Introduction to Han Dynasty and Eastern Han Dynasty_ An overview of the history of the Han Dynasty and the Eastern Han Dynasty

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Temple number


Accession time

Accession age

Number of years in office

Age at death




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reigned as Guangwu Di





The ninth grandson of emperor Gaozu of the Han Dynasty, and his father Liu Qin was the order of Nanton

In the late years of Xinmang, the army was launched, and in 25 A.D., it became the emperor and made Luoyang its capital

Jianwu Zhongyuan

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Liu Zhuang





The fourth son of Emperor Guangwu

Heir to the crown prince


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Liu Da





The fifth son of emperor Zhang

Heir to the crown prince


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Chapter and

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Mu Zong

Liu Zhao





Zhang Di’s fourth son

Heir to the crown prince


105 A.D


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Emperor Xiaoshang

Liu long

one hundred and five




He di Shaozi

When he ascended the throne, he was born for only three months, and the actual period of office was eight months


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Gong Zong

Liu Hu

one hundred and six




Zhang Disun, father Qinghe, filial King Liu Qing

After the death of emperor Shang, Empress Dowager Deng planned to welcome Liu Gu into the palace and become the heir of emperor he

Early Yuan Dynasty

114 A.D


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Jian Guang

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Extended light

122 A.D


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Jing Zong

Liu Bao

one hundred and twenty-five





The original crown prince was later abolished as the king of Jiyin. Emperor an died, and the eunuch sun Chengli became emperor


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136 A.D


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144 A.D


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Emperor Xiaochong

Liu Bing

one hundred and forty-four





The actual reign time is five months (with the crown prince as heir)


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Emperor Xiaozhi



one hundred and forty-five




Emperor Zhang xuansun, father Bohai filial King Liu Hong

After the death of emperor Chong, Empress Dowager Liang and General Liang Ji conspired to welcome Liu Min into the palace, sealed the Duke of Ping and ascended the throne


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Liu Zhi

one hundred and forty-six




Great grandson of emperor Zhang

When Emperor Zhi died, Empress Dowager Liang and General Liang Ji plotted to welcome Liu Zhi and became emperor


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151 A.D


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155 A.D


158 A.D


167 A.D


168 A.D

Emperor Xiaoling

Liu Hong

one hundred and sixty-eight




Emperor Zhang xuansun

Emperor Huan died without a son. Empress dowager Dou and Dou Wu welcomed Liu Hong to the throne, and Empress Dowager Dou came to the throne


172 A.D

Light and

178 A.D


184 A.D

Guangxi Zhaoning

(abolished) Shaodi

Liu Bian

one hundred and eighty-nine





In September 189, Dong Zhuo abolished Liu Bian as the king of Hongnong, and in 190, he made the doctor order Li Ru Zhen to kill him.


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Filial piety to the Emperor

Liu Xie

one hundred and eighty-nine




Lingdi neutron

Dong Zhuo was elected to the throne. In October 220, Cao Pi became emperor on behalf of the Han Dynasty, and Emperor Xian was abolished as Lord Shanyang


194 A.D


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Emperor Guangwu of Han Dynasty attached great importance to the maintenance of centralized rule. He took measures to weaken the power of meritorious officials and expand the power of the supervisory organ Shangshutai; At the same time, the establishment of prefectures and captains was abolished to curb local military power. Implement measures such as streamlining troops and administration, reducing land taxes, organizing the stationing of farmland, building water conservancy, and ordering the liberation of slaves. These practices led to a stable political power and economic development in the early Eastern Han Dynasty.

The development of science and technology culture in the Eastern Han Dynasty is an important stage in history. Cai Lun improved papermaking; Zhang Heng invented the armillary sphere and the seismograph; Zhang Zhongjing and Hua Tuo made great achievements in medicine. After Sima Qian’s “historical records” in the Western Han Dynasty, Ban Gu’s “Han Shu” in the Eastern Han Dynasty has become another important historical masterpiece. The Eastern Han Dynasty also produced an outstanding materialist thinker Wang Chong.

In the second year of Jianwu, Emperor Guangwu ordered a comprehensive reform of the old policy implemented by Wang Mang, rectified the administration of officials, and set up six ministers to take charge of state affairs, so as to further weaken the authority of the three princes (Taiwei, situ, Sikong); Abolish “official slaves”; Check the land and gradually stabilize the people’s life. By the middle of the first century A.D., the Eastern Han Dynasty had gradually regained its former strength after the governance of Emperor Guangwu, Emperor Ming and Emperor Zhang of Han Dynasty. This period was called “Guangwu resurgence” by later generations.

In 89 A.D., Emperor Zhang Hong of the Han Dynasty was enthroned by Liu Zhao, the ten-year-old he emperor, with the year Yongyuan. Because emperor he was young, the ruling power fell entirely into the hands of empress Dou and her brother Dou Xian. Dou’s dictatorship caused the dissatisfaction of officials, and Emperor he joined forces with eunuch Zheng Zhong and others to kill Dou in A.D. 92, and Zheng Zhong was granted a marquis for his merits. Since then, eunuchs have increasingly participated in the political rule of the Eastern Han Dynasty. In addition, eunuchs have been favored by all Han emperors since he di Liu Zhao. Until the reign of Huan di (AD 132-167) and Ling di (AD 168-189), eunuchs’ rights have reached an unprecedented level, forming a pattern of dictatorship between eunuchs and their relatives in the late Eastern Han Dynasty.

