Southern dynasty

Sima Maoying 司马茂英

Sima Maoying, also known as Princess Haiyan, was a princess of the Eastern Jin dynasty and later became an empress consort of the Liu Song dynasty. Born to Emperor Gong of Jin and Chu Lingyuan, she was created a princess during her father’s brief reign (419–420). Sima Maoying married Liu Yifu, who later became Emperor Shao, the heir apparent to the powerful general Liu Yu (future Emperor Wu of Song).

In 420, Liu Yu forced Sima Maoying’s father to yield the throne, ending the Jin dynasty and establishing the Liu Song dynasty. Liu Yifu was created crown prince, and Sima Maoying became crown princess. In 421, after Liu Yu’s death, Liu Yifu ascended the throne as Emperor Shao, and Sima Maoying was created empress.

However, in 424, officials deemed Emperor Shao unfit to be emperor and demoted him to the title of Prince of Yingyang, subsequently demoting Sima Maoying to Princess of Yingyang. Emperor Shao was eventually replaced by his brother Liu Yilong (Emperor Wen). In 432, Emperor Wen adopted Liu Lang, a son of his brother Liu Yigong, into Liu Yifu’s line, creating Liu Lang the Prince of Nanfeng. Sima Maoying then held the title of Princess Dowager of Nanfeng. She passed away in 439.

Artist’s Note


Emperor Shao of Song 宋少帝

Emperor Shao of Liu Song, born Liu Yifu, was the eldest son of Emperor Wu, the founding emperor of the Liu Song dynasty. He ascended to the throne in 422 following his father’s death. However, officials entrusted with governance by Emperor Wu deemed him unfit to rule due to his perceived incompetence. Consequently, they deposed and killed him in 424, installing his younger brother, Liu Yilong (Emperor Wen), as the new emperor.

More from Xiang Li Art