Thursday, September 22, 2011

Empress of China Wu Zetian, Reputed Serial Killer - 705


Empress Wu Ze Tian (February 17, 624 – December 16,  705), the only female ruler in Chinese history, usurped the throne in 690 and is credited by many historians with founding the Tang Dynasty. The daughter of a Shanxi lumber dealer, she grew up in Shaanxi and was briefly a nun before she worked her way up to empress from a low-ranking concubine. Regarded as a tyrant, she reportedly killed many of her rivals and changed the name of the dynasty from Tang to Chou (or Zhou) although it was changed back after she died.

According to traditional accounts: She suffocated her own newborn daughter, accused the empress of the crime, and then replaced her. She killed or exiled their supporters and countless others; she murdered twelve branches of the imperial family; she purged the scholars and killed or exiled them and their families; she had the crown prince Li Hong poisoned. [Gary Lee Todd, “Evil Women Tyrants: Is History Telling Us the Truth?” May 21, 2010]

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An excerpt:

ART. II.  Woo Tsihteën, empress of China: her parentage; admission to the palace; kills her daughter with her own hands: causes the death of the empress, and is elevated in her stead, takes the title of Queen of Heaven, and reigns absolute.

The article’s opening:

HISTORY, whether of ancient or modern times, of the eastern or western world, can afford but few examples, either ofmen or women, whose acts of cruelty and injustice equal those of the empress Woo Tsihteën. Her malignant course appeared the more conspicuous, because it was run during the early part of a dynasty, which in the annals of China is renowned for its pacific character.

[From: The Chinese Repository, April, 1835, Canton, pp. 543-48.]

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EXCERPT, p. 544: The friends of Woo Tishteën, one after another came into places of power and trust, while those of Wangshe began to lose the influence and the stations which they had held. All the arts and devices within the reach of her ladyship were put in requisition. She flattered those who were offended with the empress, and bestowed freely among the eunuchs and others whatever gifts she received from the emperor; to whose ear, at the same time, she conveyed every tale she could collect against his wife. One of these tales was that the empress was disrespectful to his majesty’s mother. This fixed him in the purpose of putting her away, and of elevating Woo Tishteën in her stead. But in order to cary into effect her plan, it was necessary to have some ostensible reason which would form an excuse for so harsh a measure. The facts which furnished the pretext are so unnatural as scarcely to be credible. Woo Tsihteen presented the emperor with an infant daughter: the empress, as in duty bound, attended the accouchement; fondled the child; and forthwith left the apartment. His majesty, according to previous arrangement, was the next to make his appearance on the occasion. But between the exit of the one, and the entrance of the other, the mother with her own savage hands destroyed the life of the infant, and covered up its lifeless body. On the emperor’s approach, she manifested great joy and delight, and hastened to uncover the child. But oh, what horror! The babe was dead! The mother astonished, wept bitterly, and called for the attendants who had approached the infant. The attendants were interrogated, and all said that the only person who had fondled the child was the empress, who had just left the room. Suspicion now was doubly strong. What! said the monarch, as he kindled. with rage, has the empress carried her resentment to such a degree that she presumes to take the life of my daughter?

EXCERPT, p. 545: In the meantime, the late empress Wangshe and the favorite concubine Seaoushuh were both imprisoned in a remote apartment of the imperial buildings. But notwithstanding their present degradation, his majesty continually thought of them; and in one of his solitary walks, approached the cell where they were. His heart relented. He paused, and called them by name. The sound of his voice reached their ears, and Wangshe, bursting into tears, answered, “Most noble sire, think of my former state, and cause me once more to see the sun and moon; then I shall be most happy.” His majesty replied, “ I’ll manage it.” But his purpose was of no effect. For Woo Tishteën, who had now gained such influence throughout the court, that her orders were implicitly obeyed, heard of the interview; and kindling into a rage, instantly sent her minions, bidding them cut off the hands and feet of the imprisoned ladies, and throw them into a jar of wine, scoffingly saying, “ I’ll make them drink to the bone.” A few days afterwards, the unhappy Wangshe and Seaoushuh both expired of their wounds. The vengeance of the murderess still pursueduhem; nor did it cease, until at her command, their lifeless corpses were cat and torn in pieces. Woo Tishteën thus entered on her public career; and from that time till her death, a period of forty years, she kept the whole empire in awe, and played such acts, political and domestic, as would make angels weep. A few of these we will briefly narrate.

EXCERPT, p. 546: But, ill fated princes! they were both destined soon to fall by the machinations of the empress The first was ‘permitted to enjoy the favor of being his own executioner.’ The other, because he dared to remonstrate against the wicked purposes of his mother, she destroyed by poison, and elevated another of her sons in his stead; who again in his turn was first displaced, and then murdered, in order to make room for another of her sons. This one, the third which she elevated, finally succeeded to the throne. But of him, more will be said in the sequel.

EXCERPT, p. 547: Woo Tsihteën, the queen of heaven, now stood alone; and reigned absolute. Her murderous disposition knew no restraints. She reveled in blood and every species of excess. Prime ministers of state, members of the imperial household, and even her own brothers and sisters, were murdered at her command. Once and again she endeavored to destroy all the “seed royal” of Taetsung, the monarch who raised her from obscurity. In a word, almost every page of her history is stained with blood, and black with deeds of the foulest character. But enough of her cruelties have been exhibited, we think, to make good the declaration with which we commenced this article.

[From: The Chinese Repository, April, 1835, Canton, pp. 543-48.]

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http://unknownmisandry.blogspot.com/2014/07/female-serial-killers-of-asia.html

MORE Female Serial Killers of Asia

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