Zach – Welcome back to Minimum Wage Historian where we have another kick-butt woman for you. Today’s lethal lady is Fu Hao from ancient China. To help me discuss this woman is my co-host, Anna Komnene.
Anna – A pleasure, like always. we also have History’s “least likely to accomplish anything of any real value,” Gaspar correia. Also, we have also have someone to bring their enlightened and non-sexist view of history, Napoleon Bonaparte.
Napoleon – Of course, of course. Josaphine told me I had to come. Said it would be “good for me,” whatever that means.
Gaspar – Zach said he’d buy me a 7-11 hotdog, the “Free Bird” of food.
Zach – With chili, too!
Anna – I think I’ll pass. Lady Fu Hao was the princess of a small tribe bordering the Shang Dynasty. Let us give you a little background information on the Shang. The Shang ruled from roughly 1046 BC to about 1600 BC. The Shang Dynasty was located around the Yellow River. What we know of them come from the ancient manuscripts called the Bamboo Annals and the Records of the Grand Historian, and also what we’ve managed to find through archeology. Most of it comes through the few tombs we’ve found that included the oldest Chinese writing we’ve found. The writings were on ritualistic bone and shell fragments.
Gaspar – The Shang started off a during a rebellion against a tyrant, kinda like the Romans and Americans and then spread out by absorbing neighboring tribes or making alliances with them. That’s right, they used their good looks and charm to woo the tribes. That’s where our heroine comes in.
Zach – That’s where Fu Hao enters the story. The King, Wu Ding decided to cement his alliances by taking a wife from every tribe. Not the worst way to go about it. He had over 60 wives and Fu was one of them. But she quickly stood out. She was a capable military leader that lead armies of over 13,000 into battle and even owned her own little fiefdom. The king counciled with her and she was his right hand woman.
Napoleon – I guess I’ll add something. Might as well because you lot are too incompetent to handle History. Under her command were the generals Zhi and Hou Gao who went with her against the tribes of Jiang, Tu, Ba and Yi. In the battle against the Ba, she lead China’s first large ambush. Ha! Such silly things. I could have done much better and conquered the entire continent if I was in charge.
Anna – We know this because of the writings found in her tomb. They were religious prayers of a kind asking for fortune in battle and in governing.
Gaspar – Yeah, she was pretty awesome and was mean with her pimp slap. Can I get a Mountain Dew with that hot dog?
Zach – Sure, why not.
Gaspar – Outstanding. Now, she gave plenty of fools her back hand, but she was also an important shaman and in those days only men could be religious leaders. The king had her perform sacrifices for the good of the kingdom and many of those survive today. Let’s take a look, shall we?
Zach – It’s the only royal tomb from the Shang dynasty that wasn’t ransaked before archeologists could get there. There were thousands of objects including jade statues that were antiques in Fu’s day. Many of the objects were pre-Shang dynasty which means she was somewhat of a collector of antiques. A nice hobby to have when she’s not kicking butt.
Gaspar – There were also skeletons of human slaves, which means Fu was kind of into human sacrifice at times.
Anna – No one’s perfect. So, we have here a woman general and religious leader in a time that only men could do those things. Yes, she was all kinds of awesome. So awesome that we managed to get through this without Gaspar saying something stupid.