Empress Lu

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Empress Dowager Lü Zhi (Chinese: 呂雉; Hanyu pinyin: Lŭ Zhì) was the wife of Emperor Han Gaozu and later Empress Dowager. After the death of Emperor Gao in 195 BC, she installed her son as Emperor and ruled as reagent until her death in 180 BC.

She was known as a cruel and power-hungry woman. To ensure that her son Hui became Emperor, she had all other successors murdered. After his death, she used similar tactics to place Emperor Hui's sons on the throne, despite the fact that her late husband prohibited this.

Unlike Wu Zetian, Lü Zhi has few defenders today. She is sarcastically known as dayima (大姨妈, literally "eldest aunt"), a name she made her subjects call her.