Zhen Luo

Zhen Luo

Infobox Monarch|royal|consort
name = Zhen Luo
title = Empress of Cao Wei
date of birth = 183
date of death = 221 (aged 38)
spouse = Yuan Xi
Cao Pi
issue = Cao Rui

Zhen Luo (Chinese:甄洛, other name:甄宓) (183-221), formally Empress Wenzhao (文昭皇后, literally, "the civil and diligent empress") was the first wife of Cao Wei's first emperor, Cao Pi -- although she was never empress while she was alive. She was posthumously honored as an empress because her son Cao Rui later became emperor.

Early life and marriage to Yuan Xi

Zhen Luo was from Zhongshan Commandery (roughly modern Baoding, Hebei). It is not known when she was born. Her father Zhen Yi (甄逸) was a commandery governor, but died when she was only two years old. Despite her father's early death, her family remained wealthy, and during the wars at the end of Han Dynasty her family became locally important in famine relief for the poor. Zhen Luo was personally involved in famine relief and gained the praise of many people.

When Zhen Luo became older (although it is not known what year), Yuan Shao, the warlord in control of Ji Province (冀州, roughly modern Hebei) became aware of her reputation and beauty, and successfully married her to his son Yuan Xi. When Yuan Shao later sent Yuan Xi to be the governor of You Province (幽州, roughly modern Beijing, Tianjin, and western Liaoning), however, she did not accompany him but remained at the Yuan clan's headquarters at Yecheng to serve her mother-in-law. Yuan Xi and Zhen Luo do not appear to have had any children.

Marriage to Cao Pi

Yuan Shao was defeated by Cao Cao at the Battle of Guandu in 200, and died in 202. After his death, his sons Yuan Tan and Yuan Shang became involved in internecine struggles over their father's vast domain. Cao Cao played the two brothers off against each other and eventually conquered all of the Yuans' territory. During the campaign against the Yuans, Cao Cao captured Yecheng in 204, and his son Cao Pi, upon seeing Lady Zhen, became obsessed with her beauty. Even though her husband Yuan Xi was still alive at this point (and would remain so until 207), Cao Pi forced her into marriage. Eight months later, she gave birth to Cao Rui -- leading to incessant gossip that Cao Rui was actually biologically Yuan Xi's son, not Cao Pi's, although that appeared to be rather unlikely given that Yuan Xi had been away from Yecheng for quite some time before the marriage.

Nevertheless, the rumors became a source of tension between Cao Pi and Lady Zhen. Cao Pi's other favorite, Guo Nüwang, took full advantage of the rumors to increase the tension. Eventually, Lady Zhen lost favor with Cao Pi. When he forced Emperor Xian of Han to abdicate and established Cao Wei in 220, he set up his capital at Luoyang but did not summon Lady Zhen from Yecheng to join him. Lady Zhen's upset at this was reported by Lady Guo, further angering Cao Pi. In 221, he sent messengers to force her to commit suicide. Lady Guo became empress the next year.

Later developments

After Lady Zhen's son Cao Rui became emperor in 226, he honored her posthumously as an empress, although he also honored Empress Guo as empress dowager. In 235, Empress Guo died under controversial circumstances -- with many historians believing that Cao Rui had found out her role in Lady Zhen's death and forced her to commit suicide.

Popular stories

Many popular stories speculated that the reason for Lady Zhen's death was that she carried on an affair with Cao Pi's brother Cao Zhi -- a speculation not supported by evidence. Some more fantastical accounts alleged that she had an affair with his father Cao Cao as well. These accounts generally allege that a poem generally attributed to Cao Zhi, dedicated to the goddess of Luo River, was actually dedicated to Zhen Luo.

Modern references

Zhen Luo has been a playable character in the Koei video game series "Dynasty Warriors" since the third title. In these games, she is referred to alternatively as "Zhen Ji," ("Ji" literally means "lady") and is described as a "serene beauty with a noble heart." She also appears in "Warriors Orochi".

In the 2002 TVB produced serial, Where the Legend Begins 洛神, Lady Zhen is portrayed as the protagonist and shown to be a woman of high intelligence and compassion and inner and outer beauties. Hong Kong actor Ada Choi acted out the role of Zhen Fu in the series.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Zhen Luo — (chinesisch 甄宓 / 甄洛 Zhēn Luò, * 183; † 221), formell Kaiserin Wenzhao (chinesisch 文昭皇后 ‚gesittete und fleißige Kaiserin‘), war die erste Gemahlin des Wei Kaisers Cao Pi. Ihr Sohn Cao Rui ernannte sie später, nachdem er… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Zhen Ji — Zhen Luo (chin. 甄宓 / 甄洛, Zhēn Luò, * 183; † 221), formell Kaiserin Wenzhao (chin. 文昭皇后 „gesittete und fleißige Kaiserin“), war die erste Gemahlin des Wei Kaisers Cao Pi. Ihr Sohn Cao Rui ernannte sie später, nachdem er den Thron bestiegen hatte,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Zhen — bezeichnet: einen der frühjapanischen Fünf Könige von Wa Zhen (chinesisch 甄 Zhēn, W. G. Chen) ist ein chinesischer Familienname: Zhen Luo († 221), Gemahlin des Wei Kaisers Cao Pi Kaiserin Zhen († 251), Gemahlin des Wei Kaisers Cao Fang …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Luo'ao — Original name in latin Luo’ao Name in other language Lo ao, Lo wa, Luo ao, Luo ao Zhen, Luo’ao, Luo’ao Zhen, luo ao, luo ao zhen State code CN Continent/City Asia/Shanghai longitude 25.93473 latitude 115.29295 altitude 142 Population 0 Date 2012… …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

  • Luo River (Henan) — The Luo River (Chinese: 洛河; Pinyin: Luò Hé) is a tributary of the Yellow River in China. It rises in the southeast flank of Huashan in Shaanxi province and flows east into Henan province, where it eventually joins the Yellow River at the city of… …   Wikipedia

  • Zhen (Fang) — Kaiserin Zhen (甄皇后, Geburtsname unbekannt; † 251), formell Kaiserin Huai (懷皇后, sanfte, aber früh verstorbene Kaiserin), war eine Kaiserin der Wei Dynastie zur Zeit der Drei Reiche. Sie war die erste Gemahlin des dritten Wei Kaisers Cao Fang. Ihr… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Zhen ji — Zhen Ji, dont l existence reste à prouver, aurait été l épouse de Yuan Xi, fils de Yuan Shao et la fille de Zhen Yi. Il existe deux versions de la rencontre de Cao Pi et Zhen Ji: La première étant: Cao Pi entra dans le châteaux de Yuan Shao après …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Zhen Ji — (183–221) , dont l existence reste à prouver, aurait été l épouse de Yuan Xi, fils de Yuan Shao et la fille de Zhen Yi. Il existe deux versions de la rencontre de Cao Pi et Zhen Ji: La première étant: Cao Pi entra dans le château de Yuan Shao… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Luo Dexiu — (Hanyu Pinyin), or Lo Te Hsiu (Wade Giles) (羅德修) is a Taiwanese martial artist who specializes in the internal Chinese styles of Xingyiquan, Baguazhang, and Taijiquan.He was born in 1956 (25th day, 11th month of the lunar calendar, which he… …   Wikipedia

  • Luo Ruiqing — Demande de traduction Luo Ruiqing → Luo Ruiqing …   Wikipédia en Français

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