Han dynasty

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"Eastern Han" and "House of Liu" redirect here. Han dynasty_sentence_0

For the Five Dynasties-era kingdom, see Northern Han. Han dynasty_sentence_1

For other uses, see House of Liu (disambiguation). Han dynasty_sentence_2

Han dynasty_table_infobox_0


Han dynasty_header_cell_0_0_0

CapitalHan dynasty_header_cell_0_1_0 Chang'an

(206 BC–9 AD, 190–195 AD) Luoyang (23–190 AD, 196 AD) Xuchang (196–220 AD)Han dynasty_cell_0_1_1

Common languagesHan dynasty_header_cell_0_2_0 Old ChineseHan dynasty_cell_0_2_1
ReligionHan dynasty_header_cell_0_3_0 Taoism

Chinese folk religionHan dynasty_cell_0_3_1

GovernmentHan dynasty_header_cell_0_4_0 MonarchyHan dynasty_cell_0_4_1
EmperorHan dynasty_header_cell_0_5_0 Han dynasty_cell_0_5_1
202–195 BC (first)Han dynasty_header_cell_0_6_0 Emperor GaozuHan dynasty_cell_0_6_1
141–87 BCHan dynasty_header_cell_0_7_0 Emperor WuHan dynasty_cell_0_7_1
25–57 ADHan dynasty_header_cell_0_8_0 Emperor GuangwuHan dynasty_cell_0_8_1
189–220 AD (last)Han dynasty_header_cell_0_9_0 Emperor XianHan dynasty_cell_0_9_1
ChancellorHan dynasty_header_cell_0_10_0 Han dynasty_cell_0_10_1
206–193 BCHan dynasty_header_cell_0_11_0 Xiao HeHan dynasty_cell_0_11_1
193–190 BCHan dynasty_header_cell_0_12_0 Cao CanHan dynasty_cell_0_12_1
189–192 ADHan dynasty_header_cell_0_13_0 Dong ZhuoHan dynasty_cell_0_13_1
208–220 ADHan dynasty_header_cell_0_14_0 Cao CaoHan dynasty_cell_0_14_1
220 ADHan dynasty_header_cell_0_15_0 Cao PiHan dynasty_cell_0_15_1
Historical eraHan dynasty_header_cell_0_16_0 ImperialHan dynasty_cell_0_16_1
Xiang Yu appointed Liu Bang as King of HanHan dynasty_header_cell_0_17_0 206 BCHan dynasty_cell_0_17_1
Battle of Gaixia; Han rule of China beganHan dynasty_header_cell_0_18_0 202 BCHan dynasty_cell_0_18_1
Xin dynastyHan dynasty_header_cell_0_19_0 9 AD–23 ADHan dynasty_cell_0_19_1
Abdication to Cao WeiHan dynasty_header_cell_0_20_0 220 ADHan dynasty_cell_0_20_1
AreaHan dynasty_header_cell_0_21_0
50 BC est. (Western Han peak)Han dynasty_header_cell_0_22_0 6,000,000 km (2,300,000 sq mi)Han dynasty_cell_0_22_1
100 AD est. (Eastern Han peak)Han dynasty_header_cell_0_23_0 6,500,000 km (2,500,000 sq mi)Han dynasty_cell_0_23_1
PopulationHan dynasty_header_cell_0_24_0
2 ADHan dynasty_header_cell_0_25_0 57,671,400Han dynasty_cell_0_25_1
CurrencyHan dynasty_header_cell_0_26_0 Ban Liang coins and Wu Zhu coinsHan dynasty_cell_0_26_1
Preceded by

Succeeded by

Qin dynasty

Eighteen Kingdoms

Cao Wei

Shu Han

Eastern WuHan dynasty_cell_0_27_0

Preceded byHan dynasty_cell_0_28_0 Succeeded byHan dynasty_cell_0_28_1
Qin dynasty

Eighteen KingdomsHan dynasty_cell_0_29_0

Cao Wei

Shu Han

Eastern WuHan dynasty_cell_0_29_1

Han dynasty_cell_0_30_0 Qin dynastyHan dynasty_cell_0_30_1
Han dynasty_cell_0_31_0 Eighteen KingdomsHan dynasty_cell_0_31_1
Cao WeiHan dynasty_cell_0_32_0 Han dynasty_cell_0_32_1
Shu HanHan dynasty_cell_0_33_0 Han dynasty_cell_0_33_1
Eastern WuHan dynasty_cell_0_34_0 Han dynasty_cell_0_34_1

Han dynasty_table_infobox_1

Han dynastyHan dynasty_header_cell_1_0_0
Traditional ChineseHan dynasty_header_cell_1_1_0 Han dynasty_cell_1_1_1
Simplified ChineseHan dynasty_header_cell_1_2_0 Han dynasty_cell_1_2_1
TranscriptionsStandard MandarinHanyu PinyinHànBopomofoㄏㄢˋGwoyeu RomatzyhHannWade–GilesHanTongyong PinyinHànYale RomanizationHànIPA[xânYue: CantoneseYale RomanizationHonJyutpingHon3IPA[hɔ̄ːnSouthern MinHokkien POJHànTâi-lôHànMiddle ChineseMiddle ChinesexànOld ChineseBaxter (1992)*xansBaxter–Sagart (2014)*n̥ˤar-sHan dynasty_cell_1_3_0
TranscriptionsHan dynasty_header_cell_1_4_0
Standard MandarinHan dynasty_header_cell_1_5_0
Hanyu PinyinHan dynasty_header_cell_1_6_0 HànHan dynasty_cell_1_6_1
BopomofoHan dynasty_header_cell_1_7_0 ㄏㄢˋHan dynasty_cell_1_7_1
Gwoyeu RomatzyhHan dynasty_header_cell_1_8_0 HannHan dynasty_cell_1_8_1
Wade–GilesHan dynasty_header_cell_1_9_0 HanHan dynasty_cell_1_9_1
Tongyong PinyinHan dynasty_header_cell_1_10_0 HànHan dynasty_cell_1_10_1
Yale RomanizationHan dynasty_header_cell_1_11_0 HànHan dynasty_cell_1_11_1
IPAHan dynasty_header_cell_1_12_0 [xânHan dynasty_cell_1_12_1
Yue: CantoneseHan dynasty_header_cell_1_13_0
Yale RomanizationHan dynasty_header_cell_1_14_0 HonHan dynasty_cell_1_14_1
JyutpingHan dynasty_header_cell_1_15_0 Hon3Han dynasty_cell_1_15_1
IPAHan dynasty_header_cell_1_16_0 [hɔ̄ːnHan dynasty_cell_1_16_1
Southern MinHan dynasty_header_cell_1_17_0
Hokkien POJHan dynasty_header_cell_1_18_0 HànHan dynasty_cell_1_18_1
Tâi-lôHan dynasty_header_cell_1_19_0 HànHan dynasty_cell_1_19_1
Middle ChineseHan dynasty_header_cell_1_20_0
Middle ChineseHan dynasty_header_cell_1_21_0 xànHan dynasty_cell_1_21_1
Old ChineseHan dynasty_header_cell_1_22_0
Baxter (1992)Han dynasty_header_cell_1_23_0 *xansHan dynasty_cell_1_23_1
Baxter–Sagart (2014)Han dynasty_header_cell_1_24_0 *n̥ˤar-sHan dynasty_cell_1_24_1

The Han dynasty (Chinese: ; pinyin: Hàncháo) was the second imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu Bang and ruled by the House of Liu. Han dynasty_sentence_3

Preceded by the short-lived Qin dynasty (221–206 BC) and a warring interregnum known as the Chu–Han contention (206–202 BC), it was briefly interrupted by the Xin dynasty (9–23 AD) established by the usurping regent Wang Mang, and was separated into two periods—the Western Han (202 BC–9 AD) and the Eastern Han (25–220 AD), before being succeeded by the Three Kingdoms period (220–280 AD). Han dynasty_sentence_4

Spanning over four centuries, the Han dynasty is considered a golden age in Chinese history, and influenced the identity of the Chinese civilization ever since. Han dynasty_sentence_5

Modern China's majority ethnic group refers to themselves as the "Han Chinese", the Sinitic language is known as "Han language", and the written Chinese is referred to as "Han characters". Han dynasty_sentence_6

The emperor was at the pinnacle of Han society. Han dynasty_sentence_7

He presided over the Han government but shared power with both the nobility and appointed ministers who came largely from the scholarly gentry class. Han dynasty_sentence_8

The Han Empire was divided into areas directly controlled by the central government using an innovation inherited from the Qin known as commanderies, and a number of semi-autonomous kingdoms. Han dynasty_sentence_9

These kingdoms gradually lost all vestiges of their independence, particularly following the Rebellion of the Seven States. Han dynasty_sentence_10

From the reign of Emperor Wu (r. 141–87 BC) onward, the Chinese court officially sponsored Confucianism in education and court politics, synthesized with the cosmology of later scholars such as Dong Zhongshu. Han dynasty_sentence_11

This policy endured until the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1912 AD. Han dynasty_sentence_12

The Han dynasty saw an age of economic prosperity and witnessed a significant growth of the money economy first established during the Zhou dynasty (c. 1050–256 BC). Han dynasty_sentence_13

The coinage issued by the central government mint in 119 BC remained the standard coinage of China until the Tang dynasty (618–907 AD). Han dynasty_sentence_14

The period saw a number of limited institutional innovations. Han dynasty_sentence_15

To finance its military campaigns and the settlement of newly conquered frontier territories, the Han government nationalized the private salt and iron industries in 117 BC, but these government monopolies were repealed during the Eastern Han dynasty. Han dynasty_sentence_16

Science and technology during the Han period saw significant advances, including the process of papermaking, the nautical steering ship rudder, the use of negative numbers in mathematics, the raised-relief map, the hydraulic-powered armillary sphere for astronomy, and a seismometer employing an inverted pendulum that could be used to discern the cardinal direction of distant earthquakes. Han dynasty_sentence_17

The Xiongnu, a nomadic steppe confederation, defeated the Han in 200 BC and forced the Han to submit as a de facto inferior and vassal partner for several decades, but continued their military raids on the Han borders. Han dynasty_sentence_18

Emperor Wu launched several military campaigns against them. Han dynasty_sentence_19

The ultimate Han victory in these wars eventually forced the Xiongnu to accept vassal status as Han tributaries. Han dynasty_sentence_20

These campaigns expanded Han sovereignty and control into the Tarim Basin of Central Asia, divided the Xiongnu into two separate confederations, and helped establish the vast trade network known as the Silk Road, which reached as far as the Mediterranean world. Han dynasty_sentence_21

The territories north of Han's borders were quickly overrun by the nomadic Xianbei confederation. Han dynasty_sentence_22

