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Scent of a woman and her time

By Zhao Xu | China Daily | Updated: 2018-04-21 11:30
Map whose dotted red lines indicate the terrestrial Silk Road.[Photo by Chen Jiansheng/For China Daily]

One example involves the social status of women, considered having reached a historic high during the Tang era. This is not only evidenced by a fashion that celebrated femininity, fashion believed to have been influenced by the Persian style, but also by the fact the Tang witnessed the coronation of Empress Wu Zetian. Unlike other powerful women in the country's history, the empress ruled not from behind the curtain, but the throne of her own.

Emperor Taizong (598-649), the greatest of all Tang emperors to whom Wu was once a concubine, proclaimed himself "The Heavenly Khan". (Wu, who was remarkably younger than Taizong, later married his son and successor, Emperor Gaozong, mothered by Taizong's deceased wife. Her ascension to the throne took place in 690, seven years after Gaozong died.)

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