Top 10 insane emperors in ancient China

By Zhang Junmian
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  Chen Shubao 陈后主陈叔宝

 

Chen Shubao, one of the 'Top 10 insane emperors in ancient China' by China.org.cn.

Chen Shubao [hudong.com] 

Also known as Houzhu of Chen, Chen Shubao (553-604) was the fifth and last emperor of the Chen Dynasty (557-589) during the Southern and Northern Dynasties. After taking over the throne in 583, his reign lasted 6 years until in 589, the Sui forces conquered his capital Jiankang and captured him. He was escorted to Sui capital Chang'an, where he continued his indulgence in wine and pleasures until his death in 604.

Chen Shubao was remembered as an incompetent emperor naturally born for literature, wine and women. To suit his desire, he had three particularly luxurious pavilions built in the palace, where he and his favorite concubines, headed by Consort Zhang, and civilian officials spent all day and night feasting, writing and singing gaudy poems.

During his reign, treacherous officials and associates talented in poetry were favored, while loyal advisors and generals framed and exiled. Heavy taxes were imposed on the populace. Corpses of those starved to death could be seen anywhere. Unable to understand state affairs, even turned to Consort Zhang for help, often having Zhang sit on his laps when reading the government reports. In the end, Consort Zhang was more influential than Chen in the court.

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