An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Crown Prince Li 戾太子

Jan 4, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Crown Prince Li 戾太子 (128-91 BCE), personal name Liu Ju 劉據, was a son of Emperor Wu 漢武帝 (r. 141-87 BCE) of the Former Han dynasty 前漢 (206 BCE-8 CE) and Lady Wei 衛子夫. He was therefore called Crown Prince Wei 衛太子 during his lifetime.

Designated heir apparent in 122 BC he became the victim of a sorcery process at the imperial court at the end of Emperor Wu's reign. He was slandered by Jiang Chong 江充 to have plotted against his father, the emperor, together with his mother. Prince Li thereupon raised weapons, killed Jiang Chong and fought against the Capital guard but was defeated by Counsellor-in-chief (chengxiang 丞相) Liu Quli 劉屈氂. He was able to escape but soon after comitted suicide.

Emperor Wu later pardoned him posthumously and had set aflame the mansion the Jiang Chong. Prince Li's grandson was to become Emperor Xuan 漢宣帝 (r. 74-49 BCE). Prince Li "the Outstanding" is his posthumous honorific title.

Xue Hong 薛虹, ed. (1998). Zhongguo huangshi gongting cidian 中國皇室宫廷辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 887.
Zhang Huizhi 張撝之, Shen Qihui 沈起煒, Liu Dezhong 劉德重, ed. (1999). Zhongguo lidai renming da cidian 中國歷代人名大辭典 (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe), Vol. 2, 1601.