April 20, 2005 at 7:43 am #4849
Post-Ice Age Chinese Chronology: the best short history of China I have read.
Its a socio-political history, not a spiritual history. But important to have a context for understanding Taoism and other religious movements.
from ChinaU@yahoogroups.com (have to join to get; mostly about Chinese archaology, but run by very hip moderator-Scientist into Goddess aspect of early China).
8000 2200 BC: Chinese written history dates back to the Neolithic period
when the Ice Age ended and artifacts dating back to 8000 BC have been
found. These extremely early pieces prove that the Chinese had a highly
developed agricultural society compared to the Nomadic hunters and
gatherers in Europe. Jade artifacts dating back to the later Neolithic period
(about 3500 2200 BC) seem to come from several regions and cultures in
including the Liangzhu, the Longshan, and Hongshan. Many of the pieces
dating back to this very early period are quite sophisticated and detailed and
these give witness to what was probably the most advanced culture of the
2205 1766 BC: The Hsia (Xia) Dynasty unfolded during this period and is
considered to have been founded by Yu the Great; however, no
archaeological evidence to date has confirmed this. Although it was an
autocratic regime and lacked the experience necessary to rule a large
country, the rather mysterious Hsia Dynasty represents a huge advancement
in China’s development.
1766 BC 1027 BC: The Shang Dynasty, according to tradition, was the
second hereditary dynasty in ancient China. However, it is the first dynasty
that we have written evidence for. The Shang people comprised the most
advanced bronze-working civilization on the planet at that time and they also
left behind the earliest and most complete record of Chinese writing. Western
societies were centuries behind the Shang in the field of bronze. For
historical comparison, this was the period when Abraham built the tenets of
Judaism and when Stonehenge was erected.
1027 BC: The last Shang ruler, a corrupt man named Chou Hsin, was
conquered by Wu-wang, and the Zhou (Chou) Dynasty began. It lasted longer
than any other dynasty in China and was quite influential in developing basic
principles of Chinese culture, such as the father-son succession system.
However, the Zhou mostly adopted Shang life and government, so there are
few differences between the two dynasties.
While the Zhou did not rule all of modern day China, the Zhou principality was
the most powerful and most centrally located of all of the Chinese
principalities. It is typically divided into three periods by historians: the
Western Chou period (1027- 771 BC), the Ch’un Ch’iu period (722 481 BC),
and the Warring States period (481 BC 221 AD).
771 BC: A coup took place among the nobles and King Yu was killed. The
capital was moved to Loyang, thus ending the Western Chou period and
reducing the power of the Zhou Dynasty.
770 BC 476 BC: The Ch’un Ch’iu period, also known as the Spring and
Autumn period, began. It is so called because a history of the period was titled
“The Spring and Autumn Annals.” This period was generally characterized by
the deterioration of the feudal system and a collapse of central authority.
481 BC: The Warring States period began as the states of Ch’in and Ch’u
emerged as the primary competitors in the struggle to found an empire in
China. During this period, a four-tiered class structure emerged consisting of
the lesser nobility (including scholars), the peasant farmers, the artisans, and
the merchants, with the merchants occupying the lowest rung in society.
During this era, several schools of political philosophy emerged, including the
three main schools Confucianism, Taoism, and Legalism.
221 BC 207 BC: The Ch’in emerged as victors at the end of the Warring
States period. Prince Cheng named himself as the first emperor (Qin
Shihuangdi) and engaged in a rather ruthless process of unifying China
under a central bureaucracy. The Ch’in Dynasty ended in 207, having lasted
for only 14 years.
214 BC: The building of the first Great Wall of China began. It was designed to
keep out a destitute and starving people, the nomadic Hsiung Nu. This artifice
is not the modern Great Wall of China, which was built about fifteen hundred
years later during the Ming Dynasty (1368 1644).
207-195 BC: Han Kao-tzu (Liu Ping), a man of humble origins, was the first
ruler of the Former Han Dynasty, which lasted until 9 AD.
9 AD 23 AD: Wang Mang usurped the power of the Han Dynasty and
instituted the interim Hsin Dynasty. His drastic reform package, which was
very unfavorable for the merchant class and forbade the slave trade, along
with natural disasters led to the overthrow of his short reign.
24 AD 220 AD: The Later Han Dynasty began with the rule of Han Kuang-
wu. The Han minority established itself as the core nation of China due to its
more advanced culture and this dominance is still evident today. This was the
era in which paper and tea were invented.
184 AD: The Rebellion of the Yellow Turbans, a Taoist initiative directed
against the tyrannical Later Han Dynasty effectively ended Han power and
the Three Kingdoms era began in 220 AD.
220 265 AD: The Three Kingdoms began, during which China was split into
three separate kingdoms the Shu (221- 264), the Wei (220-265), and the
Wu (220-280). The major developments of the period were the migration of
the ethnic Han Chinese to the south and the settlement of Barbarians in the
north. This was also the period in which Buddhism flourished in China.
