Fire and ice:Li Cunxu and the founding of the later Tang


其他題名:Li Cunxu and the founding of the later Tang

作者:Richard L. Davis


出版社:Hong Kong University Press

出版地:Hong Kong


ISBN:978-988-8208-97-5 ; 988-8208-97-7


The Later Tang was the first of several ephemeral states created by the Shatuo Turks in tenth-century China and Li Cunxu, a martial genius, was its founder. In fifteen years, he turned a small satrapy on China’s periphery into a powerhouse capable of unifying the north and much of the southwest. He governed on the principle of racial inclusion and refused to set the ruling minority above the Chinese majority through special privileges. As someone highly literate and artistically gifted, Li Cunxu seemed uniquely capable of bridging rifts within his culturally diverse ruling elite. Unfortunately, he shared the sort of self-absorbed narcissism typical of dynastic founders, which contributed to his denouement merely three years into the reign.
The Later Tang dynasty presided over the epic changes that occasioned the Five Dynasties, when China evolved from a moribund medieval state dominated by hereditary elites to one organized around individual merit, an essential element of the nation-state. Critical to the evolution of governance in the tenth century was the rule of military magnates without vested interest in the old order.

A Princeton graduate, Richard L. Davis taught for over two decades at Duke and Brown Universities where he was professor, before serving as chair professor at Lingnan University in Hong Kong. He has published five books on China’s middle period.

  • List of Illustrations(p.ix)
  • Preface(p.x)
  • Acknowledgments(p.xiii)
  • Chapter 5 The Hand of History(p.195)
  • Chronology of Events in the Life of Li Cunxu(p.205)
  • Sources Cited(p.213)
  • Index(p.220)