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武则天, the first and only female Emperor in China

female emperor, chinese history, learning chinese

Not long ago there was a soap opera on tv which was really popular called the Legend of Wumei. It was the story of the only Chinese empress in Chinese history, Wu Zetian.

不久前,有一部电视剧非常受欢迎,叫做《武媚娘传奇》,讲的是中国历史上唯一一位女皇帝,武则天(wǔ zé tiān)的故事。

Wu Zetian lived in the Tang Dynasty over 1300 years ago. Wumeiniang was one of the names by which she was known. When she was forty, because she was extremely beautiful, she was chosen to enter the imperial palace to become one of the many wives of the emperor Li Shimin and she was given the rank of lady in waiting, a position quite low amongst those of the emperor's wives.

武则天生活在一千三百多年前的唐朝,武媚娘是她的另外一个称号。她十四岁时,因为长得非常漂亮,而被选进皇宫,成为了皇帝李世民众多"妻子"中的一位,被封为"才人"的头衔,这在皇帝众多"妻子"中的地位是比较低的。

After Li Shimin's death, his ninth son, Li Zhi, succeeded to the throne. Wu Zetian was loved by Li Zhi so she became one of his wives and received the title of zhaoyi. Later she used a trick to have the titles of all the imperial consorts and of another imperial concubine abolished and she herself assumed the position of empress.

李世民去世以后,他的第九个儿子李治,继承了皇位。武则天受到李治的喜爱,于是又成为了李治的"妻子"之一,被封为"昭仪"的头衔。后来,她使用手段,使皇帝李治所喜爱的皇后和另一位妃子被废除了头衔,而她自己也就当上了皇后。

Li Zhi was a person with a comparatively weak character so Wu Zetian helped him deal with and decide state affairs. Slowly she gained more and more political power. When Li Zhi fell ill, Wu Zetian took his place in dealing with state affairs. After the death of her husband Li Zhi, Wu Zetian arranged for her own and Li Zhi's children, Li Xian and Li Dan to consecutively become emperor and she herself was the emperor's mother but in fact she had the real power. Later she simply abolished her son's title of emperor and became empress herself.

李治是一个性格比较软弱的人,武则天便帮助他处理和决定国事。慢慢地,她拥有了越来越多的政治权利。在李治得病的时候,武则天便代他处理政务。在丈夫李治去世以后,武则天先后安排自己和李治的两个儿子,李显和李旦当皇帝,而她自己作为皇帝的母亲,其实掌握了真正的权力。后来,她干脆废除了儿子的皇帝头衔,自己做起了皇帝。

Wu Zetian was empress for fifteen years. Being a woman, the matter of Wu Zetian being empress received much opposition from people at the time. Because she received so much pressure she had to return the title of emperor to her son Li Xian.

武则天当了15年的皇帝。作为一个女人,武则天当皇帝的事情,在当时受到很多人的反对。后来,因为受到很大的压力,武则天不得不把皇位还给了自己的儿子李显。

During the reign of Wu Zetian, the Chinese system of imperial examinations was expanded and many efficacious improvements were made to Chinese education and to the system of selection of those with talent. She was also particularly good at selecting and using those with talent to help her govern the country. During the fifteen years of her reign Chinese culture and the economy both developed. It is worth noting that at that time, the position of women was higher than at other times in the past. But Wu Zetian had to put up with much negative criticism, some people saying she was ruthless and for the sake of power, when she became empress she killed many people. But if not for her cruel and merciless character, perhaps this legendary empress would never have appeared in Chinese history.

武则天当皇帝期间,发展了中国的"科举"考试制度,对中国的教育和人才选拔制度,进行了很有效的改善。她还特别善于选用有才能的人,来帮助她治理国家。在她当皇帝的15年间,中国的经济和文化都有不错的发展。更值得一提的是,当时,中国的女性地位也比古代的其他时期要高。不过,武则天也得到了很多负面的评价,有人说她非常地残酷,为了拥有权力,当上皇帝,杀死了很多人。不过,如果不是因为这种残酷无情的性格,中国的历史上,也许就不会出现这样一位传奇的女皇帝了。

2016-06-22

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