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Empress Wu Zetian (624–705)

Updated: 2013-11-21

Wu Zetian, whose family was from Bing Zhou (modern-day Wenshui county, Shanxi province), was an empress and an outstanding politician. She ruled from behind the during the Gaozong emperor’s reign and abdicated in 705, ruling the Tang Dynasty for nearly half a century. In 690, she changed the dynasty name from “Tang” to “Zhou” and crowned herself Empress of Shengshen, putting the capital in the city of Luoyang. During her reign, the Wu Zhou period, the country was stable, harmonious, and strong and she appointed benevolent officials and kept the politics sober. She died in November 705 at Shangyang Palace, in Luoyang, and was buried with the Emperor Gaozong in the Qianling Tombs. A monument without words was set up for her to let people comment on her achievements and mistakes.

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