Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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Han Dynasty
(969 words)

It was with the establishment of the Han dynasty that a man of peasant origin ascended the imperial throne for the first time ever. In the civil war following the demise of the Qin dynasty, Liu Bang (posthumous honorary name: Han Gaodi, reigned 206-195 BCE) had defeated his rival Xiang Yu (232-202 BCE), a descendant of the old aristocracy. The lacking legitimacy of Liu Bang's reign, as well as the potential for resistance against the imperial centralism introduced by the Qin, determined the pragmatic policies of the early Han em…

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Jansen, Thomas, “Han Dynasty”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 03 December 2023 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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