Home Region:  North China (East Asia)

Tang Dynasty I

D G SC WF HS CC PT EQ 2020  cn_tang_dyn_1 / CnTangE

Preceding:
581 CE 618 CE Sui Dynasty (cn_sui_dyn)    [continuity]
Add one more here.

Succeeding:
No Polity found. Add one here.

The Tang Dynasty is widely considered a cultural and political high point of imperial China. The dynasty was founded by Li Yuan, the Duke of Tang, when the threat of insurrection forced the previous Sui dynasty court to flee from Luoyang, the capital, to Yangzhou. Li Yuan marched to Luoyang and seized the abandoned capital in 618 CE. [1] He became the first emperor of the Tang dynasty (r. 618-626 CE) and is posthumously known as Gaozu. Under the Early Tang Dynasty, the capital was moved from Chang’an to Luoyang. [2] We divide the Dynasty into an Early period (618-763 CE) and Late period (763-907 CE), separated by the decline in imperial authority and instability of experienced by the Tang in the 750s, culminating in the An Lushan rebellion to close out the Early period (755‒763 CE).
Under Early Tang leadership, China’s territory expanded considerably. Conquered territories included large areas of Central Asia and northern Korea (Koguryō). [3] In later years, however, China pursued a defensive, non-expansionist policy towards groups on the steppe and frontier. [4]
The dynasty, also known as the Tang (T’ang) Empire or Li Dynasty, is famous for its poetry, literature, increased trade and general cosmopolitanism. [5] In 660 CE, Empress Wu became the first woman to rule China, first governing as a regent to her young son and later ruling as empress dowager and regent until her death in 705 CE. [6] Emperor Xuanzong’s 44-year reign (712‒756 CE) ushered in a cultural and economic golden age, which declined as he aged and ended in rebellion and an overthrow of the dynasty. [7]
Population and political organization
Emperor Gaozu worked to restore control of the imperial government that had been established by the Sui Dynasty, and founded frontier garrisons controlled directly by the capital. [8] The Tang instituted the much discussed ’equal fields’ system, in which land owned by the state was parcelled out in equal allotments to citizens in return for taxation. The Tang also minted many new coins in an attempt to stabilize the economy. [8]
The Early Tang imperial government was characterized by an emperor who theoretically had absolute power, but was often in practice overruled by ministers or regents. [9] The central government was headed by three chief ministers who ran the Imperial Chancellery, Imperial Secretariat, and the Department for State Affairs. [9] The government also included a large central and state bureaucracy, marked by the expanding use of merit examinations. [10]
The population of the Early Tang Dynasty is estimated at 37 million in 700 CE and increased to almost 53 million by 754 CE. [11] In the 8th century, there were an estimated 1 million people living in Chang’an. [12]

[1]: (Benn 2002, 1) Charles Benn. 2002. China’s Golden Age: Everyday Life in the Tang Dynasty. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[2]: (Lewis 2009, 37) Mark Edward Lewis. 2009. China’s Cosmopolitan Empire: The Tang Dynasty. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

[3]: (Benn 2002, 2) Charles Benn. 2002. China’s Golden Age: Everyday Life in the Tang Dynasty. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[4]: (Benn 2002, 8) Charles Benn. 2002. China’s Golden Age: Everyday Life in the Tang Dynasty. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[5]: (Lewis 2009, 1) Mark Edward Lewis. 2009. China’s Cosmopolitan Empire: The Tang Dynasty. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

[6]: (Lewis 2009, 4-7) Mark Edward Lewis. 2009. China’s Cosmopolitan Empire: The Tang Dynasty. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

[7]: (Benn 2002, 8-10) Charles Benn. 2002. China’s Golden Age: Everyday Life in the Tang Dynasty. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[8]: (Benn 2002, 3) Charles Benn. 2002. China’s Golden Age: Everyday Life in the Tang Dynasty. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[9]: (Rodzinski 1979, 118) Witold Rodzinski. 1979. A History of China, Volume 1. Oxford: Pergamon Press.

[10]: (Roberts 1996, 94) J. A. G. Roberts. 1996. A History of China, Volume 1: Prehistory to c. 1800. Phoenix Mill: Alan Sutton Publishing.

[11]: (Rodzinski 1979, 129) Witold Rodzinski. 1979. A History of China, Volume 1. Oxford: Pergamon Press.

[12]: (Roberts 1996, 106) J. A. G. Roberts. 1996. A History of China, Volume 1: Prehistory to c. 1800. Phoenix Mill: Alan Sutton Publishing.

