The Tang Dynasty, a Prosperous Time for Ancient China

October 28, 2009 at 11:03 pm | Posted in Asia, Culture | Leave a comment
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By Wu Song
Epoch Times Germany Staff

“Toward the ocean in the east, toward the mountains in the south, one need not lock his door, and travelers need not carry food reserves…” there truly was a prosperous time in China – the Tang Dynasty.

“The emperor depends on the state, but the state depends on its people. When one oppresses the people, so that it only serves the ruler, then it is like one is ripping out someone’s flesh in order to fill that person’s stomach. His stomach is satisfied, but his body is injured: The ruler may then be richer, but his state is destroyed.” – Taizong


Tang Taizong, one of the most famous and well-respected figures in Chinese history. (Public domain image)

Tang Taizong, one of the most famous and well-respected figures in Chinese history. (Public domain image)

The Tang dynasty far surpassed every other in almost all fields, including culture, economy, agriculture and transportation. Music, the art of dance, calligraphy, painting, visual arts, architecture, metal processing, ceramic manufacturing, textile design, printing, brewery, tea culture… everything in the Tang Dynasty had reached a pinnacle and gained such diversity that later periods could only be reflections. All of this was owed to a great emperor: Taizong, the sovereign ancestor.

He ruled from 626 until 649, and was one of the most excellent emperors in China’s long history; until this day he is being honored for his erudition and statesmanship. Skilled in the classics of Confucius teachings and an excellent scholar and master of calligraphy, he appointed able ministers, kept close relationships with his advisors, took heed to criticisms, and lived a frugal life. His governance was deemed the Confucian ideal. Through his noble character and clear intellect, China occupied the position of a dominant world power.

While other nations suffered from chaos, division and corruption, the people who lived under the governance of Taizong lived in harmony and prosperity. The good reputation of the Tang Dynasty even reached overseas, so that almost all countries in the world heard about it. Later the word “Tang” became a synonym for China. Even today, overseas Chinese call themselves “Tang-people” and a Chinese neighborhood is called “City of the Tang-people.” The Chinese simply can not forget their pride for this prosperous time.

Openness to the world was also an important aspect of this period. Buddhism spread far and wide, many pilgrimages to India took place, and numerous sutras were translated into Chinese. While the religion became extinct in India, it flourished in China. Confucianism and Taoism were also extensively practiced, and numerous foreigners also lived in China during this remarkable dynasty.

Last Updated
Oct 26, 2008


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