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Emperor Huizong: Daoist, Poet, Painter, Captive
Patricia Ebrey, Professor of History, University of Washington
Huizong came to the Song throne in the first month of 1100, a few months after his seventeenth birthday, and reigned almost twenty-six years, till the Jurchen invasion in late1125. Since his reign ended so badly, traditional historians have viewed Huizong’s many pursuits as his vices, not his virtues. His love of art was seen as self-indulgence, his faith in Daoism as self-delusion, his trust in Cai Jing as irresponsible. So long as one sets aside this moral framework, however, there are ample sources to look at Huizong and his reign afresh, to consider how he understood monarchy and its challenges, what he got from Daoism, how he made use of the resources of the throne, why he chose to ally with the Jurchen, and other related issues.
Thursday, May 16, 2013 | 4:15 pm — 5:30 pm | RSVP Required