Emperor Wu also launched successful military expeditions in the south, annexing Nanyue in 111 BC and Dian in 109 BC, and in the Korean Peninsula where the Xuantu and Lelang Commanderies were established in 108 BC. Han dynasty_sentence_23

After 92 AD, the palace eunuchs increasingly involved themselves in court politics, engaging in violent power struggles between the various consort clans of the empresses and empresses dowager, causing the Han's ultimate downfall. Han dynasty_sentence_24

Imperial authority was also seriously challenged by large Daoist religious societies which instigated the Yellow Turban Rebellion and the Five Pecks of Rice Rebellion. Han dynasty_sentence_25

Following the death of Emperor Ling (r. 168–189 AD), the palace eunuchs suffered wholesale massacre by military officers, allowing members of the aristocracy and military governors to become warlords and divide the empire. Han dynasty_sentence_26

When Cao Pi, king of Wei, usurped the throne from Emperor Xian, the Han dynasty ceased to exist. Han dynasty_sentence_27

Etymology Han dynasty_section_0

According to the Records of the Grand Historian, after the collapse of the Qin dynasty the hegemon Xiang Yu appointed Liu Bang as prince of the small fief of Hanzhong, named after its location on the Han River (in modern southwest Shaanxi). Han dynasty_sentence_28

Following Liu Bang's victory in the Chu–Han Contention, the resulting Han dynasty was named after the Hanzhong fief. Han dynasty_sentence_29

History Han dynasty_section_1

Main article: History of the Han dynasty Han dynasty_sentence_30

Further information: Timeline of the Han dynasty Han dynasty_sentence_31

Western Han Han dynasty_section_2

See also: Han–Xiongnu War and Southward expansion Han dynasty_sentence_32

Further information: Loulan Kingdom, Shule Kingdom, Kingdom of Khotan, Saka, and Tocharians Han dynasty_sentence_33

China's first imperial dynasty was the Qin dynasty (221–207 BC). Han dynasty_sentence_34

The Qin united the Chinese Warring States by conquest, but their regime became unstable after the death of the first emperor Qin Shi Huang. Han dynasty_sentence_35

Within four years, the dynasty's authority had collapsed in the face of rebellion. Han dynasty_sentence_36

Two former rebel leaders, Xiang Yu (d. 202 BC) of Chu and Liu Bang (d. 195 BC) of Han, engaged in a war to decide who would become of China, which had fissured into 18 kingdoms, each claiming allegiance to either Xiang Yu or Liu Bang. Han dynasty_sentence_37

Although Xiang Yu proved to be an effective commander, Liu Bang defeated him at Battle of Gaixia (202 BC), in modern-day Anhui. Han dynasty_sentence_38

Liu Bang assumed the title "emperor" (huangdi) at the urging of his followers and is known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu (r. 202–195 BC). Han dynasty_sentence_39

Chang'an (known today as Xi'an) was chosen as the new capital of the reunified empire under Han. Han dynasty_sentence_40

At the beginning of the Western Han (traditional Chinese: ; simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: Xīhàn), also known as the Former Han (traditional Chinese: ; simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: Qiánhàn) dynasty, thirteen centrally controlled commanderies—including the capital region—existed in the western third of the empire, while the eastern two-thirds were divided into ten semi-autonomous kingdoms. Han dynasty_sentence_41

To placate his prominent commanders from the war with Chu, Emperor Gaozu enfeoffed some of them as kings. Han dynasty_sentence_42

By 196 BC, the Han court had replaced all but one of these kings (the exception being in Changsha) with royal Liu family members, since the loyalty of non-relatives to the throne was questioned. Han dynasty_sentence_43

After several insurrections by Han kings—the largest being the Rebellion of the Seven States in 154 BC—the imperial court enacted a series of reforms beginning in 145 BC limiting the size and power of these kingdoms and dividing their former territories into new centrally controlled commanderies. Han dynasty_sentence_44

Kings were no longer able to appoint their own staff; this duty was assumed by the imperial court. Han dynasty_sentence_45

Kings became nominal heads of their fiefs and collected a portion of tax revenues as their personal incomes. Han dynasty_sentence_46

The kingdoms were never entirely abolished and existed throughout the remainder of Western and Eastern Han. Han dynasty_sentence_47

To the north of China proper, the nomadic Xiongnu chieftain Modu Chanyu (r. 209–174 BC) conquered various tribes inhabiting the eastern portion of the Eurasian Steppe. Han dynasty_sentence_48

By the end of his reign, he controlled Manchuria, Mongolia, and the Tarim Basin, subjugating over twenty states east of Samarkand. Han dynasty_sentence_49

Emperor Gaozu was troubled about the abundant Han-manufactured iron weapons traded to the Xiongnu along the northern borders, and he established a trade embargo against the group. Han dynasty_sentence_50

In retaliation, the Xiongnu invaded what is now Shanxi province, where they defeated the Han forces at Baideng in 200 BC. Han dynasty_sentence_51

After negotiations, the heqin agreement in 198 BC nominally held the leaders of the Xiongnu and the Han as equal partners in a royal marriage alliance, but the Han were forced to send large amounts of tribute items such as silk clothes, food, and wine to the Xiongnu. Han dynasty_sentence_52

Despite the tribute and a negotiation between Laoshang Chanyu (r. 174–160 BC) and Emperor Wen (r. 180–157 BC) to reopen border markets, many of the Chanyu's Xiongnu subordinates chose not to obey the treaty and periodically raided Han territories south of the Great Wall for additional goods. Han dynasty_sentence_53

In a court conference assembled by Emperor Wu (r. 141–87 BC) in 135 BC, the majority consensus of the ministers was to retain the heqin agreement. Han dynasty_sentence_54

Emperor Wu accepted this, despite continuing Xiongnu raids. Han dynasty_sentence_55

However, a court conference the following year convinced the majority that a limited engagement at Mayi involving the assassination of the Chanyu would throw the Xiongnu realm into chaos and benefit the Han. Han dynasty_sentence_56

When this plot failed in 133 BC, Emperor Wu launched a series of massive military invasions into Xiongnu territory. Han dynasty_sentence_57

The assault culminated in 119 BC at the Battle of Mobei, where the Han commanders Huo Qubing (d. 117 BC) and Wei Qing (d. 106 BC) forced the Xiongnu court to flee north of the Gobi Desert. Han dynasty_sentence_58

After Wu's reign, Han forces continued to prevail against the Xiongnu. Han dynasty_sentence_59

The Xiongnu leader Huhanye Chanyu (r. 58–31 BC) finally submitted to Han as a tributary vassal in 51 BC. Han dynasty_sentence_60

His rival claimant to the throne, Zhizhi Chanyu (r. 56–36 BC), was killed by Chen Tang and Gan Yanshou (甘延壽/甘延寿) at the Battle of Zhizhi, in modern Taraz, Kazakhstan. Han dynasty_sentence_61

In 121 BC, Han forces expelled the Xiongnu from a vast territory spanning the Hexi Corridor to Lop Nur. Han dynasty_sentence_62

They repelled a joint Xiongnu-Qiang invasion of this northwestern territory in 111 BC. Han dynasty_sentence_63

In that year, the Han court established four new frontier commanderies in this region: Jiuquan, Zhangyi, Dunhuang, and Wuwei. Han dynasty_sentence_64

The majority of people on the frontier were soldiers. Han dynasty_sentence_65

On occasion, the court forcibly moved peasant farmers to new frontier settlements, along with government-owned slaves and convicts who performed hard labor. Han dynasty_sentence_66

The court also encouraged commoners, such as farmers, merchants, landowners, and hired laborers, to voluntarily migrate to the frontier. Han dynasty_sentence_67

Even before Han's expansion into Central Asia, diplomat Zhang Qian's travels from 139 to 125 BC had established Chinese contacts with many surrounding civilizations. Han dynasty_sentence_68

Zhang encountered Dayuan (Fergana), Kangju (Sogdiana), and Daxia (Bactria, formerly the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom); he also gathered information on Shendu (Indus River valley of North India) and Anxi (the Parthian Empire). Han dynasty_sentence_69

All of these countries eventually received Han embassies. Han dynasty_sentence_70

These connections marked the beginning of the Silk Road trade network that extended to the Roman Empire, bringing Han items like silk to Rome and Roman goods such as glasswares to China. Han dynasty_sentence_71

From roughly 115 to 60 BC, Han forces fought the Xiongnu over control of the oasis city-states in the Tarim Basin. Han dynasty_sentence_72

Han was eventually victorious and established the Protectorate of the Western Regions in 60 BC, which dealt with the region's defense and foreign affairs. Han dynasty_sentence_73

The Han also expanded southward. Han dynasty_sentence_74

The naval conquest of Nanyue in 111 BC expanded the Han realm into what are now modern Guangdong, Guangxi, and northern Vietnam. Han dynasty_sentence_75

Yunnan was brought into the Han realm with the conquest of the Dian Kingdom in 109 BC, followed by parts of the Korean Peninsula with the Han conquest of Gojoseon and colonial establishments of Xuantu Commandery and Lelang Commandery in 108 BC. Han dynasty_sentence_76

In China's first known nationwide census taken in 2 AD, the population was registered as having 57,671,400 individuals in 12,366,470 households. Han dynasty_sentence_77

To pay for his military campaigns and colonial expansion, Emperor Wu nationalized several private industries. Han dynasty_sentence_78

He created central government monopolies administered largely by former merchants. Han dynasty_sentence_79

These monopolies included salt, iron, and liquor production, as well as bronze-coin currency. Han dynasty_sentence_80

The liquor monopoly lasted only from 98 to 81 BC, and the salt and iron monopolies were eventually abolished in early Eastern Han. Han dynasty_sentence_81

The issuing of coinage remained a central government monopoly throughout the rest of the Han dynasty. Han dynasty_sentence_82

The government monopolies were eventually repealed when a political faction known as the Reformists gained greater influence in the court. Han dynasty_sentence_83

The Reformists opposed the Modernist faction that had dominated court politics in Emperor Wu's reign and during the subsequent regency of Huo Guang (d. 68 BC). Han dynasty_sentence_84

The Modernists argued for an aggressive and expansionary foreign policy supported by revenues from heavy government intervention in the private economy. Han dynasty_sentence_85

The Reformists, however, overturned these policies, favoring a cautious, non-expansionary approach to foreign policy, frugal budget reform, and lower tax-rates imposed on private entrepreneurs. Han dynasty_sentence_86

Wang Mang's reign and civil war Han dynasty_section_3

Main articles: Wang Mang and Xin dynasty Han dynasty_sentence_87

Wang Zhengjun (71 BC–13 AD) was first empress, then empress dowager, and finally grand empress dowager during the reigns of the Emperors Yuan (r. 49–33 BC), Cheng (r. 33–7 BC), and Ai (r. 7–1 BC), respectively. Han dynasty_sentence_88

