Wu Zetian


Empress Wu Zetian (Empress Consort Wu, Wu Hou, Wu Mei Niang, Mei-Niang, and Wu Zhao, l. 624-705 CE, r. 690-704 CE) was the only female emperor of Imperial China. She reigned during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE) and was one of the most effective and controversial monarchs in China's history.

More about: Wu Zetian


  • 624 - 705
    Life of Wu Zhao, Empress Wu Zetian of China.
  • c. 638
    Wu Zhao becomes concubine of Emperor Taizong.
  • c. 649
    Wu Zhao becomes First Concubine of Emperor Gaozong.
  • 652 - 653
    Wu Zhao gives birth to sons, angers Gaozong's wife.
  • 654
    Wu Zhao gives birth to daughter who is murdered; Gaozong's wife found guilty.
  • 660
    Wu Zhao is power behind throne, institutes secret police.
  • 666
    Wu Zhao leads women to Mount Tai, officiates at religious ceremony.
  • 683
    Wu Zhao takes power when Gaozong dies.
  • 683 - 690
    Wu Zhao tries to rule through her sons.
  • 690 - 704
    Reign of Empress Wu Zetian in China.
  • 690
    Wu Zhao proclaims herself Empress Wu Zetian, ruling under her own authority.
  • 697
    Wu Zetian begins to lose power over court and country.
  • 704
    Wu Zetian forced to abdicate in favor of her son Zhongzong.
  • 705
    Death of Wu Zetian, only female emperor of China.