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  • Qin, China (Present-Day in Xianyang, China)
    220s BC

    First Emperor of the Qin dynasty

    Qin, China (Present-Day in Xianyang, China)
    220s BC

    The Warring States period ended in 221 BCE after the state of Qin conquered the other six kingdoms, reunited China, and established the dominant order of autocracy. King Zheng of Qin proclaimed himself the First Emperor of the Qin dynasty.




  • China
    220 BC

    Construction of imperial highways begins

    China
    220 BC

    Construction of imperial highways begins.




  • China
    220 BC

    Small Seal Script

    China
    220 BC

    Chancellor Li Si standardized the Chinese writing system with the creation of the "Small Seal Script".




  • Lingqu Canal, China
    214 BC

    The Lingqu Canal was built

    Lingqu Canal, China
    214 BC

    The Lingqu Canal was built.




  • China
    213 BC

    Burning of books and burying of scholars

    China
    213 BC

    Burning of books and burying of scholars: All copies of the Classic of Poetry, the Book of Documents, and works of the Hundred Schools of Thought were ordered burned.




  • China
    Oct, 210 BC

    Qin Er Shi

    China
    Oct, 210 BC

    Qin Shi Huang's son Qin Er Shi succeeded him as emperor of China.




  • Present-Day in Lintong District, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
    210 BC

    Qin Shi Huang was buried

    Present-Day in Lintong District, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
    210 BC

    Qin Shi Huang was buried with the Terracotta Army in the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor.


  • China
    Monday Sep 10, 210 BC

    Qin Shi Huang died

    China
    Monday Sep 10, 210 BC

    Qin Shi Huang died from mercury pills made by his alchemists and court physicians; ironically these pills were meant to make Qin Shi Huang immortal.


  • China
    Dec, 209 BC

    Chen Sheng and Wu Guang were assassinated

    China
    Dec, 209 BC

    Chen Sheng and Wu Guang were assassinated by their own men.


  • China
    Jul, 209 BC

    Dazexiang Uprising

    China
    Jul, 209 BC

    Military officers Chen Sheng and Wu Guang began a rebellion for fear of being executed after failing to arrive at their posts.


  • Xiongnu (Present-Day in Mangolia)
    209 BC

    Modu Chanyu established the Xiongnu Empire

    Xiongnu (Present-Day in Mangolia)
    209 BC

    The Xiongnu chanyu Modu Chanyu established the Xiongnu Empire on the Eurasian Steppe.


  • China
    208 BC

    Li was executed on charges of treason

    China
    208 BC

    Li was executed on charges of treason. Zhao Gao, who had framed him, was appointed chancellor in his stead.


  • Qin, China (Present-Day in Xianyang, China)
    Dec, 207 BC

    Ziying surrendered to Gaozu

    Qin, China (Present-Day in Xianyang, China)
    Dec, 207 BC

    Ziying surrendered to Gaozu.


  • Qin, China (Present-Day in Xianyang, China)
    Dec, 207 BC

    Ziying killed Zhao

    Qin, China (Present-Day in Xianyang, China)
    Dec, 207 BC

    Ziying killed Zhao.


  • Qin, China (Present-Day in Xianyang, China)
    207 BC

    Emperor Gaozu of Han entered the Qin capital Xianyang

    Qin, China (Present-Day in Xianyang, China)
    207 BC

    The Chu general Emperor Gaozu of Han entered the Qin capital Xianyang.


  • Qin, China (Present-Day in Xianyang, China)
    Oct, 207 BC

    Zhao Gao had Qin Er Shi killed

    Qin, China (Present-Day in Xianyang, China)
    Oct, 207 BC

    Zhao Gao had Qin Er Shi killed. Qin Er Shi's nephew Ziying succeeded him.


  • Pingxiang County, Xingtai, Hebei, China
    207 BC

    Battle of Julu

    Pingxiang County, Xingtai, Hebei, China
    207 BC

    Chu forces led by the warlord Xiang Yu defeated a numerically superior Qin force, killing a large fraction of the Qin army.


