Kindred of the East: Crimson Empires
Mortal (Historical), Emperor Taizong
The second emperor of the Tang Dynasty of China, ruling from 626 to 649. Ceremonially regarded as a co-founder of the dynasty along with Emperor Gaozu. He is typically considered as one of the (if not the) greatest emperors in Chinese history. Throughout the rest of Chinese history, Emperor Taizong’s reign was regarded as the exemplary model against which all other emperors were measured, and his “Reign of Zhenguan” was considered a golden age of Chinese history and required study for future crown princes. During his reign, Tang China flourished economically and militarily. During Taizong’s reign, Tang was the largest and the strongest nation in the world. It covered most of the territory of present-day China, Vietnam and much of Central Asia as far as eastern Kazakhstan. It laid the foundation for Xuanzong’s reign, which is considered Tang China’s greatest era. Unlike many of the nobility of the time, Emperor Taizong was a frank rationalist, openly scorning superstitions and claims of signs from the heavens. He also modified important rites in order to ease the burden of agricultural labour. Taizong’s wife Empress Zhangsun also proved to be a capable assistant, however it is believed that in taking as a concubine Empress Wu Zetian, she caused his eventual downfall and death through the use of poison.