Wu Zetian 11 Seiten, Note: 2,0
Wu Zetian war die einzige Frau mit dem Titel chinesischer „Kaiser“. Ihre Herrschaft wird auch als Dynastie Zhou verzeichnet und unterbrach die Tang-Dynastie. Wu Zetians eigentlicher Name war unbekannt. Nach der Thronbesteigung änderte sie ihren. Wu Zetian (chinesisch 武則天, Pinyin Wǔ Zétiān; * ; † Dezember ) war die einzige Frau mit dem Titel chinesischer „Kaiser“. Ihre Herrschaft (–). Wu Zetian, bewundert und gefürchtet, herrschte im späten 7. und frühen 8. Jahrhundert mit eiserner Hand über China und sorgte für tiefgreifende. Geboren wurde Wu Zetian im Jahre , im gleichen Jahr wurde in China eine totale Sonnenfinsternis beobachtet. Die einzige Frau, die jemals offiziell. Kaiserin Wu Zetian 武則天 (?, reg. ) - Martha Bielefeldt - Seminararbeit - Südasienkunde, Südostasienkunde - Arbeiten publizieren.
Angela Schottenhammer Buddhismus als Mittel der Herrschatslegitimation unter Wu Zetian 武則天 (–; reg. –), der einzigen Frau der chinesischen. Doch war Wu Zetian eine hochintelligente und motivierte Dame, mit einem starken Interesse an Regierungsangelegenheiten und Literatur. Kaiserin Wu Zetian 武則天 (?, reg. ) - Martha Bielefeldt - Seminararbeit - Südasienkunde, Südostasienkunde - Arbeiten publizieren. New title Zhou Dynasty proclaimed. Emperor Xiaoming's daughter is Www De therefore not usually considered a true emperor. Beside her own here work, Wu Zetian's court was a focus of Fortnite Einnahmen creativity. Further information: Chinese. Once her condition improved, Cui Xuanwei advocated that only Li Xian and Li Dan be allowed to attend to her—a suggestion that she did not accept. For full list see List of Chancellors of Wu Zetian. Li Zhong had feared that he would be Beste Spielothek in Mayrhofer finden and Beste Spielothek in Lossnitz finden sought out advice of fortune tellers. Wu Zetian's administration was soon in for various troubles on the western and then northern borders. But Li Dan was young, and Zetian essentially began to rule as emperor herself; Li Dan never even made an appearance at official functions. Es scheintdass sie sexuelle Beziehungen mit dem Kaiser mindestens einmal click here haben, aber sie visit web page nicht ein Favorit https://dictionar.co/das-beste-online-casino/beste-spielothek-in-neu-schwaige-finden.php die meiste Zeit verbrachte als Sekretärin oder Dame in Warte arbeiten. Kaiserin Kunigunde - Die politischen Die politische Mitwirkung der Königin Mord, Folter, Hinrichtung und Verbannung waren die Folge. Jahrhundert nach Christus. Sie gebar ihm zwei Check this out in undaber er hatte bereits Fortnite Einnahmen anderes Kind als seinen Thronfolger benannt. Wu stieg zum General auf und wurde mit zahlreichen Geschenken für seine Dienste belohnt. Li Zhe, ihr dritte Sohn, wurde der neue Thronfolger. Gaozong verlor die Nerven und das Read article zerrissen. Der Buddhismus wurde im Gegenzug zur Staatsreligion erhoben im Zusammenhang mit einem Anschlag änderte sie ihre Einstellung gegenüber den Buddhisten später wieder und legte den Maitreya-Titel wieder ab. Kaiser Zhongzong regierte noch bis zu seinem eigenen Tod — als Poker Regeln seine Frau, die Kaiserin Wei, die wegen ihrer zahlreichen Affären in Bedrängnis geraten war, kurzerhand vergiftete und ihren Sohn here. Geboren wurde Wu Zetian als Tochter eines Ministers.
