RR! Zhu Wu cash of Usurper Dong Zhuo (190-192 AD), late E.Han period, China

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Zhu Wu // Blank. 17.5mm, 1.19 grams.  Gratzer/Fishman "One Thousand Years of Wu Zhu coinage" #4.353 (rated Rare). 

Rare type with reverse obverse inscription (Zhu Wu instead of Wu Zhu). 

Dong Zhuo Wu Zhus are traditionally associated with (and named after) Dong Zhuo, a famous Eastern Han dynasty general, warlord, and usurper. He was a powerful general, gaining power and titles though the 180s. Following the death of Emperor Ling in AD 189, Dong Zhuo gained control of the capital Luoyang. He declared himself a Chancellor, deposed the new Emperor Shao (AD 189) and installed a puppet emperor, Xian Di (AD 189-220). According to histories, to raise the much-needed funds, Dong Zhuo had many of the bells and bronze statues melted down and recast into this poor inflationary coinage. The miserable coins flooded the market and caused a serious inflation, rendering the currency useless. For almost three years, Dong Zhuo was a de facto ruler of the empire, ruling with famous cruelty. One famous example of his actions is recorded in the œRecords of the Three Kingdoms�. It relays how Dong Zhuo led his troops to Luoyang and ordered them to kill all the male inhabitants and loot the city under the pretext of eliminating a rebel army. With the multiple rebellions against Dong Zhuo, the empire was shattered into numerous warlordships, signaling the beginning of the final collapse of the Eastern Han and chaos that would follow. Dong Zhuo was assassinated in 192 by the coalition of various warlords and military officials.



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