The Empress Who Ruled The World (Chinese History Documentary) | Timeline


In China’s Valley of the Kings there stands a tall carved stone It marks the tomb of a woman who rose from lowly concubine to become emperor of China The only woman to dare claim that title But China’s female Emperor has gone down in history as a controversial and deeply divisive ruler To have a woman with such power really threatened the establishment Not only did Wu Zetian rock the boat in some ways. She overturned it It would have been a very dangerous thing to get in the way of Wu Zetian Since her death 1,300 years ago wu zetian has been remembered as a callous tyrant who brought calamity to china But now Extraordinary new discoveries are revealing a very different picture of her reign from ancient tombstones I’ve been waiting since this was excavated. I am ecstatic to Buddhist temples I honestly wasn’t expecting that that is really exciting seeing this with your eyes is incredible experience Lost treasures have even more fantastic than I thought it would be Now for the first time experts are discovering how one woman managed to rule all the Imperial China And whether Wu Zetian really was an evil dictator or one of the most misunderstood leaders in history The only female emperor in China’s 2,000 years of Imperial history was named Wu Zetian move the celestial She first entered court in 637 ad as a 13 year old concubine Part of the hareem of mistresses serving emperor Taizong of the Tang dynasty Tang Taizong had more than a hundred concubines by repute. She was beautiful. She was charming. She was entertaining She also had a real zest for life Concubine Wu soon got herself noticed When she entered the palace She quickly gained favour of this emperor and her relationship of become closer and with the rise her of her influence at court and She proved to be politically very very skilful and she’s very shrewd When the old Emperor died Wu Zetian became at first concubine to his son Gaozong Then in 655 he made her his Empress But emperor gaozong was a sickly man And gradually Wu became the real power behind the throne Until in 690 with her husband dead Wu Zetian stepped from the shadows and declared herself Emperor Yet China’s ancient chroniclers were scathing in their accounts of her rise to power History tells us a really dark and bleak picture about Empress Wu One of the most brutal stories we have is that she killed her own child just to frame the previous Empress and gain station at court We’re also told that Wu Zhao had her two Rivals legs and arms cut off and then dip them in a vat of wine and let them slowly bleed to death So this paints a picture of a devious manipulating calculating self-serving and absolutely ruthless Virago hell-bent on power Even after she claimed the throne we’re told Wu Zetian was ruthless in her reign This is the tomb of Wu Zetian’s second son Li Xian. He was a threat to his mother Li Xian was accused of treason and he was exiled to the most remote corner of the Chinese Empire locked in a room and forced to commit suicide by poisoning So this is a mother killing her own son so that she can hold on to power Wu Zetian led China for nearly 50 years According to legend she was a tyrant whose reign brought disaster to the Empire Now archaeologists run earthing new evidence the challenges this version of Wu’s story The professor Zhang Jianlin is the world’s leading archaeologists to the tang era Today the city of Xian has grown to encompass old Chang’an, Wu’s capital The population of 12 million Xian is rapidly expanding It’s also home to professor Zhang’s conservation facility Historian dr. Harry Rothschild has heard about some intriguing recent finds that date to Wu’s rein. Whoa It’s amazing seeing all these Tang artifacts I’ve been studying Wu Zhao, Wu Zetian for 17 years and finally here We are at Ground Zero you can sense her everywhere here in Chang’an The figurines show life in Wu’s capital the musicians traders and nobles buried with the dead to ensure a comfortable afterlife but there’s also something unexpected here a first clue to what Wu’s China was really like So we’re looking at an unprecedented boost for the position of women you’re talking about a female Emperor here after all and and so that Translated directly in this sort of greater opportunity and greater freedom for women in the late 7th in early 8th century It seems like there may be more to Wu Zetian that meets the eye Ancient chroniclers denigrated her reign But many recent tomb discoveries like the women in men’s clothing hinted a rather different story Professor Tonia Eckfeld is an expert on Tang era tombs She’s on her way to see one of the most amazing archaeological finds in all Chinese history It’s amazing it’s even more fantastic than I thought it would be This is the fabled Phoenix crown of ancient China a long-lost treasure from the Tang era written about in ancient texts, but never seen until now This priceless headdress is held under lock and key and can only be viewed by special appointment Tonia believes that is a vital clue to the truth about Wu Zetian’s China There’s an enormous amount to investigate in this piece Looking closely the metal work is filigree, and there’s a lot of granulation Granulation consists of tiny little beads of gold The whole crown is like a peacock displaying its tail There are very very fine flowers made of mother-of-pearl and pearl. There are even fine bunches of grapes made of Chinese glass So really what we see here is something cosmopolitan and something rich something fashionable full of luxury items not only in the making