During the Tang Dynasty (618 A.D. - 907 A.D.) period the Yellow River regained much of its old status as the cradle of Chinese Civilization. In this period the Wei River valley where the Capital Chang'An (Xi'An) lay prospered as did the restored city of Luoyang situated on another tributary of the yellow river, the
The Path of the Yellow River through Tibet & China :
Schematic Map of the Flow Path of the Yellow River through China.
Luo He. In this time the city of Luoyang was an important center of Buddhist learning, as was the Capital.
At about the same time, early in the 7th century, Kaifeng on the Yellow River was transformed into a major commercial hub when it was connected to the Grand Canal as well as through the construction of a canal running to western Shandong Province. It was the beginning of a Golden Era.
A now famous Buddhist Monk, the exceptional Xuanzang (玄奘) lived in Luoyang where he became a Monk at the Age of 13, entering what would become a glorious path and career.
After being forced from Luoyang due to warlike circumstances Xuanzang traveled westward to Sichuan and after years winding up in the Capital Xi'An. A few years later he embarked on what would become the most unusual and legendary journey, which would see him follow the Silk Road to cross the yellow river at Lanzhou in the year 629
A.D., escape Tang Era China via the Jade Gate (Yu Men) at Dunhuang and after enduring many dangers reached India. Xuanzang was to return years later bearing a treasure trove of Buddhist scriptures as well as the knowledge gained on the lenghty trip.
His epic travels would later be eulogised and glorified in the Chinese literary classic "Journey to the West".
In 666, when Emperor Gaozong offered sacrifices to the gods of heaven and earth at Mount Tai in Shandong (Province), Empress Wu, in an unprecedented action, offered sacrifices after him, with Princess Dowager Yan, the mother of Emperor Gaozong's brother Li Zhen the Prince of Yue, offering sacrifices after her.
In late 683, Emperor Gaozong died while at Luoyang. Li Zhe took the throne (as Emperor Zhongzong), but Empress Wu retained actual authority as empress dowager and regent.
In 705 A.D., "Empress" Wu Zetian of the newly established "Zhou Dynasty" which interrupted the Tang Dynasty, was overthrown in a coup, and Li Longji's uncle Li Xian, who was at that time crown prince (Li Dan having yielded that title to him in 698 and taken the title of Prince of Xiang), who had been briefly emperor prior to Li Dan, returned to the throne in Chang'An, ruling as Emperor Zhongzong. Wu Zetian died on 16 December 705 (aged 81) in Luoyang.
In the summer of 710 A.D., Emperor Zhongzong died suddenly having been poisened by subordinate courtiers.
In 712 A.D., In Chang'An (Xi'An) Princess Taiping had astrologers warn Emperor Ruizong that the constellation that symbolized the imperial throne, Dizuo (帝座),
A Satellite image Based Map of China and East-Asia, with a super-imposed schematic Map of the Location and Path of the Great Wall as constructed during the Reign of the Ming Dynasty.
Included for reference are Locations and Names of Passes on the Great Wall of China and their significance. Further Reports link to More Photos and History & Backgrounds of each Great Wall of China Site. Further depicted are City names, geographical features of landscape, rivers and more.
showed that there would be a change in the emperor's position — believing that Emperor Ruizong would suspect Li Longji of plotting a coup and that she could remove Li Longji this way. Instead, Emperor Ruizong, reasoning that the change in the emperor's position could be accounted by an orderly transition, offered to pass the throne to Li Longji, who was then crowned Emperor ruling as Xuan Zong.
In and around 716, there was a major locust infestation in the central China region below the Yellow River.
In the winter of 725, Emperor Xuanzong of Tang, at the urging of his most senior councilor Zhang Yue, carried out a magnificent ceremony at Mount Tai, just south of the Yellow River in Shandong Province, to offer sacrifices to heaven and earth.
Around the year 727 Emperor Xuanzong began to build a residential complex for imperial clan members in his Palace at Chang'An (Xi'An). The construction of this Palace, known as the Mansion of the Ten Princes (十王院) aimed to centralize the residence of the Royal Clan both for purposes of control and protection. Thereafter, imperial princes, including the crown prince, would rarely live outside the palace complex.
In 730 A.D., the Khitan general Ketugan (可突干) killed the king Li Shaogu (李邵固) and took over the reign of the Khitan and the Xi personally, forcing the king of the Xi, Li Lusu (李魯蘇) to flee to Tang for protection. Faced with this uprising of their vassal state above the Yellow River, Tang sent an army to attack the Khitan, but meanwhile made peace with Tufan (in the Hexi Corridor of Gansu Province). Initially, the campaign against the Khitan did not succeed, but in 732, with Li Hui in command, Tang forces dealt Ketugan a serious defeat and causing many of Ketugan's subordinates to defect and submit to Tang, although Ketugan (or Ketuhan) was not captured. It would not be until the year 755 that Ketugan was killed and the Khitan realm returned as a vassal state of Tang.
In the year 751 the grain fleet was destroyed by fire on its way to the Capital of Chang'An (Xi'An), and some 200 grain ships were lost.
In 752 - Luoyang in Henan Province, at the time the second Capital of the Tang Dynasty under Emperor Xuan Zong, the "Brilliant Monarch", was hit by a terrible thunderstorm.
In the fall of 753 A.D. the Yellow River and its tributary rivers swelled to immense proportions due to abundant rainfall, leading to the destruction of crops in the area of Chang'An (Xi'An) as well as the secondary Capital of Luoyang. As a result grain prices shot up and the Imperial Government was forced to release some of its grain stocks in order to stabilize the economy.
In the Autumn of 754 A.D. yet more rainfall repeated the disaster of the previous year, destroying crops in a wide area around the Capital of Chang'An (Xi'An) as well as around Luoyang, while other territories were also hit. Yet again, the prices of grain went through the roof, and the Government was forced to release grain in order to prevent famine and avert a peasant rebellion. Regardless, wide spread famine ravaged the Empire and scores died a death from hunger.
This rebellion, named as the An Lushan Rebellion (also Anshi Rebellion) after its greatest Leader, was to sweep through the Tang Empire nearly wiping out the Tang Dynasty. In the end the Xuan Tong Emperor having been forced to flee the Capital for Sichuan Province faced a mutiny of his own troops, who killed his Grand Councilor and pressured the Emperor into having his most beloved Concubine, the "Precious Consort" Yang Kuei-Fei (also: Guifei) strangled. Not long after, in 756 A.D. the sorrowed Emperor announced his abdication.
Late in 757 A.D., Emperor Suzong, with aid from Huige, recaptured the Tang Capital of Chang'an (Xi'An) from the rebellious Yan, who were at the time ruled by An Lushan's son An Qingxu, who had killed An Lushan earlier in 757 and taken over the throne himself. After Emperor Suzong recaptured Chang'an, he sent messengers to Emperor Xuanzong requesting that he return to the Capital and offering the throne back to Emperor Xuanzong. Eventually Xuan Zong declined retiring instead to the Xingqing Palace in Chang'An.
On May 3 of 762 A.D. the retired and aging Emperor Xuanzong died in Chang'An, in that depressed state.