汉武帝 (Hànwŭdì) was the most famous emperor of the Hàn Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD – approximately the same time as the Roman Empire). He came to power in 141 BC, after an epic imperial succession struggle between his mother and the other concubines at the court.
For decades, emperors had used laissez faire policies to help economic recovery, but the decentralization had left the central government weakened. Hànwŭdì reversed this, built up the military, and expanded the empire in all directions, approximately doubling its size. He’s also often credited with first establishing the Silk Road between China and Europe.
Hànwŭdì promoted Confucianism as a ruling philosophy, making its classical texts the main curriculum for the imperial civil service exam system. He emphasized recruiting talented people from all layers of society, and not just noble families.
He is most vividly and famously portrayed in the 129-episode series ”The Prince of Han Dynasty”.
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