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Chinese History - Tang Dynasty 唐 (618-907)

The Tang dynasty 唐 (618-907) was the second great dynasty of Chinese history that was able to unify a vast territory, to spread its culture to the surrounding countries and to absorb and adapt the cultures of surrounding states and peoples. A great part of the Tang aristocracy even was of non-Chinese, especially Turkish origin, and merchants from Inner Asia, like Sogdhians and Persians dwelled the quarters of the capital Chang'an 長安 (modern Xi'an 西安, Shaanxi). Offical and private trade was undertaken with many countries in the South East Asian archipelago. The religion of Buddhism spread, in its Chinese form, to Korea and Japan. But at the same time, Confucianism again rose as a semi-religious instrument of state doctrine, and was able to vanquish Buddhism in the last century of the Tang period. The Tang period is especially famous for its literary achievements in the field of poetry (see shi poetry 詩).
The cultural glory of the Tang dynasty was not appropriately reflected by her political performance. After the uprise of a military commissioner named An Lushan 安祿山 and a following "civil war" the central government lost its grip on the local administration and gave way to warlordism in 907 when China was again divided into north and south and many small shortlived dynasties, the so-called Five Dynasties 五代 (907-960) and Ten States 十國 (902-979).


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2000 ff. © Ulrich Theobald · Mail