30 Facts About Nanzhao


Nanzhao first annexed the neighboring zhao of Mengsui, whose ruler, Zhaoyuan, was blind.

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Nanzhao set fire to the building, and then ordered the wives of the four rulers to search for their husband's bones and take them home.

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The ruler of Nanzhao marvelled at her intelligence and strongly desired to take her as his wife.

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The Nanzhao army encircled the city, and all inside died of starvation after three months after completely exhausting their food supplies.

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Nanzhao was defeated by Duan Jianwei with heavy losses at Xiaguan.

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Nanzhao captured seven Tibetan cities and five military garrisons while more than a hundred fortifications were destroyed.

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Nanzhao expanded into Myanmar, conquering the Pyu city-states in the 820s, finally eliminating them in 832.

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The next year, at the request of Li Deyu, Nanzhao released more than four thousand prisoners of war, including Buddhist monks, Daoist priests, and artisans, who had been captured during the Yizhou incident.

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Frequent visits to Chang'an by Nanzhao delegations followed and continued until the end of Emperor Wuzong's reign in 846.

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Anti-Tang locals allied with highland people, who appealed to Nanzhao for help, and as a result invaded the area in 860, briefly taking Songping before being driven out by a Tang army the next year.

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Nanzhao then laid siege to Songping but had to leave command due to the arrival of Li Weizhou and Wang Yanqian.

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Nanzhao was later reinstated after sending his aid, Zeng Gun, who went to the capital as his representative and explained his circumstances.

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The Nanzhao soldiers used scaling ladders and battering rams to attack the city from four directions.

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Nanzhao instructed Lu Dan to stop new initiatives against the enemy so that a peace talk with Nanzhao could proceed.

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Nanzhao's subordinates convinced him that the visit would subject him to mortal danger because the “barbarians are deceitful.

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Nanzhao resumed attacks on Chengdu but could not score a decisive victory.

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Nanzhao shuttled ten times between Shilong and Zhixiang in the same day, trying to work out an agreement, but to no avail.

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Nanzhao ordered all the refugees in Chengdu to return home.

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Nanzhao forces were driven from the Bozhou region, modern Guizhou, in 877 by a local military force organized by the Yang family from Shanxi.

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The Nanzhao delegation was detained for two years due to a dispute in ceremony and failed to bring back the princess.

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Nanzhao had an elite vanguard unit called the Luojuzi, which means tiger sons, that served as full-time soldiers.

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Nanzhao society was separated into two distinct castes: the administrative White Mywa living in western Yunnan, and the militaristic Black Mywa in eastern Yunnan.

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Nanzhao modelled its government on the Tang dynasty with ministries and imperial examinations.

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Sons of the Nanzhao aristocracy visited the Tang capital, Chang'an, to receive a Chinese education.

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Sources that believe Nanzhao was a Yi dominated society traditionally hold it to be a slave society because of how central the institution was to Yi culture.

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Scriptures from Nanzhao unearthed in the 1950s show that it was written in the Bai language but Nanzhao does not seem to have ever attempted to standardize or popularize the script.

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Nanzhao left for his homeland later on and possibly went to Tibet to propagate his teachings.

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The last king of Nanzhao established Buddhism as the official state religion.

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The acharyas became state mentors in Nanzhao and held great influence until the Mongol conquest of China in the 13th century, during which the acharyas called upon various peoples to resist the Mongol rulers and later the Chinese during the Ming conquest of Yunnan.

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Nanzhao likely had strong religious connections with the Pagan Kingdom in what is today Myanmar, as well as Tibet and Bengal .

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