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 史 shǐ ‘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.
Click on the time chart on the left to go to a particular time period. Hover the mouse over a dynasty to pop-up a list of key dates during each dynasty or click on it to go to a more detailed dynasty page.
You can also navigate between dynasties by clicking on the time bar on each dynasty page.
Stone lions and gate at the Shenyang Forbidden City in Shenyang, Liaoning