Five Dynasties

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In the last few years of the Tang Dynasty, the central government was very weak. But none of the regional powers had their own states, until Zhu Wen established the Later Liang Dynasty in 907. Zhu Wen (852-912) originally served under the rebel Huang Chao. When the Huang Chao Rebellion was about to fail, he surrendered to the Tang Dynasty and helped to put down the rebellion forces. He gradually amassed military power over most of northern Chinese territory and deposed the Tang. Zhu took the throne and established his Liang Dynasty (history termed "Later Liang"), but this regime was unstable. After 16 years it was replaced by the Later Tang, which only 13 years later was overthrown by the Later Jin. After that, two more brief dynasties emerged, the Later Han and the Later Zhou. Over a mere half century, the country experienced five dynasties. This period in Chinese history is referred to as the "Five Dynasties."


Portrait of Zhu Wen