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5 DYNASTIES & 10 STATES
The demise of Tang Dynasty brought the so-called Five Dynasties (AD 907-960) in northern China and 10 Kingdoms (AD 902-979), with nine kingdoms in southern China and Northern Han (AD 951-979) in Taiyuan, Shanxi.
As recorded in history, the three dynasties in between Posterior Liang and Posterior Zhou were of alien nature and founded by generals who belonged to a group of nomads called Shatuo (Sha'to), a Turkic tribe. While Posterior Liang (AD 907-923) was set up by Zhu Wen (who first betrayed rebel leader Huang Chao and then usurped Tang Dynasty), the leader of later Posterior Tang (AD 923-936), Posterior Jinn (AD 936-946) and Posterior Han came from nomadic Shatuo (Sha'to) ancestry.
Origin of Shatuo
There is a section devoted to Shatuo in New History of Tang Dynasty. Shatuo had its origin from 'Chuyue' tribe, an alternative race of the Western Turks. New History of Tang Dynasty stated that Eastern Turks and Western Turks divided the ancient land of Wu'sun (today's Ili area). 'Chuyue' tribe and 'Chumi' tribe co-lived with the Turks in this area. In the 7th year reign of Zhen'guan Era, i.e., AD 633, Tang Emperor Taizong supported Duolu as the khan for Western Turks. A Turkic chieftan called Buzhen tried to absorb the people of his brother Mishe, causing Mishe and Chuyue Tribe to seek vassalage with Tang. Shortly thereafter, Buzhen sought vassalage with Tang, too. Khan Duolu erected Helu, the son of a 'tele' (prince), as the chief in charge of remaining Western Turks. Later, Western Turks had internal strife and split into two courts. Chuyue Tribe went with the northern court under arch-chieftan Khan Duolu, and they lived to the south of Jinsuoshan Mountain, to the east of which would be a desert called Shatuo; hence, Chuyue Tribe called themselves Shatuo (Sha'to) Turks.
In AD 639, with the help of Xueyantuo (Sheyanto) Turkic tribe (one component of the Tiele Tribes), Tang army of 100,000 travelled 7,000 li distance to fight Gaochang Statelet (Turpan area), scaring Gaochang King Qu Wentai to death. Qu Wentai's son surrenderred after learning that the relief army of Western Khanate Turks had fled home half way. Emperor Taizong renamed Gaochang to Xizhou, and made it the locality for the governor-general office in charge of Yutian, Suiye (Tokmok), Shule and Chouci. Later, in AD 659, Xizhou or Anxi 'Protector-General (Marshal Presidio)' office was relocated to Chouci. In AD 702, Tang would set up Beiting 'Protector-General (Marshal Presidio)' office in Tingwai or Tingzhou (present-day Jimsar), a place located to the east of Suiye (Tokmok), to the south of Xizhou (Turpan), and to the west of Yizhou (Hami).
Turks of Beiting (Beiting meaning the original 'northern Turkic court'), under Khan Duolu, once attacked Yizhou (Hami) and surrounded the areas around the Tianshan Mountains with two columns of army. Tang Governor-General for An-xi, Guo Xiaoke, defeated the Turks and took over Chuyue's sijin (governor) city. Khan Duolu later was defeated and he fled southward to the 'Tu-huo-luo' statelet. (Tu-huo-luo', as area surrounded by Afghanistan, Tibet and Turkistan, was said to have mutated from Chinese characters of 'da [grand] xia', and some Central Asians, who claimed descent from Huns or Xia Chinese, even likened the sound of Avar to the Chinese characters of 'a hua'.) Helu surrendered to Tang. Tang erected Helu as the governor of Yaochi and relocated his tribe to Mohecheng city of Tingzhou Prefecture. A Chuyue sijin, Zhuye Que, sought vassalage with Tang. In AD 650, Helu rebelled against Tang. A Chuyue chieftan, Zhuye Guzhu, killed a Tang officer, zhaowei-shi (i.e., pacifying and consoling inspector) Lian Heh, and Zhuye Guzhu joined Helu in rebelling against Tang. Chuyue occupied Laoshan Mountain. Tang conferred Helu's title onto another Chuyue chieftan (Shatuo Nasu). In AD 651, Tang army, under the command of Lian Jianfang (zong guan or omnipotent magistrate of Gongyue-dao Circuit) and Qibi Heli (a Tang general of nomadic origin), defeated rebelling Chuyue chieftan by the name of 'Zhuye Guzhu', killed him, and captured 9000 Shatuo people. In AD 652, Tang revoked Yaochi governorship and made the Chuyue land into two prefectures of Jinman and Shatuo, to be under two governors, instead. After Helu fled, an-hu da-shi (pacifying ambassordor) Ashina Mishe went for the Ili River area. Tang erected Kunling Protector-General Office for control of the Duolu tribe, with Ashina Mishe as du-hu, i.e., protector-general.
