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Rise of the Tang Dynasty (Hardback)

The Reunification of China and the Military Response to the Steppe Nomads (AD581-626)

Military P&S History

By Julian Romane
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 217
Illustrations: 24
ISBN: 9781473887770
Published: 5th February 2018



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Julian Romane examines the military events behind the emergence of the Sui and Tang dynasties in the period 581-626 AD. Narrating the campaigns and battles, he analyses in detail the strategy and tactics employed, a central theme being the collision of the steppe cavalry with Chinese infantry armies.

By the fourth century AD, horse nomads had seized northern China. Conflict with these Turkic interlopers continued throughout the 5th and most of the 6th century. The emergence of the Sui dynasty (581-618) brought some progress but internal weakness led to their rapid collapse. The succeeding House of Tang, however, provided the necessary stability and leadership to underpin military success. This was largely the achievement of Li Shimin, who later became the second Tang Emperor. By the start of Li Shimin’s reign as Emperor Tang Taizong, effective military organizations had been developed and China reunified. His military campaigns are examples of tactical and strategic virtuosity that demonstrate the application of the distinctive Chinese way of war expounded in Chinese military manuals, including Li Shimin’s own writings.

Overall, it was an enjoyable read, and a great starting place for anyone interested in the history of China. I’d highly recommend anyone thinking of starting a wargaming campaign set in China to consider the Tang Dynasty. There’s plenty of battles and potential fighting the Turks. It was a great read and provided an insight into a period of history and country that many of us don’t know much about. It’s definitely staying on my shelf, and I’m considering building a Tang period army.

Irregular magazine, Issue 16 Volume 2 / Summer 2021 - review by Jason Hubbard

As featured 'On The Book Shelf'

Wargames Illustrated, January 2018
 Julian Romane

About Julian Romane

Julian Patrick Romane has a BA from Beloit College Wisconsin and an MA from the University of Colorado. He has been fascinated with ancient and medieval military history for half a century. He has published articles in several journals and is the editor and/or translator of several books on historical and political subjects. He is the author of Byzantium Triumphant (2015) and Rise of the Tang Dynasty (2018), both published by Pen & Sword Books.

Perfect Partner

The Han-Xiongnu War, 133 BC–89 AD The Struggle of China and a Steppe Empire Told Through Its Key Figures (Hardback)

“Scott Forbes Crawford has crafted a superb historical narrative about the clash between two ancient superpowers that influences Asia to this very day. For those who might wonder whether ancient history can be a page-turner, The Han-Xiongnu War assuredly answers that question in the affirmative.” – M. A. Aldrich, author of The Search for a Vanishing Beijing and Ulaanbaatar Beyond Water and Grass The Han-Xiongnu War (133 BC – AD 89) pitted the Han dynasty of China against a confederation of nomadic steppe peoples, the Xiongnu Empire. In campaigns waged on a huge scale by the standards of…

By Mr Scott Crawford

Click here to buy both titles for £35.99
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