This article is part of the
History of China series.
 Shang Dynasty
 Zhou Dynasty
 Qin Dynasty
 Han Dynasty
 Three Kingdoms
 Jin Dynasty
 Southern and Northern Dynasties
 Sui Dynasty
 Tang Dynasty
 Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period
 Song Dynasty
 Yuan Dynasty
 Ming Dynasty
 Qing Dynasty
 History of the Republic of China
 History of the PRC (1949-1976)
 History of the PRC (1976-present)
 Timeline of Chinese History

Tang Dynasty (唐朝 618-907) followed Sui Dynasty and preceded the Five Dynasties and the Ten Kingdoms Period in China. The dynasty was interrupted by the Second Zhou Dynasty (690 AD - 705 AD) when Empress Wu Zetian seized the throne.

The Tang dynasty, with its capital at Chang'an, the most populous city in the world at the time, is regarded by historians as a high point in Chinese civilization-- equal, or even superior, to the Han period. Its territory, acquired through the military exploits of its early rulers, was greater than that of the Han. Stimulated by contact with India and the Middle East, the empire saw a flowering of creativity in many fields. Buddhism, originating in India around the time of Confucius, flourished during the Tang period and was adopted by the imperial family, becoming thoroughly sinicized and a permanent part of Chinese traditional culture. Block printing was invented, making the written word available to vastly greater audiences. The Tang period was the golden age of literature and art. A government system supported by a large class of Confucian literati selected through civil service examinations was perfected under Tang rule. This competitive procedure was designed to draw the best talents into government. But perhaps an even greater consideration for the Tang rulers, aware that imperial dependence on powerful aristocratic families and warlords would have destabilizing consequences, was to create a body of career officials having no autonomous territorial or functional power base. As it turned out, these scholar-officials acquired status in their local communities, family ties, and shared values that connected them to the imperial court. From Tang times until the closing days of the Qing empire in 1911, scholar officials functioned often as intermediaries between the grassroots level and the government.

By the middle of the 8th century A.D., Tang power had ebbed. Domestic economic instability and military defeat in 751 by Arabs at Talas, in Central Asia, marked the beginning of five centuries of steady military decline for the Tang empire. Misrule, court intrigues, economic exploitation, and popular rebellions weakened the empire, making it possible for northern invaders to terminate the dynasty in 907. The next half-century saw the fragmentation of China into five northern dynasties and ten southern kingdoms.

