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Tang dynasty

One of the most successful imperial dynasties of China (618-907), during which some of China's greatest art (especially painting and poetry) was produced. The Tang was founded by Li Yuan who overthrew the Sui dynasty and ruled under the name Gaozu (r.618-26). Li Yuan was deposed by his son Taizong (r.626-49), an exceptional ruler who built a strong central government, introduced land and tax reforms and conquered the Tarim basin in central Asia. Further conquests were made in central Asia and Korea under Gaozong (r.649- 83) but these overextended the empire and were lost before the end of his reign. The central Asian provinces were completely lost in the 8th century after defeats by the Arabs and Tibetans. The authority of the Tang was also undermined by  the rebellion of An Lushan (755-63). In the 9th century, peasant rebellions became common and power was seized by semi-independent regional warlords. The dynasty finally collapsed in 907, beginning a period of disunity known as the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms.


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