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lì shǐ 历 史
China's Ancient ScriptThe discovery of a huge number of ' oracle bones' has greatly added to the knowledge of the origins of China's written script. It pushes back the written language to at least 3,500 years ago. Careful study of the inscriptions is still revealing information about life in Shang dynasty times. Read more…
The early history of China from pre-history to 770BCE HistoryMost of the ancient traditions of China had become established 3,000 years ago. The institution of Emperor, the written scripts and the key technologies (including silk) all come from China's distant past. The longevity and continuity of Chinese culture are the two key principles to understanding China - even today. Read more…
Song dynasty HistoryThe Song dynasty is a period of Chinese refinement and peace rather than military prowess. Great strides were taken in the creative arts and literature. Prosperity from the growing trade by sea rather than overland fueled the building of huge cities. The eventual conquest by the Mongol hordes brought the dynasty to a tragic close. Read more…
Most countries can look back at a few hundred years of continuous recorded history; China looks back at thousands of years. From earliest times an accurate account of events has been treasured by the Chinese, this is embodied in the character
shǐ ‘ 史 history’ which also has the meaning ‘impartial’. Chinese people know their heritage well and have a long tradition of revering their ancestors. A good knowledge of Chinese history is essential to understanding and relating to its people.
We include pages on all the main dynasties as well as significant events in Chinese history, up to the foundation of the
Republic in 1912 (modern history is in a separate section), including the Taiping Rebellion, the coming of railways, the Imperial system, the Hanlin Academy, Imperial officials, the kowtow, and the Opium Wars. There are also pages covering relations with foreign countries: Early contacts with Britain, the great the European sinophile Leibniz, the Treaty port system, Chinoiserie, the Lay-Osborn debacle, and the despicable trade in Chinese coolies as slaves. We will continue to add new topics.
Click on the time chart on the left to go to a particular time period.
- History Index Qing Dynasty - Taiping Rebellion - Coolies - Railways - Treaty ports - Lay - Osborn - Opium Wars - Ming Dynasty - Yuan Dynasty - Mongol Conquest - Song Dynasty - Five Dynasties - Tang Dynasty - Empress Wu Zetian - Eunuchs - Officials - Sui Dynasty - Period of Disunity - Han Dynasty - Qin Dynasty - Warring States - Spring and Autumn - Early Dynasties - Emperor - Eunuchs - Officials - Foot binding - Kowtow - Hanlin academy - Early British contacts - Leibniz - Chinoiserie - Money - Torture
Sunset at the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, Xi'an
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