Wu Zhao was born on February 17th in 624. She was either born in Lizhou or Wenshui in China.
Wu grew up in a wealthy, aristocratic family. Her dad had a timber business and her mom was a member of a powerful family.
Even though she was so smart, thanks to her parents, Wu would be lead into a path which would lead her to great heights only because her parents were friends were friends with Li Yuan (a governor, future great chancellor, and emperor.
Wu Zhao was a very educated child and had very powerful judgments. Wu excelled in arts and literature.
At age 14, Wu was sent to the imperial palace where she would serve as an imperial concubine to Emperor Taizong. A concubine was a lesser wife. Emperor Taizong had 14 children, Wu Zhao had an affair with the 9th son who then became the next emperor. Wu started to influence more than Taizong. She soon became the favorite concubine.
Wu gave birth to 2 son and 1 girl. She ended up strangling the girl just yo frame her rival. Then Wu ordered people to murder empress Wang which earned her a fearsome reputation. She placed her youngest son as emperor then yielded the throne to herself. She was now the empress of the Zhou dynasty.
Empress Wu fought with terror, shrewdly employing her secret police and placing her own, highly skilled people at official positions, fortifying her rule and claim. This tactic was largely admired in the later centuries. She also made Buddhism the official religion and built many temples
696 AD, Wu's two generals were thoroughly defeated by the Tibetans. In the summer of the same year, she faced a rebellion from the nomadic Khitan people of the Ying Prefecture. This rebellion grew into a serious, year-long conflict. The Zhou Empire suffered devastating defeats and continued raids by the Khitans in their territory. This would later be resolved by the collapse of the Khitan armies and the death of their leader.