Ban Zhao

writer, educator
Born: A.D. 45
Birthplace: China

Ban was born into a scholarly Chinese family. Her father, Ban Biao, was a famous historian. Her brother Ban Gu was a poet and historian who died before finishing his authoritative history of the Han dynasty, called the Ch'ien Han shu.

Ban married at age 14 and had at least one child. Her husband died shortly after their marriage. She turned to writing and research, earning a reputation as a respected scholar. When her brother Gu died, Ban became imperial historian and completed his Ch'ien Han shu. She also tutored women of the court, including the dowager empress. Ban wrote poems, essays, and commentaries. Her best-known work, Nü Jie (Lessons for Women), outlined the proper behavior for women.

Died: c. A.D. 116
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