Memorial Day Offer

Discover your mystery discount!

Tang dynasty

Historical Overview of the Tang Dynasty: – Ruled China from 618 to 907, succeeding the Sui dynasty and preceding the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms […]

« Back to Glossary Index

Historical Overview of the Tang Dynasty:
– Ruled China from 618 to 907, succeeding the Sui dynasty and preceding the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period.
– Tang territory rivaled that of the Han dynasty, with Empress Wu Zetian briefly interrupting the dynasty.
– An Lushan Rebellion in 755-763 led to the dynasty’s decline and eventual end in 907 due to rebellions and dysfunction.

Emperors and Military Campaigns of the Tang Dynasty:
– Emperor Taizong, known for effective cavalry charges and successful campaigns against the Eastern Turks.
– Tang campaigns against the Western Turks, dispatching campaigns in the Western Regions, and annexation of the Western Turkic Khaganate under Emperor Gaozong.
– An Lushan Rebellion, led by a former Tang commander, severely weakened the empire and led to widespread insurrection and foreign invasions.

Cultural and Architectural Developments of the Tang Dynasty:
– Tang capital, Changan, was the world’s most populous city, with population estimates growing from 50 million to 80 million.
– Tang controlled trade routes along the Silk Road and had cultural influence extending to Japan and Korea.
– Flourishing of Chinese poetry, painting, music, literature, construction projects like the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, and rich cultural environment with advancements in art, architecture, and cultural exchange.

Challenges and Rebuilding Efforts of the Tang Dynasty:
– Rise of regional military governors undermining civil order, leading to the dynasty’s decline.
– Rebuilding efforts in the early 9th century, including government withdrawal from managing the economy, economic prosperity in cities like Yangzhou, Suzhou, and Hangzhou, and recovery after the An Lushan Rebellion.
– Central government authority challenges, collapse of the land allocation system, and struggles to deal with calamities in the 9th century.

Administrative Structure and End of the Tang Dynasty:
– Tang dynasty based its legal code on the Sui legal code, with 500 articles and varying punishments based on social hierarchy.
– Administrative structure included Three Departments and Six Ministries, imperial examinations, and rise of military powers like Li Keyong and Zhu Wen.
– Fragmentation and reunification after the Tang dynasty’s end, with Southern China remaining divided until the Song dynasty reunification, Liao dynasty controlling northeast China, and Later Tang being toppled in 936.

Tang dynasty (Wikipedia)

The Tang dynasty (/tɑːŋ/, [tʰǎŋ]; Chinese: 唐朝), or the Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum between 690 and 705. It was preceded by the Sui dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. Historians generally regard the Tang as a high point in Chinese civilization, and a golden age of cosmopolitan culture. Tang territory, acquired through the military campaigns of its early rulers, rivaled that of the Han dynasty.

  • 618–690, 705–907
  • (690–705: Wu Zhou)
The empire in 661, when it reached its greatest extent
  Civil administration
  Military administration
  Briefly-controlled areas
Common languagesMiddle Chinese
GovernmentAbsolute monarchy
• 618–626 (first)
Emperor Gaozu
• 626–649
Emperor Taizong
• 712–756
Emperor Xuanzong
• 904–907 (last)
Emperor Ai
Historical eraMedieval East Asia
June 18, 618
• Wu Zhou interregnum
• Abdication in favor of Later Liang
June 1, 907
7155,400,000 km2 (2,100,000 sq mi)
• 7th century
50 million
• 9th century
80 million
CurrencyCash coins
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Sui dynasty
Western Turkic Khaganate
Eastern Turkic Khaganate
Later Liang
Yang Wu
Former Shu
Liao dynasty
Second Turkic Khaganate
Tang dynasty
"Tang dynasty" in Han characters
Hanyu PinyinTángcháo

The Li family founded the dynasty after taking advantage of a period of Sui decline and precipitating their final collapse, in turn inaugurating a period of progress and stability in the first half of the dynasty's rule. The dynasty was formally interrupted during 690–705 when Empress Wu Zetian seized the throne, proclaiming the Wu Zhou dynasty and becoming the only legitimate Chinese empress regnant. The devastating An Lushan Rebellion (755–763) shook the nation and led to the decline of central authority in the dynasty's latter half. Like the previous Sui dynasty, the Tang maintained a civil-service system by recruiting scholar-officials through standardized examinations and recommendations to office. The rise of regional military governors known as jiedushi during the 9th century undermined this civil order. The dynasty and central government went into decline by the latter half of the 9th century; agrarian rebellions resulted in mass population loss and displacement, widespread poverty, and further government dysfunction that ultimately ended the dynasty in 907.

The Tang capital at Chang'an (present-day Xi'an) was the world's most populous city for much of the dynasty's existence. Two censuses of the 7th and 8th centuries estimated the empire's population at about 50 million people, which grew to an estimated 80 million by the dynasty's end. From its numerous subjects, the dynasty raised professional and conscripted armies of hundreds of thousands of troops to contend with nomadic powers for control of Inner Asia and the lucrative trade-routes along the Silk Road. Far-flung kingdoms and states paid tribute to the Tang court, while the Tang also indirectly controlled several regions through a protectorate system. In addition to its political hegemony, the Tang exerted a powerful cultural influence over neighboring East Asian nations such as Japan and Korea.

Chinese culture flourished and further matured during the Tang era. It is traditionally considered the greatest age for Chinese poetry. Two of China's most famous poets, Li Bai and Du Fu, belonged to this age, contributing with poets such as Wang Wei to the monumental Three Hundred Tang Poems. Many famous painters such as Han Gan, Zhang Xuan, and Zhou Fang were active, while Chinese court music flourished with instruments such as the popular pipa. Tang scholars compiled a rich variety of historical literature, as well as encyclopedias and geographical works. Notable innovations included the development of woodblock printing. Buddhism became a major influence in Chinese culture, with native Chinese sects gaining prominence. However, in the 840s, Emperor Wuzong enacted policies to suppress Buddhism, which subsequently declined in influence.

« Back to Glossary Index
This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.