In AD 661, Chuyue chieftan, Shatuo Jinshan, assisted Tang General Xue Rengui in campaigning against Tiele Tribes. Shatuo Jinshan was conferred the title of moli-jun taoji-shi, i.e., the campaigning general for Moli-jun Garrison. Shatuo Jinshan was upgraded to the title of governor for Jinman-zhou prefecture and Duke Zhangye-jun-gong during the second year of Chang'an Era, i.e., AD 702.
After the death of Shatuo Jinshan, his son Zhuye Fuguo succeeded the post. Shatuo tribe relocated northward to Beiting office for sake of avoiding the Tibetans and led pilgrimage to the Tang court. During the 2nd year of Kaiyuan Era, i.e., AD 714, Shatuo was conferred the title of governor for Jinman-zhou prefecture again. Zhuye Fuguo's mother (Shu-ni-shi) was conferred the title of Shan'guo Furen or Lady Shan'guo. Zhuye Fuguo was later upgraded to the title of King Yongshou-jun. His son, Zhuye Guduozhi, succeeded him.
When Huihe sought vassalage with Tang in early Tianbao Era, i.e., AD 714, Zhuye Guduozhi was conferred the title of deputy protector-general for the Huihe tribe. In AD 740s, Chuyue followed Huihe (Uygurs) in aiding Tang Emperor Suzong during the An-Shi Rebellion. Chuyue chieftan, Zhuye Guduozhi, was conferred the title of 'tejin' (governor) and xiaowei shang-jiangjun (i.e., colonel high general). After Zhuye Guduozhi would be son Zhuye Jinzhong. Zhuye Jinzhong succeeded the title and was further conferred the title of jinwuwei da-jiangjun and Duke of Jiuquanxian-gong (Jiuquan County).
During the eras of Zhide (AD 756) and Baoying (AD 762), China was undergoing turmoils, and Xizhou and Beiting were disconnected from China. Emissaries between west and China had to go through exploitations while travelling through Huihe territories. Shatuo people were oppressed by Huihe. In late AD 790s, 7000 Shatuo tents, under Shatuo Jinzhong (Zhuye Jinzhong), sought suzerainty with Tibetans. Together with Tibetans, they attacked the Beiting governor office. Tibetans later relocated the Shatuo to Ganzhou Prefecture. Tibetans used Shatuo Jinzhong (Zhuye Jinzhong) as front-runner armies against the Tang border. When Huihe took over Liangzhou of Gansu Province, Tibetans became wary of Shatuo's relationship with Huihe. Tibetans, suspicious of Shatuo's loyalty, intended to relocate Shatuo to some distant place. In AD 808, Shatuo Jinzhong (Zhuye Jinzhong) consulted with Zhuye Zhiyi and decided to lead 30,000 people on an exodus to the Xiaoguan Pass of Tang China. Tibetans chased them all the way, along the Wudejian-shan Mountain, fought major battles at Lintao and Shimen, and killed Shatuo Jinzhong (Zhuye Jinzhong). Zhuye Zhiyi led remnants to Lingzhou-sai border pass. Tang General Fan Xichao of Lingzhou Prefecture offered asylum to the Shatuo people, assigned them to Yanzhou Prefecture, and bought buffalo and sheep on behalf of Shatuo people. Shatuo elderlies and children, coming from Fengxiang-dao, Xingyuan-dao and Taiyuan-dao circuits, would find their way to Yanzhou to get a reunion. Shatuo Jinzhong's brother, Shatuo Ge-le-a-bo, led about 700 remnants to Zhenwu and was conferred the title of leftside wuwei grand general and governor for Yinshan-fu prefecture.
Zhuye Zhiyi came to Tang capital Chang'an and was granted silk clothing and horses and conferred the titles of 'tejin' and 'jinwuwei jiangjun'. When Fan Xichao was dispatched to Taiyuan of Shanxi Prov, Fan Xichao selected two thousand Shatuo cavalry and named it 'Shatuo Column'. Rest of Shatuo people were settled in Dingxiangchuan area. Zhuye Zhiyi was ordered to guard Huanghuadui of Shenwuchuan area and they renamed themselves the "Northern Shatuo of Yinshan".
Shatuo Serving Tang Dynasty
Quelling Wang Chengzong Rebellion: When Tang emperor personally led campaign against Zhenzhou prefecture, Zhuye Zhiyi led 700 Shatuo as forerunner column and fought against a rebel army in tens of thousands under Wang Chengzong. Zhuye Zhiyi, against the rain of arrows, defeated Wang Chengzong's ambush at Mudaogou Valley. Tang General Li Guangyan followed through by destroying over ten thousand rebels. Zhuye Zhiyi was conferred the title of ci shi (inspector) for weizhou prefecture. Tang court, at the suggestion of Wang Er (jiedu-shi or governor-general for Taiyuan), distributed Shatuo people among ten prefectures for sake of weakening their unity.
