Age of Division
The period after the fall of the Han Dynasty, during which time China was divided into the Northern and Southern Dynasties.
A school of Buddhism (known in Japan as Zen) that rejected the authority of the sutras and claimed the superiority of mind-to-mind transmission of Buddhist truths.
The canonical scriptures—ancient Confucian texts recovered during the Han Dynasty.
A rammed-earth fortification built along the northern border of China during the reign of the First Emperor.
A school of Buddhism that taught that by paying homage to the Buddha Amitabha and his chief helper, one could achieve rebirth in Amitabha's paradise.
The trade routes across Central Asia through which Chinese silk and other items were traded.
A system used during the Han Dynasty to regulate contact with foreign powers. States and tribes beyond its borders sent envoys bearing gifts and received gifts in return.
First Grand Emperor, a Chinese emperor who founded the Qin dynasty and unified China with a standardized system of writing and money.
advisor to Shi Huangdi, Shihuangdi's adviser-forges Shihaungdi's will after he dies and fears rebellion so he carries the dead body around and pretends that he is alive, Developing earlier Legalist thinking, who insisted that the will of the ruler was supreme, and that is was necessary to impose discipline and obedience on the subjects through the rigid applications of reward and punishments?
chinese scholar,astronomer,and historian; wrote the most important history of ancient china
Han emperor who chose advisors based on merit, Confucian-scholar system very important, "the martial emperor", sent troops to defeat Huns (Xiongnu) gained control of Silk Road, Han territory vastly expanded under Wu.
First and only woman emporer of china powerful and cruel. Grandmother of Xuanzong and wife of Gaozong. After Gaozong's death she took over as Empress of China.
Full Figured love of Xuanzong. Xuanzong allowed Yang to put her family and friends in positions power in Tang government. Yang put general An Lushan into power and he started a rebellion that would doom the Tang dynasty.
The Qin Unification (256-206 B.C.E.)
In 221 B.C.E., the Chinese empire was established under the Qin dynasty, which lasted only until 206 B.C.E.
The Han Dynasty (206 B.C.E.-220 C.E.)
The Han dynasty established a unified bureaucratic form of government backed up by a strong military that gained Chinese overlordship in areas of nomad invaders. Under the Han, a major expansion of territory took place.
Inner Asia and the Silk Road
China's products like silk and laquerware created demands for Chinese goods as far away as Rome. Emperor Wu established control over the trade routes across Central Asia, called the Silk Road. The tributary system was developed to regulate contact with foreign powers.
Han Intellectual and Cultural Life
A rediscovery of Confucianism, art, literature, and history writing were all components of a strong cultural component in the Han dynasty.
Economy and Society in Han China
City-dwellers enjoyed most of the prosperity of Han China. The bulk of the population consisted of peasants living in villages. Society was based on patrilineal lines. To fight peasant poverty, the government kept taxes low.
China and Rome
While Rome was building a huge empire, the Qin and Han rulers in China built an empire on a similar scale. Like the Roman Empire, it was put together through force of arms and held in place by sophisticated centralized administrative machinery.
The Fall of the Han and the Age of Division
Weaknesses in the Han dynastic system led to the decline of the empire and its final collapse in 220 c.e. During the subsequent Age of Division, China was split between north and south, ruled by non-Chinese and Chinese dynasties respectively.
The Spread of Buddhism Out of India
During this period of political unrest, Buddhism spread beyond its home in India and came to provide a common set of ideas and visual images for the entire region, but it coexisted with other religions, including Hinduism in India, Daoism in China, and Shinto in Japan. The forms of Buddhism that entered China, Japan, and Korea were called Mahayana, which means "Great Vehicle," thus refers to its inclusive nature. Buddhism was popular among rulers because it offered a source of magical power and a political tool to unite Chinese and non-Chinese. To the masses, Buddhism's democratic nature was attractive. Chinese was widely used as an international language outside China and its empire.
The Tang Dynasty (618-907)
An exhausted Sui dynasty fell to Li Yuan, founder of the Tang dynasty. Tang emperors introduced innovative administrative reforms. They also successfully quelled rebellions and repulsed invasions until losing control of provinces to military governors.
The Tang presided over an extraordinary cultural flowering and oversaw the full penetration of Buddhism into Chinese life, developing the Pure Land and Chan schools of Buddhism. This period was also the great age of Chinese poetry.
The East Asian Cultural Sphere
Increased communication stimulated state formation in Central Asia (which is the vast area between the ancient civilizations of Persia, India, and China), Tibet, Korea, Manchuria, and Japan. Korea, Japan, and Vietnam all adopted Chinese institutions, although by 800 c.e., each of these regions was on its way to having a distinct political and cultural identity.
The Han conquered Nam Viet in 111 B.C.E. Chinese innovations were integrated into the culture, but the local elite did not accept Chinese political domination. Yet, the Tang period saw continued Chinese control over northern Vietnam.
The Han dynasty took control of Choson in 108 B.C.E., thereby establishing a long-term Chinese influence in the region. Buddhism was introduced in 372.