Saturday, April 6, 2019

New Biography: The Flamboyant Tale Of King Liu Duan Of Jiaoxi

Emperor Jing (r. 157-141 BCE) and the concubine Lady Cheng had three sons named Liu Yu, Liu Fei and Liu Duan. All three brothers were quickly appointed as kings after their father’s ascendance to the throne. Liu Yu and Liu Fei were given kingdoms in 155 BCE and Liu Duan followed close behind with his appointment as the King of Jiaoxi in 154 BCE. Lady Cheng’s sons were generally well behaved when it came to respecting the authority of the emperors—they never rebelled and they had largely tranquil reigns. Liu Yu and Liu Fei both died after twenty-five or twenty-six years of rule, which had been tame and peacefully absent of drama. Liu Duan, however, who lived to rule twice as long as his brothers, quickly became the oddball of the family.
Liu Duan set up his regime in Jiaoxi like any other king. He hired an entourage of ministers and attendants to help govern his kingdom, and he also took in several concubines who would hopefully provide him with an heir to the kingdom. Yet, Liu Duan and his ministers quickly began to feud. The main point of dissent, according to Han historian Sima Qian (c. 145-90 BCE), was the relationship between the king and his concubines—or lack thereof. Apparently, Liu Duan was strictly homosexual and used every trick in the book to avoid time with his palace women. His favorite ploy was to plead illness, a tactic that allowed him to escape his concubines for months at a time.
Continue reading about the interesting life of King Liu Duan, HERE.

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