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Sino-Tibetan relations during the Tang dynasty

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Title: Sino-Tibetan relations during the Tang dynasty  
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Subject: Sino-Tibetan relations during the Ming dynasty, Pre-Imperial Tibet, List of Tibetan names, Tang dynasty, Tibet–Ladakh–Mughal War
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Sino-Tibetan relations during the Tang dynasty

Tibet during the Tang dynasty is an article on Tibet during the rule of the Tang dynasty. Chinese and Tibetan forces had many battles during this period.

Emperor Songtsän Gampo with Princesses Wen Cheng and Bhrikuti Devi

In 763 AD, the Tibetans captured Chang'an in 763 during the midst of the Anshi Rebellion, which saw Tang China devastated by a massive Turkic uprising. However, the incursion was soon defeated.[1]

The Old Book of Tang recorded the first ever embassy from Tibet arrived in China from Songtsän Gampo in the 8th Zhenguan year or 634 CE.[2] Tang chronicles describe this as a tribute mission, but it brought an ultimatum demanding a marriage alliance, not subservient rituals. After this demand was refused, Tibet launched victorious military attacks against Tang affiliates in 637 and 638.[3]

There is some confusion as to whether Central Tibet conquered Zhang Zhung during the reign of Songtsän Gampo or in the reign of Trisong Detsän, (r. 755 until 797 or 804 CE).[4] The records of the Tang Annals do, however, seem to clearly place these events in the reign of Songtsän Gampo for they say that in 634, Yangtong (Zhang Zhung) and various Qiang tribes "altogether submitted to him." Following this he united with the country of Yangtong to defeat the 'Azha or Tuyuhun, and then conquered two more tribes of Qiang before threatening Songzhou with an army of (according to the Chinese) more than 200,000 men (100,000 according to Tibetan sources).[5] He then sent an envoy with gifts of gold and silk to the Chinese emperor to ask for a Chinese princess in marriage and, when refused, attacked Songzhou. According to the Tang Annals, he finally retreated and apologised and later the emperor granted his request,[6][7]

Map during the period

Taizong "reign" 616-649
Colors show the succession of Taizong (Tang) conquest in Asia :
   Shanxi (617 : his father is governor, Taizong support his revolt.)
   Sui's Empire Protector (618). Tang dynasty 618. Controlled all of Sui's China by 622-626.
   Submit the Oriental Turks territories (630-682)
   Tibetan's King recognizes China as their emperor (641-670)
   Submit the Occidental Turks territories (642-665)
(idem) add the Oasis (640-648 : Northern Oasis ; 648 : Southern Oasis)
   [Not shown in the map : Conquest of Goguryeo by his son (661-668)]
The two darkest area are the area under the direct control of the Chinese empire, the 3 lightest area are under nominal control and/or vassals. Borders are not factual, they are indicatives.

See also


  1. ^ Bell, Charles (1 June 2000). Tibet Past and Present. South Asia Books. p. 28?.   See google book search
  2. ^ Lee 1981, pp. 6-7
  3. ^ Powers 2004, pg. 31
  4. ^ Karmey, Samten G. (1975). "'A General Introduction to the History and Doctrines of Bon", p. 180. Memoirs of Research Department of The Toyo Bunko, No, 33. Tokyo.
  5. ^ Powers 2004, pp. 168-9
  6. ^ Lee 1981, pp. 7-9
  7. ^ Pelliot 1961, pp. 3-4
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