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Chinese Periods


     

Timeline of Chinese History

 
     

 

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History of China

ANCIENT

3 Sovereigns and 5 Emperors

Xia Dynasty 2100–1600 BCE

Shang Dynasty 1600–1046 BCE

Zhou Dynasty 1045–256 BCE

 Western Zhou

 Eastern Zhou

   Spring and Autumn Period

   Warring States Period

IMPERIAL

Qin Dynasty 221 BCE–206 BCE

Han Dynasty 206 BCE–220 CE

  Western Han

  Xin Dynasty

  Eastern Han

Three Kingdoms 220–280

  Wei, Shu & Wu

Jin Dynasty 265–420

  Western Jin

16 Kingdoms
304–439

 

 

 

 

  Eastern Jin

 

 

 

 

Southern & Northern Dynasties
420–589

Sui Dynasty 581–618

Tang Dynasty 618–907

  ( Second Zhou 690–705 )

5 Dynasties &
10 Kingdoms

907–960

Liao Dynasty
907–1125

 

 

 

 

Song Dynasty
960–1279

 

 

 

 

 

  Northern Song

 

W. Xia

 

 

 

 

 

  Southern Song

Jin

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yuan Dynasty 1271–1368

Ming Dynasty 1368–1644

Qing Dynasty 1644–1911

MODERN

Republic of China 1912–1949

People's Republic
of China

1949–present

Republic
of China

(Taiwan)
1945–present

 

 

 

 

Related articles 

Chinese historiography
Timeline of Chinese history
Dynasties in Chinese history
Linguistic history
Art history
Economic history
Education history
Science and technology history
Legal history
Media history
Military history
Naval history

This box:

The following is a timeline of the history of China. Between the changing of the dynasties, most dates overlap as ruling periods do not transfer immediately. Dates prior to 841 BC (beginning of the Gonghe regency) are provisional and subject to dispute.

Contents

[hide]

[edit] Pre-Historic China

Date

Emperor

Events

Other people/events

400,000 BCE

 

Peking Man of Zhoukoudian (est.)

 

7600 BCE

 

Zhenpiyan Culture

Archaeological evidence on domestication of pig for the first time.[1]

7500 BCE

 

Pengtoushan Culture

Analysis of Chinese rice residues show that rice had been domesticated by this time.

7000 BCE

 

Peiligang Culture

 

6600 BCE

 

 

Jiahu Script: still under debate whether this can be considered as a form of writing

6000 BCE

 

Cishan Culture

Archaeological evidence on domestication of dog and chicken for the first time.[1]

5000 BCE

 

Baijia Culture

Archaeological evidence on domestication of ox and sheep for the first time.[1]

4500 BCE

 

Approximate end of Hemudu culture.

 

4000 BCE

 

 

Banpo Script; scholars still debate if it is actual writing or not.

3630 BCE

 

 

Approximate date of the oldest discovered silk in China, found by archaeologists in what is now Henan province in what was the late Yangshao period.

3000 BCE

 

Longshan Culture

During the Longshan Neolithic period, the buffalo are domesticated for the first time in China, and the plow may have been used.

2570 BCE

 

 

Approximate date for the silk and other items found at the Liangzhu culture site at Qianshanyang in Wuxing District, Zhejiang; silk items found there included a braided silk belt, silk threads, and woven silk.

[edit] Ancient China

[edit] Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors

Date

Ruler

Events

Other people/events

2852 BCE

Fuxi

This period is part of the Chinese mythology

 

2737 BCE

Yan Emperor

 

2698 BCE

Yellow Emperor

The Battle of Banquan, the first battle in Chinese history and the Battle of Zhuolu, the second battle in Chinese history, fought by the Yellow Emperor.

2650 BCE

 

Legend of Cangjie, inventor of the Chinese Character

2597 BCE

Shaohao

 

2514 BCE

Zhuanxu

 

2436 BCE

Emperor Ku

 

2366 BCE

Emperor Zhi

 

2358 BCE

Yao

Yao ordered Gun, father of Xia Yu, to tame the flooding of the rivers.

2255 BCE

Shun

Gun failed in taming the flooding of the river, therefore Shun executed him and let his son Xia Yu continue his father's work.

2205 BCE

 

The End of the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors

[edit] Xia Dynasty

Date

Ruler

Events

Other people/events

2194 BCE

Yu

Bronze Age in China

 

2146 BCE

Qi

 

 

2117 BCE

Tai Kang

 

 

2100 BCE

 

Erlitou Culture

 

1600 BCE

Jie of Xia/Tang of Shang

Battle of Mingtiao

 

[edit] Shang Dynasty

Date

Ruler

Events

Other people/events

1723 BCE

 

 

 

1400 BCE

 

Erligang Culture

 

1398 BCE

Pan Geng

Around this time, the capital is moved from Zhengzhou to Yinxu.

 

1250 BCE

Wu Ding

 

 

1200 BCE

 

Oracle Bone Script, providing the first evidence for the Chinese calendar system.

Around this time, the militant consort Fu Hao is buried in her tomb at Yinxu.

1122 BCE

 

The Zhou Dynasty is founded on the periphery of the Shang realm.

 

1101 BCE

Di Yi

 

 

1075 BCE

King Zhou of Shang

 

 

1050 BCE

 

King Wen of Zhou dies, making this the alleged latest date for the creation of the mathematical King Wen sequence.

 

1047 BCE

 

King Zhou of Shang takes Daji as his concubine.

 

1046 BCE

 

Battle of Muye; last Shang ruler allegedly dies while his palace burns to the ground.

 

[edit] Western Zhou Dynasty

Date

Ruler

Events

Other people/events

1034 BCE

Wu

Bronzeware script in greater use.

 

1042 BCE

Cheng

 

 

1027 BCE

 

 

 

1020 BCE

Kang

 

 

1000 BCE

 

Earliest possible date for the compilation of the Shi Jing (Book of Songs)

 

995 BCE

Zhao

 

 

976 BCE

Mu

During the 12th year of King Mu's reign, Zhou forces attacked and defeated some branches of the Rong people, allowing for territorial expansion of Zhou. King Mu's critics, including the Duke of Zhai (as recorded in a later 4th century BCE discourse of the Mu Tian zizhuan), stated that Mu's expeditions to displace the Rong people were unjustified, as they kept to their own lands and hence abided by their station in the cosmological-political order with China at the center.

 

922 BCE

Gong

 

 

899 BCE

Yi (Ji Jian)

 

 

891 BCE

Xiao

 

 

885 BCE

Yi (Ji Xie)

When the nomadic Rong people of Taiyuan staged an attack on the Zhou capital at Haojing, King Yi called upon the aid of his nobles, a significant event which demarcated the beginning of the Zhou monarchs' dependence on their regional nobles to defend the kingdom. Under the command of Guo Gong, the Zhou were able to defeat the Rong people in a significant battle circa 854 BCE, reportedly capturing about a thousand horses.

 

877 BCE

Li

During Li's reign, the Western Rong people launched an invasion deep into Chinese territory before being pushed out.

 

841 BCE

Gonghe Regency

First year of concise, consecutive court dating at the beginning of the regency of Gonghe.

 

827 BCE

Xuan

 

 

781 BCE

You

 

 

771 BCE

 

After King You had replaced Queen Shen with a favored concubine Baosi, the queen's father, the Marquis of Shen, allied with the Quanrong nomadic tribe to sack the capital. Queen Shen's son Ji Yijiu was then put on the throne, initiating the Eastern Zhou era.

 

[edit] Eastern Zhou Dynasty

Date

Ruler

Events

Other people/events

770 BCE

Ping

 

 

722 BCE

 

Spring and Autumn Period begins, the State of Lu begins the chronicle of the Spring and Autumn Annals.

Capital moved from Xi'an to Luoyang.

720 BCE

Huan

 

 

707 BCE

 

King Huan of Zhou led a campaign against Duke Zhuang of Zheng after the latter refused to appear in the capital, angered that Huan had dismissed him from his old post as Left Advisor at court. King Huan was allegedly shamed when he was injured in the shoulder by an arrow in an ensuing battle. Duke Zhuang continued to rule Zheng until his death in 701 BCE.

 

697 BCE

Zhuang

 

 

685 BCE

 

The Duke Huan of Qi began rule over the State of Qi in this year, and was the first of the Five Hegemons who assumed great autonomy from the Zhou Dynasty monarch, the latter whom became more or less a figurehead during the Eastern Zhou.

 

682 BCE

Xi

 

 

677 BCE

Hui

 

 

651 BCE

Xiang

 

 

645 BCE

 

Death of Guan Zhong, the chancellor of Qi who was appointed by Duke Huan as recommended by Bao Shuya. Guan initiated centralizing administrative and economic reforms that, for a time, made Qi the most successful and developed state in ancient China.

 

632 BCE

 

Battle of Chengpu

 

618 BCE

Qing

 

 

612 BCE

Kuang

 

 

606 BCE

Ding

Sunshu Ao, China's first known hydraulic engineer.