of it, but also in the imagery involved Professors Jung’s team found the Phoenix crown in a grave that was already in exceptional find, a tomb that had never been raided Inside was a skeleton and on the skull the beehive hairstyle studded with jewels The skeleton was of a young woman named Li Chui a minor descendant of the Tang royal family For 18 months the team carefully picked out every single jewel and stone Slowly piecing together the headdress to reveal its true glory But when they used x-ray chromatography to discover where the different jewels and stones came from they were in for a surprise The headdress has carnelian from Uzbekistan 2,900 miles to the west of Chang’an, garnet from India 3,000 miles southwest Amber from Iran 4,000 miles away and ivory from Sri Lanka 4500 miles from Wu’s capital The crown gives us clues about Wu Zetian’s society. Life was rich. There’s a lot of luxury It was a real high point in the arts What we can see here is the embodiment of all of the wealth and all of the treasure that the Tang court could attract Li Chui wasn’t even a princess if she was buried wearing this priceless headdress Clear evidence of the extraordinary wealth of China at the time Her tomb holds one final secret She was buried with the Jade silkworm in her hand Another clue that reveals Wu’s ambitions to make her China the wealthiest empire in the world In seventh century China a woman named Wu Zetian rose from lonely concubine to Empress With her husband, the Emperor’s sick. She ruled the Empire in all but name Ancient chroniclers dismissed her reign as a time of calamity But today’s experts think the truth may be very different In a tomb 50 miles northwest of wu’s capital city, Chang’an Tonia Eckfeld is investigating murals that provide strong evidence of Wu’s influence and power Here we can see a mural of foreign ambassadors coming to court Ambassadors came from far and wide in this mural we can see a Mongolian a Korean and a townshend monk perhaps from Rome or Syria There’s a man from Xinjian from Greece and from Persia It’s interesting because we can see that the The Ambassadors are in quite subservient positions their hands are clasped before them and Seem quite in awe of the situation The mural suggests that Wu Zetian was a respected international leader of her time I think Wu Zetian was a consummate politician she saw advantage in the use of diplomacy rather than warfare and led the society that was quite open and open to foreigners Many foreigners at high level beat a path to her door Recent research suggests that there were 25,000 foreigners living in Wu’s Chang’an Many were traders and more than anything, they were after one Chinese product. Since the 4th millennium BC China had produced the finest quality silk By Wu’s era the demand for Chinese silk had made it as valuable as gold The ancient trade routes of the Silk Road began in Chang’an spreading east and west linking China to other nations But by the mid 7th century bandits and robbers threatened to stop trade in its tracks new discoveries reveal Wu Zetian’s master strain She built military outposts far into Central Asia securing safe passage all along the Silk routes Harry Rothschild has come to the very start of the Silk Road in Chang’an to find the latest archaeological evidence of trade in Wu’s capital This is incredible. We’ve been allowed to come right down here into the Western market We’re standing right on the edge of the canal looking right across into this square where you had all of these stalls arrayed where rows of iron mongers and butchers and tanner’s and silversmiths, goldsmith’s, calligraphy brush salesmen would be arrayed where you could find anything under the Sun If you get down closely here you can see Ruts that have been left in in the earth From the carts that went over this bridge you really feel the ambience of the Western market In Wu Zetian’s Chang’an, the east and west markets marked the start of the silk road In the West market goods from lands to the west of Chang’an were bought and sold Silk Road trade not only made Wu’s Empire wealthy it brought so many foreigners to China that her capital became one of the first truly cosmopolitan cities in the world. People from all across the world traveled to China and many chose to stay And this multicultural influence can still be felt in present day Xi’an We are walking along the Huimin street the Chinese Muslims street on the very heart of old Tang China and it is bustling it is vibrant. It is full of energy As you see by the milling bustle going on behind me now I think these are sugared figs or dried figs here these came from along the Silk Road from from Persia So this is a kind of wheat kernel candy and he’s pulling this taffy then afterwards they’ll take the taffy and they’ll Roll it out with pumpkin seeds or with sesame seeds and then turn it into this hard candy The sesame came from Persia and the Middle East along the Silk Road So this is this is sort of the fruit of something that was trafficked thirteen hundred years ago during Wu Zetian’s time It is good. I think in terms of the multiculturalism the vibrance the bustle the energy just the constant commercial buzz You have a great sense of what was going on during the time By 662 with her husband the Emperor ill Empress Wu Zetian was an effective control of the whole Chinese Empire Trade had brought wealth and luxury Evident from the valuable artifacts that have been found and Wu wanted to flaunt this to the rest of the world To do this she planned the expansion of the Imperial Palace on a scale never seen before When archaeologists