Plutarch's Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans called Parallel Lives or Plutarch's Lives, is a series of biographies of famous men, arranged in tandem to illuminate their common moral virtues or failings written at the beginning of the second century AD. The surviving Parallel Lives comprises 23 pairs of biographies, each pair consisting of one Greek and one Roman, as well as four unpaired, single lives, it is a work of considerable importance, not only as a source of information about the individuals described, but about the times in which they lived. As he explains in the first paragraph of his Life of Alexander, Plutarch was not concerned with writing histories, but with exploring the influence of character, good or bad, on the lives and destinies of famous men, he wished to prove that the more remote past of Greece could show its men of action and achievement as well as the nearer, therefore more impressive, past of Rome. His interest was ethical, although the lives have significant historical value as well.
The Lives was published by Plutarch late in his life after his return to Chaeronea and, if one may judge from the long lists of authorities given, it must have taken many years to compile. The chief manuscripts of the Lives date from the 10th and 11th centuries, the first printed edition appeared in Rome in 1470. Thomas North's 1579 English translation was an important source-material for Shakespeare. Jacob Tonson printed several editions of the Lives in English in the late 17th century, beginning with a five-volume set printed in 1688, with subsequent editions printed in 1693, 1702, 1716, 1727; the most accepted text is that of the minor edition of Carl Sintenis in the Bibliotheca Teubneriana. There are annotated editions by I. C. Held, E. H. G. Leopold, Otto Siefert and Friedrich Blass and Carl Sintenis, all in German. Several of the lives, such as those of Epaminondas and Scipio Africanus, are lost, many of the remaining lives are truncated, contain obvious lacunae and/or have been tampered with by writers.
Plutarch's Life of Alexander is one of the few surviving secondary or tertiary sources about Alexander the Great, it includes anecdotes and descriptions of incidents that appear in no other source. His portrait of Numa Pompilius, an early Roman king, contains unique information about the early Roman calendar. Plutarch has been criticized for his lack of judicious discrimination in his use of authorities, consequent errors and inaccuracies, but he gives an abundance of citations and, incidentally, a large number of valuable pieces of information, which fill up numerous gaps in historical knowledge obtained elsewhere, he has been praised for the liveliness and warmth of his portrayals, his moral earnestness and enthusiasm, the Lives have attracted a large circle of readers throughout the ages. Plutarch structured his Lives by alternating lives of famous Greeks with those of famous Romans. After such a set of two lives he writes out a comparison of the preceding biographies; the table below links to several English translations of Plutarch's Lives available online.
The LacusCurtius site has the complete set. There are four paperbacks published by Penguin Books, two with Greek lives, two Roman, rearranged in chronological order and containing a total of 36 of the lives. D = DrydenDryden is famous for having lent his name as editor-in-chief to the first complete English translation of Plutarch's Lives; this 17th-century translation is available at The MIT Internet Classics Archive. These translations are linked with D in the table below. G = Project GutenbergProject Gutenberg contains several versions of 19th-century translations of these Lives, see: https://www.gutenberg.org/catalog/world/authrec?fk_authors=342 and https://www.gutenberg.org/etext/14114 The full text version of the English poet, Arthur Hugh Clough's revision of Dryden's translation is available at Gutenberg. These translations are linked with G in the table below. L = LacusCurtiusLacusCurtius has the Loeb translation by Bernadotte Perrin of part of the Moralia and all the Lives. LV = LibriVoxLibriVox has many free public domain audiobooks of the Parallel Lives, Volumes I, II, III.
