Talk:Tang dynasty

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Featured article Tang dynasty is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
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Introduction of Indian Numerals[edit]

As per the page on the Gautama Siddha, it is stated that he introduced Indian numerals with zero (〇) in 718 in China as a replacement of counting rods.[1][2] Did this mark a decisive change in Chinese mathematics ? And if it did, shouldnt it be mentioned in this article ? I am invariant under co-ordinate transformations (talk) 01:27, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ Qian, Baocong (1964). "Zhongguo Shuxue Shi (The history of Chinese mathematics)". Beijing: Kexue Chubanshe. 
  2. ^ Wáng, Qīngxiáng (1999). Sangi o koeta otoko (The man who exceeded counting rods). Tokyo: Tōyō Shoten. ISBN 4-88595-226-3. 

Move discussion in progress[edit]

There is a move discussion in progress on Talk:Han Dynasty which affects this page. Please participate on that page and not in this talk page section. Thank you. —RMCD bot 13:28, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

9th century[edit]

is this dyansty found during the 9th century? plz tell me i need to know its very important

Change the map of infobox[edit]

I tried to change the map of infobox [1]. This is Tang Dynasty greatest extent. Other articles all used the map of greatest extent in their infobox like Achaemenid Empire, Byzantine Empire and Roman Empire. I think this article should also use the greatest extent as the map in infobox.

This is the picture which I want to use:

  • Its more attractive than the current image but the countries are not in English. I couldn't say if the map is accurate or not.--MONGO 23:39, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
  • This map was discussed previously at Talk:Tang dynasty/Archive 3#Map. This map, with its various shaded areas and lines to indicate different relationships to the Tang, is too complex and contentious for the infobox. In addition, the existing map is more in line with maps one sees in most sources. Kanguole 23:55, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
    • How about this map?
    • I believe this map is good enough, and I think the map should be changed, in order to be "fair", I suppose.--Alvin Lee 14:12, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
      • It's not about being "fair", but reflecting reliable sources. Apart from the complexity, this animation is full of expansive patches of colour that would be hard to reliably source. Kanguole 14:52, 30 December 2014 (UTC)

I think this is a suitable map for this article. And I also believe that the map used in the article has several major mistakes. For example, Yunnan was not included. I doubt that that map was "Reflecting reliable sources".--Alvin Lee 07:05, 7 January 2015 (UTC)

