Rafe de Crespigny

Chronology of Later Han

A Biographical Dictionary of later Han to the Three Kingdoms (23-220 AD)


Wang Mang 王莽 [reg. 9-23 AD]  
before 18 development of the Red Eyebrows rebellion in the east
22 winter Han rebellion in Nanyang led by Liu Bosheng, joined by refugee troops
The Gengshi 更始 Emperor Liu Xuan 劉玄 [reg. 23-25]
23 spring Liu Xuan proclaimed as Emperor of the restored Han dynasty
  summer  Wang Mang's forces defeated at Kunyang
    Liu Bosheng executed by the Gengshi regime
  autumn fall of Chang'an and death of Wang Mang
24 Liu Xiu, commissioner in the north, destroys the rebellion of Wang Lang
25 Red Eyebrows enter the passes and take Chang'an
  summer Gongsun Shu claims the imperial title in Shu
  autumn Liu Xiu claims the imperial title in Changshan
  winter the Gengshi Emperor captured and killed by the Red Eyebrows
Emperor Guangwu 光武帝 Liu Xiu 劉秀 [reg. 25-57]
26-27 defeat of Red Eyebrows by Wei Ao; they surrender to Guangwu
26-30 Guangwu's forces conquer the North China plain and the southeast
  Guangwu's forces conquer Luoyang, Nanyang and Nan commandery  
26-29 restoration of the Imperial University at Luoyang
29 alliance with Dou Rong in the northwest
30 abolition of compulsory military training within the empire
from 30 warfare in the north against Liu Fang and the Xiongnu
30-33 destruction of Wei Ao in Hanyang
35-36 destruction of Gongsun Shu in the west; Guangwu undisputed emperor of the restored Han dynasty
42 Ma Yuan defeats the rebellion of the Cheng [Tr'ung] sisters in Jiaozhi
43 Guangwu's son Liu Zhuang proclaimed Heir in place of his half-brother Liu Qiang
47-49 rebellion of non-Chinese in Wuling
50 Southern Shanyu Bi accepts Chinese suzerainty, settled in Xihe
56 Feng and Shan sacrifices carried out at Mount Tai
Emperor Ming 明帝 Liu Zhuang 劉莊 [reg. 57-75]
Late 50s raiding by Shaodang Qiang under war-leader Dianyu, obliged to surrender in 59
65 office of the General on the Liao established to keep the Northern and Southern Xiongnu apart
66 establishment of the Palace School for Noble Families
69 accession of the Ailao people of the far southwest
70 repair of the Vast Canal network and dykes on the Yellow River
  alleged conspiracy of Liu Ying, King of Chu; widespread arrests and executions  
73 unsuccessful punitive attack on the Northern Xiongnu; Dou Gu enters the Western Regions
Emperor Zhang 章帝 Liu Da 劉炟 [reg. 75-88]
75 Chinese outposts in Turfan destroyed; major withdrawal from the Western Regions, though Ban Chao remains at Shule [Kashgar]
77-101 Qiang wars against Miyu and then Mitang
79 imperial conference on Confucian doctrine at the White Tiger Hall
84 Northern Xiongnu ask for peaceful trade
Emperor He 和帝 Liu Zhao 劉肇 [reg. 88-105]
88 regency of the Dowager Dou for the young emperor
89-92 Northern Xiongnu regime destroyed by Dou Xian
92 summer destruction of the Dou family by Emperor He
   Ban Chao proclaimed Protector-General of the Western Regions  
93 destruction of the Southern Shanyu Anguo by a Chinese army; prince Fenghou escapes to the north
97 Ban Chao sends Gan Ying to explore the far west
102 Ban Chao returns from the Western Regions, succeeded by Ren Shang
Emperor Shang 殤帝 [the Young Emperor] Liu Long 劉隆 [reg. 105-106]
105 regency of the Dowager Deng for the short-lived infant Liu Long
Emperor An 安帝 Liu You 劉祐 [reg. 106-125]
106 the regent Dowager Deng brings the youthful Liu You to the throne; she controls her government until her death in 121
  summer rebellion in the Western Regions
107 withdrawal ordered from the Western Regions; mutiny among auxiliaries in the northwest, developing into full-scale rebellion of the Qiang within China
107-118 the great Qiang rebellion
