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Empress Wu and Empress Wei

Page history last edited by PBworks 17 years, 5 months ago

Week 13: Medieval China IDs

Clara Harrison


Empress Wei

Empress Wei, also called Wei Zifu, was born an illegitimate child to a servant of Princess Pingyang. She became a concubine in 139 B.C. when Emperor Wu saw her and was impressed by her. She gave birth to his first son, Liu Ju in 128 B.C. Empress Wei often used her position to get her family members elevated in rank. Later, when Emperor Wu’s son, Liu Fuling was born to a different consort, a rebellion took place. Emperor Wu arrested Empress Wei, however she committed suicide before she could be executed.


Empress Wu

Empress Wu, also called Wu Zetian, was born in 625 A.D. in Luliang, to the daughter of a civil servant. She became a concubine of Emperor Taizong in 638, where she gained the nickname “mei”, meaning charming or beautiful. When Taizong died, she was put in a Buddhist nunnery. While there, Taizong’s son, Gaozong saw her and made her his concubine. By 655, she had become the empress consort. She came to rule China behind the scenes after Gaozong suffered some strokes. She supported a major push for Buddhism and wanted to make it a state religion. There, however, was a coup and her rule was ended. This ended the Zhou Dynasty.


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Empress Wu





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