Emperor Ruizong of Tang

Emperor RuizongLi DanRui ZongRuizongCrown Prince Li DanLi XulunRuizong of TangTang Ruizong
Emperor Ruizong of Tang (22 June 662 – 13 July 716 ), personal name Li Dan, also known at times during his life as Li Xulun, Li Lun, Wu Lun, and Wu Dan, was the fifth and ninth emperor of Tang Dynasty.wikipedia
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Emperor Zhongzong of Tang

Emperor ZhongzongLi XianLi Zhe
In February 684, Li Dan's mother Empress Wu demoted his older brother Emperor Zhongzong (Li Xian) who had attempted to rule free of his mother, and named him emperor (as Emperor Ruizong).
His mother, however, deposed him less than two months later in favor of his younger brother Emperor Ruizong.

Tang dynasty

TangTang ChinaTang Empire
Emperor Ruizong of Tang (22 June 662 – 13 July 716 ), personal name Li Dan, also known at times during his life as Li Xulun, Li Lun, Wu Lun, and Wu Dan, was the fifth and ninth emperor of Tang Dynasty.
Zhongzong tried to appoint his wife's father as chancellor: after only six weeks on the throne, he was deposed by Empress Wu in favor of his younger brother, Emperor Ruizong.

Chancellor of the Tang dynasty

chancellorchancellorsTang dynasty chancellor
Eventually, in October 698, faced with foreign invasion and dissatisfaction at home, Empress Wu accepted the suggestion of the chancellor Di Renjie and recalled the exiled Li Xian to the capital Luoyang. Meanwhile, believing the chancellor Pei Yan to be undermining her authority, she executed Pei under accusation of treason and demoted a large number of officials and generals who dared to speak in Pei's defense, later executing some of them.
Throughout the early dynasty until the second reign of Emperor Ruizong in 710, variations of the Canyu Chaozheng also continued appearing, including Canzhi Jiwu (參知機務, literally "participator in important matters"), Canzhang Jimi (參掌機密, literally "participator in national secret matters"), Canzhi Zhengshi (參知政事, literally "participator in governance matters"), Canmou Zhengshi (參謀政事, similarly in meaning to Canzhi Zhengshi) also appeared, which Bo rendered as "chancellors de facto of the third class."

Emperor Xuanzong of Tang

Emperor XuanzongLi LongjiXuanzong
A mere two weeks later, Li Dan's sister Princess Taiping and Li Dan's son Li Longji the Prince of Linzi launched a coup which resulted in the death of Empress Wei.
Li Longji was born at the Tang dynasty eastern capital Luoyang in 685, during the first reign of his father Emperor Ruizong (Li Dan) – but at that time, Emperor Ruizong's mother Empress Dowager Wu (later known as Wu Zetian), not Emperor Ruizong, was in actual control of power as empress dowager and regent.

Princess Taiping

Princess Taiping of Tangreal princess
A mere two weeks later, Li Dan's sister Princess Taiping and Li Dan's son Li Longji the Prince of Linzi launched a coup which resulted in the death of Empress Wei. In 699, Wu Zetian, in fear that after her death that Li Xian and the Wu clan princes would not be able to coexist peacefully, had Li Xian, Li Dan, their sister Princess Taiping, her husband Wu Youji (Wu Zetian's nephew), and the other Wu clan princes swear an oath to each other and read the oaths to the gods.
She was the youngest daughter of Wu Zetian and Emperor Gaozong and was powerful during the reigns of her mother and her elder brothers Emperor Zhongzong and Emperor Ruizong (both of whom reigned twice), particularly during Emperor Ruizong's second reign.

Li Chengqi

Li Chengqi, Prince of SongLi XianPrince Ning
Princess Taiping, Li Longji, and Li Longji's brother Li Chengqi the Prince of Song then persuaded Li Dan to take the throne himself, and he agreed, returning to the throne in Emperor Shang's stead.
Li Chengqi (679 – January 5, 742 ), known as Wu Chengqi during the reign of his grandmother Wu Zetian and as Li Xian after 716, formally Emperor Rang (, literally, "the emperor who yielded"), was an imperial prince of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty who served as crown prince during the first reign of his father Emperor Ruizong who yielded that position to his younger brother Li Longji (Emperor Xuanzong) during Emperor Ruizong's second reign.

