Friday, April 12, 2013

The Great Wall of China (221 BC....) - cont. from 4.1.13

The Great Wall of China is a series of  The Qin Dynasty (221 - 206)
is well known for beginning the Great Wall of China, which was later augmented and enhanced during the Ming Dynasty.
Major military campaigns were launched to weaken the nomadic Xiongnu Empire, limiting their influence north of the Great Wall. Along with the diplomatic efforts led by Zhang Qian, the sphere of influence of the Han Empire extended to the states in the Tarim Basin, opened up the Silk Road that connected China to west.
Emperor Guangwu reinstated the Han Dynasty with the support of landholding and merchant families at Luoyang, east of the former capital Xi'an. Thus, this new era is termed theEastern Han Dynasty. With the capable administrations of Emperors Ming and Zhang, former glories of the dynasty was reclaimed, with brilliant military and cultural achievements. The Xiongnu Empire was decisively defeated. The diplomat and general Ban Chao further expanded the conquests across the Pamirs to the shores of the Caspian Sea.,[17] thus reopening the Silk Road, and bringing trade, foreign cultures, along with the arrival of Buddhism. With extensive connections with the west, the first of several Roman embassies to China were recorded in Chinese sources, coming from the sea route in AD 166, and a second one in AD 284.
Official capital: Daxing; secondary capital: Dongdu The Sui Dynasty, which managed to reunite the country in 589 after nearly four centuries of political fragmentation, played a role more important than its length of existence would suggest. The Sui brought China together again and set up many institutions that were to be adopted by their successors, the Tang. These included the government system of Three Departments and Six Ministries, standard coinage, improved defense and expansion of the Great Wall, and official support for Buddhism. Like the Qin, however, the Sui overused their resources and collapsed..
A limestone statue of theBodhisattva, from the Northern Qi Dynasty, AD 570, made in what is now modern Henan province
Capitals: Chang'an and Luoyang Tang Dynasty was founded by Emperor Gaozu on 18 June 618. It was a golden age of Chinese civilization with significant developments in art, literature, particularly poetry, and technology. Buddhism became the predominant religion for common people.Chang'an (modern Xi'an), the national capital, was the largest city in the world of its time.
 During the era after the war, later called the Pax Mongolica, adventurous Westerners such as Marco Polo travelled all the way to China and brought the first reports of its wonders to Europe.
During the Ming dynasty the last construction on the Great Wall was undertaken to protect China from foreign invasions. While the Great Wall had been built in earlier times, most of what is seen today was either built or repaired by the Ming. The brick and granite work was enlarged, the watch towers were redesigned, and cannons were placed along its length.

(AD 1368–1644)