Quick Facts about Emperor Aidi
- Emperor Aidi was born in 26 BCE.
- His name at birth was Liu Xin.
- He was the grandson of Western Han Dynasty Emperor Yuandi, and half-nephew of Emperor Chengdi.
- His father was Liu Kang, a son of Emperor Yuandi.
- His mother was a woman named Ding.
- Prior to becoming emperor, he had the title “King of Dingtao.”
- Upon the death of his uncle, Emperor Chengdi, in 7 BCE, Liu Xin became the tenth emperor of the Western Han dynasty.
- Aidi (Ai-ti) means “Sorrowing Emperor.”
China under Emperor Aidi
Emperor Aidi may have had more power over his government than his uncle, Emperor Chengdi, had during his reign. Emperor Chengdi’s mother, the Empress Wang, ran the government while Chengdi was emperor. While Aidi was emperor, his grandmother, the now Dowager Empress Wang, had less influence over state affairs and this left the Wang family at a disadvantage.
However, not having the Wang family in power didn’t mean that Aidi was a great leader who had such influence over his people that he was able to drastically change the fall of the Western Han dynasty. The rich got richer and the poor continued to see less return for their labors.
Unfortunately, for the Western Han dynasty, Emperor Aidi appears to have had only one interest – his lover, Dong Xian.
Aidi gave Dong Xian much wealth and many titles including the title, Marshall of the State. So besotted was Aidi by Dong Xian, that he gave him the imperial seals and no longer wanted to be emperor, preferring to abdicate the throne. Although his abdication did not occur, he only remained as emperor for six years.
Emperor Aidi had two wives, Ding and Fu. He may have had children, but he had no sons.
Aidi died in 1 BCE. His cousin, Pingdi, succeeded him as emperor of the Western Han dynasty.