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
50 S  
Original Name:
Tang Dynasty I  
Capital:
Chang'an  
Alternative Name:
Li Dynasty  
T'ang Empire  
Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
740 CE  
Duration:
[617 CE ➜ 763 CE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
none  
Supracultural Entity:
China  
Succeeding Entity:
Later Tang Dynasty  
Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
[5,000,000 to 6,000,000] km2  
Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity  
Preceding Entity:
Preceding:   Sui Dynasty (cn_sui_dyn)    [continuity]  
Degree of Centralization:
unitary state  
Language
Linguistic Family:
Sino-Tibetan  
Language:
Chinese  
Religion
Religion Genus:
Chinese State Religion  
Religion Family:
Imperial Confucian Traditions  
Alternate Religion Genus:
Buddhism  
Alternate Religion Family:
Chinese Buddhist Traditions  
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
1,000,000 people 700 CE 763 CE
Polity Territory:
6,225,000 km2 620 CE
6,350,000 km2 630 CE
6,475,000 km2 640 CE
3,600,000 km2 650 CE
4,900,000 km2 660 CE
3,900,000 km2 670 CE
4,400,000 km2 680 CE
4,900,000 km2 690 CE
5,067,000 km2 700 CE
5,233,000 km2 710 CE
5,400,000 km2 720 CE
5,133,000 km2 730 CE
4,867,000 km2 740 CE
4,600,000 km2 750 CE
4,100,000 km2 760 CE
Polity Population:
37,000,000 people 700 CE
37,000,000 people 705 CE
41,400,000 people 726 CE
48,000,000 people 740 CE
52,800,000 people 754 CE
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
6  
Religious Level:
3  
Military Level:
8  
Administrative Level:
7  
Professions
Professional Soldier:
absent 617 CE 737 CE
present 737 CE 763 CE
Professional Priesthood:
present  
Professional Military Officer:
present  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
present  
Merit Promotion:
present  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
present  
Examination System:
present  
Law
Professional Lawyer:
inferred present  
Judge:
present  
Formal Legal Code:
present  
Court:
present  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
inferred present  
Irrigation System:
inferred present  
Food Storage Site:
inferred present  
Drinking Water Supply System:
inferred present  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
present  
Port:
present  
Canal:
present  
Bridge:
inferred present  
Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
present  
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present  
Script:
present  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
absent  
Nonwritten Record:
present  
Non Phonetic Writing:
present  
Mnemonic Device:
present  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
inferred present  
Sacred Text:
present  
Religious Literature:
present  
Practical Literature:
present  
Philosophy:
inferred present  
Lists Tables and Classification:
inferred present  
History:
present  
Fiction:
present  
Calendar:
present  
Information / Money
Precious Metal:
present  
Paper Currency:
inferred absent  
Indigenous Coin:
present  
Article:
present  
Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
inferred present  
General Postal Service:
present  
Courier:
present  
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Wooden Palisade:
present  
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
present  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
unknown  
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present  
  Modern Fortification:
absent  
  Moat:
inferred present  
  Fortified Camp:
present  
  Earth Rampart:
present  
  Ditch:
present  
  Complex Fortification:
present  
  Long Wall:
48 km  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
present  
  Iron:
present  
  Copper:
present  
  Bronze:
present  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
present  
  Sling Siege Engine:
present  
absent  
  Sling:
inferred absent  
  Self Bow:
inferred absent  
  Javelin:
inferred present  
  Handheld Firearm:
absent  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent  
  Crossbow:
present  
  Composite Bow:
present  
  Atlatl:
absent  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
inferred present  
  Sword:
present  
  Spear:
present  
  Polearm:
present  
  Dagger:
inferred present  
  Battle Axe:
inferred present  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
present  
  Donkey:
present  
  Dog:
absent  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
present  
  Shield:
present  
  Scaled Armor:
present  
  Plate Armor:
inferred present  
  Limb Protection:
inferred present  
  Leather Cloth:
present  
  Laminar Armor:
present  
  Helmet:
present  
  Chainmail:
inferred absent  
  Breastplate:
inferred present  
Naval technology
  Specialized Military Vessel:
present  
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present  
  Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
inferred present  
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Tang Dynasty I (cn_tang_dyn_1) was in:
 (618 CE 762 CE)   Middle Yellow River Valley
Home NGA: Middle Yellow River Valley

General Variables
Identity and Location

Original Name:
Tang Dynasty I


Alternative Name:
Li Dynasty

"Li family" [1] T’ang Empire. [2]

[1]: (Rodzinski 1979, 122)

[2]: (Rodzinski 1979, 125)

Alternative Name:
T'ang Empire

"Li family" [1] T’ang Empire. [2]

[1]: (Rodzinski 1979, 122)

[2]: (Rodzinski 1979, 125)


Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
740 CE

Xuanzong (712-756 CE): "longest reigning of all the T’ang monarchs ... restored his dynasty to a new peak of power after decades of usurpation, weakened authority and corruption. Through the Chinese living through the troubled and disturbed decades which followed his abdication, his reign represented a golden age of departed glories, an era of good government, peace and prosperity, equally successful at home and abroad." [1]
Reign of Li Shimin (Taizong) 627-649 CE was "the zenith of the T’ang dynasty... More than a century of internal peace followed Tai-tsung’s reign..." [2] However the zenith of the T’ang dynasty might not mean the same thing as the zenith of the T’ang dynasty’s polity.
During reign of Xuanzong (712-756 CE) "the Empire seemed - at least outwardly - to be more prosperous and stable than ever before. The increase in population was steady ... The wealth of the country was obvious ... and ’one could undertake a voyage within the empire for a distance of 10,000 li without being armed’. Thus, it seemed that the T’ang had reached a new pinnacle of glory. This is especially true if the period were to be regarded from the point of view of the arts, for it was precisely in this era that the greatest flourishing of T’ang culture took place." [3]
Xuanzong (712-756 CE): "it was not he who ruled during the latter period from about 740 but his Chancellor Li Lin fu (in office 736-752), who established himself an unchallenged master of the Empire." [3]

[1]: (Twitchett 1979, 333)

[2]: (Rodzinski 1979, 118)

[3]: (Rodzinski 1979, 129)


Duration:
[617 CE ➜ 763 CE]

"In 617, when it was obvious that the Sui were finished, Li Yuan marched on Ch’ang-an with an army of 200,000 which included many Turkish auxiliaries. In the subsequent year Li Yuan proclaimed himself Emperor of the T’ang (Kao-tsu 618-626)." [1]
"The policies established at the outset of the T’ang era were followed, in general, during the long reign of T’ai-tsung’s successor, Kao-tsung (650-683)." [2]
"In 712 Jui-tsung resigned in favour of his son who was to become the famous Emperor Hsuan-tsung (712-756). His long and eventful reign marks, in fact, a turning-point in the development of China and in the fate of the T’ang dynasty..." [3]
"In a long and costly campaign the T’ang succeeded in crushing the rebellion by 763. An Lu-shan himself had been killed earlier, in 757, by his own son. The son was, in turn, slain by Shih Ssu-ming who was then commander of all the rebel armies. Shih Ssu-ming, whose military ability was undoubted, suffered an identical fate and was subsequently murdered by his own son. Although ultimately defeated, the An Lu-shan rebellion revealed fully all the inherent weaknesses of the T’ang government. In effect, it broke its power, and while the dynasty lasted almost another century and a half it never recovered fully, in spite of the attempts made by some of the subsequent T’ang rulers, as for example Emperor Hsien-tsung (806-820), to restore a strong, centralized monarchy." [4]