You could try the maps in the Sui-Tang volume (no. 3) of the Cambridge History of China, e.g. maps 8 and 11. At that time, Yunnan was ruled by the Kingdom of Nanzhao. Kanguole 14:46, 7 January 2015 (UTC)
You should have a look at the article Kingdom of Nanzhao. In 750, Nanzhao rebelled against the Tang Dynasty. If Tang dynasty never ruled Yunnan, how would the Nanzhao people be able to rebel against Tang dynasty? --Alvin Lee 11:58, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
You should also NOT rely only on one map. I don't think one reliable source will be sufficient to determine the Empire's map.--Alvin Lee 12:02, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia isn't a reliable source. As for the map, I cited one (particularly well-respected) source, but you'll find similar maps in other academic histories. Kanguole 13:43, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
Firstly, I've found many maps about Tang Dynasty that are far from the map used in this article. Secondly, the independence of Nanzhao is not only showed in the Wikipedia article. Many other Chinese historic books and maps that are reliable also states that Tang dynasty has actually ruled over yunnan, such as Tan Qixiang's Historical Atlas of China. Nanzhao's independence is a FACT. We should not deny it.--Alvin Lee 14:47, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
Historical maps from China tend to include larger areas of Chinese territory than maps from elsewhere, presumably reflecting modern political concerns. Kanguole 01:42, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
Historical maps from Western countries tend to include smaller areas of Chinese territory than maps from elsewhere, presumably reflecting modern political concerns. For example, The Aksai Chin will never be included in Chinese's territory, even though it is actually controlled by China. Also, if Chinese maps will overestimate the territory of Chinese dynasties, then we should not use maps about ancient Western countries, such as Roman Empire, that were made by Western people.' That seems legit.--Alvin Lee 03:35, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
Also, Nanzhao's independence is a FACT, and you should not ignore it. How could a country obtain independence if she was not ruled by any country? This is quite awkward.--Alvin Lee 03:38, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
The symmetry you suggest just doesn't exist. China has territorial disputes with its neighbours, and is particularly sensitive about its historic claims to its minorities and the territories they occupy. State-approved atlases like Tan's support political objectives by promoting the impression that these areas have always belonged to China, by expanding the territory of historical empires with dubious claims (like Nanzhao above). Kanguole 02:02, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
You are avoiding my questions. Nanzhao was once ruled by China, which is a fact that cannot be neglected. And you just say that all of this was only about politics. You are not viewing history with a correct perspective, but just thinks that all China's maps are incorrect and Western maps will always be correct. Do you ever think that Western country, such as USA, will make maps about China, which is smaller than what it actually was, in order to fulfill their political aims? This can be seen from the example of Aksai Chin. USA and China's relationship, I am sure that you should know about it, and it is usual for the Americans to draw maps which underestimate China's ancient territory.--Alvin Lee 04:47, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
Besides, Tang Dynasty do established some administrating regions in Yunnan, such as 姚州, which was disestablished at 750, the same year when Nanzhao gain independence. Please refer to New Book of Tang 《新唐書》.--Alvin Lee 06:37, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
There are many problems of the map used in the article. Firstly, Tang dynasty conquered Goguryeo and Baekje, but the article used a map that does not reflect this fact. Also, Tang Dynasty once controlled Tuyuhun, and this was not shown too. Moreover, Tang Dynasty defeated and conquered Eastern Turkic Khaganate and Western Turkic Khaganate. All of these were not shown in the maps used. How could you say that map was "suitable"? It is even far from accurate.--Alvin Lee 09:27, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
Nanzhao wasn't ruled by the Tang; it was set up by Piluoge uniting six tribes outside the Tang empire, encouraged by the Tang as a counter to their Tibetan enemies. Aksai Chin seems irrelevant, unless you are making the surprising claim that American scholars exclude it from historical maps to further US policy. The Tang occupation of part of Korea was brief, and well over by 700 AD. The Tang defeated the Tuyuhun and the Eastern Turks, but did not rule their territory. The area of the Western Turks is included; you probably mean the protectorates of Sogdiana and Tokharistan, but they were also short-lived, and long gone by 700 AD. Kanguole 01:45, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
You got the point. The map in 700 AD was not the greatest extent of Tang Dynasty. Isn't it strange and incorrect to not use the greatest extent map for this article?--Alvin Lee 06:54, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
There are problems about your points. Firstly, Tang ruled Yunnan by Jimi system, which could also be considered as territory. secondly, China DO ruled over the land of Eastern Turks by 燕然都護府, and you cannot just ignore this historical facts again. Thirdly, the Aksai Chin example means that even now Western countries do make incorrect maps in order to fulfill their political aims, why wouldn't they do so on historical maps? Even the CIA The World Factbook is misleading--The land area of China is smaller than USA, where the Americans includes sea territory of America, but not for China. And you say no politics are included. So why are you sure that politics will not influence history? --Alvin Lee 07:04, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
The point of the map in the infobox is to give the reader an idea of the territory of the empire. Using the greatest extent, when this includes briefly-held territories, gives a misleading impression.
You say "could be considered as territory" – the meaning of such relationships is contentious, and most historians don't consider these areas as Tang territory.
Modern maps produced by government agencies tend to depict the borders recognized by their governments – this tells us nothing of the practice of historians. Your complaint about the CIA World Factbook is irrelevant. Kanguole 13:36, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
Are you sure that "most" historians don't consider these areas as Tang territory? I doubt that. And also, why Western empires uses maps showing their greatest extent, and this is not applicable for Chinese empires? Shouldn't all articles be unified? Allow me to use the example of Byzantine Empire:

The territory of Byzantine Empire in AD 555 is in its greatest extent, but that does not last long. So why not use the map showing the territory held by the empire which was not controlled briefly? The AD 867 map should be more appropriate instead. --Alvin Lee 03:15, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

