(5.5) Empress Guō 明元郭皇后

Míng’s Yuán “Pure” Empress Guō was a Xīpíng woman. At the time she was from a great clan west of the [Yellow] River. During Huángchū [220-226] her home prefecture rebelled, and thereafter she was sent to enter the Palace [harem]. When Míng-dì ascended [226], she was greatly favored and appointed Lady. Her father’s younger brother Lì was appointed Cavalry Commandant and her father’s cousin Zhī was appointed Tiger Elite Internal Cadet-General.


When the Emperor was gravely ill [239], he then installed her as empress. The King of Qí ascended, and the empress became Dowager-Empress, called Yǒngníng Palace. Posthumous title was bestowed on the dowager-empress’s father Mǎn as Dìng-hóu “Determined Marquis” of Xīdū, and his son Jiàn was installed to continue the succession line. Fief was given to the dowager-empress’s mother Lady Dù as Ruler of Héyáng. Zhī was promoted to Cavalier Regular Attendant and Cháng River Colonel, (1) and with Lì the General Declaring Virtue both were given fief as full Marquis. Jiàn’s elder brother Dé supported Lady Zhēn. Dé and Jiàn both became General Protectors, and both were given fief as full Marquis, and together controlled the Night Guard.


  • (1) Wèilüè states: Among all the Guō, Zhī was the most robust and upright. At first he was for other achievements titled Marquis.
  • Jìnzhūgōngzàn states: Jiàn appellation Shūshǐ. He was capable and strong. During Tàishǐ he fell ill and died. His son Jiǎ succeeded, and became Internal Assistant.

〔一〕 魏略曰:諸郭之中,芝最壯直。先時自以他功封侯。晉諸公贊曰:建安叔始,有器局而彊問,泰始中疾薨。子嘏嗣,為給事中。

The installed three rulers were all young, so the chief ministers dominated the government, and seized control of all great affairs, but all first consulted and informed the dowager-empress and only then acted. When Guànqiū Jiǎn, Zhōng Huì, and others revolted, they all forged her orders to justify their actions. Jǐngyuán fourth year [264] twelfth day she died. Fifth year, second moon, she was buried west of Gāopínglíng “High Peaceful Tomb.”


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