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A Brief History of China: Tang Dynasty

What is Chinatown to Chinese people? You may have seen the characters 唐人街 on signs at the entrance to your city’s Chinatown. These characters, romanized as tang ren jie, stand for “Street of the Tang People.” Why would these diaspora neighborhoods be called Street of the Tang People when ethnically Chinese people are called Han? The answer, of course, lies within the Tang dynasty.


Tang Dynasty

The Tang Dynasty is generally held to be one of the chief Golden Ages of Chinese history, and marks the beginning of Imperial China as a truly influential political model and cultural center for all of East Asia. It was the high point of Buddhism in China, and was the period, coinciding with the late Asuka, Nara, and early Heian periods of Japanese history, when Buddhism was introduced to Japan. Numerous elements of Japanese Imperial government, including architectural styles, the layout of Imperial capitals, and governmental structures and legal codes (e.g. the Taika Reform of 645), were based upon Tang Dynasty models.

While the Han Dynasty is referenced in Japanese terms such as kanji ("Chinese characters," literally "Han characters"), it is the Tang Dynasty which represents China or Chinese culture in many other terms, including Tôjinmachi ("Chinatown"), Tôsen ("Chinese ships" or "Asian ships"), and karamono ("imported goods" or "fancy foreign products") Ώ] .

The Tang Imperial family, related to that of the preceding Sui Dynasty through a maternal link, was partially of non-Han (i.e. nomadic steppe pastoralist) descent, and so was looked down upon to some extent by aristocratic Han Chinese families of northeastern China. However, the Tang also claimed descent from the founding Daoist master Laozi in order to shore up its claims of legitimacy (albeit with limited or falsified evidence). In terms of political culture, the Tang marks the beginning of an important shift away from more focused ritual attention to Imperial ancestors, towards Imperial rites aimed more inclusively at the well-being of the state, and its people, as a whole. Further, the idea of the people as a metaphorical family, with the emperor as their father, was re-emphasized and made more prominent.

The Tang built upon political structures established by the Sui, developing further standards which would serve as standard models not only for later Chinese dynasties, but for Korean and Japanese states as well. These included the establishment of six ministries which formed the central administration of the Imperial state: a Ministry of Rites, one of Personnel, one of Revenue, one of War, one of Justice, and one of Public Works. Further, the network of granaries and schools was expanded, and the Sui legal code adapted to form a series of primary laws, meant to be maintained indefinitely as a fundamental law of the state, not unlike a constitution, and a series of secondary laws, which could be changed as conditions necessitated.

The Tang Empire covered a larger expanse of territory than any previous dynasty, extending into modern-day Vietnam in the south, and as far as the oasis towns of Turfan and Dunhuang in the northwest. Some of these areas would not again be controlled by China until the Qing Dynasty. The Tang ruled this vast territory populated by perhaps as many as 60 million people from its capital at Chang'an, employing a government administration of only 17,000 officials and 50,000 clerks. Many counties, inhabited by as many as 25-30,000 people, were administered by only a single magistrate and a staff of roughly 5-15 assistants and clerks. ΐ] Prior to the An Lushan Rebellion (755-763), the Court maintained extensive registries of families throughout the provinces, performing frequent demographic and land surveys, information which was used for taxation purposes, and to redistribute land in the so-called equal-field system. The Court never managed, however, after the Rebellion, to regain the same level of power or control over the provinces, and many of its administrative programs fell apart.

The 700s saw a dramatic rise in the popularity of tea. Α]

By the mid-9th century, the Tang was much weakened and divided, and plagued by bandits and other groups competing for power. Perhaps the most significant rebellion of this period was the Huang Chao Rebellion, led initially by Wang Xianzhi and later by Huang Chao, who captured Guangzhou in 879, and Chang'an the following year his seizure of Chang'an is said to have been particularly bloody. With the help of the Shatuo Turks, the dynasty survived and limped along, until its final collapse in 907. Β]


Three Deaths to the Throne

Emperor Gaozu was succeeded by one of his sons, Li Shimin (known also as Emperor Taizong of Tang). The second emperor deposed his father and killed two of his brothers in order to gain the Chinese throne.

