HOME
TheInfoList



Emperor Gaozu of Tang (7 April 566 – 25 June 635), born Li Yuan,
courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in the Sinosphere, including China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. The courtesy name would replac ...
Shude, was the founder of the
Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum between 690 and 705. It was preceded by the Sui dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. His ...
of
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.4 billion. Covering approximately 9.6 million square kilometers (3.7 million m ...
, and the first emperor of this
dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n.''" Oxford University Press (Oxford), 1897. usually in the context of a feudal or monarchical system, but sometimes also appearing in ...
from 618 to 626. Under the
Sui dynasty The Sui dynasty (, ) was a short-lived imperial dynasty of China of pivotal significance. The Sui unified the Northern and Southern dynasties and reinstalled the rule of ethnic Han in the entirety of China proper, along with sinicization of for ...

Sui dynasty
, Li Yuan was the governor in the area of modern-day
Shanxi Shanxi (; formerly romanised as Shansi) is a landlocked province of the People's Republic of China, and is part of the North China region. The capital and largest city of the province is Taiyuan, while its next most populated prefecture-level ...
, and was based in
Taiyuan Taiyuan ( , also known as (), ()) is the capital and largest city of Shanxi province, People's Republic of China. It is one of the main manufacturing bases of China. Throughout its long history, Taiyuan was the capital or provisional capital ...
. In 615, Li Yuan was assigned to garrison Longxi. He gained much experience by dealing with the
Göktürks The Göktürks, Celestial Turks or Blue Turks ( otk, 𐱅𐰇𐰼𐰰:𐰉𐰆𐰑𐰣, Türük Bodun; zh, 突厥 ''Tūjué''; Wade-Giles: ''T'u-chüeh'') were a nomadic confederation of Turkic peoples in medieval Inner Asia. The Göktürks, under ...
of the north and was able to pacify them. Li Yuan was also able to gather support from these successes and, with the disintegration of the Sui dynasty in July 617, Li Yuan – urged on by his second son
Li Shimin Emperor Taizong of Tang (28January 59810July 649), previously Prince of Qin, personal name Li Shimin, was the second emperor of the Tang dynasty of China, ruling from 626 to 649. He is traditionally regarded as a co-founder of the dynasty for ...
(the eventual Emperor Taizong) – rose in rebellion. Using the title of "Great Chancellor" (), Li Yuan installed a puppet child emperor,
Yang You Emperor Gong of Sui (隋恭帝) (605 – 14 September 619), personal name Yang You (楊侑), was an emperor of the Chinese Sui Dynasty. He was Li Yuan's puppet emperor, and after Emperor Yang of Sui died, Li then became the founding emperor of ...
, but eventually removed him altogether and established the Tang Dynasty in 618 as Emperor. His son and successor Li Shimin honoured him as Gaozu ("high founder") after his death. Emperor Gaozu's reign was concentrated on uniting the empire under the Tang. Aided by Li Shimin (), whom he created the Prince of Qin, he defeated all the other contenders, including Li Gui,
Dou Jiande Dou Jiande (; 573 – August 3, 621) was a leader of the agrarian rebels who rose against the rule of Emperor Yang of Sui near the end of the Chinese Sui dynasty. Generally considered the kindest and most able of the agrarian rebel leaders of th ...
,
Wang Shichong Wang Shichong (王世充; 567–621), courtesy name Xingman (行滿), was a general of Sui dynasty who deposed Sui's last emperor Yang Tong and briefly ruled as the emperor of a succeeding state of Zheng. He first became prominent during the reign ...
,
Xue Rengao Xue Rengao () (died 618), also known as Xue Renguo (),The ''Old Book of Tang'' and the ''New Book of Tang'' both gave his name as Xue Rengao, but the ''Zizhi Tongjian'' gave his name as Xue Renguo. was an emperor of the short-lived state of Qin, e ...
and
Liu Wuzhou Liu Wuzhou (劉武周; died 622?) was a rebel leader who rose against the rule of the Chinese dynasty Sui Dynasty late in the dynasty's history, and he took imperial style—although it was not completely clear whether the title he took was khan or ...
. By 628, the Tang Dynasty had succeeded in uniting all of China. On the home front, he recognized the early successes forged by
Emperor Wen of Sui Emperor Wen of Sui (隋文帝; 21 July 541 – 13 August 604), personal name Yang Jian (), Xianbei name Puliuru Jian (), alias Narayana () deriving from Buddhist terms, was the founder and first emperor of China's Sui dynasty (581–618 AD). He ...
and strove to emulate most of Emperor Wen's policies, including the equal distribution of land amongst his people, and he also lowered taxes. He abandoned the harsh system of law established by
Emperor Yang of Sui Emperor Yang of Sui (隋煬帝, 569 – 11 April 618), personal name Yang Guang (), alternative name Ying (), Xianbei name Amo (), also known as Emperor Ming () during the brief reign of his grandson Yang Tong), was the second son of Emperor Wen ...
as well as reforming the judicial system. These acts of reform paved the way for the reign of Emperor Taizong, which ultimately pushed Tang to the height of its power. In 626, Li Shimin, in a dispute with his brothers
Li Jiancheng Li Jiancheng (; 589 – July 2, 626, formally Crown Prince Yin (, literally, "the hidden crown prince"), nickname Vaishravana (; Sanskrit: Vaiśravaṇa), was the first crown prince of the Chinese Tang Dynasty. He was the oldest son of the foundin ...
, the Crown Prince, and
Li Yuanji Li Yuanji (李元吉) (603 – 2 July 626The date of the incident at Xuanwu Gate was the fourth day of the sixth month of the ''Wude'' era, which translates to July 2, 626, according to the Academia Sinicabr>), formally Prince La of Chao (巢剌王) ...
, the Prince of Qi, ambushed Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji at Xuanwu Gate, killing them. Fearful of what Li Shimin might do next, Emperor Gaozu passed the throne to him and became ''
Taishang Huang In Chinese history, a Taishang Huang or Taishang Huangdi is an honorific and institution of retired emperorship. The former emperor had, at least in name, abdicated in favor of someone else. Although technically no longer the reigning sovereign, th ...
'' (retired emperor). He died on 25 June 635.