Rulers of the Tang Dynasty

Temple Names ( Miao Hao 廟號 ) Born Names Period of Reigns Era Names (Nian Hao 年號) and their according range of years
Convention: "Tang" + temple name
''Note: Wu Hou (武后 wu3 hou4) (Empress Wu) was posthumous name.
Gao Zu (高祖 gao1 zu3) Li Yuan (李淵 li3 yuan1) 618-626 Wude (武德 wu3 de2) 618-626
Tai Zong (太宗 tai4 zong1) Li Shi Min (李世民 li3 shi4 min2) 626-649 Zhenguan (貞觀 zhen1 guan1) 627-649
Gao Zong (高宗 gao1 zong1) Li Zhi (李治 li3 zhi4) 650-683 Yonghui (永徽 yong3 hui1) 650-655
   Xianqing  (顯慶 xian3 qing4)  656-661
Longshuo (龍朔 long2 shuo4) 661-663
Linde (麟德 lin2 de2) 664-665
Qianfeng (乾封 qian2 feng1) 666-668
Zongzhang (總章 zong3 zhang1) 668-670
Xianheng (咸亨 xian2 heng1) 670-674
Shangyuan (上元 shang4 yuan2) 674-676
Yifeng (儀鳳 yi2 feng4) 676-679
Tiaolu (調露 tiao2 lu4) 679-680
Yonglong (永隆 yong3 long2) 680-681
Kaiyao (開耀 kai1 yao4) 681-682
Yongchun (永淳 yong3 chun2) 682-683
Hongdao (弘道 hong2 dao4) 683
Zhong Zong (中宗 zhong1 zong1), dismissed by Wu Hou Li Xian (李顯 li3 xian3) or Li Zhe (李哲 li3 zhe2) 684, (also 705-710) Sisheng (嗣聖 si4 sheng4) 684
Rui Zong (睿宗 rui4 zong1), dismissed by Wu Hou Li Dan (李旦 li3 dan4) 684, (also 710-712) Wenming (文明 wen2 ming2) 684
Wu Hou (武后 wu3 hou4) Wu Ze Tian (武則天 wu3 ze2 tian1) 684-705 Guangzhai (光宅 guang1 zhai2) 684
   Chuigong  (垂拱 chui2 gong3)  685-688
Yongchang (永昌 yong3 chang1) 689
Zaichu (載初 zai4 chu1) 690
Zhou Dynasty (690 AD - 705 AD)
Continuation of Tang Dynasty
Zhong Zong (中宗 zhong1 zong1), retake the throne Li Xian (李顯 li3 xian3) or Li Zhe (李哲 li3 zhe2) (also 684,) 705-710 Shenlong (神龍 shen2 long2) 705-707
   Jinglong (景龍 jing3 long2) 707-710
Shao Di (少帝 shao4 di4) see note below the table Li Chong Mao (李重茂 li3 chong2 mao4) 710 Tanglong (唐隆 tang2 long2) 710
Rui Zong (睿宗 rui4 zong1), retake the throne Li Dan (李旦 li3 dan4) (also 684,) 710-712 Jingyun (景雲 jing3 yun2) 710-711
   Taiji   (太極 tai4 ji2)   712
Yanhe (延和 yan2 he2) 712
Xuan Zong (玄宗 xuan2 zong1) Li Long Ji (李隆基 li3 long2 ji1) 712-756 Xiantian (先天 xian1 tian1) 712-713
   Kaiyuan  (開元 kai1 yuan2)  713-741
Tianbao (天寶 tian1 bao3) 742-756
Su Zong (肅宗 su4 zong1) Li Heng (李亨 li3 heng1) 756-762 Jide (至德 zhi4 de2) 756-758
   Qianyuan  (乾元 qian2 yuan2)  758-760
Shangyuan (上元 shang4 yuan2) 760-761
Dai Zong (代宗 dai4 zong1) Li Yu (李豫 li3 yu4) 762-779 Baoying (寶應 bao3 ying4) 762-763
   Guangde (廣德 guang3 de2) 763-764
Yongtai (永泰 yong3 tai4) 765-766
Dali (大曆 da4 li4) 766-779
De Zong (德宗 de2 zong1) Li Gua (李适 li3 gua1) 780-805 Jianzhong (建中 1jian4 zhong1) 780-783
   Xingyuan  (興元 xing1 yuan2)   784
Zhenyuan (貞元 zhen1 yuan2) 785-805
Shun Zong (順宗 shun4 zong1) Li Song (李誦 li3 song4) 805 Yongzhen (永貞 yong3 zhen1) 805
Xian Zong (憲宗 xian4 zong1) Li Chun (李純 li3 chun2) 806-820 Yuanhe (元和 yuan2 he2) 806-820
Mu Zong (穆宗 mu4 zong1) Li Heng (李恆 li3 heng2) 821-824 Changqing (長慶 chang2 qing4) 821-824
Jing Zong (敬宗 jing4 zong1) Li Zhan (李湛 li3 zhan4) 824-826 Baoli (寶曆 bao3 li4) 824-826
Wen Zong (文宗 wen2 zong1) Li Ang (李昂 li3 ang2) 826-840 Baoli (寶曆 bao3 li4) 826
   Dahe  (大和 da4 he2) or Taihe (tai4 he2 太和) 827-835
Kaicheng (開成 kai1 cheng2) 836-840
Wu Zong (武宗 wu3 zong1) Li Ya (李炎 li3 yan2) 840-846 Huichang (會昌 hui4 chang1) 841-846
Xuan Zong (宣宗 xuan1 zong1) Li Chen (李忱 li3 chen2) 846-859 Dachong (大中 da4 chong1) 847-859
Yi Zong (懿宗 yi4 zong1) Li Cui (李漼 li3 cui3) 859-873 Dachong (大中 da4 chong1) 859
   Xiantong (咸通 xian2 tong1) 860-873
Xi Zong (僖宗 xi1 zong1) Li Xuan (李儇 li3 xuan1) 873-888 Xiantong (咸通 xian2 tong1) 873-874
   Qianfu    (乾符 qian2 fu2)    874-879
Guangming (廣明 guang3 ming2) 880-881
Zhonghe (中和 zhong1 he2) 881-885
Guangqi (光啟 guang1 qi3) 885-888
Wende (文德 wen2 de2) 888
Zhao Zong (昭宗 zhao1 zong1) Li Ye (李曄 li3 ye4) 888-904 Longji (龍紀 long2 ji4) 889
   Dashun   (大順 da4 shun4)   890-891
Jingfu (景福 jing3 fu2) 892-893
Qianning (乾寧 qian2 ning2) 894-898
Guanghua (光化 guang1 hua4) 898-901
Tianfu (天復 tian1 fu4) 901-904
Tianyou (天佑 tian1 you4) 904
Ai Di (哀帝 ai1 di4) or 昭宣帝 zhao1 xuan1 di4 see note below Li Zhu (李柷 li3 zhu4) 904-907 Tianyou (天佑 tian1 you4) 904-907

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