The earliest Chinese empire
is said to be the Hsia
Dynasty, but apart from
literature, there is no proof
of its existence.
•It is the second oldest empire. It is also considered as
the first Chinese empire.
• According to traditional historiography, ruled in the
Yellow River valley in the second millennium
BC, succeeding the Xia Dynasty and followed by
the Zhou Dynasty.
• Archaeological excavations indicate that during the
Shang Dynasty, the people used the wheel. They wore
silk and furs from animals which were hunted and
• According to the traditional chronology based upon
calculations made approximately 2,000 years ago
by Liu Xin, the Shang ruled from 1766 BC to 1122
BC, but according to the chronology based upon the
"current text" of Bamboo Annals, they ruled from 1556
BC to 1046 BC.
• The emperors of the Shang Dynasty came from
aristocratic families who were former military leaders.
The war forces of the Shang Dynasty were made up of
one thousand (1,000) to ten thousand (10,000)
soldiers who rode on chariots.
• In 1930, systematic excavation
was undertaken in Anyang. The
dragon bones were in fact bones
of oxen, sheep, turtles, and other
animals which were more than
three thousand years old. They
were called oracle bones.
• These bones were consulted by
diviners by ancient times in the
hope of answering pressing
questions like :
“When will the rains come?”
• Chinese historians and
scholars were able to read
the writings on the
bones, which is similar to
modern-day Chinese script.
• The vast majority of the
inscribed oracle bones date
to the last 230 or so years of
the Shang dynasty.
• The Chou period lasted for eight hundred sixty six
(866) years, from 1122B.C. to 256B.C.
• The Chou conquerors explained the reason for
their supremacy as “mandate from heaven,” a belief
that became the center of Chinese political thought.
• According to this belief, Heaven grants the
emperor, the “Son of Heaven,” the right to rule as
long as he behaves properly and virtuously.
• The Chou first coexisted and then fought with the
earlier Shang Dynasty, living to the west of them in
what is now Shensi Province, with a capital
originally in Hao (Zongzhou).
• A good emperor, it was then believed, brought
with him peace, good harvest, and contentment
among his people.
• In the latter part of the Chou Dynasty, the
noblemen built more powerful kingdoms, and
initiated wars among themselves. The title “Son of
Heaven” became merely symbolic; in reality the
emperor was powerless.
• By 600B.C. the power of the Chou Dynasty was
over, but the legacies remain as enduring traditions
of the Chinese people.
• He was a Chinese
teacher, editor, politician, and
philosopher of the Spring and Autumn
period of Chinese history.
• According to him, harmony in society
is attained only if the proper relationship
between people is restored and
• According to him also that virtue is not
given or inherited. It is attained through
education, and anyone who wants to
work for the government must work
toward a proper education.
• His followers wrote down his teachings in the Five
Classics and the Analects. These works became the
basis of Chinese education, which emphasizes the
fundamental values of
benevolence, righteousness, propriety, filial piety, and
• was a philosopher of ancient
China, best known as the author of
Tzu Ching (often simply
the Tao Te
referred to as Laozi).
• He blamed society for the
• According to his philosophy, the
laws and traditions created by man
forced the individual person to live
contrary to the ways of nature, or
the “Tao,” causing chaos in society.
• also known as Han Feizi, was a
Chinese philosopher who, along
with Li Si, Gongsun Yang, Shen
Dao and Shen Buhai, developed
the doctrine of Legalism.
• According to him, the leading
proponent of the school of
Legalism, the most important
element is the state, and the
welfare of the individual person
is subordinate to that of state.