Three Kingdoms History: Bingyi/Shi/Ao/Xin

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Liu Bingyi (Xuandi)
Emperor: (73-49 BC)

Han Ruler and Emperor Biographies
Authoring and Translation by

In the year 74 BC, Emperor Zhao-di died, Huo Guang deposed the original heir to the Han throne, and Liu Bingyi was placed on the throne instead.

Emperor Xuan-di ruled for twenty-eight years, during which he tried to reduce the corruption that crept into the government. However, his attempts were ineffective, and his son and heir, Yuan-di, was the first of many dysfunctional monarchs; the chance of an inept monarch inheriting power again manifesting itself.

Liu Shi (Yuandi)
Emperor: (48-33 BC)

Han Ruler and Emperor Biographies
Authoring and Translation by

Yuan-di took power in 48 BC at the age of twenty-seven. He was a timid intellectual who spent much time with his concubines, who were too numerous for him to know all personally. Rather than govern, Yuan-di left power in the hands of his eunuch secretaries and members of his mother’s family.

Liu Ao (Chendi)
Emperor: (32-7 BC)

Han Ruler and Emperor Biographies
Authoring and Translation by

Yuan-di’s son, Cheng-di, became Emperor in 32 BC, at nineteen; he had little enthusiasm for governing and was most concerned with personal pleasure, including visiting houses of prostitution at night. During Cheng-di’s twenty-seven year reign, he sought guidance from omens, and to satisfy the jealousy of one of his women, he murdered two of his sons born to other women.

Liu Xin (Aidi)
Emperor: (6-0 BC)

Han Ruler and Emperor Biographies
Authoring and Translation by

In 6 BC, Cheng-di was succeeded by Ai-di, who lived in the company of homosexual boys, one of whom he appointed commander-in-chief of his armies. With the decline in quality of monarchs following the reign of Wu-di, some Confucian scholars declared that the Han Dynasty had lost its Mandate of Heaven, and this became widely believed.

Copyright © 2002 - 2003
Major Sources: Shi Ji (Sima Qian)
Ancient Chinese History and Emperors (Brian Williams)
with notes from William Ho and Quentin Tran