Wu Zetian VideoThe Road to Discovery 02/28/2016 Wu Zetian Part 1 Die Bedeutung der Schleiernahme, des Es scheintdass sie sexuelle Beziehungen mit dem Kaiser mindestens einmal wahrscheinlich haben, aber sie war nicht ein Favorit und die meiste Zeit verbrachte als Sekretärin oder Dame in Warte arbeiten. März Gliederung 1. Nach damaligem Brauch, wurde ihr Beste Spielothek in finden abrasiert und sie kam in ein buddhistisches Kloster, wo sie bis an ihr Lebensende bleiben more info. Dezember starb der Kaiser Gaozong nach einer Reihe von Schlaganfällen. Doch war Wu Zetian eine hochintelligente und motivierte Dame, mit einem starken Interesse an Regierungsangelegenheiten und Literatur. Angela Schottenhammer Buddhismus als Mittel der Herrschatslegitimation unter Wu Zetian 武則天 (–; reg. –), der einzigen Frau der chinesischen. Geboren als Wu Zhao erhielt sie den Herrschertitel „Zetian“ erst Wochen vor ihrem Tod im Jahre vor unserer Zeitrechnung. Sie war die unerwünschte. Wu Zetian 武則天 (chin.) –; hielt nach dem Tod ihres Mannes, Kaiser Gaozong (–), die politischen Fäden Tang-Chinas in der Hand und trat Wu hatte während der Kriege seine Frau Fortnite Einnahmen zwei von vier Söhnen verloren. Sie war auch der erste weibliche Herrscher zu machen Angebote auf dem heiligen buddhistischen Berg von Wutaishan im Jahr Kaiserin Kunigunde - Die politischen Click here 2. Die aus Chroniken übernommenen Schilderungen der Kaiserin sind generell kritisch zu betrachten, vor allem da die chinesischen Chronisten Frauen in einflussreichen Positionen konsequent verunglimpften, weil eine herrschende Frau mit den Grundprinzipien des Konfuzianismus unvereinbar ist. In der Bevölkerung read article sie keinen Rückhalt. Ihre Nutzung des öffentlichen Dienstes Prüfung bedeutete, dass hell, aber arme junge Männer eine Chance have Deutsche Bank Girocard what zu reichen Regierungsbeamten geworden. Noch vor gebar sie ihm mindestens einen Sohn.
Ultimately, Wu won out, and although her first son was exiled, Zetian was named regent after the emperor's death and another of her sons ultimately took the throne.
This son, however, failed to follow Zetian's wishes, and she had him quickly deposed and replaced with another son, Li Dan.
But Li Dan was young, and Zetian essentially began to rule as emperor herself; Li Dan never even made an appearance at official functions.
In C. In the early 8th century, Zetian fell ill, and shortly before her death in C. She died soon after. In the modern era, she has been the subject of a wide variety of books, films, and television shows.
She also produced a fair amount of literature herself, some of which is still studied. Zetian also appears in earlier Chinese literature and art.
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At age fourteen, she was taken to be an imperial concubine lesser wife of Emperor Taizong of Tang. It was there that she became a type of secretary.
This opportunity allowed her to continue to pursue her education. She was given the title of cairen , title for one of the consorts with the fifth rank in Tang's nine-rank system for imperial officials, nobles, and consorts.
Consort Wu, however, did not appear to be much favoured by Emperor Taizong, although it appeared that she did have sexual relations with him at one point.
Emperor Taizong had a horse with the name "Lion Stallion", and it was so large and strong that no one could get on its back.
I was a lady in waiting attending Emperor Taizong, and I suggested to him, "I only need three things to subordinate it: an iron whip, an iron hammer, and a sharp dagger.
I will whip it with the iron whip. If it does not submit, I will hammer its head with the iron hammer.
If it still does not submit, I will cut its throat with the dagger. Do you really believe that you are qualified to dirty my dagger?
Li and Wu had had an affair when Taizong was still alive. Taizong had fourteen sons, including three to his beloved Empress Zhangsun — , but none with Consort Wu.
Wu was to defy expectations, however, and left the convent for an alternative life. After Taizong's death Li Zhi came to visit her and, finding her more beautiful, intelligent, and intriguing than before, decided to bring her back as his own concubine [ citation needed ].
Wu progressively gained immeasurable influence over the governance of the empire throughout Emperor Gaozong's reign, overtime coming to control most major decisions made.
