In April 184 A.D. the eunuchs Zhang Rang 張讓, Zhao Zhong 趙忠, Song Dian 宋典, Guo Sheng 郭勝, Xia Yun 夏暉 and Duan Gui 段珪 were all enfeoffed as marquises and treated with great favour. Zhang Rang and Zhao Zhong were referred to as "father" and "mother" by Emperor Ling 靈 and from this moment on the eunuchs grew very confident of their influence. They built themselves great houses that rivalled the Imperial Palace.
On one occasion, Emperor Ling wanted to climb the Observation Terrace in the Palace of Perpetual Peace. From this tower it would be possible for the Emperor to see the eunuchs' houses. They became frightened and sent harem official Shang Dan to say:
- "The Son of Heaven must never climb high, for if he should do so his people will be impoverished and scattered."
The Emperor took her advice and never climbed another tower after this.
- The Palace of Perpetual Peace was a detached pleasure ground northeast of the Northern Palace within the walls of the city of Luoyang, with a lake and bamboo groves.
- The Observation Terrace was evidently an official structure under the administration of the Prefect Grand Astrologer.
- ↑ HHS 78/68, 2534-36 (19a-20a), the Biography of Zhang Rang and of Zhao Zhong in the Chapter on the Eunuchs.
- de Crespigny, Rafe. A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms. Leiden: BRILL, 2007
- —. Emperor Huan and Emperor Ling. Canberra: National Library of Australia, 1989.
- Fan Ye 范曄 (396-446). Hou Han shu 後漢書 "History of the Later Han".
- Sima Guang 司馬光 (1019–1086). Zizhi tongjian 資治通鑒 "Comprehensive Mirror for Aid in Government".