Empress Yuwen

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Empress Yuwen (宇文皇后, personal name unknown) (d. 554?) was an empress of the Chinese/Xianbei state Western Wei — a branch successor state of Northern Wei. Her husband was Emperor Fei (Yuan Qin), and her father was Western Wei's paramount general Yuwen Tai.

The future empress, in her youth, was known for making and displaying the drawings of women, and she was thought to be talented. Yuwen Tai once commented that seeing her always comforted him. While Yuan Qin was crown prince under his father Emperor Wen, he married her as crown princess. After Emperor Wen's death in 551, he became emperor, and he created her empress, although it is unclear whether he immediately did so. It was said that he loved her greatly, and he had no concubines.

In 554, Emperor Fei, angry that Yuwen Tai had put the official Yuan Lie (元烈) to death in 553, secretly plotted to kill Yuwen Tai. The plot was discovered, and Yuwen Tai deposed him, and soon had him killed. According to the History of Northern Dynasties, Empress Yuwen "also suffered death because she was faithful to Wei's imperial house," but did not give greater elaboration as to how or why she died, nor is it completely clear that she died in the same year her husband did.[1]

Chinese royalty
Preceded by
Empress Yujiulü
Empress of Northern Wei (Western)
551?–554
Succeeded by
Empress Ruogan
Empress of China (Western)
551?–554
Preceded by
Empress Zhang of Liang
Empress of China (Southwestern)
553–554
  1. ^ History of Northern Dynasties, vol. 13 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2005-11-25. Retrieved 2006-10-16.