The Tang Dynasty: Part 1 of 3

When a Chinese dynasty ended, there was usually chaos, war, and anarchy among rival factions.

For instance, after the collapse of China’s last Dynasty, the Qing in 1911, chaos, anarchy, warlords, rebellion and World War II tore at the fabric of China until 1949 when the Chinese Communists under Mao won the long Civil War.

After the Han Dynasty collapsed, a long period of instability followed until the Sui Dynasty that survived for 38 years when the last emperor of the Sui yielded the throne to Emperor Gaozu of the Tang Dynasty.

The early Tang emperors built an empire that pushed China’s boundaries to their farthest existence and a culture whose achievements would profoundly influence all Asia. This resulted in a thriving economy with complex international ties creating one of the richest, strongest and most sophisticated states in world history.

During the Sui (589-617) and Tang Dynasties, China went through a period of cultural and spiritual development.

The country’s ethnic groups along with Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism coexisted peacefully with foreign religions such as Islam.

Literature and the arts developed more than before. According to Tang Dynasty records, contact was maintained with more than 300 countries and regions across the known world, so the Silk Road was also known as the Envoy Road.

People from countries such as Japan, Korea, and India as well as Tehran came to China.

Many foreigners had positions in the central government of the Tang Dynasty, and they served both as civil officials and military officers.

Continued in Part 2 on March 22, 2018

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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