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The Establishment of the Han Empire and Imperial China (Greenwood Guides to Historic Events of the Ancient World)


The Establishment of the Han Empire and Imperial China (Greenwood Guides to Historic Events of the Ancient World) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Han Dynasty created an enduring Chinese empire comparable to the Roman Empire. In this book, narrative chapters, biographical sketches, and translated primary documents give readers a unique overview of this important founding dynasty.

The Han Dynasty (206 B.C.E. to C.E. 221) ruled a large prosperous Chinese empire that was roughly contemporary with the Roman Empire and comparable in size. The Han was founded by Liu Bang who ruled as Emperor Gaozu. The Han emperors turned away from the harsh rule of their Qin predecessors and promoted Confucianism and other schools of thought while retaining some of the useful autocratic features of Legalism. Under Wudi (140-87 B.C.E.) the empire expanded to include parts of Central Asia, Korea and Vietnam. Under the Han dynasty the Chinese developed steel, the water mill, high quality stoneware (china), and paper.

Designed as an introduction to the founding and consolidation of the Han Empire, this work offers information on the founding of the Han Empire; conflict between town and countryside and the empire and barbarians; technological innovations like steel and papermaking; social changes and the lives of women and children; and a comparative look at Imperial China in world history. Excerpts from Confucius on government, recently found Qin laws written on bamboo strips, and contemporary historical accounts lend depth and immediacy to the work. Brief biographies of key rulers, rebels, and philosophers give readers a look at events through the eyes of participants. An annotated bibliography, index, chronology, glossary, and 26 illustrations and maps round out the book.

Book News Annotation:

The Han dynasty (202 BCE to 220 CE) was the first to spread beyond its North China home, say Hardy (history, U. of North Carolin-Asheville) and Kinney (Chinese, U. of Virginia), and become an empire ruling peoples of different language, religions, and customs from Korea to Vietnam and from Tibet to the Pacific Ocean. They examine how the empire came into being and laid the foundation for later Chinese regimes from political, geographical, material, and cultural perspectives.
Annotation 2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (


The Han Dynasty created a Chinese empire that endures to this day. important political and technological innovations

About the Author

GRANT HARDY is Associate Professor of History at the University of North Carolina, Asheville.ANNE BEHNKE KINNEY is Professor of Chinese, and Director of the East Asia Center at the University of Virginia. As a graduate student she spent two years in the department of History and Archaeology at Peking University. She is the author of Representations of Childhood and Youth in Early China (2003), and has published numerous articles and scholarly publications.

Table of Contents

Series Foreword by Bella Vivante


A Note on Chinese Transliteration, Pronunciation, Names, Dates, and Sources

List of Major Chinese Dynasties and Eras

List of Early Han Rulers

Chronology of Events

The Origins of Imperial China

The Establishment of the Han Empire: An Overview

The Center and the Periphery

Technological Innovation and Empire

Social Change in Han Times

Imperial China in World History


Primary Documents

Glossary of Selected Terms

Annotated Bibliography



Product Details

Hardy, Grant
Kinney, Anne Behnke
Kinney, Anne
Ancient - General
Asia - China
China - History - Han dynasty, 202 B.C.-
World - General
World History-Ancient History
Edition Description:
hnological innovations
Greenwood Guides to Historic Events of the Ancient World
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
9.60x6.68x.80 in. 1.33 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » World History » Ancient History
History and Social Science » World History » China
History and Social Science » World History » General
Reference » Science Reference » Technology

The Establishment of the Han Empire and Imperial China (Greenwood Guides to Historic Events of the Ancient World) New Hardcover
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Product details 220 pages Greenwood Press - English 9780313325885 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The Han Dynasty created a Chinese empire that endures to this day. important political and technological innovations
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