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Tang Dynasty II

D G SC WF HS CC PT EQ 2020  cn_tang_dyn_2 / CnTangL

Preceding:
[continuity; Early Tang Dynasty] [continuity]   Update here
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).
The Tang Dynasty continued to rule China after the defeat of the An Lushan rebellion (755‒763 CE). [3] However, the government never fully recovered from its impact. [3] Tang border defences were devastated, leading to attacks from outsiders and pirates. The Tang government maintained an often-uneasy alliance with the Uighurs against the Tibetans. [4] In 790, Tibetan forces occupied Chinese land in eastern Turkestan and ended Chinese rule in the region for almost a thousand years. [5] [6]
Late Tang China was marked by conflict, with the occasional brief period of peace. Emperor Xianzong’s campaigns against rebel governors in the early 9th century restored almost all of China back to direct rule under the Tang government. [5] Xianzong was successful in restoring stability to the Tang Empire and his death was followed by 40 years of peace. [7] Later, Emperor Wuzong persecuted Buddhists and adherents of other non-indigenous religions. His movement reached its height in 845 CE and most monasteries were destroyed, but his successors reversed his anti-Buddhist policies. [8]
The dynasty fell in 881 CE after a series of internal rebellions, leading to about a century characterized by the rise of powerful warlords in the south and political turmoil in the north [9] before another period of Chinese efflorescence under the Northern Song Dynasty. [10]
Population and political organization
The Late Tang Dynasty was marked by tensions between the central government and military garrisons. [11] In 763 CE, two-thirds of the provincial governors were military commanders. [4] Tang emperors attempted to weaken the central bureaucracy by having military governors pay direct tribute instead of taxes. [12] The Tang government implemented the two-tax system in 780 CE, which replaced the ’equal land’ distribution system of the Early Tang. [13] This system of taxation represented an attempt to weaken military garrison governments and to divert taxation income to the central government. [13]
The Late Tang central government was marked by the rise of eunuchs. Eunuchs did not hold powerful positions in the Early Tang government, but in the later period the Department of the Inner Palace, staffed by eunuchs, became a powerful governmental authority ‒ more powerful than the emperor’s chief ministers. [14]
Because the dynasty was marked by almost constant conflict, the population of Late Tang China is difficult to estimate. In 766 CE there were between 40 million and 55 million citizens, [15] and in 900 CE there were between 60 million and 80 million. [16]

[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]: (Perkins 1999, 11) Dorothy Perkins. 1999. Encyclopedia of China. New York: Routledge.

[4]: (Benn 2002, 12) Charles Benn. 2002. Daily Life in Traditional China: The Tang Dynasty. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

[5]: (Lewis 2009, 64) Mark Edward Lewis. 2009. China’s Cosmopolitan Empire: The Tang Dynasty. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

[6]: (Benn 2002, 11) Charles Benn. 2002. Daily Life in Traditional China: The Tang Dynasty. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

[7]: (Benn 2002, 16) Charles Benn. 2002. Daily Life in Traditional China: The Tang Dynasty. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

[8]: (Benn 2002, 16-17) Charles Benn. 2002. Daily Life in Traditional China: The Tang Dynasty. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

[9]: (Ebrey 1996, 136) Patricia Buckley Ebrey. 1996. The Cambridge Illustrated History of China. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[10]: (Benn 2002, 18) Charles Benn. 2002. Daily Life in Traditional China: The Tang Dynasty. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

[11]: (Lewis 2009, 60) Mark Edward Lewis. 2009. China’s Cosmopolitan Empire: The Tang Dynasty. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

[12]: (Lewis 2009, 63) Mark Edward Lewis. 2009. China’s Cosmopolitan Empire: The Tang Dynasty. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

[13]: (Lewis 2009, 65) Mark Edward Lewis. 2009. China’s Cosmopolitan Empire: The Tang Dynasty. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

[14]: (Dalby 1979, 571-72) Michael T. Dalby. 1979. ’Court Politics in Late T’ang Times’, in The Cambridge History of China, Volume 3: Sui and T’ang China, 589-906 AD, Part One, edited by D. C. Twitchett, 561-681. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[15]: (Rodzinski 1979, 130) Witold Rodzinski. 1979. A History of China, Volume 1. Oxford: Pergamon Press.

