|Cheng (Han) Wudi (成(漢)武帝)|
|Family name:||Li (李; lǐ)|
|Given name:||Xiong (雄, xióng)|
|Temple name:||Taizong (太宗, taì zōng)|
|Posthumous name:||Wu (武, wǔ), |
literary meaning: "martial"
Li Xiong (李雄) (274-334), courtesy name Zhongjuan (仲雋), formally Emperor Wu of Cheng (Han) (成(漢)武帝), was the first emperor of the Chinese/Di state Cheng Han and commonly regarded as its founder (although some historians date Cheng Han's founding to Li Xiong's father Li Te). Li Xiong's declaration of himself as the Prince of Chengdu in 304 (and thus, independence from Jin Dynasty (265-420)) is commonly regarded as the start of the Sixteen Kingdoms era.
Historians generally viewed Li Xiong's reign of Cheng Han as one characterized by leniency and lack of interference with the people's livelihoods. As Li's empire was generally peaceful during his reign while other places were ravaged by warfare, his empire received large numbers of refugees who settled down and added to the richness of the realm. He was also not wasteful. However, he was also criticized for having lack of order in his government. His officials were not given salaries, and therefore, when they needed supplies, they directly requisitioned the supplies from the people which, while in Li Xiong's reign did not appear to create massive corruption, appeared to do so in his successors' reigns.
Late in Li Xiong's reign, Zhang Jun, the leader of Former Liang, a Jin vassal state, made repeated overtures to him to ask him to remove his imperial title and become a Jin vassal. Li Xiong did not do so, but continuously stated to Zhang that he would be willing to do so if Jin were able to be more revived. He also maintained friendly relations with Zhang, and Cheng Han and Former Liang thereafter maintained a trade relationship. Li Xiong also, with some reluctance, allowed Jin and Former Liang messengers to pass through his territory to communicate with each other.
In 334, Li Xiong grew ill from an infected head wound, which then spread to other wounds that he had suffered over the years over his body. His body was said to be causing such a great stench that his sons avoided him, but Li Ban cared for him day and night. He died in summer 334 and was succeeded by Li Ban. However, as Li Xiang had predicted, Li Xiong's sons were unhappy they were passed over, and later in the year, his son Li Yue (李越) assassinated Li Ban and made another son of his, Li Qi, emperor. Under Li Qi's rule, Cheng Han began to decline.
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