Southern and Northern Dynasties
Iron Liang Wu Zhu
Emperor Wu of Liang in 523
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Reference: Hartill 10.18
Obv: Wu Zhu (Five Zhu)
Rev: four lines radiating from the corners of the hole on the reverse
An iron Wu Zhu with four lines radiating from the corners of the hole on the reverse.
Attributed to Emperor Wu of Liang in 523. By 535, the traders in Sichuan were complaining of the trouble of stringing together such a number of cheap coins, and of the large number of carts needed to transport them.
Emperor Wu of Liang
Emperor Wu of Liang (梁武帝) (464–549), personal name Xiao Yan (蕭衍), courtesy name Shuda (叔達), nickname Lian'er (練兒), was the founding emperor of the Liang Dynasty of Chinese history. His reign, until the end, was one of the most stable and prosperous during the Southern Dynasties.
Emperor Wu created universities and extending the Confucian civil service exams, demanding that sons of nobles study. He was well read himself and wrote poetry and patronized the arts. Although for governmental affairs he was Confucian in values, he embraced Buddhism as well. He himself was attracted to many Indian traditions. He banned the sacrifice of animals and was against execution. It was said that he received the Buddhist precepts during his reign, earning him the nickname The Bodhisattva Emperor. The Emperor is the namesake of the Emperor Liang Jeweled Repentance (梁皇寳懺), a widely read and major Buddhist text in China and Korea.
At the end of his reign, his overly lenient attitude on his clan's and officials' corruption and lack of dedication to the state came at a heavy price; when the general Hou Jing rebelled, few came to his aid, and Hou captured the capital Jiankang, holding Emperor Wu and his successor Emperor Jianwen under close control and plunging the entire Liang state into anarchy. Emperor Liang himself died while under house arrest, with some historians believing that Hou starved him to death.
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