She was regarded as ruthless in her endeavors to grab power, and was believed by traditional historians even to have killed her own children.
This was later proven false, as these rumors seem to have surfaced years after her death, likely due to the belief in ancient China that a woman wasn't suited to hold the power of the emperor.
Gaozong became emperor at the age of Inexperienced and frequently incapacitated with a sickness that caused him spells of dizziness,  Gaozong was only made heir to the empire due to the disgrace of his two older brothers.
Empress Wang, seeing that Emperor Gaozong was still impressed by Consort Wu's beauty, hoped that the arrival of a new concubine would divert the emperor from Consort Xiao, and therefore secretly told Consort Wu to stop shaving her hair and, at a later point, welcomed her to the palace.
Some modern historians dispute this traditional account, and some think that Consort Wu never had left the imperial palace and might have had an affair with Emperor Gaozong while Emperor Taizong was still alive.
In , she gave birth to her first child, a son named Li Hong. Neither of these sons were in contention to be Emperor Gaozong's heir because Emperor Gaozong had, at the request of officials influenced by Empress Wang and her uncle, the chancellor Liu Shi , designated his oldest son Li Zhong as his heir.
By , both Empress Wang and Consort Xiao had lost favour with Emperor Gaozong, and these two former romantic rivals joined forces against Consort Wu, but to no avail.
As the year continued, shortly after Consort Wu had given birth to her daughter, the baby died, with some evidence suggesting deliberate strangulation , including allegations by Wu, the child's mother.
Consort Wu accused Wang of murder. Emperor Gaozong was led to believe that Wang had the means to kill the child, and likely done so, motivated by jealousy.
Wang lacked an alibi, and was unable to clear herself. Angry, Emperor Gaozong considered deposing Empress Wang and elevating Consort Wu to her position; but, first he wanted to make sure that the government chancellors would support this.
So, Gaozong visited the house of his uncle Zhangsun Wuji , the head chancellor, together with Consort Wu later Emperor Gaozong would award Chancellor Zhangsun with much treasure.
During the meeting, Gaozong several times brought up the topic of Empress Wang's childlessness, a topic easily leading to an excuse sufficient to depose her; however, Zhangsun repeatedly found ways to divert the conversation.
However, speculation seems to continue. As traditional folklore tends to portray Wu as a power hungry woman with no care for who she hurt or what she did, the most popular theory is that Wu killed her own child in order to implicate Wang.
Other schools of thought argue that Wang indeed killed the child out of jealousy and hatred toward Wu since Wang had no children of her own.
The third argument is that the child died of asphyxiation or crib death , considering that the ventilation systems of the time were non-existent or of poor quality.
Lack of ventilation combined with using coal as a heating method could lead to a build-up of fumes that would lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
No matter what caused the death of the child, Wu blamed Wang for it and Wang was removed from her position as Empress.
On an occasion in the autumn of , Emperor Gaozong summoned the chancellors Zhangsun, Li Ji , Yu Zhining , and Chu Suiliang to the palace—which Chu deduced to be regarding the matter of changing who was the Empress.
Li Ji claimed an illness and refused to attend. At the meeting, Chu vehemently opposed deposing Empress Wang, while Zhangsun and Yu showed their disapproval by silence.
Why ask anyone else? Later that year, Empress Wang and Consort Xiao were killed on orders by the new Empress Wu after Emperor Gaozong showed signs of considering their release.
After their deaths, however, Empress Wu often was haunted by them in her dreams. For the rest of Emperor Gaozong's reign, Emperor Gaozong and she often took up residence at the eastern capital Luoyang and only infrequently spent time in Chang'an.
In , Empress Wu and her allies began reprisals against officials who had opposed her ascension. The three of them, along with Liu Shi, were demoted to being prefects of remote prefectures, with provisions that they would never be allowed to return to Chang'an.
Zhangsun was exiled and, later in the year, was forced to commit suicide in exile. Orders also were issued to execute Liu and Han, although Han died before the execution order reached his location.
It was said that after this time, no official dared to criticize the emperor. In , Li Zhong, Gaozong's first-born son to consort Liu also was targeted.
Li Zhong had feared that he would be next and had sought out advice of fortune tellers. Wu had him exiled and placed under house arrest.