During this time, a succession of her male relatives held the title of regent. Han dynasty_sentence_89

Following the death of Ai, Wang Zhengjun's nephew Wang Mang (45 BC–23 AD) was appointed regent as Marshall of State on 16 August under Emperor Ping (r. 1 BC–6 AD). Han dynasty_sentence_90

When Ping died on 3 February 6 AD, Ruzi Ying (d. 25 AD) was chosen as the heir and Wang Mang was appointed to serve as acting emperor for the child. Han dynasty_sentence_91

Wang promised to relinquish his control to Liu Ying once he came of age. Han dynasty_sentence_92

Despite this promise, and against protest and revolts from the nobility, Wang Mang claimed on 10 January that the divine Mandate of Heaven called for the end of the Han dynasty and the beginning of his own: the Xin dynasty (9–23 AD). Han dynasty_sentence_93

Wang Mang initiated a series of major reforms that were ultimately unsuccessful. Han dynasty_sentence_94

These reforms included outlawing slavery, nationalizing land to equally distribute between households, and introducing new currencies, a change which debased the value of coinage. Han dynasty_sentence_95

Although these reforms provoked considerable opposition, Wang's regime met its ultimate downfall with the massive floods of c. 3 AD and 11 AD. Han dynasty_sentence_96

Gradual silt buildup in the Yellow River had raised its water level and overwhelmed the flood control works. Han dynasty_sentence_97

The Yellow River split into two new branches: one emptying to the north and the other to the south of the Shandong Peninsula, though Han engineers managed to dam the southern branch by 70 AD. Han dynasty_sentence_98

The flood dislodged thousands of peasant farmers, many of whom joined roving bandit and rebel groups such as the Red Eyebrows to survive. Han dynasty_sentence_99

Wang Mang's armies were incapable of quelling these enlarged rebel groups. Han dynasty_sentence_100

Eventually, an insurgent mob forced their way into the Weiyang Palace and killed Wang Mang. Han dynasty_sentence_101

The Gengshi Emperor (r. 23–25 AD), a descendant of Emperor Jing (r. 157–141 BC), attempted to restore the Han dynasty and occupied Chang'an as his capital. Han dynasty_sentence_102

However, he was overwhelmed by the Red Eyebrow rebels who deposed, assassinated, and replaced him with the puppet monarch Liu Penzi. Han dynasty_sentence_103

Gengshi's distant cousin Liu Xiu, known posthumously as Emperor Guangwu (r. 25–57 AD), after distinguishing himself at the Battle of Kunyang in 23 AD, was urged to succeed Gengshi as emperor. Han dynasty_sentence_104

Under Guangwu's rule the Han Empire was restored. Han dynasty_sentence_105

Guangwu made Luoyang his capital in 25 AD, and by 27 AD his officers Deng Yu and Feng Yi had forced the Red Eyebrows to surrender and executed their leaders for treason. Han dynasty_sentence_106

From 26 until 36 AD, Emperor Guangwu had to wage war against other regional warlords who claimed the title of emperor; when these warlords were defeated, China reunified under the Han. Han dynasty_sentence_107

The period between the foundation of the Han dynasty and Wang Mang's reign is known as the Western Han (traditional Chinese: ; simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: Xīhàn) or Former Han (traditional Chinese: ; simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: Qiánhàn) (206 BC–9 AD). Han dynasty_sentence_108

During this period the capital was at Chang'an (modern Xi'an). Han dynasty_sentence_109

From the reign of Guangwu the capital was moved eastward to Luoyang. Han dynasty_sentence_110

The era from his reign until the fall of Han is known as the Eastern Han or Later Han (25–220 AD). Han dynasty_sentence_111

Eastern Han Han dynasty_section_4

The Eastern Han (traditional Chinese: ; simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: Dōnghàn), also known as the Later Han (traditional Chinese: ; simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: Hòuhàn), formally began on 5 August AD 25, when Liu Xiu became Emperor Guangwu of Han. Han dynasty_sentence_112

During the widespread rebellion against Wang Mang, the state of Goguryeo was free to raid Han's Korean commanderies; Han did not reaffirm its control over the region until AD 30. Han dynasty_sentence_113

The Trưng Sisters of Vietnam rebelled against Han in AD 40. Han dynasty_sentence_114

Their rebellion was crushed by Han general Ma Yuan (d. AD 49) in a campaign from AD 42–43. Han dynasty_sentence_115

Wang Mang renewed hostilities against the Xiongnu, who were estranged from Han until their leader Bi (比), a rival claimant to the throne against his cousin Punu (蒲奴), submitted to Han as a tributary vassal in AD 50. Han dynasty_sentence_116

This created two rival Xiongnu states: the Southern Xiongnu led by Bi, an ally of Han, and the Northern Xiongnu led by Punu, an enemy of Han. Han dynasty_sentence_117

During the turbulent reign of Wang Mang, China lost control over the Tarim Basin, which was conquered by the Northern Xiongnu in AD 63 and used as a base to invade the Hexi Corridor in Gansu. Han dynasty_sentence_118

Dou Gu (d. 88 AD) defeated the Northern Xiongnu at the Battle of Yiwulu in AD 73, evicting them from Turpan and chasing them as far as Lake Barkol before establishing a garrison at Hami. Han dynasty_sentence_119

After the new Protector General of the Western Regions Chen Mu (d. AD 75) was killed by allies of the Xiongnu in Karasahr and Kucha, the garrison at Hami was withdrawn. Han dynasty_sentence_120

At the Battle of Ikh Bayan in AD 89, Dou Xian (d. AD 92) defeated the Northern Xiongnu chanyu who then retreated into the Altai Mountains. Han dynasty_sentence_121

After the Northern Xiongnu fled into the Ili River valley in AD 91, the nomadic Xianbei occupied the area from the borders of the Buyeo Kingdom in Manchuria to the Ili River of the Wusun people. Han dynasty_sentence_122

The Xianbei reached their apogee under Tanshihuai (檀石槐) (d. AD 180), who consistently defeated Chinese armies. Han dynasty_sentence_123

However, Tanshihuai's confederation disintegrated after his death. Han dynasty_sentence_124

Ban Chao (d. AD 102) enlisted the aid of the Kushan Empire, occupying the area of modern India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan, to subdue Kashgar and its ally Sogdiana. Han dynasty_sentence_125

When a request by Kushan ruler Vima Kadphises (r. c. 90–c. Han dynasty_sentence_126

100 AD) for a marriage alliance with the Han was rejected in AD 90, he sent his forces to Wakhan (Afghanistan) to attack Ban Chao. Han dynasty_sentence_127

The conflict ended with the Kushans withdrawing because of lack of supplies. Han dynasty_sentence_128

In AD 91, the office of Protector General of the Western Regions was reinstated when it was bestowed on Ban Chao. Han dynasty_sentence_129

Foreign travelers to Eastern-Han China include Buddhist monks who translated works into Chinese, such as An Shigao from Parthia, and Lokaksema from Kushan-era Gandhara, India. Han dynasty_sentence_130

In addition to tributary relations with the Kushans, the Han Empire received gifts from the Parthian Empire, from a king in modern Burma, from a ruler in Japan, and initiated an unsuccessful mission to Daqin (Rome) in AD 97 with Gan Ying as emissary. Han dynasty_sentence_131

A Roman embassy of Emperor Marcus Aurelius (r. 161–180 AD) is recorded in the Weilüe and Hou Hanshu to have reached the court of Emperor Huan of Han (r. AD 146–168) in AD 166, yet Rafe de Crespigny asserts that this was most likely a group of Roman merchants. Han dynasty_sentence_132

In addition to Roman glasswares and coins found in China, Roman medallions from the reign of Antoninus Pius and his adopted son Marcus Aurelius have been found at Óc Eo in Vietnam. Han dynasty_sentence_133

This was near the commandery of Rinan (also Jiaozhi) where Chinese sources claim the Romans first landed, as well as embassies from Tianzhu (in northern India) in the years 159 and 161. Han dynasty_sentence_134

Óc Eo is also thought to be the port city "Cattigara" described by Ptolemy in his Geography (c. 150 AD) as lying east of the Golden Chersonese (Malay Peninsula) along the Magnus Sinus (i.e. Gulf of Thailand and South China Sea), where a Greek sailor had visited. Han dynasty_sentence_135

Emperor Zhang's (r. 75–88 AD) reign came to be viewed by later Eastern Han scholars as the high point of the dynastic house. Han dynasty_sentence_136

Subsequent reigns were increasingly marked by eunuch intervention in court politics and their involvement in the violent power struggles of the imperial consort clans. Han dynasty_sentence_137

In 92 AD, with the aid of the eunuch Zheng Zhong (d. 107 AD), Emperor He (r. 88–105 AD) had Empress Dowager Dou (d. 97 AD) put under house arrest and her clan stripped of power. Han dynasty_sentence_138

This was in revenge for Dou's purging of the clan of his natural mother—Consort Liang—and then concealing her identity from him. Han dynasty_sentence_139

After Emperor He's death, his wife Empress Deng Sui (d. 121 AD) managed state affairs as the regent empress dowager during a turbulent financial crisis and widespread Qiang rebellion that lasted from 107 to 118 AD. Han dynasty_sentence_140

When Empress Dowager Deng died, Emperor An (r. 106–125 AD) was convinced by the accusations of the eunuchs Li Run (李閏) and Jiang Jing (江京) that Deng and her family had planned to depose him. Han dynasty_sentence_141

An dismissed Deng's clan members from office, exiled them and forced many to commit suicide. Han dynasty_sentence_142

After An's death, his wife, Empress Dowager Yan (d. 126 AD) placed the child Marquess of Beixiang on the throne in an attempt to retain power within her family. Han dynasty_sentence_143

However, palace eunuch Sun Cheng (d. 132 AD) masterminded a successful overthrow of her regime to enthrone Emperor Shun of Han (r. 125–144 AD). Han dynasty_sentence_144

Yan was placed under house arrest, her relatives were either killed or exiled, and her eunuch allies were slaughtered. Han dynasty_sentence_145

The regent Liang Ji (d. 159 AD), brother of Empress Liang Na (d. 150 AD), had the brother-in-law of Consort Deng Mengnü (later empress) (d. 165 AD) killed after Deng Mengnü resisted Liang Ji's attempts to control her. Han dynasty_sentence_146

Afterward, Emperor Huan employed eunuchs to depose Liang Ji, who was then forced to commit suicide. Han dynasty_sentence_147

