Sun Liang

Born the youngest son of Sun Quan, Sun Liang came into the world in 243 AD. He was the son of Consort Pan and came as somewhat of a pleasant surprise, for Sun Quan was sixty-one when he was born. Though Sun Quan’s supporters were flocking around his other sons as potential heirs, Sun Liang unexpectedly¬†became the Crown Prince. The events that happened afterward were chaotic.

Consort Pan became Empress Pan, but she was a harsh woman who is believed to have been murdered by her servants. Sun Liang lost both of his parents in 252 and because of his young age, regents stood in Sun Liang’s place as emperor. The fall of Wu can largely be attributed to the poor transition of power that happened here, for Sun Liang had three regents, Zhuge Ke, Sun Jun, and Sun Chen. He grew increasingly frustrated with the actions of the regents and started to plan upon overthrowing Sun Chen, but word made its way to Sun Chen about the conspiracy. Sun Liang was exiled and Sun Chen made Sun Xiu the emperor.

In all these transitions of power, it is likely that this entire conflict could have been avoided if Sun Quan chose any of his older sons to be his heir. Toward the end of his life, Lu Xun tried to advise Sun Quan to choose his heir more wisely, but with Sun Quan changing his mind on who was Crown Prince and letting regents seize is kingdom, Wu’s fate was sealed.

Sun Liang had a short and unfortunate life, dying at seventeen in 260. He is credited to been the second emperor of Wu, though this is barely an accurate title.