In , Emperor Gaozong and Empress Wu toured Bian Prefecture modern-day Taiyuan , and Empress Wu had the opportunity to invite her old neighbors and relatives to a feast.
It was said that Empress Wu had quick reactions and understood both literature and history, and therefore, she was making correct rulings.
Thereafter, her authority rivaled Emperor Gaozong's, after this point on, Empress Wu became the undisputed power behind the throne for twenty-three years.
By , Empress Wu was said to be interfering so much in the imperial governance that she was angering Emperor Gaozong.
He consulted the chancellor Shangguan Yi , who suggested that he depose Empress Wu. He had Shangguan draft an edict, but as Shangguan was doing so Empress Wu received news of what was happening.
She went to the emperor to plead her case, just as he was holding the edict that Shangguan had drafted. Emperor Gaozong could not bear to depose her, blaming the episode on Shangguan.
After Shangguan Wan'er grew up, she eventually became a trusted secretary for Empress Wu. Thereafter, at imperial meetings for eighteen years, Empress Wu would sit behind a pearl screen behind Emperor Gaozong, hear the reports as well, and imperial powers often fell into her hands, and she effectively was making the major decisions and even held court independently when the Emperor was unwell And in the absence of her husband, she gained vast powers and Empress Wu had the ultimate power, and she became a Controversial and formidable figure with far-reaching influence.
She and Emperor Gaozong were thereafter referred to as the "Two Saints. At a feast that Lady Yang held for them, however, Wu Weiliang offended Lady Yang by stating that they did not find it honorable for them to be promoted on account of Empress Wu.
Empress Wu, therefore, requested to have them demoted to remote prefectures—outwardly to show modesty, but in reality to avenge the offense to her mother.
Wu Yuanqing and Wu Yuanshuang died in effective exile. Meanwhile, in or before , Lady of Han died as well, and after her death, Emperor Gaozong created her daughter the Lady of Wei and considered keeping her in the palace—possibly as a concubine—but did not immediately do so, as he feared that Empress Wu would be displeased.
It was said that Empress Wu heard of this and was nevertheless displeased, and she had the Lady of Wei poisoned, by placing poison in food offerings that Wu Weiliang and Wu Huaiyun had made and then blaming Wu Weiliang and Wu Huaiyun for the murder.
Wu Weiliang and Wu Huaiyun were executed. In , Wu's mother, Lady Yang, died and by Emperor Gaozong's orders, all of the imperial officials and their wives attended her wake and mourned her.
Later that year, with the realm suffering from a major drought, Empress Wu offered to be deposed, an offer Emperor Gaozong rejected.
He further posthumously honored Wu Shiyue who had previously been posthumously honored as the Duke of Zhou and Lady Yang by giving them the titles of the Prince and Princess of Taiyuan.
As it was becoming clear, however, that he was suspecting Empress Wu of having murdered his sister, Empress Wu began to take precautions against him, he also was said to have had an incestuous relationship with his grandmother Lady Yang.
Helan Minzhi was exiled and either was executed in exile or committed suicide. In , with Emperor Gaozong's illness getting worse, he considered having Empress Wu formally rule as regent.
The chancellor Hao Chujun and the official Li Yiyan both opposed this, and he did not formally make her regent, Although Wu, as empress, had rather in the absence of her husband relatively of the emperor more political power and was often ahead of the Emperor Gaozong.
Also in , a number of people would fall victim to Empress Wu's ire. Princess Zhao was therefore accused of unspecified crimes and put under arrest, eventually being starved to death.
Zhao Gui and Princess Changle were exiled. Meanwhile, later that month, Li Hong, the Crown Prince—who had been urging Empress Wu not to exercise so much influence on Emperor Gaozong's governance and who had offended Empress Wu by requesting that his half-sisters, Consort Xiao's daughters, Princess Yiyang and Xuancheng, who had been under house arrest, be allowed to marry—died suddenly.
Traditional historians generally believed that Empress Wu poisoned Li Hong to death. In late , Emperor Gaozong died while at Luoyang.
Li Zhe took the throne as Emperor Zhongzong , but Empress Wu retained the real authority as empress dowager and regent.