Students from the Imperial University organized a widespread student protest against the eunuchs of Emperor Huan's court. Han dynasty_sentence_148

Huan further alienated the bureaucracy when he initiated grandiose construction projects and hosted thousands of concubines in his harem at a time of economic crisis. Han dynasty_sentence_149

Palace eunuchs imprisoned the official Li Ying (李膺) and his associates from the Imperial University on a dubious charge of treason. Han dynasty_sentence_150

In 167 AD, the Grand Commandant Dou Wu (d. 168 AD) convinced his son-in-law, Emperor Huan, to release them. Han dynasty_sentence_151

However the emperor permanently barred Li Ying and his associates from serving in office, marking the beginning of the Partisan Prohibitions. Han dynasty_sentence_152

Following Huan's death, Dou Wu and the Grand Tutor Chen Fan (d. 168 AD) attempted a coup d'état against the eunuchs Hou Lan (d. 172 AD), Cao Jie (d. 181 AD), and Wang Fu (王甫). Han dynasty_sentence_153

When the plot was uncovered, the eunuchs arrested Empress Dowager Dou (d. 172 AD) and Chen Fan. Han dynasty_sentence_154

General Zhang Huan (張奐) favored the eunuchs. Han dynasty_sentence_155

He and his troops confronted Dou Wu and his retainers at the palace gate where each side shouted accusations of treason against the other. Han dynasty_sentence_156

When the retainers gradually deserted Dou Wu, he was forced to commit suicide. Han dynasty_sentence_157

Under Emperor Ling (r. 168–189 AD) the eunuchs had the partisan prohibitions renewed and expanded, while also auctioning off top government offices. Han dynasty_sentence_158

Many affairs of state were entrusted to the eunuchs Zhao Zhong (d. 189 AD) and Zhang Rang (d. 189 AD) while Emperor Ling spent much of his time roleplaying with concubines and participating in military parades. Han dynasty_sentence_159

End of the Han dynasty Han dynasty_section_5

Main article: End of the Han dynasty Han dynasty_sentence_160

The Partisan Prohibitions were repealed during the Yellow Turban Rebellion and Five Pecks of Rice Rebellion in 184 AD, largely because the court did not want to continue to alienate a significant portion of the gentry class who might otherwise join the rebellions. Han dynasty_sentence_161

The Yellow Turbans and Five-Pecks-of-Rice adherents belonged to two different hierarchical Daoist religious societies led by faith healers Zhang Jue (d. 184 AD) and Zhang Lu (d. 216 AD), respectively. Han dynasty_sentence_162

Zhang Lu's rebellion, in modern northern Sichuan and southern Shaanxi, was not quelled until 215 AD. Han dynasty_sentence_163

Zhang Jue's massive rebellion across eight provinces was annihilated by Han forces within a year, however the following decades saw much smaller recurrent uprisings. Han dynasty_sentence_164

Although the Yellow Turbans were defeated, many generals appointed during the crisis never disbanded their assembled militia forces and used these troops to amass power outside of the collapsing imperial authority. Han dynasty_sentence_165

General-in-Chief He Jin (d. 189 AD), half-brother to Empress He (d. 189 AD), plotted with Yuan Shao (d. 202 AD) to overthrow the eunuchs by having several generals march to the outskirts of the capital. Han dynasty_sentence_166

There, in a written petition to Empress He, they demanded the eunuchs' execution. Han dynasty_sentence_167

After a period of hesitation, Empress He consented. Han dynasty_sentence_168

When the eunuchs discovered this, however, they had her brother He Miao (何苗) rescind the order. Han dynasty_sentence_169

The eunuchs assassinated He Jin on September 22, 189 AD. Han dynasty_sentence_170

Yuan Shao then besieged Luoyang's Northern Palace while his brother Yuan Shu (d. 199 AD) besieged the Southern Palace. Han dynasty_sentence_171

On September 25 both palaces were breached and approximately two thousand eunuchs were killed. Han dynasty_sentence_172

Zhang Rang had previously fled with Emperor Shao (r. 189 AD) and his brother Liu Xie—the future Emperor Xian of Han (r. 189–220 AD). Han dynasty_sentence_173

While being pursued by the Yuan brothers, Zhang committed suicide by jumping into the Yellow River. Han dynasty_sentence_174

General Dong Zhuo (d. 192 AD) found the young emperor and his brother wandering in the countryside. Han dynasty_sentence_175

He escorted them safely back to the capital and was made Minister of Works, taking control of Luoyang and forcing Yuan Shao to flee. Han dynasty_sentence_176

After Dong Zhuo demoted Emperor Shao and promoted his brother Liu Xie as Emperor Xian, Yuan Shao led a coalition of former officials and officers against Dong, who burned Luoyang to the ground and resettled the court at Chang'an in May 191 AD. Han dynasty_sentence_177

Dong Zhuo later poisoned Emperor Shao. Han dynasty_sentence_178

Dong was killed by his adopted son Lü Bu (d. 198 AD) in a plot hatched by Wang Yun (d. 192 AD). Han dynasty_sentence_179

Emperor Xian fled from Chang'an in 195 AD to the ruins of Luoyang. Han dynasty_sentence_180

Xian was persuaded by Cao Cao (155–220 AD), then Governor of Yan Province in modern western Shandong and eastern Henan, to move the capital to Xuchang in 196 AD. Han dynasty_sentence_181

Yuan Shao challenged Cao Cao for control over the emperor. Han dynasty_sentence_182

Yuan's power was greatly diminished after Cao defeated him at the Battle of Guandu in 200 AD. Han dynasty_sentence_183

After Yuan died, Cao killed Yuan Shao's son Yuan Tan (173–205 AD), who had fought with his brothers over the family inheritance. Han dynasty_sentence_184

His brothers Yuan Shang and Yuan Xi were killed in 207 AD by Gongsun Kang (d. 221 AD), who sent their heads to Cao Cao. Han dynasty_sentence_185

After Cao's defeat at the naval Battle of Red Cliffs in 208 AD, China was divided into three spheres of influence, with Cao Cao dominating the north, Sun Quan (182–252 AD) dominating the south, and Liu Bei (161–223 AD) dominating the west. Han dynasty_sentence_186

Cao Cao died in March 220 AD. Han dynasty_sentence_187

By December his son Cao Pi (187–226 AD) had Emperor Xian relinquish the throne to him and is known posthumously as Emperor Wen of Wei. Han dynasty_sentence_188

This formally ended the Han dynasty and initiated an age of conflict between three states: Cao Wei, Eastern Wu, and Shu Han. Han dynasty_sentence_189

Culture and society Han dynasty_section_6

Main article: Society and culture of the Han dynasty Han dynasty_sentence_190

Social class Han dynasty_section_7

See also: Chinese nobility, Marquis Baocheng, and Four occupations Han dynasty_sentence_191

In the hierarchical social order, the emperor was at the apex of Han society and government. Han dynasty_sentence_192

However the emperor was often a minor, ruled over by a regent such as the empress dowager or one of her male relatives. Han dynasty_sentence_193

Ranked immediately below the emperor were the kings who were of the same Liu family clan. Han dynasty_sentence_194

The rest of society, including nobles lower than kings and all commoners excluding slaves belonged to one of twenty ranks (ershi gongcheng 二十公乘). Han dynasty_sentence_195

Each successive rank gave its holder greater pensions and legal privileges. Han dynasty_sentence_196

The highest rank, of full marquess, came with a state pension and a territorial fiefdom. Han dynasty_sentence_197

Holders of the rank immediately below, that of ordinary marquess, received a pension, but had no territorial rule. Han dynasty_sentence_198

Officials who served in government belonged to the wider commoner social class and were ranked just below nobles in social prestige. Han dynasty_sentence_199

The highest government officials could be enfeoffed as marquesses. Han dynasty_sentence_200

By the Eastern Han period, local elites of unattached scholars, teachers, students, and government officials began to identify themselves as members of a larger, nationwide gentry class with shared values and a commitment to mainstream scholarship. Han dynasty_sentence_201

When the government became noticeably corrupt in mid-to-late Eastern Han, many gentrymen even considered the cultivation of morally grounded personal relationships more important than serving in public office. Han dynasty_sentence_202

The farmer, or specifically the small landowner-cultivator, was ranked just below scholars and officials in the social hierarchy. Han dynasty_sentence_203

Other agricultural cultivators were of a lower status, such as tenants, wage laborers, and slaves. Han dynasty_sentence_204

The Han dynasty made adjustments to slavery in China and saw an increase in agricultural slaves. Han dynasty_sentence_205

Artisans, technicians, tradespeople and craftsmen had a legal and socioeconomic status between that of owner-cultivator farmers and common merchants. Han dynasty_sentence_206

State-registered merchants, who were forced by law to wear white-colored clothes and pay high commercial taxes, were considered by the gentry as social parasites with a contemptible status. Han dynasty_sentence_207

These were often petty shopkeepers of urban marketplaces; merchants such as industrialists and itinerant traders working between a network of cities could avoid registering as merchants and were often wealthier and more powerful than the vast majority of government officials. Han dynasty_sentence_208

Wealthy landowners, such as nobles and officials, often provided lodging for retainers who provided valuable work or duties, sometimes including fighting bandits or riding into battle. Han dynasty_sentence_209

Unlike slaves, retainers could come and go from their master's home as they pleased. Han dynasty_sentence_210

Medical physicians, pig breeders, and butchers had a fairly high social status, while occultist diviners, runners, and messengers had low status. Han dynasty_sentence_211

Marriage, gender, and kinship Han dynasty_section_8

See also: Women in Han China Han dynasty_sentence_212

The Han-era family was patrilineal and typically had four to five nuclear family members living in one household. Han dynasty_sentence_213

Multiple generations of extended family members did not occupy the same house, unlike families of later dynasties. Han dynasty_sentence_214

According to Confucian family norms, various family members were treated with different levels of respect and intimacy. Han dynasty_sentence_215

For example, there were different accepted time frames for mourning the death of a father versus a paternal uncle. Han dynasty_sentence_216

Marriages were highly ritualized, particularly for the wealthy, and included many important steps. Han dynasty_sentence_217

The giving of betrothal gifts, known as bridewealth and dowry, were especially important. Han dynasty_sentence_218

A lack of either was considered dishonorable and the woman would have been seen not as a wife, but as a concubine. Han dynasty_sentence_219

Arranged marriages were normal, with the father's input on his offspring's spouse being considered more important than the mother's. Han dynasty_sentence_220

Monogamous marriages were also normal, although nobles and high officials were wealthy enough to afford and support concubines as additional lovers. Han dynasty_sentence_221

Under certain conditions dictated by custom, not law, both men and women were able to divorce their spouses and remarry. Han dynasty_sentence_222

