T’ang Dynasty

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History of Vietnam from the Stone Age to today

By |2019-04-04T12:27:19-07:00October 15th, 2017|Southeast Asia|

Early Vietnam History of Vietnam: Fishermen's wicker boats on the beach at Danang, in Vietnam The first people, with their dogs and baskets, probably reached Vietnam around 45,000 BC, coming along the coast from Africa to India and then Southeast Asia. These first settlers lived mostly by fishing, probably from small boats. And they [...]

Early medieval world history timeline: 400-800 AD

By |2018-04-21T15:26:05-07:00September 10th, 2017|History, Islam, When|

Early medieval timeline: Dome of the Rock mosque, Jerusalem (600s AD) In the Early Middle Ages, many empires around the world collapsed into smaller countries. Thanks partly to the Huns invading, the western half of the Roman Empire collapsed into the smaller countries of the Visigoths, the Vandals, the Ostrogoths, the Lombards, the Avars, and the Merovingians. In England, this is the time [...]

What did Manichaeans believe? – Christianity

By |2018-03-19T11:55:23-07:00August 22nd, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

Manichaean painting (Turfan, western China, ca. 900s AD) The prophet Mani in the Sassanian Empire In the 300s and 400s AD many Christians turned to believing in Manichaeism, a form of Christianity. A man named Mani started this movement in the late 200s AD. Mani lived in the Sassanian Empire, where lots of people were Zoroastrians. So Zoroastrianism [...]

Taika period – Early Medieval Japan

By |2018-04-18T09:53:56-07:00July 27th, 2017|History, Japan, Where|

Court attendants (Takamatsuzuka Tomb, ca. 600s AD) Now that Japan had declared independence from China, Empress Suiko and her successors built a new government for Japan. They wanted Japan's government to be just as good as China's government. Empress Suiko ruled for 35 years before she died in 628 AD. Prince Shotoku had already died six years [...]

Heian period – Early Medieval Japan

By |2018-04-18T09:53:54-07:00July 27th, 2017|History, Japan|

Godai Kokuzo Bodhisattva (Jingo-ji Temple, Kyoto), ca. 800-900 AD After Empress Koken died in 770 AD, there was a major change in how Japan's government worked. The powerful families got more power, the same way they did in China about this time. Women were shut out of power. The next emperor, Konin, was an old man (62 years [...]

The Abbasids – Medieval Islamic history

By |2019-01-15T11:23:04-07:00July 23rd, 2017|History, Islam|

Minaret at Samarra, 847 AD The first Abbasid caliphs In 750 AD, the Abbasid caliphs murdered all of the surviving Umayyad men but one. Who were the Umayyads? All our medieval Islam articles Turn away from the Mediterranean They took over ruling the Islamic Empire. The Abbasids were less interested in the Mediterranean coast than the Umayyads had been. [...]

Who invented playing cards? China

By |2018-04-20T08:23:52-07:00June 23rd, 2017|China, Games, What|

An early playing card (Ming Dynasty, ca. 1500 AD) People in T'ang Dynasty China made the first playing cards, about 800 AD. They used their new material, paper, to make the cards, and they called their game "the leaf game". The emperor's daughter, Princess Tongchang, played cards with her husband's family in the [...]

History of Gunpowder: Gunpowder in ancient China

By |2018-10-02T09:40:12-07:00June 7th, 2017|China, Science, War|

History of gunpowder: Fireworks Who invented gunpowder? Like the idea of zero, gunpowder developed gradually over time. In 142 AD, during the Han Dynasty, a man named Wei Boyang was the first to write anything about gunpowder. He wrote about a mixture of three powders that would "fly and dance" violently. We aren't [...]

History of Chinese Medicine

By |2018-09-12T20:51:58-07:00June 7th, 2017|China, Science|

Chinese medicine: a Chinese village doctor treating a man by burning herbs on his back (Song Dynasty, ca. 950 AD., now in National Palace Museum, Taiwan) What's the earliest Chinese medical book? Doctors wrote the earliest known Chinese medical writing, The Recipes for Fifty-Two Ailments, about 186 BC, around the beginning of the [...]

Astronomy in Ancient China

By |2018-05-24T11:54:19-07:00June 7th, 2017|China, Science|

Chinese astronomy: A Chinese star chart possibly dating from the 600s AD, during the T'ang Dynasty The Chinese zodiac Chinese scholars began by thinking of the stars, the sun, and the moon as gods. Like the scientists of Mesopotamia, they thought they could use the movements of the stars to predict the future. [...]