Yang Ci 禓賜 was Minister over the Masses and a tutor to Emperor Ling 靈帝. He warned the Emperor about Zhang Jue 張角, but was ignored and therefore resigned.


During The Yellow Turban OutbreakEdit

Zhang Jue and his two younger brothers Zhang Bao 張寶 and Zhang Liang 張梁 had founded a doctrine name the Way of Great Peace. Using charmed water they cured illnesses and they made those who were sick, kneel down and confess their faults. Sometimes the patients got better and then they started to believe the Zhang brothers and spread the word.

Zhang Jue sent out disciples to the eight provinces; Qing, Xu, You, Ji, Jing, Yang, Yan and Yu to gather followers for his doctrines. Some people were so out of faith that they left their homes and sold all of their belongings in order to get to Zhang Jue. Many pilgrims died before they could even reach him. The officials in the commanderies and counties did not understand what was really going on, and instead they reported that Zhang Jue reformed men by his fine teaching and that this was why the people turned to him. Minister over the Masses Yang Ci[1], however, had his suspicions and sent the following memorial:

"Zhang Jue is deceiving and exploiting the common people. When amnesties are granted, instead of repenting himself, he spreads his evil influence even wider. If orders are sent to the provincial and commandery administrations to arrest him and punish him, I am afraid that might only increase the confusion and would hasten on disaster. The first thing to do is to give strict orders to the Inspectors and the heads of commanderies and kingdoms that they must stop people wandering about and send them back to their own territory. This way we will isolate his party and then we can punish the ringleaders. Everything would then be settled without trouble."[2]

Short time later Yang Ci was dismissed and the matter was more or less ignored.

In 184 A.D., some time since the Yellow Turban outbreak, the Emperor asked Yang Ci for his opinion on this matter. Yang Ci replied in straight-forward fashion very much to the point, and the Emperor was not pleased.

In the summer Yong Ci left office. Some time later, when the Emperor was looking over some earlier records, he found the memorials written by Yang Ci and Liu Tao 劉陶 to warn against Zhang Jue. He enfeoffed Yang Ci as Marquis of Linjin.[3]

Near the end of the Yellow Turban Rebellion, Yang Ci is mentioned when he, Yuan Wei 袁隗 and He Jin 何進 plead for the life of Wang Yun 王允, who had been slandered by Zhang Rang 張讓 and was sent to prison.[4]


In the ninth month of the year 185 A.D. Yang Ci became Minister of Works. In the winter, in the tenth month on the day gengyin, Yang Ci died. He held the marquisate of Linjin, and his posthumous title was Brilliant Cultivation.[5]


  • Grandfather
    • Yang Zhen
  • Parents
    • Yang Bing - father
  • Son
  • Distant relatives


  • His style name can also be Boxian or Ziyou.


  1. Yang Ci had been Minister over the Masses from the end of 176 A.D.
  2. HHS 54/44 indicates that this statement, here described as a memorial, was actually the text of a discussion between Yang Ci and his clerk Liu Tao. Yang Ci raised these points with Liu Tao, and Liu Tao encouraged him to present them in a memorial.
  3. HHS 54/44, 1784 (17b), the Biography of Yang Ci; HHS 54/44 says the Emperor discovered the memorials while on a visit to the Southern Palace, where he was browsing amongst various old documents.
  4. HHS 66/56, 2172-73 (10a-11a), the Biography of Wang Yun.
  5. HHS 54/44, 1785 (18a-b), the Biography of Yang Ci.