Monday, February 26, 2018

Wu Zetian - China's One and Only Female Emperor

This an excerpt from a forthcoming "graphic novel" Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World, by Penelope Bagieu, due to be out on March 6, 2018.  The excerpt was published at The Lily, a product of The Washington Post.

I'm not going to attempt to cut and paste the graphics here, complete with text.  Here's the link.  Enjoy - it's a fast read, and fascinating.  You can find a lot more about Wu Zetian online.  The Empress created her own dynasty (which did not outlive her); aging and sick, she ceded the throne to back to her son Zhong Zhong in 705 CE, and died in 713 CE at the age of 81. 

All of this intrigue and action took place under the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE), during which the game called "Chinese chess" - Xiangqi - had fully evolved from the ancient Han Dynasty game of Liubo (played with "Generals" and "pawns" and moves determined by dice) into a game of multiple pieces and from a game of chance using dice to determine moves to one of strategy, where moves were constrained only by certain rules and the knowledge and abilities of the respective players. 

I'll bet Empress Wu was a great fan of Xiangqi.  A few years back, a tomb of one of the Empress' trusted female aides was discovered and excavated, and I wrote about it and some about Wu Zetian.  Link
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