[16]: (Lorge 2005, 182) Peter A. Lorge. 2005. War, Politics and Society in Early Modern China, 900‒1795. Abingdon: Routledge.

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
50 S  
Original Name:
Tang Dynasty II  
Capital:
Chang'an  
Luoyang  
Alternative Name:
Li Dynasty  
T'ang Empire  
Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
820 CE  
Duration:
[763 CE ➜ 907 CE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
none  
Supracultural Entity:
China  
Succeeding Entity:
China - Five Dynasties Period and Ten Kingdoms Period  
Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
[5,000,000 to 6,000,000] km2  
Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity  
Preceding Entity:
UNCLEAR:    [continuity]  
Degree of Centralization:
confederated state  
Language
Linguistic Family:
Sino-Tibetan  
Language:
Chinese  
Religion
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
1,000,000 people 764 CE 800 CE
Polity Territory:
3,600,000 km2 770 CE
3,350,000 km2 780 CE
3,100,000 km2 790 CE
3,243,000 km2 800 CE
3,386,000 km2 810 CE
3,529,000 km2 820 CE
3,671,000 km2 830 CE
3,814,000 km2 840 CE
3,957,000 km2 850 CE
4,100,000 km2 860 CE
3,600,000 km2 870 CE
3,100,000 km2 880 CE
2,600,000 km2 890 CE
1,500,000 km2 900 CE
800,000 km2 907 CE
Polity Population:
[40,000,000 to 55,000,000] people 766 CE
[60,000,000 to 80,000,000] people 900 CE
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
[3 to 6]  
Religious Level:
3  
Military Level:
5  
Administrative Level:
7  
Professions
Professional Soldier:
present  
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:
present  
Drinking Water Supply System:
inferred present  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
present  
Port:
present  
Canal:
present  
Bridge:
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:
present  
Sacred Text:
inferred present  
Religious Literature:
inferred present  
Practical Literature:
inferred present  
Philosophy:
present  
Lists Tables and Classification:
inferred present  
History:
present  
Fiction:
present  
Calendar:
inferred 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:
unknown  
  Handheld Firearm:
absent  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
inferred present  
  Crossbow:
present  
  Composite Bow:
inferred 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 II (cn_tang_dyn_2) was in:
 (763 CE 907 CE)   Middle Yellow River Valley
Home NGA: Middle Yellow River Valley

General Variables
Identity and Location

Original Name:
Tang Dynasty II

Capital:
Chang'an

657 CE capital moved from Chang’an to Luoyang. [1]

[1]: (Roberts 1996, 93)

Capital:
Luoyang

657 CE capital moved from Chang’an to Luoyang. [1]

[1]: (Roberts 1996, 93)


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:
820 CE

Early 9th century?


Duration:
[763 CE ➜ 907 CE]

"After the foundation itself, the rebellion is without doubt the most significant event in the history of the dynasty. It transformed a centralized, rich, stable and far-flung empire into a struggling, insecure and divided one." [1]
"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." [2]
Toward the end of the dynasty "effective control passed to regional states formed from the independent provinces. When one of these, the Liang, usurped the throne, the dynasty came to an end." [3]

[1]: (Peterson 1979, 464)

[2]: (Rodzinski 1979, 130)

[3]: (Roberts 1996, 104)


Political and Cultural Relations


Succeeding Entity:
China - Five Dynasties Period and Ten Kingdoms Period

[1]

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


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

km squared.


Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity

Preceding Entity:
Early Tang Dynasty

Degree of Centralization:
confederated state

Unitary state early on then more like a confederated state.
"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." [1]
The An Lu-shan rebellion "transformed a centralized, rich, stable and far-flung empire into a struggling, insecure and divided one." [2]
Ruth Mostern: Tang was a confederate state after the An Lushan rebellion and a unitary state before the rebellion. [3]

[1]: (Rodzinski 1979, 130)

[2]: (Peterson 1979, 464)

[3]: (Mostern, Ruth. Personal Correspondence. September 2016)


Religion

Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
1,000,000 people
764 CE 800 CE

Inhabitants.
Chang ’an. 1,000,000 in 700 and 800 CE. [1]
Luoyang population 350,000: 700 CE. [2]

[1]: (Morris 2013) The Measure of Civilization: How Social Development Decides the Fate of Nations. Princeton University Press.

[2]: (Tellier 2009, 155) Tellier, Luc-Normand. 2009. Urban World History: An Economic and Geographical Perspective. PUQ.


Polity Territory:
3,600,000 km2
770 CE

in squared kilometers. Contains interpolated data. [1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)

Polity Territory:
3,350,000 km2
780 CE

in squared kilometers. Contains interpolated data. [1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)

Polity Territory:
3,100,000 km2
790 CE

in squared kilometers. Contains interpolated data. [1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)

Polity Territory:
3,243,000 km2
800 CE

in squared kilometers. Contains interpolated data. [1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)

Polity Territory:
3,386,000 km2
810 CE

in squared kilometers. Contains interpolated data. [1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)

Polity Territory:
3,529,000 km2
820 CE

in squared kilometers. Contains interpolated data. [1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)

Polity Territory:
3,671,000 km2
830 CE

in squared kilometers. Contains interpolated data. [1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)

Polity Territory:
3,814,000 km2
840 CE

in squared kilometers. Contains interpolated data. [1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)

Polity Territory:
3,957,000 km2
850 CE

in squared kilometers. Contains interpolated data. [1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)

Polity Territory:
4,100,000 km2
860 CE

in squared kilometers. Contains interpolated data. [1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)

Polity Territory:
3,600,000 km2
870 CE

in squared kilometers. Contains interpolated data. [1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)

Polity Territory:
3,100,000 km2
880 CE

in squared kilometers. Contains interpolated data. [1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)

Polity Territory:
2,600,000 km2
890 CE

in squared kilometers. Contains interpolated data. [1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)

Polity Territory:
1,500,000 km2
900 CE

in squared kilometers. Contains interpolated data. [1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)

Polity Territory:
800,000 km2
907 CE

in squared kilometers. Contains interpolated data. [1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)


Polity Population:
[40,000,000 to 55,000,000] people
766 CE

People.
Census in 766 CE recorded 16.9m. "It is impossible, however, to believe, as some authors would have it, that 36 million people perished, especially in view of the fact that large parts of the country were not affected by the fighting. It is more likely these figures reveal a far-reaching disorganization of the government and its inability to have a proper census carried out. The T’ang government never recovered full control, particularly in the northern provinces ... the areas under the rule of the more independent military governors failed to follow the instructions of the central government also in this respect as they did in so many others." [1]
"In this period the population of the southern provinces, e.g. Kwangtung, increased rapidly. The Cantonese still call themselves T’ang jen - men of T’ang." [1]
"60-80 million in 900" [2]

[1]: (Rodzinski 1979, 130)

[2]: (Lorge 2015, 182)

Polity Population:
[60,000,000 to 80,000,000] people
900 CE

People.
Census in 766 CE recorded 16.9m. "It is impossible, however, to believe, as some authors would have it, that 36 million people perished, especially in view of the fact that large parts of the country were not affected by the fighting. It is more likely these figures reveal a far-reaching disorganization of the government and its inability to have a proper census carried out. The T’ang government never recovered full control, particularly in the northern provinces ... the areas under the rule of the more independent military governors failed to follow the instructions of the central government also in this respect as they did in so many others." [1]
"In this period the population of the southern provinces, e.g. Kwangtung, increased rapidly. The Cantonese still call themselves T’ang jen - men of T’ang." [1]
"60-80 million in 900" [2]

