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Encyclopedia > Emperor Xian of Han
Han Xiandi (漢獻帝)
Family name: Liu (劉; liú)
Given name: Xie (協, xíe)
Posthumous name:
(full)
Xiaoxian (孝獻, xiào xiàn)
literary meaning: "filial and wise"
Posthumous name:
(short)
Xian (獻, xìan)
"wise"

Emperor Xian of Han, trad. ch. 漢獻帝;, sim. ch. 汉献帝;, py. hàn xìan dì, wg. Han Hsien-ti, (181-234, r. 189-220) was last emperor of the Chinese Han Dynasty. He abdicated in favor of Cao Pi and was given the title of Duke of Shanyang ("Shanyang gong"). Chinese personal names follow a number of conventions different from those of Western personal names. ... Liu is a Chinese family name. ... Chinese personal names follow a number of conventions different from those of Western personal names. ... A posthumous name (Traditional Chinese: 諡號/謚號 Simplified Chinese: 谥号; Pinyin: shì hào; Romaji: shigō/tsuigō; Revised Romanization of Korean: siho) is a honorary name given to royalty in some cultures posthumously, that is, after the persons death. ... A posthumous name (Traditional Chinese: 諡號/謚號 Simplified Chinese: 谥号; Pinyin: shì hào; Romaji: shigō/tsuigō; Revised Romanization of Korean: siho) is a honorary name given to royalty in some cultures posthumously, that is, after the persons death. ... Traditional Chinese characters are one of two standard character sets of printed contemporary Chinese written language. ... Simplified Chinese characters (Simplified Chinese: 简体字; Traditional Chinese: 簡體字; pinyin: jiÇŽntǐzì; also called 简化字/簡化字, jiÇŽnhuàzì) are one of two standard character sets of printed contemporary Chinese written language. ... PY, Py or py may stand for: Pinyin, a system of romanization (phonetic notation and transliteration to roman script) for Mandarin Chinese used in the Peoples Republic of China. ... Wade-Giles, sometimes abbreviated Wade, is a Romanization (phonetic notation and transliteration) system for the Chinese language based on Mandarin. ... Events Antonine Wall is overrun. ... Events Wei Yan revolts against the kingdom of Shu Han Births Emperor Wu of Jin China (approximate date) Deaths Li Yan, general of the Shu Kingdom Wei Yan, Shu general, executed by Ma Dai Zhuge Liang of the Shu Kingdom in China, dies on the Wu Zhang Plains in a... Events Pope Victor I succeeds Pope Eleuterus The Prince of Hongnong succeeds Han Lingdi as Chinese emperor of Han Dynasty Dong Zhuo has the Prince of Hongnong poisoned and installs Han Xiandi as emperor. ... Events Han Xiandi abdicates his throne to Cao Pi, symbolizing the end of the Han Dynasty and the beginning of the Three Kingdoms period in China. ... The emperor or huangdi (皇帝 in pinyin: huang2 di4) of China was the head of government and head of state of China from the Qin dynasty in 221 BC until the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1911. ... Han commanderies and kingdoms AD 2. ... Cáo PÄ« (曹丕, 187 - 226), born in Qiao County, Pei presently Bozhou city in An Hui Province. ... Wang (King) and Huangdi (Emperor) The King or Wang (王 wang2) was the title of the Chinese head of state from the Zhou dynasty until the Qin dynasty. ...