first uncovered the foundations they were amazed by what they found This is one of the huge gated entrances rebuilt to scale on those very foundations This is Danfeng Gate the southern gate of Daming palace Just looking up at it it conjures a sense of awe For me It’s a statement It provides a sense of Imperial grandeur It makes any one sort of standing before the gate feel a sense of their own smallness and insignificance Wu Zetian’s Daming Palace was the largest in the world Completed in just three years the scale of the complex outshone anything anyone had ever seen Look at the size of Daming Palace This is twice as big as old pompeii It’s five times bigger than the Forbidden City of the Ming and Qing Dynasty Emperor’s it’s twenty-two times the size of the Acropolis The scope the grand juror. It’s it’s absolutely staggering. You can read about it but you don’t really appreciate that magnitude until you step out on this balcony and you look out at this vista There are archery grounds. There are polo grounds, cockfighting arenas, places for drama troops to practice and that’s just the beginning. There are three or four more palaces beyond that Emissaries coming from foreign countries would come in with their jaws dropping with just a sort of starry-eyed wonder and they would feel like they were looking at a celestial world a paradise on earth. I do think that was about imposing her power with the majesty and size of Daming Palace But Harry thinks this place is unusual in more than just its extreme size Chang’an when it was first designed was the model of perfect Imperial symmetry The old Imperial Palace was in the north central position within the Tang capital Chang’an. This new Daming Palace was outside of the city walls altogether. It’s very unusual to build a palace outside of this usual model of imperial symmetry there’s one good reason for 12 years Wu Zhao had languished in the old imperial palace. For her, this was a chance to get a new start to distance herself from her lowly and obscure past as a fifth rank talent Here where you have this stunning new imperial grandeur was an opportunity to sort of reinvent herself It’s becoming clear that Wu Zetian made China a global superpower Contrary to how the legends were written she was at the center of a web of trade wealth and political influence that stretched from Japan to the Mediterranean In the seventh century Wu Zetian’s capital city Chang’an was in a class of its own So Chang’an during Wu Zetian’s time would have been an absolutely massive city There’s supposed to be almost a million people living within the city walls and another million outside which just outclasses anything else in the world at that time Jonathan Dugdale from Birmingham University thinks he knows one reason for Wu Zetian’s remarkable success She would win the support of the common people through the reinvigorated religion that was sweeping China Buddhism Wu Zetian realized patronizing Buddhism was a great way to please the people and what better way than building new temples and pagodas So one of the main ones she built was this one right behind this the great wild goose pagoda The great goose pagoda was originally built in 652 As someone who studied pagodas for a long time, this is particularly awesome The pagoda was an important temple housing sacred Buddhist writings But just 50 years after it was built. It was destroyed in an earthquake Wu, who had been brought up in the Buddhist faith spending time in a nunnery, decided to rebuild the pagoda but on a much bigger scale Jonathan suspects that this new building was a record breaker and that Wu surpassed herself in her desire to make her mark in her people’s faith And he thinks he can prove it. I would really like to find out how tall this building was when Wu Zetian rebuilt it Because it’d be really interesting if she’s decided to build it significantly bigger for a reason But first he has a problem to solve. Wu Zetian’s pagoda was partially damaged by a second earthquake The top three floors toppled So Jonathan has to work out how high her structure would have been with the missing floors onwards and upwards One two Okay that’s 40 steps for that one and that put us on the fourth floor now 35, 36, 37, 38 One two three… He’s found a pattern in the number of steps Previous floors we’ve gone from 43 to 40 to 38 37. So for the next floor is either 37 or 36 We should make an accurate calculation 34, 35, 36, 37 This is good, we’re still decreasing so this is good we might be able to do something last one Let’s do the math people By working out the pattern and height of the steps per story 136 Jonathan calculates with the missing three floors the true height of wu’s pagoda was close to a staggering 300 feet high Which would have made it not only the tallest brick pagoda in Asia But possibly one of the tallest buildings in the world at that time It would have been like nothing else that anyone had seen before in the cityscape now it still looks impressive. But in those days it would have soared above absolutely everything else in the sea Who built this record-breaking structure as a statement targeted directly at her people There’s so many different things she stands to gain from building a massive pagoda in such a visual space like this The majority of the population of Chang’an at this time are Buddhists and they will see that she’s supporting Buddhism. She’s supporting their religion Wu Zetian ordered the building of new Buddhist temples in every town in her empire creating allies among the common people of China And she didn’t stop there 250 miles east of Chang’an