dandorfman (dandorfman) wrote,

Династия Хань.

Этот текст увы, только для моих американских френдов.
Так как для Америки Китай становится страной, от которой зависит благополучие каждого из нас (именно это показали последние события на бирже), думаю, что не будет лишним напомнить каким был Китай 2000 лет назад.
Поэтому я копирую в свой ЖЖ доклад Юлии Сигаловской. Он - на английском языке, а переводить мне лень.
Надеюсь, что для моих американских френдов не будет проблемой прочесть его на языке аборигенов.
Для остальных моих френдов предлагаю заказывать отдельный кусок для перевода, если кого-то заинтересует какой-то абзац так, что просто мочи нет. Тогда переведу по заказу этот абзац.

Asia 1st century AC

AD 1, map of Eurasia with the Roman Empire (red), Parthian Empire (brown), Chinese Han dynasty (yellow) and other states/areas with smaller states (white)
The Han dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE, 426 years), founded by the peasant rebel leader Liu Bang (known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu), was the second imperial dynasty of China.

Animation: expansion maps of various dynasties
It followed the Qin dynasty (221–206 BCE, 15 years), which had unified the Warring States of China by conquest therefore establishing a monarchy

Interrupted briefly by the Xin dynasty (9–23 CE) of Wang Mang, the Han dynasty is divided into two periods: the Western Han (206 BCE – 9 CE) and the Eastern Han (25–220 CE). These appellations are derived from the locations of the capital cities Chang'an and Luoyang, respectively.
The Han dynasty ruled in an era of Chinese cultural consolidation, political experimentation, relative economic prosperity and maturity, and great technological advances. Spanning over four centuries, the Han period is considered a golden age in Chinese history. To this day, China's majority ethnic group refers to itself as the "Han people" and the Chinese script is referred to as "Han characters"
There was unprecedented territorial expansion and exploration initiated by struggles with non-Chinese peoples, especially the nomadic Xiongnu of the Eurasian Steppe. The Han emperors were initially forced to acknowledge the rival Xiongnu Chanyus as their equals, yet in reality the Han was an inferior partner in a tributary and royal marriage alliance known as heqin. This agreement was broken when Emperor Wu of Han (r. 141–87 BCE) launched a series of military campaigns which eventually caused the fissure of the Xiongnu Federation and redefined the borders of China.
The Han realm was expanded into the Hexi Corridor of modern Gansu province (the Gansu Corridor), the Tarim Basin of modern Xinjiang, modern Yunnan and Hainan, modern northern Vietnam, modern North Korea, and southern Outer Mongolia.

Map of Han Dynasty in 2 CE. darkest blue is the commandaries and principalities of the Han Empire. light blue is the Tarim Basin protectorate.

These campaigns expanded Han sovereignty into the Gansu Corridor that allowed establishing the famous Silk Road. The Gansu Corridor refers to the historical route in Gansu province of China. As part of the Northern Silk Road running northwest from the bank of the Yellow River, it was the most important route from North China to the Tarim Basin and Central Asia for traders and the military. The corridor is a string of oases along the northern edge of the Tibetan Plateau.
To the south is the high and desolate Tibetan Plateau and to the north, the Gobi Desert and the grasslands of Outer Mongolia

This map indicates trading routes used around the 1st century CE centered on the Silk Road. The routes remain largely valid for the period 500 BCE to 500 CE. The Han court established trade and tributary relations with rulers as far west as the Arsacids, to whose court at Ctesiphon in Mesopotamia the Han monarchs sent envoys.
The Xin dynasty was a Chinese dynasty (although strictly speaking it had only one emperor) which lasted from 9 to 23 AD. It interrupted the Han dynasty, dividing it into the periods of the Western Han and the Eastern Han.

The sole emperor of the Xin dynasty, Wang Mang,
was the nephew of Grand Empress Dowager Wang Zhengjun.
After the death of her step-grandson Emperor Ai in 1 BC, Wang Mang rose to power. After several years of cultivating a personality cult, he finally proclaimed himself emperor in 9 AD. However, while a creative scholar and politician, he was an incompetent ruler, and his capital Chang'an was
besieged by peasant rebels in 23 AD. He died in the siege, and the Han dynasty was restored by descendants of the former imperial clan.
From its beginning, the Han imperial court was threatened by plots of treason and revolt from its subordinate kingdoms, the latter eventually ruled only by royal Liu family members. Initially, the eastern half of the empire was indirectly administered through large semi-autonomous kingdoms which pledged loyalty and a portion of their tax revenues to the Han emperors, who ruled directly over the western half of the empire from Chang'an. Gradual measures were introduced by the imperial court to reduce the size and power of these kingdoms, until a reform of the middle 2nd century BCE abolished their semi-autonomous rule and staffed the kings' courts with central government officials.
Yet much more volatile and consequential for the dynasty was the growing power of both consort clans (of the empress) and the eunuchs of the palace. In 92 CE, the eunuchs entrenched themselves for the first time in the issue of the emperors' succession, causing a series of political crises which culminated in 189 CE with their downfall and slaughter in the palaces of Luoyang. This event triggered an age of civil war as the country became divided by regional warlords vying for power. Finally, in 220 CE, the son of an imperial chancellor and king accepted the abdication of the last Han emperor, who was deemed to have lost the Mandate of Heaven according to Dong Zhongshu's (179–104 BCE) cosmological system that intertwined the fate of the imperial government with Heaven and the natural world. Following the Han, China was split into three states: Cao Wei, Shu Han, and Eastern Wu; these were reconsolidated into one empire by the Jin dynasty (265–420 CE).

