Emperor Qianshao of Han

Emperor Qianshao of Han (Chinese: 漢前少帝, 193 BC – 15 June 184 BC),[1] birth name said to be Liu Gong (Chinese: 劉恭), was the third emperor of the Han dynasty. He was a son of Emperor Hui and an unknown wife of him, likely by a concubine—although there is some controversy on the subject—and adopted by Emperor Hui's wife, Empress Zhang Yan. At the instigation of his grandmother, Empress Lü, Empress Zhang had Emperor Qianshao's mother put to death.[2]

Emperor Qianshao of Han
Huangdi ()
Emperor of the Han dynasty
Reign188 – 15 June 184 BC
PredecessorEmperor Hui
SuccessorEmperor Houshao and Empress Lü (as Empress regent)
RegentEmpress Lü
Born193 BC
Died15 June 184 BC (aged about 8–9)
Family name: Liu (劉)
Given name: Gong (恭)
DynastyHan (Western Han)
FatherEmperor Hui

Very little about Emperor Qianshao's life and personality is known. There are only a few major important events in his life that are documented (which does not even include the year of his birth). In 188 BC, his father Emperor Hui died, and he, who had been previously made crown prince, succeeded to the throne. However, his grandmother, now Grand Empress Dowager Lü, publicly presided over all government affairs.[3]

Sometime in or before 184 BC, Emperor Qianshao discovered that he was not in fact now-Empress Dowager Zhang's son and that his mother had been put to death. He made the mistake of remarking that when he grew up, those who killed his mother would pay for this. Grand Empress Dowager Lü, once she heard of this, had him secretly imprisoned within the palace and publicly announced that he was severely ill and unable to receive anyone. After some time, she told the officials that he continued to be ill and incapable of governing, and that he had also suffered a psychosis. She proposed that he be deposed and replaced. The officials complied with her wishes, and he was deposed and put to death. He was succeeded by his brother Liu Yi on 15 June 184 BCE; Liu Yi's name was then changed to Liu Hong.

Emperor Qianshao, considered to be a mere puppet of Grand Empress Dowager Lü, is often omitted from the official list of emperors of the Han dynasty.[citation needed]


Liu Ren
Liu Taigong (282–197 BC)
Emperor Gaozu of Han (256–195 BC)
Empress Zhaoling
Emperor Hui of Han (210–188 BC)
Lü Wen
Empress Gao (241–180 BC)
Emperor Qianshao of Han (193–184 BC)

See also



  1. ^ This date was actually the date Emperor Houshao became emperor, according to vol.13 of Zizhi Tongjian (bingchen day of the 5th month of the 4th year of Empress Lü's regency (after the death of Emperor Hui)).
  2. ^ (初,吕太后命张惶后取他人子养之,而杀其母,以为太子。既葬,太子即皇帝位,年幼;太后临朝称制。) Zizhi Tongjian, vol.12
  3. ^ Zizhi Tongjian, vol.12
Emperor Qianshao of Han
 Died: 184 BC
Regnal titles
Preceded by Emperor of China
Western Han
188–184 BC
with Empress Dowager Lü (188–184 BC)
Succeeded by