An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Empress Dowager Dou 竇太后

Sep 9, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald
There is another Empress Dou, the consort of Emperor Wen 漢文帝 (r. 180-157 BCE) of the Former Han dynasty 前漢 (206 BCE-8 CE).

Empress Dou 竇后, also known as Empress Dowager Dou 竇太后, was the main consort of Emperor Zhang 漢章帝 (r. 75-88 CE) of the Later Han dynasty 後漢 (25-220 CE).

She reigned for the under-age Emperor He 漢和帝 (r. 88-105 CE), a son of her husband with Lady Liang 梁貴人. Her brother Dou Xian 竇憲 was the most powerful official in the empire. In order to win the support of the local gentry, she gave up the state monopoly on the sales of salt and iron. When Emperor He conspired with the court eunuchs under Zheng Zhong 鄭眾, the powerful males of the family Dou were extinghuished, and Empress Dowager Dou was forced to retire from government.

Chen Quanli 陳全力, Hou Xinyi 侯欣一, ed. (1988). Diwang cidian 帝王辭典 (Xi'an: Shaanxi renmin jiaoyu chubanshe), 45.