[1]: (Rodzinski 1979, 130)

[2]: (Lorge 2015, 182)


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
[3 to 6]

levels.
"Studies of Chinese urban history have pointed to a revolutionary change in urban settlement after the Rebellion. The change was conditioned by the rise of long-distance trade between the north and the south and the increase in rural markets across the country. Kaifeng is a well-known case. It was the first city in Chinese history to be chosen as the political centre because it was a hub of transport and trade." [1]
"In a general survey of urban development in China prior to 960, Shi Nianhai counted 21 large cities that performed a key role in inter- and intra-regional trade after the mid-Tang period." [1]
Possible hierarchy:1. Capital
2. Secondary Capitals3. Large cities (21)4. Smaller towns5. Villages?6. Hamlets?

[1]: (Liu 2015, 57)


Religious Level:
3

levels.
1. Emperor
2. Ritual Specialists3. Priests
3. Monks
"Taoism the personal religious creed of all the later T’ang emperors." [1]
843 CE all Manichaean "temples were destroyed, their books burned, some of their priestesses slain, the religion proscribed and all their property consficated." by Taoist Emperor Wu-tsung (841-846 CE). [2]
845 CE Buddhists, Zoroastrians and Nestorians were persecuted by Taoist Emperor Wu-tsung (841-846 CE). "4600 temples and monastries, 40,000 smaller shrines were ordered to be destroyed; 260,000 monks and nuns were secularized; 150,000 temple slaves turned over to the state; all statues melted down and the metal confiscated and, what was most important, all the vast amount of land in the hands of the Buddhist establishment was taken over by the government." [3]
Under Emperor Hsuan-tsung (847-859 CE), who was a Buddhist, the persecution was lifted "but it never fully regained its position, wealth and prestige. Any possibility that it had of becoming a state church in the future was thus eliminated." [4]

[1]: (Rodzinski 1979, 119)

[2]: (Rodzinski 1979, 131)

[3]: (Rodzinski 1979, 131-132)

[4]: (Rodzinski 1979, 132)


Military Level:
5

levels.
At least 5. Possibly fewer levels than Early Tang?
1. Emperor
2. Generals3. Military governors4. Officers5. Individual solider
Mercenary regular army replaced militia system in 722 CE. [1]
Military governors established by Hsuan-tsung (712-756 CE) in frontier areas. [2]
"In the 9th century the Shen-ts’e, or Divine Strategy army, was set up under the command of court eunuchs, and in 885 a new army 54,000 strong was established, composed largely of young men from Ch’ang-an. None of these forces was able to stand up to the battle-hardened veterans of the provincial armies." [3]

[1]: (Rodzinski 1979, 127)

[2]: (Rodzinski 1979, 129)

[3]: (Peers 2002, 15)


