An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Zhao Guanghan 趙廣漢

Feb 12, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Zhao Guanghan 趙廣漢 (d. 67 BCE), courtesy name Zidu 子都, was an official of the late Former Han period 前漢 (206 BCE-8 CE).

He hailed from Zhuojun 涿郡 (modern Suning 肅寧, Hebei) and was a petty official in the local administration before he was recommended as appointee. He was made magistrate (ling 令) of Yangdi 陽翟, later on he became metropolitan commandant (jingfu duwei 京輔都尉) and then rose to the post of metropolitan magistrate (jingzhao yin 京兆尹). He is therefore also known as "Metropolitan Zhao", Zhao Jingzhao 趙京兆.

After the death of Emperor Zhao 漢昭帝 (r. 87-74 BCE) he participated in the downthrow of the incompetent emperor Liu He 劉賀 and the enthronement of Emperor Xuan 漢宣帝 (r. 74-49 BCE). Zhao Guanghan was for this support rewarded with the title of Marquis within the passes (guanneihou 關內侯) and appointed governor (taishou 太守) of the commandery of Yingchuan 潁川. In 72 BCE he participated in Zhao Chongguo's 趙充國 campaign against the steppe federation of the Xiongnu 匈奴.

Zhao was known as a competent and fair state official. In 67 BCE he had a quarrel with the Counsellor-in-chief (chengxiang 丞相), Wei Xiang 魏相, which ended in Zhao's execution.

Cang Xiuliang 倉修良, ed. (1996). Hanshu cidian 漢書辭典 (Jinan: Shandong jiaoyu chubanshe), 852.