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What Was the Tang Dynasty?

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This Tang era horse sculpture is held by the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

A Tang Dynasty-era sculpture of a saddled horse.

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Definition:

Tang Dynasty: The dynasty that ruled imperial China from 618 to 907 A.D. The capital of the empire at that time was at Chang'an, now known as Xi'an.

The Tang era is considered a golden period in Chinese history, when relative political stability allowed culture and the arts to flourish. Tang China also re-established trade along the Silk Road, which had fallen into disuse under their predecessors.

However, the Tang era also saw Chang'an captured by the Tibetans in 763, as well as the Chinese defeat by the Arabs at the Battle of Talas River in 751.

The Tang Dynasty was preceded by the Sui Dynasty (581-618). After the fall of the Tang, China descended into the chaotic Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period (907-960).

Pronunciation: "tohng DY-nus-tee"
Also Known As: Tang Chao
Examples:

"The first and only Chinese empress to rule in her own name was the Empress Wu Zetian, whose Second Zhou Dynasty interrupted the Tang in 690."

Glossary Entries: A-E|F-J|K-O|P-S|T-Z

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