'an Liu Zixun 劉子勛 (456–466) in February 466. He was rewarded for his good service by receiving an appointment as regional inspector of Nan Yanzhou 南兗州 (administrative seat, Guangling, modern Yangzhou). In June 466, Emperor Ming assigned Xiao Daocheng to take command of a military force sent to subdue Xue Suo'er 薛索兒 (d. 466), who rose in revolt at Huaiyin 淮陰 (southwest of modern Huai'an 淮安 and Huaiyin, Jiangsu) against Emperor Ming in support of Liu Zixun. He defeated Xue's army at Shiliang 石梁 (northwest of modern Tianchang 天長, Anhui).
In 471, Xiao Daocheng was summoned back to the capital. However, Emperor Ming was suspicious of Xiao's ambitions, and he was reluctant to appoint him to an important post. With the accession of Liu Yu 劉昱 (463–477) as emperor in 472, Xiao Daocheng was instrumental in putting down a coup led by Liu Xiufan 劉休範 (448–472), Prince of Guiyang. In 476, he played a leading role in the murder of Liu Yu and the installation of Liu Zhun 劉準 (469–479), Emperor Shun (r. 477–479). Xiao Daocheng soon was named General-in-chief of Agile Cavalry, minister of works, and held the position of regent. Xiao Daocheng first eliminated Yuan Can 袁 粲 (420–478), Liu Bing 劉秉 (433–477), and their supporters who led a “revolt” against Xiao and his collaborators in January 478. He then sent a force against Shen Youzhi 沈攸之 (d. 478), who had established a power base in Xiangyang. Shen Youzhi was defeated and killed in March 478.
On 13 October, Xiao Daocheng had himself named grand mentor and regional inspector of Yangzhou, which had control over the capital area. On 9 April 479, he was appointed counselor-in-chief and granted the title Duke of Qi. Xiao Daocheng followed the ritual code stipulation of declin-ing three times before accepting. On 7 May 479, Xiao Daoheng's title was elevated to that of Prince of Qi and was awarded income from ten com-manderies. On 26 May, Emperor Shun abdicated to Xiao Daocheng. Xiao Daocheng was installed as emperor of the new Qi dynasty on 29 May.
Xiao Daoheng ruled as emperor of the Southern Qi for only three years. He died on 11 April 482 at the age of fifty-six. He was succeeded by his eldest son Xiao Ze 蕭賾 (440–493), Emperor Wu (r. 482–493).
Xiao Daocheng was quite learned and was widely read in the histories and Classics. He also was an accomplished writer, calligrapher, and player of board games. Yan Kejun has preserved seventy of Xiao Daocheng's prose writings, most of which consist of imperial edicts and decrees, in his Quan shanggu Sandai Qin Han Sanguo Liuchao wen. Zhong Rong places Xiao Daocheng in the lower grade of the Shi pin. He writes that his “language is ornate and his ideas are profound, and there is nothing that he lacks.” Only two of his poems are extant. One is a long piece in mixed meters, “Sai ke yin” 塞客吟 (Lament of a frontier sojourner) that he composed at Huaiyin to express his frustration at the lack of recognition he received from the Emperor Ming court.
- Cao Daoheng and Shen Yucheng, Zhonggu wenxue shiliao congkao, 367–69.
- Wang Zeqiang 王澤強. “Nanchao diwang shige zonglun” 南朝詩歌綜論. Jiangxi shehui kexue (2003: 11): 125–26.
- Wang Yongping 王永平. “Nan Qi Gaodi Xiao Daocheng zhi ‘jiajiao” ji qi menfeng zhi bianhua—cong yige cemian kan Xiao Qi huangzu de ‘shizuhua' quxiang” 南齊高帝蕭道成之“家教”及其門風之變化—從一個側面看蕭齊皇族的“士族化”趨向. Jiangsu xingzheng xueyuan xuebao 35 (2007: 5): 132–36.
- Wang Yongping 王永平. “Nan Qi Gaodi Xiao Daocheng zhi jiajiao ji qi zisun zhi chong Ru shang wen—cong yige cemian kan Xiao Qi huangzu de ‘shizuhua' quxiang” 南齊高帝蕭道成之家教及其子孫之崇儒尚文—從一個側面看蕭齊皇族的 “士族化”趨向. Jiangsu xingzheng xueyuan xuebao 42 (2008: 6): 127–32; Jiangsu keji daxue xuebao (Shehui kexue ban) 9.1 (2009): 12–22.
- Wang Yongping 王永平. Liuchao jiazu 六朝家族, 221–61. Nanjing: Nanjing chubanshe, 2008.