in Henan province are the Longmen Grottoes Caves Historian Lou Young thinks there may be key to understanding Wu’s power This is a sacred place for Buddhist. The religion and pilgrims have have been coming here for centuries But I have been told there is a connection that link and pursue directly to their faith Members of the elite paid vast sums to carve small caves into this sacred hillside There are over 1,400 housing over 100,000 Buddha figures The smallest is just an inch tall The biggest is an imposing 57 feet high commissioned by Wu Zetian herself and It has a story to tell Wow, isn’t this impressive? What a view it is gigantic The official name of this Buddha is Vairocana, which is the radiant Buddha of a great Sun This is basically a universal Buddha Symbolized the the power and indominus of this religion Wu Zetian wanted to put herself at the heart of buddhism in the eyes of her people To do this, it’s possible she took one audacious step and ordered the statue to be carved in her own image The legend says that this statue actually is modeled after her face She want to make this a statement of her power This will give her more credibility because this is the age of Buddhism and there’s a massive follower of this particular religion and by creating this temple, she basically put herself on the center stage of of not just religious action, but also the society in general You know the seeing this with your own eyes is incredible experience This is so impressive to me and I think she got what she wanted The longmen grottoes and the great goose pagoda suggests that Wu Zetian was a skillful tactician who knew how to use religion to promote her own status and keep her Empire happy And up river from the giant buddha the series of very recent archaeological discoveries reveal another of the secrets of her success Wow This is spectacular Here in Luoyang Professor wangju and his team have been excavating giant granaries designed for storing rice Inscriptions enabled the team to date each granary precisely Wu Zetian ordered rice from eastern China to be brought here by canal stockpiled in these vast grain stores then redistributed in times of need During the early 7th century China suffered prolonged droughts leading to famines But under Wu Zetian, improvements to the rice stores design were to prove invaluable Wow the massive scale of this granary really testify The the power and the capability of Empress Wu’s regime and and she is a very capable ruler That the grain kept here can last for many years So this is not just contributed to the stability of her regime but also for the future of tang dynasty as well Archeology is revealing that Wu Zetian was an efficient administrator who ensured her people and her soldiers were always fed But despite her successes, as a woman she could never rely on the support of the aristocratic establishment She needed allies So in a radical break with tradition, Wu allowed commoners to join in the administration of her government She encouraged women to be entrepreneurs and permitted Chinese women to divorce and marry freely for the first time But in a moment of breathtaking audacity, she even appointed a female prime minister by the name of Shangguan Wan’er Harry has been told of evidence professor Zhang’s team have found in recent excavations in the Prime Minister’s tomb Suggesting her life had a controversial final chapter This is Shangguan Wan’er’ epitaph I’ve been waiting since September of 2013 when this was excavated for a chance to actually see this in person and it’s finally happening today So I am ecstatic This says she had 47 springs and autumns at the time of her death But when Zhang’s team found the prime minister’s tomb It had been purposely destroyed And this destruction is key to understanding why the bleak picture of Wu Zetian has been passed on through the centuries This was thorough, kind of malicious and intentional destruction that had been done to the tomb Shangguan Wan’er’s tomb had been dismantled by order of emperors Ruizong, Wu Zetian’s sucessor Harry believes there is a direct link between this destruction and the chronicles the tell of Wu’s evil and incompetence Now that I know that Shangguan Wan’er’s grave was dismantled this is part of an intentional process an intentional destruction of vestiges of female power during the late 7th and early 8th century The Confucian patriarchy striking back and re-establishing normative power By 690 ad Wu Zetian had ascended the throne to become the first female emperor ever to rule the Chinese Empire But her opponents were determined to unseat her She had annihilated many many of her enemies but where there’s power there are always rivals and There’s always a contest Although there is clearly more to Wu Zetian than the ancient writers led us to believe There’s also emerge that some of the tales of her callousness were not just propaganda Art historian, Dr. Jenny Liu has discovered new texts in the tomb of Wu’s great granddaughter princess Yongtai that suggests even blood knew no mercy I’ve studied other princess’ epitaph as well And this is a passage here, which I’ve never seen. You have the character for anger. Okay, and anger at the The two boys and their secret medicine So this passage tells you what happened to princess Yongtai. These are characters that are usually used for the miscarriage or the loss of a child and It is the Zhang brothers secret medicine or poison that made her miscarriage leading to her death This refers to Wu Zetian because it’s very possible that she was the instigator of the poison that Zhang brothers were very