Later Liang (Five Dynasties)
|Historical era||Five Dynasties|
|•||Established||June 1, 907|
|•||Surrender of Kaifeng||November 19, 923 923|
|Today part of||China|
The Later Liang (simplified Chinese: 后梁; traditional Chinese: 後梁; pinyin: Hòu Liáng) (June 1, 907–923) was one of the Five Dynasties during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period in China. It was founded by Zhu Wen, posthumously known as Taizu of Later Liang, after he forced the last emperor of the Tang dynasty to abdicate in his favour (and then murdered him). The Later Liang would last until 923 when it was destroyed by Later Tang.
Formation of the Later Liang
Zhu Wen initially allied himself as Huang Chao’s lieutenant. However, he took Huang’s best troops and established his own power base as a warlord in Kaifeng. By 904, he had exerted control over both of the twin Tang Dynasty capitals of Chang'an and Luoyang. Tang emperor Zhaozong was ordered murdered by Zhu in 904 and the last Tang emperor, Ai Di (Emperor Ai of Tang), was deposed three years later. Emperor Ai of Tang was murdered in 908, also ordered by Zhu.
Extent of control
The Later Liang controlled most of northern China, though much of Shaanxi (controlled by the Qi) as well as Hebei (controlled by the Yan state) and Shanxi (controlled by Shatuo Turks) remained largely outside Later Liang control.
End of the dynasty
The Later Liang maintained a tense relationship with the Shatuo Turks, due to the rivalry between Zhu Quanzong and Li Keyong, a relationship that began back in the time of the Tang Dynasty. After Li Keyong’s death, his son, Li Cunxu, continued to expand his State of Jin. Li was able to destroy the Later Liang in 923 and found Later Tang.
Conference of the Mandate of Heaven on the Later Liang
Generally through Chinese history, it was historians of later kingdoms whose histories bestowed the Mandate of Heaven posthumously on preceding dynasties. This was typically done for the purpose of strengthening the present rulers' ties to the Mandate themselves. Song Dynasty historian Xue Juzheng did exactly this in his work History of the Five Dynasties.
Several justifications were given for this, and successive Five Dynasties regimes, to be conferred the Mandate of Heaven. Among these was that these dynasties all controlled most of the traditional Chinese heartland. However, the Later Liang was an embarrassment in the brutality it employed, causing many to want to deny it this status, but doing so would break the chain through the other Five Dynasties, and thus to the Song Dynasty, which itself was the successor to the last of the Five Dynasties.
Rulers of the Later Liang
|Temple names||Posthumous names||Family names and given name||Chinese naming conventions||Durations of reigns||Era names and their according durations|
|Taìzǔ (太祖)||Xiànwǔ (獻武)||Zhū Wēn (朱溫)||Family name and given name||907–912||Kaīpíng (開平) 907–911
Qiánhuà (乾化) 911–912
|Did not exist||none||Zhu Yougui (朱友珪)||Family name and given name||912–913||Qiánhuà (乾化) 912–913
Fènglì (鳳曆) 913
|Did not exist||Mò (末)||Zhū Zhèn (朱瑱)||Family name and given name||913–923||Qiánhuà (乾化) 913–915
Zhēnmíng (貞明) 915–921
Lóngdé (龍德) 921–923
Rulers family tree
|Zhu Wen 朱溫 852–912
朱友圭 d. 913
|Zhu Zhen 朱瑱 888–923
- Mo ("last") is not a true posthumous name, but he is often referred to as "Emperor Mo" as the last emperor of the dynasty.