The twelve Regular Palace Attendants (Shí'èr zhōng chángshì 十二中常侍) is the referential name of twelve eunuchs enfeoffed in 185 AD. The name Twelve Regular Palace Attendants comes from a line in the Zizhi tongjian translated by Professor Rafe de Crespigny into the following sentence:
- “In the sixth month [of the year 185 A.D.] Zhang Rang and eleven other Regular Palace Attendants were enfeoffed as full marquises for their good work during the campaign against Zhang Jue.”
It is likely that these eleven other Regular Palace Attendants were all part of Zhang Rang's faction.
In the sixth month of 185 A.D. twelve eunuchs were enfeoffed and made full marquises for their good work during the Yellow Turban campaign. All twelve Attendants are listed in History of the Later Han, 78/68. All of these names come from one sentence.
- Bi Lan 畢嵐
- Duan Gui 段珪
- Gao Wang 高望
- Guo Sheng 郭勝
- Han Kui 韓悝
- Li Song 栗嵩
- Song Dian 宋典
- Sun Zhang 孫璋
- Xia Yun 夏暉
- Zhang Gong 張恭
- Zhang Rang 張讓
- Zhao Zhong 趙忠
Though most of these Attendants had their own goals, they did work together and can be seen as a faction, when it comes to opposing Han's General-in-Chief He Jin. Zhang Rang is regarded as the leader of the faction. Enfeoffed Attendants who often worked together with him, and perhaps can be seen as the "core" of the faction, are Zhao Zhong, Bi Lan, Song Dian, Xia Yun and Duan Gui.
This list is taken from History of the Later Han 78/68; the following paragraph:
It appears Zhang Rang also had other close allies, outside of the twelve enfeoffed Attendants. These were:
Dong Zhong disputed He Jin's authority and was therefore enlisted by the eunuchs to aid them. Fan Ling and Xu Xiang were appointed by the eunuchs as Colonel Director of Retainers and Intendant of Henan respectively, directly after He Jin's death. They must have been on good terms with the eunuchs to be appointed such high posts. Qu Mu was a eunuch himself and was there when He Jin was killed. In fact, he was the one who killed him.
Twelve Regular Attendants and FollowersEdit
- Zhang Rang - (leader)
- Duan Gui - (joint/deputy leader)
- Bi Lan
- Song Dian
- Xia Yu
- Zhao Zhong
The other enfeoffed eunuchsEdit
- Gao Wang
- Guo Sheng
- Han Kui
- Li Song
- Sun Zhang
- Zhang Gong
- Dong Zhong
- Fan Ling
- Qu Mu
- Xu Xiang
- The name “Ten Regular Palace Attendants”, also found in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, comes from the fact that historically there always used to be a total of Ten Attendants. It was unique and probably the first time in history that twelve eunuchs were enfeoffed.
- de Crespigny, Rafe. A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms (23 - 220 AD). Leiden: BRILL, 2007.
- —. Emperor Huan and Emperor Ling. Canberra: National Library of Australia, 1989.
- Sima Guang 司馬光 (1019–1086). Zizhi tongjian 資治通鑒 “Comprehensive Mirror for Aid in Government”.