[1]: (Rodzinski 1979, 116)

[2]: (Rodzinski 1979, 125)

[3]: (Rodzinski 1979, 126)

[4]: (Rodzinski 1979, 130)


Political and Cultural Relations


Succeeding Entity:
Later Tang Dynasty

Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
[5,000,000 to 6,000,000] km2

km squared.


Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity

Preceding Entity:
Sui Dynasty [cn_sui_dyn] ---> Tang Dynasty I [cn_tang_dyn_1]

Degree of Centralization:
unitary state

"In evolving the forms of a new centralized government the T’ang based themselves on their predecessors, partially on the Sui but, in reality they reached back to the Han period. Their policy, however, differed in one very important respect from that of the Han: the establishment of semi-independent princedoms was not permitted and the entire country was ruled as one state and empire." [1]

[1]: (Rodzinski 1979, 118)


Religion
Religion Genus:
Chinese State Religion

Religion Family:
Imperial Confucian Traditions

Alternate Religion Genus:
Buddhism

Alternate Religion Family:
Chinese Buddhist Traditions


Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
1,000,000 people
700 CE 763 CE

Inhabitants.
Chang’an in the 8th century "had a population of about one million, with perhaps another million living in its metropolitan area." [1]

[1]: (Roberts 1996, 106)


Polity Territory:
6,225,000 km2
620 CE

in squared kilometers. Contains some interpolated data. [1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)

Polity Territory:
6,350,000 km2
630 CE

in squared kilometers. Contains some interpolated data. [1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)

Polity Territory:
6,475,000 km2
640 CE

in squared kilometers. Contains some interpolated data. [1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)

Polity Territory:
3,600,000 km2
650 CE

in squared kilometers. Contains some interpolated data. [1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)

Polity Territory:
4,900,000 km2
660 CE

in squared kilometers. Contains some interpolated data. [1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)

Polity Territory:
3,900,000 km2
670 CE

in squared kilometers. Contains some interpolated data. [1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)

Polity Territory:
4,400,000 km2
680 CE

in squared kilometers. Contains some interpolated data. [1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)

Polity Territory:
4,900,000 km2
690 CE

in squared kilometers. Contains some interpolated data. [1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)

Polity Territory:
5,067,000 km2
700 CE

in squared kilometers. Contains some interpolated data. [1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)

Polity Territory:
5,233,000 km2
710 CE

in squared kilometers. Contains some interpolated data. [1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)

Polity Territory:
5,400,000 km2
720 CE

in squared kilometers. Contains some interpolated data. [1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)

Polity Territory:
5,133,000 km2
730 CE

in squared kilometers. Contains some interpolated data. [1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)

Polity Territory:
4,867,000 km2
740 CE

in squared kilometers. Contains some interpolated data. [1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)

Polity Territory:
4,600,000 km2
750 CE

in squared kilometers. Contains some interpolated data. [1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)

Polity Territory:
4,100,000 km2
760 CE

in squared kilometers. Contains some interpolated data. [1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)


Polity Population:
37,000,000 people
700 CE

People.
37,000,000: 705 CE; 41,400,000: 726 CE; 48,000,000: 740 CE; 52,800,000: 754 CE. "of this, 75 per cent was still north of the Yangtse." [1]
AD: 37,000,000 inferred at 700 CE from the data available.

[1]: (Rodzinski 1979, 129)

Polity Population:
37,000,000 people
705 CE

People.
37,000,000: 705 CE; 41,400,000: 726 CE; 48,000,000: 740 CE; 52,800,000: 754 CE. "of this, 75 per cent was still north of the Yangtse." [1]
AD: 37,000,000 inferred at 700 CE from the data available.

[1]: (Rodzinski 1979, 129)

Polity Population:
41,400,000 people
726 CE

People.
37,000,000: 705 CE; 41,400,000: 726 CE; 48,000,000: 740 CE; 52,800,000: 754 CE. "of this, 75 per cent was still north of the Yangtse." [1]
AD: 37,000,000 inferred at 700 CE from the data available.

[1]: (Rodzinski 1979, 129)

Polity Population:
48,000,000 people
740 CE

People.
37,000,000: 705 CE; 41,400,000: 726 CE; 48,000,000: 740 CE; 52,800,000: 754 CE. "of this, 75 per cent was still north of the Yangtse." [1]
AD: 37,000,000 inferred at 700 CE from the data available.

[1]: (Rodzinski 1979, 129)

Polity Population:
52,800,000 people
754 CE

People.
37,000,000: 705 CE; 41,400,000: 726 CE; 48,000,000: 740 CE; 52,800,000: 754 CE. "of this, 75 per cent was still north of the Yangtse." [1]
AD: 37,000,000 inferred at 700 CE from the data available.

