the Western Han Dynasty
education of princes
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AbstractDuring the Western Han Dynasty, whenever a prince was officially recognized as the heir to the throne, two mentors would be appointed; Taizi taifu, the Grand Mentor of the Heir Apparent, and Taizi shaofu, the Junior Mentor of the Heir Apparent. The staff hired to handle the affairs of the heir apparent was under the control of the mentors, whose main role was to direct the heir princes in the correct and sound way. Usually, several mentors were appointed in succession for one heir apparent until his succession to the throne. A mentor's tenure was an average of five years, and the longest was eight years.There are several noteworthy points. First, the types of mentors in the former and latter halves of the Western Han Dynasty differed greatly. The father emperors in the former half including Emperors Wen, Jing, and Wu, placed greater importance on aspects of a mentor's personality such as rusticity, seriousness, and generosity than their erudite background. However, after the reign of Emperor Xuan, authorities on Confucianism were mentors who personally gave lectures to the heir princes. Second, almost half of t he mentors held top political posts, such as prime minister, in their later careers.