See Parallel Lives public domain audiobook at LibriVox These translations are linked with LV in the table below. P = Perseus ProjectThe Perseus Project has several of the Lives, see: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cache/perscoll_Greco-Roman.html The Lives available on the Perseus website are in Greek and English according to the Loeb edition by Bernadotte Perrin. This last edition concentrates on those of the Lives Shakespeare based his plays upon: Thomas North's translation of most of the Lives, based on the French version of Jacques Amyot published in the 16th century, preceded Dryden's translation mentioned above; these translations are linked with P in the table below. All dates are BCE. Notes^ The last line of the table contains the four "unpaired" lives, as mentioned above. ^ The Perseus project contains a biography of Caesar Augustus appearing in the North translation, but not coming from Plutarch's Parallel Lives: P ^ Though the majority of the Parallel Lives were written with the Greek hero placed in
Berenice I of Egypt
Berenice I was Queen of Egypt by marriage to Ptolemy I Soter. She became the second queen, of the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt. Berenice was from Eordaea, she was the daughter of princess Antigone of Macedon, an obscure local, a Greek Macedonian nobleman called Magas. Her maternal grandfather was a nobleman called Cassander, the brother of Antipater, the regent for Alexander's empire, through her mother was a relation to his family. In 325 BC, Berenice married military officer called Philip. Philip was married and had other children. Through her first marriage, she became the mother of King Magas of Cyrene, who married King Pyrrhus of Epirus. Magas dedicated an inscription to his father, when he served as a priest of Apollo. Pyrrhus gave her name to a new city called Berenicis. Philip died around 318 BC. After the death of her first husband, Berenice travelled to Egypt with her children as a lady-in-waiting for her mother's first cousin Eurydice, the wife of Ptolemy I. Ptolemy I was one of the generals of King Alexander the Great and founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty of Ancient Egypt.
Berenice became involved in a relationship with Ptolemy I, who married her in 317 BC. Berenice became the mother of Arsinoe II, a son, Ptolemy II Philadelphus. In an unknown Olympiad, she was a victor in the chariot races, her son Ptolemy II was recognized as his father's heir in preference to Eurydice's children to Ptolemy I. During his reign, Ptolemy II named it Berenice after his mother. After she died, Ptolemy II and Ptolemy IV Philopator decreed divine honors to her. With her first spouse Philip, she became the mother of: King Magas of Cyrene Antigone, who married King Pyrrhus of Epirus TheoxenaWith her second spouse Ptolemy I, she became the mother of: Arsinoe II, who married first Lysimachus her half-brother Ptolemy Keraunos and her full brother Ptolemy II. Philotera Ptolemy II Philadelphus, Pharaoh of Egypt; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Berenice". Encyclopædia Britannica. 3. Cambridge University Press. P. 769. Waterfield, Robin.
Dividing the Spoils: The War for Alexander the Great’s Empire. New York: Oxford University Press. Pp. 273 pages. ISBN 978-0-19-957392-9
The Ptolemaic dynasty, sometimes known as the Lagids or Lagidae, was a Macedonian Greek royal family, which ruled the Ptolemaic Kingdom in Egypt during the Hellenistic period. Their rule lasted for 275 years, from 305 to 30 BC, they were the last dynasty of ancient Egypt. Ptolemy, one of the seven somatophylakes who served as Alexander the Great's generals and deputies, was appointed satrap of Egypt after Alexander's death in 323 BC. In 305 BC, he declared himself Ptolemy I known as Sōter "Saviour"; the Egyptians soon accepted the Ptolemies as the successors to the pharaohs of independent Egypt. Ptolemy's family ruled Egypt until the Roman conquest of 30 BC. All the male rulers of the dynasty took the name Ptolemy. Ptolemaic queens regnant, some of whom were married to their brothers, were called Cleopatra, Arsinoe or Berenice; the most famous member of the line was the last queen, Cleopatra VII, known for her role in the Roman political battles between Julius Caesar and Pompey, between Octavian and Mark Antony.
Her apparent suicide at the conquest by Rome marked the end of Ptolemaic rule in Egypt. Dates in brackets represent the regnal dates of the Ptolemaic pharaohs, they ruled jointly with their wives, who were also their sisters. Several queens exercised regal authority. Of these, one of the last and most famous was Cleopatra, with her two brothers and her son serving as successive nominal co-rulers. Several systems exist for numbering the rulers. Ptolemy I Soter married first Thaïs Artakama Eurydice, Berenice I Ptolemy II Philadelphus married Arsinoe I Arsinoe II. Cleopatra II Philometora Soteira, in opposition to Ptolemy VIII Physcon Cleopatra III Philometor Soteira Dikaiosyne Nikephoros ruled jointly with Ptolemy IX Lathyros and Ptolemy X Alexander I Ptolemy IX Lathyros married Cleopatra IV Cleopatra Selene. Ptolemy XII Neos Dionysos married Cleopatra V Tryphaena Cleopatra V Tryphaena ruled jointly with Berenice IV Epiphaneia and Cleopatra VI Tryphaena Cleopatra ruled jointly with Ptolemy XIII Theos Philopator, Ptolemy XIV and Ptolemy XV Caesarion.
