Emperor Zhang of Han Chinese: 漢章帝
Emperor Zhang of Han (Chinese: 漢章帝; pinyin: Hàn Zhāng Dì; Wade–Giles: Han Chang-ti; 57–88) was an emperor of the Chinese Eastern Dynasty from 75 to 88. He was the third emperor of the Eastern Han.
Emperor Zhang was a hardworking and diligent emperor. He reduced taxes and paid close attention to all affairs of state. Zhang also reduced government spending as well as promoted Confucianism. As a result, Han society prospered and its culture flourished during this period. Along with his father Emperor Ming, Emperor Zhang’s reign has been highly praised and was regarded as the golden age of the Eastern Han period, and their reigns are collectively known as the Rule of Ming and Zhang.
During his reign, Chinese troops under the leadership of General Ban Chao, progressed far west while in pursuit of Xiongnu insurgents harassing the trade routes now collectively known as the Silk Road.
The Eastern Han Dynasty, after Emperor Zhang, would be plagued with internal strife between royal factions and eunuchs struggling for power. The people for the coming century and a half would yearn for the good days of Emperors Ming and Zhang. (However, part of the strife came from the power obtained by consort clans – and the precedent was set by Emperor Zhang’s bestowing of power on both his adoptive mother Empress Dowager Ma’s clan and his wife Empress Dou’s clan.)