Early life and career

According to the official genealogy of the Tang ruling house, Li Yuan's seventh-generation ancestor was
Li Gao Li Hao (; 351–417), courtesy name Xuansheng (), nickname Changsheng (), formally Prince Wuzhao of (Western) Liang (), was the founding duke of the Han Chinese state Western Liang. (While he claimed only the title of duke during his reign, he was ...
, the Han Chinese founder of the
Sixteen Kingdoms The Sixteen Kingdoms (), less commonly the Sixteen States, was a chaotic period in Chinese history from AD 304 to 439 when the political order of northern China fractured into a series of short-lived dynastic states, most of which were founded b ...
state Western Liang. After Western Liang's destruction, Li Gao's grandson Li Zhong'Er () served as a
Northern Wei Maitreya, 443 AD. statue. Dated 489 AD. Tokyo National Museum. The Northern Wei (), also known as the Tuoba Wei (拓跋魏), Later Wei (後魏), was a Dynasties in Chinese history, dynasty founded by the Tuoba (Tabgach) clan of the Xianbei, ...
official, but for several generations after that, Li Yuan's ancestors had only minor military titles. Li Yuan's paternal grandfather Li Hu () served as a major general under
Western Wei The Western Wei (;"Wei"
''Yuwen Tai Yuwen Tai () (507–556), nickname Heita (黑獺), formally Duke Wen of Anding (安定文公), later further posthumously honored by Northern Zhou initially as Prince Wen (文王) then as Emperor Wen (文皇帝) with the temple name Taizu (太祖) ...
, and was created the Duke of Longxi and given the
Xianbei The Xianbei (; ) were an ancient nomadic people that once resided in the eastern Eurasian steppes in what is today Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, and Northeastern China. They originated from the Donghu people who splintered into the Wuhuan and Xian ...
surname Daye (). Li Hu died before Yuwen Tai's son
Emperor Xiaomin of Northern Zhou Emperor Xiaomin of Northern Zhou ((北)周孝閔帝) (542–557), personal name Yuwen Jue (宇文覺), nickname Dharani (陀羅尼), was an emperor of the Xianbei dynasty Northern Zhou (although he used the alternative title "Heavenly Prince" (''Ti ...
founded
Northern Zhou The Northern Zhou (; ) followed the Western Wei, and ruled northern China from 557 to 581 AD. The last of the Northern Dynasties of China's Northern and Southern dynasties period, it was eventually overthrown by the Sui Dynasty. Like the precedi ...
, but was posthumously created the Duke of Tang after Northern Zhou's founding. His son and Li Yuan's father Li Bing (), of Han ethnicity, inherited the title of the Duke of Tang and married one of the
Dugu sistersThe Dugu sisters were part-Xianbei, part-Han sisters of the Dugu clan who lived in the Western Wei (535–557), Northern Zhou (557–581) and Sui (581–618) dynasties of China. All were daughters of the Western Wei general Dugu Xin. The eldest siste ...
and daughter of the prominent Xianbei general
Dugu Xin Dugu Xin (獨孤信) (503 – 24 April 557), Xianbei name Qimitou (期彌頭), known as Dugu Ruyuan (獨孤如願) before 540, was a prominent military general and official during the chaotic Northern and Southern dynasties period of imperial China ...
. Li Bing died in 572, and Li Yuan inherited the title of Duke of Tang, a title he continued to hold after the throne was seized by
Emperor Wen of Sui Emperor Wen of Sui (隋文帝; 21 July 541 – 13 August 604), personal name Yang Jian (), Xianbei name Puliuru Jian (), alias Narayana () deriving from Buddhist terms, was the founder and first emperor of China's Sui dynasty (581–618 AD). He ...
(Yang Jian) in 581, establishing
Sui Dynasty The Sui dynasty (, ) was a short-lived imperial dynasty of China of pivotal significance. The Sui unified the Northern and Southern dynasties and reinstalled the rule of ethnic Han in the entirety of China proper, along with sinicization of for ...

Sui Dynasty
, as Emperor Wen's wife, Empress Dugu, was an aunt of his. At some point, he married Lady Dou, a daughter of Dou Yi () the Duke of Shenwu and Northern Zhou's Princess Xiangyang (Yuwen Tai's daughter) as his wife and duchess. During Emperor Wen's reign (581–604), Li Yuan served three terms as a provincial governor. Early in the reign of Emperor Wen's son Emperor Yang, Li Yuan served as commandery governor (as Emperor Yang converted provinces into commanderies), but was later recalled to serve as a junior minister within Emperor Yang's administration. When Emperor Yang carried out his second campaign against
Goguryeo Goguryeo (; , 37 BC–668 AD), also called Goryeo (; ), was a Korean kingdom located in the northern and central parts of the Korean Peninsula and the southern and central parts of Manchuria. At its peak of power, Goguryeo controlled most of t ...
in 613, Li Yuan was in charge of part of the logistics operation. When the general
Yang XuanganYang Xuangan (楊玄感 ''Yáng Xuángǎn'') (died 613) was an official of the Chinese dynasty Sui Dynasty. He was the son of the powerful official Yang Su, and, as he knew that Emperor Yang was apprehensive of his father, was never quite secure. I ...
rebelled near the eastern capital
Luoyang Luoyang is a city located in the confluence area of Luo River and Yellow River in the west of Henan province. Governed as a prefecture-level city, it borders the provincial capital of Zhengzhou to the east, Pingdingshan to the southeast, Nanya ...
, Emperor Yang commissioned Li Yuan as a general and made him be in charge of the operations west of the
Tong Pass Tongguan or Tong Pass, was a former mountain pass and fortress located south of the confluence of the Wei and Yellow Rivers, in today's Tongguan County, Shaanxi, China. It was an important chokepoint, protecting Xi'an and the surrounding Guanzhong ...
, although Yang Xuangan's rebellion eventually did not involve that region. Li Yuan took the opportunity to recruit talented people to his staff. Later that year, when Emperor Yang summoned him to his presence, he declined, citing ill health—an excuse that Emperor Yang did not believe, as he questioned Li Yuan's niece, Consort Wang (Emperor Yang's
concubine Concubinage ( ) is an interpersonal and sexual relationship between a man and a woman in which the couple does not want to or cannot enter into a full marriage. When there is an inability or social discouragement for the couple to marry, it may ...
), "Will he die?". In fear, Li Yuan took up drinking and receiving bribes to try to show Emperor Yang that he did not have great ambitions. In 615, Emperor Yang placed him in charge of the operations against agrarian rebels in the Hedong () region (roughly modern
Shanxi Shanxi (; formerly romanised as Shansi) is a landlocked province of the People's Republic of China, and is part of the North China region. The capital and largest city of the province is Taiyuan, while its next most populated prefecture-level ...
), but recalled him in 616. Later that year, Emperor Yang put him in charge of the key city of Taiyuan (, in modern
Taiyuan Taiyuan ( , also known as (), ()) is the capital and largest city of Shanxi province, People's Republic of China. It is one of the main manufacturing bases of China. Throughout its long history, Taiyuan was the capital or provisional capital ...
,
Shanxi Shanxi (; formerly romanised as Shansi) is a landlocked province of the People's Republic of China, and is part of the North China region. The capital and largest city of the province is Taiyuan, while its next most populated prefecture-level ...
).


