Ban Zhao, a historian of the Eastern Han Dynasty, was from Anling of Fufeng (today's northeast Xianyang of Shaanxi Province). Her elder brother Ban Gu passed away, leaving the History of the Former Han Dynasty unfinished. So Ban Zhao and a man named Ma Xu, ordered by Emperor He, resumed her brother’s work and wrote eight biao (records of historical events) and Tianwen Zhi (the development records of astronomy).
As Ban Zhao was talented and versed in history and literature, she was much favored by Emperor He and Empress Dowager Deng and was often invited into the palace giving lectures to the empress and other imperial concubines. Ban Zhao's husband was named Cao Shou, so she was called Cao Dajia (great mistress of Cao). She wrote down works like Ode to the Eastward Conquest, Admonition on Women, etc.
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