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Besides her career as a political leader, Wu Zetian also had an active family life.Although family relationships sometimes became problematic, Wu Zetian was the mother of four sons, three of whom also carried the title of emperor, although one held that title only as a posthumous honor.

He made sure that his daughter was well-educated, a trait that was not common among women, much less encouraged by their fathers.Wu grew and continued to learn as much as she could, with her father backing her every step of the way.At age fourteen, she was taken to be an imperial concubine (lesser wife) of Emperor Taizong of Tang. This opportunity allowed her to continue to pursue her education.In the same year, a total eclipse of the sun was visible across China.

Her father Wu Shihuo was engaged in the timber business and the family was relatively well off. During the final years of Emperor Yang of Sui, Li Yuan (李淵) (who would go on to become Emperor Gaozu of Tang) stayed in the Wu household many times and became close to the Wu family, whilst holding appointments in both Hedong and Taiyuan.

'Emperor Wu,' however, invites confusion with various other rulers who attracted the honorary epithet - the unfortunate imitator of Ashoka who was starved to death, for example - and so most Western historians have balked at giving her the ruling title she actually awarded herself, though in East Asian languages it is possible to distinguish 'empress as female emperor' from 'empress as imperial consort.' But her family name seems to have been found so apt by contemporaries and by their descendants that it stuck fast, outlasting even the semi-divine titles that she invented for herself: a ninth-century Japanese visitor found her referred to simply as 'Granny Strong.' Various Chinese titles have been translated into English as "empress", including "empress" in both the sense of empress consort and empress regnant.

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    Wu Zetian 624 – December 16, 705, alternatively named Wu Zhao, Wu Hou, and during the later Tang dynasty as Tian Hou, also 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.…