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Tang, known in history as Later Tang, was a short-lived imperial
dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n.''" Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university press of University of Oxford. It is the largest uni ...
that lasted from 923 to 937 during the
Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period The Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period (907–979) was an era of political upheaval and division in 10th-century Imperial China. Five states quickly succeeded one another in the Central Plain, and more than a dozen concurrent states were e ...
in the
history of China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BC), during the king Wu Ding's reign, who was mentioned as the twenty-first Shang king by the same. Ancient histo ...
. The first three of Later Tang's four
emperor An emperor (from la, imperator, via fro, empereor) is a monarch, and usually the sovereignty, sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the female equivalent, may indicate an emperor's wife (empress consort), m ...
s were ethnically Shatuo. The name Tang was used to legitimize itself as the restorer 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. H ...
(618–907). Although Later Tang officially began in 923, the dynasty already existed in the years before, as a polity called Jin (907–923). At its height, Later Tang controlled most of northern China.


Formation

From the fall of the Tang Dynasty in 907, a rivalry had developed between the successor Later Liang, formed by
Zhu Wen Emperor Taizu of Later Liang (), personal name Zhu Quanzhong () (December 5, 852 – July 18, 912), né Zhu Wen (), name later changed to Zhu Huang (), nickname Zhu San (朱三, literally, "the third Zhu"), was a ''Jiedushi'' (military governor) ...
, and the State of Jin, formed by Li Keyong, in present-day
Shanxi Shanxi (; Postal romanization, formerly romanised as Shansi) is a landlocked Provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China, and is part of the North China region. The capital and largest city of the province is Taiyuan ...
. The rivalry survived the death of Li Keyong, whose son Li Cunxu continued to expand Jin territories at the expense of the Later Liang. Li Keyong forged an alliance with the powerful Khitan, like the Shatuo a people of the northern
steppe File:Steppe of western Kazakhstan in the early spring.jpg, Steppe in Kazakhstan In physical geography, a steppe is an ecoregion characterized by grassland plains without trees apart from those near rivers and lakes. Steppe biomes may in ...
, a relationship that figured significantly in the expansion and ultimate triumph of the Shatuo. Li Cunxu was successful in overthrowing the Later Liang in 923 and proclaimed himself emperor of the Later Tang, which he referred to as the "Restored Tang". As a part of "restoring the Tang", the capital was moved back to the old Tang eastern seat of Luoyang.


Course

The Later Tang was a short-lived regime, lasting only thirteen years. Li Cunxu himself lived only three years after the founding of the dynasty, having been killed during an officer's rebellion in 926. Li Siyuan, the adopted son of Li Keyong, took over the dynasty, but relations with the Khitan had fallen sour. Internal struggles typified the remaining ten years of the dynasty, ending with its toppling in 936 when Shi Jingtang, son-in-law of Li Siyuan and a fellow Shatuo, rebelled, stormed the capital with the help of Khitan troops, and founded the Later Jin.


Extent of Later Tang territories

The Later Tang controlled considerably more territory at its height than did the Later Liang. It extended to all the northern territories controlled by the Later Liang as well as its own base in
Shanxi Shanxi (; Postal romanization, formerly romanised as Shansi) is a landlocked Provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China, and is part of the North China region. The capital and largest city of the province is Taiyuan ...
. It also had control over the areas around
Beijing Beijing ( ), Chinese postal romanization, alternatively romanized as Peking ( ), is the Capital city, capital of the People's Republic of China. It is the world's List of national capitals by population, most populous national capital city, ...
and
Shaanxi Shaanxi (, ; Chinese postal romanization, alternately Shensi) is a landlocked Provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China. Officially part of Northwest China, it borders the province-level divisions of Shanxi (NE, E ...
, which were not entirely under the control of the Later Liang. The largest expansion of the Later Tang occurred in 925 when they conquered the Former Shu State, centered in present-day Sichuan. However, as Later Tang power was waning, a Later Shu state formed in 934, a year before the fall of the Later Tang.


Rulers


Later Tang rulers family tree


References


Citations


Sources

* {{DEFAULTSORT:Tang Later Tang, Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Dynasties in Chinese history Former countries in Chinese history 923 establishments 10th-century establishments in China 936 disestablishments 10th-century disestablishments in China States and territories established in the 920s States and territories disestablished in the 930s