If there are no responds, then I will change the map of this article. Thank you.--Alvin Lee 04:41, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
The notion that an infobox map on Wikipedia should show the largest extent of an empire/country instead of the one most commonly given in reliable sources seems truly ridiculous to me. I'm not a Tang expert, but I am inclined to agree with User:Kanguole that a map from The Cambridge History of China would probably be a reliable choice.  White Whirlwind  咨  19:18, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
Since you've posted the same text at Talk:Ming dynasty, I've replied there. Kanguole 00:56, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
I agree that the greatest extent map that I suggested was inaccurate and somehow overestimated the territory. However, since the map has to show the influence and military strength of an empire, why will you still insist to use a smaller one, but allow western empires to use one which shows the greatest extent? It is both ridiculous and misleading. As I said, Tang had once controlled more land such as Goguryeo, and that was not shown in the map. I won't force you to use the map I suggest, but I totally disagree to use the map used currently. Moreover, why in this article, the Cambridge map was considered as ""Reliable"", but in the Ming article, the map was said to be unreliable? That was awkward and unbelievable. If you still insist not to use the greatest extent map for Eastern countries, but saying yes for Western empires, I have no word to say.--Alvin Lee 05:59, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
Who cares what other articles use? They probably have problems of their own, and we, probably not being experts on Byzantine history, can't really comment on what goes on in those articles. We only need to care about what we can do here with the reliable sources we have. _dk (talk) 08:35, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
Ohhh, so now you say "who cares". So from now on articles should not have similar structures, and we could write articles without following certain formats. It will be a mess! That's why we need to unify the formats of article! Also, the Byzantine Empire example is used to disprove the statement "It is not necessary to use maps showing greatest extent". It seems that you have mistaken.--Alvin Lee 08:18, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
I don't know what you mean by "now you say", since that was my first time commenting on this thread. You also have fell onto a sort of slippery slope, exaggerating a relatively minor issue about maps into one about "following certain formats". To my knowledge, there is no style guide that says we must use the maximum extent of a former country. Perhaps an adequate solution is a map with more than one shade of colour showing Tang's "normal" possessions and another shade showing the greatest extent. _dk (talk) 09:55, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
So please explain why Western empires' map uses those shows their greatest extent? Don't throw out the Wikipedia:Othercrapexists--Alvin Lee 03:08, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Why can't I? _dk (talk) 04:28, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
The map of Tang dynasty have a lot of problem 1.貴州 was a part of tang dynasty 2.Mongol, northeast and middle Asia was a part of Tang about 50~100 year — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:52, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

Organization of this article[edit]

Hi, I just discovered this article a few days ago and it seems to be a well referenced article (although I have no access to the books that it uses as references). There seems to me to be a major problem with the article readability though. It's currently rather confusingly organized with just about everything being placed under the section heading "history" and then the actual history of the Tang Dynasty (it's establishment, rise, decline and fall) all being scattered throughout the page. In addition some of the sentence structure is extremely difficult to follow and even things in the history section doesn't necessarily follow chronological ordering. Does anyone have any suggestions on how this can be fixed? I think an easy way to fix it would be to follow a similar format to a country page and remove things like "Military and Foreign Policy," and "trade" from the history section and let the history section simply provide a general overview of the dynasty's period of rule.Monopoly31121993 (talk) 09:09, 11 October 2014 (UTC)

Silk road[edit]

Excerpts from this article have been copied to Silk Road following the rule Wikipedia:Copying within Wikipedia. Rjensen (talk) 17:29, 10 November 2014 (UTC)


This edit established the usage of the page as BC/AD. Kindly maintain it consistently pending a new consensus to the contrary. — LlywelynII 15:00, 24 March 2015 (UTC)


Similarly, this edit established the usage of the page as American English. Kindly eschew Britishisms. — LlywelynII 15:01, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Lead clutter[edit]

WP:MOS-ZH advocates not including the Chinese and other languages in the lead a third time when we've already got everything available in two separate infoboxes immediately to the right. I'm all for that, although we might want to force {{Chinese}} to display the romanizations by default. In any case, pinyin is phonetic and there is never any reason to display Chinese IPA: it's completely unhelpful both to people who don't know enough Chinese to read pinyin and to those who already do. Leave it in the infobox or at Wiktionary and link the characters. — LlywelynII 15:05, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

With this sentence

The dynasty was briefly interrupted when Empress Wu Zetian seized the throne, proclaiming the Second Zhou dynasty (October 8, 690 – March 3, 705) and becoming the only Chinese empress regnant.

I'm all for keeping the information on the page, but I think it's distracting rather than helpful to have such overly precise dating for the overview section. — LlywelynII 15:16, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Actually the information was wrong. Fixed, with cites. — LlywelynII 16:10, 24 March 2015 (UTC)


The current treatment is pretty risible. Vietnam wasn't an "influenced" "neighboring" "polity" and "state". Vietnam itself was a fully annexed part of the country from the establishment of the dynasty. It derived its name "Annam" from the Tang administrative reforms. (There were also another 5 or 7 'protectorates' formed for the Tang borders that we should mention, along with providing a list of the provinces, &c.)

