Emperor Gaozong of Tang

628 AD - 683 AD

Emperor Gaozong of Tang, personal name Li Zhi, was the third emperor of the Tang dynasty in China, ruling from 649 to 683; after January 665, he handed power over the empire to his second wife Empress Wu, and her decrees were carried out with greater force than the decrees of Emperor Gaozong's. Emperor Gaozong was the youngest son of Emperor Taizong and Empress Zhangsun; his elder brothers were Li Chengqian and Li Tai.
Emperor Gaozong's reign saw the primacy of Empress Wu, who became the effective power behind the Tang rule. Emperor Gaozong was aided in his rule by Empress Wu during the later years of his reign after a series of strokes left him incapacitated. Emperor Gaozong effectively after January 665 delegated all matters of state to his strong wife. Empress Wu is therefore unique in the annals of the Tang Empire for the political influence she wielded. In fact, after 665, Emperor Gaozong no longer ruled and he in all matters fell heavily under the influence of Empress Wu. She came to have total control of the imperial administration.
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