An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Jin Kangdi 晉康帝 Sima Yue 司馬岳

Jun 23, 2018 © Ulrich Theobald

Emperor Jin Kangdi 晉康帝 (r. 342-344), personal name Sima Yue 司馬岳, courtesy name Shitong 世同, was a ruler of the Eastern Jin dynasty 東晉 (317-420). He was a son of Emperor Ming 晉明帝 (r. 322-325) and Empress Yu 庾皇后. His first title was Prince of Wu 吳, but he was later transferred to the princedom of Langya 瑯琊. Apart from these titles of nobility, he was granted the honorific titles of cavalry general ( 驃騎將軍) and Minister of Education (situ 司徒).

In 342, Emperor Ming fell critically ill, so that high minister Yu Bing 庾冰 (296-344), a brother of Empress Yu, suggested to make his oldest son Heir Apparent. In this way, he would gain more influence over the emperor. A year later, Sima Yue was enthroned. His empress was Ms Chu 褚氏, and regency was taken over by his uncle Yu Bing, who bore the title of Director of the Imperial Secretariat (shangshu ling 中書令).

Yet in 343, the idea came to send Yu Bing out to guard the city of Wuchang 武昌 (today's Echeng 鄂城, Hubei) during Yu Yi's 庾翼 (305-345) northern campaign against the Later Zhao empire 後趙 (319-350), and regency was taken over by Director He Chong 何充 (292-346) and the empress' father Chu Pou 褚裒. After just two years of reign, Sima Yue attracked a disease and died. His last will was to enthrone his Heir Apparent, Sima Dan 司馬聃, who is known as Emperor Mu 晉穆帝 (r. 344-361).

Sima Yue was buried in Mound Chongping 崇平陵, his posthumous title was Kang 康 "The Healthy" or "The Strong".

Chen Quanli 陳全力, Hou Xinyi 侯欣一, ed. (1988). Diwang cidian 帝王辭典 (Xi'an: Shaanxi renmin jiaoyu chubanshe), 62.