Why did not one of the five ministers who forced Wu Zetian to abdicate in the Shenlong coup die in good health?
In his later years, Wu Zetian gradually began to indulge in pleasure because of his complacency, and began to overhaul palaces and Buddhist temples, and built the monument “Tianshu” outside the imperial city Duanmen. The old and sick Wu Zetian was unable to go to court for a long time, and her control over the political affairs also declined. Her brothers Zhang Yizhi and Zhang Changzong gradually broke through the restrictions of male favorites and began to intervene in the political affairs.
At that time, Zhang Yizhi and Zhang Changzong relied on Wu Zetian’s favor, and they were domineering. Call him by his first name. According to historical records, Princess Yongtai, Wu Zetian’s granddaughter, was discussing the first Zhang Yizhi, Zhang Changzong and Wu Zetian’s promiscuous harem just because she “chewed the tongue” with her husband Wu Yanji and her imperial brother Li Chongrun. He slandered Wu Zetian, and Wu Zetian, in a fit of rage, executed the three together.
Zhang Yizhi and Zhang Changzong’s intervention in the political affairs caused many people’s dissatisfaction, and the death of Princess Yongtai also made Li’s descendants understand that Zhang Yizhi and Zhang Changzong had posed a huge threat to them, and it was urgent to get rid of the Zhang brothers.
So a coup is brewing.
In the first year of Shenlong (705), Wu Ze took refuge in Yingxian Palace due to illness. Only Zhang Yizhi and Zhang Zongchang served Wu Zetian in Yingxian Palace. Outsiders were not allowed to enter, and even the prime minister could hardly see her. Zhang Jianzhi, Huan Yanfan, Jinghui and other ministers decided to take advantage of Wu Zetian’s serious illness to execute Zhang Yizhi and Zhang Changzong’s brothers, forcing the seriously ill Wu Zetian to abdicate and restore the Tang Dynasty.
On February 20, Zhang Jianzhi, the waiter of Fengge, Cui Xuanwei (wěi), the waiter of Luantai, Jinghui, general of Zuo Yulin, Huan Yanfan, general of right feather, Yuan Shuji, general of Xing Shaoqing, contacted Li Duozuo, general of Linwei of right feather. , General Li Xingzong of Zuo Yulin and others staged a coup d’etat, led more than 500 people from the forbidden army, rushed into the palace, killed two Zhang, and immediately surrounded the Jixian Temple where Wu Zetian was sleeping, forcing Wu Zetian to abdicate.
The next day, Wu Zetian appointed Li Xian, the crown prince, to supervise the state. On the third day, Wu Zetian gave in. On the fourth day, Li Xian was officially reset. After the successful coup, Zhang Jianzhi was named King of Hanyang, Jinghui was named King of Pingyang, Huan Yanfan was named King of Fuyang, Yuan Shuji was named King of Nanyang, and Cui Xuanwei (wěi) was named King of Boling.
But this coup only killed Zhang Changzong and Zhang Yizhi, two of Wu Zetian’s favorite men, and their henchmen. However, the warrior family represented by Wu Sansi was almost unscathed and continued to play important responsibilities in the court, which laid troubles for the unfortunate end of Zhang Jianzhi and other five people in the future.
Soon, Zhang Jianzhi and the other five were slandered by Wu Sansi and Empress Wei, and Tang Zhongzong demoted all five of them in a rage. Jing Hui was executed by Ling Chi shortly after he took office in Yazhou. Then, Zhang Jianzhi died of illness in Xinzhou, Cui Xuanwei died of illness in Lingnan, and Huan Yanfan and Yuan Shuji were killed by envoys sent by Li Xian.