Emperor Jing of Han Raised a Brood of Degenerates
Emperor Jing of Han (reigned 157 BC – 141 BC) consolidated imperial control of China by crushing feudal aristocrats who tried to run their fiefdoms as de facto independent realms. All in all, his reign was a good one, and he governed with a light hand. He lowered taxes and lifted other burdens from commoners, and paved the way for the Han Dynasty to reach a pinnacle under his successors. However, in his own household, Emperor Jing raised some sexually deviant monsters.
First of those was prince Tuan, who had some sexual hangups. One of the main tasks of a royal prince was to sire sons, and so ensure the continuity of the dynasty. However, Prince Tuan reportedly could not get it up with his wives and concubines, and suffered what Chinese texts described as a “withering of his potency”. Tuan became physically ill every time he had to approach a woman.
The man was homosexual, but he had an obligation to impregnate his women and continue the imperial line. The tensions eventually got too much, and got to him. Prince Tuan had a boy lover, but his lover was bisexual and also liked the ladies – particularly prince Tuan’s ladies of the harem, whose needs the prince was doing nothing to satisfy. When Tuan found out that his boy lover was also loving his harem ladies, he failed to see it as a win-win all around, relieving him of a task he was neither willing nor able to perform. Instead, he choked his lover to death with his bare hands.
His brother, Prince Chu, was worse. Chu once had one of his concubines whipped, then personally chopped off her head. He had another concubine tortured with red hot irons. When his wife accused one of his concubines of cheating on him with an artist, prince Chu had the accused whipped, then gathered the rest of his harem and made them burn her with hot needles.
Princes Tuan and Chu had nothing though on their brother, Prince Chien. Prince Chien was an out-and-out sadistic monster. Unlike his brother, Prince Tuan, who did not like the ladies and felt sick looking at them, prince Chien liked the ladies – in a variety of sick ways, to their detriment and misfortune. Chien carried on incestuous relationships with his own sisters – raping some of them when they did not willingly submit to his advances.
As to the concubines and wives in his harem, Chien got a sick kick out of tormenting them. Some of the harem women who displeased him – and there was no telling what might displease the psycho prince from one day to the next – he forced to sit naked in trees for days on end. Others, he forced keep time to a drum all day long. Others, he simply starved to death. He also liked drowning young boys and girls in a palace lake, as their desperate thrashings amused and aroused him.
Princes Tuan and Chien were not the only degenerates in that family, and ancient Chinese sources hold that quite a few of Emperor Jing’s relatives were sick sadists. According to contemporary sources, male members of the imperial family routinely had incest with their sisters and other female relatives and were not above raping any married woman that caught their eye.