Empress Pan (Da)

Empress Pan (died 252), personal name unknown, was an empress of Eastern Wu during the three kingdoms period of Chinese history. She was the only empress of the founding emperor, Sun Quan, even though he had a succession of wives before her.

Empress Pan was from Kuaiji Commandery (會稽, in modern northeastern Zhejiang ). Her father was a low-level official who was executed for reasons unknown. Both she and her older sister were confiscated to be workers for the imperial textile factory. Once, Sun Quan saw her and was surprised by her beauty. He took her as a consort, and she gave birth to his youngest son Sun Liang in 243. In 250, in the aftermaths of the struggles between Crown Prince Sun He and his brother Sun Ba (孫霸) the Prince of Lu, Sun Quan deposed Crown Prince He and created Prince Liang crown prince instead. In 251, he created Consort Pan empress.

In 252, as Sun Quan neared death, Empress Pan was murdered — but how she was murdered remains a controversy. Eastern Wu officials claimed that her servants, unable to stand her temper, strangled her while she was asleep, while a number of historians, including Hu Sansheng, the commentator to Sima Guang's Zizhi Tongjian, believed that top Eastern Wu officials were complicit, as they feared that she would seize power as empress dowager after Sun's death. After Sun Quan died later that year, they were buried together.

Last update 08-05-2012

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