close to her and they did her bidding and she was known to have pitted people against each other in court and she would cause one to poison or kill the other and She did this with officials and now it seems maybe she did it with her relations her kin. What was the motive? Why? Why does she want the princess dead? She was bearing the child of two of the strongest clans in contention for the throne and it might be possible that she did not want this child to be born no matter the gender It would have been a very dangerous thing to get in the way of Wu Zetian As emperor of China Wu Zetian had successfully fought off all rivals to hold on to power But the fight had been bloody Wu Zetian became incredibly ruthless She had hundreds of members of the ruling family executed The violence and reign of terror you could say was extreme But she was not without a conscience She was very troubled by what she’d done With her mind turning towards her afterlife, Wu wanted forgiveness of her sins She wrote a confession and had it engraved onto a golden tablet and had that tablet taken to a holy place to perform a sacred ritual So here we are on Mount Song It’s the central of the five sacred peaks of ancient China and it became a very important place in Wu Zetian’s later life In the year 700, Wu Zetian came to this mountain She had a golden tablet made on which she inscribes her sins Which was then cast down the mountain as a as a form of absolution And we know precisely what that gold tablet said because nearly 1300 years later a farmer found it lying in the earth on the mountain slopes Its description was short but its message profound And said The ruler Wu Zhao admires the true doubt with its long-lived immortal spirits Her servant has been commissioned to go reverently to the pinnacle of the central peak of Mount Song and cast the golden tally that might expiate her sinful nature What you can tell by the fact she’s throwing away this tablet in such a visible fashion is that she’s really trying to demonstrate To other people that she was repentant It’s a very visible ceremonial thing it’s it’s saying I have sinned and I wish to be absolved of these sins and And whether she actually believed that was the case or not I think is is less important than the impression it would create to other people The end of Wu Zetian’s reign had become fraught with scheming and rebellion among the male nobility at her court The higher she goes she becomes a tall poppy she becomes a bigger target Jonathan has come to a remote location in the foothills of Mount Song that Wu retreated to in her last year’s It’s awesome I’ve wanted to come here for a long time This is quite special This is the Songyue pagoda it’s Important Wu Zetian’s life because she’s to come here to worship It’s 1,500 years old not only is it still standing, it still looks pretty good So Wu Zetian would have come into this probably into this very building because this is the original structure from 1500 years ago I’ve never seen anything like this before. This is a phenomenal building You can feel why Wu Zetian would want to come here I mean Chang’an at this time is politically very difficult and she wants to come here to just escape all that It’s it’s a place of safety and refuge Throughout her life Wu’ Zetian had shattered Confucian tradition Rising from a lowly concubine to become the only female Emperor of China She had achieved much She made China a better place for women, the Empire wealthy, peaceful, her capital city vibrant and cosmopolitan and her population fed and free to practice their religion But the male establishment was closing in and the She Emperor was too old to fight back When Wu Zetian’s rule came to an end she was 80 In fact, she wasn’t usurped she abdicated so She was still maintaining her own sense of control She lived for a few more months and she went quietly her time had come Emperor Wu Zetian died in 705 This is Qianling the Tang dynasty mausoleum complex her final resting place She’s buried in a secret chamber Deep inside the mountain alongside the Emperor she succeeded, her husband Gaozong We’re on the spiritual path Walking toward Wu Zetian’s tomb It’s impressive. It’s daunting its powerful The area that it covers is almost the same as the Daming Palace. So it’s a huge area The path to Wu Zetian’s tomb is protected by Imperial bodyguards and sculptures to ward off evil spirits Beside the Gateway entrance the two sets of foreign emissaries lined up to pay homage Being here is a really awesome experience It’s so impressive. Wu Zetian may have held power for more than half a century but in this place really her spirit and her sense of majesty and authority and power has lived on for many centuries Standing along Qianling is the carved steely honoring Wu Zetian’s resting place By her decree, it was left blank inviting historians to write of her achievements and they did so distorting her story for centuries But having discovered more about her life, what would today’s experts now carve upon the stand I would write something along the lines of she was woman who did what she had to to stay in power She was a great leader. She had a lot of political acumen But most of all I’d say she was the woman that proved that in a man’s world. You didn’t need a man to lead it The one word that I would put is just maverick because of the way that she went about gaining power I’d write nothing for her entire Idiosyncratic unprecedented political career Defied labels and for thirteen hundred years. She’s defied historical verdict I think that the the blankness of the steely is a perfect monument

