Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wang Hongyi

Wang Hongyi was a secret police official during the dynasty Tang Dynasty and Wu Zetian's Zhou Dynasty.
As of 690, Wu Zetian, then empress dowager and regent over her son , was poised to take the throne herself, and by that point, she had given Wang a general title, and then made him an assistant censor. On one occasion, when Wang Anren the commandant at Sheng Prefecture was accused of treason, Empress Dowager Wu sent Wang Hongyi to investigate. Wang Anren put himself in stocks to try to show his loyalty, but Wang Hongyi was not persuaded, and had Wang Anren beheaded even as he was in the stocks; he also beheaded Wang Anren's son. As he was returning to the eastern capital Luoyang, he went through Fen Prefecture , where the military advisor to the prefect, a man named Mao, held a feast for him. For reasons unknown, however, during the feast, he ordered Mao to leave the table and beheaded Mao. He put Mao's head on a spear and entered Luoyang with it, and everyone who saw the sight shivered. At that time, the prison for political prisoners were inside the Lijing Gate , and as political prisoners entering that gate would thus rarely be able to leave alive, Wang jokingly referred to the Lijing Gate with two different characters, 例竟, also pronounced Lijing but meaning "the end."

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