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The Tang Dynasty


... of Disunion resulted in the society and culture in north and south to grow their own ways ... Most affluent families and society ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Tang Dynasty

North and South topography and climate
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The Culturally-divided China
  • The Northern and Southern Dynasties saw the
    society and culture in north and south grow their
    own ways
  • There were differences in rulers, races, customs,
    manners, climates, topography, landscape, food
    productions, elite culturebut also convergence
    of interests

Cultural differences
  • Southerners
  • Aristocrats were lax and liberal
  • indulged in witty conversation, wine, poetry,
    calligraphy, painting, and philosophical
  • Sought individual interest, value, and
    expression developed an aesthetic approach to
  • Northerners
  • Aristocrats were rigid and conservative
  • set store by Confucian learning and strived to
    gain mastery of the classics and histories.
  • held fast to the Confucian tradition
  • Valued family ethics, and rituals

Differences in Buddhism
  • North
  • translation Kumarajiva was leading translator
  • Buddhist art huge sculptures made in cave
  • Yungang Cave (1)
  • Yungang Cave (2)
  • South
  • Integration signification (sinicization) of
  • Construction monasteries were widely built

Sculptures in Yungang Cave
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Further Differences
  • South and southerners
  • Rulers were overbearing
  • Lower civil society lacked rites and music, nor
  • Language was intelligible
  • Poor social and political orders
  • Women tended to be immoral
  • Conversations were circuitous and evasive
    criticism avoided
  • People expressed sad mood when departing
  • North and northerners
  • Rulers tried to be refined and law-abiding
  • Ritual, music, and laws flourished
  • Interpersonal relationship was much stressed
  • Conversations and expressions of criticism were
    more direct
  • People expressed happy mood when departing

  • Women were active
  • took charge of family affairs, entered into
    lawsuit, straightened out disagreements, and paid
    calls to seek favor
  • Rode carriages, wore fancy silk robe, and visited
    government officials to seek offices for their
  • Sought justice for their husbands
  • Women were sedentary
  • Did not go out calling
  • Not encouraged to see their rations
  • Even poor husbands were concerned about their
    external appearance
  • Husbands rode expensive carriages and dress
    themselves up at the expense of wives and children

The Unified China Tang Dynasty
  • Tang (618-906) A unified empire after the
    short-lived Sui (581-618) dynasty, whose founder,
    Li Yuan, unified China and ended the Northern and
    Southern Dynasties (the Period of Disunion)

Li Yuan, founder of the Tang Dynasty
  • Li Yuan was the founder, and his son Li Shimin
    brought the empire into peace and stability.
  • Li Shimin, or Emperor Taizong (r.627-649)
  • Vanquished the Eastern Turks, who, after being
    defeated, accepted Tang leadership and recognized
    Taizong as their Khagan (Khan)
  • Established a sophisticated bureaucratic system
    that linked imperial court and all regions under
    the empire
  • Instituted the Equal Field system to
    consolidate tax revenues and the fubing militia
  • Used officials steeped in Confucian learning set
    up school and examination systems

  • Taizongs rule is characterized by
  • Openness to civilian talents and foreigners
  • Legitimization of the Li family
  • Pragmatic diplomacy (to Tibet, Korean States, and
  • Elevation of Daoism
  • Patronage of Buddhism
  • Creation of a particular court style
  • Cosmopolitanization of Tang capital Changan
  • Creation of an innovated Chinese World Order of
    the Sinosphere

  • Gaozong and Empress Wu
  • Imperial expansion central Asia, north Korea
  • Promoted the Civil Service Examinations system
  • Reasserted and extended the Daoist affiliation
    with the dynasty
  • A Daoist magus Ye Fashan was called to court
  • Wrote a preface to fascicles of Daoist canon
  • Laozi (Lao-tzu) was awarded a deitys name
    Taishang xuanyuan huangdi, or Supreme Emperor of
    the Mysterious
  • Gaozongs daughter, Princess Taiping, was given
    Daoist ordination
  • The Daode jing (Tao-te ching) was made a
    compulsory subject in the civil service

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Chinas Dominance in Asia
  • Chinas extraordinary leadership from 581-755
    made the advance of China a dominant power in
  • Wendi, Yangdi of the Sui
  • Gaozu (r. 618-627), Taizong (r.627-649), Gaozong
    (r.649-683), Emperor Wu (690-705), and Xuanzong

  • Legacy of their rules
  • Check-and-balance political system
  • Effective decision-making process and control of
  • The best ordered state in the world
  • Cosmopolitan receptivity, social pluralism
  • Strong economy and wealthy state supported by the
    Grand Canal
  • Civil service examination

  • Emperor Taizong
  • Conquered Eastern Turks and controlled Western
  • Claimed unchallenged mastery in Central Asia
  • Emperor Gaozong and Empress Wu
  • Conquered Koguryo in 688
  • Dealt with Khitan and Tibetan
  • Made examinations a prestigious fast-track to
    the higher offices

Emperor Xuanzong
  • Most glorious epoch of the Tang (712-755)
  • Most prosperous age
  • Most affluent families and society
  • Reformed equal-field system, increased
    agricultural productivity
  • Prices of goods were stable
  • Benevolent rule
  • Reduced the number of capital punishment
  • Multiplied tax exemptions
  • Expanded school system
  • Improved health care system

Xuanzong as a Talented Monarch
  • A musician, poet, calligrapher
  • Known for establishing the Pear Garden Troupethe
    beginning of local opera
  • Kept a troupe of dancing horses
  • Honored the three teachings, patronized Tantric
  • Established a new academy for poets

Rebellion and Restoration
  • Causes Xuanzongs obsession with Yang Guifei and
    trust in An Lushan political struggle between An
    Lushan and prime minister
  • The An Lushan Rebellion
  • Rebels sacked and ruined the capital
  • Emperor fled to Sichuan
  • Yang Guifei was strangled, and the minister slain
  • north China laid waste
  • Xianzong restored and rebuilt the empire (805-860)

Restoration and Rebellion
  • Failing attempt to recover economy
  • Suppression of Buddhism and other foreign faiths
  • Manichaeanism, Zoroastrianism, and Nestorian
    Christianity (Judaism, Islam)
  • Large-scale rebellions in the south
  • Foreign threat Nanzhao, Tibet
  • Huang Chao Rebellion
  • Changan ruined again

Manjusri of Mt. Wutai, Tang Dynasty
The Fall of the Tang
  • Turks helped imperial forces to recover Changan
    first but ruined it later
  • Warrior Zhu Wen seized control of the capital,
    reduced it to a wasteland
  • Zhu Wen moved the capital to Luoyang, forced the
    last emperor to abdicate, assumed the throne, and
    founded his own dynastybeginning of the Five