108 main imperial army defeated in Hanyang; Qiang leader Dianlian proclaimed emperor in Beidi
110-111 commandery administrations withdrawn from the north and northwest; Qiang rebels control Liang province and attack further
112 imperial forces successful in Hanyang; Dianlian dies at Lingzhou in Beidi
114 Chinese troops recover Jincheng
115 Ren Shang on the offensive against the rebel Qiang
117 winter decisive victory at Fuping in Beidi
118 end of the Qiang rebellion; Ren Shang executed for corruption
121 death of the Dowager Deng; Emperor An destroys the Deng family
121-133 trouble with Xianbi war-leader Qizhijian in the northeast
122 beginning of gradual reconstruction in the northwest
123-127 Ban Yong in the Western Regions
124 In fluenced by his Empress Yan, Emperor An dismisses his only son Liu Bao as Heir
The Little Emperor 少帝 Liu Yi 劉懿 [reg. 125]
125 spring death of Emperor An; the Lady Yan, now regent Dowager, brings the child Liu Yi to the throne
  winter death of Liu Yi; eunuchs led by Sun destroy the Yan group and place Liu Bao upon the throne
Emperor Shun 順帝 Liu Bao 劉保 [reg. 125-144]
126. -c.135 Yu Xu, Zuo Xiong and others attempt to establish Confucian reforms of government
129-137 encouraged by Yu Xu, accelerated resettlement in the northwest
131-132 restoration of the Imperial University
132 the Lady Liang Na appointed Empress
c.133 death of Qizhijian, but Xianbi raiding continues in the northeast
135 Liang Na's father Liang Shang named General-in-Chief
140-144 rebellion of Southern Xiongnu, later joined by the Qiang; permanent withdrawal of commandery administrations from the northwest
141 death of Liang Shang, succeeded by his son Liang Ji
142 commissioners against corruption sent out, with inconclusive results
Emperor Chong 沖帝 Liu Bing 劉炳 [reg. 144-145]
144 death of Emperor Shun, succeeded by his infant son Liu Bing; the Lady Liang Na becomes regent Dowager
Emperor Zhi 質帝 Liu Zuan 劉纘 [reg. 145-146]
145 spring death of Liu Bing; Liang Na and Liang Ji bring the youthful Liu Zuan to the throne
146 summer Liu Zhi is called to the capital and betrothed to Liang Nüying, younger sister of the Dowager; Liu Zuan dies soon afterwards and Liu Zhi is named emperor
Emperor Huan 桓帝 Liu Zhi 劉志 [reg. 132-168]    
147 unsuccessful rebellion in favour of Liu Suan the King of Qinghe; the Excellency Li Gu, who had earlier supported his claim, is destroyed
148 popular religious rebellions led by Chen Jing and Guan Bo; imperial sponsorship of a temple to Laozi
154-165 extensive rebellion about Taishan
159 death of the Empress Liang Nüying; aided by Ju Yuan and other eunuchs, Emperor Huan destroys Liang Ji and takes personal power; appointment of the Empress Deng Mengnü
159-167 government dominated by the emperor's eunuch favourites; increasing opposition from Confucianist reformers
160-165 widespread rebellion in southern Jing province
160-167 warfare with the Western Qiang beyond the frontier
165 disgrace of the eunuchs Hou Lan, Zuo Guan and Ju Yuan; the Empress Deng is dismissed, replaced by the Lady Dou Miao; establishment of the Laozi ming stele
166 imperial worship of Huang-Lao and the Buddha at Luoyang; Xiang Kai memorialises against misrule and extravagance; self-proclaimed ambassadors from the Roman empire come to the imperial court arrest and execution of the anti-eunuch officials Liu Zhi and Cheng Jin; arrest of Li Ying and two hundred others: the First Faction Incident
167 men of Faction released from prison but proscribed from office
  winter Emperor Huan dies; his Dowager Dou takes the regency, guided by her father Dou Wu and the senior Confucian official Chen Fan; men of Faction restored to office
Emperor Ling 靈帝 Liu Hong 劉宏 [reg. 168-189]
