蕭子良 (雲英)

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【(南蘭陵)】 蕭子良 (雲英)

Chinese: 〔齊〕竟陵文宣王 【(南蘭陵)】 蕭子良(二) (雲英)
Birthdate:
Death: 494 (33-34)
Immediate Family:

Son of Xiao Ze 蕭賾 and 裴惠昭
Brother of Xiao Changmao 蕭長懋 and 蕭氏
Half brother of 蕭子建 (雲立); 蕭子文 (雲儒); 蕭子貞 (雲松); 蕭子夏 (雲廣); 蕭子倫 (雲宗) and 12 others

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Immediate Family

About 蕭子良 (雲英)

Xiao Ziliang 蕭子良 (460–494), zi Yunying 雲英, Prince of Jingling 竟陵. Southern Qi prince and literatus.

Xiao Ziliang's ancestral home was Lanling 蘭陵 (modern Lanling, Shandong). During the Eastern Jin his family moved to Nan Lanling (northwest of modern Changzhou 常州, Jiangsu). He was the second son of Emperor Wu of the Southern Qi (r. 482–493). During the Shengming period (477– 479) of the Liu-Song, he served on the staff of Liu You 劉友 (470–479), the prince of Shaoling. Upon the accession of his father to the imperial throne in 479, he was granted the title Duke of Wenxi 聞喜 county. He also was appointed regional governor of Nan Xuzhou 南徐州 (administrative seat Jingkou 京口, modern Zhenjiang). In 483, he was appointed palace attendant and regional governor of Nan Yanzhou 南兗州 (administrative seat Guangling 廣陵, modern Yangzhou). In 484, Xiao Ziliang was named protector-general and concurrently served as minister of education. In 487, he was given the regular appointment as minister of education.

During this time Xiao Ziliang took up residence in Jilong shan 雞籠山 (Cock cage hill) in the northwest suburbs of Jiankang. Here he hosted numerous gatherings of Buddhist monks and literati. The most famous group was the Eight Companions of Jingling who included Xiao Yan 蕭衍 (464–549), Shen Yue 沈約 (441–513), Xie Tiao 謝朓 (464–499), Wang Rong 王融 (468–493), Xiao Chen 蕭琛 (478–529), Fan Yun 范雲 (451–503), Ren Fang 任昉 (460–508), and Lu Chui 陸倕 (470–526). In the second and tenth lunar months of 489, Xiao Ziliang convened at his residence an assembly of Buddhist monks who were experts in fan bai 梵唄 (Sanskrit chant) to devise a method of chanting Buddhist hymns (gāthas) in Chinese.

In 492, Xiao Ziliang was appointed director of the Imperial Secretariat. Xiao Ziliang's elder brother Xiao Changmao 蕭長懋 (458–493), better known as Wenhui taizi 文惠太子, died suddenly on 26 February 493 at the age of thirty-six. Like Xiao Ziliang, Xiao Changmao was a devout Buddhist, and he hosted grand banquets attended by Buddhist monks and scholar-officials. He also constructed a lavish park in the Eastern Palace that included structures with names such as Mingyue guan 明月觀 (Bright Moon Viewing Tower), Wanzhuan qiao 婉轉橋 (Curved Bridge), and Paihuai lang 徘徊廊 (Meandering Passageway). He also built there a Buddhist jingshe 精舍 or vihāra. The garden was distinguished for its collection of unusual rocks that created “the most wondrous landscape.” Afraid that his lavish construction could be seen from the imperial palace, Xiao Changmao had a grove of tall bamboo planted by the gates, and within the park he placed tall screens and a movable wall powered by “a clever mechanical device” to block the view. When Emperor Wu visited the Eastern Palace after the crown prince's death, he was outraged at the extravagant furnishings he found there. He faulted Xiao Ziliang for failing to reprimand him.