Rebellion against Emperor Yang of Sui

Emperor Yang grew dissatisfied with Li Yuan and Wang Rengong (), the governor of Mayi Commandery (, roughly modern
Shuozhou Shuozhou is a prefecture-level city in northern Shanxi province, China, bordering Inner Mongolia to the northwest. It is situated along the upper reaches of the Fen River. The prefecture as a whole has an area of about and, in 2010, a popula ...
,
Shanxi Shanxi (; formerly romanised as Shansi) is a landlocked province of the People's Republic of China, and is part of the North China region. The capital and largest city of the province is Taiyuan, while its next most populated prefecture-level ...
), over their inability to stop incursions by the Eastern Turks (Tujue) and the growing strength of agrarian rebels—particularly the Turk-supported
Liu Wuzhou Liu Wuzhou (劉武周; died 622?) was a rebel leader who rose against the rule of the Chinese dynasty Sui Dynasty late in the dynasty's history, and he took imperial style—although it was not completely clear whether the title he took was khan or ...
, the Dingyang Khan, who soon rose against Wang and killed him and captured Emperor Yang's secondary palace near Taiyuan. Li Yuan also became fearful due to prophecies circulating throughout the empire that the next emperor would be named Li—and because Emperor Yang had killed another official, Li Hun () and his clan over his fears that Li Hun's nephew Li Min (, the son-in-law of Emperor Yang's sister
Yang Lihua Yang Lihua (; 561–609) was an empress of the Chinese/Xianbei dynasty Northern Zhou, and later a princess of Sui Dynasty. Her husband was Emperor Xuan of Northern Zhou (Yuwen Yun), and her father was Yang Jian who later usurped the Northern Zho ...
, the Princess Leping) had imperial ambitions. Traditional accounts, compiled during the reign of Li Yuan's second son by the Duchess Dou,
Li Shimin Emperor Taizong of Tang (28January 59810July 649), previously Prince of Qin, personal name Li Shimin, was the second emperor of the Tang dynasty of China, ruling from 626 to 649. He is traditionally regarded as a co-founder of the dynasty for ...
(Emperor Taizong), emphasize the latter's initiative and major role in instigating his father's rebellion. According to these, Li Shimin was secretly planning rebellion against Sui rule with Pei Ji, the majordomo of Emperor Yang's secondary palace, and with Liu Wenjing, the magistrate of Jinyang County (, i.e., Taiyuan), but at first did not reveal their plans to Li Yuan. At Li Shimin's urging, Pei Ji, who had also earlier, against regulations, allowed Li Yuan to have sexual relations with some of late Emperor Wen's imperial concubines, persuaded Li Yuan that it was necessary for him to rebel. Modern researchers, however, have concluded that the initiative for the revolt came from Li Yuan himself. Li Yuan began to gather forces from the region, claiming that they were necessary to defend against the Turks, which drew suspicions from his deputies Wang Wei () and Gao Junya (). Li Yuan, afraid that Wang and Gao would act against him first, then used a Turkish attack as an excuse to falsely claim that Wang and Gao were working in concert with the Turkish ''
khagan Khagan or Qaghan ( otk, 𐰴𐰍𐰣, Kaɣan, mn, Xаан or ᠬᠠᠭᠠᠨ, Khaan, ota, خواقين, Ḫākan, or خوان ''Ḫān'', tr, Kağan or ''Hakan'', ug, قاغان, Qaghan) ''Khāqān'', alternatively spelled Kağan, Kagan, Khaghan, K ...
'',
Shibi Khan Shibi Khagan (r. 609 or 611–619 AD) succeeded Yami Qaghan as the second khagan of the Eastern Turkic Khaganate. Reign He succeeded Yami Qaghan in 609 or 611. From 613 to 615 he was actively supporting agrarian rebels inside China. Pei Ju had b ...
(Ashina Duojishi), and had them executed. He sent secret messengers to Hedong to recall his sons
Li Jiancheng Li Jiancheng (; 589 – July 2, 626, formally Crown Prince Yin (, literally, "the hidden crown prince"), nickname Vaishravana (; Sanskrit: Vaiśravaṇa), was the first crown prince of the Chinese Tang Dynasty. He was the oldest son of the foundin ...
,
Li Yuanji Li Yuanji (李元吉) (603 – 2 July 626The date of the incident at Xuanwu Gate was the fourth day of the sixth month of the ''Wude'' era, which translates to July 2, 626, according to the Academia Sinicabr>), formally Prince La of Chao (巢剌王) ...
(both by Duchess Dou) and Li Zhiyun (, by his concubine Lady Wan), whom he had left there to watch over his household, and the capital
Chang'an Chang'an (; ) was an ancient capital of more than ten dynasties in Chinese history, today known as Xi'an in Shaanxi province. Chang'an means "Perpetual Peace" in Classical Chinese since it was a capital that was repeatedly used by new Chinese ...
to recall his daughter (the future
Princess Pingyang Princess Pingyang (, formally Princess Zhao of Pingyang (, 590s-623) was the daughter of Li Yuan (later enthroned as Emperor Gaozu), the founding emperor of the Tang dynasty. She helped him to seize power and eventually take over the throne from ...
) and her husband
Chai Shao Chai Shao (588–638), courtesy name Sichang, posthumously known as Duke Xiang of Qiao, was a Chinese general who served under the emperors Gaozu and Taizong in the early Tang dynasty. Chai Shao was the son of Chai Shen, the Duke of Julu. He marr ...
(). Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji, leaving Li Zhiyun at Hedong, soon met with Chai, and they arrived together at Taiyuan. Li Yuan's daughter, believing it would be difficult for her to flee with Chai, chose to hide instead. Once Li Jiancheng, Li Yuanji, and Chai arrived at Taiyuan, Li Yuan formally declared his rebellion, but maintained the guise of a Sui loyalist and declared that his intention was simply to install on the throne Emperor Yang's grandson
Yang You Emperor Gong of Sui (隋恭帝) (605 – 14 September 619), personal name Yang You (楊侑), was an emperor of the Chinese Sui Dynasty. He was Li Yuan's puppet emperor, and after Emperor Yang of Sui died, Li then became the founding emperor of ...
, the Prince of Dai, who was then at Chang'an, and honor Emperor Yang as ''
Taishang Huang In Chinese history, a Taishang Huang or Taishang Huangdi is an honorific and institution of retired emperorship. The former emperor had, at least in name, abdicated in favor of someone else. Although technically no longer the reigning sovereign, th ...
'' (retired emperor). Li Yuan first secured his northern flank by contacting Shibi Khan, offering tribute, and received men and horses in exchange. He put Li Jiancheng and Li Shimin in charge of his army and, leaving Li Yuanji in charge at Taiyuan, advanced south. Meanwhile, the Sui officials at Hedong arrested Li Zhiyun and delivered him to Chang'an, where he was executed. His daughter Pingyang sold her possessions to raise an army for him. She persuaded several other leaders to fight under her banner. They took several towns and her army swelled until she had 70,000 troops under her command. Meanwhile, Li Yuan wrote another rebel leader, Li Mi the Duke of Wei, who was near Luoyang, trying to see if Li Mi would be willing to follow him, but Li Mi, believing in his own strength, had his secretary Zu Junyan () write Li Yuan for him in this way: Li Yuan was dismayed but, not wanting to make another enemy, wrote back humbly: Li Mi was pleased with Li Yuan's response, believing that Li Yuan was willing to support him, and from that point on, Li Mi and Li Yuan often exchanged messengers. Li Yuan's campaign against Chang'an thus went without opposition from Li Mi. Meanwhile, however, when Li Yuan arrived near Hedong, his army was bogged down by the weather, and with food running out, there were rumors that Eastern Tujue and Liu Wuzhou would attack Taiyuan. Li Yuan initially ordered retreat, but at the earnest opposition by Li Jiancheng and Li Shimin, continued to advance. After defeating Sui forces at Huoyi (霍邑, also in modern Yuncheng), he decided to leave a small contingent to watch over Hedong while advancing across the
Yellow River#REDIRECT Yellow River#REDIRECT Yellow River {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...

