Wang Mang

Wang Mang is the Emperor of the Xin Dynasty. He was born during the year 45 BC. Originally, Wang Mang worked as an official of the Han Dynasty. It is the Han Dynasty that preceded the Xin Dynasty. It was the peasant rebel leader Liu Bang who founded the Han Dynasty. Because of Wang Mang, however, the rule of Han Dynasty was out to a stop. But the Xin dynasty was short lived. It only lasted from 9 AD to 23 AD. After which, the Han Dynasty was successfully restored. Because of the interruption caused by Wang Mang, the Han Dynasty was divided into two periods: the Western Han and the Eastern Han. The Western Han lasted from 206 BCE to 9 AD which preceded the Xin Dynasty. On the other hand, the Eastern Han came after the Xin Dynasty. It lasted from 25 AD to 220 AD. Eventually, it was followed by the 3 Kingdoms: Wei, Shu, and Wu.

Wang Mang followed the teachings of Confucius. He deeply believed in his teachings. But while Confucius’ teachings were peaceful, Wang Mang’s efforts achieved nothing but pandemonium. Wang Mang belonged to quite a well known family. His father was Wang Man who is the younger brother of the Empress Wang Zheng Jun. However, his father died while he was still young. Although belonging to a distinguished family, Wang Man was denied of the luxuries his other relatives enjoyed. He did not become marquees until the year 16 BC. Instead of wearing the clothes of the noble family, Wang Mang preferred wearing the clothes of a Confucian Scholar. He did not live in extravagance like his other cousins. Because he lived a simple life, many people took notice of Wang Mang and praised him for it. Wang Feng, the commander of the armed forces who was also Wang Mang’s uncle, grew ill. During this time, it was Wang Mang who took care of him night and day without leaving his side. His uncle then grew fond of him. Before he died, he made a request to Empress Wang and Emperor Cheng to look over Wang Mang. The emperor and empress did so by assigning him a post as the imperial attended. Later on, Wang Mang was promoted as a sub-commander.

Wang Mang was thought to be the only faithful emperor at first. He has only one wife by the name Lady Wang. A lot of issues sprang because it is a taboo in Chinese culture to marry someone with the same family name. Wang Mang was reported to have no concubines. But later on, it was found out that he was not truly faithful to his wife.

When Emperor Ai was in position, an official by the name Dong Xian immediately rose to power. Both men are married. But it is believed that Emperor Ai and Dong Xian had a homosexual relationship. Dong Xian was then the commander of the armed forces. When Emperor Ai died without an heir, it was a natural choice for Dong Xian to be the next emperor. However, Empress Dowager Wang took this opportunity to regain power. She snatched the throne from Dong Xian. Then, she recalled Wang Mang into the court to serve as the head of the armed forces. Wang Mang accused Dong Xian of failing to take care of Emperor Ai when he was ill. Dong Xiang and his wife committed suicide after being removed from position and his whole family was then exiled.

Wang Mang killed the young Emperor Ping by giving him a poisoned wine. After manipulating officials and some of the members of the royal family, Wang Mang was made the acting emperor. He later on became the emperor and established the Xin Dynasty.

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