The Tang Dynasty I (618–756)

Authored by: Seo Tatsihiko , Victor Cunrui Xiong

Routledge Handbook of Imperial Chinese History

Print publication date:  October  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138847286
eBook ISBN: 9781315726878
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315726878-12

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Abstract

The first thing we should notice about the Tang dynasty that arose in North China and lasted from the early seventh to the early 10th centuries is the political character of its name. By adopting the designation “Tang,” its rulers purported to make its existence orthodox and permanent. “Tang” (or Li-Tang) as a dynastic name derived from the noble title of Li Yuan 李淵 (r. 618–626), who had been named the “state duke of Tang” during the Sui. The name gave a sense of orthodoxy to the new dynasty on the basis of the Confucian concept of dynastic change. While subjected to enormous internal and external pressure, the self-styled Tang regime continually enhanced this aura of orthodoxy, which dissipated with the founding of the Zhou dynasty (690–705) under Wu Zetian 武則天, which broke the continuity of the Tang regime.

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