Emperor Xian was the son of Emperor Ling and was the brother of Emperor Liu Bian (who later became known as Prince of Hongnong). He was placed on the throne in 189 after Dong Zhuo removed his brother from the throne. This act was seen as a sign to all the other lords that he was in full control of the empire. However after Dong Zhuo was assassinated in 192, Emperor Xian became first a puppet and then was stranded in Luoyang with the warlords formally acknowledging him but giving him no aid. Eventually, Emperor Xian came under the control of Cao Cao in 196, and Cao used Emperor Xian as a titular ruler effectively, issuing edicts beneficial to him in Emperor Xian's name, greatly helping him in his quest to reunify the empire, which appeared inevitable until Cao's defeat by Sun Quan at the Battle of Chibi, leading to Sun and Liu Bei's entrenchment in their territories. In 220, the Han dynasty was finally overthrown by Cao Cao's son Cao Pi, ending more than 400 years of Han dynastic rule and ushering in the era of the Three Kingdoms. Emperor Ling of Han, trad. ... Format of naming convention in English is under discussion at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (Chinese). ... Events Pope Victor I succeeds Pope Eleuterus The Prince of Hongnong succeeds Han Lingdi as Chinese emperor of Han Dynasty Dong Zhuo has the Prince of Hongnong poisoned and installs Han Xiandi as emperor. ... Dong Zhuo (? – 192) was a warlord during the late Eastern Han Dynasty and Three Kingdoms Period in ancient China. ... Events The kingdom of Champa begins to control south and central Vietnam (approximate date). ... Luoyang (Simplified Chinese: 洛阳; Traditional Chinese: 洛陽; pinyin: ) is a prefecture-level city in western Henan province, Peoples Republic of China. ... Cao Cao (155 – 220), whose name is also often transliterated and should be correctly pronounced as Tsao Tsao, was a regional warlord and the last Chancellor of Eastern Han Dynasty who rose to great power during the last years of the Eastern Han Dynasty in ancient China. ... Events First year of Jianan era of the Chinese Han Dynasty Clodius Albinus, rival for Roman Emperor, leaves the province of Britain with all of the islands troops, and makes Gaul his headquarters. ... Sun Quan (孫權 pinyin: SÅ«n Quán) (182 - 252), son of Sun Jian, was the third ruler of the State of Wu and the founder of Kingdom of Wu, during the Three Kingdoms period, in China. ... Battle of Red Cliffs Conflict Wars of the Three Kingdoms Date Winter, 208 Place Chi Bi (Red Cliffs), Chang Jiang Result Decisive Wu and Shu victory Battle of Red Cliffs (赤壁之戰 Battle of Chibi) was a decisive battle of the wars of the Three Kingdoms in China. ... Liu Bei (161 – 223), courtesy name Xuande, was a powerful warlord and the founding emperor of the Kingdom of Shu during the Three Kingdoms era in ancient China. ... Events Han Xiandi abdicates his throne to Cao Pi, symbolizing the end of the Han Dynasty and the beginning of the Three Kingdoms period in China. ... Cáo PÄ« (曹丕, 187 - 226), born in Qiao County, Pei presently Bozhou city in An Hui Province. ... The Three Kingdoms period (Simplified Chinese: 三国; Traditional Chinese: 三國; Pinyin Sānguó) is a period in the history of China. ...


Although Emperor Xian was demoted to a rank of nobility (Duke of Shanyang), he lived in comfort and enjoyed preferential treatments. Emperor Xian died in 234, 14 years after the fall of his dynasty. He was 53. Events Wei Yan revolts against the kingdom of Shu Han Births Emperor Wu of Jin China (approximate date) Deaths Li Yan, general of the Shu Kingdom Wei Yan, Shu general, executed by Ma Dai Zhuge Liang of the Shu Kingdom in China, dies on the Wu Zhang Plains in a...