A Chinese limestone statue of a mourning attendant, from the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), dated to the 7th century. (PericlesofAthens/ CC BY SA 4.0 )

Whilst such actions may be regarded to be in contradiction with the Confucian ideal of filial piety, Emperor Taizong proved himself to be a highly capable ruler and is often considered to be one of the greatest emperors in Chinese history. During Emperor Taizong’s reign, the Tang Dyansty extended from northern Vietnam in the south to northern Korea in the north and as far west as Central Asia.

Emperor Taizong gives an audience to Ludongzan the ambassador of Tibet. ( Public Domain )

Numerous technological and cultural advances were also made during his reign. For instance, woodblock printing was developed during this time. And Emperor Taizong is remembered for his policy of religious tolerance, which allowed foreign religions such as Christianity and Buddhism to establish themselves in China.


Gender equality

You might think in the Chinese traditionally patriarchal society, men maintained their dominance over women throughout the whole course of history. Well, this does not necessarily apply to the Tang dynasty. Think of the first and only empress regnant Wu Zetian. During her 15 years of reign, many women bore high ranks in the government. Due to the influence of foreign culture, quite like today’s Beijing or Shanghai, Chang’an provided a more favorable and open social atmosphere for women. Girls were no longer strictly confined within the courtyard of their house.

In Longest Day in Chang’an, a girl serves as assistant to the emperor’s counsel, outsmarting a swordsman competing against her.


Exotic imports

During the Tang Dynasty, caravans travelling the Silk Road brought all sorts of exotic products to China, and exotic goods also arrived by ship from places such as India, Indoniesia, Korea, and Japan. Some products were of course very expensive and only available to the absolute top-layer of Chinese society, but there were also imported goods that permeated most of the social classes, especially if you lived in or near one of the big trading hubs in China.

“Ever since the Western horsemen began raising smut and dust,
Fur and fleece, rank and rancid, have filled Hsien and Lo.
Women make themselves Western matrons by the study of Western makeup
Entertainers present Western tunes, in their devotion to Western music.”

– Yuan Chen, Tang dynasty poet

A few examples of imports during the Tang dynasty:

  • Glass goblets from Byzantium (East Rome)
  • Horses from Karashar and Kucha
  • Crystals and agate from Samarkand
  • Medicine and Buddhist scriptures from India
  • Jade from Khotan
  • Cotton from Turfan

A few examples of exports:

Horses

One of the most notable imports to China during the Tang dynasty is high-quality horses from the West. For a long time, 50 million feet of silk was handed to Turkic tribes over each year in exchange for horses, chiefly for the Tang cavalry.

Horses are a status symbol in Tang, and feature heavily in Tang art.

The six steeds of Emperor Tai-tsung attains a kind of legendary status in Chinese folklore after being integral to so many of his significant military triumphs.

One of the Tang emperors is known to have kept circa 40,000 horses in his stable, chiefly to be used for war and for games such as horse polo.

Exotic food

During the Tang dynasty, the Chinese developed a taste for foreign ingredients and foreign dishes.

The Silk Road brought many exotic ingredients to China, such as peas, garlic, spinach, and mustard – none of which were grown in China.

The arts of making sugar from sugar cane and wine from grapes were imported from India.

Fore a while, foreign cakes became highly fashionable, especially a steamed variety decorated with sesame seeds. These cakes were typically not made by the Chinese themselves but by immigrants residing in China.

Foreign fashion

Foreign clothing and foreigh hairstyles were especially trendy during the 8th century.

In Ch’ang-an and Loyang, Turkish and East Iranian styles were highly sought after.

Wearing a Iranian leopard skin hat while on horseback was the height of fashion for men, and many women also wore foreign hats – or Uighur chignons – when riding horses.

Prince Li, the son of Emperor Tai-tsung, even erected a Turkish camp on the palace grounds where he dressed, spoke and generally lived like a Turk.

Foreign religions

The Tang emperors took pride in being open-minded when it came to religion and show an interest in many different faiths and belief systems.