[1]: (Rodzinski 1979, 129)


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
6

levels.
1. Capital: Chang’an 8th century - 1,000,000. [1]
2. Secondary Capitals3. Large Cities: eg. Guangzhou 8th century - 200,000. [1] 4. Smaller towns (inferred)5. Villages (inferred)6. Hamlet (inferred)

[1]: (Roberts 1996, 106)


Religious Level:
3

levels.
1. Emperor
2. Ritual Specialists (inferred)3. Monk/Priest/Nun
Emperor Taizong: "637 ... he ordered that henceforth at all ceremonies Daoist monks and nuns would take precedence over their Buddhist counterparts." [1]
"At about the same time he approved the Daoseng ge, the Regulations Regarding the Daoist and Buddhist Clergies, which provided harsh punishments for clergy committing various offences. His objective was to reduce the participation of Buddist clergy in secular life and to confine monks and nuns to their monasteries where they would be occupied with religious observances. By so doing he sought to establish control over the Buddhist church." [1]
Empress Wu: "... Buddhism reached the apogee of its economic and political might during her reign. The Buddhist monasteries were the repositories for much capital, the owners of vast quantities of metal (primarily copper, mostly in the form of statues) and were thus able to control the money market. They were probably also the greatest single group of landowners in the entire country. On the whole, the Buddhists were able to maintain this dominant position for the next century and a half." [2]
"Taoism the personal religious creed of all the later T’ang emperors." [3]

[1]: (Roberts 1996, 91)

[2]: (Rodzinski 1979, 126)

[3]: (Rodzinski 1979, 119)


Military Level:
8

levels.
1. Emperor

2. Ministry of Army
3. Highest ranks
4. Unit level rank (800-1,200 men)
5. t’uan (200 men)
6. tui (50 men)
7. huo (10 men)
8. Individual soldier
Mercenary regular army replaced militia system in 722 CE. [1]
Military governors established by Hsuan-tsung (712-756 CE) in frontier areas. [2]
Maintained about 600 militia units of between 800-1,200 men. "While the Sui had subordinated these units to the local civil administration, the T’ang controlled them centrally, via a bureaucracy answerable to the ping-pu or Ministry of the Army. Units contained both cavalry and infantry, and were subdivided into t’uan of 200 men, tui of 50, and huo of 10." [3]
"Many of the peasants in areas of strategic importance were also obliged to serve in militia units for a specified period of time - usually one month in five. There were approximately 630 militia units, each of them theoretically composed of 1000 men. This system prevailed until almost the middle of the 8th century when it disintegrated, for a number of reasons, and was replaced by a standing army." [4]

[1]: (Rodzinski 1979, 127)

[2]: (Rodzinski 1979, 129)

[3]: (Peers 2002, 12)

[4]: (Rodzinski 1979, 121)


Administrative Level:
7

levels.
1. Emperor
"whose power was, in theory, absolute." [1]
_Central government_
2. Hall of Administrative Affairs / Chief Ministers’ office (from 723 CE)Three chief ministers also called "Hall of Administrative Affairs (Cheng-shih t’ang)" an informal advisory group. [2]
from 723 CE became an official government organ "with a separate budget and seal" Chief Ministers’ office (Chung-shu Men-hsia) [2]
2. Imperial Chancellery run by a Chief Minister"it received reports, ratified nominations, controlled all the actions of the government" [1]
Hsuan-tsung (712-756 CE): "it was not he who ruled during the latter period from about 740 but his Chancellor Li Lin fu (in office 736-752), who established himself an unchallenged master of the Empire." [3]
heads of the three central ministries were "chief ministers" [4]
Chief Minister (tsai-hsiang), Chancellery (Men-hsia sheng) [2]
2. Imperial Secretariat run by a Chief Minister"prepared and issued all the proclamations, edicts, etc." [1]
Chief Minister (tsai-hsiang), Secretariat (Chung-shu sheng). [2]
3? Board of Censors"remained permanent from the T’ang on ... which had the duty of controlling and reporting on the actions of the officials." [1]
2. Department for State Affairs run by a Chief Minister"supervised the six main executive ministries" [1]
Chief Minister (tsai-hsiang), Department of State Affairs (Shang-shu sheng) [2]
3. Ministry of Officials (1) / Finances (2) / Rites (3) / Army (4) / Justice (5) / Public Works (6)
4. Sub-official within ministry e.g. under the Minister of Public Works inferred
5. Lower-level official within specialization (roads or ditches etc.) inferred6. On site manager of e.g. the road works inferred7. On site laborer inferred
3? Nine Offices and Five Bureauscontrolled "special administrative fields and the affairs of the Imperial Court"
 ?. Coin mint (Supervisor)government directly controlled minting of coins [5]
 ?. Coin mint workergovernment directly controlled minting of coins [5]
2. Delegate of Court Assembly"Each prefecture (chou) sent a representative to a special assembly held in the presence of the emperor. While in the capital they were lodged in special quarters in the south-east part of the city. The assemblies were held on the fifteenth of the second, seventh and tenth moons. We know more about the function of the system under the T’ang, which held such assembles annually. The T’ang delegates were generally prefects or other ranking officials who were expected to bring to the capital their candidates for the official examinations plus tribute gifts for the emperor. An examination into the performance of the local officials in each local unit was held, and this was followed by an audience." [6]
_Provincial government_
2. Civil inspecting commissioner (from 733 CE) (previously Circuits)"The T’ang reconstructed the administration of the country by creating ten large circuits (later raised to fifteen)..." [1]
ts’ai fang ch’u-chih shih "were appointed in each of the fifteen new provinces (tao) into which the empire was divided." [7]
"in the years down to the rebellion the provincial inspectors tended to exercise more and more active authority over the prefectures and counties under their jurisdiction." [7]
"a permanent level of authority intermediate between central government and individual prefectures." However, they were purely advisory and inspection and had no executive powers or civil jurisdiction. "They should not, therefore, be thought of as constituting an additional provincial level of administration." [8]
2. Prefectures (chou)"the country was further divided into prefectures, chou (over 350) [1]
"the emperor made the selection of prefects his personal responsibility." [9]
3. Head of provincial treasury
Merchants could redeem feiqian documents at provincial treasuries. [10] 4. Sub-manager in provincial treasury inferred5. Level in provincial treasury inferred6. Level in provincial treasury inferred
3. Counties (hsien)"and these in turn into around 1500 countries (hsien) [1]
"The really basic form of government, the only level with which the great majority of the population had any contact, was the county under the rule of a magistrate. This was also the lowest level at which the central bureaucracy functioned." [11]
4. Districts (hsiang)"while at the bottom were the districts (hsiang), around 16,000 in number. [1]
5. EldersIn Guangzhou "The foreigners lived in a prescribed quarter of the city, were ruled over by specially designated elders, and enjoyed some extraterritorial privileges." [12]
2. Military governors (from early 8th century)"the new standing armies required a new command structure which provided for the relatively independent operation of these armies over broad, designated frontier zones." [13]
chieh-tu shih commanded a fan- or fang-chen. the position replaced the temporarily appointed commander, the protector-general and the governor-general. [13]
"In addition to his military responsibilities the new military governor also held broad civil power over local administration, finance and supply." [13]
"By 763 the provinces controlled by military (chieh-tu shih) and civil (kuan-ch’a shih) governors had formed a permanent tier of authority throughout the empire, interposed between central government and the old prefectures and counties. These provinces developed forms of autonomy and semi-autonomy..." [14]

