In Our Time

BBC Radio 4

Society & Culture, History

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History 16
Society & Culture 64

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the history of ideas


The An Lushan Rebellion

February 16th, 2012

Episode 186 of 515 episodes

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the An Lushan Rebellion, a major uprising against the imperial rule of the Chinese Tang Dynasty. In 755 AD a senior general, An Lushan, orchestrated a plot against Emperor Xuanzong, taking the regime's capital city before declaring a rival dynasty in northern China. The rebellion lasted eight years but was eventually put down by Tang forces. Although the dynasty's authority was restored, it never regained the prosperity of previous generations. The An Lushan Rebellion displaced millions of people and killed many more. It changed the relationship between the Chinese state and neighbouring powers; but it also left a rich cultural legacy in the poetry memorialising this seismic event.With:Frances WoodLead Curator of Chinese at the British LibraryNaomi StandenProfessor of Medieval History at the University of BirminghamHilde de WeerdtFellow and Lecturer in Chinese History at Pembroke College, Oxford.Producer: Thomas Morris.