  • Qin, China (Present-Day in Xianyang, China)
    206 BC

    Xiang led an army into Xianyang

    Qin, China (Present-Day in Xianyang, China)
    206 BC

    Xiang led an army into Xianyang, burned the Epang Palace, and killed Ziying and the royal family.


  • China
    206 BC

    Feast at Swan Goose Gate

    China
    206 BC

    Gaozu fled a banquet after it became clear that Xiang had invited him there to be killed. Xiang Yu or Hegemon-King of Western Chu during the Chu–Han Contention period (206–202 BC) of China. A noble of the Chu state, Xiang Yu rebelled against the Qin dynasty and became a prominent warlord. He was granted the title of "Duke of Lu" (魯公) by King Huai II of the restoring Chu state in 208 BC. The following year, he led the Chu forces to victory at the Battle of Julu against the Qin armies led by Zhang Han. After the fall of Qin, Xiang Yu was enthroned as the "Hegemon-King of Western Chu" (西楚霸王) and ruled a vast area covering modern-day central and eastern China, with Pengcheng as his capital. He engaged Liu Bang, the founding emperor of the Han dynasty, in a long struggle for power, known as the Chu–Han Contention, which concluded with his eventual defeat at the Battle of Gaixia and his suicide. Xiang Yu is depicted in the Wu Shuang Pu (無雙譜, Table of Peerless Heroes) by Jin Guliang.


  • Jingxing Pass, Hebei, China
    205 BC

    Battle of Jingxing

    Jingxing Pass, Hebei, China
    205 BC

    Han forces dealt a decisive defeat to a numerically superior Zhao army at Jingxing Pass.


  • Present-Day in Suzhou, Anhui, China
    204 BC

    Battle of Gaixia

    Present-Day in Suzhou, Anhui, China
    204 BC

    Gaozu's Han forces destroyed the Western Chu army led by Xiang in modern Suzhou.


  • Nanyue, China
    204 BC

    Zhao Tuo established the state of Nanyue

    Nanyue, China
    204 BC

    The Qin general Zhao Tuo established the state of Nanyue.


  • Luoyang, China
    202 BC

    Gaozu took the title emperor

    Luoyang, China
    202 BC

    Gaozu took the title emperor and established his capital in Luoyang.


  • Mount Baideng at Pincheng (Present-Day Datong, Shanxi, China)
    200 BC

    Battle of Baideng

    Mount Baideng at Pincheng (Present-Day Datong, Shanxi, China)
    200 BC

    The Xiongnu encircled and besieged a superior Han force.


  • Chang'an, Han, China
    Monday Jun 1, 195 BC

    Gaozu died

    Chang'an, Han, China
    Monday Jun 1, 195 BC

    Gaozu died. He was succeeded by his son Emperor Hui of Han.


  • Han, China
    193 BC

    Xiao He died

    Han, China
    193 BC

    The Han chancellor Xiao He died.


  • Chang'an, China
    190 BC

    Chang'an became the eastern terminus of the Silk Road to Europe

    Chang'an, China
    190 BC

    Chang'an became the eastern terminus of the Silk Road to Europe.


  • Chang'an, China
    188 BC

    Hui died

    Chang'an, China
    188 BC

    Hui died. He was succeeded by his son Emperor Qianshao of Han.


  • China
    186 BC

    Zhang Liang died

    China
    186 BC

    Zhang Liang died.


  • China
    184 BC

    Qianshao was deposed and killed

    China
    184 BC

    Qianshao was deposed and killed on the orders of the empress dowager Empress Lü Zhi. He was succeeded by his brother Emperor Houshao of Han.


  • China
    180 BC

    Lü Clan Disturbance

    China
    180 BC

    Houshao was deposed by imperial officials led by Chen Ping and Zhou Bo. He was succeeded by his uncle, Gaozu's son Emperor Wen of Han.


  • Chang'an, Han, China
    Wednesday Jul 6, 157 BC

    Wen died

    Chang'an, Han, China
    Wednesday Jul 6, 157 BC

    Wen died. He was succeeded by his son Emperor Jing of Han.


