Images on Popular Religion Altars of the Heroes Involved in the Suppression of the An Lushan Rebellion (AD 755-763)
By Keith Stevens
Journal of the Hong Kong Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Vol. 40 (2000)
Introduction: China suffered a major internal political upheaval between 755 and 763 when General An Lushan led a rebellion against the Tang emperor. It took some seven years for it to be decisively suppressed by government forces.
From some records it would appear that An Lushan was half Turkish and half Soghdian, the son of a Soghdian officer and known as Rokhshan before he took the Chinese name of An Lushan. Recent histories written by foreigners only rarely refer to An Lushan prior to his command of a punitive expedition against the Khitan in 736. This campaign was a failure to such an extent that his superior general considered having him executed.
Within ten years, however, he became one of the most powerful of the generals, ruling most of the north-east of what was then China, and in particular holding the governorship of three frontier cities, Pinglu, Fanyang and Hedong, along the northern borders of present day Hebei and Shanxi provinces. This meant that he commanded the best and largest armies of the Empire.
Top Image: Map showing the An Lushan Rebellion – image by SY / Wikimedia Commons