Social order

In the hierarchical social order, the emperor was at the apex of Han society and government. However the emperor was often a minor, ruled over by a regent such as the empress dowager or one of her male relatives. Ranked immediately below the emperor were the kings who were of the same Liu family clan. The rest of society, including nobles lower than kings and all commoners excluding slaves belonged to one of twenty ranks
Empress dowager (also Dowager empress or Empress mother) is the English language translation of the title given to the mother of a emperor.

Grand Empress Dowager Wang Zhengjun (71 BC – 13 AD)

Eunuchs in state affairs

Emperor Zhang's (r. 75–88 AD) reign came to be viewed by later Eastern Han scholars as the high point of the dynastic house. Subsequent reigns were increasingly marked by eunuch intervention in court politics and their involvement in the violent power struggles of the imperial consort clans. With the aid of the eunuch Zheng Zhong (d. 107 AD), Emperor He (r. 88–105 AD) had Empress Dowager Dou (d. 97 AD) put under house arrest and her clan stripped of power.


The Han Dynasty was the first dynasty to embrace Confucianism, which became the ideological underpinning of all regimes until the end of imperial China. Confucianism, based on the teachings and writings of the philosopher Confucius, is an ethical system that sought to teach the proper way for all people to behave in society. Each relationship--husband-wife, parents-children, ruler-subjects--involved a set of obligations which, if upheld, would lead to a just and harmonious society. Following his teachings would also promote a stable, lasting government.

Temple of Confucius of Liuzhou, Guangxi.
Sometime during the 1st century CE Buddhism reached China, probably by travelers who had taken the Silk Road from north India. The establishment of Buddhist foundations in China and the first official patronage of the faith followed shortly. From the 2nd century CE there arose a variety of beliefs, practices, and disciplines that gave rise to alchemy, scientific experiment and the Taoist religion.

Buddhist Temple Tianjin China

Taoism refers to a variety of related philosophical and ritual traditions with elements going back to the 4th century BCE and to the prehistoric culture of China, and it took on an organized form starting in the 2nd century. Taoism sought to promote the inner peace of individuals and harmony with their surroundings.


Wang Chong (27-100 A.D.) was a Chinese philosopher active during the Han Dynasty. He developed a rational, secular, naturalistic and mechanistic account of the world and of human beings and gave a materialistic explanation of the origin of the universe. His main work was the "Critical Essays"). This book contained many theories involving early sciences of astronomy and meteorology. Wang Chong was even the first in Chinese history to mention the use of the square-pallet chain pump, which became common in irrigation and public works in China thereafter. Wang also accurately described the process of the water cycle.

Technology and Inventions

Science and technology during the Han period saw significant advances, including papermaking, the nautical steering rudder, the use of negative numbers in mathematics, the raised-relief map, the hydraulic-powered armillary sphere for astronomy, and a seismometer employing an inverted pendulum.


Paper was first invented in China about 105 A.C. Its use then spread to Chinese Turkestan in central Asia, the Arab world (c. 751 A.D.), Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Spain (c. 1150 A.D.), southern France, and the rest of Europe.

Alchemy (Chemistry)
The Taoist search for the elixir of life (a life-extending potion) led to much experimentation with changing the state of minerals. The Chinese practice appears to have spread first to the Arab world and then to Europe. Chinese alchemy predates that of the Egyptians in Alexandria and other cities by about two centuries, beginning by 133 B.C.

Hydraulic-powered bellows

In 31, the Chinese engineer and statesman Du Shi (d. 38) from Nanyang invented the first-known hydraulic-powered bellows to heat the blast furnace in smelting cast iron. He used a complex mechanical device that was powered by the rushing current against a waterwheel, a practice that would continue in China.

Astronomy, mathematics

The Chinese astronomer Liu Xin (d. 23) documented 1080 different stars, amongst other achievements. He was the first to calculate the number p more accurately. For centuries the Chinese had used the value of 3 for their calculation of p, the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter (now known to be approximately equal to 3.14159). Between the years 1 and 5, while working for the de facto head of state Wang Mang, Liu Xin was the first to give a geometrical figure which implies a more accurate value of pi at 3.1457.
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