However, a woman who had been widowed continued to belong to her husband's family after his death. Han dynasty_sentence_223

In order to remarry, the widow would have to be returned to her family in exchange for a ransom fee. Han dynasty_sentence_224

Her children would not be allowed to go with her. Han dynasty_sentence_225

Apart from the passing of noble titles or ranks, inheritance practices did not involve primogeniture; each son received an equal share of the family property. Han dynasty_sentence_226

Unlike the practice in later dynasties, the father usually sent his adult married sons away with their portions of the family fortune. Han dynasty_sentence_227

Daughters received a portion of the family fortune through their marriage dowries, though this was usually much less than the shares of sons. Han dynasty_sentence_228

A different distribution of the remainder could be specified in a will, but it is unclear how common this was. Han dynasty_sentence_229

Women were expected to obey the will of their father, then their husband, and then their adult son in old age. Han dynasty_sentence_230

However, it is known from contemporary sources that there were many deviations to this rule, especially in regard to mothers over their sons, and empresses who ordered around and openly humiliated their fathers and brothers. Han dynasty_sentence_231

Women were exempt from the annual corvée labor duties, but often engaged in a range of income-earning occupations aside from their domestic chores of cooking and cleaning. Han dynasty_sentence_232

The most common occupation for women was weaving clothes for the family, sale at market or for large textile enterprises that employed hundreds of women. Han dynasty_sentence_233

Other women helped on their brothers' farms or became singers, dancers, sorceresses, respected medical physicians, and successful merchants who could afford their own silk clothes. Han dynasty_sentence_234

Some women formed spinning collectives, aggregating the resources of several different families. Han dynasty_sentence_235

Education, literature, and philosophy Han dynasty_section_9

The early Western Han court simultaneously accepted the philosophical teachings of Legalism, Huang-Lao Daoism, and Confucianism in making state decisions and shaping government policy. Han dynasty_sentence_236

However, the Han court under Emperor Wu gave Confucianism exclusive patronage. Han dynasty_sentence_237

He abolished all academic chairs or erudites (bóshì 博士) not dealing with the Confucian Five Classics in 136 BC and encouraged nominees for office to receive a Confucian-based education at the Imperial University that he established in 124 BC. Han dynasty_sentence_238

Unlike the original ideology espoused by Confucius, or Kongzi (551–479 BC), Han Confucianism in Emperor Wu's reign was the creation of Dong Zhongshu (179–104 BC). Han dynasty_sentence_239

Dong was a scholar and minor official who aggregated the ethical Confucian ideas of ritual, filial piety, and harmonious relationships with five phases and yin-yang cosmologies. Han dynasty_sentence_240

Much to the interest of the ruler, Dong's synthesis justified the imperial system of government within the natural order of the universe. Han dynasty_sentence_241

The Imperial University grew in importance as the student body grew to over 30,000 by the 2nd century AD. Han dynasty_sentence_242

A Confucian-based education was also made available at commandery-level schools and private schools opened in small towns, where teachers earned respectable incomes from tuition payments. Han dynasty_sentence_243

Some important texts were created and studied by scholars. Han dynasty_sentence_244

Philosophical works written by Yang Xiong (53 BC–18 AD), Huan Tan (43 BC–28 AD), Wang Chong (27–100 AD), and Wang Fu (78–163 AD) questioned whether human nature was innately good or evil and posed challenges to Dong's universal order. Han dynasty_sentence_245

The Records of the Grand Historian by Sima Tan (d. 110 BC) and his son Sima Qian (145–86 BC) established the standard model for all of imperial China's Standard Histories, such as the Book of Han written by Ban Biao (3–54 AD), his son Ban Gu (32–92 AD), and his daughter Ban Zhao (45–116 AD). Han dynasty_sentence_246

There were dictionaries such as the Shuowen Jiezi by Xu Shen (c. 58–c. Han dynasty_sentence_247

147 AD) and the Fangyan by Yang Xiong. Han dynasty_sentence_248

Biographies on important figures were written by various gentrymen. Han dynasty_sentence_249

Han dynasty poetry was dominated by the fu genre, which achieved its greatest prominence during the reign of Emperor Wu. Han dynasty_sentence_250

Law and order Han dynasty_section_10

Han scholars such as Jia Yi (201–169 BC) portrayed the previous Qin dynasty as a brutal regime. Han dynasty_sentence_251

However, archaeological evidence from Zhangjiashan and Shuihudi reveal that many of the statutes in the Han law code compiled by Chancellor Xiao He (d. 193 BC) were derived from Qin law. Han dynasty_sentence_252

Various cases for rape, physical abuse and murder were prosecuted in court. Han dynasty_sentence_253

Women, although usually having fewer rights by custom, were allowed to level civil and criminal charges against men. Han dynasty_sentence_254

While suspects were jailed, convicted criminals were never imprisoned. Han dynasty_sentence_255

Instead, punishments were commonly monetary fines, periods of forced hard labor for convicts, and the penalty of death by beheading. Han dynasty_sentence_256

Early Han punishments of torturous mutilation were borrowed from Qin law. Han dynasty_sentence_257

A series of reforms abolished mutilation punishments with progressively less-severe beatings by the bastinado. Han dynasty_sentence_258

Acting as a judge in lawsuits was one of many duties of the county magistrate and Administrators of commanderies. Han dynasty_sentence_259

Complex, high-profile or unresolved cases were often deferred to the Minister of Justice in the capital or even the emperor. Han dynasty_sentence_260

In each Han county was several districts, each overseen by a chief of police. Han dynasty_sentence_261

Order in the cities was maintained by government officers in the marketplaces and constables in the neighborhoods. Han dynasty_sentence_262

Food Han dynasty_section_11

The most common staple crops consumed during Han were wheat, barley, foxtail millet, proso millet, rice, and beans. Han dynasty_sentence_263

Commonly eaten fruits and vegetables included chestnuts, pears, plums, peaches, melons, apricots, strawberries, red bayberries, jujubes, calabash, bamboo shoots, mustard plant and taro. Han dynasty_sentence_264

Domesticated animals that were also eaten included chickens, Mandarin ducks, geese, cows, sheep, pigs, camels and dogs (various types were bred specifically for food, while most were used as pets). Han dynasty_sentence_265

Turtles and fish were taken from streams and lakes. Han dynasty_sentence_266

Commonly hunted game, such as owl, pheasant, magpie, sika deer, and Chinese bamboo partridge were consumed. Han dynasty_sentence_267

Seasonings included sugar, honey, salt and soy sauce. Han dynasty_sentence_268

Beer and wine were regularly consumed. Han dynasty_sentence_269

Clothing Han dynasty_section_12

Further information: Hanfu Han dynasty_sentence_270

The types of clothing worn and the materials used during the Han period depended upon social class. Han dynasty_sentence_271

Wealthy folk could afford silk robes, skirts, socks, and mittens, coats made of badger or fox fur, duck plumes, and slippers with inlaid leather, pearls, and silk lining. Han dynasty_sentence_272

Peasants commonly wore clothes made of hemp, wool, and ferret skins. Han dynasty_sentence_273

Religion, cosmology, and metaphysics Han dynasty_section_13

Families throughout Han China made ritual sacrifices of animals and food to deities, spirits, and ancestors at temples and shrines. Han dynasty_sentence_274

They believed that these items could be utilized by those in the spiritual realm. Han dynasty_sentence_275

It was thought that each person had a two-part soul: the spirit-soul (hun 魂) which journeyed to the afterlife paradise of immortals (xian), and the body-soul (po 魄) which remained in its grave or tomb on earth and was only reunited with the spirit-soul through a ritual ceremony. Han dynasty_sentence_276

In addition to his many other roles, the emperor acted as the highest priest in the land who made sacrifices to Heaven, the main deities known as the Five Powers, and the spirits (shen 神) of mountains and rivers. Han dynasty_sentence_277

It was believed that the three realms of Heaven, Earth, and Mankind were linked by natural cycles of yin and yang and the five phases. Han dynasty_sentence_278

If the emperor did not behave according to proper ritual, ethics, and morals, he could disrupt the fine balance of these cosmological cycles and cause calamities such as earthquakes, floods, droughts, epidemics, and swarms of locusts. Han dynasty_sentence_279

It was believed that immortality could be achieved if one reached the lands of the Queen Mother of the West or Mount Penglai. Han dynasty_sentence_280

Han-era Daoists assembled into small groups of hermits who attempted to achieve immortality through breathing exercises, sexual techniques and use of medical elixirs. Han dynasty_sentence_281

By the 2nd century AD, Daoists formed large hierarchical religious societies such as the Way of the Five Pecks of Rice. Han dynasty_sentence_282

Its followers believed that the sage-philosopher Laozi (fl. 6th century BC) was a holy prophet who would offer salvation and good health if his devout followers would confess their sins, ban the worship of unclean gods who accepted meat sacrifices and chant sections of the Daodejing. Han dynasty_sentence_283

Buddhism first entered China during the Eastern Han and was first mentioned in 65 AD. Han dynasty_sentence_284

Liu Ying (d. 71 AD), a half-brother to Emperor Ming of Han (r. 57–75 AD), was one of its earliest Chinese adherents, although Chinese Buddhism at this point was heavily associated with Huang-Lao Daoism. Han dynasty_sentence_285

China's first known Buddhist temple, the White Horse Temple, was constructed outside the wall of the capital, Luoyang, during Emperor Ming's reign. Han dynasty_sentence_286

Important Buddhist canons were translated into Chinese during the 2nd century AD, including the Sutra of Forty-two Chapters, Perfection of Wisdom, Shurangama Sutra, and Pratyutpanna Sutra. Han dynasty_sentence_287

Government and politics Han dynasty_section_14

Main article: Government of the Han dynasty Han dynasty_sentence_288

See also: List of emperors of the Han dynasty Han dynasty_sentence_289

Central government Han dynasty_section_15

In Han government, the emperor was the supreme judge and lawgiver, the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and sole designator of official nominees appointed to the top posts in central and local administrations; those who earned a 600-bushel salary-rank or higher. Han dynasty_sentence_290

Theoretically, there were no limits to his power. Han dynasty_sentence_291

However, state organs with competing interests and institutions such as the court conference (tingyi 廷議)—where ministers were convened to reach majority consensus on an issue—pressured the emperor to accept the advice of his ministers on policy decisions. Han dynasty_sentence_292

If the emperor rejected a court conference decision, he risked alienating his high ministers. Han dynasty_sentence_293

Nevertheless, emperors sometimes did reject the majority opinion reached at court conferences. Han dynasty_sentence_294

Below the emperor were his cabinet members known as the Three Councillors of State (San gong 三公). Han dynasty_sentence_295

