|Tibetan attack on Songzhou|
|Tang Dynasty||Tibetan Empire|
| 100,000 (Tibetan sources)|
200,000+ (Chinese sources)
The first military conflict between China and Tibet occurred in 638. In the early 7th century, the westward conquests of the Chinese Tang dynasty brought it into contact with the rising Tibetan Empire. When Emperor Taizong of Tang refused a marriage alliance, the Tibetan emperor Songtsen Gampo sent an army to attack the Chinese frontier city of Songzhou (松州, in modern Sichuan). After a Tang army inflicted heavy casualties on the Tibetans in a night-time attack, Songtsen Gampo withdrew. He sent emissaries and tributes to Chang'an to apologize, and to again request marriage. Taizong decided to give Songtsen Gampo a distant niece, Princess Wencheng, in marriage. The peace held for the remainder of the reigns of Taizong and Songtsen Gampo, although Tibet would pose major military threats for most of the rest of the Tang period.
During the early decades of the 7th century, the major threat to the west of China was the Xianbei state of Tuyuhun. Thereafter, Tuyuhun's southwestern neighbor, the Tibetan Empire, rose in power.
The existence of Tibet was unknown to the Chinese until 608, when Tibetan emissaries from Emperor Namri Songtsen arrived with tribute to Sui China.In 634, his son Songtsen Gampo sent tribute and a request for a heqin ("marital alliance"). In the interim, a North China aristocrat had defeated the Sui and declared himself Emperor Gaozu of Tang. When Songtsen Gampo's marriage overture arrived, Taizong, the second Tang emperor, was battling the Tuyuhun and did not initially respond, but did send the emissary Feng Dexia (馮德遐) to Tibet to establish peaceful relations.
This article needs additional citations for verification . (August 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Meanwhile, in late 634, Taizong had sent the general Li Jing against Tuyuhun and, in a major campaign, overpowered Tuyuhun's Busabo Khan Murong Fuyun, who was killed in flight. The Tang thereafter appointed Murong Fuyun's son Murong Shun as Tuyuhun's khan and, after Murong Shun was assassinated late in 635, supported Murong Shun's son Murong Nuohebo as khan.[ citation needed ]
Feng Dexia appeared to have arrived to Tibet around the same time. By then, Songtsen Gampo was aware that, in the past, the khans of the Eastern Turkic Khaganate and Tuyuhun had arranged marriages of state with China and therefore sent an emissary to accompany Feng back to Tang with further tribute to request to marry a Tang princess.
Taizong turned the proposal down. When the Tibetan emissary returned to Tibet, he informed Songtsen Gampo, falsely according to Tibetan historical sources, that Taizong was disposed to approve a dynastic marriage but changed his mind after hearing the Tibetans slandered by the Tuyuhun.It was said that Murong Nuohebo had visited Tang and was interfering, leading to Taizong's refusal. Songtsen Gampo, believing the report, attacked Tuyuhun in late 637 and early 638, capturing some of them and forcing the rest to flee north of Qinghai Lake.
In the fall of 638, Tibetan forces, apparently commanded by Songtsen Gampo himself, then raided the Tang frontier city of Songzhou (松州, modern Songpan County in Sichuan), but meanwhile sending emissaries to the Tang capital Chang'an, again offering tributes and declaring that they were intending to welcome a princess. The size of his army is given as 100,000 by Tibetan sources and over 200,000 by Chinese sources.They defeated a force sent against them by the Songzhou governor Han Wei. According to the Chinese annals, Taizong responded by commissioning the general Hou Junji to command an army, assisted by the generals Zhishi Sili (執失思力), Niu Jinda (牛進達) and Liu Jian (劉簡). Led by Niu, the Tang army inflicted heavy casualties on the Tibetans in a surprise night-time attack. Alarmed, Songtsen Gampo withdrew, sent emissaries and tributes to Chang'an to apologize and to again request marriage. Emperor Taizong agreed this time.
However, no further action was taken to carry out the marriage for about two years. In fall 640, Songtsen Gampo sent his prime minister Gar Tongtsen Yülsung (aka Lu Dongzan, 祿東贊) to Tang to offer tributes of gold and jewels, again requesting marriage. In response, Taizong created[ clarification needed ] a daughter of a kinsman, Princess Wencheng, preparing to give her to Songtsen Gampo in marriage. Impressed by Gar Tongtsen Yülsung's propriety in interacting with him, he also, over Gar Tongtsen Yülsung's own objection—that he already had a wife and that it would be inappropriate for him to marry before his king—gave Lady Duan, the granddaughter of Princess Langye, to Gar Tongtsen Yülsung as a wife as well.[ citation needed ]
In spring 641, Taizong sent his cousin, Li Daozong, Prince of Jiangxia, to accompany Gar Tongtsen Yülsung back to Tibet and to escort Wencheng. When they arrived in Tibet, Songtsen Gampo was said to be so pleased that he bowed to Li Daozong, using ceremony appropriate for a son-in-law toward a father-in-law. He built a palace for Wencheng and changed into Chinese clothing before he met her. It was said that at that time, the Tibetan people had a custom that Princess Wencheng hated—that people would paint their faces red—and that he prohibited the custom for her sake.[ citation needed ]
As part of the agreement, he also sent nobles and family members to Chang'an to study at Tang's imperial university, in an old custom which made them de facto hostages, while they learned Chinese customs and culture for better relationship. Songtsen Gampo also requested Chinese scholars.Early in Gaozong's reign, Tibet also requested technology transfers for sericulture, winemaking, gristmills and papermaking.