[1]: (Rodzinski 1979, 118)

[2]: (Dalby 1979, 590)

[3]: (Rodzinski 1979, 129)

[4]: (Roberts 1996, 95)

[5]: (Roberts 1996, 94)

[6]: (Wright 1979, 91-92)

[7]: (Peterson 1979, 468)

[8]: (Twitchett 1979, 404)

[9]: (Roberts 1996, 89)

[10]: (Cheng 2003, 10) Cheng, Linsun. Banking in Modern China: Entrepreneurs, Professional Managers, and the Development of Chinese Banks, 1897-1937. Cambridge University Press.

[11]: (Rodzinski 1979, 118-119)

[12]: (Roberts 1996, 106)

[13]: (Peterson 1979, 466)

[14]: (Peterson 1979, 485)


Professions
Professional Soldier:
absent
617 CE 737 CE

Officers were permanently employed, but the rank-and-file had to report to duty and training at the capital on a rotation system, depending upon how far away they lived. ... the men supported themselves for most of the year by farming..." [1]
"From 737 it was decided to replace the militia entirely with paid chien-erh regulars; they were recruited by calling for volunteers from the population in general." [2]

[1]: (Peers 2002, 12)

[2]: (Peers 2002, 14)

Professional Soldier:
present
737 CE 763 CE

Officers were permanently employed, but the rank-and-file had to report to duty and training at the capital on a rotation system, depending upon how far away they lived. ... the men supported themselves for most of the year by farming..." [1]
"From 737 it was decided to replace the militia entirely with paid chien-erh regulars; they were recruited by calling for volunteers from the population in general." [2]

[1]: (Peers 2002, 12)

[2]: (Peers 2002, 14)


Professional Priesthood:
present

e.g. Buddhist, Manichean, Nestorian. "... begun during the Tang dynasty... The rise of religious professionals and soldiers as clearly separate groups was contrary to the previous normative view of society divided into knights (shi, the term that would later be applied to the literati or gentry), farmers, artisans and merchants." [1] -- need to check in which period of the Tang the "rise of religious professionals" occurred.
Professional priesthood was present in the pre-Tang era as well as the Tang era. [2]

[1]: (Lorge 2005, 7)

[2]: (Mostern, Ruth. Personal Correspondance. September 2016)


Professional Military Officer:
present

Officers were permanently employed, but the rank-and-file had to report to duty and training at the capital on a rotation system, depending upon how far away they lived." [1] Professional military officers. [2]

[1]: (Peers 2002, 12)

[2]: (Peterson 1979, 467)


Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
present

Coin mints, [1] the offices of the departments of state.

[1]: (Roberts 1996, 94)


Merit Promotion:
present

"It is a fact that from the T’ang period on an ever-increasing proportion of officials was recruited from successful candidates at the examinations, that most of the political leaders for the next thirteen centuries did pass the examinations and were thus chosen on grounds of intellectual talent. It is also true that this system was less aristocratic than the recommendation on the basis of family standing which was used during the Period of Division." [1]

[1]: (Rodzinski 1979, 119)


Full Time Bureaucrat:
present

"The T’ang bureaucracy was not only enlarged but it also ceased ultimately to be the monopoly of the great families. Due to the steady development of the examination system and the expansion of education which was connected with this, the entry into officialdom was widened so as to include the majority of the landowning class." [1]

[1]: (Rodzinski 1979, 118)


Examination System:
present

"The examination system was initiated in a partial form during the Han but had been in abeyance during practically all of the Period of Division. Under the Sui and T’ang it was taken up again and developed still further, reaching its full scope by the 8th century and becoming an important, although not the major, form for the recruiting of officials to the government bureaucracy. It should be noted, however, that the descendants of high officials had the right of entry into the register of officials without taking examinations." [1]
The examination system became more widespread during the Tang dynasty [2] Although, it was still somewhat limited in its use due to the aristocratic society of this period. [3]

[1]: (Rodzinski 1979, 119)

[2]: (Bol, Peter. North China Workshop 2016)

[3]: (Mostern, Ruth. Personal Communication to Jill Levine, Dan Hoyer, and Peter Turchin. April 2020. Email)


Law
Professional Lawyer:
present

Highly literate society that had a Supreme Court of Justice and codified law code.


