The jiedushi (simplified Chinese: 节度使; traditional Chinese: 節度使; pinyin: jiédùshǐ) were regional military governors in China during the Tang dynasty and the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. The title has also been translated as "military commissioner", "legate", and "regional commander". Originally set up to counter external threats, the jiedushi were given substantial power, including the ability to maintain their own armies, collect taxes and promote and appoint subordinates.[1]

Powerful jiedushi eventually became fanzhen rulers (de facto warlords) and eclipsed the power of the central government. An early example is that of An Lushan, who was appointed jiedushi of three regions and was able to start his eponymous rebellion that abruptly ended the golden age of the Tang dynasty. Even after the difficult suppression of that rebellion, the jiedushi retained their powers and accelerated the disintegration of the Tang dynasty. Eventually the jiedushi ushered in the political division of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period, a period marked by continuous infighting among the rival kingdoms, dynasties, and regional regimes established by rival jiedushi.

Notable jiedushi

Notable jiedushi:

See also


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