The territory of present-day Vietnam had some independent states, but they weren't Viet but Cham, Khmer, &c. — LlywelynII 16:10, 24 March 2015 (UTC)


One editor objected to a three sentence quote from a leading scholar on the Tang Dynasty. It follows the guidelines, wp:QUOTE ="Quotations are a good way to comply with the no original research policy". Paraphrasing this 60-word succinct summary of the latest scholarship would be a challenge--let the critic try his hand and I bet he cannot paraphrase it well. Rjensen (talk) 10:24, 18 May 2016 (UTC)

It can be paraphrased, and that is part of encyclopedic writing. As WP:QUOTE says further down, "Quotes shouldn't replace plain, concise text". In particular, we shouldn't have a quotation dominating the introduction. Kanguole 10:32, 18 May 2016 (UTC)


Looking back on writing this article, I am wondering why I left out the Sogdians so much, considering their prominent role in Tang affairs. I've since tried to remedy this, by adding information like the changing of Li Baoyu's surname from An to Li in the nobility section. Some more could be said about them under the foreign relations section.Pericles of AthensTalk 09:43, 21 August 2016 (UTC)

I also just added info about them in regards to their spreading of Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, and Manichaeism.Pericles of AthensTalk 11:39, 21 August 2016 (UTC)

Native name of the Tang Empire[edit]

How come Middle Chinese is not used as the native name of the Tang Empire, interested in understanding Alexis Ivanov (talk) 12:16, 13 September 2016 (UTC)

Hello, Alexis Ivanov! I'm not even sure where to find the Middle Chinese pronunciation for "Tang Dynasty", even though there are books on the subject of Middle Chinese (modelled on the dialect of the Tang capital Chang'an, centuries before early Mandarin Chinese developed from the spoken dialect of the Yuan-dynasty capital Dadu, or Khanbaliq, modern-day Beijing). I think the older research by Bernhard Karlgren has been largely superseded by Edwin G. Pulleyblank, but you could probably refer to the works of either of them. Perhaps one of them mentions the Middle-Chinese pronunciation for the "Tang Dynasty", at least in passing. Good luck finding it! Pericles of AthensTalk 12:32, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
Actually, I never really noticed it before, but if you look at the language info box right in the introduction, and click the "show" button, it shows you the pronunciation of "Tang Dynasty" in not only modern standard Mandarin but also Cantonese, Min, and Middle Chinese! The Middle Chinese pronunciation of "Tang Dynasty" was dang djew. Compare that to Standard Mandarin: Táng cháo, Wu Chinese: Dáõn záu, Yue Cantonese: Tong4 ciu4, and Southern Min: Tông tiâu. Pericles of AthensTalk 13:16, 13 September 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Unexplained massive addition of content in new "religion" section, even though there's already a "Religion and philosophy" section below[edit]

Recently, an editor added a massive amount of new information on religion, or should I say information that is more or less a repeat of information already found lower down in the article? This introduces multiple hectic and unnecessary problems for a Featured Article, which is supposed to have very high standards and to remain fairly static, without huge sweeping changes. You are certainly not allowed to add a massive amount of material without discussion on the talk page first, if not building consensus and approval for your additions by the Wikipedia community. Please do not add this information back into the article. I will see about accommodating some of it in the already existing "Religion and philosophy" section, which you seemed to have entirely ignored. I added a link to "Great Anti-Buddhist Persecution" for now, but to be honest, the current section already covers most of what you tried to introduce into the article, with a needless second section on religion. By the way, the first sub-section "Religion and politics" only exists to explain a very limited subject, that is how religion interacted with the political sphere. A more thorough discussion of religion is given below, in the appropriate sub-section where all that material belongs. Regards, Pericles of AthensTalk 19:38, 6 August 2017 (UTC)

@Yprpyqp: this article is also quite large as it is per the constraints and rules of thumb in WP:SIZE (I recommend that you read this entire page before editing articles in the future). Perhaps you could make a new sub-article about religion during the Tang dynasty, and link it here in the main article? That way your information won't be lost, but at the same time it would not be bloating and ballooning an article that is arguably a bit too large as it is. --Pericles of AthensTalk 19:47, 6 August 2017 (UTC)