The Founding of the T'ang Dynasty: The Fall of Sui and Rise of T'ang: A Preliminary Survey

The Founding of the T'ang Dynasty: The Fall of Sui and Rise of T'ang: A Preliminary Survey

The Founding of the T'ang Dynasty: The Fall of Sui and Rise of T'ang: A Preliminary Survey

The Founding of the T'ang Dynasty: The Fall of Sui and Rise of T'ang: A Preliminary Survey

Excerpt

In 616 Emperor Yang, a ruler who combined practical ability with imagination, one who the year before had entertained at his board the princes of neighboring states, a poet as well as a leader of able men, abandoned his capitals in the north of China and retired to the Yangtze valley never to return. Within two years he lay murdered, the Sui dynasty was all but finished and the house of T'ang began to extend its sway over the remnants of his empire. Wherein lay the causes for this rapid disintegration?

In most histories, whether in Chinese or western languages, the picture is simplified by failing to ascribe anything of greatness to Emperor Yang. Although he is well known for his love of fine literature and for his development of the Grand Canal, his achievements are considered as having been undertaken merely for his own personal enjoyment. Emperor Yang is depicted as one of the worst emperors China has ever known. He is characterized as a pleasure-loving madman chiefly interested in the . . .

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