  • Chang'an, China
    Thursday Mar 9, 141 BC

    Jing died

    Chang'an, China
    Thursday Mar 9, 141 BC

    Jing died. He was succeeded by his son Emperor Wu of Han.


  • China
    140 BC

    Wu adopted Confucianism

    China
    140 BC

    Wu adopted Confucianism.


  • Minyue (Present-Day Fujian, China)
    135 BC

    Han campaigns against Minyue

    Minyue (Present-Day Fujian, China)
    135 BC

    The Han dynasty invaded Minyue after a plea for assistance from its vassal state Nanyue.


  • Mayi, Bingzhou (Present-Day Shuozhou, Shanxi, China)
    Jun, 133 BC

    Battle of Mayi

    Mayi, Bingzhou (Present-Day Shuozhou, Shanxi, China)
    Jun, 133 BC

    A Han deception failed to lure the Xiongnu into an ambush at Mayi.


  • China
    125 BC

    Zhang Qian returned to the Han court to report on his travels

    China
    125 BC

    Zhang Qian returned to the Han court to report on his travels to the kingdoms of Dayuan, Kangju, the Greco-Bactrian, and Indo-Greek Kingdoms, Parthia and Mesopotamia.


  • Orkhon Valley, Mongolia
    Jan, 119 BC

    Battle of Mobei

    Orkhon Valley, Mongolia
    Jan, 119 BC

    A Han expedition into the Orkhon Valley began which would deal a decisive and bloody defeat to the Xiongnu.


  • Nanyue, China
    111 BC

    Han dynasty conquered and annexed Nanyue

    Nanyue, China
    111 BC

    The Han dynasty conquered and annexed Nanyue.


  • China
    111 BC

    Dongyue was invaded and annexed by the Han

    China
    111 BC

    The Minyue rump state of Dongyue was invaded and annexed by the Han dynasty.


  • Yunnan, China
    109 BC

    Han dynasty invaded and annexed the Dian Kingdom

    Yunnan, China
    109 BC

    The Han dynasty invaded and annexed the Dian Kingdom.


  • Lop Nur, Xinjiang, China
    Dec, 108 BC

    Battle of Loulan

    Lop Nur, Xinjiang, China
    Dec, 108 BC

    Han forces attacked the Loulan Kingdom at Lop Nur.


  • Kokand (Present-Day in Uzbekistan)
    102 BC

    Han forces laid siege to Kokand

    Kokand (Present-Day in Uzbekistan)
    102 BC

    Han forces laid siege to Kokand.


  • China
    1991 BC

    Sima Qian completed the Records of the Grand Historian

    China
    1991 BC

    Sima Qian completed the Records of the Grand Historian.


  • Chang'an, Han, China
    Sunday Mar 29, 1987 BC

    Wu died

    Chang'an, Han, China
    Sunday Mar 29, 1987 BC

    Wu died. He was succeeded by his young son Emperor Zhao of Han, with Huo Guang, Jin Midi, and Shangguang Jie acting as regents.


  • Chang'an, China
    1974 BC

    Emperor Xuan of Han

    Chang'an, China
    1974 BC

    Huo appointed Wu's great-grandson, then a commoner, Emperor Xuan of Han.


  • Chang'an, China
    Wednesday Aug 14, 1974 BC

    Prince of Changyi was deposed

    Chang'an, China
    Wednesday Aug 14, 1974 BC

    The Prince of Changyi was deposed.


  • China
    Thursday Jul 18, 1974 BC

    Prince of Changyi was appointed emperor of Han by Huo Guang

    China
    Thursday Jul 18, 1974 BC

    The Prince of Changyi was appointed emperor of Han by Huo Guang.


  • Chang'an, China
    1974 BC

    Emperor Zhao of Han died

    Chang'an, China
    1974 BC

    Zhao "Emperor Zhao of Han" died.


  • Turpan, Xinjiang, China
    Dec, 1967 BC

    Battle of Jushi

    Turpan, Xinjiang, China
    Dec, 1967 BC

    Han forces defeated the people of the Gushi culture, at that time subject to the Xiongnu, at Jiaohe in modern Turpan.