Contents


Family background

The future Emperor Xian was born in 181, to Emperor Ling and his concubine Consort Wang. During her pregnancy, Consort Wang, fearful of Emperor Ling's powerful empress Empress He, had taken drugs that were intended to induce an abortion, but was not successful in her attempt. Soon after she gave birth to Prince Xie, the jealous Empress He poisoned her by putting poison in her rice porridge. Emperor Ling was enraged and wanted to depose her, but the eunuchs pleaded on her behalf, and she was not deposed. Prince Xie was raised personally by Emperor Ling's mother Empress Dowager Dong and known by the circumspect title "Marquess Dong." (This is due to superstition; Emperor Ling had lost a number of sons previously, and therefore both Prince Xie and his older brother Liu Bian (劉辯) were known by such titles; Prince Bian, having been raised by the magician Shi Zimiao (史子眇), was known as "Marquess Shi.") Prince Bian was born of the empress and was older, but Emperor Ling viewed his behavior as being insufficiently solemn and therefore considered creating Prince Xie crown prince, but hesitated and could not decide. Emperor Ling of Han, trad. ... Concubinage is either the state of a couple living together as lovers with no obligation created by vows, legal marriage, or religious ceremony, or the state of a woman supported by a male lover who is married to, and usually living with, someone else. ... Porridge (also known in American English as hot cereal), is a simple dish made by boiling oats (normally crushed oats, occasionally oatmeal) or another meal in water, milk or both. ... Format of naming convention in English is under discussion at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (Chinese). ...


When Emperor Ling died in 189, a powerful eunuch that he trusted, Jian Shuo, wanted to first kill Empress He's brother He Jin and then make Prince Xie emperor, and therefore set up a trap at a meeting he was to have with He. He found out, and preemptorily declared Prince Bian emperor. Later that year, the young emperor created Prince Xie the Prince of Bohai, and later changed his title to the Prince of Chenliu. Events Pope Victor I succeeds Pope Eleuterus The Prince of Hongnong succeeds Han Lingdi as Chinese emperor of Han Dynasty Dong Zhuo has the Prince of Hongnong poisoned and installs Han Xiandi as emperor. ... Jian Shuo was the leader of the Eunuch Faction of the Han Imperial Court in China, along with Zhang Rang. ... He Jin (? – 189) was the elder half-brother of Empress He, consort to Emperor Ling of the late Eastern Han Dynasty. ...


Ascension to the throne and collapse of the Han regime

For more details about the collapse of the Han regime -- which happened largely during Emperor Xian's reign but for which he had little, if any, responsibility -- see End of Han Dynasty.

The End of Han Dynasty (漢朝末年 or 東漢末年, the End of Eastern Han Dynasty) refers to a period roughly coinciding with the reign of Han Dynastys final emperor Emperor Xian (r. ...

Rise of Dong Zhuo

After Prince Bian became emperor, He Jin became the most powerful official at court, and he and his advisor Yuan Shao quickly entered into a conspiracy to exterminate the powerful eunuchs. They were, however, rebuffed by Empress Dowager He, and they hatched the plan to secretly order a number of generals to advance on the capital Luoyang to force Empress Dowager He to agree to their demands. One of these generals was the generally disobedient Dong Zhuo, who saw this as an opportunity to control the central government. Yuan Shao (? – 202) was a major warlord occupying the north of ancient China during the massive civil war towards the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty and the beginning of the Three Kingdoms era. ... Luoyang (Simplified Chinese: 洛阳; Traditional Chinese: 洛陽; pinyin: ) is a prefecture-level city in western Henan province, Peoples Republic of China. ... Dong Zhuo (? – 192) was a warlord during the late Eastern Han Dynasty and Three Kingdoms Period in ancient China. ...


He Jin's plan was discovered by the eunuchs, who lay a trap for him and killed him. Yuan then led his forces into the palace and killed the majority of the eunuchs. The remaining eunuchs initially took the young emperor and Prince Xie hostage, but eventually were forced to commit suicide when the battle turned against them. When Dong then arrived on scene, he, impressed with his own power and unimpressed with the nervous young emperor, forced the young emperor to yield the throne to Prince Xie (partly because he was raised Empress Dowager Dong who, while no relation to Dong Zhuo, was therefore respected by Dong Zhuo), who then ascended the throne as Emperor Xian. Dong Zhuo then murdered Empress Dowager He and the young former emperor, and became firmly in control of the political scene.


