later tang dynasty

The later tang dynasty was a short-lived dynasty that lasted from 923 to 936 as one of the five dynasties during the five dynasties and ten kingdoms Period. It was also the first in a series of three dynasties ruled by the Shatuo. At its height, it controlled most of northern China.

Formation of the later tang dynasty

From the fall of the tang dynasty in 907, a rivalry had developed between the successor later liang dynasty , formed by Zhu Wen and the State of Jin by Li Keyong in present-day Shanxi . That rivalry was not quelled by the death of Li Keyong. His son, Li Cunxu continued to expand Jin territories at the expense of the later liang dynasty . The fact that an alliance forged by Li Keyong with the powerful Khitan, who, like the Shatuo, were also a people of the northern steppe, was maintained, figured significantly in the expansion and ultimate triumph of the Shatuo.

Li Cunxu was successful in overthrowing the later liang dynasty in 923 and proclaimed himself emperor of the later tang dynasty , which he referred to as the "Restored Tang". As a part of "restoring the Tang", the capital was moved back to the old Tang eastern capital of Luoyang.

Course of the later tang dynasty

As with all of the other dynasties of the Five Dynasties, this was a short-lived regime lasting only thirteen years. Li Cunxu himself lived only three years after the founding of the dynasty, having been killed during an officer's rebellion in 926.

Li Siyuan, the adopted son of Li Keyong, took over the dynasty, but relations with the Khitan and had fallen sour. Internal struggles typified the remaining ten years of the dynasty, ending with its toppling in 936 when Shi Jingtang, son-in-law of Li Siyuan and a fellow Shatuo, rebelled, stormed the capital with the help of Khitan troops, and founded the Later jin dynasty.

Extent of later tang dynasty territories

The later tang dynasty controlled considerably more territory at its height than did the later liang dynasty . Not only did it control all northern Chinese territories controlled by the previous dynasty, it held onto control of its own base in Shanxi . It also had control over the areas around Beijing and Shaanxi , which were not entirely under the control of the later liang dynasty .

The largest expansion of the later tang dynasty occurred in 925 when they conquered the Former Shu State, centered in present-day Sichuan . However, as later tang dynasty power was waning, a later shu state formed in 934, one year prior to the fall of the later tang dynasty.

Rulers of the later tang dynasty

Temple names

Posthumous names

Family names and given name

Durations of reigns

Era names and their according durations

Zhuāngzōng (莊宗)

too tedious; thus, not used when referring to this sovereign

Lǐ Cúnxù (李存勗)


Tóngguāng (同光) 923-926

Míngzōng (明宗)

too tedious; thus, not used when referring to this sovereign

Lǐ Sìyuán (李嗣源) or Lǐ Dǎn (李亶)


Tiānchéng (天成) 926-930

Chángxīng (長興) 930-933

did not exist

Mǐn (閔)

Lǐ Cónghòu (李從厚)


Yìngshùn (應順) 933-934

did not exist

Mòdì (末帝)

Lǐ Cóngkē (李從珂)


Qīngtaì (清泰) 934-937

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