The marriage alliance began two decades of peace between the two empires. [ citation needed ] Moreover, in 648, when the Tang emissary Wang Xuance became stuck in political turmoil of an Indian state, he sought aid from both Tibet and Nepal and was assisted by both in defeating one of the factions in 649.In 647, for when Taizong sent a force under the command of the Göktürk prince Ashina Shö-eul on a punitive expedition against the state of Kucha under its new king Hari Pushpa, after his predecessor had refused to pay tribute in protest at China's interventionist policy, Tibetan troops were requisitioned.
During this period, the Tibetans strengthened and expanded their empire. By the late 660s they had overrun the Tuyuhun, and were in direct contact with Tang territory. : shar khog) was thereafter reportedly settled by Tibetans from Ngari and identified in Tibetan geographical writings as part of the expanding Tibetan empire, classified variously as part of Amdo or Kham. Sharkok and neighboring Khöpokok (Jiuzhaigou) remain Tibetan-speaking areas to this day (previously classified as Amdo Tibetan, now tentatively classified as five distinct dialects of an independent branch of Tibetan, Sharkhog Tibetan.).The two empires fought sporadically over the following decades, and much of North western China fell to the Tibetan hands. With the weakening of Chinese power consequent on the An Lushan Rebellion (755–763), the Tibetans managed to recapture vast swathes of their lost territory, overrunning Songzhou and the surrounding area in 763, and even briefly capturing the capital Chang'an. Songzhou (Tibetan Sharkok Wylie
The effect of the resurgence of the Tibetan Empire was to facilitate the proselytization of Buddhism north and westwards, to the detriment of the expansion of Islam. It was a decisive factor in the rerouting of China's silk commerce and East-West trade patterns, which shifted northwards through Uighur lands.
Zhangzhung or Shangshung was an ancient culture and kingdom of western and northwestern Tibet, which pre-dates the culture of Tibetan Buddhism in Tibet. Zhangzhung culture is associated with the Bon religion, which in turn, has influenced the philosophies and practices of Tibetan Buddhism. Zhangzhung people are mentioned frequently in ancient Tibetan texts as the original rulers of central and western Tibet. Only in the last two decades have archaeologists been given access to do archaeological work in the areas once ruled by the Zhangzhung.
The Jokhang, also known as the Qoikang Monastery, Jokang, Jokhang Temple, Jokhang Monastery and Zuglagkang, is a Buddhist temple in Barkhor Square in Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet. Tibetans, in general, consider this temple as the most sacred and important temple in Tibet. The temple is currently maintained by the Gelug school, but they accept worshipers from all sects of Buddhism. The temple's architectural style is a mixture of Indian vihara design, Tibetan and Nepalese design.
Songtsen Gampo, also Songzan Ganbu, was the 33rd Tibetan king and founder of the Tibetan Empire, and is traditionally credited with the introduction of Buddhism to Tibet, influenced by his Nepali consort Bhrikuti's native land Nepal's Licchavi dynasty, as well as being the unifier of what were previously several Tibetan kingdoms. He is also regarded as responsible for the creation of the Tibetan alphabet and therefore the establishment of Classical Tibetan, the language spoken in his region at the time, as the literary language of Tibet.
Tuyuhun, also known as Azha, was a dynastic kingdom established by the nomadic peoples related to the Xianbei in the Qilian Mountains and upper Yellow River valley, in modern Qinghai, China.
Songpan; former Songzhou, is a county of northwestern Sichuan province, China, and is one of the 13 counties administered by the Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture. It has an area of 8,486 square kilometres (3,276 sq mi), and a population of approximately 68,000 composed of Tibetan, Qiang, Han and Hui populations.
Princess Wencheng is an ancient historical figure who holds great significance in China proper and Tibet. Regardless of her true historical significance, she is a part of the greater Sinicization phenomenon and has now been transformed into a political tool used to justify the Sinicization of Tibet.
Li Daozong (603?-656?), courtesy name Chengfan (承範), was an imperial prince of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty. He was a cousin of Emperor Taizong, and in Emperor Taizong's reign commanded forces in campaigns against Eastern Tujue, Tuyuhun, Goguryeo, and Xueyantuo. In 653, during the reign of Emperor Taizong's son Emperor Gaozong, Li Daozong offended Emperor Gaozong's uncle, the powerful chancellor Zhangsun Wuji, and Zhangsun exiled him to Xiang Prefecture, on accusation that he associated with the treasonous Fang Yi'ai (房遺愛). Li Daozong died on the way to exile.