Examples of religions practised in China during the Tang dynasty:

  • Buddhism
  • Taoism
  • Nestorian Christianity, chiefly followed by Syrian immigrants. A Nestorian church was built in 638.
  • Zoroastrianism / Mazdayasna. The temple in Ch’ang-an was rebuilt in 631.
  • Manichaeism
  • Islam, chiefly followed by Persian and Arab traders

Buddhism enjoyed a wide following in China during the Tang dynasty, with Chinese monks travelling to India to study Buddhism there and bring back sacred texts that would be translated into Chinese. China was also visited by many Buddhist pilgrims from India and Central Asia. The close connection to India also brought in new ideas in fields such as health care, astronomy and mathemathics.

A great learning center called The National Academy flourished during the Tang dynasty. At this academy, students could study Buddhism, Confusianism, litterature, art, and architecture. Many of the students came from other countries, such as Japan, Tibet and the Korean penninsula. Some of the foreign students assimilated into Chinese life, took on Chinese names and worked at the Chinese court after passing the civil service examinations. The emperor employed many foreign-born civil cervants.

Horse polo

Among the Chinese nobility and rich military men, horse polo became a popular sport during the Tang dynasty. It had been introduced to China from Persia in the early 7th century. It was an expensive sport to play since you needed a good horse and special equipment fashioned by expert craftsmen.


Imperial China's Dynasties

From the mythic origins of the Chinese dynasties to the eventual fall of the last imperial house, Chinese emperors have long fought to maintain control over one of the most enduring empires on Earth. The rise and fall of various imperial families oversaw waves of innovation and cultural advancement.

Anthropology, Social Studies, Ancient Civilizations, World History

Terracotta Warriors

Qin Shin Huang unified China, becoming the nation's first emperor. He was buried with almost 8,000 life-size statues known of as the terracotta warrior army.

Photograph by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

This lists the logos of programs or partners of NG Education which have provided or contributed the content on this page. Leveled by


How large was the Tang dynasty at it's height in km²?

Note that the places highlighted on the outskirts of the Tang Dynasty (&#21776&#26397 on this map were merely protectorates (&#37117&#35703&#24220 of the Tang although considered by some to be directly under the governance of Tang, most historians outside of China regard these protectorates as being semi-autonomous vassal states who have pledged allegiance to the Tang.

According to Chinese sources, the territory of the Tang Dynasty measured 12,510,000 square kilometers during the time of Emperor Gaozong (&#39640&#23447.

TJW12

Note that the places highlighted on the outskirts of the Tang Dynasty (&#21776&#26397 on this map were merely protectorates (&#37117&#35703&#24220 of the Tang although considered by some to be directly under the governance of Tang, most historians outside of China regard these protectorates as being semi-autonomous vassal states who have pledged allegiance to the Tang.

According to Chinese sources, the territory of the Tang Dynasty measured 12,510,000 square kilometers during the time of Emperor Gaozong (&#39640&#23447.

Heavenlykaghan

although considered by some to be directly under the governance of Tang, most historians outside of China regard these protectorates as being semi-autonomous vassal states who have pledged allegiance to the Tang. </p>

According to Chinese sources, the territory of the Tang Dynasty measured 12,510,000 square kilometers during the time of Emperor Gaozong (&#39640&#23447.

Cerberus

Note that the places highlighted on the outskirts of the Tang Dynasty (&#21776&#26397 on this map were merely protectorates (&#37117&#35703&#24220 of the Tang although considered by some to be directly under the governance of Tang, most historians outside of China regard these protectorates as being semi-autonomous vassal states who have pledged allegiance to the Tang.

According to Chinese sources, the territory of the Tang Dynasty measured 12,510,000 square kilometers during the time of Emperor Gaozong (&#39640&#23447.

Heavenlykaghan

Nomooon

Lord Oda Nobunaga

Milonf

Show me a reputed western historian saying that.

