The An Lu Shan Rebellion lasted from 755 to 763 and was led by none other than General An Lushan himself. Before the rebellion, General An Lushan was given the honor and responsibility of commanding Fanyang, Hedong and Pinglu, 3 north garrisons. This gave him control of 164,000 strong men, which he would use in his rebellion against the Tang dynasty. General An Lushan had a close relationship with Yang Guifei, a concubine of Emperor Xuanzong. It is said that she adopted An Lushan as her son.
The Rebellion began with the capture of Luoyang. Here An Lushan declared himself Emperor of the new Great Yan dynasty. The captured officials were treated respectfully by An Lushan and many decided to join An Lushan in his quest for a new dynasty. The next step was to conquer Chang’an, but along the way An Lushan met many roadblocks, including his inability to capture Yongqiu.
In 756, An Lushan finally captured Chang’an. Though, the Emperor Xuanzong and his court had already fled to Sichuan. His son, Li Heng, was pronounced the Emperor in Lingwu and took the name of Emperor Suzong. Under An Lushan, Chang’an crumbled as the death tolls rose and the economy plunged. Emperor Suzong rebuilt the Imperial Army and, with the help of the Turkish tribes, regained control of Luoyang and Chang’an in 757.
An Lushan became full of paranoia. It was taking a toll on his followers and due to this, his son, An Qingxu, killed him in 757 and took control of the rebellion. An Qingxu was later assassinated by An Lushan’s follower and childhood friend General Shi Siming. Emperor Suzong died of illness in 762. His son took over and began to rebuild the nation that was so hurt by the senseless An Lushan rebellion.