Yang Kuei-fei

Yang Kuei-fei

(yäng gwā-fā), 719–56, concubine of the T'ang emperor Hsüan-tsungHsüan-tsung
, 685–762, Chinese emperor (712–56), 9th of the T'ang dynasty. Under his brilliant early rule the T'ang reached the height of its power. Improved administration and new grain-transport facilities increased the flow of revenue to the central
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. The most famous beauty in Chinese history, in legend she is said to have captivated the emperor who then neglected state affairs. She adopted An Lu-shanAn Lu-shan
, d.757, Chinese general of the T'ang dynasty. Of mixed Sogdian and Turkish birth, he was appointed regional commander on the northeastern frontier. In 755 he led c.200,000 troops in revolt against the T'ang central government.
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, a general of Turkic origin, as her son and helped him win power at court. But a power struggle over control of the central government between An Lu-shan and Yang's brother led to An's rebellion in 755. Fleeing the capital before the rebels captured it, angry royal guards, who blamed Yang Kuei-fei and her brother for the rebellion, forced Hsüan Tsung to order their execution. The emperor soon abdicated. Yang Kuei-fei's love story and its tragic end have been a favorite theme for Chinese poets and writers.

Bibliography

See S. Wu, Yang Kuei-fei, The Most Famous Beauty of China (1924).

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