Consort Tang (Han dynasty)

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Consort Tang or Tang Ji (唐姬) was a consort of Prince of Hongnong, the 13th emperor of the Eastern Han dynasty of ancient China.

Life[edit]

On 28 September 189, Emperor Shao was deposed and demoted to Prince of Hongnong by Dong Zhuo and was put under house arrest.

A few months after, in spring 190, a coalition of regional officials and warlords began the punitive expedition against Dong Zhuo in the eastern part of China. Dong Zhuo became afraid that the forces of anti-Dong Zhuo armies would steal the Prince of Hongnong from him and make him the emperor.

In 6 March 190, Dong Zhuo ordered his subordinate and son-in-law, the Prefect of the Household (郎中令) Li Ru to kill the Prince of Hongnong with poison.

The Prince of Hongnong realized that his death was near, and held a farewell banquet along with his consorts including Consort Tang.

Prince of Hongnong wrote a poem:

天道易兮我何艱。
棄萬乘兮退守藩。
逆臣見迫兮命不延。
逝將去汝兮適幽玄。
The heaven and earth are changed, why should I suffer so much,
I, once the center of all eyes, am driven to the humble hut,
Oppressed by an arrogant minister, my life nears its end,
Now I am leaving you and would go off on the eternal journey.

He then asked Consort Tang to dance. She sang,

皇天崩兮后土頹,
身爲帝兮命夭摧.
死生路異兮從此乖,
柰我煢獨兮心中哀!
Heaven is to be rent asunder, Earth to fall away,
I, handmaid of an emperor, would grieve if I followed him not.
We have come to the parting of ways, the quick and the dead walk not together;
Alas! I am left alone with the grief in my heart.

The Prince of Hongnong said to Consort Tang, "one day you were a consort of an emperor, I hope you do not become a wife of other officials or common people. By that, keep your dignity intact." Then he took the poison.

Afterwards, Consort Tang returned to her hometown. Her father Tang Mao (唐瑁) wanted her to remarry, but she refused.

Years later, when Li Jue's army took Chang'an and Li Jue's soldiers plundered its eastern regions, Consort Tang was captured alive by them. Li Jue wanted to make Consort Tang his concubine, but she refused resolutely. When Jia Xu told this story to Emperor Xian, Emperor Xian summoned Consort Tang to Emperor Shao's tomb, and made her the Queen of Hongnong (弘農王妃).

References[edit]