Tang Dynasty 唐朝

Overview

Chinese Name: 唐朝

English Name: Tang Dynasty, Tang Chao

Other Name:Li Tang 李唐, Great Tang Dynasty 大唐王朝

Duration: About 618 AD – 907 AD

King: Li Yuan 李渊, Li Shimin 李世民, Li Zhi 李治, Li Longji 李隆基

Territory Map of Tang Dynasty 唐朝疆域图
Territory Map of Tang Dynasty 唐朝疆域图

Brief Introduction

The Tang Dynasty (618-907) is a unified Central Plains Dynasty following the Sui Dynasty 隋朝 in Chinese history. There are 21 emperors in total, enjoying the country for 289 years.

At the end of the Sui Dynasty, all the heroes in the world rose together. Li Yuan 李渊, the Duke of the Tang in the Sui Dynasty, took advantage of the situation to set up troops in Jinyang 晋阳. In 618, he became emperor, established the Tang Dynasty, and made Chang’an the capital. Li Shimin, Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty 唐太宗李世民 created the “rule of Zhenguan 贞观之治” after his accession to the throne, laying the foundation for the prosperous Tang Dynasty. Emperor Gaozong of the Tang Dynasty created the “rule of the eternal emblem 永徽之治”.

Heyday 盛世
Heyday 盛世

In 690, Wu Zetian 武则天 changed her country name to Zhou. After the Dragon revolution in 705, the Tang Dynasty was restored. After Tang Xuanzong ascended the throne, he created the heyday of Kaiyuan 开元盛世, which made the Tang Dynasty reach its heyday.

The Tang Dynasty was one of the most powerful countries in the world at that time, with a long reputation. It has contacts with Asian and European countries. After the Tang Dynasty, many overseas people called the Chinese “Tang people”.

Major Historical Events

Mutiny of Xuanwu Gate 玄武门兵变

Mutiny of Xuanwu Gate was a coup launched by Li Shimin, the second son of Emperor Gaozu Li Yuan 唐高祖李渊 of the Tang Dynasty, on July 2, 626. He took place near Xuanwu Gate, the north gate of Tai Chi palace 太极宫 in Chang’an City 长安城 (now Xi’an, Shaanxi Province 陕西西安), the capital of the Tang Dynasty.

 Li Shimin, Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty 唐太宗李世民
Li Shimin, Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty 唐太宗李世民

In the process of fighting against the Sui Dynasty, the cooperation between the Li brothers was still tacit until the establishment of the Tang Dynasty. Prince Li Jiancheng 李建成 knew that his military achievements and prestige were inferior to Li Shimin, and his heart was afraid.

He united with his brother Li Yuanji, king of Qi 齐王李元吉, to squeeze out and frame Li Shimin. He followed Wei Zheng’s 魏征 guidance and subdued Liu Heikai 刘黑闼, who was badly hit by Li Shimin, to try to get back the right to fight. Li Yuan also tried to appoint Pei Ji 裴寂, the prince’s subordinate, which eventually led to a big defeat. Finally, Li Shimin had to lead the army again.

In order to protect themselves, the meritorious group headed by Li Shimin launched a mutiny at the Xuanwu Gate. Li Shimin shot Prince Li Jiancheng himself.

Mutiny of Xuanwu Gate  玄武门兵变
Mutiny of Xuanwu Gate 玄武门兵变

Afterward, Li Yuan made Li Shimin the crown prince. And two months later, Li Shimin succeeded to the throne. He was Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty, whose year was Zhenguan 贞观, and he started the “rule of Zhenguan” for 23 years.

The Rule of Zhenguan 贞观之治

The rule of Zhenguan was the political clarity, economic recovery, and cultural prosperity during the reign of Emperor Taizong Li Shimin in the early Tang Dynasty.

Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty appointed talents and knew people well. At the same time, he is open-minded and respects life. He also restrained himself and accepted remonstrance with an open mind. At the same time, he adopted the policies of focusing on agriculture, practicing a strict economy, recuperating, rejuvenating culture and education, and improving the imperial examination system. These have led to a stable situation in society.

Tang Chang'an City 唐长安城
Tang Chang’an City 唐长安城

Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty made great efforts to pacify foreign aggression, respect the customs of the border nationality, and stabilize the border. Finally, he achieved the ideal situation of the great rule of the world.

