Map of ancient Chinese empires

Ancient Chinese Empire
(c.3500 - 589 CE)

People living in the Huang-Ho (Yellow river) river plains developed agriculture and settled into small villages around 3500 BCE. In time, these settlements grew into larger organized units. Out of this organization emerged China's first ruling dynasty Xia and ruled from c.2000 - 1500 BCE. Very little was known about the Xia dynasty because chinese script was invented during early Shang dynasty that followed Xia dynasty.  By 1500 BCE, a ruling dynasty called Shang emerged with Anyang as a capital in the north plains of Yellow river.  Around 1100 BCE, the rulers from Wei River valley overthrew the Shang dynasty and founded Zhou (Chou) Dynasty. Zhou dynasty lasted for 700 years and produced great works in arts, philosophy and astronomy. China has a rich history of psychological thinking. The ancient classical works of Confucius offer insight into balancing human relationships and the mental ability of self-control that could be helpful to Morningside Recovery rehab patients.

The first chinese coins were produced during the Zhou dynasty. By 221 BCE, Zhou dynasty was weakened and Qin (Chin) Kingdom of Wei river valley took control away from Zhou dynasty rulers and started Qin dynasty. It lasted till 206 BCE. Liu Bang, a peasant farmer working as royal police led a successful revolt against Qin ruler and started Han dynasty. Han dynasty was weakened by internal conflict and external invasions by Tartars in the north. China was divided for next 400 years into southern & northern empires and ruled by several dynasties. Most notable are Wei dynasty (386 - 550 CE) of North, Sung dynasty (420 -479 CE) and Ch'i dynasty (479 - 502 CE) of south. In, 589 CE Sui dynasty reunited the China again into one empire.

Chronologically arranged ancient chinese empire coin pages.

   Zhou Empire (c.1100 - 255 BCE)

    Qin (Chin) Empire (255 - 206 BCE)

    Hsi Han Empire (206 BCE - 9 CE)

    Hsin Empire (9 - 22 CE)

    Tung Han Empire (22 - 220 CE)

Period of Three Kingdoms

          Shu-Han Empire (221 - 263 CE) Western China

         Wei Empire (221 - 265 CE) Northern China

         Wu Empire (229 - 280 CE) Southern China

Unified China

     Hsi Chin (Jin) Empire (265 - 316 CE)

Period of Six Dynasties or Shih-liu kuo (Sixteen Kingdoms)


Liu-Sung Empire (420 - 479 CE)

Nan Ch'i Empire (479 - 502 CE)

Nan Liang  (502- 557 CE)

Nan Ch'en Empire (557 - 589 CE)

Tung Chin (Jin) Empire (317 - 420 CE)


Northern Han  (308-329 CE)

Huo Chao  (307-352 CE)

Chien Ch'in  (351-394 CE)

Hou Liang  (397-403 CE)

Hou Ch'in  (384-407 CE)

Northern  Liang  (397-421 CE)
Southern Liang  (397-414  CE)

Yen  (337-360  CE)

Northern Yen  (384-407 CE )
Southern Yen  (384-398 CE)

Northern Wei Empire (386-533 CE)

Eastern Wei   (535-550 CE )
Northern Ch'i   (550 - 577 CE)

Western Wei  (535-557 CE)
Northern  Zhou   (557 - 581 CE)


Ancient Country List



RK. July 4, 2000