Wu already had poisoned the crown prince Li Hong and had enough other princes exiled that her third son, Li Zhe , had been made heir apparent.
Furthermore, Gaozong's will included provisions that Li Zhe should ascend immediately to the imperial throne, and that he should look to Empress Wu in regard to any important matter, either military or civil.
Emperor Zhongzong was under the thumb of his wife, the empress Wei, even appointing his father-in-law prime minister.
What would be wrong even if I gave the empire to Wei Xuanzhen? Why do you care about Shizhong so much? Emperor Zhongzong was reduced to the title of Prince of Luling and exiled.
Wu had her youngest son Li Dan made emperor, as Emperor Ruizong. She was the ruler, however, both in substance and appearance. Wu did not even follow the customary pretense of hiding behind a screen or curtain and, in whispers, issued commands for the nominal ruler to formally announce.
Ruizong never moved into the imperial quarters, appeared at no imperial function, and remained a virtual prisoner in the inner quarters. Although Emperor Ruizong held the title of emperor, Empress Dowager Wu firmly controlled the imperial court, and the officials were not allowed to meet with Emperor Ruizong, nor was he allowed to rule on matters of state.
Rather, the matters of state were ruled on by Empress Dowager Wu. At the suggestion of her nephew Wu Chengsi, she also expanded the ancestral shrine of the Wu ancestors and gave them greater posthumous honours.
In , Empress Dowager Wu offered to return imperial authorities to Emperor Ruizong, but Emperor Ruizong, knowing that she did not truly intend to do so, declined, and she continued to exercise imperial authority.
The rebellion initially drew much popular support in the region, however, Li Jingye progressed slowly in his attack and did not take advantage of that popular support.
Meanwhile, Pei suggested to Empress Dowager Wu that she return imperial authority to the Emperor and argued that doing so would cause the rebellion to collapse on its own.
This offended her, and she accused him of being complicit with Li Jingye and had him executed; she also demoted, exiled, and killed a number of officials who, when Pei was arrested, tried to speak on his behalf.
Li Jingye fled and was killed in flight. By , Empress Dowager Wu began to carry on an affair with the Buddhist monk Huaiyi and during the next few years, Huaiyi would be bestowed with progressively greater honours.
Meanwhile, she installed copper mailboxes outside the imperial government buildings to encourage the people of the realm to report secretly on others, as she suspected many officials of opposing her.
Exploiting these beliefs of hers, secret police officials, including Suo Yuanli , Zhou Xing , and Lai Junchen , began to rise in power and to carry out systematic false accusations, tortures, and executions of individuals.
Wu summoned senior members of Tang's Li imperial clan to Luoyang. The imperial princes worried that she planned to slaughter them and secure the throne for herself: thus, they plotted to resist her.
The other princes were not yet ready, however, and did not rise, and forces sent by Empress Dowager Wu and the local forces crushed Li Chong and Li Zhen's forces quickly.
Even Princess Taiping's husband Xue Shao was implicated and starved to death. In the subsequent years, there continued to be many politically motivated massacres of officials and Li clan members.
In , Wu took the final step to become the empress regnant of the newly proclaimed Zhou dynasty , and the title Huangdi.
Traditional Chinese order of succession akin to the Salic law in Europe did not allow a woman to ascend the throne, but Wu Zetian was determined to quash the opposition and the use of the secret police did not subside, but continued, after her taking the throne.
While her organization of the civil service system was criticized for its laxity of the promotion of officials, nonetheless, Wu Zetian was considered capable of evaluating the performance of the officials once they were in office.
Even though the Empress Dowager [note 11] excessively used official titles to cause people to submit to her, if she saw that someone was incompetent, she would immediately depose or even execute him.
She grasped the powers of punishment and award, controlled the state, and made her own judgments as to policy decisions. She was observant and had good judgment, so the talented people of the time also were willing to be used by her.
In , Wu had Emperor Ruizong yield the throne to her and established the Zhou dynasty, with herself as the ruler Huangdi. The early part of her reign was characterized by secret police terror, which moderated as the years went by.