Yellow River
into
Guanzhong Guanzhong (, formerly romanised as Kwanchung) region, also known as the Guanzhong Basin, Wei River Basin, or uncommonly as the Shaanzhong region, is a historical region of China corresponding to the crescentic graben basin within present-day centr ...
(i.e., the Chang'an region). Once he did, he headed for Chang'an himself, while sending Li Jiancheng to capture the territory around the
Tong Pass Tongguan or Tong Pass, was a former mountain pass and fortress located south of the confluence of the Wei and Yellow Rivers, in today's Tongguan County, Shaanxi, China. It was an important chokepoint, protecting Xi'an and the surrounding Guanzhong ...
region to prevent Sui forces at Luoyang from reinforcing Chang'an and Li Shimin north of the
Wei River The Wei River () is a major river in west-central China's Gansu and Shaanxi provinces. It is the largest tributary of the Yellow River and very important in the early development of Chinese civilization. The source of the Wei River is close to We ...
to capture territory there. Meanwhile, his daughter had also risen in rebellion in support of him, and she was able to gather a sizable army and capture some cities. She joined forces with Li Shimin and her husband Chai Shao. Soon, Li Yuan reconsolidated his forces and put Chang'an under siege. In winter 617, he captured Chang'an and declared Yang You emperor (as Emperor Gong). He had himself made
regent A regent (from the Latin : ruling, governing) is a person appointed to govern a state ''pro tempore'' (Latin: 'for the time being') because the regnant monarch is a minor, is absent, abdicated the throne, is incapacitated or dead, or unable to d ...
(with the title of grand chancellor) and created the Prince of Tang. (Meanwhile, most of Sui territory did not recognize Yang You as emperor and continued to recognize Emperor Yang as emperor and not as retired emperor.) He sent his nephew
Li Xiaogong Li Xiaogong (591–640), posthumously known as Prince Yuan of Hejian, often referred to by his earlier title as the Prince of Zhao Commandery, was an imperial prince and general of the Tang dynasty. He was a son of a cousin of Emperor Gaozu (Li Yu ...
south, and Li Xiaogong was able to persuade the Sui cities in modern southern
Shaanxi Shaanxi (, ; alternately Shensi) is a landlocked province of the People's Republic of China. Officially part of Northwest China, it borders the province-level divisions of Shanxi (NE, E), Henan (E), Hubei (SE), Chongqing (S), Sichuan (SW), G ...
,
Sichuan Sichuan (, Standard Mandarin pronunciation: ; alternatively romanized as Szechuan or Szechwan) is a landlocked province in Southwest China occupying most of the Sichuan Basin and the easternmost part of the Tibetan Plateau between the Jinsha ...
, and
Chongqing Chongqing (Sichuanese pronunciation: , Standard Mandarin pronunciation: , , ,), alternately romanized as Chungking, is a municipality in southwest China. Administratively, it is one of the four municipalities under the direct administration ...
to submit.


Establishment of Tang and gradual unification

In spring 618, Emperor Yang was killed at Jiangdu (, in modern
Yangzhou Yangzhou, postal romanization Yangchow, is a prefecture-level city in central Jiangsu Province, China. Sitting on the north bank of the Yangtze, it borders the provincial capital Nanjing to the southwest, Huai'an to the north, Yancheng to the nort ...
,
Jiangsu Jiangsu (; formerly romanized Kiangsu) is an eastern-central coastal province of the People's Republic of China. It is one of the leading provinces in finance, education, technology, and tourism, with its capital in Nanjing. Jiangsu is the third ...
) in a coup led by the general
Yuwen Huaji Yuwen Huaji (; died 619) was a general of the Chinese Sui Dynasty who, in 618, led a coup against and murdered Emperor Yang of Sui. He subsequently declared Emperor Yang's nephew Yang Hao emperor and led Emperor Yang's elite Xiaoguo Army (驍果) ...
. When the news reached Chang'an, Li Yuan had Yang You yield the throne to him, becoming Emperor Gaozu of the
Tang Dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum between 690 and 705. It was preceded by the Sui dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. His ...
. He restored much of the institutions of Sui's first ruler, Emperor Wen, reversing a number of changes that Emperor Yang made. He created Yang You the Duke of Xi, Li Jiancheng, his oldest son, was named
crown prince#REDIRECT Crown prince#REDIRECT Crown prince {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...