Di Renjie

Ti Jen-chiehDee RenjieDi Renji
Eventually, in October 698, faced with foreign invasion and dissatisfaction at home, Empress Wu accepted the suggestion of the chancellor Di Renjie and recalled the exiled Li Xian to the capital Luoyang.
As of 686, during the reign of Emperor Gaozong's son Emperor Ruizong, Di Renjie was serving as the prefect of Ning Prefecture (寧州, roughly modern Qingyang, Gansu).

Emperor Shang of Tang

Li ChongmaoEmperor ShangShang
In the beginning of July 710, Emperor Zhongzong died, allegedly poisoned by Empress Wei who then named Zhongzong's youngest son Li Chongmao the Prince of Wen emperor (as Emperor Shang).
Both Empress Wei and Li Guo'er were killed during the coup, and on July 25 the young emperor was forced to cede the imperial throne to Li Longji's father Li Dan the Prince of Xiang, a former emperor (as Emperor Ruizong).

Wu Zetian

Empress WuEmpress Dowager WuEmpress Wu Zetian
He was the eighth son of Emperor Gaozong and the fourth son of Emperor Gaozong's second wife Empress Wu (During the first period, he did not rule the, and the entire government In the hands of to his mother, Empress Wu, later as Wu Zetian Is known Was).
Wu had her youngest son Li Dan made emperor, as Emperor Ruizong.

Wu Chengsi

Mo Sing-chi
In the following years, Empress Wu's nephews Wu Chengsi and Wu Sansi tried to have one of them named heir to the throne, but Wu Zetian resisted these calls.
In spring 684, after Emperor Zhongzong showed signs of independence, she deposed him and replaced him with another son, Li Dan the Prince of Yu, but wielded power even more tightly thereafter.

Wu Sansi

Mo Sam-si
In the following years, Empress Wu's nephews Wu Chengsi and Wu Sansi tried to have one of them named heir to the throne, but Wu Zetian resisted these calls.
In spring 684, after Emperor Zhongzong showed signs of independence, she deposed him and replaced him with another son, Li Dan the Prince of Yu, but wielded power even more tightly thereafter.

Empress Wei (Tang dynasty)

Empress WeiEmpress Dowager WeiLady Wei
The five years of Emperor Zhongzong's reign were dominated by Zhongzong's empress consort, Empress Wei.
She instead created his younger brother Li Dan the Prince of Yu emperor (historically known as Emperor Ruizong).

Zhou dynasty (690–705)

Zhou dynastyWu ZhouZhou
She accepted, and she took the throne as "empress regnant," establishing a new Zhou Dynasty and interrupting Tang Dynasty.
The dynasty began when Wu Zhao usurped the throne of her son, the Emperor Ruizong of Tang, and lasted until Emperor Zhongzong of Tang was restored to the throne.

Pei Yan

Meanwhile, believing the chancellor Pei Yan to be undermining her authority, she executed Pei under accusation of treason and demoted a large number of officials and generals who dared to speak in Pei's defense, later executing some of them.
Pei Yan (died November 30, 684 ), courtesy name Zilong, was an official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty, serving as a chancellor during the reign of Emperor Gaozong, as well as regency by his wife Empress Wu (later known as Wu Zetian) over their sons Emperor Zhongzong and Emperor Ruizong.

Taishang Huang

Jōkō of Japanretired emperorJōkō
However, at Princess Taiping's suggestion, Emperor Ruizong, now carrying the title of Taishang Huang (retired emperor), continued to wield actual power.
In 712, Emperor Ruizong of the Tang dynasty retired in favor for his son who became Emperor Xuanzong.

Empress Liu (Tang dynasty)

Empress LiuCrown Princess LiuPrincess Liu
Sometime between 676 and 679, he married his wife Princess Liu.
She was the wife of Emperor Ruizong.

Li Jingye

Xu Jingye
In fall 684, Li Jingye the Duke of Ying (the grandson of the deceased general Li Ji), started a rebellion against Empress Dowager Wu at Yang Prefecture, seeking the restoration of Emperor Zhongzong.
In spring 684, after Emperor Zhongzong showed signs of independence, she deposed him and reduced him to the title of Prince of Luling, replacing him with his brother Li Dan the Prince of Yu (as Emperor Ruizong).

