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King (Emperor) Wen of Nanyue
Birth and death: (? – 122 BCE
Family name: 趙 (S:赵)
Zhào (WG:Chao)
Given name:
Posthumous name: King (Emperor) Wen
Dates of reign: 137 BCE – 122 BCE

Zhao Mo (趙眜:Triệu Mạt), formally Wen Di (文帝:Văn Đế), was the second ruler of the kingdom of Nanyue (Nam Việt), and the grandson of Zhao Tuo (who had outlived his sons). Wen ruled from 137 BCE, but progressively fell under the influence of the Han emperor Han Wudi (Hán Vũ Đế). He died in 122 BCE, and the kingdom as a province by Han Wudi in 111 BCE.


The tomb of Wen was discovered in 1983, 20 meters under Elephant Hill in Guangzhou on a construction site for a hotel, and has been excavated. The tomb measures 10.85 meter in length and 12.43 meters in width. It is divided in 7 parts, with a front chamber, east and west wing rooms, the main coffin chamber, east and west side rooms, and a back storage chamber. The tomb has yielded more than 1000 burial artifacts, and a chariot, gold and silver vessels, musical instruments, and human sacrifices were found (15 courtiers were buried alive with him to serve him in death). It is also the only tomb of the early Western Han Dynasty that has murals on its walls.

The tomb also yielded the oldest imperial seal discovered in a Chinese tomb: the seal, with the name "Zhaomo", declared the royal corpse to be “Emperor Wen", indicating that he considered himself equal in rank to the Han ruler.

Alongside Chinese artifacts, pieces from the steppes, and Iranian and Hellenistic Central Asian regions have been found: a Persian silver box found in the tomb is the earliest imported product found to date in China.

The Western Han Nanyue King Museum, located in Jiefang road, stands on the site of the tomb of King Wen.

See also

Preceded by
Zhao Tuo (Triệu Vũ Vương)
'King of Nanyue (Nam Việt)'
(Nanyue Kingdom)
Succeeded by
King Ming of Nanyue Zhao Yingqi (Triệu Minh Vương)


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