Because of this, Wu was encouraged by her father to read books and pursue her education.
He made sure that his daughter was well-educated, a trait that was not common among women, much less encouraged by their fathers.
The birthplace of Wu Zetian is not documented in preserved historical literature and remains controversial.
The exact birth name of Wu Zetian is no longer retrievable.
She changed her name to Wu Zhao after rising to power, often written as 武曌, (曌 has also been written as 瞾 on occasion, and both are derivatives of 照, which possibly is her original name), with 瞾 being one of the invented characters by Wu.
Besides her career as a political leader, Wu Zetian also had an active family life.
Although family relationships sometimes became problematic, Wu Zetian was the mother of four sons, three of whom also carried the title of emperor, although one held that title only as a posthumous honor.
After Li Yuan overthrew Emperor Yang, he was generous to the Wu family, providing them with money, grain, land, and clothing.