 

595 BCE

 

Battle of Bi

 

585 BCE

Jian

 

 

575 BCE

 

Battle of Yanling

 

571 BCE

Ling

 

 

551 BCE

 

Lao Zi, Confucius

 

548 BCE

 

Oldest known reference to the weiqi or go board game.

 

544 BCE

Jing (Jia Gui)

 

Four occupation (est.)

543 BCE

 

Guided by the aristocratic statesman Zi Chan, the State of Zheng creates a formal code of law.

 

520 BCE

Jing (Ji Gai)

 

 

515 BCE

 

King Liao of Wu is assassinated by Zhuan Zhu, allowing King Helü of Wu to ascend to the throne.

 

506 BCE

 

Battle of Boju

 

500 BCE

 

Approximate date for the invention of cast iron in China and the earliest possible date for the invention of the iron plough, which by the 3rd century BCE, with better casting techniques, would become the heavy moldboard iron plough.

Approximate date for the first use of bronze knife money.

486 BCE

 

King Fuchai of Wu has the 'Han Gou' built, a proto-section of the Grand Canal of China

 

484 BCE

 

Death of Wu Zixu, an official of Wu and advisor to King Helü.

 

482 BCE

 

King Goujian of Yue captures the Wu state capital in a surprise assault while King Fuchai was away at Huangchi.

 

481 BCE

 

End of Spring and Autumn Period

 

475 BCE

Yuan

 

 

473 BCE

 

The State of Wu is annexed by the State of Yue.

 

470 BCE

 

Birth of Mozi

 

468 BCE

Zhending

 

 

465 BCE

 

Death of King Goujian of Yue; his sword was later found in an archaeological site in Hubei in the 1960s.

 

441 BCE

Ai & Si

 

 

440 BCE

Kao

 

 

432 BCE

 

Tomb of Marquis Yi of Zeng

 

425 BCE

Weilie

 

 

403 BCE

 

The State of Jin is partitioned, marking the beginning of the Warring States. Meanwhile, the Marquis Wen of Wei ascends to power, sponsoring Confucianism in Wei, and employing able advisors such as the Legalist Li Kui, the militant officer Wu Qi, and the hydraulic engineer Ximen Bao.

 

401 BCE

An

 

 

400 BCE

 

Astronomers Gan De and Shi Shen
Star catalogue compilation (est.)

Earliest date for the creation of the earliest known maps made in China, from the State of Qin.

389 BCE

 

Latest possible date for the Zuo Zhuan historical text.

 

386 BCE

 

The city of Handan is founded, serving as the capital for Zhao.

 

381 BCE

 

Wu Qi assassinated at the funeral of King Diao of Chu; his book, the Wuzi, is considered one of the Seven Military Classics.

 

375 BCE

Lie

The State of Zheng is annexed by Han.

 

370 BCE

 

Philosopher Zhuangzi is born around this time.

 

368 BCE

Xian

 

 

354 BCE

 

Battle of Guiling

 

350 BCE

 

Earliest proposed date for the Guodian Chu Slips, containing the oldest known version of the Tao Te Ching, parts of the Classic of History, and a chapter from the Classic of Rites

 

342 BC

 

Battle of Maling

Crossbow used in China.

320 BC

Shenjing

 

 

319 BC

 

Philosopher Mencius becomes an official in the State of Qi

 

316 BC

 

Death of Sun Bin

 

314 BC

Nan

 

 

310 BC

 

Birth of Xunzi

 

307 BC

 

Imitating the northern nomadic armies, King Wuling of Zhao reforms the Zhao state's military by adopting formal cavalry ranks over charioteers and importing the trouser-pants style of the nomads for soldiers.

 

305 BC

 

Birth of Zou Yan, whose school of thought would for the first time systematically combine the two premodern theories of Yin and yang and the Five Elements.

 

300 BC

 

Erya, China's oldest known dictionary

 

293 BC

 

Battle of Yique

 

278 BC

 

The poem "Lament for Ying" is written by Qu Yuan after discovering that the capital of Chu had been captured by Qin.

 

260 BC

 

Battle of Changping

 

256 BC

 

Last king of Zhou dies, marking the end of the dynasty.

Dujiangyan Irrigation System

250 BC

 

Repeating crossbow featured in drawings from the records of Chu.

 

246 BC

 

The Zhengguo Canal is completed by Zheng Guo of Qin.

 

[edit] Imperial China

[edit] Qin Dynasty

Date

Emperor

Events

Other people/events

361 BCE

Xiao

 

 

356 BCE

 

Shang Yang initiates a reform movement in the Qin state, which is outlined in the Book of Lord Shang.

 

338 BCE

Huiwen

Shang Yang is executed.

 

316 BCE

 

Shu and Ba are conquered by Qin

 

311 BCE

King Wu

 

 

306 BCE

Zhaoxiang

 

 

293 BCE

 

Battle of Yique

 

255 BCE

 

Seven Warring States

 

250 BCE

Xiaowen

 

249 BCE

Zhuangxiang

 

 

246 BCE

Ying Zheng

Ying Zheng becomes King of Qin

 

230 BCE

 

Han is conquered by Qin

 

227 BCE

 

Jing Ke fails to assassinate the King of Qin.

 

223 BCE

 

Chu is conquered by Qin

 

222 BCE

 

Yan and Zhao are conquered by Qin.

 

221 BCE

Qin Shihuang
(First Emperor)

Qin state emerges victorious, as the warring states of China are unified under a single empire with a powerful central government.

Imperial Seal of China

220 BCE

 

Great Wall construction begins

Li Si standardizes the writing system with Small Seal Script characters.

214 BCE

 

The Lingqu Canal is engineered by Shi Lu, and is the oldest contour canal (i.e. follows a contour line) in the world

 

213 BCE

 

Start of the Book Burning policy

 

210 BCE

 

Burial of the Terracotta Army, featuring over 8,000 terracotta statues and the earliest known umbrellas in China.

 

209 BCE

Qin Er Shi

Chieftain Modu Shanyu establishes the Xiongnu Empire on the northern steppe.

Low-ranking officers Chen Sheng and Wu Guang rebel against Qin after fear of execution for delay of arriving at a post with newly-drafted conscripts; their small revolt initiates a gradual but massive and uncoordinated revolt on several fronts against Qin authority.

208 BCE

 

Chief eunuch Zhao Gao has the Chancellor Li Si executed, destabilizing Qin as the rebellions of Xiang Yu and others become widespread.

Qin General Zhang Han defeats Chen Sheng and Wu Guang.

207 BCE

Ziying

Xiang Yu forces the surrender of Qin general Zhang Han, but Liu Bang captures Hanzhong, the heart of Qin. Qin leader Ziying executes his chief eunuch Zhao Gao and formally submits to Liu Bang

Nanyue is established in Vietnam by Qin general Zhao Tuo.

206 BCE

 

In the first month of 206 BCE, after Liu Bang occupied the Qin capital of Xianyang, his rival Xiang Yu arrives at the city and allegedly plunders and burns it to the ground, killing Ziying and the remnants of the Qin royal family. Although Ziying had already submitted to Liu Bang in the last month of 207 BCE, this event is viewed by historians as the final event of the Qin Dynasty.

 

[edit] Western Han Dynasty

Date

Emperor

Events

Other people/events

206 BCE

 

Chu-Han contention begins, a civil war between the forces of Liu Bang and Xiang Yu after the fall of Qin that lasts until 202 BCE

Feast at Hong Gate

205 BCE

 

Battle of Jingxing

 

202 BCE

Gaozu

Battle of Gaixia

 

200 BCE

 

Battle of Baideng

Sometime in the 2nd century BCE, the multi-tube seed drill is invented and increases agricultural yields as seeds are carefully planted in rows instead of being cast out onto the crop field.

193 BCE

 

Death of Xiao He, the Prime Minister of Han

 

195 BCE

 

 

 

190 BCE

Hui

Chang'an becomes the eastern terminus of the Silk Road connecting to Europe

 

189 BCE

 

Death of Zhang Liang, a former marquis of the State of Han and key advisor to Liu Bang who helped found the Han Dynasty.

 

180 BCE

Wen

Rule of Wen and Jing

Lü Clan Disturbance

168 BCE

 

Mawangdui Silk Texts are interred at the tombs of Mawangdui, containing some of the oldest known textual versions of the Book of Changes.

 

157 BCE

Jing

 

 

141 BCE

Wu

 

 

140 BCE

 

Persuaded by Dong Zhongshu's essay in a literary competition, Emperor Wu, or his Prime Minister Wei Wan, adopts Confucianism at court.

 

139 BCE

 

Under the patronage of Prince Liu An, the scholars known as the Eight Immortals of Huainan publish the Huainanzi, a philosophical text that also covered subjects of military strategy as well as geography and cartography.

 

133 BCE

 

Sino-Xiongnu War

Battle of Mayi

130 BCE

 

Sino-Roman relations

 

125 BCE

 

Zhang Qian returns to China to report on his travels and the kingdoms of Dayuan (Fergana), Kangju (Sogdiana), Daxia (Greco-Bactrian Kingdom), Shendu (Indo-Greek Kingdom), Anxi (Parthia), and Taozhi (Mesopotamia).

 

119 BCE

 

Battle of Mobei

 

108 BCE

 

Battle of Loulan

Wiman Joseon in Korea falls to Han forces.

102 BCE

 

Emperor Wu's forces besiege Kokand in the Fergana Valley

 

100 BCE

 

Steel in China.

 

94 BCE

Zhao

 

 

91 BCE

 

Sima Qian completes the Records of the Grand Historian, a groundbreaking work in Chinese historiography.

 

86 BCE

 

Death of Jin Midi, an official of Xiongnu ethnicity who became a regent of the Han Dynasty during the early reign of Zhao.

 

74 BCE

Xuan

 

 

67 BCE

 

Battle of Jushi

 

60 BCE

 

Protectorate of the Western Regions is established.

 

48 BCE

Yuan

Consort Ban, a famous female poet, is born around this time.

 

40 BCE

 

The Ji Jiu Pian dictionary records China's first known use of the treadle-operated tilt hammer, while the later book Xinlun by Huan Tan (d. 28 CE) described the first hydrualic-powered trip hammer which would have been operated by a waterwheel.

 

37 BCE

 

Death of Jing Fang, who was the first in music theory to note that 53 just fifths approximates 31 octaves. Like the later Zhang Heng, he was also a proponent of the 'radiating influence' theory, which stated that the light of the moon was merely the reflected light of the sun.

 

36 BCE

 

Battle of Zhizhi

 

30 BCE

 

First mention of the wheelbarrow in history.

 

18 BCE

 

Lienü zhuan, a book about exemplary women in Chinese history, is compiled by the scholar Liu Xiang.

 

32 BCE

Cheng

 

 

6 BCE

Ai

 

 

1 BCE

Ping

 

 

1 CE

 

Sometime from this year until the end of the century, the earliest representation of a stern-mounted rudder for steering ships is made in China, on a tomb model of a sailing junk.

 

2 CE

 

Han government census counts 59 million people in the empire.

 

3

 

Emperor Ping establishes a nationwide school system on the central, prefectural, and county levels.

 

6

Ruzi

 

 

8

 

Liu Xin completes his star catalogue of 1080 stars, as well as fixing the year at 365.25016 days long (11 minutes longer than the modern year) by calculating the synodic month to be 29 43/81 days long, with a total of 235 synodic months adding up to 19 years. He is also the first Chinese to attempt a more accurate calculation of pi at 3.154, as the Chinese before him simply approximated it to 3. Zhang Heng and Liu Hui would later improve upon Liu's calculation in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, respectively.

 

[edit] Xin Dynasty

Date

Emperor

Events

Other people/events

9

Wang Mang

Ruzi Ying is dethroned; Wang Mang initiates the short-lived Xin Dynasty

Wang Mang introduces the well-field system of land distribution and agricultural production.

 

10

Wang Mang introduces an income tax of 10% for professionals and skilled laborers.

Wang Mang outlaws the private use of crossbows. Despite this, Liu Xiu (the later Emperor Guangwu of Han) purchases them on the black market to aid the rebellion of his brother Liu Yan and rebel leader Li Tong in early winter of 22.

 

12

With pressure from aristocrats, Wang is forced to rescind the well-field system.

 

 

17

Wang Mang imposes government monopolies on liquor, salt, iron, coinage, forestry, and fishing.

Mother Lü initiates rebellion against a county magistrate in Shandong province.

 

18

Death of Yang Xiong, a poet, Daoist, and author who wrote the first dialect dictionary of China, the Fangyan.

 

 

23

Battle of Kunyang

Storming of Weiyang Palace, Wang Mang is killed, Gengshi restores the Han Dynasty.

 

[edit] Eastern Han Dynasty

Date

Emperor

Events

Other people/events

23

Gengshi

 

 

25

Guangwu

 

 

27

 

Chimei rebels surrender to Han authority after defeat

 

31

 

Prefect Du Shi invents waterwheel-powered bellows for the blast furnace in making cast iron.

 

33

 

Rebellion of Gongsun Shu; Gongsun blockades the width of the Yangzi River with a fortified floating pontoon bridge, but his defenses give in once Han General Cen Peng employs 'castle ships' to ram and attack Gongsun's rebel navy

 

43

 

Second Chinese domination of Vietnam

 

52

 

The first known gazetteer of China, the Yuejue Shu, is written.

 

57

 

Sino-Japanese relations

 

58

 

Death of Deng Yu, the Prime Minister of Han and military officer.

 

65

 

Liu Ying, son of Emperor Guangwu, sponsors Buddhism.

 

68

 

White Horse Temple, the first Buddhist temple in China, is founded.

 

73

 

Battle of Yiwulu

 

83

 

Wang Chong correctly theorizes the nature of the water cycle; he is also the first in Chinese history to mention use of the chain pump.

 

87

 

Yuan An, an advocate of marriage alliance policies with the Xiongnu, is promoted to the position of Minister over the Masses.

 

88

He

 

 

89

 

Battle of Ikh Bayan

 

97

 

Ban Chao sends envoy Gan Ying to the outskirts of the Roman Empire.

 

100

 

The Shuowen Jiezi dictionary is completed by Xu Shen.

 

105

 

Cai Lun invents papermaking

Goguryeo-Han Wars

106

Shang

 

 

111

 

Ban Zhao completes the Book of Han, which was begun by her father Ban Biao and continued by her elder brother Ban Gu.

 

120

 

Zhang Heng completes his star catalogue, documenting 2,500 stars in over 100 constellations, writes a new formula for pi, corrected mistakes in the Chinese calendar, gave reasoning for a spherical moon that reflects light, and noted that lunar eclipse occurred when the earth obstructed the sunlight reaching the moon, while a solar eclipse was the moon's obstruction of sunlight reaching earth.

 

125

 

Zhang Heng invents the first hydraulic-powered armillary sphere, given motive power by a waterwheel and incorporating an inflow water clock, the latter of which he improved by adding a compensating tank between the reservoir and the inflow vessel.

The earliest known Chinese depiction of a mechanical distance-marking odometer is drawn on a mural of the Xiao Tang Shan Tomb.

132

 

Zhang Heng invents a seismometer device that, with a pendulum and complex set of gears and cranks, is able to discern the cardinal direction of earthquakes by the dropping of bronze balls into wrought toad's mouths indicating the direction.

Birth of Cai Yong, a mathematician, astronomer, musician, calligrapher, and father of Cai Wenji.

142

Shun

The Kinship of the Three

 

147

 

Birth of Lokaksema, a Yuezhi monk from Kushan who translated Mahayana Buddhist texts into Chinese.

 

148

 

An Shigao, a Persian prince from Parthia, arrives in China in this year to translate Theravada and Mahayana Buddhist texts into Chinese.

 

166

 

Roman embassy reaches China.

Disasters of Partisan Prohibitions

168

Ling

 

 

177

 

Birth of Cai Wenji, a famous female poet and musical composer.

 

179

 

Earliest known reference to the The Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art

 

180

 

Ding Huan invents the manual-powered rotary fan, which is recorded in the Hou Han Shu as being able to make halls cool enough for people to shiver during the summer. During the Tang Dynasty, hydraulics were applied to power the rotary fan first innovated by Ding.

 

184

 

Yellow Turban Rebellion

 

185

 

Zhi Yao, a Yuezhi monk from Kushan, translates Buddhist texts into Chinese.

 

189

Prince of Hongnong

Dong Zhuo poisons the Prince of Hongnong

Massacre of Eunuchs

190

Xian

Campaign against Dong Zhuo

Battle of Hulao Pass, Battle of Sishui Pass, Battle of Xingyang

191

 

Battle of Jieqiao

Battle of Yangcheng, Battle of Xiangyang

192

 

Lü Bu murders his tyrannical stepfather Dong Zhuo, an assassination plot whose main architect was Wang Yun.

 

193

 

Battle of Fengqiu

 

194

 

Sun Ce's conquest of Wu Territory

Battle of Yan Province

197

 

Battle of Wancheng

 

198

 

Battle of Xiapi

Battle of Yijing

199

 

Campaign against Yuan Shu

 

200

 

Battle of Guandu

 

202

 

Battle of Bowang

 

204

 

Gongsun Kang, a Chinese warlord of Liaodong, establishes the Daifang Commandery in northern Korea.

 

208

 

Battle of Red Cliffs

Battle of Changban, Battle of Xiakou, Battle of Yiling, Battle of Jiangling

211

 

Battle of Tong Pass

 

213

 

Siege of Jicheng

Battle of Licheng

214

 

Liu Bei's takeover of Yi Province

Battle of Jiameng Pass

215

 

Battle of Yangping

Battle of Baxi

217

 

Battle of Hefei

Battle of Ruxukou

218

 

Battle of Mount Dingjun

 

219

 

Lü Meng's invasion of Jing Province

Battle of Han River, Battle of Fancheng

220

 

Cao Pi forces the last Han emperor to abdicate.

 

[edit] Three Kingdoms

Date

Emperor

Events

Other people/events

221

(Cao Pi-Wei)
(Liu Bei-Shu)
(Sun Quan-Wu)

Battle of Xiaoting

 

222

Battle of Yiling

 

225

Zhuge Liang's Southern Campaign

 

227

Battle of Xincheng

 

228

Zhuge Liang's Northern Expeditions

Battle of Tianshui, Battle of Jieting, Battle of Shiting, Siege of Chencang

232

 

Death of Cao Zhi, a famous poet and son of Cao Cao.

234

Battle of Wuzhang Plains

 

244

Battle of Xingshi

 

247

Jiang Wei's Northern Expeditions

 

248

 

The rebellion of Triệu Thị Trinh in Vietnam is defeated by Wu.

249

Incident at Gaoping Tombs

 

250

Introduction of Buddhism in China

 

255

Ma Jun invents the South Pointing Chariot, a mechanical directional pathfinder that acts like a compass in that it always points north; this device employed a differential gear system, the same found in modern automobiles.

Battle of Didao, Guanqiu Jian and Wen Qin start a rebellion in Shouchun

263

Conquest of Shu by Wei

Liu Hui publishes the revised version of The Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art, with Liu's commentary.

265

Nine-rank system

 

280

Conquest of Wu by Jin

 

[edit] Western Jin Dynasty

Date

Emperor

Events

Other people/events

265

Wu

Sometime between this year and 271, the Jin Dynasty cartographer and geographer Pei Xiu noted a groundbreaking development in Chinese cartography, as he was the first to describe the grid reference and graduated scale of measurement for Chinese maps; however, it is known that grids and familiarity with scaled distance on maps existing beforehand, while scholars point to evidence that it might have been an original innovation of Zhang Heng.

 

271

 

 

 

280

 

Unification of China, defeat of Wu

Records of Three Kingdoms by Chen Shou.

290

Hui

 

 

291

 

War of the Eight Princes

 

304

 

Sixteen Kingdoms (Han Zhao, Later Zhao, Cheng Han, Former Liang, Later Liang, Northern Liang, Western Liáng, Southern Liang, Former Yan, Later Yan, Northern Yan, Southern Yan, Former Qin, Later Qin, Western Qin, Xia)

 

306

 

 

307

Huai

 

311

Min

Emperor Huai is captured by Han Zhao forces, the capital is moved from Luoyang to Chang'an.

313

 

The state of Goguryeo in Manchuria and Korea conquers the Jin-Chinese Lelang Commandery.

 

316

 

Chang'an is captured, Emperor Min of Jin surrenders to Liu Yao, a general of the Xiongnu state Han Zhao. The Jin court flees south to Jiankang, what is now Nanjing, the capital of the Eastern Jin Dynasty.

 

318

 

Former Emperor Min is executed by Liu Cong, emperor of Han Zhao.

 

[edit] Eastern Jin Dynasty

Date

Emperor

Events

Other people/events

317

Yuan

Sixteen Kingdoms and Six Dynasties

 

322

 

First accurate tomb depiction of stirrups.

323

Ming

 

324

 

The sick and ailing rebel Wang Dun dies while his forces are being repelled by Emperor Ming's troops.

325

Cheng

 

328

 

Su Jun, who had waged war against the regent Yu Liang, is defeated by generals Tao Kan and Wen Jiao.

342

Kang

 

344

Mu

 

353

 

Famous calligrapher Wang Xizhi writes the Lantingji Xu in semi-cursive script.

361

Ai

 

365

Fei

 

366

 

Famous painter Gu Kaizhi becomes an officer of Jin.

369

 

Jin general Huan Wen is defeated by Murong Chui, a general of the ethnic Xianbei state Former Yan.

372

Xiaowu

 

383

 

Battle of Fei River

396

An

 

399

 

Faxian sails to Sri Lanka and India to recover Buddhist texts.

405

 

Famous poet Tao Qian goes into retirement for the next 22 years, until his death.

419

Gong

 

420

 

The regent Liu Yu seizes the throne from Emperor Gong, initiating the Liu Song Dynasty.

[edit] Southern and Northern Dynasties

Date

Emperor

Events

Other people/events

386

 

 

 

404

 

Huiyuan, founder of Pure Land Buddhism, writes the book On Why Monks Do Not Bow Down Before Kings, where he argues that Buddhist clergy should stay out of politics but Buddhist laypeople make good subjects because of belief in karma.

 

439

 

 

 

475

 

Bodhidharma arrives in China

 

477

 

Oldest known painted depiction of a horse collar, on a cave mural of Dunhuang, Northern Wei Dynasty.

 

485

 

After the well-field system had fallen out of use, Emperor Xiaowen of Northern Wei introduces the equal-field system.

 

496

 

Change of Xianbei names to Han names

 

501

 

Cui Hong begins compiling the Shiliuguo Chunqiu

 

523

 

Songyue Pagoda is built, the earliest known fully brick pagoda in China, in departure from the fully timber tradition. It still stands at a height of 40 m (131 ft).

 

543

 

The Chinese dictionary Yupian is completed by Gu Yewang.

 

581

 

Emperor Jing of Northern Zhou is forced to step down from the throne by his regent Yang Jian, who assumes power as Emperor Wen of Sui, initiating the Sui Dynasty.

 

[edit] Sui Dynasty

Date

Emperor

Events

Other people/events

581

Wen

 

 

582

 

Compilation begins on the Jingdian Shiwen dictionary.

 

589

 

Yan Zhitui makes the first reference to toilet paper in history.

 

598

 

Goguryeo-Sui Wars begin in what is now North Korea.

 

600

 

First of the Japanese embassies to China.

 

601

 

Lu Fayan publishes the rime dictionary Qieyun.

 

602

 

Third Chinese domination of Vietnam

 

604

Yang

 

 

605

 

Imperial examinations are instituted, beginning a long bureaucratic tradition of scholar-officialdom in China.

Zhaozhou Bridge completed.

607

 

Japanese emissary Ono no Imoko arrives in China.

 

609

 

Grand Canal of China completed.

 

610

 

Engineers Geng Xun and Yuwen Kai improve the clepsydra clock model when they provided a steelyard balance that allowed seasonal adjusment in the pressure head of the compensating tank and could then control the rate of flow for different lengths of day and night. The earlier Zhang Heng of the Han Dynasty was the first to add the compensating tank between the reservoir and the inflow vessel.

Emperor Yang collaborates a huge effort for all the commanderies of China to submit gazetteers describing their local areas and providing maps to the central government, in an effort to maintain control and provide better security.

611

 

Four Gates Pagoda is completed.

 

612

 

Battle of Salsu

 

617

 

After capturing Chang'an, the rebel-turned-emperor Li Yuan demotes Emperor Yang to the status of a Taishang Huang (Retired Emperor).

 

[edit] Tang Dynasty

Date

Emperor

Events

Other people/events

618

Gaozu

Transition from Sui to Tang

 

621

 

Battle of Hulao

 

624

 

The Yiwen Leiju encyclopedia is completed by Ouyang Xun.

 

626

Taizong

Emperor Taizong's campaign against Eastern Tujue

Incident at Xuanwu Gate

635

 

First Christian missionaries arrive in China: Nestorian monks from Asia Minor and Persia, building Daqin Pagoda. Alopen, a Persia bishop of the Assyrian Church of the East, also writes the Jesus Sutras.

Emperor Taizong's campaign against Tuyuhun; also, Book of Liang is published.

636

 

Xumi Pagoda is completed.

Compilations of the Book of Chen, Book of Northern Qi, Book of Zhou, and the Book of Sui.

638

 

Emperor Taizong's campaign against Tufan

 

639

 

Emperor Taizong's campaign against Xueyantuo

 

640

 

Protectorate General to Pacify the West

Emperor Taizong's campaign against Xiyu states

643

 

Emperor Taizong commissions artist Yan Liben to paint the portraits of 24 different emperors and 18 noted scholars for the Portraits at Lingyan Pavilion.

 

644

 

Emperor Taizong's campaign against Goguryeo, Tang allies with Korean Silla during the Goguryeo-Tang Wars

 

646

 

Great Tang Records on the Western Regions is compiled by Bianji, documenting the travels of Buddhist monk Xuanzang through the Gobi Desert, Kucha, Tashkent, Samarkand, Gandhara, and finally to India where he studied at Nalanda.

 

647

 

Protectorate General to Pacify the North

 

648

 

Book of Jin is compiled.

 

649

Gaozong

Four Arts of the Chinese Scholar (est.)

 

650

 

The Records of the Tang Dynasty describes a landmark visit to China by Saad ibn Abi Waqqas, one of the sahaba, in 650 C.E. This event is considered to be the birth of Islam in China.

 

657

 

Emperor Gaozong commissions the compilation of a large materia medica documenting the use of 833 medicinal drugs.

 

659

 

Compilations for the History of Southern Dynasties and History of Northern Dynasties is completed.

 

663

 

Battle of Baekgang, Silla-Tang forces defeat Japanese-Baekje navy.

 

666

 

Two Chinese Buddhist monks, Zhi Yu and Zhi You, craft a mechanical South Pointing Chariot for Japanese Emperor Tenji.

 

668

 

Protectorate General to Pacify the East

 

684

Wu Zetian

Qianling Mausoleum is completed.

Death of poet Luo Binwang.

699

 

Chinese troops retake the Four Garrisons of Anxi from the Tibetans.

 

700

 

Approximate date for the creation of the Dunhuang map, an astronomical chart.

 

704

 

Giant Wild Goose Pagoda is rebuilt.

 

705

Zhongzong

 

 

709

 

Small Wild Goose Pagoda is completed.

 

710

Ruizong

The Shitong, a history of Chinese historiography up until the late 8th century, is compiled by Liu Zhiji.

Death of Shangguan Wan'er, a female writer, government official, and concubine.

712

Xuanzong

Pear Garden, an Academy of Music that trained acting troupes.

 

713

 

Kai yuan newspaper

 

725

 

Yi Xing invents a water-powered celestial globe featuring an escapement mechanism and striking clock.

 

729

 

Gautama Siddha completes the compilation of the Treatise on Astrology of the Kaiyuan Era.

 

740

 

This year marks the death of both Wu Daozi, a renowned Tang painter, and Meng Haoran, a renowned Tang poet.

 

744

 

Famous poets Du Fu and Li Bai meet for the first time.

 

751

 

Battle of Talas; this battle marks the beginning of the westward transmission of the ancient Chinese papermaking process.

 

755

 

An Lushan Rebellion

Death of Zhang Xuan, a renowned painter.

756

Suzong

Battle of Yongqiu

 

758

 

Arab and Persian pirates loot and burn the seaport of Guangzhou, causing Chinese officials to virtually shut down the port for five decades while foreign vessels from the Indian Ocean came mostly to Hanoi in Chinese-controlled Vietnam to trade there instead.

 

757

 

Battle of Suiyang

 

760

 

Earliest date for the Classic of Tea by Lu Yu.

 

761

 

Death of Wang Wei, a renowned painter, musician, poet, scholar, and official.

 

762

Daizong

The Jingxingji is written by Du Huan, which described several major foreign countries including the Abbasid Empire and the Byzantine Empire.

 

763

 

Shi Siming is killed by his own son, putting an end to the An Lushan Rebellion

 

779

Dezong

 

 

781

 

Nestorian Stone is composed.

 

783

 

Death of the famous painter Han Gan.

 

785

 

Official Jia Dan begins a monumental work of cartography and geography. In it he describes many foreign places, including the Japan, Korea, India, Sri Lanka, Arabian Peninsula, the Euphrates River and Baghdad of modern day Iraq, and minaret lighthouses in the Persian Gulf that were later described by al-Mas'udi and al-Muqaddasi.

 

794

 

Prince Li Gao has the first Chinese paddle-wheel ships made.

 

798

 

The Army of Divine Strategy, staffed by eunuch officers, reaches 240,000 troops, thanks largely to the revenues of the salt commission.

 

799

 

The lucrative trade of the salt commission, a government monopoly, accounts for half of the government's incoming revenues by this year.

 

801

 

Compilation of the Tongdian history and encyclopedia by Du You is complete.

 

805

Xianzong

 

 

806

 

With a renewed military, Emperor Xianzong of Tang begins a series of seven major military campaigns in which he quells all remaining rebelling provinces except for two.

 

820

Muzong

 

 

824

Jingzong

Death of Han Yu, an essayist and poet who was an early proponent of the Classical Prose Movement, while his works are considered foundations for later Neo-Confucianism. He was also an early polemecist and advocate against Buddhism.

 

826

Wenzong

 

 

831

 

An Uyghur Turk sues the son of a Tang grand general who had failed to repay a debt of 11 million government-issued copper coins. Emperor Wenzong of Tang soon hears the news, and is so upset that he not only banishes the general, but attempts to ban all trade between Chinese and foreigners except for trade in livestock. This ban is unsuccessful, and trade with foreigners resumes, especially in maritime affairs overseas.

 

840

Wuzong

 

 

843

 

Chang'an, a large fire consumes 4,000 homes, warehouses, and other buildings in the East Market, yet the rest of the city is at a safe distance from the blaze (which is largely quarantined in East Central Chang'an thanks to the large width of roads in Chang'an that produce fire breaks).

 

845

 

Great Anti-Buddhist Persecution

 

846

Xuānzong

Death of Bai Juyi, a renowned Tang poet who penned over 2,800 poems in his lifetime.

 

851

 

Arab merchant Suleiman al-Tajir visits Guangzhou seaport and describes Chinese porcelain manufacture, tea consumption, granaries, and the Islamic mosque of the city. He notes that the Chinese use toilet paper instead of washing with water.

 

852

 

Death of Du Mu, a famous poet renowned for his vivid and realistic style.

 

853

 

Duan Chengshi publishes his Miscellaneous Morsels from Youyang.

 

858

 

An enormous flood along the Grand Canal and on the North China Plain kills tens of thousands of people.

 

859

Yizong

 

 

863

 

Duan Chengshi describes the slave trade, ivory trade, and ambergris trade in Berbera, Somalia, East Africa.

 

868

 

Woodblock printing of the Diamond Sutra

 

873

Xizong

 

 

874

 

Huang Chao Rebellion

 

879

 

Huang Chao burns and loots the international seaport at Guangzhou, killing thousands of native Chinese and foreign merchants from all over the Asian continent.

 

884

 

The Huang Chao Rebellion is finally crushed by Tang troops.

 

889

Zhaozong

 

 

904

Ai

 

 

907

 

Zhu Wen overthrows the Tang Dynasty and initiates the Later Liang

Ten thousand years (est.)

[edit] Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms

Date

5 Dynasties

10 Kingdoms

Events

907

Later Liang Dynasty

Wu
Wuyue
Min
Chu
Southern Han
Former Shu
Later Shu
Jingnan
Southern Tang
Northern Han

 

917

 

Earliest known description in China of Greek Fire.

919

 

Earliest known description of a flamethrower in China.

923

Later Tang Dynasty

 

936

Later Jin Dynasty

 

947

Later Han Dynasty

 

950

 

The earliest known depiction of a fire lance (proto gun) and lobbed grenade.

960

 

Around this time, Gu Hongzhong paints the classic Night Revels of Han Xizai.

951

Later Zhou Dynasty

 

960

 

 

961

 

Huqiu Tower is built.

979

 

 

[edit] Liao Dynasty

Date

Emperor

Events

Other people/events

907

Taizu

 

 

926

Taizong

 

 

947

Shizong

 

 

951

Muzong

 

 

969

Jingzong

 

 

982

Shengzong

 

 

993

 

The First Goryeo-Khitan War, marking the beginning of the Goryeo-Khitan Wars

 

997

 

The Chinese dictionary Longkan Shoujian is compiled by the monk Xingjun.

 

1005

 

Treaty of Shanyuan

 

1010

 

Second Goryeo-Khitan War

 

1018

 

Third Goryeo-Khitan War

Battle of Kwiju

1031

Xingzong

 

 

1055

Daozong

 

 

1056

 

Pagoda of Fogong Temple is completed.

 

1101

Tianzuo

 

 

1120

 

Pagoda of Tianning Temple is completed.

 

1124

 

Kara-Khitan Khanate

 

1125

 

Song and Jin conquest of Liao.

 

[edit] Northern Song Dynasty

Date

Emperor

Events

Other people/events

960

Taizu

Hundred Family Surnames (est.)

In the Wuli Xiaoshi (1630), Fang Yizhi states that Song Taizu was presented with gunpowder-impregnated fire arrows in this year.

971

 

Song troops defeat the war elephants of the Southern Han.

 

974

 

Song troops construct and defend a floating pontoon bridge across the Yangzi River in order to secure supply lines while fighting against the Southern Tang forces.

 

976

Taizong

Yuelu Academy founded.

 

977

 

Longhua Pagoda is built.

 

978

 

Extensive Records of the Taiping Era is completed. It is the first of the Four Great Books of Song.

 

981

 

Battle of Bach Dang

 

983

 

Imperial Readings of the Taiping Era is completed.

 

984

 

Canal pound lock invented by Qiao Weiyo

 

986

 

Finest Blossoms in the Garden of Literature is completed.

 

990

 

Famous painter Fan Kuan is born around this time.

 

997

Zhenzong

 

 

1100

 

Sometime between this year and the end of the century, the Chinese discovered how to use bituminous coke instead of charcoal for blast furnaces in casting iron, sparing thousands of acres of prime timberland from deforestation.

 

1005

 

Treaty of Shanyuan between Liao and Song.

 

1010

 

After 39 years in the making, the enormous atlas of China commissioned by the emperor and drawn by a team of scholars under Lu Duosun and Song Zhun is completed in 1556 chapters, including maps for individual towns, districts, counties, prefectures, circuits (provinces), and a map of the whole of China.

 

1011

 

The Guangyun rime dictionary is completed by Chen Pengnian and Qiu Yong.

 

1013

 

Prime Tortoise of the Record Bureau is completed.

 

1022

Renzong

 

 

1037

 

Ding Du publishes the Jiyun rime dictionary.

 

1041

 

Bi Sheng invents the earliest movable type printing.

 

1043

 

Officials Fan Zhongyan and Ouyang Xiu introduce the Qingli Reforms, which would soon be rescinded in 1045.

 

1044

 

Wujing Zongyao, first book with written gunpowder formula; the book also describes the double-piston flamethrower.

 

1045

 

Lingxiao Pagoda is completed.

 

1049

 

Iron Pagoda is completed.

 

1055

 

Liaodi Pagoda is completed.

 

1060

 

The compilation of the New Book of Tang, edited by Ouyang Xiu, is presented to the throne.

 

1063

Yingzong

Pizhi Pagoda is completed.

 

1067

Shenzong

 

 

1068

 

First use of the drydock in China

 

1069

 

Chancellor Wang Anshi introduces the reforms of the New Policies, which included the Baojia system, his policies breed factionalism at court while the later chancellor Sima Guang would lead the conservatives against his party.

 

1070

 

Su Song publishes the Bencao Tujing, an interdisciplinary pharmaceutical treatise incorporating info on botany, zoology, and mineralogy.

 

1072

 

Guo Xi paints his famous work Early Spring.

 

1075

 

Diplomat Shen Kuo asserts Song's rightful borders by using court archives against the bluff of Emperor Daozong of Liao.

Shen Kuo travels to Cizhou, and describes a forging process of cast iron under a cool blast that is considered by historians Needham and Hartwell as a predecessor to the metallurgic Bessemer process.

1076

 

Wang Anshi resigns as chancellor.

 

1077

 

Su Song is sent on a diplomatic mission to the Liao Dynasty, discovers that the Khitan people calendar is more mathematically accurate than the Song; Emperor Zhezong later sponsors Su Song's clock tower in order to compete with Liao astronomers.

 

1078

 

According to the research of Robert Hartwell, China was producing on annual average 127,000,000 kg (125,000 t) of cast iron by this year, a sixfold increase since the year 806 during the Tang.

 

1080

 

Song forces inflict defeats on the Western Xia Dynasty, Shen Kuo takes up defense at Yan'an.

 

1081

 

An officer disobeys commands and his army is destroyed by the Tanguts; although he successfully defended Yan'an, Shen Kuo is blamed for the fiasco and impeached.

Su Song publishes a 200 volume work on Liao-Song relations.

1084

 

Sima Guang completes the compilation of Zizhi Tongjian, a universal history text of 294 volumes with 3 million Chinese characters.

Famous lady poet Li Qingzhao is born.

1085

Zhezong

The New Policies Group, a political faction once led by Wang Anshi, is ousted from power as the new Empress dowager and regent over the young Zhezong Emperor sides with the faction led by the statesman and historian Sima Guang.

 

1088

 

Dream Pool Essays by Shen Kuo, first book to describe the magnetic compass; Shen also postulates theories in early geomorphology and paleoclimatology, describes Bi Sheng's movable type printing, atmospheric refraction, problems of calculus and trigonometry, methods of archaeology, and is the first in China to describe camera obscura (after Ibn al-Haytham) and the concept of true north.

 

1090

 

First known description of the mechanical belt drive is found in the Book of Sericulture by Qin Guan.

 

1094

 

Clock tower of Su Song is completed in Kaifeng, featuring an escapement mechanism and chain drive to rotate an armillary sphere and sound an intricate striking clock.

 

1094

 

Dongpo Academy is established on the island of Hainan, on the same spot where famous poet and official Su Shi was exiled by the New Policies court faction.

 

1100

Huizong

 

 

1103

 

Yingzao Fashi architectural treatise is published by Li Jie and is promoted by Huizong's government as a standard manual for construction and building.

 

1107

 

Death of famous painter, calligrapher, and poet Mi Fu.

 

1111

 

Donglin Academy is founded.

 

1119

 

Zhu Yu publishes his Pingzhou Table Talks, confirming Shen Kuo's description of the magnetic compass by stating its use in seafaring.

 

1125

 

Song Dynasty forces ally with rebel Jurchens to topple the Khitan Liao Dynasty.

 

1126

Qinzong

 

 

1127

 

Jingkang Incident, the northern third of China is conquered by the Jurchens under the Jin Dynasty, the capital of Song China is pushed south from Kaifeng to Hangzhou.

 

[edit] Southern Song Dynasty

Date

Emperor

Events

Other people/events

1127

Gaozong

 

 

1132

 

China's first permanent standing navy is established, with Song naval headquarters at Dinghai.

A fire destroys some 13,000 homes in the new capital at Hangzhou.

1135

 

General Yue Fei defeats the rebels under Yang Yao by first entangling his paddle-wheel ships in rotten logs and other floating debris.

 

1141

 

Treaty of Shaoxing between Jin and Song.

 

1161

 

Battle of Tangdao and Battle of Caishi, Song naval victories over Jin after the latter attempted to conquer southern China.

The Yunjing rime dictionary is compiled by Zhang Linzhi.

1162

Xiaozong

Beisi Pagoda is completed.

 

1165

 

Liuhe Pagoda is completed

 

1179

 

White Deer Grotto Academy is rebuilt by Zhu Xi.

 

1189

Guangzong

 

 

1194

Ningzong

 

 

1215

 

Battle of Beijing

 

1224

Lizong

 

 

1241

 

Emperor Lizong sponsors Zhu Xi's Four Books and Neo-Confucianism.

 

1247

 

Qin Jiushao writes his Mathematical Treatise in Nine Sections, which included use of the Horner scheme hundreds of years before it was discovered independently by William George Horner.

 

1259

 

Möngke Khan dies in Chongqing during the Fishing Battle of Fishing Town.

 

1260

 

Ariq Böke threatens civil war, forcing Kublai Khan to retreat north as Song Dynasty Chancellor Jia Sidao pushes Mongol troops north of the Yangzi River in an opportune assault.

 

1264

Duzong

 

 

1261

 

Although written of around 1100, Yang Hui draws the first known Chinese diagram of Pascal's triangle.

From this year until the conquest of Song, Kublai attempts to gain southern Chinese acceptance in benevolent displays of releasing large bands of Southern Song merchants after short periods of capture and detainment at the border.

1265

 

Kublai Khan invades Sichuan and captures 146 Song naval ships as war booty.

 

1267

 

Battle of Xiangyang begins.

 

1269

 

In this year, and every consecutive year until 1272, the Song navy attempts to break the enormous Mongol and Northern Chinese naval blockade on the Han River. All attempts are unsuccessful, as thousands of men and hundreds of ships are lost in the process.

 

1271

 

Voyage of Marco Polo begins

 

1273

 

Battle of Xiangyang ends, Yuan victory.

 

1275

 

Turkish general Bayan defeats Song Chancellor Jia Sidao's army of 130,000 troops; Jia is impeached from court and killed by one of his own guards.

 

1276

Duanzong

Unlike his contemporary and fellow painter Zhao Mengfu, the scholar-official Qian Xuan declines the offer to serve the Yuan government out of Song patriotism and devotes his retirement (until his death in 1305) to creating works of art.

 

1278

Bing

 

 

1279

 

Battle of Yamen; the Yuan Dynasty Chinese General Zhang Hongfan crushes the last resistance of the Southern Song.

 

[edit] Western Xia

Date

Emperor

Events

Other people/events

1038

Jingzong

 

 

1048

Yizong

 

 

1067

Huizong

 

 

1086

Chongzong

 

 

1139

Renzong

 

 

1193

Huanzong

 

 

1206

Xiangzong

 

 

1211

Shenzong

 

 

1223

Xianzong

 

 

1226

Mozhu

 

 

1227

 

Genghis Khan died during the siege of the final Western Xia stronghold in 1227, so it is his successor Ögedei Khan who in this year resumes the war against Jin.

 

[edit] Jin Dynasty

Date

Emperor

Events

Other people/events

1115

Taizu

 

 

1123

Taizong

 

 

1127

 

Jingkang Incident

 

1135

Xizong

 

 

1149

Hailingwang

 

 

1153

 

The Jin capital is moved from Huining Fu to Zhongdu (Beijing)

 

1157

 

The capital is moved again, this time from Beijing to Kaifeng.

 

1161

Shizong

The Jin Dynasty under Hailingwang attempts to invade and conquer the Southern Song Dynasty, but their naval forces are destroyed at the Battle of Tangdao and Battle of Caishi

 

1164

 

The Treaty of Longxing between Song and Jin ushers in four decades of peace.

 

1189

 

Chengling Pagoda is built.

 

1190

Zhangzong

 

 

1209

Weishaowang

 

 

1211

 

The Mongol leader Genghis Khan launches a major military campaign against the Jin Dynasty.

 

1213

Xuanzong

 

 

1214

 

In the terms of a treaty with Genghis Khan, the Jin Dynasty becomes a vassal state of the expanding Mongol Empire.

 

1215

 

When the Jin court moves their capital from Beijing to Kaifeng once more, Genghis Khan sees this as open revolt, and sacks the former capital Beijing, burning the city to the ground.

 

1216

 

The Song Dynasty assaults Jin from the south, and again in 1223 while the Jin empire was collapsing.

 

1224

Aizong

 

 

1227

 

Genghis Khan died during the siege of the final Western Xia stronghold in 1227, so it is his successor Ögedei Khan who in this year resumes the war against Jin.

 

1233

 

The Jin capital at Kaifeng is captured by Ögedei Khan's forces.

 

1234

Modi

The last Jin emperor is killed by Mongol forces in what is now Runan County of Henan.

 

[edit] Yuan Dynasty

Date

Emperor

Events

Other people/events

1260

 

Kublai Khan makes the Tibetan lama Drogön Chögyal Phagpa the State Preceptor and grants him power over Tibet, his Sakya regime lasting until its overthrow in the 1350s by the Phagmodru myriarchy.

 

1270

 

Sambyeolcho Rebellion in Korea against Mongol-dominated Goryeo.

 

1271

Kublai Khan

 

 

1273

 

Battle of Xiangyang

 

1274

 

 

Mongol Invasions of Japan

1276

 

Gaocheng Astronomical Observatory is built.

 

1279

 

Battle of Yamen

 

1287

 

Rabban Bar Sauma, a Nestorian Uyghur Turk from Beijing, travels to Europe in this year and hosted by Andronikos II Palaiologos of the Byzantine Empire, Philip IV of France, and Edward I of England in hopes of striking an alliance to seize Jerusalem, then under the Muslim Mamluk Bahri dynasty.

Battle of Pagan, end of Pagan Kingdom

1288

 

Battle of Bạch Đằng (1288)

 

1289

 

Franciscan friars begin mission work in China

 

1294

Chengzong

 

 

1298

 

Wang Zhen improves the movable type printing of Bi Sheng by introducing the first successful wooden type characters; he also experiments with tin metal type characters.

 

1308

Wuzong

 

 

1311

Renzong

 

 

1316

 

Guo Shoujing dies; among his life achievements were fixing the calendar year at 365.2425 (same as the Gregorian Calendar), building upon Shen Kuo's mathematical work on trigonometry by introducing spherical trigonometry, and engineered an artificial Kunming Lake in Beijing.

 

1321

Yingzong

 

 

1323

Taiding

 

 

1324

 

The rime dictionary Zhongyuan Yinyun is published by Zhou Deqing.

 

1328

Wenzong

 

 

1330

 

Pagoda of Bailin Temple is completed

 

1333

Huizong

 

 

1334

 

Wang Dayuan ventures to North Africa.

 

1352

 

The penniless monk—and later emperor—Zhu Yuanzhang joins the Red Turban Rebellion

 

1356

 

Zhu Yuanzhang captures Nanjing.

 

1363

 

Battle of Lake Poyang, one of the largest naval battles in world history in terms of personnel.

 

1368

 

Rebel general Xu Da defeats Yuan forces, while Ukhaantu Khan, Emperor Huizong of Yuan flees Dadu (Beijing). Zhu Yuanzhang establishes the Ming Dynasty and reigns as the Hongwu Emperor.

 

[edit] Ming Dynasty

Date

Emperor

Events

Other people/events

1368

 

 

 

1371

 

Hai Jin maritime trade ban

 

1373

 

Emperor Hongwu bans the Imperial examinations in favor of a recommendation system.

The Temple of the Six Banyan Trees is rebuilt.

1375

 

Latest possible date for the writing of the Huolongjing treatise on gunpowder weapons, as its co-editor Liu Ji dies on May 16.

 

1380

 

Hongwu abolishes the Chancellery of China, taking over direct responsibility of the Three Departments and Six Ministries, although the later Grand Secretariat would aid the emperor in managing the state.

 

1381

 

The Ming Dynasty annexes land from the Kingdom of Dali, in what is now Yunnan and Guizhou, spurring a Chinese migration of hundreds of thousands.

 

1382

 

The Jinyi Wei, a secret police organization, is established.

 

1384

 

Imperial examinations are reinstated by Hongwu, but he had the chief examiner executed on charges of corruption.

 

1397

 

The Daming Lu law code is completed, yet drawing much of its clauses from the earlier Tang Code of 653.

 

1398

Jianwen

 

 

1402

Yongle

Yongle takes the throne after a three-year long civil war with his nephew, the Jianwen Emperor.

 

1405

 

The overseas voyages of the eunuch Muslim admiral Zheng He begin, sailing around Southeast Asia, throughout the Indian Ocean, and as far as East Africa to reestablish tributary relations of foreign countries with China.

Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum is completed.

1406

 

Construction of the Forbidden City begins, as well as new Beijing city fortifications

 

1407

 

Fourth Chinese domination of Vietnam, although Chinese troops were pushed out two decades later by Lê Lợi of the Lê Dynasty.

Deshin Shekpa, the fifth Karmapa of Tibet, visits the court of Yongle.

1408

 

The massive Yongle Encyclopedia is completed.

 

1415

 

Restoration work on the Grand Canal is completed.

 

1420

 

After 13 years of a massive construction project for a new capital and Forbidden City, the Yongle Emperor declares Beijing the new capital, while Nanjing is demoted.

Ming Dynasty Tombs are built.

1424

Hongxi

 

 

1425

Xuande

 

 

1427

 

Famous painter Shen Zhou is born.

 

1431

 

The Lê Dynasty of Vietnam is recognized by the Ming court as a tribute state.

 

1435

Zhengtong

 

 

1443

 

The Zhihua Si Temple is built.

 

1446

 

The Precious Belt Bridge is rebuilt.

 

1449

Jingtai

Battle of Tumu Fortress

 

1457

Tianshun

 

 

1461

 

Rebellion of Cao Qin

 

1464

Chenghua

The Miao people and Yao people of Guangxi rebel against Ming authority; a combined Ming force of 190,000 (including 1,000 Mongols) crushes the rebellion within two years.

 

1473

 

Zhenjue Temple is completed.

 

1487

Hongzhi

 

 

1488

 

The Korean official Choe Bu shipwrecks along Zhejiang coast of China. Travels the entire length of the Grand Canal to repatriate back to Joseon Korea. He later wrote a famous book on his travels, which was printed in both Korea and Japan in the latter half of the 16th century.

 

1505

Zhengde

 

 

1516

 

First Portuguese contact by Jorge Álvares in Macau, followed up by Rafael Perestrello in Guangzhou.

 

1517

 

Fernão Pires de Andrade and Tomé Pires are sent as ambassadors to China by Manuel I of Portugal; they land at Guangzhou.

 

1521

Jiajing

Events, such as the Portuguese conquest of Malacca, lead to the rejection of the Portuguese embassy and the new Jiajing Emperor calling upon the Portuguese to return power of Malacca to the loyal Ming vassal Mahmud Shah; Chinese and Portuguese ships fight at Tuen Mun, but relations are eventually smoothed out later by Leonel de Sousa and others determined to repair the reputation that the Portuguese initially won in China.

 

1522

Jiajing

 

 

1529

 

Death of philosopher Wang Yangming

 

1530

 

Around this time, mechanical engineer Zhou Shuxue improves Zhan Xiyuan's 14th century sand-driven mechanical clock by adding a fourth large gear wheel, revising gear teeth ratios, and widening the orifice which collected sand in Zhan's clock, since Zhou complained that the device clogged up too often. Although lacking the essential escapement mechanism of earlier Chinese clocks, this sand-driven clock of Zhan and Zhou featured a stationary dial face over which a pointer circulated by mechanical timing.

 

1549

 

Portuguese ships make continuous annual trade stops to Shangchuan Island from now on.

 

1550

 

Altan Khan breaches the Great Wall, besieges Beijing, and burns down its suburbs after looting it.

 

1553

 

Outer City of Beijing to the south is completed, which brought the overall size of the city to 4 by 4½ miles.

 

1556

 

Shaanxi Earthquake. 850,000 casualties

 

1557

 

Portuguese establish permanent settlement in Macau.

 

1558

 

Qi Jiguang is victorious over Japanese pirates at Cengang.

 

1566

Longqing

 

 

1567

 

Hai jin laws are formally repealed; government allows private foreign maritime trade, although the state had conducted all foreign trade during the ban.

 

1572

Wanli

 

 

1573

 

After the Spanish establish a permanent base at Manila in the Philippines, their American-mined silver trade with China trumps the Portuguese-Japanese silver trade.

 

1574

 

Qin Liangyu, a later female military officer of Miao heritage, is born.

 

1576

 

Pagoda of Cishou Temple is built.

 

1577

 

Wanshou Temple is built.

 

1581

 

Grand Secretary Zhang Juzheng implements the Single Whip Reform, allowing the land tax to be paid entirely in silver due to inflated paper currency and widespread counterfeit coinage.

 

1582

 

Jesuits begin mission work in China

First reference is made about the publishing of private newspapers in Beijing.

1584

 

Abraham Ortelius, in his atlas Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, is the first known European to feature an illustration of the Chinese invention known as the 'sailing carriage', essentially a wheelbarrow with a ship's mast and a sail.

 

1587

 

Physician and pharmacologist Li Shizhen publishes the Bencao Gangmu, detailing the use of over 1,800 medicinal drugs.

 

1590

 

Journey to the West is written.

 

1592

 

When Japan invades Korea in the Imjin War, Ming China aids Korea with troops and supplies.

 

1593

 

Siege of Pyongyang

 

1597

 

Siege of Ulsan

 

1598

 

Battle of Sacheon

Battle of Noryang Point; the theatrical drama The Peony Pavilion, written by playwright Tang Xianzu, is performed at the Pavilion of Prince Teng.

1602

 

From this year until 1682, the Dutch East India Company ships some six million Chinese porcelain items to Europe.

 

1604

 

Donglin Movement

 

1607

 

The Greek mathematical treatise Euclid's Elements is translated into Chinese by Xu Guangqi, Sabatino de Ursis, and Matteo Ricci.

 

1609

 

Sancai Tuhui encyclopedia is published.

 

1610

 

Plum in the Golden Vase is published.

 

1615

 

The Chinese dictionary Zihui is compiled by Mei Yingzuo.

 

1616

 

Nurhaci found the Qing Dynasty in Manchuria

The Nanjing Religious Incident begins in this year, when all foreign Jesuits were expelled from the Ming court and the astronomy bureau; this was a temporary triumph of traditionalist Confucian officials who rejected Western science in favor of Chinese science; by 1622 this policy was reversed, and the astronomy burea was once again staffed by European Jesuits and Chinese supportive of Western science.

1619

 

Battle of Sarhu

Chinese philosopher Wang Fuzhi is born.

1620

Tianqi

 

 

1624

 

Headquartered in Jakarta, the Dutch East India Company establishes Dutch rule of Taiwan.

 

1626

 

Johann Adam Schall von Bell writes the first treatise on the telescope into the Chinese language.

Jesuit Nicolas Trigault writes the Xiru Ermu Zi, establishing the first system of Chinese Romanization.

1627

Chongzhen

First Manchu invasion of Korea; downfall of eunuch Wei Zhongxian, who ruled as a virtual dictator for seven years; Zhang Zilie publishes the Chinese dictionary Zhengzitong.

Polish Jesuit Michael Boym first introduces the heliocentric model of the solar system into Chinese astronomy.

1628

 

Battle of Ningyuan

 

1632

 

By this time, the Manchus have conquered much of Inner Mongolia.

 

1634

 

Chongzhen Emperor acquires the telescope of the late Johann Schreck.

 

1635

 

Liu Tong adds his preface to the Dijing Jingwulue, a Chinese prose classic.

 

1637

 

Second Manchu invasion of Korea

Song Yingxing publishes the Tiangong Kaiwu encyclopedia; due to his scholarly and encyclopedic achievements, scientist and sinologist Joseph Needham calls him the "Diderot of China".

1638

 

The Beijing Gazette switches its production method from woodblock printing to movable type printing in this year.

 

1639

 

The Nongzheng Quanshu agricultural treatise of Xu Guangqi is published.

Painter Chen Hongshou travels to Beijing and earns instant acclaim by the court.

1641

 

Death of Xu Xiake, whose published travel diary of some 404,000 Chinese characters includes notes on regional geography, climate, and mineralogy.

 

1642

 

The Kaifeng flood

With new additional Han Chinese banners, the full Eight Banners of the Manchu Qing Dynasty are established.

1644

 

Battle of Shanhai Pass; the Chongzhen Emperor hangs himself on the Guilty Chinese Scholartree, after hearing that rebels under Li Zicheng breached the gates of the capital Beijing

Chinese general Wu Sangui and the Manchu prince Dorgon occupy Beijing; soon after, the Shunzhi Emperor is proclaimed ruler of China under the Qing Dynasty.

[edit] Shun Dynasty

Date

Emperor

Events

Other people/events

1644

Li Zicheng

 

 

[edit] Qing Dynasty

Date

Emperor

Events

Other people/events

1644

 

 

 

1652

 

Lozang Gyatso, 5th Dalai Lama of Tibet visits the court of Shunzhi in Beijing.

 

1659

 

Jesuits Martino Martini and Ferdinand Verbiest arrive in China, the former for the second time.

 

1661

 

On the death of the Shunzhi Emperor, his confidant Johann Adam Schall von Bell is thrown into prison, eventually released, but dies shortly after.

 

1662

Kangxi

The Siege of Fort Zeelandia ends with the Dutch East India Company's surrender of Taiwan to Koxinga.

 

1674

 

Revolt of the Three Feudatories

 

1682

 

Belgian Jesuit Antoine Thomas arrives in China.

 

1683

 

Battle of Penghu, surrender of the Kingdom of Tungning

 

1689

 

Treaty of Nerchinsk with Russia

 

1690

 

Death of Yun Shouping, a painter who was considered one of the "Six Masters" of the Qing era.

 

1698

 

Lugou Bridge is reconstructed.

 

1705

 

Papal legate Charles-Thomas Maillard De Tournon arrives in China.

 

1700

 

Thirteen Factories

 

1711

 

British East India Company establishes a trading post in Guangzhou

The Peiwen Yunfu rime dictionary is completed.

1716

 

Publication of the Kangxi Dictionary

 

1720

 

In opposition to the Dzungars, Qing troops conquer and occupy Lhasa in Tibet.

 

1721

 

In a culmination of the Chinese Rites controversy, the Kangxi Emperor delivers a decree banning Christian preaching in China in response to a papal bull by Pope Clement XI.

 

1722

Yongzheng

 

 

1725

 

The Gujin Tushu Jicheng encyclopedia is completed.

 

1732

 

Death of Jiang Tingxi, a painter, calligrapher, and encyclopedist

 

1735

Qianlong

 

 

1750

 

French Jesuit Jean Joseph Marie Amiot is sent to China.

 

1755

 

Ten Great Campaigns

Puning Temple is built in commemoration of the defeat of the Dzungars.

1760

 

Initiation of the Canton System.

 

1771

 

Putuo Zongcheng Temple is completed.

 

1774

 

The Wenjin Chamber is built.

 

1780

 

Fragrant Hills Pagoda is built.

 

1782

 

Imperial collection of Four encyclopedia is completed.

 

1790

 

 

 

1791

 

Dream of the Red Chamber is published.

 

1793

 

Anglo-Chinese relations and the Macartney Embassy; Lord Macartney, the first British envoy to Beijing, is hosted by Qianlong's confidant Heshen.

 

1796

Jiaqing

White Lotus Rebellion

 

1807

 

Robert Morrison, first Protestant missionary arrives

 

1814

 

 

 

1820

 

 

 

1821

Daoguang

 

 

1823

 

 

Publication of the Bible in Chinese

1839

 

First Opium War

 

1842

 

First of the Unequal Treaties,
Treaty of Nanjing

 

1844

 

Wei Yuan publishes his Illustrated Treatise on the Maritime Kingdoms, a gazetteer inspired by the desire to learn more of the West and the threat it posed to Qing China.

Treaty of Wanghia between the Qing Empire and the United States, with the first United States Ambassador to China.

1850

 

Ten Tigers of Canton

 

1851

Xianfeng

Taiping Rebellion

Jintian Uprising

1855

 

Third Pandemic of Bubonic plague

Punti-Hakka Clan Wars

1856

 

Second Opium War

 

1858

 

Battle of Sanhe

Treaty of Aigun,
Treaties of Tianjin

1860

 

Burning of Old Summer palace

Beijing Convention

1861

 

Following the Convention of Peking, Prince Gong establishes the Zongli Yamen (Foreign Office).

 

1862

Tongzhi

Dungan revolt

The Tongwen Guan, or School of Combined Learning, is established to teach Chinese students Western languages.

1864

 

After fighting the Taiping rebels for four years, the Ever Victorious Army is disbanded; it was the first Chinese army that employed a European officer corps and as well as tactics, strategy, and techniques.

 

1868

 

Yangzhou riot

End of the Nien Rebellion

1870

 

Tianjin Massacre

 

1871

 

The famous general Li Hongzhang is appointed to the position of Viceroy of Zhili, an office he would hold until 1895, serving again in the same post from 1900 to 1901, until replaced by Yuan Shikai.

 

1873

 

End of the Panthay Rebellion

 

1875

Guangxu

 

 

1876

 

After the murder of Augustus Raymond Margary in the 'Margary Affair', the Chefoo Convention is held to resolve the issue but turns into an excuse for the British to press for additional concessions.

 

1884

 

Sino-French War

 

1885

 

Battle of Foochow

 

1891

 

Founding of Shanghai Sharebrokers Association

 

1894

 

First Sino-Japanese War

(Battle of Pungdo,
Battle of Seonghwan,
Battle of Pyongyang,
Battle of Yalu River,
Battle of Jiuliangcheng,
Battle of Lushunkou,
Battle of Weihaiwei,
Battle of Yingkou)

 

1895