Cruel Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty: during his reign, people ate each other twice but did not provide relief

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Eating live monkeys is the business of those who are extremely cruel, and these people are very few after all. However, in a specific period, the way that people “eat” with human goals has become one of the deepest pains in Chinese history.

People eat people, sometimes in literary works. For example, Liangshan hero ripped out the enemy’s heart and fried certain organs. In addition, it is also a habit left over from ancient times that people eat the same kind. Therefore, some tribes in Africa still have the custom of cannibalism. Thinking of the latter may make people feel more relaxed.

If we try to link the event of people feeding on the same kind with the collective eating and drinking in Chinese history, it is inevitable to involve Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty, who is regarded as a great emperor. During his 54 year reign (141-87 BC), the unfortunate “cannibalism” incident occurred in the third and twenty seventh years of his accession to the throne. He issued the imperial edict of “Dalin five days” three times, namely in the eighth, fifteenth and thirty eighth years of his reign. What is the relationship between the “cannibalism” disaster and the “big five days” policy is still unclear. One thing we can know is that the implementation of the policy of indulging the people in eating and drinking for five days is related to national celebrations. For example, the “big five days” in the third year of Yuanshuo (126 BC) was because the state suspended the five-year-old “road to develop Bashu and control Southern Barbarians”, that is, the huge project to develop the southwest, and the construction project of Shufang city was officially completed.

The “Da Li” policy is personnel, which can be determined by the likes and dislikes of the supreme ruler. However, the incentive of “people eat each other” is the way of heaven, which is beyond people’s will. During the reign of Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty, the first event of “people eating each other” was triggered by the breach of the Yellow River. That was the spring of the third year of Jianyuan (138 BC). In that season, the people’s grain reserves were the lowest in a year, which is often said to be the time when there was a shortage of food, resulting in “great hunger”.

The result of “great hunger” is “people eat each other”.

Now imagine the situation at that time: the state did not lack enough food to relieve the people in the plain areas affected by the Yellow River burst, because the “rule of culture and scenery” left a reserve of “Taicang millet overflowing and accumulating outside”. It is estimated that Liu Che is unwilling to use the national reserves and ignores the victims. To put it most conservatively, it may be due to the transportation conditions that the food cannot be delivered.

24 years later (the third year of the reign of emperor Ding of the Yuan Dynasty, 114 BC), another “cannibalism” event was triggered by hail. Hail disaster led to “more than ten starvation in Kanto prefectures”. However, the hail disaster can only destroy the crops (in summer and April), but it is impossible to destroy all the grain stored in the people’s homes, which shows that the people generally have less grain. The lack of food for the common people was due to the lack of harvest caused by the withdrawal of agricultural labor, which forced them to participate in the foreign war of Emperor Wu and the construction of national projects. In addition, the hail disaster will not affect transportation. Food can also be transported from the capital Chang’an to the nearby Kanto region by land and water. It can be seen that Liu Che is still unwilling to help the affected people.

What is the greatness of such a monarch?!

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