Femmes de la dynastie Tang

2011-08-11 14:32 ChineseTime

Women of the Tang Dynasty were fortunate to live at a time characterized by open-mindedness and liberal ideas.

Tang women also had the chance to learn history, politics, and military skills. At the founding of this dynasty, Princess Pingyang personally participated in battles, having led a detachment of women to help her father, Emperor Gaozu. Princess Taiping, daughter of Emperor Gaozong, twice suppressed mutinies inside the imperial court at critical times.

Women of the royal family were not subject to marital restrictions or constraints either. From the reign of Emperor Gaozong to that of Emperor Suzong during the early and middle Tang Dynasty, there were altogether 98 princesses, of which 61 married, among whom 24 remarried, and four married three times. This trend shook the very foundations of traditional feudal ethics.

Living within a relaxed social environment, and having an independent social status, the behavior of well-educated Tang women was obviously quite different from that of the women of former dynasties. They could drink wine to the limit of their capacity, and sing loudly in taverns; gallop through the suburbs with abandon; or even compete with men on the polo field. In the Tang Dynasty, women conducted social activities and carried on business independently. They even distinguished themselves within the political arena, a prime example being Empress Zhangsun -- the most virtuous empress in China.


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