#113-Tang 25: The Longshoreman’s Prophecy

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In the wake of Emperor Xianzong’s unexpected death in 820, his work remains unfinished… and now left in the hands of his incapable, incompetent successors. The eunuchs are hard at work securing ultimate authority for themselves, and have no time for a strong central leader, and the Governor-generals of the northeast are eager to get out from under the imperial thumb once again. Into all this madness, a dock-worker, a fortuneteller, and an army of vagabonds will make a quixotic bid for the throne.

Time Period Covered:
February, 820- January, 827 CE

Important Historical Figures
Emperor Muzong of Tang (Li Heng) [r. 820-824]
Emperor Jingzong of Tang (Li Zhan) [r. 824-827]
Emperor Wenzong of Tang (Li Ang) [r. 827-840]
Prince Li Han of Jiang [d. 827]
Eunuch-Official Liang Shoujian
Eunuch Official Liu Keming [d. 827]
Chief Minister Xiao Mian
Su Xuanming, Fortuneteller Extraordinaire [d. 824]
Zhang Shao, Unlikely Sitter of Thrones [d. 824]


Dalby, Michael T. (1979). “Court politics in late T’ang times: Mid-Ninth Century Court (820-59)” in The Cambridge History of China, vol. 3.

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