Tang Wenzong

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Tang Wenzong (* 809 ; † 840 ) was emperor of the Chinese Tang dynasty from 826 to 840 .

Under the maiden name Li Ang, Wenzong was the son of the young emperor Muzong , under whose rule the empire lost the territories in Hebei in a catastrophic campaign against the local military rulers. In 823 Muzong died after falling from his horse during a polo game. Li Ang's older brother Jingzong became the new emperor. Politics was determined by the eunuchs around him. There was a party struggle between groups led by Niu Sengru and Li Deyu . The number of eunuchs grew to over 5,000. After unrest in the capital, Jingzong was murdered on returning from a night outing in 826.

Li Ang came to power under the temple name of Wenzong at the age of 17. Wenzong is not considered a powerful ruler, but he made various attempts to break the eunuch power at court. In 833 the so-called "Sweet Dew Incident" occurred. The emperor made an appointment with a group of officials to send the leaders of the eunuchs to the palace garden on the pretext that sweet dew had fallen in the park and to have them killed by soldiers there. However, a draft of wind is said to have opened the tent of the conspirators, so that the eunuchs learned of the plan. The palace guard called Gods Force Army, which was controlled by the eunuchs, began with a massacre of possible conspirators, which killed over 1,000 people. Many of them were uninvolved. Confucian tradition has compared this process to the 184 massacre. Since the leaders of the eunuchs feared that an open seizure of power on their part would raise the military governors in the provinces, the members of the Niu and Li parties were appointed to the ministerial offices, but their power remained limited.

Emperor Wenzong withdrew from state affairs because, as he said, they disgusted him. He died in 840 of the consequences of his excessive alcohol consumption.


  • Rainer Hoffmann, Qiuhua Hu: China. Its history from the beginning to the end of the imperial era. Rombach, Freiburg 2007, ISBN 978-3793094999
predecessor Office successor
Jìngzōng Emperor of China