Forced relocation west and the death of Dong Zhuo

In the spring of 190, a number of local officials, loosely forming a coalition led by Yuan, quickly rose against Dong. Even though they were still apprehensive of Dong's military power and therefore did not directly advance on Luoyang, Dong was also fearful of their collective strength, and therefore determined to move the capital west -- to the old Western Han capital Chang'an, closer to his power base Liang Province (涼州, modern Gansu). In 191, he forced Emperor Xian to relocate to Chang'an and set large fires to Luoyang, rendering it largely in ruins. Events A part of Rome burns, and emperor Commodus orders the city to be rebuilt under the name Colonia Commodiana First year of Chuping era of Chinese Han Dynasty Births 190 is a number Deaths Athenagoras of Athens, Christian apologist Categories: 190 ... Changan   listen? (Simplified Chinese: 长安; Traditional Chinese: 長安; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Chang-an) is the ancient capital of more than ten dynasties in China. ... Gansu (Simplified Chinese: 甘肃; Traditional Chinese: 甘肅; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Kan-su, or modified as Kan-suh) is a province located in the northwest of the Peoples Republic of China. ... Events Serapion of Antioch becomes Patriarch of Antioch. ...


Later that year, a number of officials, led by Wang Yun and Dong's adopted son Lü Bu, assassinated Dong. For a while, it appeared that the Han regime might return to normal, as Wang quickly established relatlvely friendly relations with the local officials resisting Dong but by this time acting more as local warlords. However, due to Wang's failure to pacify Dong's former subordinates, they rose in revolt and killed Wang. Any possibility of return to normality was shattered. Wang Yun was the father of Diao Chan, and is most famous for creating the great rift that led to the death of Dong Zhuo at the hands of Lu Bu. ... Lü Bu (156 – 198) was a military general and minor warlord during the late Eastern Han Dynasty and Three Kingdoms period in ancient China. ...


Return to Luoyang's ruins

Dong's former subordinates, led by Li Jue (李傕) and Guo Si (郭汜), held Emperor Xian and the imperial officials. However, Li and Guo did not have serious ambitions, and their incompetence in governance furthered the breakdown of the empire into warlord realms. In 195, Li and Guo had a major fallout, and Li took Emperor Xian hostage while Guo took the imperial officials hostage as they battled. Later in the year, after peace talks between Li and Guo, they agreed to allow Emperor Xian to return to Luoyang -- but as soon as Emperor Xian departed Chang'an, they regreted this and chased him with their troops. While they were never able to capture him, Emperor Xian's court was rendered poor and unable to fend for itself, and once it returned to Luoyang, it lacked even the basic essentials of life. Many imperial officials starved to death. At this time, Yuan Shao's strategist Ju Shou (沮授) suggested that he welcome Emperor Xian to his province so that he could effectively be in control of the imperial government, but the other strategists Guo Tu (郭圖) and Chunyu Qiong (淳于瓊) opposed -- under the faulty logic that if he did, he would have to yield to Emperor Xian on key decisions. Yuan listened to Guo and Chunyu and never again considered welcome Emperor Xian. The implementation of Ju's strategy would have to wait for a man more capable than Yuan. Events Roman Emperor Septimius Severus had the Senate deify Commodus while trying to gain favor with the family of Marcus Aurelius. ...


