An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Tian Qianqiu 田千秋

Sep 27, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald

Tian Qianqiu 田千秋 (d. 77 BCE), also known as Che Qianqiu 車千秋, was a high minister of the mid-Former Han period 前漢 (206 BCE-8 CE).

He hailed from Changling 長陵 (near modern Xianyang 咸陽, Shaanxi) and was gentleman for the tomb chamber of Emperor Gaozu 漢高祖 (r. 206-195 BCE, ?, Gaoqinlang 高寢郎). When Crown Prince Li 戾太子 was charged to have attempted to kill his father, Emperor Wu 漢武帝 (r. 141-87 BCE), by sorcery, Tian Qianqiu memorialized speaking in favour to the Prince. Emperor Wu was so moved that he pardoned the Prince and promoted Tian Qianqiu to Chamberlain for dependencies (da honglu 大鴻臚).

In 89 he was even appointed Counsellor-in-chief (chengxiang 丞相) and given the title of Marquis of Fumin 富民侯. Tian Qianqiu was known as a serious and wise person. On his deathbed Emperor Wu ordered him to keep care on his successor, Emperor Zhao 漢昭帝 (87-74 BCE). Tian Qianqiu died in office an was posthumously given the title of Marquis Jing 敬侯.

In his last years had been physically so weak that he was especially allowed to appear at court with a small vehicle. He was therefore also called "the vehicle counsellor" (che chengxiang 車丞相) and given the epithet of Che Qianqiu 車千秋 "Qianqiu with the vehicle".

Cang Xiuliang 倉修良, ed. (1996). Hanshu cidian 漢書辭典 (Jinan: Shandong jiaoyu chubanshe), 299.