Emperor Zhao of Han

Emperor Zhao of Han
Emperor of the Han Dynasty
Reign87–74 BC
PredecessorEmperor Wu
SuccessorPrince He of Changyi
Born94 BC
Chang'an, Han Empire
Died74 BC (aged 20)
Chang'an, Han Empire
Pingling Mausoleum
Full name
Liu Fuling 劉弗陵
Era dates
Shĭyúan 始元 (86 BC – 80 BC)
Yúanfèng 元鳳 (80 BC – 75 BC)
Yúanpíng 元平 (74 BC)
Posthumous name
Xiaozhao Huangdi (Chinese: 孝昭皇帝; pinyin: Xiàozhāo Huángdì), Zhao Di (Chinese: 昭帝; pinyin: Zhāo Dì) for short
Temple name
Zhongzong (Chinese: 中宗; pinyin: Zhōngzōng)
HouseHouse of Liu
FatherEmperor Wu of Han
MotherLady Gouyi

Emperor Zhao of Han (94 BC – 5 June 74 BC), born Liu Fuling, was the emperor of the Western Han dynasty from 87 to 74 BC.

Emperor Zhao was the youngest son of Emperor Wu of Han. By the time he was born, Emperor Wu was already 62. Prince Fuling ascended the throne after the death of Emperor Wu in 87 BC. He was only eight years old. Huo Guang served as regent.

Emperor Wu's long reign left the Han Dynasty greatly expanded; however constant warfare had depleted the empire's coffers. Emperor Zhao, under the tutelage of Huo, took the initiative and lowered taxes as well as reduced government spending. As a result, citizens prospered and the Han Dynasty enjoyed an era of peace. Emperor Zhao died after reigning for 13 years, at the age of 20.

Birth and childhood

In 94 BC, then-Prince Fuling was born to a favorite concubine of Emperor Wu, Consort Zhao, who carried the title Lady Gouyi. Emperor Wu was ecstatic in having a child at his advanced age (62), and because Consort Zhao purportedly had a pregnancy that lasted 14 months long—the same length as the mythical Emperor Yao – he named Consort Zhao's palace gate "Gate of Yao's Mother." This led to speculations that he, due to his favor for Consort Zhao and Prince Fuling, wanted to make Prince Fuling crown prince instead of Crown Prince Liu Ju, the son of Empress Wei Zifu. That, in turn, led to conspiracies against Prince Ju and Empress Wei, eventually forcing Prince Ju to pre-emptively rise up in military self-defence in 91 BC. Being misunderstood as a revolt, Prince Ju was defeated and went into exile, and both he and Empress Wei committed suicide soon afterwards.

After Prince Ju's death, Emperor Wu was forced to consider who would make a good heir. Liu Dan, the Prince of Yan, was Emperor Wu's oldest surviving son, but Emperor Wu considered both him and his younger brother Liu Xu, the Prince of Guangling, to be unsuitable, since neither respected laws. Liu Bo, Lady Li's son, had consort kin in the form of his uncle Li Guangli. In any case, before Emperor Wu's death, Li Guangli would surrender to the Xiongnu, while Liu Bo predeceased his father. Left with no other options, he decided on his youngest son, Prince Fuling, who was only six at that time. He therefore also chose a potential regent in Huo Guang, whom he considered to be capable and faithful. He also ordered Prince Fuling's mother, Lady Gouyi, arrested and executed, in fear that she would become an uncontrollable empress dowager, like Empress Dowager Lü. He entrusted Huo with the regency of Fuling. At Huo's suggestion, he also made ethnic Xiongnu official Jin Midi and general Shangguan Jie co-regents. He died on March 29, 87 BC, shortly after creating Prince Fuling crown prince two days prior on March 27.[1] Fuling then succeeded to the throne as Emperor Zhao at the age of 8.

Other Languages
Bân-lâm-gú: Hàn Chiau-tè
Deutsch: Han Zhaodi
français: Han Zhaodi
Bahasa Indonesia: Kaisar Zhao dari Han
Nederlands: Han Zhaodi
日本語: 昭帝 (漢)
norsk: Han Zhaodi
polski: Han Zhaodi
português: Zhaodi
русский: Чжао-ди
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Car Zhao od Hana
svenska: Han Zhaodi
Türkçe: Zhao
українська: Лю Фулін
Tiếng Việt: Hán Chiêu Đế
粵語: 劉弗陵
中文: 汉昭帝