Tight control by Cao Cao

What Yuan Shao would not do, Cao Cao did. Cao was at this time a relatively minor warlord, as the governor of the small Yan Province (兗州, modern western Shandong and eastern Henan), with his headquarters at Xu (in modern Xuchang, Henan). He saw the strategical advantage in having the emperor under his control and protection, and in 196 he marched west to Luoyang and, after securing an agreement with Emperor Xian's generals Dong Cheng (董承) and Yang Feng (楊奉), convincing them of his loyalty, he entered Luoyang and technically shared power with Dong and Yang, but was in fact in command. Unlike the situation with Dong Zhuo, though, Cao knew how to assuage the other generals and nobles, and while he gave them little power, he made sure that they remained honored, so minimal opposition against him developed at the imperial court. He then moved the capital to Xu to affirm his control over the imperial government, and while Yang opposed him, he defeated Yang and was able to move the capital. Cao Cao (155 – 220), whose name is also often transliterated and should be correctly pronounced as Tsao Tsao, was a regional warlord and the last Chancellor of Eastern Han Dynasty who rose to great power during the last years of the Eastern Han Dynasty in ancient China. ... Events First year of Jianan era of the Chinese Han Dynasty Clodius Albinus, rival for Roman Emperor, leaves the province of Britain with all of the islands troops, and makes Gaul his headquarters. ... Dong Cheng, was given the task to assasinate Cao Cao by the Emperor. ...


Cao then began to issue imperial edicts in Emperor Xian's name -- including a harshly-worded edict condemning Yuan Shao for taking over nearby provinces -- even though it still bestowed Yuan with the highly honorific post as commander of the armed forces as well as a march. It was finally then that Yuan and the other warlords saw the advantage in having the emperor under control, but it was by then too late for them. Cao would not, for the rest of his life, let Emperor Xian out of his grip. Cao and Emperor Xian had a superficially cordial relationship, but this did not prevent two major confrontations involving Cao and other figures of the imperial court.


In or before 199, as Cao was facing a major military confrontation against Yuan, Dong Cheng claimed to have received a secret edict issued by Emperor Xian (hidden in a belt), and he entered into a conspiracy with Liu Bei, Zhong Ji (种輯), and Wang Fu (王服) to assassinate Cao. Late in 199, Liu started a rebellion and waited for Dong to act in the capital, but in 200, Dong's conspiracy was discovered, and he, along with Zhong and Wang, were killed. Liu was later defeated by Cao and forced to flee to Yuan's camp. Dong's daughter, an imperial consort, was pregnant, and Emperor Xian personally tried to intercede for her, but Cao had her executed anyway. This would precipitate the next major incident. Events Pope Zephyrinus succeeds Pope Victor I Geodeung succeeds Suro as king of the Korean kingdom of Gaya. ... Liu Bei (161 – 223), courtesy name Xuande, was a powerful warlord and the founding emperor of the Kingdom of Shu during the Three Kingdoms era in ancient China. ... For other uses, see number 200. ...


Emperor Xian's wife, Empress Fu Shou, angry and fearful about how Consort Dong died, wrote her father Fu Wan (伏完) a letter accusing Cao of cruelty, and implicitly asking Fu to start a new conspiracy against Cao. Fu Wan was fearful of Cao and never acted on the letter, in 214, her letter was discovered. Cao was extremely angry and forced Emperor Xian to have Empress Fu deposed. Emperor Xian was hesitant, and Cao sent his forces into the palace to force the issue. Empress Fu hid inside the walls, but was finally discovered and dragged out. As she was led away, she cried out to Emperor Xian for him to save her life, but his only response was that he could not even know what would happen to him. She was killed, along with her two sons and family. Emperor Xian was not, but his status as a puppet was by now fully exposed. Cao soon forced Emperor Xian to create his daughter Cao Jie, then an imperial consort, empress. Events The kingdom of Osroene becomes a province of the Roman Empire. ...


Abdication and death

In 220, Cao Cao died. Cao Cao's heir, Cao Pi, soon forced Emperor Xian to abdicate the throne in favor of himself, ending Han Dynasty. Cao Pi established a new dynasty known as Cao Wei (sometimes known inaccurately as the Kingdom of Wei), and he created Emperor Xian the Duke of Shanyang. The former emperor died in 234 and was buried with honors due an emperor, using Han ceremonies, and then-emperor of Wei Cao Rui was one of the mourners. His grandson Liu Kang (劉康) inherited his dukedom, which lasted for 81 more years and two more dukes until the line was exterminated by invading barbarians during the Jin Dynasty. Events Han Xiandi abdicates his throne to Cao Pi, symbolizing the end of the Han Dynasty and the beginning of the Three Kingdoms period in China. ... Cáo PÄ« (曹丕, 187 - 226), born in Qiao County, Pei presently Bozhou city in An Hui Province. ... Cao Wei (Simplified/Traditional Chinese: 曹魏; pinyin: Cáo Wèi), also known in English as the Kingdom of Wei (ch: 魏, py: wèi, wg: wei) (220-265) was one of the Three Kingdoms competing for control of China after the fall of the Han Dynasty. ... Events Wei Yan revolts against the kingdom of Shu Han Births Emperor Wu of Jin China (approximate date) Deaths Li Yan, general of the Shu Kingdom Wei Yan, Shu general, executed by Ma Dai Zhuge Liang of the Shu Kingdom in China, dies on the Wu Zhang Plains in a... Cao Rui, ch. ... The Jin Dynasty (晉 pinyin jìn, 265-420) followed the Three Kingdoms and preceded the Southern and Northern Dynasties in China. ...


Era names

  • Yonghan (永漢 py. yŏng hàn) 189
  • Chuping (初平 py. chū píng) 190-193
  • Xingping (興平 py. xīng píng) 194-195
  • Jianan (建安 py. jìan ān) 196-220
  • Yankang (延康 py. yán kāng) 220

Events Pope Victor I succeeds Pope Eleuterus The Prince of Hongnong succeeds Han Lingdi as Chinese emperor of Han Dynasty Dong Zhuo has the Prince of Hongnong poisoned and installs Han Xiandi as emperor. ... Events A part of Rome burns, and emperor Commodus orders the city to be rebuilt under the name Colonia Commodiana First year of Chuping era of Chinese Han Dynasty Births 190 is a number Deaths Athenagoras of Athens, Christian apologist Categories: 190 ... Events June 1 – Roman Emperor Didius Julianus is assassinated in his palace. ... Events Pescennius Niger, competitor of Septimius Severus for the Roman Empire, is defeated and killed in Antioch by Severus troops. ... Events Roman Emperor Septimius Severus had the Senate deify Commodus while trying to gain favor with the family of Marcus Aurelius. ... Events First year of Jianan era of the Chinese Han Dynasty Clodius Albinus, rival for Roman Emperor, leaves the province of Britain with all of the islands troops, and makes Gaul his headquarters. ... Events Han Xiandi abdicates his throne to Cao Pi, symbolizing the end of the Han Dynasty and the beginning of the Three Kingdoms period in China. ... Events Han Xiandi abdicates his throne to Cao Pi, symbolizing the end of the Han Dynasty and the beginning of the Three Kingdoms period in China. ...

Personal information

Preceded by:
Prince of Hongnong
Emperor of Han Dynasty
189-220
Succeeded by:
None (dynasty destroyed)
Emperor of China (Northern/Central)
189-220
Succeeded by:
Cao Pi of Cao Wei
Emperor of China (Southeastern)
189-220
Succeeded by:
Sun Quan of Eastern Wu
Emperor of China (Southwestern)
189-220
Succeeded by:
Liu Bei of Shu Han

  Results from FactBites:
 
Emperor Xian of Han - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1881 words)
Emperor Xiàn was the son of Emperor Ling and was the brother of Emperor Liu Bian (who later became known as Prince of Hongnong).
Ascension to the throne and collapse of the Han regime
The former emperor died in 234 and was buried with honors due an emperor, using Han ceremonies, and then-emperor of Wei Cao Rui was one of the mourners.
Cao Pi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2301 words)
In 220, Cao Pi forced Emperor Xian to abdicate the throne and proclaimed himself emperor of Wei.
Emperor Xian did so, and Cao Pi formally declined three times (a model that would be followed by future usurpers in Chinese history), and then finally accepted, ending Han Dynasty and starting a new Wei Dynasty.
Han: Emperor Ling - Emperor Xiao - Emperor Xian
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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