A Chinese Biographical Dictionary/Chao Yün (趙昀)

199 Chao Yün 趙昀. A.D. 1203-1264. A descendant in the eleventh generation from the founder of the Sung dynasty. He reigned from 1225 to 1264 as fifth Emperor of the Southern Sung dynasty (see Chao K'uo). He left Shih Mi-yüan in supreme power until the latter's death in 1233. Then for a year, with the able aid of Chêng Ch'ing-chih, the Emperor ruled well; but the collapse of the China power proved too great a temptation, and a rash expedition, in defiance of treaty, to recover the ancient capitals, K'ai-fêng and Lo-yang, brought on war with the Mongols. The enemy penetrated to the Yang-tsze, while the new Minister, 史嵩之 Shih Sung-chih, failed to offer any effectual resistance. The country was overrun with superfluous officials; the people were ground down with taxes and the expenses of the war; the high officials neglected their duties and spent their time in intriguing. In 1256 the Emperor, grown arbitrary and capricious, came under the influence of the obsequious Ting Ta-ch'üan, who fell three years later, when the successes of the Mongol invaders could no longer be concealed. Chia Ssǔ-tao, brother of the favourite concubine 賈涉 Chia Shê, had risen to high rank in Hu-Kuang, and now by offers of vassalage and tribute induced Kublai Khan, who was also anxious to return to the north and make sure of his throne, to withdraw his forces from Ch'ang-sha and Wu-ch'ang. A treacherous attack on the Mongol rearguard, and the subsequent imprisonment of his envoys in order to conceal the terms of peace, determined Kublai to crush the perfidious Sungs; but the Emporor died ere Kublai's preparations were completed. Canonised as 理宗皇帝 .