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Day Five at Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London
Rusian Maria Sharapova reacts in her match against Taipei's Su-Wei Hsieh on the fifth day of the 2012 Wimbledon championships in London, June 29, 2012. UPI/Hugo Philpott
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Su Wei (蘇威) (542-623), courtesy name Wuwei (無畏), was a high level official of the Chinese dynasty Sui Dynasty. He first became an important official during the reign of Sui's founder Emperor Wen, and after Emperor Wen's death continued to serve Emperor Wen's son Emperor Yang. He was often praised for his abilities and integrity but criticized for pettiness. After Emperor Yang was assassinated in 618, he was nominally an official under Emperor Yang's nephew Yang Hao, and then under the warlords Yuwen Huaji, Li Mi, and Wang Shichong. After Wang Shichong's state of Zheng was destroyed by Tang Dynasty in 621, neither the Tang general Li Shimin (the later Emperor Taizong) nor Li Shiimin's father Emperor Gaozu of Tang was interested in retaining Su as an official, and Su Wei died soon thereafter.

Su Wei was born in 542, during the reign of Emperor Wen of Western Wei. His father Su Chuo (蘇綽) was the key assistant for Western Wei's paramount general Yuwen Tai. Su Chuo died around the new year 547, and Su Wei inherited his father's title. (The historical sources are in conflict as to whether that title was Count of Meiyang or Duke of Meiyang, but the former seemed more probable.) After Yuwen Tai's death in 556, Yuwen Tai's nephew Yuwen Hu served as regent, and in 557 forced Emperor Gong of Western Wei to yield the throne to Yuwen Tai's son Yuwen Jue, ending Western Wei and founding Northern Zhou, although Yuwen Hu maintained power over the reigns of three emperors (three sons of Yuwen Tai) -- Emperor Xiaomin (whom Yuwen Hu later deposed and killed), Emperor Ming (whom Yuwen Hu later poisoned), and Emperor Wu. Yuwen Hu was impressed with Su Wei's talent and gave his daughter the Princess Xinxing to Su Wei in marriage. Su Wei, however, was fearful of the power that his father-in-law wielded, believing that it would eventually be a source of disaster, so for a while he fled into the mountains to be a hermit. Soon thereafter, his uncle forced him out of the mountains back into governmental service, but he still spent much of his time in Buddhist temples, reading various books. His title was promoted to Duke of Huaidao.

In 572, Emperor Wu ambushed Yuwen Hu and killed him, taking power himself. He tried to retain Su in his government, but Su repeatedly declined under the excuse that he was ill. During this time, he was praised for his actions during a particular incident involving his cousin and her husband Yuan Xiong (元雄) -- Northern Zhou's ally Tujue had resented Yuan (for reasons lost to history) and had requested that Northern Zhou turn Yuan and his wife (Su's cousin) over to it for punishment. Su, believing that Tujue authorities could be bribed, sold all of his belongings to ransom his cousin and Yuan. He returned to governmental service during the reign of Emperor Wu's son Emperor Xuan.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Su Wei."
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