Liu Yizhi

Emperor Ruizong had largely stayed out of political matters during these years, but he made an exception in 687, when Empress Dowager Wu believed the chancellor Liu Yizhi, who had previously served on his staff when he was a prince, whom she had trusted and promoted, to have turned against her in favoring that she return imperial authorities to Emperor Ruizong.
Liu Yizhi (631 – June 22, 687 ), courtesy name Ximei, was an official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty, serving as chancellor during the first reign of Emperor Ruizong.

Lai Junchen

She also began to retain a group of secret police officials to carry out torture and interrogation of people suspected of opposing her rule, including Suo Yuanli, Zhou Xing, and Lai Junchen.
Lai Junchen was said to be a thug who did not work, who was investigated for thievery while he was at He Prefecture (和州, roughly modern Chaohu, Anhui) and who then made false accusations against others to the prefect, Li Xu the Prince of Dongping, a cousin of then-reigning Emperor Ruizong.

Cen Changqian

The chancellors Cen Changqian and Ge Fuyuan were even executed for opposing it, but Wu Zetian never did carry out the change, and when the leader of the petition drive, Wang Qingzhi was caned to death by the official Li Zhaode, the petition drive dissipated.
Cen Changqian (died November 7, 691 ), briefly known as Wu Changqian during the reign of Wu Zetian, formally the Duke of Deng, was an official of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty and Wu Zetian's Zhou Dynasty, serving as chancellor during the reign of Emperor Gaozong, as well as Wu Zetian's reign and her earlier regency over her sons Emperor Zhongzong and Emperor Ruizong.

Emperor Gaozong of Tang

Emperor GaozongGaozongLi Zhi
He was the eighth son of Emperor Gaozong and the fourth son of Emperor Gaozong's second wife Empress Wu (During the first period, he did not rule the, and the entire government In the hands of to his mother, Empress Wu, later as Wu Zetian Is known Was).
Meanwhile, earlier, Ming Chongyan, a sorcerer trusted by Empress Wu and Emperor Gaozong, had repeatedly stated that he believed Li Xian did not have the abilities to be emperor, that his younger brother Li Zhe the Prince of Ying had an appearance like Emperor Taizong, and that another younger brother, Li Dan the Prince of Xiang, had the most honored appearance of all.

Li Zhaode

The chancellors Cen Changqian and Ge Fuyuan were even executed for opposing it, but Wu Zetian never did carry out the change, and when the leader of the petition drive, Wang Qingzhi was caned to death by the official Li Zhaode, the petition drive dissipated.
He was eventually promoted to be an assistant censor (御史中丞, Yushi Zhongcheng), but in 689, during the reign of Emperor Gaozong's son Emperor Ruizong, he was accused of improprieties unspecified in history and briefly exiled to be the sheriff of Lingshui County (陵水, modern Lingshui, Hainan), but was eventually recalled to be one of the three deputy ministers of defense (夏官侍郎, Xiaguan Shilang), along with Lou Shide and Hou Zhiyi .

An Jincang

An Jinzang
One of them, An Jinzang, however, cut his own belly open and proclaimed Li Dan's innocence.
An Jincang (died 711) was a Tang Dynasty court official responsible for saving the life of Li Dan, the future emperor.

Wu Youji

Wu Youji, Prince Zhongdian of Ding
In 699, Wu Zetian, in fear that after her death that Li Xian and the Wu clan princes would not be able to coexist peacefully, had Li Xian, Li Dan, their sister Princess Taiping, her husband Wu Youji (Wu Zetian's nephew), and the other Wu clan princes swear an oath to each other and read the oaths to the gods.
As of 690, Empress Wu was serving as empress dowager and regent over her son Emperor Ruizong, and Wu Youji was serving as a military officer.

Wu Youning

In 702, Wu Zetian put Li Dan in command of an army and made the prefect of Bing Prefecture (并州, roughly modern Taiyuan, Shanxi), with Wu Sansi, Wu Youning, and Wei Yuanzhong as his assistants, apparently preparing to attack Eastern Tujue, but the army was never launched.
Wu Youning, formally the Duke of Jiang, was an imperial prince during the reign of Wu Zetian and served as chancellor both during her regency over her son Emperor Ruizong of Tang and her own reign.