168 Liu Hong brought to the throne by the Dowager and Dou Wu
  Autumn eunuchs led by Wang Fu destroy Dou Wu and Chen Fan
168-169 Duan Jiong's campaign of extermination against the Eastern Qiang
169-181 continual raiding in the north by the Xianbi under Tanshihuai
169 reformist opposition to the eunuch control of government
  Autumn arrest of Zhang Jian and others on charge of conspiracy: the Second Faction Incident
  winter arrest and execution of Li Ying and others: the great Proscription
171-185 recurrent and widespread outbreaks of pestilence
172 purge of anti-eunuch students at the Imperial University
175 The Confucian classics inscribed in stone
176 proscription of men of Faction reinforced
178 the School at the Gate of the Vast Capital established as an alternative route of entry into the imperial civil service; widespread sale of offices
179-184 rebellions in Yi and Jing provinces and in the far south from c.180 numbers of popular sects, including the Yellow Turbans led by Zhang Jue in the north, largely inspired by faith-healing against the regular epidemics
181 death of Tanshihuai and easing of Xianbi raiding
184 spring rebellion of the Yellow Turbans ravages the north and east
  winter rebellion in Liang province in the northwest
185 imperial palace damaged by fire; special taxes levied for rebuilding
188 first appointments of Governors to unify provincial administrations
The Little Emperor 少帝 Liu Bian 劉辯 [reg. 189]
189 summer death of Emperor Ling; the Dowager He and her brother He Jin set her son Liu Bian upon the throne and establish a regency government
  autumn the eunuchs kill He Jin and are themselves massacred; the general Dong Zhuo takes power at Luoyang and deposes Liu Bian in favour of his half-brother Liu Xie
Emperor Xian 獻帝 Liu Xie 劉協 [reg. 189-220]
189 alliance in the east against Dong Zhuo, led by Yuan Shao
190 Dong Zhuo shifts the imperial capital to Chang'an as the alliance breaks up, local officials set themselves up as warlords
191 Zhang Lu establishes a religious state in Hanzhong
192 Dong Zhuo killed by Wang Yun, who is in turn destroyed by Dong Zhuo's officers Li Jue, Guo Si and others Cao Cao takes over in Yan province
195 Emperor Xian escapes from Chang'an
   Sun Ce south of the Yangzi  
196 the emperor comes to Xu city under Cao Cao's control
197 Yuan Shu takes the imperial title but is driven south by Cao Cao
198 Sun Ce independent in the lower Yangzi
199 Yuan Shao destroys Gongsun Zan in You province death of Yuan Shu
200 Yuan Shao attacks Cao Cao but is defeated at Guandu death of Sun Ce, succeeded by his brother Sun Quan
202 death of Yuan Shao, succeeded by his younger son Yuan Shang
203-206 Cao Cao takes over north China
207 Cao Cao defeats the Wuhuan at White Wolf Mountain
208 death of Liu Biao in Jing province; Cao Cao takes over, but is then defeated at the Red Cliffs on the Yangzi by the forces of Sun Quan and Liu Bei
210 Liu Bei occupies the south of Jing province
211 Cao Cao defeats the warlords of the northwest at the battle of Huayin Liu Zhang invites Liu Bei into Yi province
214 Liu Bei takes Yi province from Liu Zhang
215 Zhang Lu surrenders Hanzhong to Cao Cao
219 spring Liu Bei defeats Cao Cao's general Xiahou Yuan at Dingjun Mountain and takes Hanzhong
  autumn Liu Bei takes title as King of Hanzhong Liu Bei's general Guan Yu attacks north in Jing province
    Liu Bei's general Guan Yu attacks north in Jing province
  winter Sun Quan's general Lü Meng attacks Guan Yu and seizes the south of Jing province
220 spring Cao Cao dies at Luoyang, succeeded by his son Cao Pi
  winter Cao Pi receives the abdication of Emperor Xian of Han and proclaims himself Emperor of the Wei dynasty

