July 21, 2017

Wu Zetian (624 – December 16, 705), also known as Wu Zhao, Wu Hou, and during the later Tang dynasty as Tian Hou, referred to in English as Empress Consort Wu or by the deprecated term "Empress Wu", was a Chinese sovereign who ruled unofficially as empress consort and empress dowager and later, officially as empress regnant (皇帝) during the brief Zhou dynasty (周, 684-705), which interrupted the Tang dynasty (618–690 & 705–907). Wu was the only Empress regnant of China in more than two millennia. 
The importance to history of Wu Zetian's period of political and military leadership includes the major expansion of the Chinese empire, extending it far beyond its previous territorial limits, deep into Central Asia, and engaging in a series of wars on the Korean peninsula, first allying with Silla against Goguryeo, and then against Silla over occupation of formerly Goguryeo territory. Within China, besides the more direct consequences of her struggle to gain and maintain supreme power, Wu's leadership resulted in important effects regarding social class in Chinese society and in relation to state support for Taoism, Buddhism, education, and literature. Wu Zetian also had a monumental impact upon the statuary of the Longmen Grottoes and the "Wordless Stele" at the Qianling Mausoleum, as well as the construction of some major buildings and bronze castings that no longer survive.

Source: Wikipedia

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