These were the Chancellor or Minister over the Masses (Chengxiang 丞相 or Da situ 大司徒), the Imperial Counselor or Excellency of Works (Yushi dafu 御史大夫 or Da sikong 大司空), and Grand Commandant or Grand Marshal (Taiwei 太尉 or Da sima 大司馬). Han dynasty_sentence_296

The Chancellor, whose title was changed to 'Minister over the Masses' in 8 BC, was chiefly responsible for drafting the government budget. Han dynasty_sentence_297

The Chancellor's other duties included managing provincial registers for land and population, leading court conferences, acting as judge in lawsuits and recommending nominees for high office. Han dynasty_sentence_298

He could appoint officials below the salary-rank of 600 bushels. Han dynasty_sentence_299

The Imperial Counselor's chief duty was to conduct disciplinary procedures for officials. Han dynasty_sentence_300

He shared similar duties with the Chancellor, such as receiving annual provincial reports. Han dynasty_sentence_301

However, when his title was changed to Minister of Works in 8 BC, his chief duty became oversight of public works projects. Han dynasty_sentence_302

The Grand Commandant, whose title was changed to Grand Marshal in 119 BC before reverting to Grand Commandant in 51 AD, was the irregularly posted commander of the military and then regent during the Western Han period. Han dynasty_sentence_303

In the Eastern Han era he was chiefly a civil official who shared many of the same censorial powers as the other two Councillors of State. Han dynasty_sentence_304

Ranked below the Three Councillors of State were the Nine Ministers (Jiu qing 九卿), who each headed a specialized ministry. Han dynasty_sentence_305

The Minister of Ceremonies (Taichang 太常) was the chief official in charge of religious rites, rituals, prayers and the maintenance of ancestral temples and altars. Han dynasty_sentence_306

The Minister of the Household (Guang lu xun 光祿勳) was in charge of the emperor's security within the palace grounds, external imperial parks and wherever the emperor made an outing by chariot. Han dynasty_sentence_307

The Minister of the Guards (Weiwei 衛尉) was responsible for securing and patrolling the walls, towers, and gates of the imperial palaces. Han dynasty_sentence_308

The Minister Coachman (Taipu 太僕) was responsible for the maintenance of imperial stables, horses, carriages and coach-houses for the emperor and his palace attendants, as well as the supply of horses for the armed forces. Han dynasty_sentence_309

The Minister of Justice (Tingwei 廷尉) was the chief official in charge of upholding, administering, and interpreting the law. Han dynasty_sentence_310

The Minister Herald (Da honglu 大鴻臚) was the chief official in charge of receiving honored guests at the imperial court, such as nobles and foreign ambassadors. Han dynasty_sentence_311

The Minister of the Imperial Clan (Zongzheng 宗正) oversaw the imperial court's interactions with the empire's nobility and extended imperial family, such as granting fiefs and titles. Han dynasty_sentence_312

The Minister of Finance (Da sinong 大司農) was the treasurer for the official bureaucracy and the armed forces who handled tax revenues and set standards for units of measurement. Han dynasty_sentence_313

The Minister Steward (Shaofu 少府) served the emperor exclusively, providing him with entertainment and amusements, proper food and clothing, medicine and physical care, valuables and equipment. Han dynasty_sentence_314

Local government Han dynasty_section_16

The Han empire, excluding kingdoms and marquessates, was divided, in descending order of size, into political units of provinces, commanderies, and counties. Han dynasty_sentence_315

A county was divided into several districts (xiang 鄉), the latter composed of a group of hamlets (li 里), each containing about a hundred families. Han dynasty_sentence_316

The heads of provinces, whose official title was changed from Inspector to Governor and vice versa several times during Han, were responsible for inspecting several commandery-level and kingdom-level administrations. Han dynasty_sentence_317

On the basis of their reports, the officials in these local administrations would be promoted, demoted, dismissed or prosecuted by the imperial court. Han dynasty_sentence_318

A governor could take various actions without permission from the imperial court. Han dynasty_sentence_319

The lower-ranked inspector had executive powers only during times of crisis, such as raising militias across the commanderies under his jurisdiction to suppress a rebellion. Han dynasty_sentence_320

A commandery consisted of a group of counties, and was headed by an Administrator. Han dynasty_sentence_321

He was the top civil and military leader of the commandery and handled defense, lawsuits, seasonal instructions to farmers and recommendations of nominees for office sent annually to the capital in a quota system first established by Emperor Wu. Han dynasty_sentence_322

The head of a large county of about 10,000 households was called a Prefect, while the heads of smaller counties were called Chiefs, and both could be referred to as Magistrates. Han dynasty_sentence_323

A Magistrate maintained law and order in his county, registered the populace for taxation, mobilized commoners for annual corvée duties, repaired schools and supervised public works. Han dynasty_sentence_324

Kingdoms and marquessates Han dynasty_section_17

Main article: Kings of the Han dynasty Han dynasty_sentence_325

Kingdoms—roughly the size of commanderies—were ruled exclusively by the emperor's male relatives as semi-autonomous fiefdoms. Han dynasty_sentence_326

Before 157 BC some kingdoms were ruled by non-relatives, granted to them in return for their services to Emperor Gaozu. Han dynasty_sentence_327

The administration of each kingdom was very similar to that of the central government. Han dynasty_sentence_328

Although the emperor appointed the Chancellor of each kingdom, kings appointed all the remaining civil officials in their fiefs. Han dynasty_sentence_329

However, in 145 BC, after several insurrections by the kings, Emperor Jing removed the kings' rights to appoint officials whose salaries were higher than 400 bushels. Han dynasty_sentence_330

The Imperial Counselors and Nine Ministers (excluding the Minister Coachman) of every kingdom were abolished, although the Chancellor was still appointed by the central government. Han dynasty_sentence_331

With these reforms, kings were reduced to being nominal heads of their fiefs, gaining a personal income from only a portion of the taxes collected in their kingdom. Han dynasty_sentence_332

Similarly, the officials in the administrative staff of a full marquess's fief were appointed by the central government. Han dynasty_sentence_333

A marquess's Chancellor was ranked as the equivalent of a county Prefect. Han dynasty_sentence_334

Like a king, the marquess collected a portion of the tax revenues in his fief as personal income. Han dynasty_sentence_335

Up until the reign of Emperor Jing of Han, the Emperors of the Han had great difficulty bringing the vassal kings under control, as kings often switched their allegiance to the Xiongnu Chanyu whenever threatened by Imperial attempts to centralize power. Han dynasty_sentence_336

Within the seven years of Han Gaozu's reign, three vassal kings and one marquess either defected to or allied with the Xiongnu. Han dynasty_sentence_337

Even imperial princes in control of fiefdoms would sometimes invite the Xiongnu to invade in response to threats by the Emperor to remove their power. Han dynasty_sentence_338

The Han emperors moved to secure a treaty with the Chanyu to demarcate authority between them, recognizing each other as the "two masters" (兩主), the sole representatives of their respective peoples, cemented with a marriage alliance (heqin), before eliminating the rebellious vassal kings in 154 BC. Han dynasty_sentence_339

This prompted some vassal kings of the Xiongnu to switch their allegiance to the Han emperor from 147 BC. Han dynasty_sentence_340

Han court officials were initially hostile to the idea of disrupting the status quo and expanding into the Xiongnu steppe territory. Han dynasty_sentence_341

The surrendered Xiongnu were integrated into a parallel military and political structure under the Han Emperor, and opened the avenue for the Han dynasty to challenge the Xiongnu cavalry on the steppe. Han dynasty_sentence_342

This also introduced the Han to the interstate networks in the Tarim Basin (Xinjiang), allowing for the expansion of the Han dynasty from a limited regional state to a universalist and cosmopolitan empire through further marriage alliances with another steppe power, the Wusun. Han dynasty_sentence_343

Military Han dynasty_section_18

Main article: Army of the Han dynasty Han dynasty_sentence_344

At the beginning of the Han dynasty, every male commoner aged twenty-three was liable for conscription into the military. Han dynasty_sentence_345

The minimum age for the military draft was reduced to twenty after Emperor Zhao's (r. 87–74 BC) reign. Han dynasty_sentence_346

Conscripted soldiers underwent one year of training and one year of service as non-professional soldiers. Han dynasty_sentence_347

The year of training was served in one of three branches of the armed forces: infantry, cavalry or navy. Han dynasty_sentence_348

The year of active service was served either on the frontier, in a king's court or under the Minister of the Guards in the capital. Han dynasty_sentence_349

A small professional (paid) standing army was stationed near the capital. Han dynasty_sentence_350

During the Eastern Han, conscription could be avoided if one paid a commutable tax. Han dynasty_sentence_351

The Eastern Han court favored the recruitment of a volunteer army. Han dynasty_sentence_352

The volunteer army comprised the Southern Army (Nanjun 南軍), while the standing army stationed in and near the capital was the Northern Army (Beijun 北軍). Han dynasty_sentence_353

Led by Colonels (Xiaowei 校尉), the Northern Army consisted of five regiments, each composed of several thousand soldiers. Han dynasty_sentence_354

When central authority collapsed after 189 AD, wealthy landowners, members of the aristocracy/nobility, and regional military-governors relied upon their retainers to act as their own personal troops. Han dynasty_sentence_355

The latter were known as buqu 部曲, a special social class in Chinese history. Han dynasty_sentence_356

During times of war, the volunteer army was increased, and a much larger militia was raised across the country to supplement the Northern Army. Han dynasty_sentence_357

In these circumstances, a General (Jiangjun 將軍) led a division, which was divided into regiments led by Colonels and sometimes Majors (Sima 司馬). Han dynasty_sentence_358

Regiments were divided into companies and led by Captains. Han dynasty_sentence_359

Platoons were the smallest units of soldiers. Han dynasty_sentence_360

Economy Han dynasty_section_19

Main article: Economy of the Han dynasty Han dynasty_sentence_361

Currency Han dynasty_section_20

The Han dynasty inherited the ban liang coin type from the Qin. Han dynasty_sentence_362

In the beginning of the Han, Emperor Gaozu closed the government mint in favor of private minting of coins. Han dynasty_sentence_363

This decision was reversed in 186 BC by his widow Grand Empress Dowager Lü Zhi (d. 180 BC), who abolished private minting. Han dynasty_sentence_364

In 182 BC, Lü Zhi issued a bronze coin that was much lighter in weight than previous coins. Han dynasty_sentence_365

This caused widespread inflation that was not reduced until 175 BC when Emperor Wen allowed private minters to manufacture coins that were precisely 2.6 g (0.09 oz) in weight. Han dynasty_sentence_366

In 144 BC Emperor Jing abolished private minting in favor of central-government and commandery-level minting; he also introduced a new coin. Han dynasty_sentence_367