Administrative Level:
7

levels.
1. Emperor
In this period: "Although they were formally ensconced on the throne... the T’ang emperors ruled only indirectly over much of the country. Real power became concentrated increasingly in the hands of the military governors; their number rose to fifty and in some regions the posts became hereditary." [1]
2. The Department of the Inner Palace (Nei-shih sheng)The Department of the Inner Palace (Nei-shih sheng), staffed by eunuchs, in this period became the most important authority of the imperial household. The eunuchs initially acted as intermediaries between the Emperor and the bureaucracy, later became directly involved in central government, provincial appointments, succession disputes. [2]
Is this the same thing as the "inner court (nei-t’ing)"? 820s/830s CE and last quarter of 9th century were the "high points of their political influence" [3]
_Central government_
Despite reputation of this period as one of loss of central government control, the diary of a Japanese Buddhist monk, Ennin, suggests to some degree otherwise. Quoting E. O. Reischauer: "The remarkable degree of centralized control still existing, the meticulous attention to written instructions from higher authorities, and the tremendous amount of paper work involved in even the smallest matters of administration are all the more striking just because this was a period of dynastic decline." [4]
"The activity of eunuchs in court politics was undoubtedly one of the distinguishing features of late T’ang history... their role in the first half of the dynasty had been very limited." [5]
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. [6]
from 723 CE became an official government organ "with a separate budget and seal" Chief Ministers’ office (Chung-shu Men-hsia) [6]
2. Imperial Chancellery run by a Chief Minister"it received reports, ratified nominations, controlled all the actions of the government" [7]
heads of the three central ministries were "chief ministers" [8]
Chief Minister (tsai-hsiang), Chancellery (Men-hsia sheng) [6]
2. Imperial Secretariat run by a Chief Minister"prepared and issued all the proclamations, edicts, etc." [7]
Chief Minister (tsai-hsiang), Secretariat (Chung-shu sheng). [6]
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." [7]
2. Department for State Affairs run by a Chief Minister"supervised the six main executive ministries" [7]
Chief Minister (tsai-hsiang), Department of State Affairs (Shang-shu sheng) [6]

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"

4. Sub-official e.g. under the Minister of Finances
5. Heads of Salt and Iron Commission and Public Revenue Department of the Board of Finance"After 765 two financial zones were established: one (technically called the Salt and Iron Commission) based in Yang-chou and in charge of the finances of central China and the Yangtze valley, the other (under the Public Revenue Department of the Board of Finance) in Chang’an, responsible for the north and for Szechwan." [9]
6.The financial specialists who headed Salt and Iron Commission and Public Revenue Department of the Board of Finance: "In the post-rebellion period, they developed the rudiments of professional standards and self-esteem, were permitted to recruit subordinates outside the regular system, and introduced thereby a new career track into the administration, one that remained in existence through northern Sung times." [10]
 ?. Coin mint (Supervisor)government directly controlled minting of coins [11]
 ?. Coin mint workergovernment directly controlled minting of coins [11]
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." [12]
_Provincial government_
"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..." [13]
2. Military governors"The T’ang government never recovered full control, particularly in the northern provinces ... the areas under the rule of the more independent military governors failed to follow the instructions of the central government..." [14]
"the military governors retained most of the revenue of the areas under their control for themselves." [1]
"The powerful decentralized provincial order which emerged in China after the middle of the eighth century was a direct result of the An Lu-shan rebellion of 755-63." [15]
chieh-tu shih commanded a fan- or fang-chen. "In addition to his military responsibilities the new military governor also held broad civil power over local administration, finance and supply." [16]
2. Circuits"The T’ang reconstructed the administration of the country by creating ten large circuits (later raised to fifteen)..." [7]
2. Civil inspecting commissioner (from 733 CE)ts’ai fang ch’u-chih shih "were appointed in each of the fifteen new provinces (tao) into which the empire was divided." [17]
3. Prefectures (chou)"the country was further divided into prefectures, chou (over 350) [7]
"Half a century after the rebellion central government still did not control the provinces effectively. Some of them, particularly in the north and east, were entirely autonomous; others, although administered by court-appointed officials, were only partially controlled from the centre." [18]
"The independent provinces still recognised Tang sovereignty and the semi-autonomous ones still accepted appointments made by central government." [19]
4. Counties (hsien)"and these in turn into around 1500 countries (hsien) [7]
"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." [20]
5. Districts (hsiang)"while at the bottom were the districts (hsiang), around 16,000 in number. [7]

[1]: (Rodzinski 1979, 131)

[2]: (Dalby 1979, 571-572)

[3]: (Dalby 1979, 587)

[4]: (Roberts 1996, 102)

[5]: (Dalby 1979, 571)

[6]: (Dalby 1979, 590)

[7]: (Rodzinski 1979, 118)