"The final lecture “A Tang Dynasty Ally in War and Ritual: The Tomb of Pugu Yitu (635-678) in Mongolia” takes the audience along the Steppe Roads from China to Mongolia to investigate another recently discovered tomb and epitaph. The history of Mongolia is little known between the First Türk (552–630) and Second Türk (682–742) Empires. Chinese historical records claim that the Tang Dynasty exerted suzerainty over Mongolia during the interregnum through vassal rulers, but offer few details after 660. Likewise, Uighur Empire (744-840) inscriptions assert an earlier period of rule over Mongolia in alliance with the Tang. The recent excavation of Pugu Yitu’s tomb and Chinese-language epitaph shows that an alliance endured through the 670s and throws new light on cultural connections between China and Mongolia."

I've seen you around similar topics spouting PRC propaganda about the historical size of China.

Quote a source please.
The Tang had some power on the Uyghurs before they became an actual power, great.

Happened in Rome, didn't mean much then and there, doesn't mean much here.

Do you have a quote of any japanese author about the subject ?

With the PRC's aggressive expansionist stance and its numerous territorial claims with neighbouring countries, chinese historical research seems just to be just a tool for their government to justify their cause. I wouldn't really trust them on the matter.

Heavenlykaghan

Show me a reputed western historian saying that.

You speak as if western sources are authoritative in this field that couldn't be further from the truth. Tang studies has always been weak in the west compared to those done in East Asia and studies of Tang imperialism is even weaker.
There are no detailed western publications on Tang involvement in Mongolia of any sort, let alone control because there are little studies done on the subject, period. However, as I said, I know personally people who have been on the Pugu Yitu expedition, who told me, after they saw the internal layout of the tomb, that they realized that Tang presence was really there whether you believe it is up to you, but I prefer to use primary sources over secondary ones to prove my point anyways so lets begin.

"The final lecture “A Tang Dynasty Ally in War and Ritual: The Tomb of Pugu Yitu (635-678) in Mongolia” takes the audience along the Steppe Roads from China to Mongolia to investigate another recently discovered tomb and epitaph. The history of Mongolia is little known between the First Türk (552–630) and Second Türk (682–742) Empires. Chinese historical records claim that the Tang Dynasty exerted suzerainty over Mongolia during the interregnum through vassal rulers, but offer few details after 660. Likewise, Uighur Empire (744-840) inscriptions assert an earlier period of rule over Mongolia in alliance with the Tang. The recent excavation of Pugu Yitu’s tomb and Chinese-language epitaph shows that an alliance endured through the 670s and throws new light on cultural connections between China and Mongolia."

Stop making conclusions on sources you've never even read. If you actually read the tomb of Pugu Yitu, you should immediately be aware that Pugu was a Tang subject, not an ally, beginning with the fact that his tomb is in Chinese with the characters "Great Tang" in its title:


The title of the tomb is as follows:
大唐故右骁卫大将军金微州都督上柱国林中县开国公仆固府君墓志铭并序
"The Great Tang, right guard great general, commander of the Jinwei prefecture, protector of the state, the state founding duke of Linzhong county, Pugu's Tomb ephithet."

The title was very clear that Pugu Yitu carried a Tang title, and was the prefecture general of the Jinwei prefecture established by the Tang. The inscription even mentioned he:
"attacked the Mohe in the east, campaigned against the Tibetan in the west, and served loyally".
及东征靺鞨,西讨吐蕃,并効忠勤

It even mentioned Pugu Yitu coming personally to Mount Tai in 665, during Gaozong's heaven ceremony.


This is verified in many places in official Chinese records.

For example, the Jiu Tangshu v.121 stated

"In the 20th year of Zhengguan (646), the great chieftains of the nine surnames of the Tiele (Oghuz) led their tribes to submit. Their territory was divided into Hanhai, Yanran, Jinwei, Youling and others, nine prefecture generalship total, supervised by Xiazhou."

So, no the tomb of Pugu Yitu does not prove that there is an alliance, it proves that the Pugyur tribe in Mongolia was under Tang control.

I suggest you read these inscriptions before making naive comments. The Uighur inscriptions are very vague, and they mostly referred to a time during the rise of the Uighur Empire in 742, not to the period of 646-686, when Tang controlled Mongolia.

Furthermore, Uighur inscriptions are not primary sources, whereas the Pugu Yitu tomb and Chinese official records are primary sources or contain them and both explicitly stated that the Oghuz Chieftains of Mongolia were under Tang administration.