crown prince, while Li Shimin was made the Prince of Qin and Li Yuanji the Prince of Qi. Meanwhile, the Sui officials at Luoyang declared another grandson of Emperor Yang, Yang You's brother
Yang Tong Yang Dong (; 604–619), known in traditional histories by his princely title of Prince of Yue (越王) or by his era name as Lord Huangtai (皇泰主), posthumous name (as bestowed by Wang Shichong) Emperor Gong (恭皇帝), courtesy name Renjin ...
, the Prince of Yue, as emperor, and refused to recognize the regime change in Chang'an. Emperor Gaozu's rule immediately faced a major challenge from Xue Ju, an agrarian leader who had declared himself the Emperor of Qin. During the fall of 618, Xue took advantage of Li Shimin's illness to defeat an army commanded by Li Shimin and Liu Wenjing at Qianshui Plain (in modern
Xianyang Xianyang () is a prefecture-level city in central Shaanxi province, situated on the Wei River a few kilometers upstream (west) from the provincial capital of Xi'an. Once the capital of the Qin dynasty, it is now integrated into the Xi'an metr ...
,
Shanxi Shanxi (; formerly romanised as Shansi) is a landlocked province of the People's Republic of China, and is part of the North China region. The capital and largest city of the province is Taiyuan, while its next most populated prefecture-level ...
) and approach Chang'an. In response, Gaozu tried to enter an alliance with Li Gui, the Prince of Liang, between whose domain and the Tang Xue's Qin state was located, writing Li Gui and referring to him as cousin. Li Gui briefly submitted to Gaozu. Meanwhile, before he could attack Chang'an, Xue Ju died of illness and was succeeded by his son
Xue Rengao Xue Rengao () (died 618), also known as Xue Renguo (),The ''Old Book of Tang'' and the ''New Book of Tang'' both gave his name as Xue Rengao, but the ''Zizhi Tongjian'' gave his name as Xue Renguo. was an emperor of the short-lived state of Qin, e ...
, who was a capable commander but who had alienated his generals because of his cruelty. Li Shimin was soon able to attack Xue Rengao at Gaozhi (, in modern Xianyang as well), and force Xue Rengao to surrender. Meanwhile, Li Mi, having been defeated earlier in the year in a surprise attack (at the
Battle of Yanshi The Battle of Yanshi () was fought on 5–6 October 618 between the armies of Wang Shichong and Li Mi, rival contenders for the succession of the Sui dynasty. Wang, who was still ostensibly a Sui loyalist and had been blockaded in Luoyang for month ...
) by the Sui general
Wang Shichong Wang Shichong (王世充; 567–621), courtesy name Xingman (行滿), was a general of Sui dynasty who deposed Sui's last emperor Yang Tong and briefly ruled as the emperor of a succeeding state of Zheng. He first became prominent during the reign ...
, fled to Tang territory and submitted to Gaozu. Li Mi's general Xu Shiji, who controlled a major part of Li Mi's former territory, also submitted, and Emperor Gaozu, impressed with Xu's faithfulness to Li Mi, bestowed the imperial surname of Li on Xu. Gaozu created Li Mi the Duke of Xing, but only made him the Minister of Feasts, a post that Li Mi viewed as below his stature. Around New Year 619, Li Mi requested Emperor Gaozu's permission to head east to persuade some of his former subordinates to submit to Tang, but once he left Chang'an, planned to restore his independence. He was ambushed and killed by the Tang general Sheng Yanshi (). In spring 619, Wang Shichong at Luoyang had Yang Tong yield the throne to him, ending the Sui dynasty and establishing a new state of Zheng. Around the same time, Li Gui, while stating that he wished to be a Tang subject, refused the Tang creation of Prince of Liang, instead declaring himself the Emperor of Tang. In summer 619, Li Gui's official An Xinggui (), formerly a Tang official, rebelled against Li Gui and captured him, submitting to Tang. Gaozu executed Li Gui and incorporated his domain into Tang. Also around the same time, the rebel leader
Du FuweiDu Fuwei (598?-624), known during service to Tang Dynasty as Li Fuwei (), was an agrarian leader who rose against the rule of Emperor Yang of Sui at the end of the Chinese dynasty Sui Dynasty. At one point, he had ambitions to take over the region s ...
, who controlled the modern southern
Anhui Anhui (; formerly romanized as Anhwei) is a landlocked province of the People's Republic of China, part of the East China region. Its provincial capital and largest city is Hefei. The province is located across the basins of the Yangtze River and ...
, submitted to Tang, and Gaozu also bestowed the imperial surname of Li on him, creating him the Prince of Wu. Similarly, Luo Yi, who controlled the modern
Beijing Beijing ( ), alternatively romanized as Peking ( ), is the capital of the People's Republic of China. It is the world's most populous national capital city, with over 21 million residents within an administrative area of 16,410.5 km2 ( ...
region, submitted, was bestowed the imperial surname of Li, and was created the Prince of Yan. Meanwhile, Tang was facing another serious threat—Liu Wuzhou, now determined to march south against Tang. Emperor Gaozu sent Pei Ji against Liu's advancing army, but Pei was defeated by Liu, who then put Taiyuan under siege. Li Yuanji fled back to Chang'an, and much of modern Shanxi was seized by Liu. Emperor Gaozu then sent Li Shimin against Liu, and by summer 620, Li Shimin had defeated Liu, forcing him to flee to the Eastern Turks. Liu's territory was incorporated into Tang. Around the same time, however,
Dou Jiande Dou Jiande (; 573 – August 3, 621) was a leader of the agrarian rebels who rose against the rule of Emperor Yang of Sui near the end of the Chinese Sui dynasty. Generally considered the kindest and most able of the agrarian rebel leaders of th ...
the Prince of Xia made a major offensive against the cities that had submitted to Tang in modern
Hebei Hebei (; alternately Hopeh) is a coastal province of the People's Republic of China, and is part of the North China region. The modern province was established in 1911 as Chihli Province (Zhili Province). Its capital and largest city is Shiji ...
and
Henan Henan (; alternatively Honan) is a landlocked province of China, in the central part of the country. Henan is often referred to as Zhongyuan or Zhongzhou (), which literally means "central plain" or "midland", although the name is also applie ...
, north of the Yellow River, seizing nearly all of them and taking Emperor Gaozu's cousin Li Shentong () the Prince of Huai'an, Emperor Gaozu's sister the Princess Tong'an, and Li Shiji's father Li Gai () captive. With Li Gai in Dou's custody, Li Shiji surrendered to Dou as well. In 620, Li Shiji, in association with another Tang general who surrendered to Dou, Li Shanghu (), plotted to ambush Dou, but the plot was discovered; Li Shanghu was killed, and Li Shiji fled back to Tang. In 620, Li Fuwei captured much of the territory of another agrarian ruler,
Li Zitong Li Zitong (died 622 CE) was an agrarian leader who claimed the title of emperor in the aftermaths of the death of Emperor Yang of Sui at the hands of the general Yuwen Huaji in 618. After Yuwen vacated the city of Jiangdu (, in modern Yangzhou, ...
, the Emperor of Wu, in the lower
Yangtze River The Yangtze or Yangzi ( or ) is the longest river in Asia, the third-longest in the world and the longest in the world to flow entirely within one country. It rises at Jari Hill in the Tanggula Mountains (Tibetan Plateau) and flows in a ge ...
region, in the name of Tang Dynasty. Li Zitong, in turn, defeated and took over the territory of
Shen Faxing Shen Faxing (died AD 620) was an official of the Chinese Sui dynasty who, after Emperor Yang was killed in a coup led by the general Yuwen Huaji in 618, seized the area of present-day Zhejiang and southern Jiangsu and declared himself the Ki ...
the Prince of Liang, roughly modern
Zhejiang Zhejiang (, formerly romanized as Chekiang) is an eastern, coastal province of the People's Republic of China. Its capital and largest city is Hangzhou. Zhejiang is bordered by Jiangsu and Shanghai to the north, Anhui to the northwest, Jiang ...
. After Li Shimin defeated Liu, he started a campaign against Wang's Zheng state in fall 620. He initially could not decisively defeat Zheng, but by spring 621 had put the Zheng capital Luoyang under a tight siege, although he was not able to capture it. Wang sought aid from Dou. The latter agreed, concerned that a Tang victory over Zheng would also mean his own demise, but at the same time was eager to exploit the weakness of the Zheng and claim its domains for himself. Emperor Gaozu was initially fearful that Dou and Wang would be able to sandwich Li Shimin's forces between them and ordered Li Shimin to retreat, but upon Li Shimin's petition changed his mind and permitted Li Shimin to remain in the Luoyang region. Li Shimin, leaving Li Yuanji in charge of the siege of Luoyang, advanced and took up position at
Hulao Pass Hulao Pass () is a choke point northwest of Xingyang, Henan province, China in the foothills of Mount Song. It is the site of many historical battles, being the eastern guard for the capital Luoyang for several dynasties. With Mount Song to the so ...
. In summer 621, the Tang and Xia forces
engaged at Hulao
engaged at Hulao
, and Li Shimin defeated Dou, capturing him. Despairing, Wang also surrendered, and most of the Zheng territory was seized by the Tang. Xia territory was also seized by Tang, but after Emperor Gaozu executed Dou, Dou's general
Liu Heita Liu Heita () (died 623) was an agrarian rebel leader during China's transition period from Sui Dynasty to Tang Dynasty, who initially successively served under Hao Xiaode (), Li Mi, and Wang Shichong. He eventually followed Dou Jiande the Prince ...
rose against the Tang and seized most of the former Xia territory, while
Xu Yuanlang Xu Yuanlang (徐圓朗) (died 623) was an agrarian rebel leader who rose against the rule of the Chinese dynasty Sui Dynasty late in the reign of Emperor Yang of Sui. After doing so, he did not initially claim any royal title, instead successively ...
, a rebel leader who had previously submitted to Zheng, also rose in revolt, occupying the modern
Shandong Shandong (; alternately romanized as Shantung) is a coastal province of the People's Republic of China and is part of the East China region. Shandong has played a major role in Chinese history since the beginning of Chinese civilization along ...
region. Also in 621, Li Xiaogong defeated
Xiao Xian Xiao Xian (蕭銑) (583–621) was a descendant of the imperial house of the Chinese dynasty Liang Dynasty, who rose against the rule of Sui Dynasty toward the end of the rule of Emperor Yang of Sui. He tried to revive Liang, and for several yea ...
the Emperor of Liang, who had controlled the modern
Hubei Hubei (; alternately Hupeh) is a landlocked province of the People's Republic of China, and is part of the Central China region. The name of the province means "north of the lake", referring to its position north of Dongting Lake. The provinci ...
,
Hunan Hunan () is a landlocked province of the People's Republic of China, part of the South Central China region. Located in the middle reaches of the Yangtze watershed, it borders the province-level divisions of Hubei to the north, Jiangxi to the e ...

