Lady Shang Dan 尚但 was a harem official of the Han. During the Yellow Turban Rebellion in 184 she assisted the Regular Attendants to help them in keeping their houses from being discovered.


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.[1]

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.


  1. HHS 78/68, 2534-36 (19a-20a), the Biography of Zhang Rang and of Zhao Zhong in the Chapter on the Eunuchs.