An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Jiang Chong 江充

Sep 16, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald

Jiang Chong 江充 (d. 91 BCE), courtesy name Ciqian 次倩, original name Jiang Qi 江齊, was a high minister of the mid-Former Han period.

He hailed from Handan 邯鄲 (modern Handan, Hebei) and served Prince Jingsu of Zhao 趙敬肅王. He had to flee after he had criticized the heir of the Prince, Liu Dan 劉丹, and had to adopt a new name. In order to bring justice to Liu Dan's indecent behaviour he memorialized to Emperor Wu 漢武帝 (r. 141-87 BCE) who had immediately arrested Liu Dan. Jiang Chong was granted a court audience and asked to be sent to the steppe federation of the Xiongnu 匈奴 as an ambassador. When he returned he was appointed Censor (zhizhi 直指) and had to observe the relatives of the highest ministers in order to prevent corruption.

He was later transferred to the post of Commandant of the Imperial gardens (shuiheng duwei 水衡都尉).

In 91 Emperor Wu fell sick. Because Jiang Chong was not on good terms with the heir apparent Liu Ju 劉據 and feared that Prince Ju would execute him as soon as he mounted the throne, Jiang Chong intrigued against the Prince. He said that the Emperor's disease was caused by sorcery. This accusation led to a witch-hunt in the capital, resulting in the execution of more than ten thousand victims, including Prince Ju. Facing a trial, the Prince rebelled, yet he was arrested and executed.

Cang Xiuliang 倉修良, ed. (1996). Hanshu cidian 漢書辭典 (Jinan: Shandong jiaoyu chubanshe), 270.