Hunan
, and
Guangxi Guangxi (; alternately romanized as Kwanghsi; ; za, Gvangjsih), officially the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (GZAR), is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China, located in South China and bordering Vietnam (Hà Giang, Cao Bằ ...
region, forcing Xiao Xian to surrender. On another front, Li Fuwei's lieutenant
Fu Gongshi Fu Gongshi (輔公祏; died 624) was an agrarian rebel leader who served as Du Fuwei's lieutenant during the disintegration of the Chinese dynasty Sui Dynasty, who later followed Du in submitting to Tang Dynasty. In 623, while Du (by that point k ...
defeated Li Zitong, forcing him to surrender as well. Liang and Wu territory were seized by Tang. Meanwhile, while not as noted as
Emperor Gao of Han Emperor Gaozu of Han (256 – 1 June 195 BC), born Liu Bang () with courtesy name Ji (季), was the founder and first emperor of the Han dynasty, reigning in 202–195 BC. His temple name was "Taizu" while his posthumous name was Emperor ...
's killing of
Han Xin Han Xin (; died 196 BC) was a military general who served Liu Bang during the Chu–Han Contention and contributed greatly to the founding of the Han dynasty. Han Xin was named as one of the "Three Heroes of the early Han dynasty" ( zh, script=H ...
and
Peng Yue Peng Yue (died 196 BC), courtesy name Zhong, was a prominent military leader and political figure in the late Qin dynasty and early Western Han dynasty. He was involved in the Chu–Han Contention – a power struggle between the Han dynasty's foun ...
, historians have nevertheless noted that some contributors to Emperor Gaozu's establishment of Tang were wrongly killed by him or killed based on fairly little evidence of wrongdoing: * Liu Wenjing, in 619, on accusation that he engaged sorcerers. * Emperor Gaozu's cousin Dugu Huai'en (), in 620, on accusation of treason. * Li Zhongwen () the Duke of Zhenxiang, in 620, on accusation of collaboration with Eastern Tujue. * Liu Shirang () the Duke of Yingyang, in 623, on accusation of collaboration with Eastern Tujue.


Struggle between sons and the Xuanwu Gate Incident

In spring 622, Li Shimin defeated Liu Heita, forcing him to flee to the Eastern Turks, but Liu Heita soon returned with Turkish reinforcements and killed Emperor Gaozu's nephew Li Daoxuan () the Prince of Huaiyang in battle, again seizing former Xia territory, although by this point Li Shimin and Li Yuanji had also defeated Xu Yuanlang and reduced his territory to a few cities. Meanwhile, an intense rivalry had developed between Li Jiancheng and Li Shimin, as while Li Jiancheng had some contributions toward Tang's reunification of China, Li Shimin had been the one defeating and capturing the major rivals Xue Rengao, Liu Wuzhou, Dou Jiande, and Wang Shichong, causing him to possess the greater reputation among the army. Li Yuanji, who was also often relied on by Emperor Gaozu as a general, supported Li Jiancheng in this rivalry, and often pushed Li Jiancheng toward a more hardline position against Li Shimin, wanting to be crown prince when Li Jiancheng would become emperor. Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji had better relations with Emperor Gaozu's favored young
concubine Concubinage ( ) is an interpersonal and sexual relationship between a man and a woman in which the couple does not want to or cannot enter into a full marriage. When there is an inability or social discouragement for the couple to marry, it may ...
s than Li Shimin did (as their mother Duchess Dou had died before Tang's establishment), and those concubines helped rehabilitate Li Jiancheng's standing before Emperor Gaozu, causing him to no longer consider making Li Shimin crown prince instead, as he considered at one point. By winter 622, Liu Heita posed the only remaining major threat against Tang rule. At the suggestion of his staff members Wang Gui and
Wei Zheng Wei Zheng (580–643), courtesy name Xuancheng, posthumously known as Duke Wenzhen of Zheng, was a Chinese politician and historian. He served as a chancellor of the Tang dynasty for about 13 years during the reign of Emperor Taizong. He was also ...
, who argued that Li Jiancheng needed some victories himself to establish his reputation, Li Jiancheng volunteered to command the army against Liu Heita. Emperor Gaozu thus sent Li Jiancheng, assisted by Li Yuanji. Around the new year 623, with Liu's forced bogged down while attacking Tang's Wei Prefecture (, in modern
Handan Handan is a prefecture-level city located in the southwest of Hebei province, China. The southernmost prefecture-level city of the province, it borders Xingtai on the north, and the provinces of Shanxi on the west, Henan on the south and Shandon ...
,
Hebei Hebei (; alternately Hopeh) is a coastal province of the People's Republic of China, and is part of the North China region. The modern province was established in 1911 as Chihli Province (Zhili Province). Its capital and largest city is Shiji ...
), Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji engaged him at Guantao (, in modern Handan as well), crushing him. Liu fled north toward the Eastern Turks, but was ambushed and captured by his own official Zhuge Dewei (), who delivered him to Li Jiancheng. Li Jiancheng executed Liu. Around the same time, Xu was killed in flight. Meanwhile,
Lin Shihong Lin Shihong (林士弘) (died 622) was an agrarian king who rose against the rule of the Chinese Sui Dynasty near the end of Emperor Yang's reign. For several years, he controlled most of modern Jiangxi and Guangdong, but was then under attack by ...
the Emperor of Chu, who had one point controlled modern Jiangxi and Guangdong, had died, and his followers scattered. China was by this point completely unified by Tang except for the domain of Liang Shidu the Emperor of Liang, who controlled modern northern
Shaanxi Shaanxi (, ; alternately Shensi) is a landlocked province of the People's Republic of China. Officially part of Northwest China, it borders the province-level divisions of Shanxi (NE, E), Henan (E), Hubei (SE), Chongqing (S), Sichuan (SW), G ...
and western Inner Mongolia, although, with Li Fuwei at Chang'an, Fu Gongshi rebelled in 623 and declared himself the Emperor of Song. Fu's rebellion, however, was quelled by Li Xiaogong in 624. Meanwhile, the rivalry between Li Jiancheng and Li Shimin intensified. In 624, Li Jiancheng requisitioned a number of soldiers from the general Luo Yi, Li Yi the Prince of Yan, to supplement his guard corps, against Emperor Gaozu's regulations. When this was revealed to Emperor Gaozu, Emperor Gaozu rebuked Li Jiancheng and exiled his guard commander Keda Zhi (). When, subsequently, Li Jiancheng nevertheless requested the commandant at Qing Prefecture (, in modern Qingyang, Gansu), Yang Wen'gan (), to conscript troops, presumably to guard against Li Shimin, the officers Erzhu Huan () and Qiao Gongshan () informed Emperor Gaozu that Li Jiancheng was encouraging Yang to start a rebellion so that they could seize power together. Emperor Gaozu, then at Renzhi Palace (, in modern Tongchuan,
Shaanxi Shaanxi (, ; alternately Shensi) is a landlocked province of the People's Republic of China. Officially part of Northwest China, it borders the province-level divisions of Shanxi (NE, E), Henan (E), Hubei (SE), Chongqing (S), Sichuan (SW), G ...
), was incensed, and summoned Li Jiancheng, then at Chang'an, to Renzhi Palace. Li Jiancheng briefly flirted the idea of occupying Chang'an and not accepting the order, but eventually reported to Renzhi Palace to request forgiveness. Emperor Gaozu put him under arrest. When Yang heard this, Yang rebelled, and Emperor Gaozu, after promising Li Shimin that he would be made crown prince, sent Li Shimin to attack Yang. (Under Emperor Gaozu's promise, Li Jiancheng would be removed as crown prince and created the Prince of Shu instead. He would then send Li Jiancheng to the modern
Sichuan Sichuan (, Standard Mandarin pronunciation: ; alternatively romanized as Szechuan or Szechwan) is a landlocked province in Southwest China occupying most of the Sichuan Basin and the easternmost part of the Tibetan Plateau between the Jinsha ...
region.) Once Li Shimin left, however, Li Yuanji, Emperor Gaozu's concubines, and the chancellor Feng Deyi, all spoke on Li Jiancheng's behalf, and Emperor Gaozu changed his mind, released Li Jiancheng, and allowed him to return to Chang'an and remain as crown prince. Instead, Emperor Gaozu only blamed the discord between his sons on Li Jiancheng's staff members Wang Gui and Wei Ting (), and Li Shimin's staff member Du Yan, exiling them. Yang was subsequently assassinated by his own subordinates. Another problem that Emperor Gaozu faced was constant Eastern Turkish incursions. Emperor Gaozu seriously considered burning Chang'an to the ground and moving the capital to Fancheng (, in modern Xiangfan,
Hubei Hubei (; alternately Hupeh) is a landlocked province of the People's Republic of China, and is part of the Central China region. The name of the province means "north of the lake", referring to its position north of Dongting Lake. The provinci ...
), a suggestion that Li Jiancheng, Li Yuanji, and the chancellor Pei Ji agreed with. Li Shimin opposed, however, and the plan was not carried out. Meanwhile, Li Shimin himself was sending his confidants to Luoyang to build up personal control of the army there. After an incident in which Li Shimin suffered a severe case of food poisoning after feasting at Li Jiancheng's palace—an event that both Emperor Gaozu and Li Shimin apparently interpreted as an assassination attempt—Emperor Gaozu considered sending Li Shimin to guard Luoyang to prevent further conflict, but Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji, after consulting each other, believed that this would only give Li Shimin an opportunity to build up his personal power there, and therefore opposed it. Emperor Gaozu therefore did not carry out the plan. By 626, Li Shimin was fearful that he would be killed by Li Jiancheng, and his staff members Fang Xuanling, Du Ruhui, and Zhangsun Wuji were repeatedly encouraging Li Shimin to attack Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji first—while Wei Zheng was encouraging Li Jiancheng to attack Li Shimin first. Li Jiancheng persuaded Emperor Gaozu to remove Fang and Du, as well as Li Shimin's trusted guard officers Yuchi Gong and Cheng Zhijie (), from Li Shimin's staff. Zhangsun, who remained on Li Shimin's staff, continued to try to persuade Li Shimin to attack first. In summer 626, the Eastern Turkish khaganate was making another attack, and under Li Jiancheng's suggestion, Emperor Gaozu, instead of sending Li Shimin to resist the Turks as he first was inclined, decided to send Li Yuanji instead. Li Yuanji was given command of much of the army previously under Li Shimin's control, further troubling Li Shimin, who believed that with the army in Li Yuanji's hands, he would be unable to resist an attack. Li Shimin had Yuchi summon Fang and Du back to his mansion secretly, and then on one night submitted an accusation to Emperor Gaozu that Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji were committing adultery with Emperor Gaozu's concubines. Emperor Gaozu, in response, issued summonses to Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji for the next morning, convening the senior officials Pei Ji, Xiao Yu, and Chen Shuda to examine Li Shimin's accusations. As Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji approached the central gate leading to Emperor Gaozu's palace, Xuanwu Gate (), Li Shimin carried out the ambush he had set. He personally fired an arrow that killed Li Jiancheng. Subsequently, Yuchi killed Li Yuanji. Li Shimin's forces entered the palace and, under the intimidation of Li Shimin's forces, Emperor Gaozu agreed to create Li Shimin crown prince. Meanwhile, Li Shimin accused the late Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji of plotting treason, posthumously demoted them to commoners and had their sons all executed as well, with Emperor Gaozu unable to oppose the action. Two months later, Emperor Gaozu passed the throne to Li Shimin (as Emperor Taizong).