Emperor Wu introduced another in 120 BC, but a year later he abandoned the ban liangs entirely in favor of the wuzhu (五銖) coin, weighing 3.2 g (0.11 oz). Han dynasty_sentence_368

The wuzhu became China's standard coin until the Tang dynasty (618–907 AD). Han dynasty_sentence_369

Its use was interrupted briefly by several new currencies introduced during Wang Mang's regime until it was reinstated in 40 AD by Emperor Guangwu. Han dynasty_sentence_370

Since commandery-issued coins were often of inferior quality and lighter weight, the central government closed commandery mints and monopolized the issue of coinage in 113 BC. Han dynasty_sentence_371

This Central government issuance of coinage was overseen by the Superintendent of Waterways and Parks, this duty being transferred to the Minister of Finance during Eastern Han. Han dynasty_sentence_372

Taxation and property Han dynasty_section_21

Aside from the landowner's land tax paid in a portion of their crop yield, the poll tax and property taxes were paid in coin cash. Han dynasty_sentence_373

The annual poll tax rate for adult men and women was 120 coins and 20 coins for minors. Han dynasty_sentence_374

Merchants were required to pay a higher rate of 240 coins. Han dynasty_sentence_375

The poll tax stimulated a money economy that necessitated the minting of over 28,000,000,000 coins from 118 BC to 5 AD, an average of 220,000,000 coins a year. Han dynasty_sentence_376

The widespread circulation of coin cash allowed successful merchants to invest money in land, empowering the very social class the government attempted to suppress through heavy commercial and property taxes. Han dynasty_sentence_377

Emperor Wu even enacted laws which banned registered merchants from owning land, yet powerful merchants were able to avoid registration and own large tracts of land. Han dynasty_sentence_378

The small landowner-cultivators formed the majority of the Han tax base; this revenue was threatened during the latter half of Eastern Han when many peasants fell into debt and were forced to work as farming tenants for wealthy landlords. Han dynasty_sentence_379

The Han government enacted reforms in order to keep small landowner-cultivators out of debt and on their own farms. Han dynasty_sentence_380

These reforms included reducing taxes, temporary remissions of taxes, granting loans and providing landless peasants temporary lodging and work in agricultural colonies until they could recover from their debts. Han dynasty_sentence_381

In 168 BC, the land tax rate was reduced from one-fifteenth of a farming household's crop yield to one-thirtieth, and later to a one-hundredth of a crop yield for the last decades of the dynasty. Han dynasty_sentence_382

The consequent loss of government revenue was compensated for by increasing property taxes. Han dynasty_sentence_383

The labor tax took the form of conscripted labor for one month per year, which was imposed upon male commoners aged fifteen to fifty-six. Han dynasty_sentence_384

This could be avoided in Eastern Han with a commutable tax, since hired labor became more popular. Han dynasty_sentence_385

Private manufacture and government monopolies Han dynasty_section_22

In the early Western Han, a wealthy salt or iron industrialist, whether a semi-autonomous king or wealthy merchant, could boast funds that rivaled the imperial treasury and amass a peasant workforce of over a thousand. Han dynasty_sentence_386

This kept many peasants away from their farms and denied the government a significant portion of its land tax revenue. Han dynasty_sentence_387

To eliminate the influence of such private entrepreneurs, Emperor Wu nationalized the salt and iron industries in 117 BC and allowed many of the former industrialists to become officials administering the state monopolies. Han dynasty_sentence_388

By Eastern Han times, the central government monopolies were repealed in favor of production by commandery and county administrations, as well as private businessmen. Han dynasty_sentence_389

Liquor was another profitable private industry nationalized by the central government in 98 BC. Han dynasty_sentence_390

However, this was repealed in 81 BC and a property tax rate of two coins for every 0.2 L (0.05 gallons) was levied for those who traded it privately. Han dynasty_sentence_391

By 110 BC Emperor Wu also interfered with the profitable trade in grain when he eliminated speculation by selling government-stored grain at a lower price than demanded by merchants. Han dynasty_sentence_392

Apart from Emperor Ming's creation of a short-lived Office for Price Adjustment and Stabilization, which was abolished in 68 AD, central-government price control regulations were largely absent during the Eastern Han. Han dynasty_sentence_393

Science and technology Han dynasty_section_23

Main article: Science and technology of the Han dynasty Han dynasty_sentence_394

The Han dynasty was a unique period in the development of premodern Chinese science and technology, comparable to the level of scientific and technological growth during the Song dynasty (960–1279). Han dynasty_sentence_395

Writing materials Han dynasty_section_24

In the 1st millennium BC, typical ancient Chinese writing materials were bronzewares, animal bones, and bamboo slips or wooden boards. Han dynasty_sentence_396

By the beginning of the Han dynasty, the chief writing materials were clay tablets, silk cloth, hemp paper, and rolled scrolls made from bamboo strips sewn together with hempen string; these were passed through drilled holes and secured with clay stamps. Han dynasty_sentence_397

The oldest known Chinese piece of hempen paper dates to the 2nd century BC. Han dynasty_sentence_398

The standard papermaking process was invented by Cai Lun (AD 50–121) in 105. Han dynasty_sentence_399

The oldest known surviving piece of paper with writing on it was found in the ruins of a Han watchtower that had been abandoned in AD 110, in Inner Mongolia. Han dynasty_sentence_400

Metallurgy and agriculture Han dynasty_section_25

Evidence suggests that blast furnaces, that convert raw iron ore into pig iron, which can be remelted in a cupola furnace to produce cast iron by means of a cold blast and hot blast, were operational in China by the late Spring and Autumn period (722–481 BC). Han dynasty_sentence_401

The bloomery was nonexistent in ancient China; however, the Han-era Chinese produced wrought iron by injecting excess oxygen into a furnace and causing decarburization. Han dynasty_sentence_402

Cast iron and pig iron could be converted into wrought iron and steel using a fining process. Han dynasty_sentence_403

The Han dynasty Chinese used bronze and iron to make a range of weapons, culinary tools, carpenters' tools and domestic wares. Han dynasty_sentence_404

A significant product of these improved iron-smelting techniques was the manufacture of new agricultural tools. Han dynasty_sentence_405

The three-legged iron seed drill, invented by the 2nd century BC, enabled farmers to carefully plant crops in rows instead of casting seeds out by hand. Han dynasty_sentence_406

The heavy moldboard iron plow, also invented during the Han dynasty, required only one man to control it, two oxen to pull it. Han dynasty_sentence_407

It had three plowshares, a seed box for the drills, a tool which turned down the soil and could sow roughly 45,730 m (11.3 acres) of land in a single day. Han dynasty_sentence_408

To protect crops from wind and drought, the grain intendant Zhao Guo (趙過) created the alternating fields system (daitianfa 代田法) during Emperor Wu's reign. Han dynasty_sentence_409

This system switched the positions of furrows and ridges between growing seasons. Han dynasty_sentence_410

Once experiments with this system yielded successful results, the government officially sponsored it and encouraged peasants to use it. Han dynasty_sentence_411

Han farmers also used the pit field system (aotian 凹田) for growing crops, which involved heavily fertilized pits that did not require plows or oxen and could be placed on sloping terrain. Han dynasty_sentence_412

In southern and small parts of central Han-era China, paddy fields were chiefly used to grow rice, while farmers along the Huai River used transplantation methods of rice production. Han dynasty_sentence_413

Structural and geotechnical engineering Han dynasty_section_26

Further information: Han dynasty tomb architecture Han dynasty_sentence_414

Timber was the chief building material during the Han dynasty; it was used to build palace halls, multi-story residential towers and halls and single-story houses. Han dynasty_sentence_415

Because wood decays rapidly, the only remaining evidence of Han wooden architecture is a collection of scattered ceramic roof tiles. Han dynasty_sentence_416

The oldest surviving wooden halls in China date to the Tang dynasty (AD 618–907). Han dynasty_sentence_417

Architectural historian Robert L. Thorp points out the scarcity of Han-era archaeological remains, and claims that often unreliable Han-era literary and artistic sources are used by historians for clues about lost Han architecture. Han dynasty_sentence_418

Though Han wooden structures decayed, some Han-dynasty ruins made of brick, stone, and rammed earth remain intact. Han dynasty_sentence_419

This includes stone pillar-gates, brick tomb chambers, rammed-earth city walls, rammed-earth and brick beacon towers, rammed-earth sections of the Great Wall, rammed-earth platforms where elevated halls once stood, and two rammed-earth castles in Gansu. Han dynasty_sentence_420

The ruins of rammed-earth walls that once surrounded the capitals Chang'an and Luoyang still stand, along with their drainage systems of brick arches, ditches, and ceramic water pipes. Han dynasty_sentence_421

Monumental stone pillar-gates, twenty-nine of which survive from the Han period, formed entrances of walled enclosures at shrine and tomb sites. Han dynasty_sentence_422

These pillars feature artistic imitations of wooden and ceramic building components such as roof tiles, eaves, and balustrades. Han dynasty_sentence_423

The courtyard house is the most common type of home portrayed in Han artwork. Han dynasty_sentence_424

Ceramic architectural models of buildings, like houses and towers, were found in Han tombs, perhaps to provide lodging for the dead in the afterlife. Han dynasty_sentence_425

These provide valuable clues about lost wooden architecture. Han dynasty_sentence_426

The artistic designs found on ceramic roof tiles of tower models are in some cases exact matches to Han roof tiles found at archaeological sites. Han dynasty_sentence_427

Over ten Han-era underground tombs have been found, many of them featuring archways, vaulted chambers, and domed roofs. Han dynasty_sentence_428

Underground vaults and domes did not require buttress supports since they were held in place by earthen pits. Han dynasty_sentence_429

The use of brick vaults and domes in aboveground Han structures is unknown. Han dynasty_sentence_430

From Han literary sources, it is known that wooden-trestle beam bridges, arch bridges, simple suspension bridges, and floating pontoon bridges existed in Han China. Han dynasty_sentence_431

However, there are only two known references to arch bridges in Han literature, and only a single Han relief sculpture in Sichuan depicts an arch bridge. Han dynasty_sentence_432

Underground mine shafts, some reaching depths over 100 metres (330 ft), were created for the extraction of metal ores. Han dynasty_sentence_433

Borehole drilling and derricks were used to lift brine to iron pans where it was distilled into salt. Han dynasty_sentence_434

The distillation furnaces were heated by natural gas funneled to the surface through bamboo pipelines. Han dynasty_sentence_435

These boreholes perhaps reached a depth of 600 m (2000 ft). Han dynasty_sentence_436

