Tang Dynasty Geography

Map of Tang Dynasty Territory.jpgThe Tang Dynasty was the longest enduring and second largest empire after the Han Empire. Created due to the rift left by the ruthless and brutal leadership of the Han Dynasty, the Tang Dynasty ushered in what most people consider to be China’s golden age.

The Tang Dynasty mainly stretched from the Korean Peninsula to the Tarim Basin and from the Mongolian steppe south to modern Vietnam. The vast territory of the Tang Dynasty included the capital city of Chang’an, which is modern-day Xian. Tang Dynasty geography was well documented. At that time, Chang’an had several secondary capitals and was also considered the biggest city on earth.

Capitals of the Tang Dynasty

While the main capital of the Tang Dynasty was Chang’an, there were several other capitals as well. Hezhong was the central capital which is modern-day Yongji. Shanxi, now known as Luoyang, was the eastern capital, and it is still known as Luoyang, Henan of modern China.

Moreover, the modern-day city of Fengxiang, Shaanxi, was the western capital and is still known as Fengxiang today. The northern capital was known as Taiyuan which is modern city of Taiyuan, Shaanxi. Lastly, the southern capital was known as Chengdu, but was later changed to Jiangling. The southern capital is the modern-day Sichuan (Jiangling).

Circuit Divisions

Initially, the entire dynasty was divided into 10 circuits (Dao). However, this number was increased later to a total of 15 circuits. Eventually, these prefectural seats (circuits) included:

1. Jingji, which is in southern Shaanxi of the modern China

2. Guannei is located in the modern northern Shaanxi

3. Duji is the modern western Hinan

4. Henan is located in Shandong and Henan of the modern China

5. Hendong is located in the modern city of Shaanxi

6. Hebei is located in the modern cities of Beijing, Hebei, and Tianjin

7. Longyou is located at Ninxia and Gansu of modern China

8. Shannan-Dong is the modern-day Hubei

9. Shannan-Xi is located at Chongqing and Sichuan in modern China

10. Huainan is located across northern Anhuii and northern Jiangsu

11. Jiangnan-Dong spreads across southern Anhui, southern Jiangsu, Fujian, Shanghai, and Zhejiang

12. Jiangnan-Xi is located at eastern Hunan and also Jiangxi in modern China

13. Qianzhong is located at Guizhou and western Hunan

14. Jiannan is located in southern Sichuan

15. Lingnan spreads across Hainan, Guangdong, and Guangxi in the modern-day China

The Tang Dynasty geography was spread across much of what is China today. Moreover, it is considered a high point in the Chinese civilization.