Southern Tang Kingdom Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms
Southern Tang Kingdom - 937 to 975 - 38 Years

Founding of the Southern Tang Kingdom Southern Tang (also referred to as Nantang) was one of the Ten Kingdoms in south-central China created following the Tang Dynasty from 937-975. Southern Tang replaced the Wu Kingdom when Li Bian deposed the emperor Yang Pu. Li Bian was an orphan who was adopted by the Wu prince Yang Xingmi. He was then adopted by Xu Wen, the Prime Minister of Wu and was renamed Xu Zhigao. Upon Xu Wen's death, he took over power in Wu, and was made a prince of Qi. In 937 he proclaimed himself emperor. In 940, he changed his name back to Li Bian and renamed the state to Tang (history would refer to it as Southern Tang). Li Jing took over when his father Li Bian died in 943.

Extent of the Southern Tang Kingdom The capital was located in Jinling, located in present-day Nanjing in Jiangsu Province. The territory comprised parts of modern Fujian, Jiangsu and Anhui provinces and the whole of Jiangxi Province. The state was relatively large and prosperous compared to the other Ten States of that period. Li Bian's rule was comparatively stable and prosperous.

Fall of the Southern Tang Kingdom Li Houzhu (a.k.a. Li Yu) took over Southern Tang from his father upon his death in 961. Li Houzhu was more interested in poetry than ruling. After surrendering to the Northern Song Dynasty, Li Houzhu was taken to the Song capital. Southern Tang was conquered in 976 by the Northern Song Dynasty.

Return to Ten Kingdoms Page    On to Wu Kingdom ⇨