Fighting Huihe & Quelling Wu Yuanji Rebellion
Later, Huihe attacked Tang's Xicheng and Liugu areas by crossing the Gobi desert. Zhuye Zhiyi was ordered to guard Tiande. When Tang campaigned against rebel Wu Yuanji, Zhuye Zhiyi was called upon to serve under the command of Li Guangyan. Zhuye Zhiyi participated in the attacks at Shiqu and Lingyunshan Camp. Zhuye Zhiyi was conferred the post of shang shu for jianxiao xingbu (i.e., monitoring and censoring justice department) after cracking down on Wu Yuanji rebellion. During the Changqing Era (AD 821), Zhuye Zhiyi, still under command of Li Guangyan, was ordered to attack Zhenzhou. Shatuo army cooperated with Yiding-jun Garrison in sacking rebel city of Shenzhou prefecture. Zhuye Zhiyi was conferred the title of jin wuwei jiangjun. During Taihe Era (AD 827), Liu Gongchuo was in charge of he dong, i.e., east of the Yellow River. Citing the fact that Shatuo people were feared by Nine Tiele Name tribes and six northwestern prefecture peoples, Liu Gongchuo proposed that Shatuo Zhiyi be conferred the posts of governor (dudu) for Yinshan-fu and zhaohu-shi for Daibei Xingying (i.e., military camp for north of Dai prefecture).
Fighting Huihe & Quelling Wang Chengzong/Yang Bian Rebellions
After the death of Zhuye Zhiyi, his son, Zhuye Chixin, succeeded. During the 4th year of Kaicheng Era, i.e., AD 839, Huihe crossed the mouth of the desert and arrived at Yulin-sai border pass. Huihe prime minister, Jue-luo-wu, sent 300 good horses to Zhuye Chixin for sake of attacking Huihe Khan Zhuangxin. After the death of Khan Zhuangxin, jiedu-shi Liu Mian led Shatuo army against the Huihe at Sha-hu-shan Mountain (Hu nomad killing ridge). Later, Tang campaigned against rebel Liu Zhen at Lu (Zhuozhang River, Shanxi Prov) and called upon Zhuye Chixin's 3000 cavalry to be under the command of Shi Xiong. Shato cavalry acted as forerunner column, sacked Shihui-guan Pass, and aided Wang Zai in taking over Tian1-jing3. Further, Shato cavalry converged with Taiyuan-jun Garrison, arrived at Yushe, cooperated with jianjun-shi Lü Yizhong in capturing rebel Yang Bian. After quelling Luzhou prefecture, Zhuye Chixin was conferred the post of ci shi for Shuozhou prefecture as well as retained zhaohu-shi for Daibei Xingying.
During the mid-Dazhong era (Dazhong starting from AD 859), Tubo (Tibet) combined Dangxiang (Tanguts)/Huihe (Uygur) forces and invaded he xi, i.e., west of the Yellow River. Wang Zai, Tang official in charge of Taiyuan of Shanxi Prov, led various armies from Daibei (north of Dai prefecture) against the Tibetans, with Shatuo cavalry as forerunner column. Tibetans were often defeated and they propogated a myth stating that they saw fire burning on the general riding red horse (i.e., Zhuye Chixin). Historians claim that Tibetan power began to eclipse after they lost the Shatuo people to Tang. Tang Emperor Xuan(1)-zong (r. 847-859) recovered three prefectures as well as seven passes west of the Yellow River. Zhuye Chixin were conferred the post of ci shi for Weizhou (Yuzhou?) prefecture and shouzhuo shi (guard and capture) for Yunzhou prefecture.
Quelling Pang Xun Rebellion
When Pang Xun Rebellion erupted, Tang court made Kang Chengxun into xingying zhaotao-shi, with Zhuye Chixin in charge of 3000 cavalry. At one time, Kang Chengxun was encircled at Huan-sui River; Zhuye Chixin led 500 cavalry to Kang's rescue. Pang Xun, with 80000 strong army, intended to have a fast duel. Zhuye Chixin led cavalry on a charge at the enemy camp and defeated Pang Xun in cooperation with Tang army; Zhuye Chixin's brother, Zhuye Chishuai, chased Pang Xun to a place called Bo-dong (east of Bo, i.e., Shangqiu of Henan Prov). After quelling Pang Xun Rebellion, Zhuye Chixin was conferred the post of jiedu-shi for Datong-jun Garrison, and Tang royal family name of 'Li' and first name of 'Guochang' (prospering the country).