She was, on the other hand, recognized as a capable and attentive ruler even by traditional historians who despised her, and her ability at selecting capable men to serve as officials was admired throughout the rest of the Tang dynasty as well as in subsequent dynasties.
She also enshrined seven generations of Wu ancestors at the imperial ancestral temple, although she also continued to offer sacrifices to the Tang emperors Gaozu, Taizong, and Gaozong.
She faced the issue of succession. At the time she took the throne, she created Li Dan, the former Emperor Ruizong, crown prince, and bestowed the name of Wu on him.
Wu Zetian was tempted to do so, and when the chancellors Cen Changqian and Ge Fuyuan opposed sternly, they, along with fellow chancellor Ouyang Tong , were executed.
Nevertheless, she declined Wang's request to make Wu Chengsi crown prince, but for a time allowed Wang to freely enter the palace to see her.
On one occasion, however, when Wang angered her by coming to the palace too much, she asked the official Li Zhaode to batter Wang as punishment—but Li Zhaode exploited the opportunity to batter Wang to death, and his group of petitioners scattered.
Li Zhaode then persuaded Wu Zetian to keep Li Dan as crown prince—pointing out that a son was closer in relations than a nephew, and also that if Wu Chengsi became emperor, Emperor Gaozong would never again be worshiped.
Wu Zetian agreed, and for some time did not reconsider the matter. Li Dan, fearful that he was to be next, did not dare to speak of them.
When Wei further planned to falsely accuse Li Dan, however, someone else informed on her, and she was executed. There were then accusations that Li Dan was plotting treason, and under Wu Zetian's direction, Lai launched an investigation.
Lai arrested Li Dan's servants and tortured them—and the torture was such that many of them were ready to falsely implicate themselves and Li Dan.
One of Li Dan's servants, An Jincang , however, proclaimed Li Dan's innocence and cut his own belly open to swear to that fact.
When Wu Zetian heard of what An did, she had doctors attend to An and barely save his life, and then ordered Lai to end the investigation, thus saving Li Dan.
In , Li Zhaode, who had become powerful after Wu Chengsi's removal, was thought to be too powerful and Wu Zetian removed him.
During this time, Wu briefly claimed to be and adopted the cult imagery of Maitreya in order to build popular support for her reign.
Subsequently, she also put Huaiyi to death. After this incident, she appeared to pay less attention to mysticism and became even more dedicated than before to the affairs of state.
Wu Zetian's administration was soon in for various troubles on the western and then northern borders, however. A much more serious threat arose in summer Armies that Wu Zetian sent to suppress Li and Sun's rebellion were defeated by Khitan forces, which in turn attacked Zhou proper.
Meanwhile, Qapaghan Qaghan of the Second Turkic Khaganate offered to submit, and yet was also launching attacks against Zhou and Khitan—including an attack against Khitan base of operations during the winter of , shortly after Li's death, that captured Li's and Sun's families and temporarily halted Khitan operations against Zhou.
In summer , Ashina Mochuo launched another attack on Khitan's base of operations, and this time, after his attack, Khitan forces collapsed and Sun was killed in flight, ending the Khitan threat.
Meanwhile, also in , Lai Junchen, who had at one point lost power but then had returned to power, falsely accused Li Zhaode who had been pardoned of crimes, and then planned to falsely accuse Li Dan, Li Zhe, the Wu clan princes, and Princess Taiping, of treason.
The Wu clan princes and Princess Taiping acted first against him, accusing him of crimes, and he and Li Zhaode were executed together.
After Lai's death, the reign of the secret police largely ended. Gradually, many of the victims of Lai and the other secret police officials were exonerated posthumously.
Around , Wu Chengsi and another nephew of Wu Zetian's, Wu Sansi , the Prince of Liang, were repeatedly making attempts to have officials persuade Wu Zetian to create one of them crown prince—again citing the reason that an emperor should pass the throne to someone of the same clan.
Di Renjie, who by now had become a trusted chancellor, was firmly against the idea, however, and proposed that Li Zhe be recalled instead.
He was supported in this by fellow chancellors Wang Fangqing and Wang Jishan , as well as Wu Zetian's close advisor Ji Xu , who further persuaded the Zhang brothers to support the idea as well.
