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Ancient China

Articles and pictures from ancient China, including information about the early emperors, the development of Confucianism and Chinese Buddhism, early inventions, and other topics.

Qin Shi Huang, First Emperor of China
Qin Shi Huangdi was the first emperor of a unified China. He is famous for the massive terracotta army that is buried with him, as well as for beginning construction on the Great Wall of China.

Why was Qin Shi huangdi Buried with an Army of Terracotta Soldiers?
Why was Qin Shi Huangdi of China buried with an army of terracotta soldiers?

Biography of Confucius (Kong Fuzi), the famous ancient Chinese philosopher of the Spring and Autumn Period.

Sun Tzu and the Art of War
Biography of Sun Tzu, author of The Art of War, who probably lived during ancient China’s Warring States Period.

The Great Wall of China
Pictorial history of the Great Wall of China, including maps. Learn about the Wall's fate through various Chinese dynasties since the 200s BCE.

Empress Wu Zetian
Empress Wu Zetian of the Zhou Dynasty was the only woman to rule imperial China in her own right, rather than as a consort or dowager. Learn more about this fascinating woman here.

Why Did Han China Collapse?
The Han Dynasty ruled China during one of the country's golden ages, but it collapsed at roughly the same time as the similarly illustrous Gupta Empire in India, and the Roman Empire in the Mediterranean. Why did Han China fall?

What Was the An Lushan Rebellion?
What was the An Lushan Rebellion? Why did it start, and how did it nearly bring down one of China's most glorious dynasties?

Dynasties and Periods of China
A list with descriptions of the Chinese imperial dynasties, from the mythical earliest period to the fall of the Last Emperor in 1912.

List of the Emperors of China
We know the names of China's emperors going back to 220 B.C. - an incredibly long history. Here are the names and dates of reign of Chinese emperors from the Q'in Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty.

The Mandate of Heaven in China
Learn about the Mandate of Heaven, which determined when a Chinese emperor had the gods' support.

Confucius - Glossary Entry
Short glossary entry on Confucius (Kong Fuzi), the founder of China's largest philosophical school, Confucianism.

What Was Imperial China's Civil Service Exam System?
What was the Chinese civil service exam system? How did this meritocratic system of Confucian study shape imperial China?

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