  • China
    1960 BC

    Protectorate of the Western Regions was established

    China
    1960 BC

    The Protectorate of the Western Regions was established.


  • China
    2048 BC

    Consort Ban was born

    China
    2048 BC

    Consort Ban was born.


  • Chang'an, China
    2048 BC

    Yuan of Han

    Chang'an, China
    2048 BC

    Xuan's son Emperor Yuan of Han became emperor of the Han dynasty.


  • Chang'an, China
    Friday Jan 10, 2048 BC

    Xuan died

    Chang'an, China
    Friday Jan 10, 2048 BC

    Xuan "Emperor Xuan of Han" died.


  • China
    2037 BC

    Jing Fang died

    China
    2037 BC

    Jing Fang died.


  • Taraz, Kazakhstan
    Dec, 2036 BC

    Battle of Zhizhi

    Taraz, Kazakhstan
    Dec, 2036 BC

    A Han force breached and destroyed a fortress occupied by the Xiongnu chanyu Zhizhi Chanyu at Taraz, killing him.


  • Chang'an, China
    2033 BC

    Cheng of Han

    Chang'an, China
    2033 BC

    Yuan died. He was succeeded by his son Emperor Cheng of Han.


  • Chang'an, China
    1918 BC

    Liu Xiang compiled the Biographies of Exemplary Women

    Chang'an, China
    1918 BC

    Liu Xiang compiled the Biographies of Exemplary Women.


  • Chang'an, China
    2004 BC

    Ai of Han

    Chang'an, China
    2004 BC

    Cheng died. He was succeeded by his nephew Emperor Ai of Han.


  • Chang'an, China
    2004 BC

    Ping of Han

    Chang'an, China
    2004 BC

    Ai's young cousin Emperor Ping of Han was appointed emperor of the Han dynasty, with Wang Mang acting as regent.


  • Chang'an, China
    2004 BC

    Ai died

    Chang'an, China
    2004 BC

    Ai "Emperor Ai of Han" died.


  • Han, China
    2004

    Fifty-nine million people in the Han empire

    Han, China
    2004

    A census counted fifty-nine million people in the Han empire.


  • China
    2004

    Ban Biao

    China
    2004

    Ping of Han established a national school system.


  • Chang'an, China
    Sunday Jun 1, 2003

    Ping died

    Chang'an, China
    Sunday Jun 1, 2003

    Ping died after being poisoned by Wang Mang, who became acting emperor.


  • China
    2004

    Liu Xin completed a star catalogue and calculated the length of the year

    China
    2004

    Liu Xin completed a star catalogue and calculated the length of the year.


  • Chang'an, China
    2004

    Wang Mang declared himself emperor of the Xin dynasty

    Chang'an, China
    2004

    Wang Mang declared himself emperor of the Xin dynasty.


  • Chang'an, China
    2004

    Wang introduced an income tax of ten percent for professionals

    Chang'an, China
    2004

    Wang Mang introduced an income tax of ten percent for professionals and skilled laborers.


  • (Present-Day Rizhao, China)
    1917

    Mother Lü initiated a rebellion against a county magistrate in Haiqu County

    (Present-Day Rizhao, China)
    1917

    Mother Lü initiated a rebellion against a county magistrate in Haiqu County, near modern Rizhao.


  • Kunyang, Henan, China
    1923

    Battle of Kunyang

    Kunyang, Henan, China
    1923

    Lülin forces broke the siege of Kunyang, in modern Ye County, by a vastly superior Xin army.


  • Chang'an, China
    Saturday Oct 6, 1923

    Lülin rebels stormed the Weiyang Palace and killed Wang

    Chang'an, China
    Saturday Oct 6, 1923

    Lülin rebels stormed the Weiyang Palace and killed Wang. The Gengshi Emperor ascended the throne, restoring the Han dynasty.


  • China
    1925

    Gengshi Emperor was executed

    China
    1925

    The Gengshi Emperor was executed.


