Ep. 89 – Tang 8: Clash on the Borderlands


Tang China goes to town on its neighbors over the course of the mid-7th century. First, the Western Regions of central Asia will feel the full force of a reunited Middle Kingdom, culminating in the collapse and Chinese annexation of the whole Western Turkic Khannate, putting Chinese borders (briefly) right up against Persia. Then, Emperor Gaozong will commit himself to completing what his father begun: the final destruction of Goguryeo. but this time he’ll enlist the aid of South Korean Silla to carve out a toehold on the peninsula to give himself a better shot at success. But when a Japanese war-fleet responds to North Korean pleas for aid, it will be a showdown on the high seas for which Asian power will control the Korean Peninsula.

Time Period Covered:
649-673 CE

Major Historical Figures:

Emperor Gaozong (Li Zhi)
Empress Wu Zhao
General Su Dingfang “The Turk Destroyer”
General Li Shiji

Western Türkic Kaghanate (Onoq):
Dielishi Kaghan
Shabulou Khan (Ashina Holu)

Grousset, René. Empire of the Steppes: A History of Central Asia
Karam Skaff. Jonathan. Sui-Tang China and Its Turko-Mongol Relations
Ō no Yasumaro, Prince Toneri. Nihon Shoki.
Sima, Guang. Zizhi Tongjian
Twitchett, Denis (ed.), Weschler, Howard. The Cambridge History of China, vol. 3
Unger, J.M. “The Role of Contact in the Origins of the Japanese and Korean Languages.”
Yi, Pae-yong. Women in Korean History

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12 thoughts on “Ep. 89 – Tang 8: Clash on the Borderlands

  1. The MP3 download cuts off abruptly in mid sentence at the end when you are talking.

    I re-downloaded it a few times and the cut off and the cut off is in the exact same time so the problem is some seconds are missing from the MP3 you can download.

    1. Hi Jay, thanks for the info!

      Would you mind telling me 1) what medium you’re downloading it through 2) where it cuts off, and 3) what the total track length is for you?

      I seem to be having problems replicating your issue on my end!

      1. It was cutting off when I tried to download it on Friday night and Saturday morning.

        I tried 2 different internet connections to download it on those 2 days.

        I tried to do a re-download again today using another different internet connection (3rd) and it downloaded with no cut off.

        Total Track length is 36:58 for the version I just downloaded

        In the versions that were cutting off the cut off was occurring at about 34:30 in mid sentence and the total run time was showing as shorter, about 35 minutes total. (I deleted the MP3 so I’m doing this based on memory.)

  2. Now that Goguryeo is down and Japan is subdued – in fact the latter is entering a period of importing lots of cultural influence from China, maybe it’s time to review the Chinese influence of writing systems in these two regions. Particularly in Korea, they do not seem to break apart Chinese characters like the Kangji system does, but use the original Chinese characters where they find fit.

  3. Is any one else having trouble downloading this episode? I tried downloading it through itunes and kept getting a corrupt file error. I then tried downloading through this website and received the error again.

      1. I had trouble downloading episodes 86-89 through apple’s podcasts app (got an error saying these episodes were unavailable) but I was able to download 86-88 fine through this website, 89 is the only one I have had no luck with. However, I was able to download episodes 90-92 through the podcasts app just fine.

      2. I tested episode 89 on this site and the Play button has no effect in Safari, Firefox, Chrome all on OSX 10. However, I rarely have problem with Podcast app on my iPhone; in one occasion Podcast failed, the download recovered after a few days. (After deleting corrupt download.)

      3. Alright, we’ll I’ve reported the issue to my host service, and am waiting to hear what they have to say about it.

        Worst-case scenario, I think, is I’ll need to “edit” the post to re-upload the track.

        Very sorry about this issue to all who’ve been experiencing it! Super aggravating for us all!

  4. There are still download problems with the episode. There are several that I have had some problems with, but so far this is the only one I haven’t been able to get working at all. I have had to go to the website to play many of the episodes in the South/North conflict, as the podcasts app wouldn’t download them, saying they are unavailable. But at least they would play on the website. This one won’t even do that.

    1. Oy, this one is *still* giving problems? Yikes, I’ll need to go and check on it again…

      Thank you for the info! You wouldn’t happen to have a list of the other ones that have been giving you problems, would you?

      1. I don’t. If I remember this weekend, I will try to go through the Podcast app and figure it out. Though I hated using that app, but Downcast wouldn’t play a much larger number of episodes. I couldn’t get it to play episodes until around episode 70.

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