Tang Dynasty (618-907 C.E.)

Hailey and Fiona P-6


Like every dynasty, the Tang had its ups and downs in the political system. The Tang leaders worked hard to unify and expand the Tang Dynasty. One important leader was Li-Yuan, who was the founder of the Tang Dynasty and overcame many enemies.He also directed many complex military operations. Li-Shimin was the second and most successful emperor. He was respected by the government, expanded the civil service exam, and expanded China further west by defeating central Asia. By doing this, the Silk Road became safer to travel on. The Tang emperors had a strong, positive rule and successfully communicated with neighbor countries, leading to economic expansion. The Tang Dynasty leaders expanded China into Korea and central Asia. They unified it by regularly communicating with outside countries; goods plus ideas were shared. Eventually the Tang Dynasty had its downfall. The economy suffered, there were droughts and floods (specifically the Grand Canal), and famine, resulting in people and livestock dying. There was also government feuding, northeast rebeling, and northern invaders. The Tang Dynasty had its positives, but like every dynasty, what comes up, must go down.

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This is the first emperor of the Tang Dynasty, his name was Li-Yuan


One of the most important things that happened during the Tang Dynasty is what people traded and how people traded. The Tang Dynasty traded along the Silk Road. This was a road that was more than 4000 miles long. People traveled in big groups and had guards to fight off the bandits. Also, there were some courier stations along the Silk Road so travelers could have food and shelter. There were many things that were traded. Milk, meat, vegetables, animal skins, gold, silk, horses, mules, hides, woolen products, gems, jades, corals, colored glazes, spices silk fabrics, lacquer works, ironware, bullion, medical materials, salt, sugars, and, porcelain are just some of the items that were traded along the Silk Road. Some of the people that traded with the Tang Dynasty are Chang’an, Luoyang, Yutian, Kizil, Shule, Shanshan, Turpan. But trading wasn’t the only thing that had to do with economics. The jobs were also a big part of the economic system. You could have a job of working at the capitol or even in a small town. Some other jobs were working at temples, marketplaces, tea shops, cake shops, pottery shops, gem/jewelry shops, shoe shop;s, produce shops, meat shops, noodle shops, you can even be a pawnbroker, street acrobat/storyteller, musician, and even a farmer. Those are just some of the many reasons why the Tang Dynasty lasted for so long.

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This is a picture of the kind of money that the Tang Dynasty used.

Inventions/Technology/Science and Architecture

During the Tang Dynasty, there were many inventions, scientific discoveries, and important structures were repaired. One important invention was the mechanical clock, which let people know when it would become dark and how long it would be until the next event. Wood block block printing also was invented; blocks of wood that had chinese symbols carved into one end of them were dipped in ink and pressed to a piece of paper.This led to the development of scrolls and books. People of the Tang Dynasty then invented the printing press, so scribes and writers could publish more books and poems.The people of this dynasty also invented different types of paper, such as paper from hemp, hide, bamboo, and xuan (pine tree). The xuan paper had calligraphy designs on the edges.In the time of war between the people of the Tang Dynasty and the Arab Empire, soliders and paper makers were capertured. This led to the opening of paper factories. Another one of the most important developments during the Tang Dynasty was the compass.We do not know when it was first created, but it was first used by the people of the Tang era. It was used for navigation when they couldn’t see the stars. Other inventions included gas cylinders, porcelain, and gunpowder. One of the medical discoveries during this time was how to treat goiter.They found that thyroid glands of sheep and pigs could be used to treat goiter, which is enlargement of the thyroid gland in the neck. One structure that was repaired during the Tang Dynasty was the Great Wall of China; the Grand Canal was completed during this time. The people during the Tang Dynasty were very inventive and intelligent.

Religion/Culture/Social Life

Have you ever wondered how people in ancient China practiced their religion? Well, the Tang Dynasty believed in many g-ds and g-ddesses, magical beings, dragons, and even ghosts. The Chinese also worshipped their ancestors. They prayed to them for help and safety. There was one g-d called the Kitchen g-d and this g-d was able to give someone bad luck. There was also the 3 Teachings called Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. Lastly, they believed that the shoe was a status symbol. In ancient China many cool arts were a big part of the Tang Dynasty. They were pottery, paintings, literature, dancing, music, and people went to musical and art performances. They used bronze, silver, gold, and even copper in their art. Pottery was mainly based on daily life and had pictures of carriages, bridges, and signs of zodiac, But what was the Chinese day like during the Tang Dynasty? Did you know that only boys were allowed to go to school? Girls had to be taught at home. But when girls got married they moved in with their husbands. Servants were forced to work for the rich. At dinner in a rich person's house, harps were played. But how did they dress? Men wore topknots. In order to wear one of these, you had to shave your head except for the middle. Then you would wrap it and hold it in with pins. For woman it was different. The woman used lots of make-up and wore hats with bells on them. If you think about it, you will be able to figure out how we got a lot of things from Tang Dynasty doing what they did in their daily life like painting.
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This is the exact replica of a temple made during the Tang Dynasty.