  • China
    1925

    Red Eyebrows appointed Liu Penzi their emperor

    China
    1925

    The Red Eyebrows appointed Liu Penzi their emperor.


  • Luoyang, China
    Wednesday Aug 5, 1925

    Emperor Guangwu of Han took the title emperor

    Luoyang, China
    Wednesday Aug 5, 1925

    The Han warlord Emperor Guangwu of Han took the title emperor.


  • China
    1927

    The Red Eyebrows surrendered to the Han dynasty

    China
    1927

    The Red Eyebrows surrendered to the Han dynasty.


  • Anling, Fufeng County, China
    2032

    Ban Gu is born

    Anling, Fufeng County, China
    2032

    Ban Gu, the co-author of the Book of Han, is born.


  • Vietnam
    2043

    Vietnam fell into Han control

    Vietnam
    2043

    Vietnam fell into Han control.


  • China
    Friday Mar 29, 1957

    Ming of Han

    China
    Friday Mar 29, 1957

    Guangwu died. He was succeeded by his son Emperor Ming of Han.


  • Luoyang, China
    1968

    The Buddhist White Horse Temple was established

    Luoyang, China
    1968

    The Buddhist White Horse Temple was established in Luoyang.


  • Hami City, China
    Feb, 1973

    Battle of Yiwulu

    Hami City, China
    Feb, 1973

    A punitive Han expedition against the Xiongnu captured territory in the area of modern Hami City.


  • Luoyang, China
    1975

    Zhang of Han

    Luoyang, China
    1975

    Ming died. He was succeeded by his son Emperor Zhang of Han.


  • China
    1983

    Wang Chong correctly theorized the nature of the water cycle

    China
    1983

    Wang Chong correctly theorized the nature of the water cycle.


  • China
    1986

    Jin Midi died

    China
    1986

    Jin Midi died.


  • China
    1988

    He of Han

    China
    1988

    Zhang died. He was succeeded by his son Emperor He of Han.


  • Region near the Altai Mountains, Mongolia
    Jun, 1989

    Battle of the Altai Mountains

    Region near the Altai Mountains, Mongolia
    Jun, 1989

    Han and allied forces defeated the army of the Northern Chanyu and accepted the surrender of two hundred thousand Xiongnu soldiers in the Altai Mountains.


  • China
    100

    Xu Shen completed the Shuowen Jiezi

    China
    100

    Xu Shen completed the Shuowen Jiezi.


  • China
    Friday Feb 13, 105

    He of Han died

    China
    Friday Feb 13, 105

    He of Han died.


  • Luoyang, China
    Mar, 105

    Shang of Han

    Luoyang, China
    Mar, 105

    He's infant son Emperor Shang of Han was made emperor of Han with empress dowager Deng Sui acting as regent.


  • China
    105

    Cai Lun invented papermaking

    China
    105

    Cai Lun invented papermaking.


  • Luoyang, China
    106

    Shang of Han died

    Luoyang, China
    106

    Shang died.


  • Luoyang, China
    106

    An of Han

    Luoyang, China
    106

    Shang's young cousin Emperor An of Han became emperor, with Deng Sui continuing to act as regent.


  • China
    Monday Apr 30, 125

    An of Han died

    China
    Monday Apr 30, 125

    An died.


  • Luoyang, Han dynasty, China
    125

    Marquess of Beixiang became emperor

    Luoyang, Han dynasty, China
    125

    The Marquess of Beixiang became emperor of the Han dynasty.


  • Han, China
    Monday Dec 10, 125

    Marquess of Beixiang died

    Han, China
    Monday Dec 10, 125

    The Marquess of Beixiang died.


  • Luoyang, China
    125

    An's son Emperor Shun of Han became emperor of the Han dynasty

    Luoyang, China
    125

    An's son Emperor Shun of Han became emperor of the Han dynasty.


  • China
    132

    Zhang Heng invented a seismometer capable of indicating the direction of earthquakes

    China
    132

    Zhang Heng invented a seismometer capable of indicating the direction of earthquakes.


  • China
    142

    The Cantong qi was published

    China
    142

    The Cantong qi was published.


