Arban tabuduγar Tang ulus / Arban tabuduγar üy-e Tang ulus-un üliger The Story of the Fifteenth Generation (of the Emperors) of the Tang Dynasty


Cassette: 077-080
Transcription: hdl:11341/0000-0000-0000-2760
Transcription Number: Mo 37-39
Transcription Pages: 412 pp.
Recording: In the autumn of 1986 in Tongliao, Walther Heissig recorded the text from the recitation of the bard Dawarinčin of Mongγolǰin.
Transcription Note: On November 24, 1988, Nima finished writing down the text.
Peculiarities: -
Further Information: The text is published in the book Arban tabuduɣar üy-e tang ulus-un üliger, 5 vols., edited by Walther Heissig, and Nima, Kökeqota 2001 .
Language Archive Cologne: hdl:11341/0000-0000-0000-2714


The prologue mentions the earliest Chinese dynasties in chronological succession. Then the story recounts how the 15th Tang Emperor Mei Zong convened a great assembly at court attended by the civil and military officials. Addressing the assembly, the Emperor told them that he had had a dream about a golden dragon descending from on high. One of the officials came forward and explained that the dream presaged the birth of the Emperor’s heir. Hearing this news, the Imperial Teacher, Yang Wenfeng, became alarmed, since he was plotting to rebel against the Emperor and usurp his throne. Late at night, Yang Wenfeng visited his daughter, Yang Jinding, who was one of the many consorts of the Emperor. He asked her to find out whether or not a child was going to be born to the emperor. Yang Jinding performed divinations by means of coins, which revealed that the birth was expected in the 9 th month of the next year. She promised to find a way of eliminating the emperor’s heir. In the meantime, the Minister of State Sui Jingye had left the capital, Chang’an, and had returned to his native Shanxi. When he heard that Yang Wenfeng was plotting against the Emperor, he gazed at the stars and noticed that an aura enveloped the Polar Star. Since this was a sign heralding revolt, he began to fear that Yang Wengeng and his family were doing harm to the emperor’s heir. He sent letters to the heads of the leading families of the realm, who were loyal to the Tang ruling house. A letter reached Luo Xiong, who sent his seventeen-year-old son Luo Jinfeng to Lady Jiang Ronghua , the wife of Prince Xue Jinglong in Jiang’an to find a way of protecting the heir to the throne. They also received Sui Jingye’s letter, and when Luo Jinfeng arrived, the latter escorted Jiang Ronghua to Chang’an. Having arrived in Chang’an, Ronghua went to the Empress’s palace, since she was about to give birth. Ronghua was also pregnant and she gave birth to a girl while she was looking after the Empress. When the Emperor was informed that the Empress needed assistance in delivery, Yang Jinding volunteered to help, while her father, Yang Wenfeng , advised the Emperor that he should send soldiers to guard the Empress’s palace. The Emperor agreed to this, and Yang Wenfeng took a large army, which surrounded the palace. When Ronghua heard that Yang Jinding was coming to the Empress’s room, she put her baby girl to the Empress’s bosom. As soon as Yang Jinding saw the baby, she seized it and threw it from a window. After the Empress gave birth to a boy, Ronghua took him away and fled the capital. The Emperor’s son was named Li Zhenglong. The Yang family, deceiving him, told the Emperor that Jiang Ronghua had killed his son. Hearing this, the Emperor appointed Yang Wenfeng and his two sons generals of a force of a hundred thousand men and ordered them to capture Jiang Ronghua. Carrying the Emperor’s son, she returned home to Jiang’an, while the government troops were approaching. These events are the origin of endless battles, also involving the heroic actions of women warriors and the intervention of Daoist masters with their magic practices. As it turned out, Ronghua’s daughter had escaped death. She had been rescued by a Daoist master, who had taken her to his mountain abode. The girl had lived in this place until she was fifteen. It is at this age that her master let her descend from the mountain to meet her mother, Ronghua. In order to recognise the girl as her lost daughter, Ronghua asked of her to suck her dried breast. After a mouthful of milk came out from Ronghua’s breast, mother and daughter were reunited again. The story is brought to a conclusion with the victory of the loyal supporters of the Tang over the traitor Yang Wenfeng. After this, Emperor Mei Zong passed away and his son Li Zhenglong ascended the throne as the 16 th Emperor Ming Di.