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Gao-zu
(ruled 206 - 195 BC) China

Gao-zu

Han emperor

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The first of Han rulers, emperor Gao Zu (Liu Bang), and his heir emperor Hui, started the Han custom of emperors favoring officials willing to employ their sexual talents.

"When the Han arose, emperor Gao-zu, for all his coarseness and blunt manners, was won by the charms of a young boy named Ji [Jiru], and emperor Hui had a boy favourite named Hong [Hongru]. Neither Ji nor Hong had any particular talent or ability; both won prominence simply by their looks and graces. Day and night they were by the ruler's side, and all the high ministers were obliged to apply to them when they whished to speak to the emperor."

(Sima Qian, Records of the Grand Historians of China, trans. Burton Watson, N.Y. 1961, 2:462)

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