Han dynasty (206 BC–220 AD) (pinyin: Hàn Cháo; Wade–Giles: Han Ch'ao; IPA: [xân tʂʰɑ̌ʊ̯]) was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin dynasty (221–207 BC) and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms period (220–280 AD).
According to the Records of the Grand Historian, after the collapse of the Qin dynasty the hegemon Xiang Yu appointed Liu Bang as prince of the small fief of Hanzhong, named after its location on the Han River (in modern southwest Shaanxi). Following Liu Bang's victory in the Chu–Han Contention, the resulting Han dynasty was named after the Hanzhong fief.
It was founded by the rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han. It was briefly interrupted by the Xin dynasty (9–23 AD) of the former regent Wang Mang. This interregnum separates the Han dynasty into two periods: the Western Han or Former Han (206 BC – 9 AD) and the Eastern Han or Latter Han (25–220 AD). 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".
Buddhism in China
- Loewe (1986), p. 116.
- Schaefer (2008), 279.
- A Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms/Chapter 7, f.n.12