[8]: (Roberts 1996, 95)

[9]: (Dalby 1979, 575-756)

[10]: (Dalby 1979, 756)

[11]: (Roberts 1996, 94)

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

[13]: (Peterson 1979, 485)

[14]: (Rodzinski 1979, 130)

[15]: (Peterson 1979, 464)

[16]: (Peterson 1979, 466)

[17]: (Peterson 1979, 468)

[18]: (Roberts 1996, 101)

[19]: (Roberts 1996, 104)

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


Professions
Professional Soldier:
present

"The fubing system had originally preserved the Chinese ideal of the farmer-soldier, but after the early Tang soldiers became increasingly a separate, professional class. By the tenth century, soldiers, to the intense consternation of statesmen, were wholly divorced from any productive activities and earned their livings by skill at arms. Despite many attempts to replace this "mercenary" system, it remained in place until the end of imperial times." [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]: (Lorge 2005, 7)

[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]

[1]: (Lorge 2005, 7)


Professional Military Officer:
present

Professional military officers. [1]

[1]: (Peterson 1979, 467)


Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
present

Coin mints. [1]

[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 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]

[1]: (Rodzinski 1979, 119)


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

likely, very literate society with courts, judges and legal code attested.


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]

[1]: (Rodzinski 1979, 120)

[2]: (Roberts 1996, 87)


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
Market:
present

need examples


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

need examples. Granaries present 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

"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] "their prosperous settlement in Canton was wiped out only in 879 during the course of a peasant rebellion." [2]

[1]: (Rodzinski 1979, 122)

[2]: (Rodzinski 1979, 132)


Built under Sui and maintained throughout Tang period.



Special-purpose Sites

Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present

Census in 766 CE. Written history



Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
absent

Chinese language.


Nonwritten Record:
present

Census in 766 CE. Written history


Non Phonetic Writing:
present

Chinese language.


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

"The first mention of what we would call gunpowder appeared in 808... These mixtures grew out of a very long tradition of alchemical experimentation usually tied to certain schools of Daoism that sought elixirs of immortality or the means to transmute one material into another. While all of our early evidence for alchemical mixtures is tied to Daoists, this may be a historiographical artifact produced by the better preservation of texts tied to that school of though (in all its varieties). There were also medical specialists, among others, interested in the effects of various substances and compounds on materials and bodies." [1]

[1]: (Lorge 2011, 32)



Religious Literature:
present

Buddhism, Daoism, Taoism.


Practical Literature:
present

Philosophy:
present

"Han Yu (768-824), although known also as a poet, was much more famous as an essayist. He was a thoroughgoing fundamentalist Confucianist and a bitter opponent of Buddhism. Although he had little influence in his own time, he was regarded as one of the principal thinkers responsible for the restoration of Confucianism, as the precursor and patron saint of the Neo-Confucianists." [1]

[1]: (Rodzinski 1979, 136)


Lists Tables and Classification:
present

e.g. Used by bureaucracy.


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] "Another form of historical writing which developed in the T’ang period was that of institutional political history. This was represented by the works of Tu Yu (735-812), especially his famous T’ung-tien ("Comprehensive Statutes"), an encyclopaedic compendium of 200 chapters. In this work Tu Yu broke away from the chronological pattern of Standard Histories and, desirous of studying a number of problems in their historical development, he arranged his data according to subject-matter. Thus he deals with: (1) political economy, (2) examinations, (3) officials, (4) rites, (5) music, (6) army, (7) law, (8) geography of the empire and (9) geography of frontier regions. Tu Yu’s work became a model for many future encyclopaedias of a smiliar nature." [2]

[1]: (Rodzinski 1979, 138)

[2]: (Rodzinski 1979, 139)


Fiction:
present

"the 1707 edition of complete T’ang poetry includes 48,900 poems by 2,200 writers" [1] Tu Fu (12-770 CE). "Tu Fu had a deep understanding and awareness of the human suffering that surrounded him." [2] "The most famous poet of the latter period was Po Chu-i (772-846), regarded as a disciple of Tu Fu. ... his best-known work, the one which made him famous, is "The Ever-lasting Remorse" which dealt with the fate of Yang Kuei-fei." [2] Liu Tsung-yuan (773-819) who wrote "the famous parable The Snake Catchers, an ironical depiction of the ravaging of the peasants by the tax collectors." [3] "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. Used by bureaucracy.