The rule of Zhenguan laid an important foundation for the later heyday of Kaiyuan and pushed the Chinese traditional agricultural society to its peak.

Rule of Eternal Emblem 永徽之治

The rule of Eternal Emblem refers to the prosperous period of the reign of Li Zhi, Emperor Gaozong of the Tang Dynasty 唐高宗李治 after the rule of Zhenguan. At the beginning of Emperor Gaozong’s accession to the throne, the monarchs and ministers kept in mind the teachings of Emperor Taizong. They continued to implement the political and economic systems formulated by Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty.

Li Zhi, Emperor Gaozong of the Tang Dynasty 唐高宗李治
Li Zhi, Emperor Gaozong of the Tang Dynasty 唐高宗李治

At that time, the territory of the Tang Dynasty was unprecedented, the border was stable, and the people were in Fu’an. This makes the world prosperous and peaceful.

Wu Zhou replaces Tang Dynasty 武周代唐

During the reign of Li Zhi, Empress Wu (Wu Zetian 武则天) gradually participated in the government. Wu Zetian was originally the concubine of Li Shimin. Li Shimin became a nun after his death.

Later, she was called into the palace by Emperor Gaozong, won the power struggle, and was made queen. In 660, Li Zhi asked Wu Zetian to help deal with the court politics due to physical reasons. Therefore, she can be called “two saints” together with Li Zhi.

In 690, Wu Zetian won the throne and changed the country’s name to Zhou 周. She became the only female emperor in Chinese history.

Zetian 武则天
Zetian 武则天

Shenlong Revolution 神龙政变

Shenlong revolution is also known as the five kings’ coup. It refers to the mutiny launched by Crown Prince Li Xian 李显, Prime Minister Zhang Jianzhi 张柬之, and other ministers in the capital Luoyang in the first year of Shenlong (705). The mutiny was to force the female emperor Wu Zetian to abdicate and restoring the Tang Dynasty.

Finally, Emperor Zhongzong of Tang Dynasty Li Xian 唐中宗李显 reset and restored the name of the Tang Dynasty. He changed the capital back to the eastern capital, restoring the pattern of paying equal attention to the two capitals.

The Flourishing Kaiyuan Reign Period 开元盛世

The Flourishing Kaiyuan Reign Period refers to the hey day of the Tang Dynasty under the governance of Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty 唐玄宗.

Sculptures of the heyday of Kaiyuan 开元盛世雕塑
Sculptures of the heyday of Kaiyuan 开元盛世雕塑

Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang adopted a series of positive measures, coupled with the hard work of the broad masses of the people, making the world a great deal of governance. During this period, the Tang Dynasty reached a very high level in all aspects. The national strength is unprecedentedly strong and the social economy is unprecedentedly prosperous.

The population increased significantly, and the population of the Tang Dynasty reached 80million during the Tianbao period 天宝时期. The business is very developed, and the domestic transportation extends in all directions. Foreign trade is very active, and foreign businessmen are pouring in. Merchants of all colors and languages gather in Chang’an 长安 and other metropolises.

The Rebellion of An and Shi 安史之乱

The Rebellion of An and Shi 安史之乱
The Rebellion of An and Shi 安史之乱

The Rebellion of An and Shi was a war launched by An Lushan 安禄山, a general of the Tang, and Shi Siming 史思明 after betraying the Tang from the late Xuanzong to the early Daizong 唐代宗 years of the Tang (December 16, 755 to February 17, 763). This was a civil war with the Tang for domination. It was also the turning point of the Tang from prosperity to decline. The civil war led to a large loss of population and a sharp reduction in national strength in the Tang.

Important Influences

Diversity and openness

The Tang accepted the exchange and study of various countries, and the economy, society, culture and art showed the characteristics of diversification and openness. A large number of famous masters have emerged in poetry, calligraphy, painting, music and so on.

Li Bai's Poems 李白吟诗图
Li Bai’s Poems 李白吟诗图

Such as Li Bai 李白, Du Fu 杜甫, Bai Juyi 白居易, calligrapher Yan Zhenqing 颜真卿, painter Wu Daozi 吴道子, musician Li guinian 李龟年, etc.

Emperor Taizong and the Rise of the Tang Dynasty DOCUMENTARY

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