265 420 AD: The Jin Dynasty took over following the usurpation of power
from a top Wei official. It is often divided into two periods, Western Jin (265
316) and Eastern Jin, due to the move of the capital from Luoyang to
420 588 AD: This period is characterized by a lack of unity and several
short-lived dynasties including the Northern Wei, Eastern Wei, Western Wei,
Northern Qi, and Northern Zhou. Many of the dynasties overlapped each
other and this shows that China was no longer united and experiencing great
political upheaval and turmoil.
581 618 AD: The Sui Dynasty began and reunified China during their short-
lived dynasty, which is often compared to the Qin dynasty in both its
ruthlessness and accomplishments.
618 907 AD: The Tang Dynasty lasted significantly longer than the Sui and
it is often favorably compared to the Han epoch. This great society is
considered by historians to be the high point in Chinese culture. Buddhism
flourished, block printing was invented, and this was the golden age of
literature and art. However, the dynasty was in political and military decline by
the mid 8th century and the country again split into various kingdoms.
916 1125 AD: The Liao Dynasty was a regime established by the nomadic
Khitan tribe who had tried to establish their own state on the frontier, but were
thwarted by the more powerful Tang Dynasty. As the Tang Dynasty began to
decline, the Khitan tribe seized the moment and in 916, the tribal chief
established the Khitan Kingdom and proclaimed himself the emperor.
907 960 AD: Capitalizing on the weakness of the Tang dynasty, northern
invaders effectively ended the Tang Dynasty and broke China into Five
Northern Dynasties and Ten Southern Dynasties (including the above
mentioned Liao Dynasty).
960 1279: The powerful Song Dynasty managed to reunite much of China
proper. The Northern Song Dynasty lasted until 1127 when the Song Dynasty
had to relinquish control of Northern China and it became the Southern Song
Dynasty, which lasted until 1279. In this period, cities developed for
administrative purposes, trade, industry, and maritime commerce. The
emperors consolidated their power and built an effective centralized
bureaucracy, but began losing control near the end of their reign.
(Winn note: Song Dynasty saw the flourishing of Inner Alchemy Schools, when all the ancient secrets were codified and made public – like is happening again in this time period.)
1279 – 1368: The Northern portion of China was conquered by the Barbarian
Mongols already in the 1100s and 150 years later, they conquered the rest of
China proper and formed the Yuan Dynasty. The official language was
changed to Mongol and the government was primarily run by Central Asians,
Arabs, and even Marco Polo served as an official! Fortunately, China was not
turned into pasture land as was common practice of Mongol invaders, and it
was a period in which culture flowered.
1368 – 1644: The Ming Dynasty followed and it was characterized by fat, lazy,
crazy, and tyrannical leaders. Beheadings and executions were common and
the Ming emperors were conservative Neo-Confucians. However, the Ming
emperors are also responsible for fortifying the Great Wall, building the
Forbidden City and giving Macao to the Portuguese.
1644 – 1911: The Manchus took over China and founded the Qing Dynasty.
Culture bloomed under the Manchus and they copied traditional Chinese
institutions and philosophy much more than the Mongols had. They believed
that no other country was equal to China, which created conflicts with the
1662 – 1722: Born in the Forbidden City, Kangxi was the second emperor of
the Qing Dynasty. He ascended the throne at age 8 and ruled for 60 years
and he was an educated and moral leader who sponsored scholarship. His
reign through that of Qianlong’s was the most prosperous period in ancient
1736 – 1796: The fourth Qing emperor Qianlong reigned for 60 years and he
was a great military leader who greatly expanded the borders of the empire.
He was an important patron of the arts and he was a painter himself with a
passion for collecting antiques.
1840 – 1911: Corruption, decentralization of power, and rebellions
characterized this period. The Western powers did their best to undermine
restrictive trading laws, as exemplified by the British smuggling opium into
southern China. But the Westerners also did their best to save the Qing
Dynasty and the U.S. Marines crushed the Boxer Rebellion of 1900. However,
after the collapse of the dynasty and the outbreak of WWI, both Europe and
China plunged head first into chaos.
1911 – 1945. This was a period of conflict between the Nationalists and the
Communists who were subsequently hunted down by the Nationalists in 1934
and what is known as the Long March began. It covered over 2,500 miles and
the Communists suffered 150,000 to 170,000 casualties and defections of the
approximately 200,000 who had started. At the same time, the Japanese
occupied Manchuria and began its invasion of mainland China. Japan quickly
occupied the major coastal cities and by 1945, 20 million Chinese had been
killed by the Japanese invaders.
Post 1945: The Communists prevailed against the now corrupt and
disorganized Nationalists. Mao Zedong proclaimed the People’s Republic of
China and reunified the south. Mao began the Great Leap Forward in 1958 to
mobilize the peasants to increase crop production and collectivize their farms.
This led to the greatest man-made famine in human history. In 1966 the
Cultural Revolution began and China collapsed into anarchy. Deng Xiaoping
emerged as the new leader in 1978, and is noted for launching an economic
reform program and violently quelling the infamous 1989 rebellion at
Tiananmen Square, which killed more than 200 unarmed demonstrators.
Since then, the economy has exploded with many economists believing that
China could become the next economic superpower.April 22, 2005 at 2:31 pm #4850
any tips on how to get the semen up the spine
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