Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Princess Pingyang

Participation in Tang's founding

In 617, Li Yuan, then the general in charge at Taiyuan was planning to rebel against Emperor Yang of Sui. He sent messengers to his daughter and son-in-law Chai Shao, then at the Sui capital Chang'an, summoning them back to Taiyuan. Chai worried that they would not be able to escape together easily, and when he consulted her, she told him to go and that she, as a woman, would be able to hide more easily. He therefore secretly headed for Taiyuan and, after first meeting Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji, whom Li Yuan had similarly recalled from Hedong , reported to Taiyuan. Meanwhile, she hid initially, but then distributed her wealth to several hundred men, receiving their loyalty, so she rose in support of Li Yuan. She sent her servant Ma Sanbao to persuade the agrarian rebel leader He Panren to join her, and then also persuaded other rebel leaders Li Zhongwen , Xiang Shanzhi , and Qiu Shili to join her as well. She attacked and captured some of the nearby cities, and she gathered a total of 70,000 men.

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