Wen Tianxiang

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A portrait of Wen Tianxiang

Wen Tianxiang (Chinese:文天祥) (1236–1283), also known as Wen Shan, was named Number One Scholar in the highest imperial examinations at the age of 20.

In 1275, Mongol troops were approaching Lin’an, the Song Dynasty (AD 960–1280) capital. The Song emperor issued a call to arms and Wen, then a magistrate in Ganzhou, mustered an army of 10,000. The following year, he was appointed prime minister and later supported the nine-year-old Zhao Cheng to take the throne.

In 1278, Wen was captured but refused to collaborate with the enemy. On January 9, 1283, he died a martyr.