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Dynasty: China - Southern Tang (907-978 AD)
Ruler: Yuan Zu (Li Jing)
Reigned: 954-961 AD
Denomination: Bronze 1 Cash
Obverse: "T'ang Guo tong bao" in Seal Script. (Tang kingdom currency)
Reverse: Blank
Reference: S-441, Hartill 15.80
Weight: 4.5 gms
Diameter: 24.8 mm

SOUTHERN TANG DYNASTY

The Southern Tang Dynasty (907-978 AD) was one of the more powerful and stable dynasties of the period. It controlled large portions of China from its capital Nanking. After 71 years and four emperors, it was overrun by Tai Tsu of the Northern Sung.

The Ten Kingdoms were mostly situated in the valley of the Yangtze and farther south. They were the Wu (902937), the Southern T'ang (937975/976), the Southern P'ing (924/925963), the Ch'u (927951), the Former Shu (907925)and Later Shu (934965), the Min (909945/946), the Northern Han (951979), the Southern Han (917971), and the Wu-yeh (907978), the latter near the Yangtze Delta. Some of these regimes were relatively stable, but none was powerful enough to unify the south. The cultural legacy of the T'ang found fertile ground in these southern parts. Religious thought moved toward a synthesis of Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. The southern landscape gave new vitality to the ancient traditions of poetry. The flourishing courts of the south gave great impetus to pottery in the region, and a fine celadon was produced in the kingdom of Wu-yeh. The King of the Southern T'ang was a noted poet.

The Ten Kingdoms were also marked by their relative economic prosperity. Intensive farming techniques using irrigation and selective crops contributed bountiful harvests to a flourishing economy. Technological advances in the production of iron and growing regional and overseas trade further stimulated commercial activity.

Southeastern China retained its cultural excellence and economic vitality as the Ten Kingdoms were successively absorbed back into a unified China under the Sung dynasty in the 970s.

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