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Empress Dowager L

Format of naming convention in English is under discussion at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (Chinese).

Empress Dowager L (呂太后 Pinyin: L Taihou) (d.180 BC) was the principal imperial consort of the Emperor Gao of the Han Empire. Their children included then Emperor Hui and Princess Luyuan (魯元公主).

She is most remembered as a powerhungry woman. Legends noted her conspiracy against Han Xin and Pang Yue, two of the prominent generals and major contributors to the founding of the dynasty. Emperor Gao then eliminated them after their revolt. Several family members of the consort clan of L served in the Han's militia.

After her husband Emperor Gao was killed in 195 BC by stray arrow in a frontier skirmish, her immense jealousy and power-hunger caused her to murder four of Emperor Gao's other sons and with an utmost inhumanity, another emperor-consort, Concubine Qi to secure the authority of her emperor son, Emperor Hui. L then called the dying, decapitated Qi the "Human-Pig". Yet her inhumane treatment of Qi had terrified and dominated the gentle but weak Emperor Hui. Two puppet infant sons, Shaodi Gong and Shaodi Hong were installed on the throne after Hui's death in 188 BC. Real power thus rested in her hands throughtout her sixteen years of widowhood.

Members of the clan of L gradually took over important posts in the government under obvious aid from dowager L; however officials served under Emperor Gao, including Chen Ping, Zhou Bo and Guan Ying, eliminated the clan after the death of dowager L and placed Emperor Wen on the throne.

Personal information

Family name L (呂 L3) in Chinese
Given name Zhi (雉 zh) in Chinese
Era name none
Father L Wen (呂文) of Danfu (單夫)
Husband Emperor Gao of Han China
Children Emperor Hui of Han China and Princess Luyuan
Duration of regency 188 BC-180 BC
Temple name
Courtesy name
Posthumous name

See also

Preceded by:
Emperor Hui of Han China
Western Han Dynasty Succeeded by:
Emperor Wen of Han China