Introduction to Shang Dynasty_ Introduction to Shang Dynasty_ History of Shang Dynasty_ History of Xia, Shang and Zhou Dynasties

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The Shang Dynasty (about 1600 BC – about 1046 BC) is the second Dynasty in Chinese history and the first dynasty in China with direct written records of the same period. The Shang Dynasty experienced three major stages. The first stage is “business first”; The second stage is “early business”; The third stage is the “late Shang Dynasty”. It is said that the 17th generation and the 31st King lasted for more than 500 years.



The Shang clan, the ancestor of Shang, was a tribe rising in the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River. It is said that its ancestor Qi and Yu were at the same time. Shang Tang, the monarch of the state of Fang and Shang in the Xia Dynasty, led the state of Fang in the war of mingtiao to destroy the Xia Dynasty. After taking “Shang” as the country name, the Shang Dynasty was established in Bo. After that, the capital of the Shang Dynasty moved frequently. After its descendant Pangeng moved to Yin, the capital of the Shang Dynasty stabilized. It was built in Yin for 273 years. Therefore, the Shang Dynasty was also called “Yin” or “Yin Shang” by later generations.

After the death of Pan Geng, the throne was succeeded by his brother Xiao Xin. After Xiao Xin died, he passed on emperor Xiao Yi. After Xiao Yi’s death, his son Wuding followed him. During the fifty years of Wuding’s rule, the Shang Dynasty was the most powerful. The last emperor of the Shang Dynasty, Emperor Xin Yu, was defeated by King Wu of Zhou in the battle of Makino and burned himself to death.

In the Shang Dynasty, the system of succession to the throne was characterized by brother’s death and brother’s death in the early stage and typical father’s death and son’s succession in the late stage. The Shang Dynasty was in the heyday of slavery, the state power in the Chengtang period had been initially established, and the social order of slavery had been stable. The slave owner aristocracy was the ruling class, forming a huge bureaucratic governing structure and army. Oracle and gold inscriptions are the earliest systematic written symbols that have been found in China.

Within and outside the sphere of influence of the Shang Dynasty, there were many Fang States far behind the Shang nationality. Among them, the most powerful are the tongue, ghost, earth and Qiang in the northwest and North. During the Shang Dynasty, there were also developed non Central Plains civilizations in the Yangtze River Basin.

During the period of Emperor Shun of the five emperors, the ancestor of the merchant Qi helped Yu control the flood and was granted the Shang Yi (now Shangqiu, Henan Province), so he called his tribe (or tribe) as “Shang”. “The bookofsongs · Shang song · Xuanniao” said: “the destiny of Xuanniao, came down and gave birth to Shang”. During the reign of emperor Zhongding, the states of the Shang Dynasty began to migrate frequently. By the time of Pangeng, the capital of the state was moved to northern Mongolia and renamed “Yin”. Only then did the capital stabilize, and the capital was established here for 273 years. Therefore, the Shang Dynasty was also called Yin or Yin Shang by later generations.

“Dayi Shang” or “Tianyi Shang” is a respectful name given by merchants to the Shang city (today’s Shangqiu), the old capital of the Shang country where the ancestral temple of the former king of Shang was located. In the war, they called their own army “Shang Fang”. It is not clear whether businessmen have a general name for the whole country or ethnic group.

Early documents such as oracle bone inscriptions and Ancient Bamboo Annals called this dynasty “Shang”, and documents such as Shangshu and Shiji called the Shang Dynasty “Yin”, both of which were found in the documents of the pre Qin Dynasty. In the yuan and Ming Dynasties, this edition of Bamboo Annals and other documents called it “Yin Shang”. In the documents of the pre Qin Dynasty, “Shang Shu · Zhao Gao” used “Dabang Yin” to call the Shang state. However, no oracle bone inscriptions that can be interpreted as “Yin” have been found in the currently unearthed oracle inscriptions.

“Shi Ji Yin Ben Ji” contains: “there is a woman named Jane Di, who swallowed the eggs of Xuanniao and gave birth to a contract”. It is said that the contract was born by Jane diton’s black bird eggs, so the merchants took the black bird as their totem. When Yao proclaimed himself Emperor, he granted the title of situ to the son of emperor Ku, and later was granted the title of Emperor Xuan. During Emperor Shun’s period, Qi helped Yu control the flood and was granted the Shang Yi (now Shangqiu in Henan Province) to establish the Shang state.

Zhao Ming, the son of Qi, moved from Shangyi to Dishi. In the 15th year of emperor Xiang, Xiang Tu, the grandson of Qi, moved back to Shangqiu while Si Xiang moved his capital from Shangqiu to Guanguan (emperor Qiu). Since then, Xiangtu tamed the horse, invented the carriage, and began to develop near Mount Tai in the East.

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