Supreme Court of Justice "reviewed the evidence relating to serious crimes and made recommendations to the emperor on the appropriate sentences." [1]

[1]: (Roberts 1996, 89)


Formal Legal Code:
present

"Whilst based on those of the preceding dynasties, the T’ang legal code was simplified in comparison with these and was supposedly less serve in its penal provisions, particularly when contrasted with some of the draconian measures which had been introduced by the Sui." [1]
Emperor Gaozu "set up a legal commission which, building on the Sui achievement, codified the law and administrative statutes in the form which was not only to remain in force until the fourteenth century, but which became the basis of the first legal codes in Vietnam, Korea and Japan." [2] Legal code compiled first in 624 CE. [3]
"Starting with the Northern Qi dynasty (550-77) the most serious unpardonable "Ten Evil Crimes" (shi eh) were formally entered in the law Beiqi Lu (Sui shu: ch. 25). These were also codified in the laws of the Sui and Tang dynasties, followed by all succeeding dynasties, and continued to be in effect until the twentieth century." [4]

[1]: (Rodzinski 1979, 120)

[2]: (Roberts 1996, 87)

[3]: (Roberts 1996, 89)

[4]: (Fu 1993, 115) Fu, Zhengyuan. 1993. Autocratic Tradition and Chinese Politics. Cambridge University Press.


Supreme Court of Justice "reviewed the evidence relating to serious crimes and made recommendations to the emperor on the appropriate sentences." [1]

[1]: (Roberts 1996, 89)


Specialized Buildings: polity owned

Irrigation System:
present

"Besides the more well-known extensive irrigation works and man-made transport canals linking up the major rivers, the provision of water supplies to its cities formed the third important element of China’s ancient water civilization." [1]

[1]: (Du and Koenig 2012, 169) Du, P and Koenig, A. in Angelakis, Andreas Niklaos. Mays, Larry W. Koutsoyiannis, Demetris. 2012. Evolution of Water Supply Through the Millennia. IWA Publishing.


Food Storage Site:
present

Granaries existed under Sui.


Drinking Water Supply System:
present

"Besides the more well-known extensive irrigation works and man-made transport canals linking up the major rivers, the provision of water supplies to its cities formed the third important element of China’s ancient water civilization." [1] "Different from the Han Dynasty, the urban water supply of Chang’an City in the Sui-Tang Dynasties relied on mainly on canals and wells (Figure 8.4)." [2] The drinking water came from wells. [3]

[1]: (Du and Koenig 2012, 169) Du, P and Koenig, A. in Angelakis, Andreas Niklaos. Mays, Larry W. Koutsoyiannis, Demetris. 2012. Evolution of Water Supply Through the Millennia. IWA Publishing.

[2]: (Du and Koenig 2012, 173) Du, P and Koenig, A. in Angelakis, Andreas Niklaos. Mays, Larry W. Koutsoyiannis, Demetris. 2012. Evolution of Water Supply Through the Millennia. IWA Publishing.

[3]: (Du and Koenig 2012, 175) Du, P and Koenig, A. in Angelakis, Andreas Niklaos. Mays, Larry W. Koutsoyiannis, Demetris. 2012. Evolution of Water Supply Through the Millennia. IWA Publishing.


Transport Infrastructure

"Around 750 CE, the ancient Chinese road system peaked at 40,000 kilometers". [1]

[1]: ( ? 2003, 391) ? in Mokyr, Joel ed. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History, Volume 2. Oxford University Press


"There were numerous colonies of foreign merchants not only in the capital itself but also in Yangchow, in Canton and in other ports on the south coast." [1] "Most of China’s maritime trade passed through Guangzhou" [2]

[1]: (Rodzinski 1979, 122)

[2]: (Roberts 1996, 106)


Built under Sui and maintained throughout Tang period.



Special-purpose Sites

Information / Writing System


Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
absent

Chinese



Non Phonetic Writing:
present

Chinese


Mnemonic Device:
present

The earliest known written documentation of the Chinese abacus dates to the 2nd century BC [1]

[1]: Ifrah, Georges (2001). The Universal History of Computing: From the Abacus to the Quantum Computer. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ISBN 978-0471396710.


Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
present

Development of printing. "While the printing of books on a large scale dates only from the 10th century, the process must have originated much earlier, somewhere at the end of the 6th or the beginning of the 7th century." [1]

[1]: (Rodzinski 1979, 137)


Sacred Text:
present

Buddhist texts of the Hua-yen got new translations. [1]

[1]: (Guisso 1979, 301)


Religious Literature:
present

Buddhist literature, such as the translations of Chinese pilgrim Hsuan-tsang. Returned to China 645 CE from India with 675 books. "he is credited with rendering, with his associates, over 1300 works into Chinese." [1]

[1]: (Rodzinski 1979, 137)


Practical Literature:
present

Travel-writing of Hsuan-tsang "Records of Travels in the Western Countries" (Hsi-yu Chi), "which is noted for its accuracy." [1]

[1]: (Rodzinski 1979, 137)



Lists Tables and Classification:
present

e.g. Bureaucratic use.


History:
present

"...establishment of the History Office which was first set up for the purpose of writing the history of the five preceding dynasties and for the preparation and collection of materials for the elaboration of T’ang history as well." [1]

[1]: (Rodzinski 1979, 138)


Fiction:
present

"the 1707 edition of complete T’ang poetry includes 48,900 poems by 2,200 writers" [1] Li Po (701-762 CE) or Li T’ai-po "is often considered the most versatile of all the Chinese poets." [1] Tu Fu (12-770 CE). "Tu Fu had a deep understanding and awareness of the human suffering that surrounded him." [2] Wang Wei (701-761 CE) "who has been called by Waley the most classical of Chinese poets. ... equally famous as a painter, calligrapher and musician." [2] "The T’ang period also saw the appearance of a new form of literary creation - the short story. This originated already in the 6th century but the best examples date from the the middle of the 8th century and provide a vivid picture of T’ang society." [3]

[1]: (Rodzinski 1979, 135)

[2]: (Rodzinski 1979, 136)

[3]: (Rodzinski 1979, 137)


Calendar:
present

e.g. Bureaucratic use.