I've seen some old half-baked studies claiming that the Uighur were allies with the Tang rather than subjects. However, a careful examination of official records easily dismisses this argument even before Pugu Yitu's tomb was found in 2009.

For example, v.199 of Zizhi Tongjian saids this about the Uighur chieftain Tumidu:
回纥吐迷度兄子乌纥蒸其叔母。乌纥与俱陆莫贺达官俱罗勃,皆突厥车鼻可汗之婿也,相与谋杀吐迷度以归车鼻。乌纥夜引十馀骑袭吐迷度,杀之。燕然副都护元礼臣使人诱乌纥,许奏以为瀚海都督,乌纥轻骑诣礼臣谢,礼臣执而斩之,以闻。上恐回纥部落离散,遣兵部尚书崔敦礼往安抚之。久之,俱罗勃入见,上留之不遣。

"The Uighur Tumidu's niece Ziwuhezheng, his uncle's mother, Wuhe and Julumohedaguan Juluobo, are all the Turk Chebi Kaghan's son in law. They plotted to kill Tumidu and submit to Chebi. Wuhe attacked Tumidu at night with over 10 cavalries and killed him. The Yanran vice protector general Yuanli then tricked Wuhe, bestowing him the title of Hanhai prefect. Wuhe let few cavalries to thank Lichen, but Lichen ordered for his arrest and executed him. When the emperor heard this, he was afraid that this would cause the Uighur tribes to disperse, so he sent the Shangshu of the board of military Cui Guoli to pacify them. After a while, Juboluo entered court, and the emperor forced him to stay."

The emperor Gaozong, then placed Tumidu's son onto the Uighur throne and also carved out Dulong prefecture under Juluobo from the Jiegu tribes.

Then in 661, after the Uighur chieftain Polun (who personally led campaigns as a Tang auxiliar general) died, the Tang forcibly ousted the Uighur usurper Bisudu and installed Bisu onto the Uighur throne.
This is again found in chapter 200 of the Zizhitongjian:
回纥酋长婆闰卒,侄比粟毒代领其众,与同罗、仆固犯边,诏左武卫大将军郑仁泰为铁勒道行军大总管,燕然都护刘审礼、左武卫将军薛仁贵为副,鸿胪卿萧嗣业为仙萼道行军总管,右屯卫将军孙仁师为副,将兵讨之。审礼,德威之子也。

This isn't simply an "alliance". Allies don't depose another ally's head at will and install others. The Uighur was under Tang control, both in name and in fact.

Why that's a charming summary, and a hypocritical one at that. You appear to be one of those who dismisses Chinese scholarship without even reading them just because they don't fit your pre-determined agenda. I have no interest in either the Chinese propaganda or yours I have disagreed with plenty of maps drawn by Tan Qixiang, especially the Ming maps, but the Tang is a completely different story. All the official history accounts and archaeology points to the fact that Tang rule of Inner Asia was very real, in fact I think Tan Qixiang was underestimating the size of the Tang, as he left out the Jimi prefectures the Tang established around the Amur region and the Yeneisei river valley.

So if you accuse me again of sprouting propaganda, show me where and I'll provide the exact sources to prove my argument and I expect either a drop of your attitude or a more exhaustive source of your own.

I've cited several above, I can cite even more if you insist. Other sources include Tongdian, Xin Tangshu, and even the Liweigong Bingfa (military treatise) mentioned Tang garrisons and relay stations in Eastern Mongolia.

It means plenty when we have other sources that showed how the Tang had power to:
1) depose any ruler it wishes
2) re-draw the map and divide the territory of any tribe that is hostile to it
3) have a son of each chietain as hostage at Changan (as Pugu Yitu's tomb shows)
4) call upon auxiliars whenever it demanded
5) even summon rulers to court in certain occasions (such as making sacrifices to Taishan, where all the Tiele chieftains north of the Gobi was required to come).

That is comparable to the control Rome had over its "allies" in the Italian Peninsula, unless you consider these to not mean much either in which case, we are having a disagreement over definition rather than facts.


Bits of knowledge about Tang dynasty

The Tang Dynasty was a golden age of ancient China. With strong national power and an open-minded culture, people enjoyed feasting, drinking, holidays, sports, art, and all sorts of entertainment.