Comments 64

  • LET'S NOT KID OURSELVES….she was the FIRST FEMALE EMPEROR in a time when women were nothing but properties and often seen inferior when it comes to military and state matters, her path to the throne was more treacherous than of any man. She cracked some eggs and probably had to crack some more to stay in power.

  • I would love to see an epic movie made of the empress!

  • PHILIPPINES is the WEALTHIEST EMPIRE IN THE WORLD

  • She was a ruthless, immoral and most hated woman in Chinese history, but leave it to Western ‘experts’ to contradict Chinese history 🤦🏼‍♂️

  • Now, after a Thousand of years the Chinese high school history book says: empress Wu, one of the most successful leader in the Chinese history, amount her time, she did contributions to arts and agriculture development, economy was booming and society is open minded, what she have done, must be done to protect the development of the society of that time and there is no right or wrong. She dead with a grave stone without a single word, because she want her people normal citizens instead of government officials to tell the story to others.

  • Off topic but the “empress of China” tv show based on Wu Zetian was so good on portraying her character. She became ruthless because of her enemies became a threat or were trying to harm her.

  • Why is a Rothschild doing there? It makes me worried to see them studying us.

  • Seems to me from this vid that Empreror Wu was one of The Most Influencial People in History. She began the Silk Road? Created an Age of Buddhism? Built complex architecture and temples? Developed 10 year rice storage facilities? Brought peace and prosperity and art to the region? wow

  • Yeeees, This woman who ruled the biggest Empire on Earth for more time, than most men of her era where alive, surely proofs, just how oppressed females have been, are and always will be. GET A GRIP !

  • Assassin of the Nightless city

  • Would love to see a movie done about this great lady😁👍

  • Who run the world? girls

  • She showed us that female can just be as capable as men. Too bad she is only the exception rather than the rule.

  • The imagery was stunning in this. Who is the director of photography? Amazing.

  • 23:21 I was so lost is listening to the documentary and when I saw this guy I was immidiately like, "he's cute" and forgot what I was listening to

  • Dulu aku punya cita2 sejahat ini, menghalalkan segala cara utk posisi tertinggi,
    Sdh tau kan narasinya? Wu ze tian kejam., tp di masa pemerintahannya selama 30 thn kekaisaran di masa emas. Makmur aman terkendali

  • Allah menjungkalkan kesombonganku, jadi aku jatuh sejadi2nya. Seburuk2nya..
    Makanya aku sdh menghilangkan ambisi.
    Hanya ibadah saja kerjaanku skrg,

  • Why the white archaeologist always have to interpret everything in such a western way?

  • Amazing! 👍👏

  • OK people are probably going to think I’m crazy, but I checked Wu Zetian’s numerological chart. According to Wikipedia, she was born on 17 February 624, so she is an “8” (1+7). Number 8 people are known to be powerful, good managers, but also power hungry. Wu Zetian has the life path number of 22, which is considered a “master number” and people with number are called “master builders”. More intriguingly, her original name, Wu Zhao, adds up to a 32, which is known as the politician’s number. People with 5-8 combination can be very successful. The title she gave herself, “Wu Zetian”, adds up to 35, which reduces to another 8 (3+5). The choice of “Wu Zetian” added to the power of the number 8, making her a double 8. With this set of powerful numbers, no wonder Wu became what she was. However, number 8’s in times of stress can exhibit tyrannical qualities, which Wu probably did at some point as an empress. 8’s are powerful people, women of this number are very strong in personality. Whatever one wants to say about Wu, she was certainly one of a kind.

  • I don't think Wu Ze Tian is ever remembered as a tyrant. Yes she did some evil. But here's the thing about ruling a feudal society: you can be cruel and ruthless, you can kill to your heart's content as long as you follow one rule: you keep your dirty work inside the noble class (or the "carnivore" class). You are only a tyrant if you let your power struggle hurt the commoners.

  • Emperor you mean empress?

    and wu is pronounced woo

  • What a beautiful homage!

  • I’m sorry but you don’t need to steal Persian empire’s history to make Wu Zetian look good. She was a good empress but you have no right to erase us in order to further your agenda.

  • Feeling her spirit!! 💞
    Imortatly for women's generations to come…. Awesome 👍 thanks for the share button

  • I love all the things she has hanging in her hair. It’s very pretty.

  • The emperor was a PEDO.

  • I loved Xi'an and encourage everyone to visit including Wu Zetian's burial mountain. Also Luoyang and their magnificent statuary at Longmen.

  • I would've written "Legend"

  • I first knew about her through the Hong Kong produced tv series Empress Wu (1984). Broadcast in the UK Channel 4 (1987-1989).

  • Would you murder your own children to obtain power.. I wouldn't. Glad I wasn't there.

  • Anyone who gets their history from the official narratives, the likes of this is a fool. Nice weather modified skies behind the rock eh, fellas.

