Han Dynasty


The Han Dynasty (202 BCE - 220 CE) was the second dynasty of Imperial China (the era of centralized, dynastic government, 221 BCE - 1912 CE) which established the paradigm for all succeeding dynasties up through 1912 CE. It succeeded the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BCE) and was followed by the Period of the Three Kingdoms (220-280 CE).

More about: Han Dynasty


  • 206 BCE - 9 CE
    The Western Han dynasty rules China from their capital in Chang'an.
  • 202 BCE - 220 CE
    Han Dynasty reigns in China.
  • 202 BCE
    Liu-Bang of Han establishes the Han Dynasty in China.
  • 202 BCE
    Liu Bang is proclaimed emperor of China after defeating the rival general Xiang Yu.
  • Mar 202 BCE
    Emperor Gaozu (Liu Bang) becomes the first Han ruler.
  • 195 BCE
    Liu Bang dies. His empress Lü Zhi (also known as Lü Hou) rules through puppet kings for her own benefit for the next fifteen years.
  • 141 BCE - 87 BCE
    Han Emperor Wu abandons Legalism in favor of Confucianism.
  • 141 BCE - 87 BCE
    Reign of Emperor Wu (Wu the Great), the most effective and influential of the Han monarchs.
  • 140 BCE - 87 BCE
    Han emperor Wu rules and expands Han territory in China.
  • 138 BCE - 126 BCE
    Zhang Qian, as envoy of Emperor Wu, opens up the 'Silk Road' trading route between China and central Asia.
  • 117 BCE - 100 BCE
    Han emperors extend the western part of the Great Wall of China.
  • 109 BCE
    Chinese Han Empire conquers the kingdom of Tien.
  • 108 BCE
    Wiman Joseon is conquered by the Han dynasty.
  • 104 BCE - 101 BCE
    The War of the Heavenly Horses, general Li Guangli forces the city of Da Yuan (Alexandria Eschate) into tributary status.
  • 2 CE
    Chang'an, the imperial capital of China, had a population of nearly 250 thousand people.
  • 9 CE
    Wang Mang takes control of the empire by usurping the throne and proclaiming his innovative dynasty called Xin ("new").
  • 23 CE
    The sack of Chang'an, imperial capital of China.
  • c. 23 CE
    After the sack of Chang'an, Liu Xiu led his loyal officials to the city of Luoyang, where the Chinese imperial capital was relocated.
  • 25 CE - 220 CE
    The Eastern Han dynasty rules China.
  • 91 CE
    The Han dynasty of China invades Mongolia.
  • 105 CE
    Invention of fine paper-making process by Cai Lun.
  • 148 CE
    An Shigao is the first Buddhist translator mentioned in Chinese sources who established a translation centre in the Chinese imperial capital, Luoyang.
  • c. 155 CE - 220 CE
    Life of Cao Cao, Chinese military dictator and founder of the Wei state.
  • 160 CE
    Chinese Han empire in decline.
  • 184 CE
    The Yellow Turban rebellion breaks out when local government offices are attacked across China.
  • 184 CE - 192 CE
    The 'Yellow Turban' rebellion is quashed by the Han in China.
  • 184 CE
    A large peasant uprising known as the Yellow Turban Rebellion (sometimes referred to as the Yellow Scarves Rebellion) threatened the city of Luoyang.
  • 189 CE
    Luoyang, the Han capital, is sacked by the Chinese warlord Dong Zhuo.
  • 190 CE
    Luoyang, the Han capital in China, is burned.
  • 190 CE
    Dong Zhou seized control of the Chinese imperial capital and placed a child, Liu Xie, as the new ruler.
  • 205 CE
    Cao Cao takes over the former Han government and appoints himself chancellor, in effect, a military dictator.
  • 215 CE
    Cao Cao represses for good the Yellow Turban rebellion in China.
  • 220 CE
    Liu Xie abdicated the throne. Wars between warlords and states continued and China would have to wait about 350 years to be unified again.