When Huihe attacked Yulin of Shenxi Prov and harassed Lingzhou / Yanzhou, Tang conferred Li Guochang (Zhuye Chixin) the post of jiedu shi for Fuyan (today's Fuxian county, Shenxi Prov). When Huihe attacked Tiande, Li Guochang was moved to Zhenwu.
Quelling Wang Xianzhi Rebellion
When rebel Wang Xianzhi sacked Jing-Xiang areas of Hubei Prov, Tang court called upon various prefectures for aiding the crackdown on the rebellion. Li Guochang dispatched Liu Qian's cavalry to Hubei Prov and defeated rebels several times.
In AD 876, a Tang official in charge of Daibei and Yunzhong, Duan Wenchu, was hated by his subordinate officials. Those officials went to see the son of Li Guochang, shouzhuo shi for Yunzhong Li Keyong, for getting rid of Duan Wenchu. Li Keyong agreed with it and led over 10000 army to Yunzhou prefecture, attacked Doujitai, and killed Duan Wenchu. Tang court sent armies to crack down on Li Keyong. When Rebel Huang Chao crossed the Yangtze River, Tang court called off the campaign against Li Keyong, granted amnesty, conferred the post of fangyu shi for Datong-jun Garrison onto Li Guochang. When Li Guochang refused the conferrals, Tang court called upon Cui Yanzhao (jiedu shi for He Dong) and Zhang Gongsu of Youzhou prefecture to crack down on Li Guochang, but Tang armies failed to fight Li Guochang.
Tanguts came to fight Li Guochang, but to no vain. A Tuhun (previously Tuyuhun) chieftan from Datong-chuan area, by the name of Helian Duo attacked the city of Zhenwu and took over Li Guochang's equipment and grain supply. Li Guochang fled to Yunzhou prefecture with 500 cavalry, but Yunzhou city refused to take in Li Guochang. Helian Duo took over Yunzhou. Li Keyong, meantime, fought between Weizhou (Yuzhou?) and Shuozhou with 3000 soldiers. When Li Keyong stationed at Xincheng city, Helian Duo came to attack him with over ten thousand soldiers. Helian Duo dug tunnels underneath the city wall, but three days later, Helian Duo still failed to take the city, while incurring heavy casulties. Li Guochang led relief army to Xincheng from Weizhou. Helian Duo withdrew. Helian Duo was conferred the post of jiedu-shi for Datong by Tang Emperor Xizong. In AD 879, Tang court conferred the post of beimian (northside) zhaotao-shi onto Li Jun, in charge of Luzhou and Taiyuan armies. Li Jun stationed at Daizhou prefecture. Li Keju of Youzhou prefecture combined forces with Helian Duo in attacking Weizhou. Li Guochang faced off with opponents with one column, while Li Keyong led a column on an attack at Zhelucheng city. At the time, heavy snows fell, and Li Jun's army collapsed and Li Jun died from his erratic retreating soldiers. In AD 880, Tang court conferred the post of zhaotao (campaigning) dutong (governing general) for Weizhou and Shuozhou onto Li Zhuo. Li Zhuo stationed dozens of thousands of soldiers in Daizhou. Li Keyong dispatched Fu Wenda to Weizhou (Yuzhou) for relief, but Gao Wenxi (
Quelling Huang Chao Rebellion
When Huang Chao sacked Tongguan Pass and entered Chang'an the capital, Tang court ordered that hedong (east of Yellow River) jianjun (monitoring general) Chen Jingsi assemble armies in Daibei (north of Daizhou prefecture). At the time, a Shatuo dudu (governor general) by the name of Li Youjin was in charge of Xingtang-jun Garrison, and a Sa'ge chieftan (Mi Haiwan) and dudu for Anqing (Shi Jingchun) were in charge of Ganyi-jun Garrison. Hearing that Emperor fled to west, Chen Jingsi and Li Youjin led 5000 cavalry to the city of Jiang4 (Shanxi Prov). Undesciplined soldiers stole government money. Upon returning to Daizhou, Chen Jingsi recruited 30,000 more soldiers. When soldiers disturbed peace, Li Youjin said to Chen that his brother (situ father and son, i.e., Li Guochang and Li Keyong) etc, being talented warriors feared by the soldier ranks, would be able to rally heroic soldiers north of Daizhou area for defeating the rebels. Chen Jingsi petitioned with Tang emperor to have Li Guochang spared. Tang court hence conferred the post of ci shi for Daizhou onto Li Keyong. Li Keyong hired over 10,000 Dada [Dadan] nomads as mercenaries and brought them back to Daizhou. When on route southward to Yaiyuan, Li Keyong was refused entry by jiedu-shi Zheng Congdang at Shiling-guan Pass. Li Keyong circumvented around to Taiyuan and stationed outside of the city wall for five days. When refused grain supply by Zheng Congdang, Li Keyong retreated back to Daizhou.
In AD 882, Su You (ci shi for Weizhou) combined forces with Helian Duo for sake of attacking Li Keyong at Daizhou. Li Keyong led 500 cavalry on a surprise attack at Weizhou (Yuzhou) and took over the city. When Li Keyong stationed at Meinü-gu Valley (beauty valley) outside of Weizhou, Helian Duo and Li Keju of Youzhou led 70,000 army against Weizhou. Li Keyong broke through the camps of Helian Duo and Li Keju, entered the city of Weizhou, burnt the supplies and departed for Yanmen area. At this time, Li Guochang led relief army from Dada [Dadan]. The two Li disturbed the Shanxi Prov areas of Fen, Bing and Loufan without releasing armours. Tang emperor decreed that Li Keyong could return to Shuozhou, and Wang Chuchun (jiedu-shi for Yiwu) and Wang Chongrong (jiedu-shi for Hezhong, i.e., middle Yellow River) passed on imperial order to have Li Keyong campaign against rebel Huang Chao in return for amnesty. Li Keyong, excited upon receiving the decree, would assemble 30,000 army comprising of soldiers from Xin-Dai-Wei-Shuo prefectures and Dada [Dadan] nomads, in addition to 5000 cavalry. Li Guochang was left at Daizhou for garrison while Li Keyong led the army southward. Again, Zheng Congdang refused to lend the path. Li Keyong camped near Taiyuan, offerred horses/money to Zheng Congdang and shouted that he was going west and wished to have a talk with Zheng. Thereafter, Zheng Congdang went to comfort Li Keyong and returned money to Li. Li Keyong then went to Hezhong area. Tang emperor conferred Li Keyong the posts of jiedu for Yanmen, zhen'er (i.e., quelling) for Shen-ce (devine tactics) Tianning-jun Garrison, and guancha-shi (i.e., observer general) for Xin-Dai areas.
Pang Xun Rebellion & Huang Chao Rebellion
Like many historians, Scholar Luo Xianglin, in History of Chinese Nationalities (Chinese Culture Publishing Enterprise Co, Taipei, Taiwan, May 1953 edition), traced the cause of the Second Forced Migration Of Chinese to the invasion by Nan-zhao of Southwestern China. Nan-zhao, consisting of Hundred Yue family and Western Qiang descendants, began to encroach on Tang Dynasty after the era of Tang Emperor Taizong. Tang court stationed garrison troops in Yongning of Guilin [Guangxi Prov], and Ya'an & Songfan [Sichuan Prov] against Nan-zhao. During the Xiantong Era of Tang Emperor Yizong, a border general by the name of Pang Xun rebelled at Guilin garrison. Pang Xun rebels departed Guilin for Hunan Prov in the same way as later Taiping Heavenly Kingdom. The rebels further sacked and pillaged the areas of Yangtze River and Huai-shui River. After this rebellion, Tang societal weakness began to emerge.
Another rebellion by the name of Huang Chao assembled Pang Xun remnants for a new round of pillage. Huang Chao intruded into south of Huai-shui River from Henan Prov, attacked eastern Zhejiang Prov, changed direction to sack Jiangxi Prov, swept into Fujian Prov, returned to Jiangxi Prov, further entered Hunan Prov, touched eastern Guangxi Prov, rerouted southward to Guangzhou [Canton] of Guangdong Prov, returned to Hunan Prov, went north to Hubei Prov, harassed Anhui Prov, crossed Huai-shui River to take over Luoyang of Henan Prov, and finally took over capital of Chang'an [Shenxi Prov]. Huang Chao Rebellion lasted a dozen years. Tang court had to rely upon nomadic mercenaries, including Shatuo and Tanguts, for quelling the rebellion. The end result of Huang Chao Rebellion would be the usurpation of Tang Dynasty by Zhu Wen who defected from Huang Chao camp. Zhu Wen's establishing Posterior Liang Dynasty would throw northern China into the turmoil time period called "Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms".
During Five Dynasties time period, Tangut's Tuoba-Li family expressed loyalty to all five succeeding courts as well as the Northern Han Dynasty to the east of the Yellow River. Only Posterior Tang had launched one campaign against Tuoba-Li's Tangut regime. In AD 895, Toba Sigong (i.e., Li Sigong) passed away. Brother Li Sijian assumed the post of "ding-na-jun jie-du-shi" (i.e., Governor-general for Quelling-turmoil Garrison). When Posterior Liang was founded by Zhu Wen, Li Sijian expressed loyalty and received extra titles of "jianxiao taiwei' [monitoring captain] and "shi zhong" [imperial attache]. In 908, Li Sigong's grandson, Li Yichang, took over Li Sijian's post. Three months later, Li Yichang was killed by his general Gao Zongyi. An uncle, by the name of Li Renfu, was supported as the new Governor-general for Quelling-turmoil Garrison. Li Renfu was attacked by Li Chunxu (i.e., King Jinn-wang) at one time by encircling Xiazhou; but Posterior Liang Emperor Taizu (i.e., Zhu Wen) came to the relief of Li Renfu.
Posterior Tang leader had once gone into exile in another nomadic group of people called Dada [Dadan] (to be mixed up with Tartar later) till he was recalled by Tang emperor for quelling the Huang Chao rebellion. When Zhu Wen usurped Tang, General Li Keyong and his son Li Chunxu set up the so-called Posterior Tang. To combat Posterior Liang, he would strike an agreement with the Khitans (a branch of earlier Xianbei nomads) against Posterior Liang.
But the Khitans, under Yelu Ahbaoji (Yeh-lu A-pao-chi) and his Uygur wife, would collude with Posterior Liang. The Khitans obtained a Chinese minister called Han Yanwei and conquered, in AD 926, tribes like Dangxiang (Tanguts) in the west and the Tungusic P'o-hai (Bohai) and north Korea in the east. Khitan became a much larger northern power.
After Li Chunxu overthrew Posterior Liang, Tangut's Li Renfu expressed loyalty to Posterior Tang. In AD 933, Tangut's Li Yichao assumed the post of his father Li Renfu. Posterior Tang Emperor Mingzong [Li Siyuan or Li Dan, reign 926-933] had campaigned against Li Yichao for his refusal to relocate to Yanzhou. After laying siege of Xiazhou in vain for over hundred days, Posterior Tang Emperor Mingzong withdrew the siege and re-confirmed Li Yichao's post. After Li Yichao's death in AD 936, brother Li Yiyin assumed the Tangut post.
Posterior Jinn (AD 936-946) was led by a Posterior Tang general called Shi Jingtang, also a Shatuo (Sha'to) nomad. Shi, in order to fight Posterior Tang, would secede 16 zhou (a unit larger than prefecture but smaller than province) to the Khitans, including today's Beijing city which was never recovered from the nomads till Ming Dynasty (AD 1368-1644) overthrown the Mongol Yuan Dynasty. Yelu Ahbaoji's son, Yelu Deguang, would assist Posterior Jinn in destroying Posterior Tang and hence take over 16 northern Chinese prefectures as a ransom. With the help of Khitans, Posterior Jinn took over Luoyang and destroyed Posterior Tang.
When Shi Jingtang, i.e., Posterior Tang Emperor Mingzong's son-in-law, colluded with Khitans in overthrowing Posterior Tang and establishing Posterior Jinn, Tangut's Li Yiyin continued to receive the old conferrals. Posterior Jinn further caught Tangut rebels in AD 943 on behalf of Li Yiyin. When Khitans attacked Posterior Jinn in AD 944, Li Yiyin led a combined force of 40,000 Tibetans, Qiangs and Han Chinese in attacking the west of Khitans by crossing the Yellow River at Linzhou.
However, rifts between Khitan Liao and Posterior Jinn ensued, and Khitans destroyed Posterior Jinn. When Posterior Jinn Emperor Chudi refused to acknowledge vassalage to Khitans, Yelu Deguang attacked Posterior Jinn and destroyed Posteriro Jinn in AD 946. Khitans renamed their dynsty to Liao Dynasty in AD 947 in the attempt of ruling northern China. Liu Zhiyuan of Shatuo origin established Posteriro Han Dynasty. Posteriro Han Dynasty continued the pacification policy as to the Tanguts, and further seceded Jingzhou (Mizhi county of Shenxi) to Tangut's Li Yiyin in AD 949 and conferred the title of "zhong shu ling" (minister for central secretariat).
At this time, Southern Tang (AD 937-975) in Nanking, south of the Yantze River, had contacted Khitans expressing a desire to go to the ex-Tang capital of Chang'an to maintain the imperial tombs.
When weather got hot and Chinese under Liu Zhiyuan rebelled against them, Yelu Deguang retreated to the north and died on route home at a place called Fox-killing Ridge. A Posterior Jinn general of Shatuo tribe origin, Liu Zhiyuan, would be responsible for rallying an army and pressured Khitans into retreat, and hence Liu founded the Posterior Han Dynasty (AD 947-950), citing the same family name as Han Empire's founder. Yelu Deguang's nephew (Wuyue Yelu Ruan), would succeed the Khitan post in AD 947. Five years later, in AD 951, he was assasinated.
Guo Wei, a general of Posterior Han Dynasty responsible for the defeating Posterior Jinn, rebelled after his family were slaughtered in the capital; Guo later staged a change of dynasty by having his soldiers propose that he be the emperor of Posterior Zhou (AD 951-960). The uncle of Posterior Han emperor declared Northern Han (AD 951-979) in today's Shanxi and allied with Khitans. After Guo Wei, i.e., "liu shou" (governing magistrate) for Yedu (Yecheng of Shanxi), killed Posteriro Han Dynasty Emperor Yindi (r 948-950), Guo Wei upgraded Tangut's Li Yiyin to the title of King Longxi-jun-wang in AD 951.
Yelu Deguang's son, Wulu (Yelu Jing), would now succeed in AD 951. Note that the Yelu family had adopted Chinese first names here, and they had sinicized by adopting Chinese language, rituals and governmental structure. Guo Wei, i.e., Posteriro Zhou Dynasty Emperor Taizu (r 951-954), conferred the title of King Xiping-wang onto Li Yiyin in AD 954. Li Yiyin did not severe relations with Northern Han Dynasty till AD 957.
Guo Wei's Posterior Zhou will pass on to his foster son, Cai Rong, to be eventually replaced by his general called Zhao Kuangying who founded the Northern Song Dynasty (AD 960-1127).
When Northern Han (Liu Chong) and Khitan Liao attacked Posterior Zhou by taking advantage of the death of Guo Wei, Cai Rong led imperial bodyguard troops to Gaoping to counter Northern Han and Khitans. A general, zhi hui Fan Aineng fled the scene. When Cai Rong was targeted by enemy arrow shooters, Zhao Kuangyin led a dozen brave soldiers on a charge against the enemies and rescued Cai Rong. Posterior Zhou army chased Liu Chong to He-dong city, and Zhao Kuangyin personally led a fire attack at the city. Cai Rong retreated after Zhao suffered an arrow wound in the left arm. When Posterior Zhou retreated to Biandu (Kaifeng) the capital, Zhao Kuangyin was conferred Marquis Duyu-hou and ci shi of Yanzhou prefecture.
During the third year reign of Zhou Shizong, i.e., AD 956, Posterior Zhou campaigned against the Huainan territories of Southern Tang. Both Zhao Kuangyin and Zhao Hongyin joined the campaigns. Posterior Zhou defeated a over 10000 Tang army at Wokou and killed bingma (soldier & horse) du-jian (monitoring general) He Yanxi. Southern Tang army, claiming 150000, led by
During the fourth year reign of Zhou Shizong, i.e., AD 957, Zhao Kuangyin participated in the campaign against Shouchun. Posterior Zhou took over Zhu-zhai Garrison and Shouzhou city. Upon return, Zhao was conferred the post of jianxiao (censoring and inspecting) taibao (gestapo) and jiedu (governor-general) for Yicheng-jun Garrison. In the winter, Posterior Zhou campaigned against Hao-Si areas of Anhui Province. Southern Tang stationed its army on the beach of Shibali-tan (eighteen Chinese mile beach). Zhou Emperor Shizong intended to cross the river via camels, but Zhao Kuangyin jumped into the river to lead the way for his soldiers. Zhao defeated Southern Tang army, and then flowed down to take over Sizhou city. Tang army then stationed at Dunqing-kou mouth. Zhao followed Zhou Emperor Shizong in marching along the east of Huai River and chased the enemy to Shanyang. Zhao captured Tang jiedu-shi Chen Chengzhao and took over Chuzhou city. Zhao went on to defeat Tang army at another river mouth, burnt the Tang camps south of the river, and defeated Tang at Guabu. After quelling Huainan (south of Huai River) areas, Southern Tang tried to sow a dissension between Zhao Kuangyin and Zhou Shizong by sending 3000 Chinese ounces of 'baijing' (white gold). Zhao submitted the gold to the imperial coffer. The next year, Zhao was conferred the post of jiedu-shi for Zhongwu-jun Garrison.
In AD 959, Zhou Shizong led a northern campaign at Canzhou. Zhao was conferred the post of sui-lu du bushu ('land-water governing general in charge'). Zhou Shizong personally went to Qianning-jun Garrison to lead the attack at Ningzhou, and Ningzhou ci shi Wang Hong surrendered. Then, Han Tong was assigned the charge of land army and Zhao in charge of boats. Zhou army attacked Yijin-guan Pass. When Wang Hong called upon the guarding general Zhong Tinghui for surrender, Zhong agreed. Zhong Tinghui was retained at the pass. When reaching Mozhou area, Zhao deserted boats and attacked Waqiao-guan Pass. Zhao defeated guarding general Yao Neibing at Waqiao-guan Pass. When Zhou armies, led by du zhihui-shi Li Chongjing, by Han Tong (who pacified Mozhou and Yingzhou) and by emperor, converged under Waqiao-guan Pass, Yao Neibing surrendered and he was assigned the post of ci shi for Nuzhou. Zhou quelled the area south of the pass.
Zhou Shizong then ordered a campaign against Khitans at Youzhou and Yizhou. Li Chongjing was ordered to attack northward. Li took over Gu'an city. North of the city was An'yang-sui River. Khitans dismantled the bridge and hid the boats. Zhou Shizong, seeing the river was wide, ordered the building of the bridge and then left for Waqiao-guan Pass. Zhou SHizong later fell ill. Meantime, Sun Xingyou was ordered to attack Yizhou and he took over the city and captured ci shi Li Zaiqin. Li Zaiqin refused to surrender and was ordered executed by Zhou Shizong. When Zhou Shizong's illness got worse, Zhao Kuangyin pursuaded him into a return to the capital. Waqiao-guan was renamed Xiongzhou and Chen Sirang was to guard it; Yijin-guan was renamed Bazhou and Han Lingkun was to guard it. Zhou Shizong accidentally read about a 3-foot wood document stating that 'dianjian would be the new emperor'. Upon return to the capital, Zhou Shizong deprived dian jian Zhang De of his post and re-assigned it onto Zhao Kuangyin, plus the title of jianxiao taifu. When Posterior Zhou Emperor Gongdi was enthroned, Zhao was conferred the post of jiedu for Guide-jun Garrison and jianxiao tai-wei (grand captain).
The next year, i.e., AD 960, Northern Han and Khitans invaded Zhou territories. Zhao lead an army to counter the attack. While stopping at Chenqiao-yi station, Zhao's follower, Miao Xun, pointed to the sky for a second sun under the sun. At deep night, Zhao's generals had an assembly and proposed that Zhao Kuangyin be the new emperor and they put a yellow gown onto Zhao. The next day, Zhao led his troops back to the capital and usurped Posterior Zhou Dynasty.
This is Zhao Kuangyin's Chenqiao Coup by which he took over the reign from Posteriro Zhou and established Song Dynasty as Emperor Taizu (r 960-976). Tangut's Li Yiyin promptly dispatched emissary to Song court for expressing loyalty, and changed his name to Li Yixing for avoiding the conflict with the last character of the given name of Zhao Kuangyin's father. Li Yiyin surrendered 300 stallions to Song court in AD 962 and received jade-belt as imperial bestowal in return. When Li Yiyin died in AD 967, Song Emperor Taizu ordered a mourning for three days and conferred Li Yiyin the title of King Xia-wang posthumously. Tangut's Li Guangrui assumed his father's post.
Scholar Luo Xianglin, stating that Chinese had been fleeing Huang Chao rebellion throughout the territories sacked by the rebels, summarized the following safe havens: refugees to Sichuan Prov where Wang Jian established Shu Regime; refugess to Hunan Prov where Ma Yin established Chu Regime; refugess to Guangdong & Guangxi provinces where Liu Yin established Southern Han Regime; refugees to Fujian Prov where Wang Shenzhi established Min Regime; refugees to Zhejiang Prov where Qian Mu established Wu-Yue Regime; and refugess to Anhui-Jiangsu provinces where Yang Xingmi & Li Zhigao established Yang-Wu and Southern Tang regimes.
Northern China was inevitably mingled with nomads from Manchuria and Mongolia. The city of Beijing would remain in the hands of the Khitans (AD 907-1125), and then passed into the Jurchens (AD 1115-1234) after a short interim under Song administartion, Mongol Yuan (AD 1279-1368) till Ming Dynasty overthrew the Mongolian yoke in AD 1368. For hundreds of years, the Song Dynasty, built on top of Northern Zhou (AD 951-960) of the Cai(1) family, would be engaged in the games of 'three kingdom' kind of warfares. Northern Song (AD 960-1127) would face off with the Western Xia (AD 1032-1227) and Khitan Liao in a triangle, and then played the card of allying with the Jurchens in destroying the Khitan Liao. With Northern Song defeated by the Jurchens thereafter, Southern Song (AD 1127-1279) would be engaged in another triangle game, with the other players being Western Xia and the Jurchen Jin. Southern Song would then play the card of allying with the Mongolians in destroying Jurchen Jin, and it even sent tens of thousands of carts of grain to the Mongol army in the besieging of the last Jurchen stronghold. Soon after than, the Southern Song generals broke the agreement with the Mongols and they shortly took over the so-called three old capitals of Kaifeng, Luoyang and Chang'an. But they could not hold on to any of the three because what they had occupied had been empty cities after years of warfare between the Jurchens and Mongols. Similar to the times of the Western Jinn (AD 265-316) and Eastern Jinn (AD 317-420), the northern Chinese would have fled to the south during these conflicts. While Eastern Jinn re-established their capital in Nanking, the Southern Song, driven away from Nanking by the Jurchens, chose today's Hangzhou as the new capital. Hangzhou, however, had been the capital of Warring Kingdoms in Zhou times.
TO BE CONTINUED !
Written by Ah Xiang
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