Arsinoe IV, in opposition to Cleopatra Ptolemy Keraunos - eldest son of Ptolemy I Soter. Became king of Macedonia. Ptolemy Apion - son of Ptolemy VIII Physcon. Made king of Cyrenaica. Bequeathed Cyrenaica to Rome. Ptolemy Philadelphus - son of Mark Antony and Cleopatra VII. Ptolemy of Mauretania - son of King Juba II of Numidia and Mauretania and Cleopatra Selene II, daughter of Cleopatra VII and Mark Antony. King of Mauretania. Contemporaries describe a number of the Ptolemaic dynasty members as obese, whilst sculptures and coins reveal prominent eyes and swollen necks. Familial Graves' disease could explain the swollen necks and eye prominence, although this is unlikely to occur in the presence of morbid obesity; this is all due to inbreeding within the Ptolemaic dynasty. In view of the familial nature of these findings, members of this dynasty suffered from a multi-organ fibrotic condition such as Erdheim–Chester disease or a familial multifocal fibrosclerosis where thyroiditis and ocular proptosis may have all occurred concurrently.
List of Seleucid rulers Hellenistic period History of ancient Egypt Donations of Alexandria Ptolemaic Decrees List of Ptolemaic pharaohs On Weights and Measures - contains a chronology of the Ptolemies Susan Stephens, Seeing Double. Intercultural Poetics in Ptolemaic Alexandria. A. Lampela and the Ptolemies of Egypt; the development of their political relations 273-80 B. C.. J. G. Manning, The Last Pharaohs: Egypt Under the Ptolemies, 305-30 BC. Livius.org: Ptolemies — by Jona Lendering
Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology
The Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology is an encyclopedia/biographical dictionary. Edited by William Smith, the dictionary spans 3,700 pages, it is a classic work of 19th-century lexicography. The work is a companion to Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities and Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography; the work lists thirty-five authors in addition to the editor, an author for some definitions and articles. The authors were classical scholars from Oxford, Rugby School, the University of Bonn, but some were from other institutions. Many of the mythological entries were the work of the German expatriate Leonhard Schmitz, who helped to popularise German classical scholarship in Britain. With respect to biographies, Smith intended to be comprehensive. In the preface, he writes:The biographical articles in this work include the names of all persons of any importance which occur in the Greek and Roman writers, from the earliest times down to the extinction of the Western Empire in the year 476 of our era, to the extinction of the Eastern Empire by the capture of Constantinople by the turks in the year 1453.
Samuel Sharpe thought Edward Bunbury had plagiarised his work, as he wrote of in his diary entry on 3 September 1850: I felt mortified on reading the articles on the Ptolemies in Dr. Smith's "Dictionary of Classical Biography." They were all written by E. H. Bunbury with the help of my "History of Egypt," and with-out any acknowledgment, though he borrowed the volume from my brother Dan for the purpose. Many of the Dictionary's definitions and articles have been referred to in more recent works, Robert Graves has been accused of "lifting his impressive-looking source references straight, unchecked" from it when writing The Greek Myths; the work is now in the public domain, is available in several places on the Internet. While still accurate, much is missing more recent discoveries and epigraphic material. More the context in which ancient evidence is viewed has changed in the intervening century and a half. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.
Vol. I online at University of Michigan Library. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. Vol. II online at University of Michigan Library. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. Vol. III online at University of Michigan Library; the Internet Archive has a derivative work: Smith, William. A new classical dictionary of biography and geography based on the "Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology.". London: Murray. Anthon, Charles. A new classical dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and geography: based upon the Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology by William Smith. New York: Harper and Brothers
Lysimachus was a Macedonian officer and diadochus of Alexander the Great, who became a basileus in 306 BC, ruling Thrace, Asia Minor and Macedon. Lysimachus was born to a family of Thessalian Greek stock, he was the second son of his wife. His father was a nobleman of high rank, an intimate friend of Philip II of Macedon, who shared in Philip II’s councils and became a favourite in the Argead court. Lysimachus and his brothers grew up with the status of Macedonians; the historian Justin relates the story that Lysimachus smuggled poison to a person Alexander had condemned to a slow death and was himself thrown to a lion as punishment, but overcame the beast with his bare hands and became one of Alexander's favorites.. Some coins issued during Lysimachus's appointment had his image on a lion on the other, he was appointed Somatophylax during the reign of Philip II. During Alexander's Persian campaigns, in 328 BC he was one of his immediate bodyguards. In 324 BC, in Susa, he was crowned in recognition for his actions in India.
