Open main menu

A Chinese Biographical Dictionary/Chao Tun (趙惇)

190 Chao Tun 趙惇. A.D. 1147—1200. Third son of Chao Shên, whom he succeeded in 1190 as third Emperor of the Southern Sung dynasty. At first he held the reins of power firmly, dismissed favorites, lightened taxation and penalties; but he fell under the dominion of his fierce wife, and was terrified into an illness which left all power in her hands. He was so afraid of assassination that he would seldom give audience, and turned back on several occasions when he had mustered up courage enough to reach the door of the audience-chamber. In 1194 the Empress would not let her husband visit his father, nor take his place as chief mourner upon the death of Chao Shên. Thereupon the Empress Dowager, aided by Chao Ju-yü, Yeh Shih, and Han T'o-chou, forced Chao Tun to abdicate in favour of his son. Canonised as 光宗皇帝.