Information / Money
Precious Metal:
present

Gold and silver objects [1]

[1]: (Bol, Peter. North China Workshop 2016)


Paper Currency:
absent

No true paper money, however merchants could carry "feiqian (literally, "flying money"), a government-issued document that was redeemable on presentation at any of the provincial treasuries." [1]

[1]: (Cheng 2003, 10) Cheng, Linsun. Banking in Modern China: Entrepreneurs, Professional Managers, and the Development of Chinese Banks, 1897-1937. Cambridge University Press.


Indigenous Coin:
present

Emperor Gaozu "introduced a new coinage, which was to become the standard currency through the Tang period." [1]

[1]: (Roberts 1996, 87)


Article:
present

Taxes paid in grain, silk etc. "As textiles were widely used in tax payments and public expenditure, they gained a status as the principle medium of exchange in the empire. [1]

[1]: (Liu 2015, 53)


Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
present

"domestic trade which was stimulated also by improved communications, including a new postal system on the main trunk roads which emanated from the capital." [1]

[1]: (Rodzinski 1979, 122)


General Postal Service:
present

"domestic trade which was stimulated also by improved communications, including a new postal system on the main trunk roads which emanated from the capital." [1]

[1]: (Rodzinski 1979, 122)


Courier:
present

"domestic trade which was stimulated also by improved communications, including a new postal system on the main trunk roads which emanated from the capital." [1]

[1]: (Rodzinski 1979, 122)


Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
Wooden Palisade:
present

Used in a battle by Tang troops in 756 against rebels led by An Lu-shan [1]

[1]: (Peers 2013, 127)


Stone Walls Non Mortared:
present

"Engineers and laborers built walls by ramming thin layers of loose earth in wood frames to form the core of the ramparts. They then face them with brick and stone to prevent erosion by rain and constructed battlements on top to provide for their defense." [1]

[1]: (Benn 2002, 45) Benn, Charles. 2002. China’s Golden Age: Everyday Life in the Tang Dynasty. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Stone Walls Mortared:
unknown

"Engineers and laborers built walls by ramming thin layers of loose earth in wood frames to form the core of the ramparts. They then face them with brick and stone to prevent erosion by rain and constructed battlements on top to provide for their defense." [1]

[1]: (Benn 2002, 45) Benn, Charles. 2002. China’s Golden Age: Everyday Life in the Tang Dynasty. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present

Military colonies on the frontier.



In use in previous polities


Fortified Camp:
present

T’ang armies on campaign protected themselves whenever possible with elaborate fortified camps. [1]

[1]: (Benn 2002, 45) Benn, Charles. 2002. China’s Golden Age: Everyday Life in the Tang Dynasty. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Earth Rampart:
present

"Engineers and laborers built walls by ramming thin layers of loose earth in wood frames to form the core of the ramparts. They then face them with brick and stone to prevent erosion by rain and constructed battlements on top to provide for their defense." [1]

[1]: (Benn 2002, 45) Benn, Charles. 2002. China’s Golden Age: Everyday Life in the Tang Dynasty. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Up until the Tang and Song Dynasties wide ramparts and ditches were a typical part of the defense system for a fortified town or city. [1]

[1]: (Turnball 2002) Turnball, S. 2002. Siege Weapons of the Far East (1): AD 612-1300. Osprey Publishing.


Complex Fortification:
present

Up until the Tang and Song Dynasties wide ramparts and ditches were a typical part of the defense system for a fortified town or city. [1]

[1]: (Turnball 2002) Turnball, S. 2002. Siege Weapons of the Far East (1): AD 612-1300. Osprey Publishing.



Military use of Metals

Wootz steel was "being exported from India to China at least as early as the +5th century. … good steel was manufactured in China by remarkably modern methods at least from that time onwards also." [1] First high-quality steel 450 CE.

[1]: (Needham 1962, 282) Joseph Needham. 1962. Science and Civilization in China. Volume IV. Physics and Physical Technology. Part 1: Physics. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.


Iron-tipped arrows [1] [2]

[1]: (North China Conference 2016)

[2]: (Peers 2002, 16)


There were thirteen types of armored suits designated as official army wear, made with a range of materials from copper and wood, to leather and cloth." [1] [2]

[1]: (Hua 2010, 70) Hua, Mei. 2010. Chinese Clothing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[2]: (Xie, Liye. North China Workshop 2016)


[1]

[1]: (Xie, Liye. North China Workshop 2016)


Projectiles
Tension Siege Engine:
present

"As in earlier periods, sophisticated siege equipment was available, including artillery, towers and rams." [1] Traction trebuchets. "A Tang dynasty description from 759 is very similar to that from Mo Zi, but includes references to ‘whirlwind trebuchets’ and ‘four-footed trebuchets’, two variations that are illustrated in the Wu Jing Zong Yao of 1044. The frame of the whirlwind trebuchet was a single vertical pole that could be rotated horizontally through 360 degrees, thus allowing a wide arc of fire for comparatively lightweight missiles. Another picture in the same source shows a whirlwind trebuchet mounted on a four-wheeled carriage, which would make it even more flexible." [2]

[1]: (Peers 2002, 17)

[2]: (Turnball 2002) Turnball, S. 2002. Siege Weapons of the Far East (1): AD 612-1300. Osprey Publishing.


Sling Siege Engine:
present

"As in earlier periods, sophisticated siege equipment was available, including artillery, towers and rams." [1] "Of the date of the introduction of the counterweight trebuchet to China there can be no doubt. It occurred in 1272, during one of the greatest sieges of Chinese history, at Xiangyang, where the Mongols besieged the Southern Song for five years." [2]

[1]: (Peers 2002, 17)

[2]: (Turnbull 2012, 33) Stephen Turnbull. 2012. Siege Weapons of the Far East (1): AD 612-1300. Osprey Publishing.

