The Tang Dynasty: Part 3 of 3

March 23, 2018

The Tang Dynasty did not discriminate against ethnic groups.  All were treated the same, and people from minority groups held positions of great importance. In fact, members of minorities became prime ministers, generals, and members of the imperial garrison.

And the mothers of several Tang emperors were not from the Han majority.

Tang Emperor Taizong handled relationships with ethnic minorities skillfully. One motto of his was, “In the past, Chinese emperors emphasized the Han people at the expense of minority groups, but I believe they are all from one family so they support me.”

The ethnic minorities in northwest China revered Emperor Taizong and called him Tian Kehan. Kehan means “emperor” and Tian Kehan means “the son of Heaven“.

In October 1970, archeologists discovered more than a thousand Tang artifacts. One was a silver kettle featuring dancing horses with cups in their mouths, which matched the historical record for Emperor Taizong’s seventieth birthday.

Poetry flourished. Although the Tang Dynasty lasted less than 300 years, more than 50,000 poems had been produced. All of them have been published today in one collection of Tang poetry.

Then there were the developments and inventions. Total History reports, “One of the authors of medicine in the Tang period identified that people who suffer from Diabetes had excessive sugar levels in the urine. … the use of gun powder in weapons … the first gas cylinders to hold gas, made of bamboo … air conditioning to cool rooms in the imperial palace … the invention of porcelain.” This is just a sample.

Return to Part 2 or start with Part 1

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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The Tang Dynasty: Part 2 of 3

March 22, 2018

The Tang Dynasty demonstrated respect for all foreign religions, and it was during this time, Christianity was introduced to China.

The first Imperial family of the Tang Dynasty was a military family in Northwest China for generations and they made Taoism the national religion.

After the first Tang emperor, Taoism was removed as the national religion and all religions were treated equal, and this benefitted Buddhism.

In 1987, archeologists discovered an underground temple/palace below the Famen Temple that had been built and sealed during the Tang Dynasty and found a solid-gold pagoda and inside was a finger bone of the founder of Buddhism, Sakyamuni.

The seventeen-hundred year-old Famen Temple was built during the Eastern Han Dynasty. To date, this is the largest underground Buddhist temple found in China.

Although China is known as the home of tea, it wasn’t until the Tang Dynasty that drinking tea became part of the culture when the Chinese also invented noodles.

A popular past time for both men and women during the Tang Dynasty was playing polo, which had been introduced from Persia.

Art, music and dance flourished in the Tang capital.  The political flexibility of the Tang Dynasty promoted social tolerance leading to stability.

Continued in Part 3 on March 23, 2018, or return/start with Part 1

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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Subscribe to my newsletter to hear about new releases and get a free copy of my award-winning, historical fiction short story “A Night at the Well of Purity”.

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The Tang Dynasty: Part 1 of 3

March 21, 2018

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.

Where to Buy

Subscribe to my newsletter to hear about new releases and get a free copy of my award-winning, historical fiction short story “A Night at the Well of Purity”.

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