IntroductionThe Han Dynasty is often referred to as the golden age in the history of China where literature, philosophy, Poetry, and art flourished. This dynasty lasted over 400 years and is divided into two periods; the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC - 9 AD) and the Eastern Han Dynasty (25 AD - 220 AD). The Xin Dynasty (9 AD - 23 AD) separates the two Han Dynasties. When the Xin Dynasty's one emperor, Wang Mang, was killed during a rebellion the Han Dynasty was restored. Below you will find lists of interesting kid-friendly facts about this amazing dynasty.
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Han Dynasty Achievements
- The Han Dynasty saw the establishment of a series of trade routes, called the Silk Road, which extended throughout Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. The routes were used to transport numerous goods including silk from which it derives its name. These trade routes were important not only for trade but also facilitated political and economic interactions between the various regions of the world.
- The Great Wall of China was extended over three hundred miles during this dynasty providing protection from the empires enemies in the north.
- During this dynasty advancements were made in ship building. These improvements included the development of the junk design and boats with a rudder at the stern; the first ships in the world to do this.
- The Han dynasty saw the world's first use of negative numbers.
Interesting Han Dynasty Facts
- This dynasty was founded by Liu Bang; known as Emperor Gaozu of Han. He was a rebel leader who took over after the collapse of the Qin Dynasty and began the Han Dynasty.
- Twenty four emperors ruled during this dynasty.
- The vast majority of Chinese people today refer to themselves as Han after the Han Dynasty. This is the largest ethnic group in the world.
- The city of Chang'an was the capital of the Western Han Dynasty. This city was immense spanning 13.5 square miles (35 square kilometers) with a population in the hundreds of thousands. It was approximately 3 times as large as the city of ancient Rome which was flourishing at the same time in history.
- The capital during the Eastern Han was the huge city of Luoyang which was the capital during numerous ancient Chinese Dynasties. During the Han Dynasty this city was one of the largest in the world.
- During this period in Chinas history the Chinese army became extremely powerful with of hundreds of thousands of soldiers.
- One of the most famous and amazing archaeological discoveries ever made was the three thousand terra-cotta soldiers made during the Han Dynasty. These soldiers were made to guard the tomb of General Zhu Yafu who served under Emperor Jing (reign 156 BC - 141 BC).
- Perhaps the most famous emperor of the Han Dynasty was its 7th ruler Wu of Han (also called Han Wudi) who reigned from 141 BC to 87 BC. Under his rule China vastly expanded its territory. He also made Confucianism the state religion of China. Confucianism comes from the teachings of the famous Chinese philosopher Confucius (551 BC - 479 BC).
- The last ruler of the Han Dynasty was Emperor Xian. The Han Dynasty came to an end in 220 AD when Emperor Xian was forced to relinquish power to Cao Pi who declared himself emperor and established a state called Cao Wei. This began the Three Kingdoms period of ancient China which saw a power struggle between the three states of Cao Wei, Shu Han and Eastern Wu.