After Alexander's death in 323 BC, he was appointed to the government of Thrace as strategos although he faced some difficulties from the Thracian Dynasty Seuthes. In 315 BC, Lysimachus joined Cassander, Ptolemy I Soter and Seleucus I Nicator against Antigonus I Monophthalmus, however, diverted his attention by stirring up Thracian and Scythian tribes against him. However, he managed to consolidate his power in the east of his territories, suppressing a revolt of the cities on the Black Sea coast. In 309 BC, he founded Lysimachia in a commanding situation on the neck connecting the Chersonese with the mainland, forming a bulwark against the Odrysians. In 306/305 BC, Lysimachus assumed the royal title. In 302 BC, when the second alliance between Cassander and Seleucus was made, reinforced by troops from Cassander, entered Asia Minor, where he met with little resistance. On the approach of Antigonus he retired into winter quarters near Heraclea, marrying its widowed queen Amastris, a Persian princess.
Seleucus joined him in 301 BC, at the Battle of Ipsus Antigonus was defeated and slain. Antigonus' dominions were divided among the victors. Lysimachus' share was Lydia, Ionia and the north coast of Asia Minor. Feeling that Seleucus was becoming dangerously powerful, Lysimachus now allied himself with Ptolemy, marrying his daughter Arsinoe II of Egypt. Amastris, who had divorced herself from him, returned to Heraclea; when Antigonus' son Demetrius I renewed hostilities, during his absence in Greece, Lysimachus seized his towns in Asia Minor, but in 294 BC concluded a peace whereby Demetrius was recognized as ruler of Macedonia. He tried to carry his power beyond the Danube, but was defeated and taken prisoner by the Getae king Dromichaetes, however, set him free in 292 BC on amicable terms in return for Lysimachus surrendering the Danubian lands he had captured. Demetrius subsequently threatened Thrace, but had to retire due to a sudden uprising in Boeotia and an attack from King Pyrrhus of Epirus.
In 287 BC, Lysimachus and Pyrrhus in turn drove Demetrius out of the country. Lysimachus left Pyrrhus in possession of Macedonia with the title of king for around seven months before Lysimachus invaded. For a short while the two ruled jointly but in 285 BC Lysimachus expelled Pyrrhus, seizing complete control for himself. Domestic troubles embittered the last years of Lysimachus’ life. Amastris had been murdered by her two sons. On his return, Arsinoe II asked the gift of Heraclea, he granted her request, though he had promised to free the city. In 284 BC Arsinoe, desirous of gaining the succession for her sons in preference to Lysimachus’ first child, intrigued against him with the help of Arsinoe's paternal half-brother Ptolemy Keraunos; this atrocious deed by Lysimachus aroused great indignation. Many of the cities of Asia Minor revolted, his most trusted friends deserted him; the widow of Agathocles and their children fled to Seleucus, who at once invaded the territory of Lysimachus in Asia Minor.
In 281 BC, Lysimachus crossed the Hellespont into Lydia and at the decisive Battle of Corupedium was killed. After some days his body was found on the field, protected from birds of prey by his faithful dog. Lysimachus' body was given over to Alexander, by whom it was interred at Lysimachia. Lysimachus was married three times and his wives were: First marriage: Nicaea, a Greek noblewoman and daughter of the powerful Regent Antipater. Lysimachus and Nicaea married in c. 321 BC. Nicaea bore Lysimachus three children: Son, Agathocles Daughter, Eurydice Daughter, Arsinoe INicaea most died by 302 BC. Second marriage: Persian Princess Amastris. Lysimachus married her in 302 BC. Amastris and Lysimachus’ union was brief, as he ended their marriage and divorced her in 300/299 BC. Third marriage: Ptolemaic Greek Princess Arsinoe II. Arsinoe II married Lysimachus in 300/299 BC and remained with him until his death in 281 BC. Arsinoe II bore Lysimachus three sons: Ptolemy I Epigonos Lysimachus PhilipFrom an Odrysian concubine he had a son borne to him called Alexander.