On 15 May 493, Emperor Wu named Xiao Changmao's eldest son Xiao Zhaoye 蕭昭業 (473–494) heir designate. At this same time the Northern Wei had sent an army south to the northern banks of the Yangzi River. Invasion appeared to be imminent. Emperor Wu had commisioned Xiao Ziliang to muster a military force at Dongfu 東府 (south of modern Ji mingshan 雞鳴山, Nanjing). Xiao Ziliang appointed Wang Rong General Who Brings Repose to the North and army commander. In August of this year, there were rumors that Emperor Wu was severely ill and had stopped breathing. Xiao Ziliang, who had been appointed regent, ordered Xiao Yan, Fan Yun and others to serve as commanders of the imperial escort. Wang Rong wished to have Xiao Ziliang installed on the throne instead of Xiao Zhaoye. Wang Rong, dressed in a military uniform, would not allow Xiao Zhaoye's entourage to advance beyond the portico of the Secretariat. The emperor suddenly recovered, and Xiao Zhaoye was finally able to gain entry into the palace. By this time the court power was now in the hands of Xiao Luan 蕭鸞 (452–498), the second son of Emperor Gao's older brother, and the future Emperor Ming (494–498). Emperor Wu passed away on 27 August 493, and Xiao Luan immediately installed Xiao Zhaoye on the imperial throne. Xiao Ziliang was unwilling to take any action against him.

Wang Rong was arrested and soon thereafter died in prison.

Xiao Ziliang died in 494 at the age of thirty-five.

In his youth Xiao Ziliang was known for his pure and lofty ideals, and for treating men of learning with great courtesy. During the summer months, he hosted gatherings of scholars at which he served fruits and beverages made of melons. He also compiled and issued the writings of literati and distingushed courtiers.

Xiao Ziliang sponsored a number of scholarly projects, the most famous of which is the compilation of the Sibu yaolüe 四部要略 (Essential summaries in four categories), a thousand-juan compendium that was organized in the fashion of the Wei period Huang lan 皇覽 (Imperial conspectus).

Xiao Ziliang was a devout Buddhist. He hosted at the Western Villa assemblies of Buddhist monks and lay persons to discuss and debate issues of Buddhist teaching. Among the more famous monks whom he invited to these events were Sengrou 僧柔 (431–490) and Huici 慧次 (434–490). Xiao Ziliang also wrote a long Buddhist treatise, the Jingzhuzi jingxing famen 淨住子淨行法門 (Introduction to pure conduct for disciples who dwell in purity and quietude). The complete work, which was originally in twenty juan, has not survived. A summary has been preserved in the Guang Hongming ji 廣弘明集 of Daoxuan 道宣 (596–667). There is also a fragment of the work preserved in the Stein Dunhuang manuscripts (No. 721).

Xiao Ziliang is also well known for hosting literary gatherings at which guests composed both shi and fu. According to the Nan shi (59.1463), he held gatherings of scholars at night. They would cut a notch in the candle to indicate the length of time it would take to complete the poem. For a verse of four couplets they cut the notch one inch down, and this served as the time marker. One of the guests, Xiao Wenyan 蕭文琰, said, “What is so difficult about composing a poem in four couplets in the time that it takes for the candle to burn down one inch?” Then he and Qiu Lingkai 丘令楷, Jiang Hong 江洪 and others established the number of couplets by striking a bronze bowl. As soon as the sound faded the poems were completed, and they were all quite readable.

The monograph on bibliography of the Sui shu lists Xiao Ziliang's collected works in forty juan. Both Tang histories record the collection in thirty juan. These versions are no longer extant. Yan Kejun collected twenty-seven of his prose pieces in Quan shanggu Sandai Qin Han Sanguo Liuchao wen. Lu Qinli preserves six poems in Xian Qin Han Wei Jin Nanbeichao shi, several of which are poems to which poets such as Xie Tiao, Shen Yue, and Wang Rong wrote matching pieces.

Bibliography

Collection

  • Zhang Pu 張溥 (1602–1641), ed. Nan Qi Jingling wang ji 南齊竟陵王集. 2 juan. Han Wei Liuchao baisan mingjia ji.

Concordance

  • Lau, D.C. et al., ed. Qi Jingling wang Xiao Ziliang zhuzi suoyin 齊竟陵王蕭子良逐 字索引. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press, 1999.

