Li Duozuo - Coup of 705

Coup of 705

As of spring 705, Wu Zetian was ill, and her lovers Zhang Yizhi and Zhang Changzong wielded much power, leading to speculation that they might try to displace her son Li Xian the Crown Prince, a former emperor (Emperor Ruizong's older brother). The chancellor Zhang Jianzhi, who was planning with other officials Cui Xuanwei, Huan Yanfan, Jing Hui, and Yuan Shuji, to act against Zhang Yizhi and Zhang Changzong, decided to engage Li Duozuo in the plot as well. He asked Li Duozuo, "Who gave you this glory and honor, general?" Li Duozuo wept and responded, "The Great Emperor ." Zhang Jianzhi then stated, "Now, the sons of the Great Emperor are being endangered by two hoodlums, and do you not want to repay the Great Emperor?" Li Duozuo responded, "As long as it is beneficial to the state, I will follow your direction, chancellor. I do not dare to consider my own safety and that of my family." He therefore agreed to join the plot. Subsequently, with Li Xian's agreement, the coup leaders killed Zhang Yizhi and Zhang Changzong and surrendered Wu Zetian's palace, forcing her to yield the throne to Li Xian (as Emperor Zhongzong). For Li Duozuo's participation in the coup, Emperor Zhongzong created him the Prince of Liaoyang. Later that year, when Emperor Zhongzong was offering sacrifices at the imperial ancestral temple, he had Li Dan the Prince of Xiang (the former Emperor Ruizong) and Li Duozuo accompany him—a great honor—against suggestions that Li Duozuo, as a non-Han, should not be given this great of an honor equivalent to the emperor's brother.

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