In our “Tales of the Tang Dynasty Course”, we have three lessons to show you the life and culture of the Tang Dynasty. You can learn about fashion, literary achievements and how did Officials go to work in our lessons.

Related Lessons:

Lessons will be updated here when released.


Contents

Emperor Wen and the founding of Sui Edit

Towards the late Northern and Southern dynasties, the Northern Zhou conquered the Northern Qi in 577 and reunified northern China. The century's trend of gradual conquest of the southern dynasties of the Han Chinese by the northern dynasties, which were ruled by ethnic minority Xianbei, would become inevitable. By this time, the later founder of the Sui dynasty, Yang Jian, an ethnic Han Chinese, became the regent to the Northern Zhou court. His daughter was the Empress Dowager, and her stepson, Emperor Jing of Northern Zhou, was a child. After crushing an army in the eastern provinces, Yang Jian usurped the throne to become Emperor Wen of Sui. While formerly the Duke of Sui when serving at the Zhou court, where the character "Sui 隨 " literally means "to follow" and implies loyalty, Emperor Wen created the unique character "Sui ( 隋 )", morphed from the character of his former title, as the name of his newly founded dynasty. In a bloody purge, he had fifty-nine princes of the Zhou royal family eliminated, yet nevertheless became known as the "Cultured Emperor". [6] Emperor Wen abolished the anti-Han policies of Zhou and reclaimed his Han surname of Yang. Having won the support of Confucian scholars who held power in previous Han dynasties (abandoning the nepotism and corruption of the nine-rank system), Emperor Wen initiated a series of reforms aimed at strengthening his empire for the wars that would reunify China.

In his campaign for southern conquest, Emperor Wen assembled thousands of boats to confront the naval forces of the Chen dynasty on the Yangtze River. The largest of these ships were very tall, having five layered decks and the capacity for 800 non-crew personnel. They were outfitted with six 50-foot-long booms that were used to swing and damage enemy ships, or to pin them down so that Sui marine troops could use act-and-board techniques. [6] : 89 Besides employing Xianbei and other Chinese ethnic groups for the fight against Chen, Emperor Wen also employed the service of people from southeastern Sichuan, which Sui had recently conquered. [6] : 89

In 588, the Sui had amassed 518,000 troops along the northern bank of the Yangtze River, stretching from Sichuan to the East China Sea. [7] The Chen dynasty could not withstand such an assault. By 589, Sui troops entered Jiankang (Nanjing) and the last emperor of Chen surrendered. The city was razed to the ground, while Sui troops escorted Chen nobles back north, where the northern aristocrats became fascinated with everything the south had to provide culturally and intellectually.

Although Emperor Wen was famous for bankrupting the state treasury with warfare and construction projects, he made many improvements to infrastructure during his early reign. He established granaries as sources of food and as a means to regulate market prices from the taxation of crops, much like the earlier Han dynasty. The large agricultural surplus supported rapid growth of population to a historical peak, which was only surpassed at the zenith of the Tang Dynasty more than a century later.

The state capital of Chang'an (Daxing), while situated in the militarily secure heartland of Guanzhong, was remote from the economic centers to the east and south of the empire. Emperor Wen initiated the construction of the Grand Canal, with completion of the first (and the shortest) route that directly linked Chang'an to the Yellow River (Huang He). Later, Emperor Yang enormously enlarged the scale of the Grand Canal construction.

Externally, the emerging nomadic Turkic (Tujue) Khaganate in the north posed a major threat to the newly founded dynasty. With Emperor Wen's diplomatic maneuver, the Khaganate split into Eastern and Western halves. Later the Great Wall was consolidated to further secure the northern territory. In Emperor Wen's late years, the first war with Goguryeo (Korea), ended with defeat. Nevertheless, the celebrated "[Reign of Kaihuang" (era name of Emperor Wen)" was considered by historians as one of the apexes in the two millennium imperial period of Chinese history.