Hou Junji was a Chinese general and official who served as a chancellor during the reign of Emperor Taizong in the Tang dynasty. He is best known for leading the Tang military campaigns against the Gaochang and Tuyuhun kingdoms. In 643, he was implicated in a plot by the crown prince, Li Chengqian, to overthrow Emperor Taizong, and was executed.
Emperor Taizong of Tang, the second emperor of Tang China faced challenges throughout his reign from Tang's western neighbor, the state of Tuyuhun, whose Busabuo Khan Murong Fuyun constantly challenged Chinese authority in the border regions. In 634, Emperor Taizong launched a major attack, commanded by the major general Li Jing, against Tuyuhun, dealing Tuyuhun forces heavy defeats and causing Murong Fuyun's subordinates to assassinate him in 635. Tuyuhun, thus weakened, no longer remained a major power in the region, and while Tang, ironically, played the role of protector for Murong Fuyun's son, the Gandou Khan Murong Shun, and grandson, the Ledou Khan Murong Nuohebo, Tuyuhun was never able to recover, particularly with its southwestern neighbor, the Tibetan Empire, constantly attacking it. By 672, during the reign of Emperor Taizong's son Emperor Gaozong of Tang, Tang was forced to move Tuyuhun remnants into its own territory, ending Tuyuhun.
Mangsong Mangtsen, Trimang Löntsen or Khri-mang-slon-rtsan succeeded to the throne after the death of his grandfather, Songtsen Gampo, and was the second emperor of the newly created Tibetan Empire.
Tridu Songtsen, Tridu Songtsen or Dusong Mangban, was an emperor of the Tibetan Empire from 676 to 704.
Murong Fuyun (慕容伏允) (597–635), formal title Busabo Khan (步薩鉢可汗), was a ruler of the Xianbei state Tuyuhun. He first became ruler when his brother Murong Shifu was assassinated in 597, and became one of the longest-ruling monarchs in Tuyuhun history. During his reign, he had major conflicts with China's Sui Dynasty and Tang Dynasty, and in 635, during a Tang invasion, he was assassinated due to the people's resentment of his hostile attitude toward Emperor Taizong of Tang that led to the invasion.
Murong Nuohebo (慕容諾曷鉢), regal title Wudiyebaledou Khan (烏地也拔勒豆可汗) or, in short, Ledou Khan (勒豆可汗), Tang Dynasty noble title Prince of Qinghai (青海王), was the last khan of the Xianbei state Tuyuhun. He had become khan in 635 after his grandfather, the Busabo Khan Murong Fuyun and his father, the Gandou Khan Murong Shun, had both been killed in the same year: Murong Fuyun during a Tang invasion and Murong Shun assassinated by his own people in the aftermaths of the Tang conquest. Murong Nuohebo's control over his people was initially tenuous and required Tang military affirmation on at least two occasions, but once his control was firmer, he faced the threat of Tibetan Empire to the south-west. In 663, unable to stand Tibet pressure, he took his people and requested refuge in Tang territory, and by 672, Tibet had taken over all of former Tuyuhun territory. The Tuyuhun people were settled within Tang territory, and Murong Nuohebo was made a Tang prefect. While he continued to carry the title of khan until his death in 688, typically, Tuyuhun was considered destroyed by either 663 or 672.
The Tibetan Empire existed from the 7th to 9th centuries AD when Tibet was unified as a large and powerful empire, and ruled an area considerably larger than the Tibetan Plateau, stretching to parts of East Asia, Central Asia and South Asia.
During Tang dynasty rule in China (618–907), Chinese and Tibetan forces had many battles, although there were also years of peace.
The Tibetan Annals, or Old Tibetan Annals (OTA), are composed of two manuscripts written in Old Tibetan language found in the early 20th century in the "hidden library", the Mogao Grottoes near Dunhuang in northwestern Gansu province, Western China, which is believed to have been sealed in the 11th century CE. They form Tibet's earliest extant history.
Emperor Taizong Receiving the Tibetan Envoy is a painting on silk by Yan Liben to show the friendly encounter between the Tang dynasty and Tibet. The painting is 129 centimetres (51 in) long by 38.5 centimetres (15.2 in) wide. Bunian Tu is in The Palace Museum in Beijing.
Gar Tongtsen Yulsung was a general of the Tibetan Empire who served as Lönchen during the reign of Songtsen Gampo. In many Chinese records, his name was given as Lù Dōngzàn or Lùn Dōngzàn ; both are attempts to transliterate the short form of his title and name, Lön Tongtsen.
Omade Lotsen was a general of the Tibetan Empire.
This article elaborates on the historical relationship development between imperial China and Tibetan regime in Tang and Song dynasty. For detailed information of the history of Tibetan regime, see Tibetan regime.