Belevi Mausoleum Lysimachus Lysimachus' Dog & Nisae
Ancient Egypt was a civilization of ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in the place, now the country Egypt. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3100 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under Menes; the history of ancient Egypt occurred as a series of stable kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods: the Old Kingdom of the Early Bronze Age, the Middle Kingdom of the Middle Bronze Age and the New Kingdom of the Late Bronze Age. Egypt reached the pinnacle of its power in the New Kingdom, ruling much of Nubia and a sizable portion of the Near East, after which it entered a period of slow decline. During the course of its history Egypt was invaded or conquered by a number of foreign powers, including the Hyksos, the Libyans, the Nubians, the Assyrians, the Achaemenid Persians, the Macedonians under the command of Alexander the Great; the Greek Ptolemaic Kingdom, formed in the aftermath of Alexander's death, ruled Egypt until 30 BC, under Cleopatra, it fell to the Roman Empire and became a Roman province.
The success of ancient Egyptian civilization came from its ability to adapt to the conditions of the Nile River valley for agriculture. The predictable flooding and controlled irrigation of the fertile valley produced surplus crops, which supported a more dense population, social development and culture. With resources to spare, the administration sponsored mineral exploitation of the valley and surrounding desert regions, the early development of an independent writing system, the organization of collective construction and agricultural projects, trade with surrounding regions, a military intended to assert Egyptian dominance. Motivating and organizing these activities was a bureaucracy of elite scribes, religious leaders, administrators under the control of a pharaoh, who ensured the cooperation and unity of the Egyptian people in the context of an elaborate system of religious beliefs; the many achievements of the ancient Egyptians include the quarrying and construction techniques that supported the building of monumental pyramids and obelisks.
Ancient Egypt has left a lasting legacy. Its art and architecture were copied, its antiquities carried off to far corners of the world, its monumental ruins have inspired the imaginations of writers for centuries. A new-found respect for antiquities and excavations in the early modern period by Europeans and Egyptians led to the scientific investigation of Egyptian civilization and a greater appreciation of its cultural legacy; the Nile has been the lifeline of its region for much of human history. The fertile floodplain of the Nile gave humans the opportunity to develop a settled agricultural economy and a more sophisticated, centralized society that became a cornerstone in the history of human civilization. Nomadic modern human hunter-gatherers began living in the Nile valley through the end of the Middle Pleistocene some 120,000 years ago. By the late Paleolithic period, the arid climate of Northern Africa became hot and dry, forcing the populations of the area to concentrate along the river region.
In Predynastic and Early Dynastic times, the Egyptian climate was much less arid. Large regions of Egypt were traversed by herds of grazing ungulates. Foliage and fauna were far more prolific in all environs and the Nile region supported large populations of waterfowl. Hunting would have been common for Egyptians, this is the period when many animals were first domesticated. By about 5500 BC, small tribes living in the Nile valley had developed into a series of cultures demonstrating firm control of agriculture and animal husbandry, identifiable by their pottery and personal items, such as combs and beads; the largest of these early cultures in upper Egypt was the Badari, which originated in the Western Desert. The Badari was followed by the Amratian and Gerzeh cultures, which brought a number of technological improvements; as early as the Naqada I Period, predynastic Egyptians imported obsidian from Ethiopia, used to shape blades and other objects from flakes. In Naqada II times, early evidence exists of contact with the Near East Canaan and the Byblos coast.
