China; Tang Dynasty CE 618-907

Emperor Suzong CE 756-762
AE 29 mm, 8.52 g,
Schjöth 352, Ding Fubao 693
O: Chien Yuan Chung Pao “The heavy currency of Chien Yuan”
R: blank

Ex: Frank S. Robinson

According to Schjöth “In the 1st year of Chien-yuan (A.D. 758) the chief minister, Ti Wuchi, was commanded to cast at Chiang-chou (in Southern Shansi) Chien yuan chung paos, which had double rims, and were to circulate jointly with K’ai-yuans, one representing fifty. This causing much hardship on the public, the value was reduced to thirty and even less.” (p.22)

“The reign of Suzong (756-762) and that of his eldest son, Daizong (762-779) , were dominated by the An Lushan rebellion which lasted until 763, and the records of that decade are biased and incomplete. Both emperors followed a policy of clemency towards the rebels, leaving local leaders in power, thus increasing provincial fragmentation. The population census fell from nearly 53 million in 754 to 17 million in 764 and the Tang dynasty never recovered from the devastation.” (p. 112-Paludan, A. Chronicle of the Chinese Emperors, London, Thames & Hudson, 1998).

According to William Langer’s Encyclopedia of World History, An Lushan was “…a Turkish adventurer who had been adopted by the emperor’s favorite concubine,….and had united three military commands, plunged the empire into particularly sanguinary and destructive civil war.” (755, page 364)