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7: Consolidating Unified Regimes (c. 500-780)

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    Northern aristocrats ended the period of division on the mainland by reunifying much of the former Han territory, establishing the Sui and then the Tang dynasties. Both fought Koguryŏ, and Tang allied with Silla. Silla, both to solidify the alliance and to centralize control over resources it needed for war, took on much of the apparatus of Tang civilization and government, but its monarchs remained weaker, its aristocrats stronger, and its slaves more numerous. The Tang-Silla alliance also pushed forward centralization in the archipelago. The result was that despite continuing differences at many levels of society, regimes in East Asia looked more similar than ever.

    Thumbnail: A portion of the Diamond Sutra printed in Tang in 868. A son had many copies printed for wide distribution, to earn spiritual merit for his parents. The picture is appropriate to this filial action: it shows the Buddha preaching to an aged follower. The sutra was sealed up in the Buddhist caves in Dunhuang around 1000 and re-discovered in 1900. The source ( has more information and close-up images. Public Domain.

    This page titled 7: Consolidating Unified Regimes (c. 500-780) is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Sarah Schneewind (eScholarship) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.

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