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Tang Dynasty;imperial harem
|Issue Date: ||2017-05-18 09:43:06 (UTC+8)|
This paper discusses about the substantial amount of lowstatus maids who lived at the bottom of the imperial harem. There are five origins of maids in the imperial palace. First, some of them were citizens selected to enter the imperial palace but failed to be chosen as concubines. Some actively and secretly sought their ways into the palace. Some contributed themselves for pleasing others or
enhancing their status. Some entered the palace because they were criminals or family members of criminals. Others were maids from the former dynasty. Their works can be divided into three categories. First, some of their tasks involved sweeping, cooking and doing miscellaneous kinds of
labor works. Second, there were artistic maids who performed entertainments such as singing, dancing, and performing. Last, some maids were attendants by the emperor’s side; they served to attend the needs and requests of the emperor. The fastest way for maids to change their status was to be patronized by the emperor. However, even if these maids give birth to princes, they may not be granted concubine titles. Most of the time, the position of a prince’s mother would be enhanced if the prince’s position was enhanced. However, the maids may not be influence by their sons due to their low status. Aside from exploiting their influence through their direct interactions with the emperor, in times of political struggles, they could also generate political effects through the power of uniting with others. In the early days of the Tang Dynasty when female dictatorship prevailed, maids were their best protective strength and object of association. During the political struggles between the
emperor and eunuchs in the latter years of Tang Dynasty, both parties drew maids over to their sides for their own interests. The emperor even appointed his trusted maids to deliver his decrees. During the changes of the imperial palace in the last period of Tang Dynasty, the maids took advantage of their opportunities and effects to strengthen their influence in the political struggles.
|Relation: ||MOST 104-2410-H-004-081|
|Data Type: ||report|
|Appears in Collections:||[歷史學系] 國科會研究計畫|
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