YANG YE (楊業) or YANG JIYE (楊繼業) (died August 986 ), named
LIU JIYE (劉繼業) before 979 and YANG CHONGGUI (楊重貴) in his
youth, was a military general in imperial China , serving first the
While at Northern Han, he took on the surname "Liu", having been
adopted by Northern Han's founding emperor
Liu Chong as a grandson.
After pledging allegiance to
Emperor Taizong of Song , he was
stationed at Song's northern border with the Khitan -ruled Liao
Dynasty , where, in 980, he played an instrumental role in expelling a
major Liao invasion in
* 1 Early life
* 2 Career under
* 8 Notes and references
* 8.1 Sources
YANG CHONGGUI was born in a military family. Growing up, his father
Yang Xin (楊信) was named the Linzhou (麟州; modern Shenmu County
CAREER UNDER NORTHERN HAN
In his 20s, he joined warlord
Liu Chong (Liu Min) , quickly becoming
a chief director of defense (保衛指揮使) after Liu established
Liu Jiye was already the Jianxiong Command (建雄軍) military governor when the Song forces invaded again in 979. With Emperor Taizong of Song personally leading the troops, Song forces quickly reached Jinyang. Liu Jiyuan came out to surrender, but Liu Jiye continued fighting and defending the capital city. Impressed by his bravery, Emperor Taizong ordered Liu Jiyuan to persuade him to surrender. Having received Liu Jiyuan's message, Liu Jiye cried and bowed to the north, then took off his armor to surrender. A pleased Emperor Taizong rewarded him very well, and he changed his name to Yang Ye.
CAREER UNDER SONG
Knowing Yang Ye's experience in defending the same area from the Liao Dynasty, Emperor Taizong named Yang the Daizhou (代州; modern Dai County , Shanxi) prefect on the frontier and the armed force director (兵馬部署) of the neighboring Sanjiao (三交) Military Base . Previously Yang was also named a defense commissioner (防禦使). Yang was illiterate but knew military strategies well. He would join his soldiers in military exercises , enduring the same hardship as his inferiors. Winters were very frigid in the area, but Yang never asked anyone to start a fire for him as he handled military matters outdoors. His soldiers were very loyal to him.
In 980, the Liao invasion started with roughly 100,000 Liao soldiers
Following this battle, the Liao army would "retreat immediately
whenever they saw (Yang) Ye's flag", according to
History of Song .
Within two years of his surrender, Yang was promoted to the nominal
post of surveillance commissioner (觀察使) of Yunzhou (雲州,
In 986, the Song armies embarked on a large-scale northern campaign
to take the
However, another Song force on the east led by Cao Bin was destroyed by a Liao force led by Yelü Xiuge , and tens of thousands of Song soldiers perished. As the Liao force with over 100,000 soldiers marched westward, Pan and Yang Ye were in Daizhou and received orders to help the civilians of the four conquered prefectures retreat back to Song territory. When Huanzhou fell to the Liao army, Yang told Pan, "Liao forces are strong and we must not fight them." He proposed a detailed plan to maximize the safety of the civilians from the 3 remaining prefectures. Per this plan, the Yunzhou civilians would leave first. The main Song force would advance from Daizhou to Yingzhou, drawing the main Liao force, thus allowing the Shuozhou civilians to leave and move to a valley called Shijiegu (石碣谷), which could be defended by a thousand soldiers with arrows. Finally a cavalry reinforcement would help the main Song force retrieve the Yingzhou civilians. The generals defending Shuozhou and Yunzhou would be notified of the plan to coordinate activities.
Wang Shen refuted his suggestion, jeering, "Such cowardice despite having tens of thousands of strong soldiers!" With the support of Liu Wenyu, he insisted that Yang immediately take his troops to take the enemy head-on. Yang reiterated his belief that such a move would bring defeat, which was met by Wang's rebuttal of "You sir have been called 'invincible', but today you are so hesitant in face of the enemy and reluctant to fight. Is your loyalty elsewhere?" Yang had no choice but to reply, "I am not evading death, but this is a bad situation which would make soldiers die and injure in vain. However, since you accuse me for fearing death, I will be the first (to die) before you all." He pointed at the end of a valley called Chenjiagu (陳家谷, in modern Shuozhou): "Gentlemen, please put infantrymen with arrows on both sides of that place, so that they could attack from both directions and provide assistance in case I retreat there. Otherwise, the situation could be dire." Pan and Wang agreed, and led their men to the place.
