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Empress Wu (Zhaolie)

Empress Wu
Empress Dowager of Shu Han
TenureJune 223 – September or October 245
Empress of Shu Han
TenureJune 221 – June 223
SuccessorEmpress Jing'ai
Kaifeng, Henan
DiedSeptember or October 245[a]
SpouseLiu Bei
Posthumous name
Empress Mu (穆皇后)

Empress Wu (died September or October 245),[a] personal name unknown, formally known as Empress Mu (literally "the Just Empress"), was an empress of the state of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period. She was the last wife and the only empress of Liu Bei, the founding emperor of Shu Han, and a younger sister of Wu Yi. Her father, whose name is not recorded in history, was a friend of Liu Yan, and followed Liu Yan to Yi Province (covering present-day Sichuan and Chongqing) when Liu Yan was made the governor. Because of the friendship between her father and Liu Yan, she was married to Liu Yan's son Liu Mao (劉瑁). After Liu Mao's death, she did not remarry for some time.

When Liu Bei seized Yi Province from Lady Wu's brother-in-law Liu Zhang in 214, he had been effectively divorced from his wife Lady Sun, the younger sister of Sun Quan. He married Lady Wu. When he claimed for himself the title of the "King of Hanzhong" in 219, he made her his queen consort. After the fall of the Eastern Han dynasty in 220 (with Emperor Xian's abdication to Cao Pi), Liu Bei claimed for himself the Han imperial title in 221, establishing Shu. Later that year, he made her empress. After his death in 223, his son and successor Liu Shan honoured her as empress dowager. She died in 245. (The Records of the Three Kingdoms is inconsistent in stating whether she, or Liu Shan's mother Lady Gan, was buried with Liu Bei.)

See also


  1. ^ a b Liu Shan's biography in the Sanguozhi recorded that Empress Dowager Wu died in the 8th month of the 8th year of the Yanxi era of Liu Shan's reign.[1] This month corresponds to 9 September to 8 October 245 in the Gregorian calendar.


  1. ^ ([延熙]八年秋八月,皇太后薨。) Sanguozhi vol. 33.
Chinese royalty
New dynasty Empress of Shu Han
Succeeded by
Empress Jing'ai
Preceded by
Empress Cao Jie of Eastern Han Dynasty
Empress of China (Southwestern)