This week Monarch Monday takes a look at Chinese Emperor Zhao of Han of the Western Han dynasty.
1- Emperor Zhao was born Prince Liu Fuling to Emperor Wu and his favourite concubine,Consort Zhao in 94 BC.
2- When it was decided that Prince Liu Fuling would be the Crown Prince, Emperor Wu had Consort Zhao arrested and executed out of fear that she would become an uncontrollable Empress Dowager. The young prince was crowned Emperor on March 27 in 87 BC at age 8, and two days later on March 29 Emperor Wu passed away.
3- Princess Eyi, Emperor Zhao’s older sister, helped to raise the young Emperor after the death of his parents. Later she would be uncovered as one of several conspirators against Zhao and the throne and she and her lover would commit suicide.
4- In 84 BC five year old Lady Shangguan was named Imperial Consort to the then ten year old Emperor Zhao before becoming Empress in 83 BC. She passed away at age 55 in 37 BC and is the youngest person in history to assume both the title of Empress Dowager and Grand Empress Dowager.
5- In 81 BC Emperor Zhao begun an empire wide search for the brightest scholars alive to serve the state.
6- When he took on the throne, the empire was strategically rich but financially poor. To aid its financial troubles the young Emperor had taxes reduced and state spending cut. He was also opposed to the idea that a single person or family could own large amounts of land.
7- Emperor Zhao died in 74 BC without an heir, due to this his Grandnephew would later ascend the throne to be known as Emperor Xuan. Zhao of Han is buried with his Empress in Pingling Mound, Xianyang, Shaanxi,China.