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Emperor Wu Zhao and Her Pantheon of Devis, Divinities, and Dynastic Mothers
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Emperor Wu Zhao and Her Pantheon of Devis, Divinities, and Dynastic Mothers

Norman Rothschild

Abstract

This book looks at the reign of Wu Zhao (624–705), better known as Wu Zetian or Empress Wu, the only woman to have ruled China over the course of its 5,000-year history. It asks how she rose to power and why she was never overthrown. The book explores a mystery that has confounded scholars for centuries and suggests that Wu Zhao drew on China's rich pantheon of female divinities and eminent women to aid in her reign. The book explains that, although Wu Zhao could not obtain political authority through conventional channels, she could afford to ignore norms and traditions. It shows that she dep ... More

Keywords: female divinities, Wu Zhao, Wu Zetian, Empress Wu, China, Buddhist devis, Confucian ideology, Daoist immortals, mythic goddesses, medieval Chinese women

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780231169387
Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015 DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231169387.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Norman Rothschild, author
University of North Florida