Four beauties in ancient China
Apr 29, 2023
Diaochan (貂蟬) is a fictional character in Chinese historical novels and legends, particularly in the novel "Romance of the Three Kingdoms." She is often depicted as a beautiful and clever woman who was skilled in music and dance.
In the novel, Diaochan was a singing girl who was recruited by the corrupt official Wang Yun to seduce the tyrannical warlord Dong Zhuo and create a rift between him and his adopted son Lü Bu. Her beauty and talents successfully caught the attention of both men, leading to a series of tragic events that ultimately contributed to Dong Zhuo's downfall.
Diaochan has become a popular cultural icon in China, with her name often used to refer to a beautiful and alluring woman. She has also been featured in various adaptations of "Romance of the Three Kingdoms," including TV dramas, films, and video games.
Xishi (西施) is a legendary figure in Chinese history who lived during the Spring and Autumn period (771–476 BCE). She was known for her exceptional beauty and intelligence, and is said to have been one of the Four Beauties of ancient China.
According to legend, Xishi was born in the Yue state (present-day Zhejiang province) and was trained to become a court dancer at a young age. Later, she was sent to the state of Wu as part of a political strategy to distract the king and his courtiers from the state's affairs. Xishi's beauty and charm succeeded in distracting the king, and she was able to gather important intelligence for her own state, which helped them defeat the Wu army.
Xishi's story has been retold in many Chinese literary works, including plays, novels, and films. She has become a symbol of feminine beauty and intelligence in Chinese culture, and is still remembered and admired today.
Wang Zhaojun (王昭君) was a famous historical figure in ancient China during the Western Han Dynasty (206 BCE-9 CE). She was one of the Four Beauties of ancient China, renowned for her beauty and wisdom.
According to legend, Wang Zhaojun was a concubine of Emperor Yuan of Han. In 33 BCE, she was sent to marry the Xiongnu chieftain as a way to establish a peaceful relationship between the two states. The marriage was successful in maintaining peace for many years, but it also caused Wang Zhaojun to be separated from her homeland and family for the rest of her life.
Today, Wang Zhaojun is remembered as a symbol of sacrifice and patriotism in Chinese culture. She has been depicted in various forms of art, including paintings, operas, and films.
Yang Guifei, also known as Yang Yuhuan, was one of the Four Beauties of ancient China. She was a consort of Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty, and her beauty and charm were said to have captivated the emperor. Yang Guifei's influence over the emperor led to the Anshi Rebellion, a disastrous civil war that weakened the Tang Dynasty and contributed to its eventual downfall.
According to legend, Yang Guifei was so beautiful that she could stop the flow of water by simply standing by a river. Her beauty and charm were said to have caused the emperor to neglect his duties and focus solely on her, which eventually led to the rebellion. Yang Guifei was eventually forced to flee the capital with the emperor, but she was later executed by his orders when his army rebelled against him.
Yang Guifei has been romanticized in Chinese literature and art for centuries and is still considered a symbol of beauty and grace in Chinese culture today.