After the middle of the Eastern Han Dynasty in 189 ad, eunuchs were autocratic and their relatives were involved in politics. There were many contradictions, and a “battle of Party imprisonment” broke out. Since then, the ruling group has become more decadent, and the powerful landlord forces in society have expanded maliciously, aggravating the intensification of class contradictions. In 184 (the first year of Zhongping), on the basis of various continuous small-scale uprisings, a large-scale yellow turban uprising led by Zhang Jiao broke out. Under the heavy blow of the Yellow turban uprising, the Eastern Han Dynasty went in name only. Local separatist forces scuffle with each other. In 220 AD (the third year of Yankang), Cao Pi became emperor on behalf of the Han Dynasty, and the Eastern Han Dynasty declared its demise, followed by another long-term split period in Chinese history – the Three Kingdoms period.

The fall of the Eastern Han Dynasty

First, due to the corruption of the imperial government, it is mainly manifested in the dizziness of the emperor, who only wants pleasure and does not care about the life and death of the people. The corruption of the imperial government led to the Yellow turban uprising in 184. Second, due to the drawbacks of the system, during the Eastern Han Dynasty, especially from the emperor he, the forces of relatives and eunuchs expanded, forming interest groups, fighting with each other, and seizing power and wealth, resulting in increasingly dark politics. Third, the emperors of the seven or eight dynasties in the late Eastern Han Dynasty were all dolls when they ascended the throne. He was 10 years old when he ascended the throne, an was 13 years old when he ascended the throne, and Shun was 11 years old when he ascended the throne. After the death of Emperor Shun, Emperor Chong ascended the throne at the age of 2, and died at the age of 3. The successor emperor Zhi was only 8 years old, and died at the age of 9. The successor emperor Huan was only 15 years old. Ling Di, who was 12 years old when he ascended the throne after Huan Di, was still a baby. When the emperor was young, it must be the Empress Dowager who came to the court, and his relatives were in power and domineering. When the emperor grew up, he wanted to get rid of the control of his relatives, so he turned to eunuchs to eliminate the influence of his relatives through the influence of eunuchs; When the next little emperor ascended the throne, his relatives gained power again, and in turn, he had to eliminate the eunuch force. This cycle stirred up the whole Eastern Han Dynasty. Fourth, like the Western Han regime, the social problem of bureaucrats and landlords annexing land was not alleviated, but intensified. As early as the period of Emperor Wu, Dong Zhongshu warned that the social phenomenon of “the rich have fields in the fields, and the poor have no place to stand” must cause serious perfusion. A large number of big landlords occupy the farms in the counties across the state, and they also have private armed forces (called “episodes” and “family soldiers”). These bureaucrat landlords gradually evolved into local separatist forces that were estranged from the central government. Finally, eunuchs and relatives died together in the fire after the death of the Lingdi, and the Eastern Han Dynasty actually perished.

In the Eastern Han Dynasty, from the founding of Emperor Guangwu Liu Xiu, through Ming emperor Liu Zhuang, Zhang emperor Liu Yuan, he emperor Liu Zhao, Shang emperor Liu long, an emperor Liu Hu, Shun emperor Liu Bao, Chong emperor Liu Bing, Zhi emperor Liu Zan, Huan emperor Liu Zhi, to Lingdi Liu Hong, there were signs of national subjugation, and finally to the death of Emperor Xian Liu Xie Jian’an in the 25th year (220), a total of 12 emperors, which lasted 195 years.

Reform and culture the Eastern Han Dynasty followed many guidelines and policies of the Western Han Dynasty, and made adjustments and reforms in some aspects to make it more suitable for the social conditions at that time. In the early Eastern Han Dynasty, the political power further strengthened the integration with local forces, making the country tend to be stable, and surpassing the level of the Western Han Dynasty in economy, culture, science and technology. In 105 A.D., Cai Lun reformed the paper manufacturing technology on the basis of his predecessors, so that China’s written record method broke away from the era of using bamboo slips. At the same time, papermaking has been spread to this day as one of the four great inventions in ancient China that we are familiar with. Another contribution of the Eastern Han Dynasty to later generations was the development of the pottery industry, which completely freed China from the shackles of materials in the bronze age and brought some previously exclusive supplies to ordinary people’s homes.

In natural science, the academic circles of the Eastern Han Dynasty, represented by Zhang Heng, have made great achievements; Zhang Heng made scientific instruments such as “armillary sphere” and “seismograph” with superb technology, and the principle of making these instruments is still widely used. In addition, Hua Tuo, a famous doctor at the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty, was the first surgeon to use anesthesia technology to perform surgical treatment on patients since records began. His creation of “Wuqinxi” is the first set of gymnastic fitness activities in China.

By the Eastern Han Dynasty, calligraphy and painting were no longer simply used as characters and graphical symbols, but their artistic status gradually emerged. Although there are not many works of art handed down from the Eastern Han Dynasty today, we can still see the style and features of Chinese culture from them.

One thought on “Introduction to Han Dynasty and Eastern Han Dynasty_ An overview of the history of the Han Dynasty and the Eastern Han Dynasty

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