A Chinese Biographical Dictionary/An Lu-shan

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11An Lu-Shan 安祿山. Died A.D. 757. A native of Lukchak, of Turkic descent, whose original name was 康 K'ang. His mother was a witch, and prayed for a son on the 軋窂 Ya-lao mountains, whence he is sometimes known as Ya-lao-shan. At his birth, a halo was seen around the house, and the beasts of the field cried aloud. The authorities sent to have the child put to death, but he was successfully concealed by his mother. His father dying while he was still young, his mother married a man named An; whereupon he changed his surname, and took the name as above. He grew up to be a tall, heavily-built, clever fellow, and a good judge of character. He spoke the various frontier dialects well; a point which once saved his head when condemned to death for sheep-stealing. He began to be employed in repressing the raids of the Kitan Tartars, in which occupation he made quite a name for himself, and was at length brought to the capital by Li Lin-fu. The Emperor Ming Huang took a great fancy to him, and Yang Kuei-fei called him her adopted son, making him do obeisance to her first and to the Emperor afterwards, on the ground that such was the Turkic custom. Despatched upon an expedition against the Kitans, he was so successful that he was ennobled as Duke. Then, inflated with pride and ambition, he rebelled, and added to the general confusion which was surrounding the wretched Ming Huang, who had been repeatedly warned of this new danger. He called himself the Emperor 雄武 Hsiung Wu of the Great Yen dynasty, and for a time carried everything before him. But he was assassinated by his own son 安慶緒 An Ch'ing-hsü, who feared that he was going to be deprived of the succession in favour of the offspring of a concubine; and within three years of the first rising, the son too had been taken prisoner and put to death by Shih Ssǔ-ming. Canonised by his adherents as 燕剌王.