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A Chinese Biographical Dictionary/Ch'ên Pa-hsien

236 Ch'ên Pa-hsien 陳霸先 (T. 興國). A.D. 503-559. A native of Ch'ang-ch'êng in Chehkiang, and a descendant of Ch'ên Shih. He was ambitious from boyhood, and a great reader of military treatises. In 527 he entered the army of the Liang dynasty, whose founder greatly esteemed him for his successful campaign in 546—47 against Cochin-China. He supported the dynasty against the rebel Hou Ching, who was utterly routed at a great battle near Wuhu in 551. After several posts as Governor, he became Minister of Works in 554, and in 555 he surprised and slew Wang Sêng-pien, the Prime Minister, who had set on the throne the Marquis of 貞陽 Chên-yang, to the exclusion of the rightful heir. The last Emperor of Liang, in grateful recognition of his aid, bestowed on him a Dukedom and the military command of the Kingdom; and he made himself Prime Minister and a Prince. He compelled his sovereign to abdicate in his favour at the end of 557, and mounted the throne as first Emperor of the Ch'ên dynasty. His short reign was without incident. A devoted Buddhist, he publicly took the vows in 558. A clever General and a mild Governor, he was personally economical and averse to splendour. Canonised as 高祖武皇帝.