The Sui Emperors were from the northwest military aristocracy, and emphasized that their patrilineal ancestry was ethnic Han, claiming descent from the Han official Yang Zhen. [8] The New Book of Tang traced his patrilineal ancestry to the Zhou dynasty kings via the Dukes of Jin. [9]

The Yang of Hongnong 弘農楊氏 [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [ excessive citations ] were asserted as ancestors by the Sui Emperors, much as the Longxi Li's were asserted as ancestors of the Tang Emperors. [15] The Li of Zhaojun and the Lu of Fanyang hailed from Shandong and were related to the Liu clan which was also linked to the Yang of Hongnong and other clans of Guanlong. [16] The Dukes of Jin were claimed as the ancestors of the Hongnong Yang. [17]

The Yang of Hongnong, Jia of Hedong, Xiang of Henei, and Wang of Taiyuan from the Tang dynasty were claimed as ancestors by Song dynasty lineages. [18]

Information about these major political events in China were somehow filtered west and reached the Byzantine Empire, the continuation of the Roman Empire in the east. From Turkic peoples of Central Asia the Eastern Romans derived a new name for China after the older Sinae and Serica: Taugast (Old Turkic: Tabghach), during its Northern Wei (386–535) period. [19] The 7th-century Byzantine historian Theophylact Simocatta wrote a generally accurate depiction of the reunification of China by Emperor Wen of Sui Dynasty, with the conquest of the rival Chen Dynasty in southern China. Simocatta correctly placed these events within the reign period of Byzantine ruler Maurice. [20] Simocatta also provided cursory information about the geography of China, its division by the Yangzi River and its capital Khubdan (from Old Turkic Khumdan, i.e. Chang'an) along with its customs and culture, deeming its people "idolatrous" but wise in governance. [20] He noted that the ruler was named "Taisson", which he claimed meant "Son of God", perhaps Chinese Tianzi (Son of Heaven) or even the name of the contemporary ruler Emperor Taizong of Tang. [21]

Emperor Yang and the reconquest of Vietnam Edit

Emperor Yang of Sui (569–618) ascended the throne after his father's death, possibly by murder. He further extended the empire, but unlike his father, did not seek to gain support from the nomads. Instead, he restored Confucian education and the Confucian examination system for bureaucrats. By supporting educational reforms, he lost the support of the nomads. He also started many expensive construction projects such as the Grand Canal of China, and became embroiled in several costly wars. Between these policies, invasions into China from Turkic nomads, and his growing life of decadent luxury at the expense of the peasantry, he lost public support and was eventually assassinated by his own ministers.

Both Emperors Yang and Wen sent military expeditions into Vietnam as Annam in northern Vietnam had been incorporated into the Chinese empire over 600 years earlier during the Han dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD). However the Kingdom of Champa in central Vietnam became a major counterpart to Chinese invasions to its north. According to Ebrey, Walthall, and Palais, these invasions became known as the Linyi-Champa Campaign (602–605). [6]

The Hanoi area formerly held by the Han and Jin dynasties was easily retaken from the Early Lý dynasty ruler Lý Phật Tử in 602. A few years later the Sui army pushed farther south and was attacked by troops on war elephants from Champa in southern Vietnam. The Sui army feigned retreat and dug pits to trap the elephants, lured the Champan troops to attack then used crossbows against the elephants causing them to turn around and trample their own soldiers. Although Sui troops were victorious many succumbed to disease as northern soldiers did not have immunity to tropical diseases such as malaria. [6] : 90

Goguryeo-Sui wars Edit

The Sui dynasty led a series of massive expeditions to invade Goguryeo, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. Emperor Yang conscripted many soldiers for the campaign. This army was so enormous it recorded in historical texts that it took 30 days for all the armies to exit their last rallying point near Shanhaiguan before invading Goguryeo. In one instance the soldiers—both conscripted and paid—listed over 3000 warships, up to 1.15 million infantry, 50,000 cavalry, 5000 artillery, and more. The army stretched to 1000 li or about 410 km (250 mi) across rivers and valleys, over mountains and hills. Each of the four military expeditions ended in failure, incurring a substantial financial and manpower deficit from which the Sui would never recover.


Watch the video: Three Kingdoms Resurrection Of The Dragon sub Indo (July 2022).


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