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Xizong
(862 - 889) China

Xizong

Tang emperor

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Emperor Tang Xizong, born Li Xuan, was the 18th emperor of the Tang dynasty of China. He reigned from 873 to 888. Xizong was the fifth son of emperor Yizong and elder brother of emperor Zhaozong.

Xizong's reign was dominated by eunuchs and governmental affairs was delegated to corrupt officials such as Tian Lingmu while Xizong totally ignored his duties. Ordinary citizens suffered under the heavy burden of taxes while famines caused by natural disaster became widespread across the country.

Two years after Xizong's accession to throne (873), a farmers' uprising, led by Wang Xianzhi and Huang Chao, started in Henan and Shandong. After several years, Wang Xianzhi died on the battleground and Huang Chao succeeded. He led his troops within a large area, about half China's territory. Later on, the rebel army entered Chang'an City to found their own regime - Da Qi. Emperor Xizong escaped to Chengdu.

However, the rebel army failed to beat the Tang army. Emperor Xizong gathered the remaining Tang troops and by combined them with Fanzhen army, fought against the rebels, forcing them to withdraw from Chang'an. In 884 AD, Huang Chao committed suicide after being defeated.

Although the rebel was put down at last, the Tang dynasty was on the edge of ruin. The rebellion lasted for about ten years, sweeping through a dozen of provinces with more than one million soldiers involved. The rebellion effectively weakened the landlord class and the Tang power base, further hastening the disintegration of the Tang Empire. Xizong died after reigning for 15 years. He was only 27.

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Xizong (personal name - Li Yan) favored the inner-garden boy Zhang Langgou, and could not sleep peacefully without the boy's sexual services. The emperor purchased a fine horse for Zhang. While the boy was showing off his spirited steed to the emperor and courtiers, the horse suddenly reared up and trampled the emperor's left arm. In shock, the emperor fell down and passed out.

The frightened Zhang tried to revive the ruler and finally, in desperation, urinated into a siler goblet and forced the emperor to drink it. After a long time the emperor revived, but he never completely recovered from this accident. The emperor gradually worsened and at last died.

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