As retired emperor

Emperor Gaozu, as retired emperor, did not appear to try to exert much influence in the reign of his son Emperor Taizong, and not much was recorded about his activities. Indeed, Emperor Taizong, almost immediately, began reversing some of his policies, including his policies of creating many relatives to be imperial princes (which Emperor Taizong reversed later in 626, reducing the ranks of most of those princes to dukes) and Emperor Gaozu's gathering of many ladies in waiting (which Emperor Taizong reversed in 628, releasing about 3,000 ladies in waiting from service, although Emperor Taizong himself, later in his reign, appeared to have gathered as many if not more). In 629, Emperor Gaozu moved from the main palace, Taiji Palace () to the subsidiary Hongyi Palace (), which was then renamed Da'an Palace (). Only then was Emperor Taizong able to move from the crown prince's palace to Taiji Palace. In 630, when Emperor Gaozu, who had been submitting tribute to the Eastern Turks throughout his reign, heard that Emperor Taizong had sent the general Li Jing (Tang dynasty), Li Jing to defeat and capture the Turkish ''khagan'' Jiali Khan (Ashina Duobi), commented, "Gaozu of Han was trapped [at Battle of Baideng, Baideng (, in modern Datong,
Shanxi Shanxi (; formerly romanised as Shansi) is a landlocked province of the People's Republic of China, and is part of the North China region. The capital and largest city of the province is Taiyuan, while its next most populated prefecture-level ...
) in 200 BCE by Xiongnu forces] and could not avenge himself. Now my son can destroy Tujue. I have entrusted the empire to the right person, and what do I have to worry about?" He subsequently summoned a number of princes and princesses, along with high level officials, to celebrate the victory, playing the pipa himself at the celebration and having the guests dance to it. As Chang'an was often hot during the summer, Emperor Taizong often invited Emperor Gaozu to go with him to Jiucheng Palace (, in modern Baoji,
Shaanxi Shaanxi (, ; alternately Shensi) is a landlocked province of the People's Republic of China. Officially part of Northwest China, it borders the province-level divisions of Shanxi (NE, E), Henan (E), Hubei (SE), Chongqing (S), Sichuan (SW), G ...
), to avoid the heat during the summer. However, as Sui's Emperor Wen had died there (which was named Renshou Palace () during Sui Dynasty), Emperor Gaozu did not want to visit Jiucheng Palace. Rather, in 634, Emperor Taizong began to construct another summer palace, Daming Palace (), to serve as Emperor Gaozu's summer palace, but Emperor Gaozu fell ill before it was completed, and he never visited Daming Palace. He died in spring 635.


Era name

* ''Wude'' ( wǔ dé) 618–626


Chancellors during reign

*
Li Shimin Emperor Taizong of Tang (28January 59810July 649), previously Prince of Qin, personal name Li Shimin, was the second emperor of the Tang dynasty of China, ruling from 626 to 649. He is traditionally regarded as a co-founder of the dynasty for ...
(618–626) * Pei Ji (618–626) * Liu Wenjing (618) * Xiao Yu (618–626) * Dou Wei (Tang Dynasty), Dou Wei (618) * Dou Kang (618) * Chen Shuda (618–626) * Yang Gongren (619–626) * Feng Deyi (620–626) * Pei Ju (624–625) * Yuwen Shiji (625–626) * Gao Shilian (626) * Fang Xuanling (626)