Part I: Former Han 1
Dynastic name Personal name Acceded Died
Gao 高 2 Bang 邦 202 195
Hui 愚 3 Ying 盁 195 188
[Empress-Dowager Lü 呂 of Emperor Gao] 4   187 180
Wen 文 Heng 恆 180 157
Jing 景 Qi 啓 157 141
Wu 武 Che 徹 141 87
Zhao 昭 Fuling 弗陵 87 74
Xuan 玄 Bingyi 病已 74 5 49
Yuan 元 Shi 奭 49 33
Cheng 成 Ao 驁 33 7
Ai 哀 Xin 欣 7 1
Ping 平 Jizi 箕子; later Kan 衎. 1 BC AD 6
[Wang Mang 王莽]   AD 6/9 6 AD 23

Part II: Later Han 7
Dynastic name Personal name Born Acceded Died
The Gengshi 更始 Emperor Xuan 玄 [?] 11 Mar 23 Dec 25
Guangwu 光武 Xiu 秀 5 BC 5 Aug 25 29 Mar 57
Ming 明 Zhuang 莊 8 28 29 Mar 57 5 Sep 75
Zhang 章 Da 炟 57 5 Sep 75 9 Apr 88
He 和 Zhao 肇 79 9 Apr 88 13 Feb 106
Shang 殤 "Young" Long 隆 105 13 Feb 106 21 Sep 106
An 安 You 祐 94 23 Sep 106 30 Apr 125
Shao 少 "Little" 9 Yi 懿 [?] 18 May 125 10 Dec 125
Shun 順 Bao 保 115 16 Dec 125 20 Sep 144
Chong 沖 Bing 炳 143 20 Sep 144 15 Feb 145
Zhi 質 Zuan 纘 138 6 Mar 145 26 Jul 146
Huan 桓 Zhi 志 132 1 Aug 146 25 Jan 168
Ling 靈 Hong 宏 156 17 Feb 168 13 May 189
Shao 少 "Little" 9 Bian 辯 176 15 May 189 10 26 March 190
Xian 獻 Xie 協 181 28 Sep 189 11 21 April 234

  View image TABLE 2: THE IMPERIAL INHERITANCE OF LATER HAN Part I: Emperor Guangwu to the Young Emperor

View image TABLE 2: THE IMPERIAL INHERITANCE OF LATER HAN Part II: The Successors of Emperor Zhang

1 All dates in Part I are BC unless otherwise specified.

2 The first emperor of Han is commonly referred to as Gaozu 高祖, a combination of his dynastic title Gao "High" and his temple name Taizu 太祖 "Grand Founder:" e.g. Dubs 38:145

3 All emperors of Han except the two founders Gaozu and Guangwu had the prefix Xiao "Filial" to their posthumous dynastic names. It is customary to ignore this common factor.

4 The Dowager Lü exercised her power nominally on behalf of two infant emperors.

5 Liu He 劉賀 reigned for 27 days in 74, but was deposed for bad conduct. He received no dynastic title.

6 Wang Mang initially took title as "Acting" or "Regent" Emperor on behalf of the infant Liu Ying 劉嬰 (AD 5-25), who was declared Heir in AD 6, but never reigned. In 9 Wang Mang demoted Liu Ying and proclaimed his own Xin dynasty. On Liu Ying, known as the "Young Prince" 孺子, see sub voce.

7 All dates in Part II are AD unless otherwise specified.

8 Emperor Ming initially had the personal name Yang , but it was changed after he became Heir in 43.

9 Liu Yi and Liu Bian, below, each reigned for less than a year. The term Shao "Little" describes such a minor ruler; it was not strictly a dynastic title.

10 On 28 September 189 Dong Zhuo deposed Liu Bian in favour of his half-brother Liu Xie…

11 On 25 November 200 Liu Xie abdicated the throne in favour of Cao Pi of Wei. He was thereafter known as the Duke of Shanyang 山陽公.

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