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|Successor||dynasty abolished, |
|Died||6 October 23 (aged 68)|
|Issue||Wang Yu (王宇)|
Wang Hue (王獲)
Wang An, Prince of Xinqian (王安)
Wang Lin, Prince of Tongyiyang (王臨)
Wang Xing, Duke of Gongxiu (王興)
Wang Kuang, Duke of Gongjian (王匡)
Wang Jie, Lady of Mudai (王捷)
Lady Wang, Lady of Muxiu
|Father||Wang Man (王曼)|
Wang Mang (
In October 23 AD, the capital
The Han dynasty was reestablished in 25 AD when Liu Xiu (
Wang Mang was the son of Wang Man (王曼), the younger brother of
While Wang Mang was obviously well-connected to the imperial family, he did not have nearly the luxuries that his cousins enjoyed. Indeed, unlike his relatives who lived expensively and competed with each other on how they could spend more, Wang Mang was praised for his humility, thriftiness, and desire to study. He wore not the clothes of young nobles but those of a young
When Wang Mang's powerful uncle Wang Feng (王鳳, commander of the armed forces 33 BC-22 BC) grew ill, Wang Mang cared for him near his sick bed day and night, and attended to his medical and personal needs. Wang Feng was greatly touched, and before his death, he asked Empress Dowager Wang and Emperor Cheng to take good care of Wang Mang. Wang Mang was therefore given the post of imperial attendant (黃門郎) and later promoted to be one of the subcommanders of the imperial guards (射聲校尉).
In 16 BC, another of Wang Mang's uncles, Wang Shang (王商) the Marquess of Chengdu, submitted a petition to divide part of his
Another thing that Wang Mang made himself known for was that he had only a single wife,
Emperor Cheng appointed his uncles, one after another, to be commander of the armed forces (the most powerful court official) (see
To overcome Chunyu's presumptive hold on succeeding Wang Gen, Wang Mang took action. He collected evidence that Chunyu, a frivolous man in his words and deeds, had secretly received bribes from the deposed Empress Xu and had promised to help her become "left empress", and that he had promised his associates great posts once he succeeded Wang Gen. In 8 BC, he informed Wang Gen and Empress Dowager Wang of the evidence, and both Wang Gen and Empress Dowager Wang were greatly displeased. They exiled Chunyu back to his march. Chunyu, before he left the capital, gave his horses and luxurious carriages to his cousin Wang Rong (王融) – the son of his uncle Wang Li (王立), with whom he had a running feud. Wang Li, happy with Chunyu's gift, submitted a petition requesting that Chunyu be allowed to remain at the capital—which drew Emperor Cheng's suspicion, because he knew of the feud between Wang Li and Chunyu. He ordered Wang Rong to be arrested, and Wang Li, in his panic, ordered his son to commit suicide—which in turn caused Emperor Cheng to become even more suspicious. He therefore had Chunyu arrested and interrogated. Chunyu admitted to deceiving Empress Xu and receiving bribes from her, and he was executed.
Also in 8 BC, Wang Gen, by then seriously ill, submitted his resignation and requested that Wang Mang succeed him. In winter 8 BC, Emperor Cheng made Wang Mang the commander of the armed forces (大司馬), at the age of 37.