Emperor Cheng of Han
This article does not
Emperor Cheng riding a palanquin,
|Reign||33 – 7 BC|
|Died||7 BC (Aged 44)|
Chang'an, Han Empire
|Emperor Cheng of Han|
|Literal meaning||The Accomplished Emperor of Han|
|Alternative Chinese name|
|Literal meaning||(personal name)|
Emperor Cheng of Han (51 BC – 17 April 7 BC) was an
Emperor Cheng was born circa 51 BC to then-Crown Prince Liu Shi (later
In 47 BC, Emperor Yuan created him
Emperor Yuan was a relatively non-womanizing emperor, but he did have two favorite concubines in addition to Empress Wang—
As Crown Prince Ao grew older, Emperor Yuan became increasingly unhappy with his fitness as imperial heir and impressed with Consort Fu's son, Prince Liu Kang of Shanyang (山陽王劉康). Several incidents led to this situation. One happened in 35 BC, when Emperor Yuan's youngest brother Prince Liu Jing of Zhongshan (中山王劉竟) died, Emperor Yuan became angry when he felt that the teenage Crown Prince Ao was insufficiently grieving—particularly because Princes Ao and Jing were of similar age and grew up together as playmates—and showing insufficient respect to Prince Jing. Prince Ao's head of household Shi Dan (史丹), a relative of Emperor Yuan's grandmother and a senior official respected by Emperor Yuan, managed to convince Emperor Yuan that Crown Prince Ao was trying to stop Emperor Yuan himself from overgrieving, but the seed of dissatisfaction was sown.
As the princes further grew, several things further led to an endearment between Emperor Yuan and Prince Kang. They shared affection and skills in music—particularly in the playing of drums. Prince Kang also showed high intelligence and diligence, while Crown Prince Ao was known for drinking and womanizing. When Emperor Yuan grew ill circa 35 BC—an illness that he would not recover from—Consort Fu and Prince Kang were often summoned to his sickbed to attend to him, while Empress Wang and Crown Prince Ao rarely were. In his illness, apparently encouraged by Consort Fu, Emperor Yuan reconsidered whether he should make Prince Kang his heir instead. Only the intercession of Shi Dan led Emperor Yuan to cease those thoughts. When Emperor Yuan died in 33 BC, Crown Prince Ao ascended the throne (as Emperor Cheng).