  • She had to be one baaaad Mammma Jaaaama to rise from a comcubine to an Emperor in a world dominated by men and at tge time one of the greatest Kingdoms on Earth….she was a Hidden Dragon.

  • 心狠手辣武则天,男人也一样

  • when a man wants power hes strong willed and great and a leader . when a woman wants power shes dark and evil and a monster a she wolf . so ya sexism . but as i see any one who wants power over others and wants unequal power is anti social and a danger to society . there can be experts . but every one should be treated equally in society

  • she sounded pretty dam mean

  • So she was a genius

  • The end justified her means and she was painted evil for it.

  • The only thing I disliked about this video was when filming the princess's grave records, the filming was upside down. SMH…

  • the building is a pine cone "pineal gland"

  • Wu zetian is very controversial in China, without doubt, she is mean and cruel to her political enemies, but under her rule, the empire is generally thriving and prosperous. cant use simple words like good or bad to describe her.

  • Not going to lie, the harem of the imperial emperor has always been cutthroat. You gotta do what you gotta do to survive in there. Power is everything then and it still is now.

  • Only one woman among the many great chinese women.

  • #greatJob i love history and thanks for the new infornation about the late empress i learn more things about her reign and all those structure the pagoda.. one day i will have the chance to see those.. thanks again

  • i'm not touched by this like anybody else here !! this Docu is so superficial and banal

  • The title is click bait, she didn't rule the world, just her empire.

  • Here is an interesting fact. The earliest official Tang history material “Tang Huiyao”and “old Book of Tang”( both completed in the 10th century) , describes Wu Zetian positively and there is no clear records of her killing any of her child. But then, starts from the 11th century historians begin to vividly describe her as cruel ruler and evil murderer of her four Children. One historian even narrates her facial expression while she murdering her daughter as if he had a time machine. Nowadays most TV SHOWs and FILMs are also doing so. History is not do her and her husband (who are often pictured as timid and weak-willed) justices. In fact, these two are great rulers in history (though not saint). They took down old nobility power Bazhuguo and promoted national exam system that allowed people who are not born from noble family have a political pass throw education. During his and then her reign, China established a society that is prosper, strong in military and culturally extreme open in the 7th century.

  • I don't know why but this time I am watching this documentary, I feel something, I just wanna cry for her. Yeah, I don't know the whole and the accurate story of her but the way they describe her as the reason of the power of china, I salute her for that. 😭😇

  • White people trying to push this idea that there was a narrative about Wu Zetian as emperor was a negative thing and then pretending like they're coming out with radically new interpretations and discoveries about her when she has always been portrayed relatively positively because of her merits as an administrator and negatively in how she held onto power

  • H.Res.992 115th congress (2017-2018) resolution

    Miao hmong sovereignty and kings

  • You cannot become a ruler if you are soft. Even in Korean history the new king will kill all his brothers and clans that posed a threat to him. Incidentally the head eunuchs in China history are powerful wealthy individuals so need a strict ruler to keep them in check.

  • Women are born to have the strengths men dont have and it shocks men whe n they see a woman use manipulation skills,conversations skills that women were born with to bad ends.

  • Her actual name is wu Mei lian (武媚娘)… Supposedly the throne was suppose to pass to her first son whom she seen as good leader but dead on young age… The second son will be next throne but was weak in mind( she Forseen that li family kingdom will fall) that is why she took the throne herself

  • I knew it!! The men rewrote her history ! Smh such idiots . She was an amazing ruler who I’m sure did things that were wrong as well.

  • The headdress the actress wears is beautiful. Especially when the light hits it, and gives this rainbow effect on her figure.

  • Salty old men really have to ruin everything. Confusion, discrepancies, and erasures in history are always caused by the same thing.

  • My home is 10mins walking from the palace, my mom and I used to talk walk to the palace every night

  • When I studied Wu Zetian using Chinese textbook from China, I always think she was a magnificent women. In fact in the official Chinese History Textbook in China, she led one of the China's GOLDEN AGE. Western Media PLEASE stop distort Chinese education, we know the truth about her, and is the first to know. I didn't really see that much Chinese people dislike her. She was always pictured a good leader in historical drama, since they showed her promoting women's right and did many progressive policy. AND LET ME TELL YA, THOSE POLITICAL ACTIVISTS, SOCIALIST RESPECT WOMEN MORE THEN CAPITALISTS. HOWEVER THIS NEITHER MAKE ANY ONE BETTER NOR WORSE. JUST IN CASE YOU DON'T SEE IT.