Family

Consorts and Issue: * Empress Taimu, of the Dou clan of Henan (; 569–613) **
Li Jiancheng Li Jiancheng (; 589 – July 2, 626, formally Crown Prince Yin (, literally, "the hidden crown prince"), nickname Vaishravana (; Sanskrit: Vaiśravaṇa), was the first crown prince of the Chinese Tang Dynasty. He was the oldest son of the foundin ...
, Crown Prince Yin (; 589–626), first son **
Princess Pingyang Princess Pingyang (, formally Princess Zhao of Pingyang (, 590s-623) was the daughter of Li Yuan (later enthroned as Emperor Gaozu), the founding emperor of the Tang dynasty. She helped him to seize power and eventually take over the throne from ...
zhao (; d. 623), third daughter *** Married
Chai Shao Chai Shao (588–638), courtesy name Sichang, posthumously known as Duke Xiang of Qiao, was a Chinese general who served under the emperors Gaozu and Taizong in the early Tang dynasty. Chai Shao was the son of Chai Shen, the Duke of Julu. He marr ...
, Duke Huo (d. 638), and had issue (two sons) **
Li Shimin Emperor Taizong of Tang (28January 59810July 649), previously Prince of Qin, personal name Li Shimin, was the second emperor of the Tang dynasty of China, ruling from 626 to 649. He is traditionally regarded as a co-founder of the dynasty for ...
, Emperor Taizong (; 598–649), second son ** Li Xuanba, Prince Weihuai (; 599–614), third son **
Li Yuanji Li Yuanji (李元吉) (603 – 2 July 626The date of the incident at Xuanwu Gate was the fourth day of the sixth month of the ''Wude'' era, which translates to July 2, 626, according to the Academia Sinicabr>), formally Prince La of Chao (巢剌王) ...
, Prince Chaola (; 603–626), fourth son * ''Guifei'', of the Wan clan () ** ''Li Zhiyun, Prince Chu'ai'' (; 605–617), fifth son ** Princess Changsha () *** Married Feng Shaoshi of Changle () * ''Defei'', of the Yin clan () ** Li Yuanheng, Prince Fengdao (; 619–632), eighth son * ''Zhaoyi'', of the Yuwen clan () ** Li Yuanjia, Prince Han (; 620–688), 11th son ** Li Lingkui, Prince Lu (; 625–688), 19th son * ''Guipin'', of the Mo clan (; 597–618), personal name Lifang () ** Li Yuanjing, Prince Jing (; 618–653), sixth son * ''Pin'', of the Sun clan () ** Li Yuanchang, Prince Han (; 619–643), seventh son * ''Pin'', of the Cui clan of Boling (; d. 636), personal name Shanggui () ** Li Yuanyu, Prince Dengkang (; 624–665), 17th son * ''Pin'', of the Yang clan of Hongnong (; 602–658) ** Li Yuanxiang, Prince Jiang'an (; 626–680), 20th son * ''Pin'', of the Yang clan () ** Li Yuanming, Prince Shu (; 624–689), 18th son * ''Jieyu'', of the Zhang clan () ** ''Li Yuanfang, Prince Zhou'' (; 619–629), ninth son * ''Jieyu'', of the Guo clan () ** Li Yuanli, Prince Xukang (; 619–672), tenth son * ''Jieyu'', of the Liu clan () ** Li Yuanqing, Prince Daoxiao (; 623–664), 16th son * ''Meiren'', of the Zhang clan () ** Li Yuangui, Prince Huo (; 622–688), 14th son * ''Meiren'', of the Yang clan (; d. 644) ** Li Feng, Prince Guozhuang (; 622–675), 15th son * ''Cairen'', of the Wang clan (; 596–662) ** Li Yuanze, Prince Pengsi (; 620–651), 12th son * ''Cairen'', of the Lu clan () ** Li Yuanxiao, Prince Mizhen (; 628–676), 21st son * ''Baolin'', of the Zhang clan (; 589–645), personal name Chongze () ** Li Yuanyi, Prince Zhenghui (; 621–673), 13th son * ''Baolin'', of the Liu clan () ** Li Yuanying, Prince Teng ; 630–684), 22nd son * Unknown ** Princess Xiangyang () *** Married Dou Dan of Henan, Duke Shen (; 580–648), the third son of Dou Kang, in 617, and had issue (two sons, one daughter) ** Princess Gaomi (; d. 655), fourth daughter *** Married Zhangsun Xiaozheng of Henan (), and had issue (one daughter) *** Married Duan Lun, Prince Jinchang (; d. 642), and had issue (one son, one daughter) ** Princess Changguang (; d. 648) *** Married Zhao Cijing of Tianshui, Duke Kaihua (; d. 618) *** Married Yang Shidao of Hongnong, Duke Ande (; d. 647) in 622, and had issue (one daughter) ** Princess Fangling (; 619–673), sixth daughter *** Married Dou Fengjie of Henan, Duke Zan () in 630, and had issue (one son, one daughter) *** Married Helan Sengjia, Baron Tonghua (), and had issue (one son) ** Princess Changle (; d. 688), seventh daughter *** Married Zhao Gui (; d. 688) ** Princess Jiujiang (), eighth daughter *** Married Zhishi Sili, Duke An () ** Princess Luling (), ninth daughter *** Married Qiao Shiwang, Viscount Xiangyi () ** Princess Nanchang () *** Married Su Xu () ** Princess Anping (), 11th daughter *** Married Yang Sijing of Hongnong () ** Princess Huainan (; 622–690), personal name Chengxia (), 12th daughter *** Married Feng Daoyan of Bohai, Duke Mi (; 616–699), a son of Feng Deyi, Feng Lun, in 638 ** Princess Zhending (), 13th daughter *** Married Cui Gongli of Boling () ** Princess Hengyang (), 14th daughter *** Married Ashina She'er, Duke Bi (; 609–655), a son of Ashina Xichun, in 636 ** Princess Danyang (), 15th daughter *** Married Xue Wanche of Hedong, Duke Wu'an (; d. 653) in 644 ** Princess Linhai (), 16th daughter *** Married Pei Lüshi of Hedong, Duke Hedong (), the second son of Pei Ji ** Princess Guantao (), 17th daughter *** Married Cui Xuanqing () ** Princess Changsha (; d. 724) *** Married Doulu Huairang of Changli, Duke Rui (), and had issue (one son, one daughter) ** Princess Anding () *** Married Wen Ting (), the second son of Wen Yanbo (Tang dynasty), Wen Yanbo *** Married Zheng Jingxuan of Xingyang (), and had issue (one son)


Ancestry


See also

#Chinese emperors family tree (middle)


Notes


References


Bibliography

* * ''Old Book of Tang'', :zh:s:舊唐書/卷1, vol. 1. * ''New Book of Tang'', :zh:s:新唐書/卷001, vol. 1. * ''Zizhi Tongjian'', vols. :zh:s:資治通鑑/卷175, 175, :zh:s:資治通鑑/卷182, 182, :zh:s:資治通鑑/卷183, 183, :zh:s:資治通鑑/卷184, 184, :zh:s:資治通鑑/卷185, 185, :zh:s:資治通鑑/卷186, 186, :zh:s:資治通鑑/卷187, 187, :zh:s:資治通鑑/卷188, 188, :zh:s:資治通鑑/卷189, 189, :zh:s:資治通鑑/卷190, 190, :zh:s:資治通鑑/卷191, 191, :zh:s:資治通鑑/卷192, 192, :zh:s:資治通鑑/卷193, 193, :zh:s:資治通鑑/卷194, 194. , - style="text-align: center;" {{DEFAULTSORT:Gaozu, Emperor Of Tang 566 births 635 deaths Sui dynasty generals Sui dynasty politicians Tang dynasty emperors Monarchs who abdicated 7th-century Chinese monarchs Emperors from Xi'an Politicians from Xi'an Generals from Shaanxi Transition from Sui to Tang Emperor Taizong of Tang