Tang, known in historiography as the Later Tang, was a short-lived imperial dynasty that lasted from 923 to 937 during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period in the history of China.[1]

  Later Tang 後唐
Common languagesChinese
• 923–926
Li Cunxu (Zhuangzong)
• 926–933
Li Siyuan (Mingzong)
• 933–934
Li Conghou
• 934–936
Li Congke
Historical eraFive Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period
• Established in Daming
May 923
• Overthrown by Khitan and Shi Jingtang
January 11, 937
CurrencyChinese coin, Chinese cash
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Later Liang
Former Shu
Later Jìn2
Later Shu
Today part ofChina
1.The preceding entity of the Later Tang was the State of Jin, which was established by Li Keyong in 895 under the Tang dynasty and existed as an independent state in 907–923.
2.With the support of the Liao dynasty.

The first three of Later Tang's four emperors were ethnically Shatuo.[2] The name Tang was used to legitimize itself as the restorer of the Tang dynasty (618–907). Although Later Tang officially began in 923, the dynasty already existed in the years before, as a polity called Jin (907–923).

At its height, Later Tang controlled most of northern China.


From the fall of the Tang Dynasty in 907, a rivalry had developed between the successor Later Liang, formed by Zhu Wen, and the State of Jin, formed by Li Keyong, in present-day Shanxi. The rivalry survived the death of Li Keyong, whose son Li Cunxu continued to expand Jin territories at the expense of the Later Liang.

Li Keyong forged an alliance with the powerful Khitan, like the Shatuo a people of the northern steppe, a relationship that figured significantly in the expansion and ultimate triumph of the Shatuo. Li Cunxu was successful in overthrowing the Later Liang in 923 and proclaimed himself emperor of the Later Tang, which he referred to as the "Restored Tang". As a part of "restoring the Tang", the capital was moved back to the old Tang eastern seat of Luoyang.


The Later Tang was a short-lived regime, lasting only thirteen years. Li Cunxu himself lived only three years after the founding of the dynasty, having been killed during an officer's rebellion in 926. Li Siyuan, the adopted son of Li Keyong, took over the dynasty, but relations with the Khitan had fallen sour. Internal struggles typified the remaining ten years of the dynasty, ending with its toppling in 936 when Shi Jingtang, son-in-law of Li Siyuan and a fellow Shatuo, rebelled, stormed the capital with the help of Khitan troops, and founded the Later Jin.

Extent of Later Tang territoriesEdit

The Later Tang controlled considerably more territory at its height than did the Later Liang. It extended to all the northern territories controlled by the Later Liang as well as its own base in Shanxi. It also had control over the areas around Beijing and Shaanxi, which were not entirely under the control of the Later Liang. The largest expansion of the Later Tang occurred in 925 when they conquered the Former Shu State, centered in present-day Sichuan. However, as Later Tang power was waning, a Later Shu state formed in 934, two years before the fall of the Later Tang.


Temple names Posthumous names Family names and given name Chinese naming conventions Durations of reigns Era names and their according durations
Zhuāngzōng (莊宗) Lǐ Cúnxù (李存勗) Family name and given name 923–926 Tóngguāng (同光) 923–926
Míngzōng (明宗) Lǐ Sìyuán (李嗣源) or Lǐ Dǎn (李亶) Family name and given name 926–933 Tiānchéng (天成) 926–930
Chángxīng (長興) 930–933
none Mǐn (閔) Lǐ Cónghòu (李從厚) Family name and given name 933–934 Yìngshùn (應順) 933–934
none Mòdì (末帝) Lǐ Cóngkē (李從珂) Family name and given name 934–937 Qīngtaì (清泰) 934–937

Later Tang rulers family treeEdit

Rulers family tree
Li Keyong
李克用 856–908
Li Ni 李霓
Li Cunxu
李存勖 885–926

Zhuangzong 莊宗
Li Siyuan
李嗣源 867–933

Mingzong 明宗
Li Congke
李從珂 885–937

Modi 末帝
Li Congyi
李從益 931–947
Prince of Xu 許王
Li Congrong
Prince of Qin 秦王
Li Conghou
李從厚 914–934

Mindi 愍帝
Empress Li
Shi Jingtang 石敬瑭
Gaozu of
Later Jin

Li Chongmei
李重美 d.937
Prince of Yong 雍王



  1. ^ Zurndorfer, Harriet T. (2010). "Efflorence? Another Look at the Role of War in Song Dynasty China". War in words transformations of war from antiquity to Clausewitz. Berlin: De Gruyter. p. 92. ISBN 9783110245424.
  2. ^ Mote, Frederick W (2003). Imperial China 900-1800. pp. 12–13.


  • Mote, F. W. (1999). Imperial China: 900-1800. Harvard University Press.