Dynasty

Han Dynasty (Hàn Cháo 汉朝)

Han Dynasty (Hàn Cháo 汉朝)

Charles C. KOLB One of the most dynamic periods of Chinese history, the Han dynasty was a time of political consolidation, military and economic expansion, invention, and empire building. The dynasty began with the fall of the short-lived Qin dynasty (221–206 BCE) after a widespread insurgency by peasants, soldiers, and nobles led by military commander Xiang Yu. The Han dynasty […]

Ming Dynasty (Míng Cháo 明朝)

Ming Dynasty (Míng Cháo 明朝)

Peter B. DITMANSON Daming tongxing baochao: early Ming dynasty bank note. Nanjing, 1375. BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY, YALE UNIVERSITY. The Ming ? dynasty was established by a peasant rebel who overthrew the Mongol-ruled Yuan ? dynasty (1279–1368). Over the course of the Ming, the Chinese population grew dramatically—and although the Ming court and its bureaucracy grew increasingly ineffectual, […]

Sui Dynasty (Suí Cháo 隋朝)

Sui Dynasty (Suí Cháo 隋朝)

Charles D. BENN Section from the painting Portraits of the Emperors by Yan Liben. (Ink and color on silk.) Emperor Sui Wendi is pictured in the right foreground and is followed by his son and successor Emperor Sui Yangdi. Wendi and Yangdi were the only emperors of the short-lived (thirty-seven-year-long) Sui dynasty. Military campaigns—against the Chen to reunify north and […]

Xixia (Xīxià Wángcháo 西夏王朝)

Xixia (Xīxià Wángcháo 西夏王朝)

Paul D. BUELL A mural fragment from the Xixia (western Xia) dynasty, which existed in northwest China from the late tenth century until defeated by the Mongols in 1227. Xixia was a flourishing regional state in northwest China eventually destroyed by the Mongols. Before its downfall, Xixia was ruled by the Tanguts, a group of uncertain ethnic origin, although they […]

Shang Dynasty (Shāng Cháo 商朝)

Shang Dynasty (Shāng Cháo 商朝)

Dallas L. McCURLEY Shang dynasty jade from the collection of the Shanghai Museum. Jade carvings represent some of the highest achievements in Bronze Age material culture. PHOTO BY JOAN LEBOLD COHEN. 1766 BCE–1045 BCE China’s first historically chronicled dynasty The Shang inherited the ancestor cult and the use of bronze for ritual purposes from advanced precursors. Much of the information […]

Song Dynasty (Sòng Cháo 宋朝)

Song Dynasty (Sòng Cháo 宋朝)

960–1279 Northern Song (960–1126); Southern Song (1127–1279) The Song 宋 dynasty (960–1279) defined a new and enduring phase of China’s premodern civilization, including southward economic shift, flourishing of urban culture, revival of the classical heritage over medieval Buddhism, and a new class of civil administrators who served the enhanced imperial autocracy.

Warring States Period (Zhànguó 战国)

Warring States Period (Zhànguó 战国)

(475–221 BCE) The tumultuous Warring States period led to the unification of China under the Qin dynasty in 221 BCE. The period also was the foundational era of Chinese philosophy.