  • Luoyang, China
    144

    Chong of Han

    Luoyang, China
    144

    Shun died. He was succeeded by his infant son Emperor Chong of Han, with empress dowager Liang Na and her brother Liang Ji acting as regents.


  • Han, China
    Monday Feb 15, 145

    Chong of Han died

    Han, China
    Monday Feb 15, 145

    Chong of Han died.


  • Han, China
    Saturday Mar 6, 145

    Zhi of Han

    Han, China
    Saturday Mar 6, 145

    Chong's young third cousin Emperor Zhi of Han became emperor of the Han dynasty, with Liang Na acting as regent.


  • Han, China
    Tuesday Jul 26, 146

    Liang Ji poisoned Zhi

    Han, China
    Tuesday Jul 26, 146

    Liang Ji poisoned Zhi, killing him.


  • Han dynasty, China
    Monday Aug 1, 146

    Huan of Han

    Han dynasty, China
    Monday Aug 1, 146

    Emperor Huan of Han became emperor of the Han dynasty.


  • Han dynasty, China
    147

    Lokaksema was born

    Han dynasty, China
    147

    Lokaksema was born.


  • China
    166

    Sino-Roman relations

    China
    166

    A Roman envoy arrived at the Han capital Luoyang.


  • Han, China
    166

    Disasters of the Partisan Prohibitions

    Han, China
    166

    Several ministers and some two hundred university students, who had opposed the influence of corrupt eunuchs at the royal court, were arrested.


  • Han, China
    168

    Ling of Han

    Han, China
    168

    Emperor Ling of Han became emperor of the Han dynasty.


  • Han, China
    Monday Jan 25, 168

    Huan of Han died

    Han, China
    Monday Jan 25, 168

    Huan of Han died.


  • Qi County, Henan, China
    170s

    Cai Wenji was born

    Qi County, Henan, China
    170s

    Cai Wenji was born.


  • China
    179

    The earliest known reference to The Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art appeared

    China
    179

    The earliest known reference to The Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art appeared.


  • China
    180

    Ding Huan invented the rotary fan

    China
    180

    Ding Huan invented the rotary fan.


  • China
    184

    Yellow Turban Rebellion

    China
    184

    The Taoist sect leader Zhang Jue called on his followers in the Han provinces to rebel against the government.


  • Hexi Corridor, China
    184

    Liang Province rebellion

    Hexi Corridor, China
    184

    The Qiang people launched a rebellion against Han authority in the area of modern Wuwei.


  • China
    185

    Zhi Yao first translated Buddhist texts into Chinese

    China
    185

    Zhi Yao first translated Buddhist texts into Chinese.


  • Han, China
    Wednesday May 13, 189

    Ling of Han died

    Han, China
    Wednesday May 13, 189

    Ling of Han died.


  • Han, China
    189

    Liu Bian became emperor of the Han dynasty

    Han, China
    189

    Ling's son Liu Bian became emperor of the Han dynasty.


  • Han, China
    189

    Yuan Shao and Yuan Shu massacre

    Han, China
    189

    Forces loyal to the warlords Yuan Shao and Yuan Shu massacred some two thousand eunuchs in the Han capital Luoyang.


  • Han, China
    Monday Sep 28, 189

    Dong Zhuo deposed Liu Bian as emperor and appointed his brother Emperor Xian of Han

    Han, China
    Monday Sep 28, 189

    The Han general Dong Zhuo deposed Liu Bian as emperor and appointed his brother Emperor Xian of Han in his stead.


  • Henan, China
    Feb, 190

    Campaign against Dong Zhuo

    Henan, China
    Feb, 190

    A coalition led by Yuan Shao gathered at Hangu Pass in anticipation of an expedition against Dong.


  • China
    Tuesday May 22, 192

    Dong was assassinated by his foster son Lü Bu

    China
    Tuesday May 22, 192

    Dong was assassinated by his foster son Lü Bu.


  • China
    194

    Sun Ce's conquests in Jiangdong

    China
    194

    The warlord Sun Ce attacked and conquered territory administered by Lu Kang.