Sling Siege Engine:
absent

"As in earlier periods, sophisticated siege equipment was available, including artillery, towers and rams." [1] "Of the date of the introduction of the counterweight trebuchet to China there can be no doubt. It occurred in 1272, during one of the greatest sieges of Chinese history, at Xiangyang, where the Mongols besieged the Southern Song for five years." [2]

[1]: (Peers 2002, 17)

[2]: (Turnbull 2012, 33) Stephen Turnbull. 2012. Siege Weapons of the Far East (1): AD 612-1300. Osprey Publishing.


Unlikely due to use of crossbows.


Unlikely due to use of crossbows and composite bows.


Inferred due to being present in Sui


Handheld Firearm:
absent

Cannons and firearms first used by the Song. [1]

[1]: (Liang 2005) Liang, J. 2005. Chinese Siege Warfare: Mechanical Artillery & Siege Weapons of Antiquity. Da Pao Publishing. http://www.grandhistorian.com/chinesesiegewarfare.


Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent

Cannons and firearms first used by the Song. [1]

[1]: (Liang 2005) Liang, J. 2005. Chinese Siege Warfare: Mechanical Artillery & Siege Weapons of Antiquity. Da Pao Publishing. http://www.grandhistorian.com/chinesesiegewarfare.


"Infantry in the 6th and 7th centuries was divided into pu-pin, or marching infantry, armed with spears, and pu-she, or archers. The crossbow, the principal weapon of Han infantry, appears to have been less common in this period than the composite bow, although there are hints that it may have retained its importance in the south." [1]

[1]: (Peers 2002, 17)


Composite Bow:
present

"Infantry in the 6th and 7th centuries was divided into pu-pin, or marching infantry, armed with spears, and pu-she, or archers. The crossbow, the principal weapon of Han infantry, appears to have been less common in this period than the composite bow, although there are hints that it may have retained its importance in the south." [1]

[1]: (Peers 2002, 17)


New World weapon.


Handheld weapons

They could have used war clubs if they had wished.


Plate A illustrates Sui or Tang unarmoured infantryman with a sword. [1] Plate B illustrates Tang cavalrymen with sword. [2]

[1]: (Peers 2002, Plate A)

[2]: (Peers 2002, Plate B)


"Infantry in the 6th and 7th centuries was divided into pu-pin, or marching infantry, armed with spears, and pu-she, or archers. The crossbow, the principal weapon of Han infantry, appears to have been less common in this period than the composite bow, although there are hints that it may have retained its importance in the south." [1] lance [2] "Dou Jiande was wounded with a lance thrust in the fighting at Hulao" [3]

[1]: (Peers 2002, 17)

[2]: (Peers 2002, 16)

[3]: (Graff 2002, 175) Graff, D A. 2002. Medieval Chinese Warfare, 300-900. Routledge. London


e.g. Halberd; "An 11th-century writer remarks that the T’ang had so little confidence in the crossbow that they equipped its users with the halberds for self-defence." [1]

[1]: (Peers 2002, 17)


Used in earlier polities


Battle Axe:
present

They could have used battle axes if they had wished. Were present under the Sui.


Animals used in warfare

Cavalry [1]

[1]: (Graff 2002, 175) Graff, D A. 2002. Medieval Chinese Warfare, 300-900. Routledge. London


pack animals. The Intrepid Milita: "As such they functioned of defenders of the capitals. The government supplied them with pack mules or horses, provisions, armor, weapons, and tents." [1]

[1]: (Benn 2002, 3) Benn, Charles. 2002. China’s Golden Age: Everyday Life in the Tang Dynasty. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Never used in warfare. [1]

[1]: (North China Workshop 2016)


Armor
Wood Bark Etc:
present

"There were thirteen types of armored suits designated as official army wear, made with a range of materials from copper and wood, to leather and cloth." [1]

[1]: (Hua 2010, 70) Hua, Mei. 2010. Chinese Clothing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


T’ang cavalry occasionally used a small round shield [1]

[1]: (Peers 2002, 19)


Scaled Armor:
present

"The scales were better designed for ease of movement." [1]

[1]: (Hua 2010, 71) Hua, Mei. 2010. Chinese Clothing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Plate Armor:
present

Inferred from previous polity


Limb Protection:
present

Picture in text shows armor covering upper legs and arms. [1]

[1]: (Hua 2010, 70) Hua, Mei. 2010. Chinese Clothing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Leather Cloth:
present

lacquered leather lamellae known from excavations at Miran on the Silk Road. [1]

[1]: (Peers 2002, 20)


Laminar Armor:
present

lamellar coat [1]

[1]: (Peers 2002, 14)


Plate B illustrates armoured Tang cavalrymen with head protection (or hair?). [1]

[1]: (Peers 2002, Plate B)


Not mentioned by sources


Breastplate:
present

Inferred from previous polity


Naval technology
Specialized Military Vessel:
present

644 CE: "A great fleet of 500 ships was constructed," for Taizong’s attack on Koguryo. [1]

[1]: (Graff 2002, 177) Graff, D A. 2002. Medieval Chinese Warfare, 300-900. Routledge. London


Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present

Based on earlier polities. River boats etc.


Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
present

"Supply ships." [1]

[1]: (Graff 2002, 199) Graff, D A. 2002. Medieval Chinese Warfare, 300-900. Routledge. London



Human Sacrifice Data
Human Sacrifice is the deliberate and ritualized killing of a person to please or placate supernatural entities (including gods, spirits, and ancestors) or gain other supernatural benefits.
- Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions