The Tang (AD 618 – 907) period is regarded by most Chinese as the highpoint of imperial China, both politically and culturally. The empire reached its greatest size prior to the Qing dynasty and became the centre of the East Asian world linked by religion, script and many economic and political institutions. Tang writers produced some of the finest poetry in China's lyric tradition, the most prestigious literary genre throughout Chinese history. China became open to religious and cultural influences from the north, south and west which can be seen through the spread of Buddhism, Manicheism and Nestorian Christianity, all of which made their presence felt in the great capital city of Xi'an. The Tang armies came into conflict with the expanding Muslim armies. It was also a period of profound transformation, particularly after the dynasty was shocked by the cataclysmic An Lushan rebellion.
This day course will examine the history of the Tang and examine its main cultural achievements and give an insight into one of the most fascinating periods of Chinese history.