The Golden Age
Tang Dynasty (618- 907) was a golden age in the Chinese history. It was a culmination in the Chinese civilization that witnessed a vibrant literature and art scene. Over 48,900 poems written by some 2,200 poets written over the period have survived till today.
Two of the China's most famous poets --Li Bai and Du Fu -- were of this era, which is considered the greatest age for Chinese poetry. If you have a Chinese friend, chances are that he would be able to recite a poem or two from this period.
Proficiency in writing poems was expected of all scholars, and poem writing contest was a social activity at banquets and other social gatherings of the elites.
The most notable emperor of the dynasty was Taizong Li Shimin. Under his leadership, the dynasty reached a point of unparalleled prosperity; with vibrant economy, excellent social order good and a government free of corruption.
Another notable leader was Emperor Xuanzong. He led the country into a period of rapid economic, cultural and social development. Chang'an City -- the capital -- was then the largest and the most prosperous metropolis in the world.
It was also during the Tang Dynaty where China witnessed the rise and fall of the only lady-emperor in the Chinese history Wu Zetian. She proclaimed herself Emperor after successively enthroning and dethroning her two sons, and established a new dynasty -- Zhou -- that lasted for 15 years. During her reign, the economy of Tang continued to develop rapidly.
The Modern Tang People
Many overseas Chinese claim themselves to be Tang people, rather than Han people, although what they mean is the same thing -- they are talking about ethnic Chinese.
Read more about Qing the last dynasty.
Read more about Chinese history.
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