Linghu Defen - During Emperor Gaozu's Reign

During Emperor Gaozu's Reign

In 618, after Li Yuan received news that Emperor Yang had been killed in a coup at Jiangdu (江都, in modern Yangzhou, Jiangsu), he had Emperor Gong yield the throne to him, establishing Tang Dynasty as its Emperor Gaozu. He made Linghu Defen an imperial attendant. In 622, Emperor Gaozu made Linghu Mishu Cheng (秘書丞), the secretary general of the archival bureau of government (秘書省, Mishu Sheng), and had him participate on the compilation of the Yiwen Leiju, with the chancellor Chen Shuda.

At that time, after the great disturbance at the end of Sui, much of old book collections had been lost. Linghu advocated, and Emperor Gaozu agreed, to seek out books and purchase them and, once they were bought, to have them copied as well. After several years, the imperial collections were more comprehensive. Linghu also pointed out that while the Southern Dynasties' histories were largely written, little have been formally compiled of Northern Zhou and Sui Dynasty's histories—and that the deeds of the great people of those two dynasties, including those of Emperor Gaozu's ancestors, would be lost. Emperor Gaozu therefore issued an edict commissioning Xiao Yu, Wang Jingye (王敬業), and Yin Wenli (殷聞禮) to compile the history of Northern Wei; Chen, Linghu, and Yu Jian (庾儉) to compile the history of Northern Zhou; Feng Deyi and Yan Shigu to compile the history of Sui; Cui Shanwei (崔善為), Kong Shao'an (孔紹安), and Xiao Deyan (蕭德言) to compile the history of Liang Dynasty; Pei Ju, Zu Xiaosun (祖孝孫), and Wei Zheng to compile the history of Southern Qi; and Dou Jin (竇璡), Ouyang Xun, and Yao Silian to compile the history of Chen Dynasty. However, after the issuance of Emperor Gaozu's edict, not much actual historical compilation was carried out, and the projects stalled.

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