Tang Dynasty

     The Tang Dynasty began circa A.D. 550 and ended circa A.D. 950.  It was preceded by the Han Dynasty, and itself preceded the Song Dynasty (Yes, the "Song" Dynasty".).  During this time period China was connected with the western cultures of the world such as the Muslim and Byzantine Empire.

The Tang Dynasty contributed many practical inventions to the world.  Porcelain, the spinning wheel, the compass, a mechanical clock, and block printing are some of the most important.  However, there was a more important invention of the Tang Dynasty, an invention that would change the lives of not only the Chinese, but the rest of the world.  What is this invention one might ask?  You guessed it: Gunpowder.  Gunpowder was invented by a chemist philosopher by accident while searching for the secret to immortality.  This wonder powder was used by the Chinese for fireworks, until the Arabs found it and spread it to the west, where it enabled men to kill even more efficiently.

The cultures of Japan and Korea were greatly influenced by China during the Tang dynasty.  These cultures acquired the concepts of Buddhism and Confucianism from the Tang, as well as adopting and adapting the Chinese writing system.  Along with Buddhism, Japan and Korea acquired a great respect for the world around them, something that is still evident in their cultures today.

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