Han Dynasty

In 207 BC, the army led by Liu Bang conquered the troops of the Qin Dynasty (221 - 207BC) at Julu (currently Hebei Province) and in 206 BC he seized Xianyang (the capital city of the Qin Dynasty), thus ending the rule of Qin.

After four years of war between Liu Bang and Xiang Yu, Liu Bang defeated his rival and established the Han Dynasty (206BC - 220AD) establishing Chang'an (the present Xian) as its capital city in 202 BC.

Terracotta Sculptures of Han Dynasty
Terracotta Sculptures of Han Dynasty
Tile of Han Dynasty
Tile of Han Dynasty
In Chinese history, Han consisted of two dynasties: the Western Han (206 BC - 24 AD) and the Eastern Han (25 - 220). During the period there were 24 emperors on the throne. Many were excellent contributing to the prosperity of the country with Emperors Gaozu, Wen, Jing and Wu among them.

As many wise emperors took effective measures during their reign, the Han Dynasty was a period of peace and prosperity. It was a World power at that time with interests in literature, arts, culture and technology with this dynasty achieving numerous unparalleled and praiseworthy successes. Some of the achievements at that time still influence the lives of the Chinese people today.


Reign Time (years)
Western Han (206 BC - 8 AD)
Han Gaozu(Liu Bang) Son of a peasant family; He revolted against the rule of Qin. After defeating Xiangyu (his rival) during a four-year war, he established the Western Han in 202 BC and ruled the country for 12 years. 206 BC - 195 BC
Han Huidi(Liu Ying) Son of Liu Bang; Because he was inept to be an emperor, the power was held in the hand of his mother, Lvhou. 195 BC - 188 BC
Han Lvhou(Lv Zhi) Wife of Liu Bang; After Liu Bang died, she was in the seat of power although Liu Ying, Liu Gong and Liu Hong were the emperors in succession. 188 BC - 180 BC
Han Wendi(Liu Heng) The fourth son of Liu Bang; He lightened the taxes and paid great importance to production thus promoting the development of society. Also he was a famously frugal emperor. 180 BC - 157 BC
Han Jingdi(Liu Qi) Son of Han Wendi; He carried out serious measures like Wendi had done and obtained good results. 157 BC - 141 BC
Han Wudi(Liu Che) The ninth son of Han Jingdi; He subdued the ethnic Xiongnu (Hun) invaders by wars. The Western Han was in its most powerful period during the reign of the Han Wudi. 141 BC - 87 BC
Han Zhaodi(Liu Fuling) The youngest son of Han Wudi; He lightened the burden of the peasants and was on good terms with Xiongnu (Hun). 87 BC - 74 BC
Han Xuandi(Liu Xun) Also called Liu Bingyi and the great grandson of Han Wudi; During his reign, the ruling position of Confucianism was strengthened and burdens of the people were reduced greatly. 74 BC - 49 BC
Han Yuandi(Liu Shi) Son of Han Xuandi; The Western Han began to decline during his reign. 49 BC - 33 BC
Han Chengdi(Liu Ao) Son of Han Yuandi; He squandered the countries wealth, which caused the country to decline. 33 BC - 7 BC
Han Aidi(Liu Xin) Nephew of Han Chengdi; Although all kinds of social contradictions were sharp, he only believed in ghosts and gods to solve all the problems with the result that Wang Mang stole power. 7 BC - 1 BC
Han Pingdi(Liu Kan) Grandson of Han Yuandi; was really a puppet of Wang Mang. Later, he was poisoned to death by Wang Mang. 1 BC - 5 AD
Ruzi(Liu Ying) He came to the throne when he was two years old. In 8 AD, Wang Mang claimed himself as the emperor and killed Ruzi in 25 AD. 6 - 8
Xin Dynasty (9 - 23)
Wang Mang Nephew of the queen of Han Yuandi. In 8 AD, he became the emperor of the Western Han and changed the country's name to 'Xin' the next year. Although he carried out a series of measures, the society was in great disarray. His reign was finally overthrown by a peasant revolt. 9 - 23
Eastern Han (25 - 220)
Guang Wudi(Liu Xiu) He joined the troops to rebel against the Xin. After defeating the army of Wang Mang, he re-established the Han Dynasty making Luoyang its capital city. 25 - 57
Mingdi(Liu Zhuang) The fourth son of Guang Wudi; People lived a stable life during his reign. The famous White Horse Temple was built under his order. 57 - 75
Zhangdi (Liu Da) The fifth son of Mingdi; He was also regarded as a calligraphist adept at cursive scripts. 75 - 88
Hedi(Liu Zhao) The fourth son of Zhangdi 88 - 105
Shangdi (Liu Long) The youngest son of Hedi 105 - 106
Andi (Liu Hu) Grandson of Zhangdi; The social divide was increased and all kinds of social contradictions became sharp under his rule. 106 - 125
Shundi (Liu Bao) Son of Andi; Eunuch grasped the power to deal with the state affairs under his reign. 125 - 144
Chongdi(Liu Bing) Son of Shundi 144 - 145
Zhidi(Liu Zuan) Great grandson of Zhangdi 145 - 146
Huandi(Liu Zhi) Great grandson of Zhangdi 146 - 167
Lingdi(Liu Hong) Great-great-grandson of Zhangdi; the country was again in great disarray, meaning that people lived a very hard life. The rule of Lingdi intensified all kinds of social (divides) contradictions that caused the insurgence led by Zhang Jiao. 168 - 189
Xiandi (Liu Xie) Son of Lingdi; the Han Dynasty perished under his reign. 189 - 220