In spring , Wu Zetian agreed and recalled Li Zhe from exile. Later, Ashina Mochuo demanded a Tang dynasty prince for marriage to his daughter, part of a plot to join his family with the Tang, displace the Zhou, and restore Tang rule over China under his influence.
In , however, at least the Tibetan threat would cease. Emperor Tridu Songtsen , unhappy that Gar Trinring was monopolizing power, took an opportunity when Trinring was away from the capital Lhasa to slaughter Trinring's associates.
He then defeated Trinring in battle, and Trinring committed suicide. After this, the Tibetan Empire was under internal turmoil for several years, and there was peace for Zhou on the border.
Also in , Wu Zetian, realizing that she was growing old, feared that after her death, Li Xian and the Wu clan princes would not be able to have peace with each other, and she made him, Li Dan, Princess Taiping, Princess Taiping's second husband Wu Youji a nephew of hers , the Prince of Ding, and other Wu clan princes to swear an oath to each other.
As Wu Zetian grew older, Zhang Yizhi and Zhang Changzong became increasingly powerful, and even the princes of the Wu clan flattered them. She also increasingly relied on them to handle the affairs of state.
She ordered the three of them to commit suicide. Despite her old age, however, Wu Zetian continued to be interested in finding talented officials and promoting them.
Individuals she promoted in her old age included, among others, Cui Xuanwei and Zhang Jiazhen.
They initially got Wei's subordinate Zhang Shuo to agree to corroborate the charges, but once Zhang Shuo was before Wu Zetian, he instead accused Zhang Yizhi and Zhang Changzong of forcing him to bear false witness.
As a result, Wei, Gao, and Zhang Shuo were exiled, but escaped death. In winter , Wu Zetian became seriously ill for a period, and only the Zhang brothers were allowed to see her; the chancellors were not.
This led to speculation that Zhang Yizhi and Zhang Changzong were plotting to take over the throne, and there were repeated accusations of treason.
Once her condition improved, Cui Xuanwei advocated that only Li Xian and Li Dan be allowed to attend to her—a suggestion that she did not accept.
After further accusations against the Zhang brothers by Huan and Song Jing , Wu Zetian allowed Song to investigate, but before the investigation was completed, she issued a pardon for Zhang Yizhi, derailing Song's investigation.
By spring , Wu Zetian was seriously ill again. They then reported to her that the Zhang brothers had been executed for treason, and they then forced her to yield the throne to Li Xian.
On 21 February, an edict was issued in her name that made Li Xian regent, and on 22 February, an edict was issued in her name passing the throne to Li Xian.
Wu Zetian proclaimed herself as the ruler of the " Zhou dynasty ", named after the historical Zhou dynasty — BC ; and, thus, from to the Chinese Empire was known as the Zhou dynasty.
The traditional historical view, however, is to discount Wu's "Zhou dynasty": dynasties by definition involve the succession of rulers from one family: Wu's "Zhou dynasty" was founded by her, and ended within her lifetime, with her abdication This does not meet the traditional concept of a dynasty.
The alternative, is to view Wu's "Zhou dynasty" as the revival of the generally historically-accepted historical Zhou dynasty, which had been ruled at least nominally by the Ji family, almost a thousand years before.
Either way, Wu's Zhou dynasty is best viewed as a brief interruption of the Li family's Tang dynasty, rather than as a fully realized dynasty.
Her claim of founding a new dynasty, however, was little opposed at the time Though the fifteen years of Wu Zetian's Zhou dynasty had its own notable characteristics, these are difficult to separate from Wu's reign of power, which lasted for about half of a century.
Wu Zetian's consolidation of power in part relied on a system of spies. She used informants to choose persons to eliminate, a process which peaked in , with the wholesale demotion, exile, or killing of various aristocratic families and scholars, furthermore prohibiting their sons from holding office.
One apparatus of government which fell into Wu's power was the imperial examination system: the basic theory and practice of which was to recruit into government service those men who were the best educated, talented, and having the best potential to perform their duties, and to do so by testing a pool of candidates in order to determine this objectively.
This pool was male only, and the qualified pool of candidates and resulting placements into official positions was on a relatively small scale at the time of Wu's assuming control of government.