Mechanical and hydraulic engineering Han dynasty_section_27

Han-era mechanical engineering comes largely from the choice observational writings of sometimes-disinterested Confucian scholars who generally considered scientific and engineering endeavors to be far beneath them. Han dynasty_sentence_437

Professional artisan-engineers (jiang 匠) did not leave behind detailed records of their work. Han dynasty_sentence_438

Han scholars, who often had little or no expertise in mechanical engineering, sometimes provided insufficient information on the various technologies they described. Han dynasty_sentence_439

Nevertheless, some Han literary sources provide crucial information. Han dynasty_sentence_440

For example, in 15 BC the philosopher and writer Yang Xiong described the invention of the belt drive for a quilling machine, which was of great importance to early textile manufacturing. Han dynasty_sentence_441

The inventions of mechanical engineer and craftsman Ding Huan are mentioned in the Miscellaneous Notes on the Western Capital. Han dynasty_sentence_442

Around AD 180, Ding created a manually operated rotary fan used for air conditioning within palace buildings. Han dynasty_sentence_443

Ding also used gimbals as pivotal supports for one of his incense burners and invented the world's first known zoetrope lamp. Han dynasty_sentence_444

Modern archaeology has led to the discovery of Han artwork portraying inventions which were otherwise absent in Han literary sources. Han dynasty_sentence_445

As observed in Han miniature tomb models, but not in literary sources, the crank handle was used to operate the fans of winnowing machines that separated grain from chaff. Han dynasty_sentence_446

The odometer cart, invented during Han, measured journey lengths, using mechanical figures banging drums and gongs to indicate each distance traveled. Han dynasty_sentence_447

This invention is depicted in Han artwork by the 2nd century, yet detailed written descriptions were not offered until the 3rd century. Han dynasty_sentence_448

Modern archaeologists have also unearthed specimens of devices used during the Han dynasty, for example a pair of sliding metal calipers used by craftsmen for making minute measurements. Han dynasty_sentence_449

These calipers contain inscriptions of the exact day and year they were manufactured. Han dynasty_sentence_450

These tools are not mentioned in any Han literary sources. Han dynasty_sentence_451

The waterwheel appeared in Chinese records during the Han. Han dynasty_sentence_452

As mentioned by Huan Tan about AD 20, they were used to turn gears that lifted iron trip hammers, and were used in pounding, threshing and polishing grain. Han dynasty_sentence_453

However, there is no sufficient evidence for the watermill in China until about the 5th century. Han dynasty_sentence_454

The Nanyang Commandery Administrator and mechanical engineer Du Shi (d. 38 AD) created a waterwheel-powered reciprocator that worked the bellows for the smelting of iron. Han dynasty_sentence_455

Waterwheels were also used to power chain pumps that lifted water to raised irrigation ditches. Han dynasty_sentence_456

The chain pump was first mentioned in China by the philosopher Wang Chong in his 1st-century Balanced Discourse. Han dynasty_sentence_457

The armillary sphere, a three-dimensional representation of the movements in the celestial sphere, was invented in Han China by the 1st century BC. Han dynasty_sentence_458

Using a water clock, waterwheel and a series of gears, the Court Astronomer Zhang Heng (AD 78–139) was able to mechanically rotate his metal-ringed armillary sphere. Han dynasty_sentence_459

To address the problem of slowed timekeeping in the pressure head of the inflow water clock, Zhang was the first in China to install an additional tank between the reservoir and inflow vessel. Han dynasty_sentence_460

Zhang also invented a device he termed an "earthquake weathervane" (houfeng didong yi 候風地動儀), which the British biochemist, sinologist, and historian Joseph Needham described as "the ancestor of all seismographs". Han dynasty_sentence_461

This device was able to detect the exact cardinal or ordinal direction of earthquakes from hundreds of kilometers away. Han dynasty_sentence_462

It employed an inverted pendulum that, when disturbed by ground tremors, would trigger a set of gears that dropped a metal ball from one of eight dragon mouths (representing all eight directions) into a metal toad's mouth. Han dynasty_sentence_463

The account of this device in the Book of the Later Han describes how, on one occasion, one of the metal balls was triggered without any of the observers feeling a disturbance. Han dynasty_sentence_464

Several days later, a messenger arrived bearing news that an earthquake had struck in Longxi Commandery (in modern Gansu Province), the direction the device had indicated, which forced the officials at court to admit the efficacy of Zhang's device. Han dynasty_sentence_465

Mathematics Han dynasty_section_28

Further information: Chinese mathematics § Han mathematics Han dynasty_sentence_466

Three Han mathematical treatises still exist. Han dynasty_sentence_467

These are the Book on Numbers and Computation, the Arithmetical Classic of the Gnomon and the Circular Paths of Heaven and the Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art. Han dynasty_sentence_468

Han-era mathematical achievements include solving problems with right-angle triangles, square roots, cube roots, and matrix methods, finding more accurate approximations for pi, providing mathematical proof of the Pythagorean theorem, use of the decimal fraction, Gaussian elimination to solve linear equations, and continued fractions to find the roots of equations. Han dynasty_sentence_469

One of the Han's greatest mathematical advancements was the world's first use of negative numbers. Han dynasty_sentence_470

Negative numbers first appeared in the Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art as black counting rods, where positive numbers were represented by red counting rods. Han dynasty_sentence_471

Negative numbers were also used by the Greek mathematician Diophantus around AD 275, and in the 7th-century Bakhshali manuscript of Gandhara, South Asia, but were not widely accepted in Europe until the 16th century. Han dynasty_sentence_472

The Han applied mathematics to various diverse disciplines. Han dynasty_sentence_473

In musical tuning, Jing Fang (78–37 BC) realized that 53 perfect fifths was approximate to 31 octaves while creating a musical scale of 60 tones, calculating the difference at ⁄176776 (the same value of 53 equal temperament discovered by the German mathematician Nicholas Mercator [1620–1687], i.e. 3/2). Han dynasty_sentence_474

Astronomy Han dynasty_section_29

Further information: Chinese astronomy Han dynasty_sentence_475

Mathematics were essential in drafting the astronomical calendar, a lunisolar calendar that used the Sun and Moon as time-markers throughout the year. Han dynasty_sentence_476

During the spring and autumn periods of the 5th century BC, the Chinese established the Sifen calendar (古四分历), which measured the tropical year at 365⁄4 days. Han dynasty_sentence_477

This was replaced in 104 BC with the Taichu calendar (太初曆) that measured the tropical year at 365⁄1539 days and the lunar month at 29⁄81 days. Han dynasty_sentence_478

However, Emperor Zhang later reinstated the Sifen calendar. Han dynasty_sentence_479

Han Chinese astronomers made star catalogues and detailed records of comets that appeared in the night sky, including recording the 12 BC appearance of the comet now known as Halley's Comet. Han dynasty_sentence_480

Han dynasty astronomers adopted a geocentric model of the universe, theorizing that it was shaped like a sphere surrounding the earth in the center. Han dynasty_sentence_481

They assumed that the Sun, Moon, and planets were spherical and not disc-shaped. Han dynasty_sentence_482

They also thought that the illumination of the Moon and planets was caused by sunlight, that lunar eclipses occurred when the Earth obstructed sunlight falling onto the Moon, and that a solar eclipse occurred when the Moon obstructed sunlight from reaching the Earth. Han dynasty_sentence_483

Although others disagreed with his model, Wang Chong accurately described the water cycle of the evaporation of water into clouds. Han dynasty_sentence_484

Cartography, ships, and vehicles Han dynasty_section_30

Evidence found in Chinese literature, and archaeological evidence, show that cartography existed in China before the Han. Han dynasty_sentence_485

Some of the earliest Han maps discovered were ink-penned silk maps found amongst the Mawangdui Silk Texts in a 2nd-century-BC tomb. Han dynasty_sentence_486

The general Ma Yuan created the world's first known raised-relief map from rice in the 1st century. Han dynasty_sentence_487

This date could be revised if the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang is excavated and the account in the Records of the Grand Historian concerning a model map of the empire is proven to be true. Han dynasty_sentence_488

Although the use of the graduated scale and grid reference for maps was not thoroughly described until the published work of Pei Xiu (AD 224–271), there is evidence that in the early 2nd century, cartographer Zhang Heng was the first to use scales and grids for maps. Han dynasty_sentence_489

Han dynasty Chinese sailed in a variety of ships differing from those of previous eras, such as the tower ship. Han dynasty_sentence_490

The junk design was developed and realized during the Han era. Han dynasty_sentence_491

Junk ships featured a square-ended bow and stern, a flat-bottomed hull or carvel-shaped hull with no keel or sternpost, and solid transverse bulkheads in the place of structural ribs found in Western vessels. Han dynasty_sentence_492

Moreover, Han ships were the first in the world to be steered using a rudder at the stern, in contrast to the simpler steering oar used for riverine transport, allowing them to sail on the high seas. Han dynasty_sentence_493

Although ox-carts and chariots were previously used in China, the wheelbarrow was first used in Han China in the 1st century BC. Han dynasty_sentence_494

Han artwork of horse-drawn chariots shows that the Warring-States-Era heavy wooden yoke placed around a horse's chest was replaced by the softer breast strap. Han dynasty_sentence_495

Later, during the Northern Wei (386–534), the fully developed horse collar was invented. Han dynasty_sentence_496

Medicine Han dynasty_section_31

Further information: Traditional Chinese medicine § Han dynasty Han dynasty_sentence_497

Han-era medical physicians believed that the human body was subject to the same forces of nature that governed the greater universe, namely the cosmological cycles of yin and yang and the five phases. Han dynasty_sentence_498

Each organ of the body was associated with a particular phase. Han dynasty_sentence_499

Illness was viewed as a sign that qi or "vital energy" channels leading to a certain organ had been disrupted. Han dynasty_sentence_500

Thus, Han-era physicians prescribed medicine that was believed to counteract this imbalance. Han dynasty_sentence_501

For example, since the wood phase was believed to promote the fire phase, medicinal ingredients associated with the wood phase could be used to heal an organ associated with the fire phase. Han dynasty_sentence_502

Besides dieting, Han physicians also prescribed moxibustion, acupuncture, and calisthenics as methods of maintaining one's health. Han dynasty_sentence_503

When surgery was performed by the Chinese physician Hua Tuo (d. AD 208), he used anesthesia to numb his patients' pain and prescribed a rubbing ointment that allegedly sped the process of healing surgical wounds. Han dynasty_sentence_504

Whereas the physician Zhang Zhongjing (c. AD 150–c. Han dynasty_sentence_505

219) is known to have written the Shanghan lun ("Dissertation on Typhoid Fever"), it is thought that both he and Hua Tuo collaborated in compiling the Shennong Ben Cao Jing medical text. Han dynasty_sentence_506

See also Han dynasty_section_32

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Han dynasty.