We have added pictures and information about what made them famous. Hatshepsut was a powerful political person in Egypt even before she assumed the title of Pharaoh. She had a peaceful reign promoting trade and the arts. Her beautiful temple at Deir el-Bahri still stands west of Thebes.
The Imperial Harem of China Print In Imperial China, one of the important tasks that the emperor needed to do was to ensure the continuation of the dynasty, which was achieved by the production of a male heir.
For this purpose, the emperors of Imperial China kept an enormous harem of women. In addition, the eunuchs who served these imperial women may be considered to be a part of this harem as well. In the harem, only the emperor and the mother of the emperor were above the empress, all other individuals had to obey her orders.
In addition to empresses, there was also the rank of empress dowager. Empresses who outlived their husbands were promoted to this rank. The number and ranks of these consorts differed according to the ruling dynasty.
Below these consorts were the concubines, and this number varied according to each emperor.
According to the Rites of Zhouan emperor could have up to 9 high ranking concubines, 27 mid ranking ones and 81 low ranking ones.
However, during the Han Dynasty BC — ADthere were no limits set for the number of consorts an Emperor could have, and during the reigns of Emperor Huan and Emperor Ling, there were more than 20, women living in the Forbidden City.
The selection process would take place inside the Forbidden City every three years. Candidates ranged from 14 to 16 years of age and were chosen based on their background, virtues, behavior, character, appearance and body condition.
The only exceptions to this rule were the eunuchs, men who had been castrated, thus rendering them impotent.
Throughout the history of Imperial China, eunuchs have served the imperial family, including as servants in the harem. Far from being mere servants, however, these eunuchs could aspire to positions of power and wealth by involving themselves in the politics of the harem.
During the Ming Dynasty —there was an eye-openingeunuchs serving the emperor and his harem. The most coveted position was, of course, that of the empress, and to bear a son for the emperor would certainly be a big bonus to a woman in the harem. At times, ambitious women in the harem who plotted against their rivals would form alliances with eunuchs.
If an intrigue was successful, a woman in the harem could rise through the ranks. She, in turn, would reward the eunuchs who supported her by placing them in positions of authority.
Such harem intrigues have happened often in Chinese history.
According to popular belief, Wu Zetian had her new born child murdered, and placed the blame on the Empress Wang.
As a result of this, the empress was demoted, and Wu Zetian became the new empress. Nevertheless, not all imperial harems were hotbeds of conspiracy. The semi-mythical Huangdi, for example, had four concubines, who were not chosen based on their looks, but on their competence.
One of his secondary concubines, for instance, is regarded as the inventor of cooking and of the chopsticks, whilst another is believed to have invented the comb. Together, these concubines assisted Huangdi in ruling the country. Many concubines met a sad fate when their emperor died. They were sacrificed, often buried alive, to join their master in the afterlife.Wu Zetian was a Chinese historical figure, who, in different stages of her life, was a concubine, empress consort, empress dowager and empress regent.
She was the only woman in the history of China to have called herself “Huangdi”, a title that only the emperors of China had used since the time of Qin Shi Huang. Wu Zetian is her post-death name, while she was known as Wu Zhao in life. Zetian means “emulator of heaven,” a claim that, if true, would indicate that there’s a wild time going on behind the pearly gates.
The favorite concubine of the Chinese emperor has just given birth to a baby girl. Instead of seeing her child, she sees an opportunity.
Hoping to dethrone the current Empress Wang and take her place, Wu Zetian takes her baby into her arms for the last time and strangles the infant. Wu Zetian ( – December 16, ), alternatively named Wu Zhao, Wu Hou, during the later Tang dynasty as Tian Hou, in English as Empress Consort Wu or by the deprecated term "Empress Wu", was a Chinese sovereign who ruled unofficially as empress consort and empress dowager and officially as empress regnant (皇帝) during the brief Zhou dynasty (周, –), which interrupted the Tang.
Cixi () Yehenara (later Cixi) was one of Chinese Emperor Xianfeng’s many concubines who rose to power after she gave him a son. Upon Xianfeng’s death, she became the co-regent with her young son and new Emperor Tongzhi.
Wu Zetian, Empress in the Tang Dynasty Harem (public domain) Consorts in the Imperial Chinese Harem. Underneath the empress were the consorts.
The number and ranks of these consorts differed according to the ruling dynasty.