Information / Money
Precious Metal:
present

[1]

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



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

"Garrisons normally occupied fortified positions from walled towns to earthworks and palisades." [1]

[1]: (Graff 2002, 231) Graff, D A. 2002. Medieval Chinese Warfare, 300-900. Routledge. London


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. [1] "Garrisons normally occupied fortified positions from walled towns to earthworks and palisades." [2]

[1]: (Graff 2002, 228) Graff, D A. 2002. Medieval Chinese Warfare, 300-900. Routledge. London

[2]: (Graff 2002, 231) Graff, D A. 2002. Medieval Chinese Warfare, 300-900. Routledge. London



Within the technical capability of the time.


Fortified Camp:
present

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

[1]: (Peers 2002, 17)


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. Japan exported steel swords to China (time not stated, possibly once the Japanese had refined their methods, before the Song Dynasty). [2] "according to Wagner there is no direct evidence that cast steel was made in China. ... Exports of bin iron from Persia and Jaguda (Ghazni) to China in 6th-7th centuries are recorded. This was an imported steel of high quality. Curiously, bin iron disappears from Chinese sources after the 7th century, then reappears from 10th-17th centuries. This might have been a consequence of the Islamic conquest of Persia, followed by the rise of trade routes to China used by Arabs. An account of an embassy sent by the Yuan to Hulagu Khan in 1259 mention that bin iron was made in India." [3]

[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.

[2]: (Williams 2012, 42) Alan Williams. 2012. The Sword and the Crucible: A History of the Metallurgy of European Swords Up to the 16th Century. BRILL. Leiden.

[3]: (Williams 2012, 39) Alan Williams. 2012. The Sword and the Crucible: A History of the Metallurgy of European Swords Up to the 16th Century. BRILL. Leiden.


Iron tipped arrows [1] [2]

[1]: (North China Workshop 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.



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:
present

"In 904, at the end of the Tang dynasty, a famous commander named Yang Xingmi was attacking a city, and one of his officers ordered troops to ’shoot off a machine to let fly fire and burn the Longsha Gate.’ Scholars have suggested this passage may refer to the use of gunpowder arrows, and indeed, a later source offers corroboration, explaining that ’let fly by fire’ is meant things like firebombs and fire arrows." [1]

[1]: (Andrade 2016, 31) Andrade, Tonio. 2016. The Gunpowder Age: China, Military Innovation, and the Rise of the West in World History. Princeton: Princeton University Press.


"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)


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 B illustrates Tang cavalrymen with sword. [1]

[1]: (Peers 2002, Plate B)


lance [1]

[1]: (Peers 2002, 16)


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

Plate B illustrates Tang cavalrymen. [1]

[1]: (Peers 2002, Plate B)


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 codes


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] from late T’ang lamellar coats "derived from Central Asian traditions" [2]

[1]: (Peers 2002, 14)

[2]: (Peers 2002, 19)


Plate B illustrates armoured Tang cavalrymen with head protection (or hair?). [1] Plate C illustrates imperial guardsmen and 9th-10th-century guardsmen with helmets. [2]

[1]: (Peers 2002, Plate B)

[2]: (Peers 2002, Plate C)


Not mentioned by sources.


Breastplate:
present

inferred from previous polity codes


Naval technology
Specialized Military Vessel:
present

Battle of Baekgang in 663 CE (Early Tang), they would had a navy


Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present

River boats etc.


Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
present

Inferred from Early Tang



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