Over a period of about 1,000 years, the Naqada culture developed from a few small farming communities into a powerful civilization whose leaders were in complete control of the people and resources of the Nile valley. Establishing a power center at Nekhen, at Abydos, Naqada III leaders expanded their control of Egypt northwards along the Nile, they traded with Nubia to the south, the oases of the western desert to the west, the cultures of the eastern Mediterranean and Near East to the east, initiating a period of Egypt-Mesopotamia relations. The Naqada culture manufactured a diverse selection of material goods, reflective of the increasing power and wealth of the elite, as well as societal personal-use items, which included combs, small statuary, painted pottery, high quality decorative stone vases, cosmetic palettes, jewelry made of gold and ivory, they developed a ceramic glaze known as faience, used well into the Roman Per
Concubinage is an interpersonal and sexual relationship in which the couple are not or cannot be married. The inability to marry may be due to multiple factors such as differences in social rank status, an existing marriage, religious or professional prohibitions, or a lack of recognition by appropriate authorities; the woman or man in such a relationship is referred to as a concubine. In Judaism, a concubine is a marital companion of inferior status to a wife. A concubine among polygamous peoples is a secondary wife of inferior rank; the prevalence of concubinage and the status of rights and expectations of a concubine have varied among cultures, as have the rights of children of a concubine. Whatever the status and rights of the concubine, they were always inferior to those of the wife and neither she nor her children had rights of inheritance. Concubinage was entered into voluntarily as it provided a measure of economic security for the woman. Involuntary or servile concubinage sometimes involved sexual slavery of one member of the relationship the woman.
Sexual relations outside marriage were not uncommon among royalty and nobility, the woman in such relationships was described as a mistress. The children of such relationships were counted as illegitimate and were barred from inheriting the father's title or estates in the absence of legitimate heirs. While forms of long-term sexual relationships and co-habitation short of marriage have become common in the Western world, these are not described as concubinage; the terms concubinage and concubine are used today when referring to non-marital partnerships of earlier eras. In modern usage, a non-marital domestic relationship is referred to as co-habitation, the woman in such a relationship is referred to as a girlfriend, fiancée, lover or life partner. Concubinage was popular before the early 20th century all over East Asia; the main function of concubinage was producing additional heirs, as well as bringing males pleasure. Children of concubines had lower rights in account to inheritance, regulated by the Dishu system.
In China, successful men had concubines until the practice was outlawed when the Communist Party of China came to power in 1949. The standard Chinese term translated as "concubine" was qiè 妾, a term, used since ancient times, which means "concubine. Concubinage resembled marriage in that concubines were recognized sexual partners of a man and were expected to bear children for him. Unofficial concubines are of lower status, their children are considered illegitimate; the English term concubine is used for what the Chinese refer to as pínfēi, or "consorts of emperors", an official position carrying a high rank. In premodern China it was illegal and disreputable for a man to have more than one wife at a time, but it was acceptable to have concubines. In the earliest records a man could have as many concubines. From the Eastern Han period onward, the number of concubines a man could have was limited by law; the higher rank and the more noble identity a man possessed, the more concubines he was permitted to have.
A concubine's treatment and situation was variable and was influenced by the social status of the male to whom she was attached, as well as the attitude of his wife. In the Book of Rites chapter on "The Pattern of the Family" it says, “If there were betrothal rites, she became a wife. Wives brought a dowry to a relationship. A concubinage relationship could be entered into without the ceremonies used in marriages, neither remarriage nor a return to her natal home in widowhood were allowed to a concubine; the position of the concubine was inferior to that of the wife. Although a concubine could produce heirs, her children would be inferior in social status to a wife's children, although they were of higher status than illegitimate children; the child of a concubine had to show filial duty to two women, their biological mother and their legal mother—the wife of their father. After the death of a concubine, her sons would make an offering to her, but these offerings were not continued by the concubine's grandsons, who only made offerings to their grandfather’s wife.
There are early records of concubines being buried alive with their masters to "keep them company in the afterlife". Until the Song dynasty, it was considered a serious breach of social ethics to promote a concubine to a wife. During the Qing dynasty, the status of concubines improved, it became permissible to promote a concubine to wife, if the original wife had died and the concubine was the mother of the only surviving sons. Moreover, the prohibition against forcing a widow to remarry was extended to widowed concubines. During this period tablets for concubine-mothers seem to have been more placed in family ancestral altars, genealogies of some lineages listed concubine-mothers. Imperial concubines, kept by emperors in the Forbidden City, had different ranks and were traditionally guarded by eunuchs to ensure that they could not be impregnated by anyone but the emperor. In Ming China there was an official system to select concubines for the emperor; the age of the candidates ranged from 14 to 16.
Virtues, character and body condition were the selection criteria. Despite the limitations imposed on Chinese concubines, there are several examples in history