Emperor Gaozong of Tang

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Emperor Gaozong was the third emperor of China's Tang Dynasty. He is known for his strong support of Daoism, and for having suffered a stroke in 660, after which his first wife Wu Zhao served as regent for the remainder of his reign.

Gaozong declared Laozi "Sovereign Emperor of Mystery and Primordiality," and established official Daoist chapels in three hundred prefectures. He also had the Dao de jing incorporated into the Chinese Imperial examinations.

After Gaozong's death in 683, he was succeeded by two of his sons, who each ruled for only a very brief period before Empress Wu took the throne herself as reigning empress in 690.

Preceded by
Emperor Taizong of Tang
Emperor of Tang
Succeeded by
Emperor Zhongzong of Tang


  • Conrad Schirokauer, et al, A Brief History of Chinese and Japanese Civilizations, Fourth Edition, Cengage Learning (2012), 105.