Three Kingdoms History: Sima Rui (Yuandi)

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Sima Rui (Yuandi)
Lived (AD 276-322), Ruled (AD 317-322)

Jin Emperor Biographies
Authored by Sean Williams
Edited by James and

Sima Rui was born in the year AD 276, and was a cousin of Sima Ye. In the year AD 316, Xiong Nu tribesmen attacked and occupied Chang An, the capital of Jin. The current Emperor, Sima Ye was thus forced to abdicate the throne.

Sima Rui, who had escaped from Chang An to Jian King (present day Nan Jing), took roughly 100 Chinese families with him and declared himself the new Emperor of Jin.

During his reign, there was a mass migration of Han Chinese fleeing from famine and barbarian rule to the north, but the gentry classes opposed the government’s policy on admitting refugees. Sima Rui, despite his noble background, disagreed with the gentry and allowed the refugees to enter Eastern Jin.

In the year AD 322, Sima Rui died, and his son, Sima Shao, succeeded him as Emperor. Sima Rui was posthumously named “Yuan-di” or “Original Emperor.”

Copyright © 2002 - 2003 Sean Williams