Three Kingdoms History: Empress Lü

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Empress Lü (Han Gaohou)
Ruled (187-180 BC)

Han Ruler and Emperor Biographies
Authoring and Translation by

Empress Lu

When Liu Bang became Emperor, his wife became Empress Lü or Gou-Hou. After Liu Bang’s death in 195 BC, the now Empress Dowager took over the rule of the Empire, which resulted in a power struggle within the families.

Empress Lü removed members from her late husband’s family from positions of power, and replaced them with members of her own family.

At first, Empress Lü used Liu Ying as a puppet Emperor. He was weak of body and mind and easy to manipulate. When Liu Ying died the Empress used Liu Gong as puppet to prolong her rule.

After five years of rule over Liu Gong, the Empress died, and Liu Bang’s deposed relatives moved to take back their family’s dominance. In the process, all members of the late Empress’ family were killed.

Copyright © 2002 - 2003
Major Sources: Shi Ji (Sima Qian)
Ancient Chinese History and Emperors (Brian Williams)
with notes from William Ho and Quentin Tran