Wu Zetian was born in 624 C.E., and she was a historical figure in Tang Dynasty and the only empress in Chinese History. Wu Zetian was born in a rich family. She read a lot of books and traveled around the country with her father when she was young. At the age of fourteen, she was elected as the concubine for Emperor Tang Taizhong and sent into the palace. She did not develop a deep relationship with Tang Taizhong. Instead, she fell in love with Tang Taizhong’s son, Li Zhi.
After Tang Taizong died in 649 C.E., concubines who did not have any children were sent into the royal temple to be a nun according to the rules of the country. Wu Zetian was one of concubines who was to the temple. One year later, she came across Li Zhi (Tang Taizhong’s son) in the temple, who became the emperor after Tang Taizhong passed away. Wu Zetian told him how much she missed him. Li Zhi (also known as Emperor Tang Gaozhong) decided to bring her back to the palace as his concubine.
After Wu Zetian went back to the palace, she wanted to replace the current Queen. It is said that she killed her own newborn daughter and blamed on the queen. Emperor Tang Gaozhong eventually abolished the current queen and promoted Wu Zetian as the new queen.
Years later, the emperor had a very serious headache and could not handle all tasks, so he assigned Wu Zetian to help him. Since then, Wu Zetian had the ambition to rule the country. After Emperor Tang Gaozhong died, Wu Zetian deposed the heir of the thrown and became the empress of the country at the age of 67.
During her ruling of the country, Wu Zetian eliminated all officials who opposed her and encouraged informers to report any political secrets they knew. People who were being accused by the informers were sent into the prisons and tortured to death. Despite of her cruel ruling, Wu Zetian emphasized on talents and capability instead of social classes when hiring and appointing officials for the imperial court. She did not care if the person who got appointed was from a poor family or not. As long as the person was qualified, she would hire him. She also encouraged girls to go to school to pursue knowledge. Before then, girls were not allowed to go to school.
Wu Zetian had ruled the country for 15 years and died at the age of 82. She is the oldest emperor in Chinese history. Her throne was succeeded by her son Li Xian. One of her grandsons became the renowned Emperor Xuanzong of Tang.