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 Kings of the Han Dynasty

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Death God

Number of posts : 409
Registration date : 2010-11-14

PostSubject: Kings of the Han Dynasty   Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:37 am

Wang (王) or Kings of the Han Dynasty can be divided into two categories: Yixing Wang (异性王) or Kings and Tongxing Wang (同性王) or Princes. Yixing Wang literally means "Wangs with a different family name than the emperors" while Tongxing Wang means "Wangs with the same family name as the emperors". Tongxing Wang were normally relatives of the emperors by direct male line.

It is arguable how to translate the Chinese "Wang" into English. In this article, "kings" is used for Yixing Wang because these Yixing Wang were generally derived from peer kings of Liu Bang, Emperor of Han. During the 2nd century BC, they had enormous power in their territories and were de facto sovereigns to some extent. After the 2nd century BC, these territories lost most of their regional autonomy, the kings lost executive powers, and their kingdoms' administrations were staffed and monitored by the central government. The kings did retain some rights, however, such as revenue sharing of the taxes collected by the central government in their nominal fiefdoms.

Tongxing Wang is translated as "princes" since they were normally sons or brothers of the emperors, and after the Rebellion of the Seven Princes, had relatively little power in their territories. However, it should be pointed out that in the early period of Han Dynasty there was no legal distinction between Yixing Wang and Tongxing Wang. The early princes were as powerful as kings in their territories.

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