  • "The communist party hates royalty and paints all ancient royalty as being evil tyrants." From this comment section. This shouldn't be an answer to the AP World History multiple choice questions. Because it is too EXTREME. Taught by an Italian- American teacher in a US public high school. Child, I'm more worried than ever at your education.

  • That is excellent.

  • Reading these comments just makes me realize how much people even care about a person's gender over their achievements or faults, not that it isn't important e.g. in disproving stereotypes of each gender and more but it just isn't represented/conveyed properly, I don't think we will ever be able to reach a point where we can be unbiased and judge other historical figures or even current modern figures, it's just in out human nature.

    1.Many are criticizing her due to her cruelty but what they probably don't understand is that it was the norm back then, if you even watch or read novels/dramas/movies set in ancient china then you will understand just how cruel the world was back then. Yes, they may not be 100% accurate but the themes didn't just come from nowhere, those novels/dramas/movies took themes from history or else it wouldn't be historical anymore, at least technically.

    2.Many are criticizing how others are emphasizing her rule as great just because she was a woman and justifying her actions because she was a woman she had no choice but to be so cruel due to the patriarchal era, in a way I agree, but most male rulers aren't much better than her.

    3.Others have said that women want to dominate men in society, there's no denying that there are those who want to, but those people are not feminists, it's not really anything to do with gender, gender is just their excuse to get power. Those people aren't feminists, feminists strive for equal rights for women and gender equality, not for either gender to "emerge victorious". However, I do see where the women who want the upper hand are coming from, not that I condone their actions and ideals but women have, for the majority of history, been in a lower social position than men. The word feminism is largely misunderstood.

    4.If any of you have studied history in secondary education (high school/middle school) then you may have noticed how there may have been bias in the records of this ruler, although there are men out there who believe that women are equal to men, there are also those who believe that women shouldn't be equal. I am not trying to condemn those who are against feminism, it is their opinion, just that your opinion doesn't quite align with mine. In ancient times, there were many more men that have differing opinions than me on this topic which could have led to tweaking facts or overshadowing her achievements with flaws, no ruler is perfect, but those imperfections are part of their legacy, it cannot be changed. I am not saying what she did is right but just like many others, I am saying that her achievements have been largely under credited due to her gender, if she had been male, it would have been very much the opposite more likely than not, her achievements would have overshadowed her faults instead. With this we are not trying to condone the cruelty but we are merely trying to get a point across, granted it may not be the best way, but it is a way.

    5.When it comes to rulers, although their rule can be affected by their gender, a lot at times, but there have been both good and bad, male and female rulers throughout history, what a ruler needs to be is someone who can make their country and people prosper. However, the fact cannot be denied that many rulers, of both genders, have done some cruel actions to achieve that power.

    6.This is so widely controversial because of the fact that Wu Ze Tian was a woman and it is to be expected with the society that we are in now that it would be, but at least now we can give our opinion about, which is improvement. However, I am not saying that cruel male rulers who brought prosperity aren't controversial, rather it is and that is a good thing, at least in my opinion, it shows that we have progressed and don't think a ruler (or someone) is better than another just because of their gender. Wu Ze Tian definitely has plenty of faults, just like anyone other human being but in terms of being a ruler itself, she would be on the better end, not perfect, no one is, but not terrible.

    What I am trying to say is that this is my opinion on this, though it may not align with your thoughts but that's okay, it would be such a dull and boring world if everyone agreed with each other, imagine how politics would be like in a world like that or even more importantly siblings, imagine how boring your life would have been (unless your an only child then… idk, Lol).

  • Minor correction: it’s Emperor, not Empress. The word Emperor (at least in Chinese) in gender neutral, whereas Empress specifically refers to the female consort of a male emperor.

  • I'm at 28:17 at the part where they explain how she invigorated buddhism. And I'm trying to compare to western kings.

    Like a king would ask for a cathedral to be built on his reign and you were lucky if you saw the end of it.

    Wu Zetian was like : "you want religion ? I will give you religion ! Take this ! Biggest pagoda in the world ! A pagoda in every big city ! A freaking giant 57 tall statue of buddha ! RELIGION !"

  • You guys think shes evil but what about those emperors they also kill others right just a small mistake made by others they punished them even corruption but what about her she made the kingdom more efficient even the rice in granary last for 10 yrs meaning that the people are important to her Im not saying she's entirely good either because she killed her children but so what those concubines also did many gruesome things why are you all blaming her she was a FREAKING 13 YRS OLD GIRL DIMWITS to survive in that environment she made sacrifices if you were her will you just be a stupid girl in a dreamworld leading the others to make you as a stepping stone

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