The official tests examined such things considered important for functionaries of the highly developed, bureaucratic government structure of the current imperial government.
The qualities sought in a candidate for government service included determining the potential official's level of literacy in terms of reading and writing as well as his possession of the specific knowledge considered necessary and desirable for a governmental official, such as Confucian precepts on the nature of virtue and theory on the proper ordering of and relationships within society.
Wu Zetian continued to use the imperial examination system to recruit civil servants, and she introduced major changes in regard to the system that she inherited, including increasing the pool of candidates permitted to take the test, by allowing commoners and gentry, who were previously disqualified by their background, to take them.
Another thing she did was to expand the governmental examination system and to greatly increase the importance of this method of recruiting government officials, which she did in Wu Zetian eliminated many of her real, potential, or perceived rivals to power by means of death including execution, suicide by command, and more-or-less directly killing people , demotion, and exile.
Mostly this was carried out by her secret police, led by individuals like Wao Ganjun and Lai Junchen —who were known to have written a document called the Manual of Accusation , which detailed steps for interrogation and obtaining confessions by torture.
Wu targeted various individuals, including many in her own family and her extended family. In reaction to an attempt to remove her from power, in , she massacred twelve entire collateral branches of the imperial family.
The old area of the Qin state was later referred to as Guanzhong , literally, the area "within the fortified mountain passes".
It was from this area of northwest China that the Ying family of Qin arose to conquer, unifying China into its first historical empire.
During the Han dynasty , Sima Qian records in his Shiji that Guanzhong had three-tenths of China's population, but six-tenths of its wealth.
The Guangzhong aristocracy was not willing to relinquish their hold on the reins of government, however; while, at the same time, some of the more newly wealthy families in other areas, such as the North China Plain or Hubei were eager for a larger share of national power of their own.
Most of the opposition to Wu was from the Guangzhong families of northwest China. Accordingly, she repressed them, instead favoring less privileged families, thus raising to the ranks of power many talented, but less aristocratic families, often recruited through the official examination system.
Wu Zetian used her power to increase or to attempt to increase her power by manipulating Buddhist, Daoist , and Confucianist practice, sometimes in reference to the idea of the Mandate of Heaven.
There are also allegations of witchcraft or sorcery. Wu began to manipulate the symbolic aspects of religious and imperial power long before she became huangdi , one case being the Sacrifice on Mount Tai, in When Emperor Gaozong offered sacrifices to the deities of heaven and earth at Mount Tai , Empress Wu, in an unprecedented action, offered sacrifices after him, with Princess Dowager Yan, mother of Emperor Gaozong's brother Li Zhen , Prince of Yue, offering sacrifices after her.
Many of Wu Zetian's measures were of a popular nature, and helped her to gain support for her rule. Wu Zetian came to power during a time in China in which the people were fairly contented, the administration was run well, and the economy was characterized by rising living standards.
She was determined that free, self-sufficient farmers would continue to work on their own farm land, so she periodically used the juntian , equal-field system , together with updated census figures to ensure fair land allocations, re-allocating as necessary.
Wu Zetian used her military and diplomatic skills to enhance her position. The fubing system of self-supportive soldier-farmer colonies, which provided local militia and labor services for her government, allowed her to maintain her armed forces at reduced expense.
Expansion efforts against Tibet and to the northwest were less successful. Allying with the Korean kingdom of Silla against Goguryeo with the promise of ceding Goguryeo's territory to Silla, Chinese forces occupied Goguryeo after its defeat, and even began to occupy Silla territory.
Silla resisted the imposition of Chinese rule, and by allying with Goguryeo and Baekche, was able to expel its former ally from the peninsula.
Hong argues that Silla's success was in part due to a shift in Empress Wu's focus to Tibet and inadequate support for the forces in the Korean peninsula.
Another significant event of Wu Zetian's reign was , shortly after the Muslim conquest of Persia , when the first Arab ambassador arrived in China.
Around the new year , Empress Wu submitted twelve suggestions. One was that the work of Laozi whose family name was Li and to whom the Tang imperial clan traced its ancestry , Tao Te Ching , should be added to the required reading for imperial university students.