Empress Dowager Cixi: listening to politics behind the curtains

For many years, the mainstream view of Empress Dowager Cixi was that she was devious despot who contributed in no small part to China's slide into corruption, anarchy, and revolution. Cixi used her power...

Tang Taizong

Emperor Taizong of Tang (唐太宗, 28 January 598  – 10 July 649), previously Prince of Qin, personal name Li Shimin, was the second emperor of the Tang dynasty of China, ruling from 626 to 649. He...

Three attempted assassinations of Qin Shi Huang

First attempted assassination Jing Ke Jing Ke's assassination attempt on Qin Shi Huang; Jin Ke (left) is held by one of Qin Shi Huang's physicians (left, background). The dagger used in the assassination attempt is seen...

The Five Hegemons of the Spring and Autumn Period

Hegemony of Qi (685–643 BC) The first hegemon was Duke Huan of Qi (r. 685–643 BC). With the help of his prime minister, Guan Zhong, Duke Huan reformed Qi to centralize its power structure. The...

Death of Liu Bang

Emperor Gaozu was wounded by a stray arrow during the campaign against Ying Bu. He became seriously ill and remained in his inner chambers for a long period of time and ordered his guards...

Early Life of Liu Bang

In imperial Han myth, Liu Bang was a descendant of the mythical Emperor Yao, who descended from the Yellow Emperor. It is a common practice among many ancient Chinese noble families to claim descent from...

Puyi: The Last Emperor

Chosen by Empress Dowager Cixi on her deathbed, Puyi (溥儀) became emperor at the age of 2 years and 10 months in December 1908 after the Guangxu Emperor died on 14 November. Titled the Xuantong...
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Evaluation of Emperor Wu Zetian

Quotes The traditional Chinese historical view on Wu Zetian generally was mixed—admiring her for her abilities in governing the state, but vilifying her for her actions in seizing imperial power. Luo Binwang even wrote along...

Was Qin Shi Huang truly a tyrant?

Qin Shi Huang ( 秦始皇; "First Emperor of Qin"; 18 February 259 BC – 10 September 210 BC) was the founder of the Qin dynasty and was the first emperor of a unified China. Traditional Chinese historiography almost always portrayed...

Qin Shi Huang’s Names and Titles

Modern Chinese sources often give the personal name of Qin Shi Huang as Ying Zheng, with Ying (嬴) taken as the surname and Zheng (政) the given name. In ancient China however the naming...
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