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Empress Taejo (Hangul: 태조황제, Hanja: 太祖皇帝) (15 May 1076 – 16 September 1161, reigned 4 January 1110 - 16 September 1161) was a Jeongmian empress who served as the founder and first ruler of the Kim dynasty. She became the Empress Consort of Emperor Seongjo following his reunification of the country in 1091, and began to accrue a large amount of power following a stroke by the Emperor in 1002, making large decisions and eliminating her rivals. Following his death in 1110, she declared herself the first empress of the Kim dynasty.
During her fifty-one years as empress regnant, the third-longest of any Kim monarch, she oversaw the development of jeonggeul, consolidated and centralized imperial power, expanded the size of the empire to the south, and encouraged trade and scientific development throughout the empire. Taejo has been noted for overseeing the development of jeonggeul early in her reign, as well for being one of the only females to hold the title of hwangje in Jeongmian history and the only female Sinju monarch to start her own dynasty. In the modern era, she has been the subject of numerous works of popular culture, being featured in various books, video games, and shows. (Full article...)
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