Liao general Yelü Xiezhen heard of Yang's arrival and set up an ambush . Yang engaged the Liao force in a bloody battle and fought from noon to dusk until he indeed retreated to the end of Chenjiagu, but no Song soldier was there, as Pan and Wang had already left. As the enemy closed in, Yang Ye's son Yang Yanyu (楊延玉) was killed, as was a 72-year-old subordinate Wang Gui (王貴) who continued fighting with his fists after exhausting all arrows. Seeing only around a hundred soldiers around him, Yang Ye told them, "You all have fathers, mothers, wives and children, no point in dying together with me. Return home and serve the emperor later." His men all cried, but nobody left.
Liao soldiers were instructed to capture Yang alive. Even with several dozen wounds on him, Yang fought on, killing about a hundred enemy soldiers by himself. He was captured when his horse was gravely wounded by an arrow from Liao general Yelü Xidi . Yelü Xiezhen yelled, "You have been fighting with our country for over 30 years. What do you have to say today!" To which Yang replied, "I deserve the death sentence." He allegedly sighed and said, "The emperor has treated me so kindly, expecting me to conquer the enemy and defend the borders in return. However, due to persecutions from treacherous officials, the royal troops have been defeated. How can I live on?" He starved himself and died 3 days later of infections.
As expected Yunzhou, Yingzhou and other prefectures were recaptured by the Liao army, but according to History of Liao , it was because Song generals "abandoned the cities and fled when they heard of (Yang) Jiye's death".
Yang Ye's severed head was presented to the young Emperor Shengzong
of Liao and his mother Empress Dowager Xiao Yanyan . This was such a
great victory for the Liao, where
In the Song Dynasty, the Yang family was initially compensated only 100 rolls of silk , 100 rolls of textile and 10 stones of rice for Yang Ye's death. In comparison, the family of a lesser general He Huaipu (賀懷浦) who also died in the same battle was compensated 100 rolls of silk, 100 strings of coins , 20 bottles of wine, and 15 sheep, indicating possible scapegoating against Yang. What exactly happened afterwards is unclear, but a few months later Emperor Taizong proclaimed the following edict :
... Yang Ye, the Yunzhou surveillance commissioner, has a heart
strong like gold and stone and a character intrepid like wind and
clouds. A great talent from
Yang Ye's six surviving sons were also given official appointments, especially Yang Yanzhao , who would become a prominent general himself.
INVINCIBLE YANG TEMPLE
Generals of the Yang Family character
NICKNAME(S) Yang Linggong (楊令公; "Commander Lord Yang") "Invincible Yang"
ALIASES Yang Jiye
SPOUSE(S) She Saihua
In the popular Generals of the Yang Family legends, Yang Ye married She Saihua , a woman skilled in martial arts and archery. In most versions, his weapon is a poled golden glaive . The older Yang Ye is usually called YANG LINGGONG (楊令公, literally "Commander Lord Yang").
During the battle of Mount Twin Wolves, he was surrounded by enemies.
His eldest three sons had already died and his fourth and fifth sons
were missing. His sixth son
Yang Yanzhao asked the seventh son to seek
aid while he tried to fight a way out for the father. Hopeless, Yang
Ye saw in a distance a headstone on the ground. The name on it was Li
Ling , a famous
NOTES AND REFERENCES
* ^ Essentially the same novel, with slight modifications by
publishers and editors, as the second half of Records of the Two
Songs, South and North (兩宋南北志傳) written by Xiong Damu
(熊大木) in the late 16th century.
* ^ A B C D
Xu Zizhi Tongjian Changbian , ch. 20.
* ^ According to Song Shi , ch. 272, Yang became a follower of Liu
Chong when he was just 20 in the
East Asian age reckoning
THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS CHINESE TEXT. Without proper rendering support , you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Chinese characters .
* (in Chinese) Toqto\'a ; et al., eds. (1344). Liao Shi (遼史) . * (in Chinese) Xu Song, comps.; et al. (1809). Song Huiyao Jigao (宋會要輯稿) . * (in Chinese) Toqto\'a ; et al., eds. (1345). Song Shi (宋史) . * (in Chinese) Li Tao (1183). Xu Zizhi Tongjian Changbian (續資治通鑑長編) .
* v * t * e
* Yang Ye
* "1st son"
* "2nd son"
* "3rd son"
* "4th son"
* "5th son"
* "6th son"
* "7th son"
* The Yang\'s Saga (1985) * Heroic Legend of the Yang\'s Family