Studies

  • Chen Yinke 陳寅恪. “Sisheng san wen” 四聲三問. Qinghua daxue xuebao (Ziran kexue ban) (1934: 2): 275–87; rpt. in Chen Yinke xiansheng wen shi lunji 陳寅 恪先生文史論集. 2 vols. Hong Kong: Wen Wen Publications, 1973. 1: 205–18.
  • Ogasawara Senshū 小笠原宣秀. “Nan Sei Bukkyō to Shō Shiryō” 南齊佛教と蕭子良. Shina Bukkyō shigaku 3.2 (1939): 63–76.
  • Utsubi Masanobu 撫尾正信. “Nanchō shidaifu no Bukkyō shinju ni tsuite—Nan Sei Shō Shiryō to sono shūi” 南朝士大夫の佛教信受について: 南齊蕭子良とその 周圍. Saga Ryūkoku gakkai kiyō 5 (1957): 39–71.
  • Wakatsuki Toshihiko 若摫俊秀. “Shō Shiryō no Bukkyō shinkō no seikaku” 蕭子良の佛教信仰の性格. In Chūgoku tetsugakushi no tenbō to mosaku 中國哲學史 展望摸索, ed. Kimura Eiichi hakushi shōju kinen jigyōkai 木村英一博士頌壽記念 事業會, 443–59. Tokyo: Sōbunsha, 1976.
  • Vande Walle, Willy. “Lay Buddhism among the Chinese Aristocracy during the Period of the Southern Dynasties: Hsiao Tzu-liang (460–494) and His Entourage.” Orientalia Lovaniensia Periodica 10 (1979): 275–97.
  • Shiori Ryōdō 鹽入良道. “Bungen ō Shō Shiryō no Jōchuji-jōgyō-hōmon ni tsuite 文宣王蕭子良の淨住子淨行法門について.” Taishō daigaku kenkyū kiyō 46 (1986): 43–96.
  • Chang Pei-pei 張蓓蓓. “Qi Jingling wang Xiao Ziliang ‘Xidi' wenshi jituan kaolüe” 齊竟陵王蕭子良「西邸」文士集團考略. In Mao Zishui xiansheng jiuwu shouqing lunwenji 毛子水先生九五壽慶論文集, 425–50. Taipei: Youshi wenhua shiye gongsi, 1987.
  • Kuo Li-ying. Confession et contrition dans le bouddhisme chinois du ve au xe siècle, 111–12. Paris: Publications de l'École française d'Extrême Orient, 1995.
  • Jansen, Thomas. Höfische Öffentlichkeit im frühmittelalterlichen China: Debatten im Salon des Prinze Xiao Ziliang. Freiburg im Breisgau: Rombach, 2000.
  • Tang Chunsheng 唐春生. “Lun Xiao Ziliang zhi zhengzhi beiju” 論蕭子良之政治悲劇. Xinan shifan daxue xuebao (Renwen shehui kexue ban) 27.2 (2001): 126–31.
  • Wang Shuxian 王淑嫻. “Xiao Ziliang wenren jituan zhi zucheng ji qi zhengzhi yiyi shitan” 蕭子良文人集團之組成及其政治意義試探. Zhongzheng lishi xuekan 7 (2004): 3–24.
  • Qi Lifeng 祁立峰. “Xiangsi yu chayi: lun Xiao Ziliang wenxue jituan tongti gongzuo de ‘shuxie xixing' yu ‘huwenxing'” 相似與差異:論蕭子良文學集團同題共作的 「書寫習性」與「互文性」 . Xingda Zhongwen xuebao 26 (2009): 1–25.

Works

a. “Xing zhai shi xu” 行宅詩序 (Preface to poem on strolling my estate)

Translation

  • Goh, Meow Hui. Sound and Sight: Poetry and Courtier Culture in the Yongming Era (483–493), 119. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2010.

b. “Shi Huangtaizi shidian yan shi” 侍皇太子釋奠宴詩 (Poem composed for a school sacrifice feast while in attendance on the Crown Prince)

Translation

  • Raft, David Zebulon. “Four-syllable Verse in Medieval China.” Ph.D. diss., Harvard University, 2007, 493.

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