Empress Sima Maoying

Empress Sima Maoying (司馬茂英) (393?–439) was a princess of jin dynasty (265–420) (with the title Princess Haiyan (海鹽公主)) and an empress of the liu song dynasty. Her father was Emperor Gong of Jin, and her husband was Emperor Shao of Liu Song (Liu Yifu).

Sima Maoying was the daughter of Emperor Gong and his wife, Empress Chu Lingyuan. She must have been created princess during her father's brief reign (419-420), and it was also at that time that she married Liu Yifu, then the heir apparent to the powerful general Liu Yu. In 420, her father-in-law forced her father to yield the throne to him, ending Jin and starting Liu Song. He created Liu Yifu crown prince, and she therefore carried the title of crown princess. In 421, he had her father killed. In 422, after Liu Yu died, Liu Yifu took the throne as Emperor Shao, and she was created empress.

However, in 424, officials that Liu Yu had left in control of the government deposed Emperor Shao, believing him to be unfit to be emperor, demoting him to the title of Prince of Yingyang. Empress Sima was therefore also demoted to Princess of Yingyang. Soon, the officials had Liu Yifu killed. They replaced him with his capable brother Liu Yilong (as Emperor Wen), and Emperor Wen, in 432, posthumously had his nephew Liu Lang (劉郎) (the son of his brother Liu Yigong (劉義恭) the Prince of Jiangxia) adopted into Liu Yifu's line as his son and created Liu Lang the Prince of Nanfeng. The former Empress Sima therefore carried the title Princess Dowager of Nanfeng. She died in 439.


The date is according to the Song Shu, but a commentator to Song Shu, Zhang Senkai (張森楷), commented that this would make her some 13 years older than her husband, which seemed rather unlikely even for a political marriage, and commented that it was far more likely she was born around the same time as her husband. It should also be noted that this birthdate would make her be born when her father was only seven years old and her mother nine years old, so it appeared that Zhang was quite likely correct in his skepticism.

Last update 03-04-2012

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