Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Zhang Guangfu

Zhang Guangfu was an official and general of the dynasty Tang Dynasty, serving as during the first reign of .

It is now known when Zhang Guangfu was born, but it is known that he was from the Tang capital Chang'an. He was said to be intelligent and good at rhetoric in his youth, and also capable as an official. He was eventually promoted to the posts of deputy minister of agriculture and then ''Wenchang Zuo Cheng'' , one of the secretaries general of the executive bureau of government . In 687, he was made ''Fengge Shilang'' , the deputy head of the legislative bureau of government , and given the designation ''Tong Fengge Luantai Pinzhangshi'' , making him a chancellor ''de facto''. In 688, when Emperor Ruizong's uncle the Prince of Yue rebelled against the rule of Emperor Ruizong's powerful mother and regent , Empress Dowager Wu commissioned Zhang to command the troops against Li Zhen, assisted by fellow chancellor Cen Changqian and Qu Chongyu . Li Zhen was quickly defeated. Thereafter, Empress Dowager Wu gave him the greater chancellor designation of ''Tong Fengge Luantai Sanpin'' .

In 689, Empress Dowager Wu made Zhang acting ''Nayan'' -- the head of the examination bureau and a post considered one for a chancellor. Later that year, she made him acting ''Neishi'' -- the head of the legislative bureau and a post also considered one for a chancellor. He was considered capable at both positions. However, his fall would come in the fall of that year. Xu Jingzhen , the younger brother of the Duke of Ying, who had led an unsuccessful rebellion against Empress Dowager Wu in 684, had been exiled to Xiu Prefecture , but fled from the place of exile and intended to flee north to Eastern Tujue. When he went through the eastern capital Luoyang, the officials Gong Siye and Zhang Siming gave him money to use in flight. When Xu went through Ding Prefecture , he was captured and brought back to Luoyang for interrogation. Gong committed suicide, but both Xu and Zhang Siming, in interrogation, implicated many officials, hoping that by doing so they could ingratiate Empress Dowager Wu and her secret police officials so that they could be spared. Zhang Siming, in particular, claimed that when Zhang Guangfu was attacking Li Zhen, he secretly consulted fortunetelling books to try to see what the future might hold, and intentionally slowed down to see whether Li Zhen's rebellion had any hope. As a result of Zhang Siming's claims, Zhang Guangfu was arrested and executed with Xu and Zhang Siming, and his assets were seized.

No comments: