Emperor Wu of Han

Emperor of the Han dynasty from 141 to 87 BC / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Emperor Wu of Han (Chinese: 漢武帝; 156 – 29 March 87 BC), born Liu Che (劉徹) and courtesy name Tong (通), was the seventh emperor of the Han dynasty from 141 to 87 BC.[3] His reign lasted 54 years – a record not broken until the reign of the Kangxi Emperor more than 1,800 years later — and remains the record for ethnic Han emperors. His reign resulted in a vast expansion of geopolitical influence for the Chinese civilization, and the development of a strong centralized state via governmental policies, economical reorganization and promotion of a hybrid LegalistConfucian doctrine. In the field of historical social and cultural studies, Emperor Wu is known for his religious innovations and patronage of the poetic and musical arts, including development of the Imperial Music Bureau into a prestigious entity. It was also during his reign that cultural contact with western Eurasia was greatly increased, directly and indirectly.

Quick facts: Emperor Wu of Han 漢武帝, Emperor of the Han dyn...
Emperor Wu of Han
Huangdi (皇帝)
Emperor Wu with two attendants
Emperor of the Han dynasty
Reign9 March 141 – 29 March 87 BC
PredecessorEmperor Jing
SuccessorEmperor Zhao
BornLiu Che (劉徹)
156 BC
Chang'an, Han dynasty
Died29 March 87 BC (aged 69)[1][2]
Chang'an, Han dynasty
Mao Mausoleum (茂陵), Xianyang, Shaanxi Province
ConsortsEmpress Chen
Empress Xiaowusi
Consort Wang
Lady Li
Lady Gouyi
at least one other wife
IssueLiu Ju (劉據), Crown Prince Wei
Liu Hong (劉閎), Prince of Qi
Liu Dan (劉旦), Prince of Yan
Liu Xu (劉胥), Prince of Guangling
Liu Bo (劉髆), Prince of Changyi
Liu Fuling (劉弗陵), Emperor Zhao of Han
Eldest Princess Wei
Princess Zhuyi
Princess Shiyi
Princess Eyi
Princess Yi'an
Princess Luoting
Family name: Liu (劉)
Given name: Che[lower-alpha 1] (徹)
Courtesy name: Tong[lower-alpha 2] (通)
Era dates
Jiànyuán 建元 (141 – 135 BC)
Yuánguāng 元光 (134 – 129 BC)
Yuánshuò 元朔 (128 – 123 BC)
Yuánshòu 元狩(122 – 117 BC)
Yuándĭng 元鼎(116 – 111 BC)
Yuánfēng 元封 (110 – 105 BC)
Tàichū 太初 (104 – 101 BC)
Tiānhàn 天漢 (100 – 97 BC)
Tàishĭ 太始 (96 – 93 BC)
Zhēnghé 征和(92 – 89 BC)
Hòuyuán 後元 (88 – 87 BC)
Posthumous name
Short: Emperor Wu[lower-alpha 3] (武帝)
Full: Xiaowu Huangdi[lower-alpha 4] (孝武皇帝)
Temple name
Shizong (世宗)
DynastyHan (Western Han)
FatherEmperor Jing
MotherEmpress Xiaojing
Quick facts: Emperor Wu of Han, Traditional Chinese, ...
Emperor Wu of Han
Traditional Chinese漢武帝
Simplified Chinese汉武帝
Literal meaning"The Martial Emperor of Han"
Alternative Chinese name
Traditional Chinese劉徹
Simplified Chinese刘彻
Literal meaning(personal name)

During his reign as Emperor, he led the Han dynasty through its greatest territorial expansion. At its height, the Empire's borders spanned from the Fergana Valley in the west, to northern Korea in the east, and to northern Vietnam in the south. Emperor Wu successfully repelled the nomadic Xiongnu from systematically raiding northern China, and dispatched his envoy Zhang Qian into the Western Regions in 139 BC to seek an alliance with the Greater Yuezhi and Kangju, which resulted in further diplomatic missions to Central Asia. Although historical records do not describe him as being aware of Buddhism, emphasizing rather his interest in shamanism, the cultural exchanges that occurred as a consequence of these embassies suggest that he received Buddhist statues from Central Asia, as depicted in the murals found in the Mogao Caves.

Emperor Wu is considered one of the greatest emperors in Chinese history due to his strong leadership and effective governance, which made the Han dynasty one of the most powerful nations in the world.[4] Michael Loewe called the reign of Emperor Wu the "high point" of "Modernist" (classically justified Legalist) policies, looking back to "adapt ideas from the pre-Han period."[5] His policies and most trusted advisers were Legalist,[6] favouring adherents of Shang Yang.[7] However, despite establishing an autocratic and centralised state, Emperor Wu adopted the principles of Confucianism as the state philosophy and code of ethics for his empire and started a school to teach future administrators the Confucian classics. These reforms had an enduring effect throughout the existence of imperial China and an enormous influence on neighbouring civilizations.

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