Talk:Han dynasty

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"at the time. Antoninus Pius died in AD 161. The confusion arises because Marcus Aurelius took as additional names, those of his predecessor as a mark of respect. He is referred to in Chinese history as An Tun (= Antoninus) hence the confusion]--> reached the Chinese capital Luoyang in 166 and was greeted by Emperor Huan."

What has this to do with the Han-Dynasty?? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 2:25, 18 February 2005 (UTC)


I found a flag and drew it, then uploaded it. It's File:Han Chinese Flag.png. I think it's official. Shikku27316 (talk) 00:43, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

Uh, barring the fact that you used the wrong font in replicating the flag, we don't have any evidence that this design was the one they used two thousand years ago. _dk (talk) 02:09, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
Okay. I just saw it on a search, and it was taken in China, around other flags, so I figured it may mean something. Even if it's just an ethnic flag. Shikku27316 (talk) 21:50, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

Dynasty or empire[edit]

A small problem in terminology: in the infobox, the caption on the map refers to it as the Han Dynasty. Strictly speaking, a dynasty consists of a number of rulers, that is people, whereas a map shows the empire they ruled. So it seems to me the caption should be changed to Han Empire, both here and in the hook that's now in the queue to appear as a DYK. I could change it here, but not in the queue, since I'm not an admin. Also, in the DYK hook, "pictured" should be changed to "shown", since a map isn't a picture. Hope this helps. Awien (talk) 10:00, 9 July 2013 (UTC)

The first time I've heard of "Han Empire"... ☯ Bonkers The Clown \(^_^)/ Nonsensical Babble ☯ 12:54, 9 July 2013 (UTC)
I disagree. Nobody says that a dynasty should have a number of rulers ruling all at once. During the Han Dynasty, you had Liu Bang, who more or less started this period. Power then passed on to his descendants, including Liu Bei, and the Han Dynasty went on to become one of the longest-lived dynasties in Chinese history. I hope I've got my stuff right. :P ☯ Bonkers The Clown \(^_^)/ Nonsensical Babble ☯ 12:54, 9 July 2013 (UTC)
Sorry if I wasn't clear enough. I meant that a dynasty consists of a series of rulers, one after the other. But a map shows the realm/empire/lands/? over which the dynasty ruled, not the dynasty as such. Does that make more sense? Awien (talk) 13:02, 9 July 2013 (UTC)
Btw, when nobody seemed to be around, I asked an admin, Crisco1492, what he thought about tweaking the DYK hook. I wasn't trying to go over people's heads, it was just that time's short. Awien (talk) 13:06, 9 July 2013 (UTC)
Just checked: the description of the actual map in question calls it "Han Dynasty empire 87 BC". Awien (talk) 13:09, 9 July 2013 (UTC)
Here's another map that calls it an empire: [1] Awien (talk) 13:12, 9 July 2013 (UTC)
So specifically, the tweak I'm suggesting for the hook is: ... that the Han Dynasty (empire shown) decided to intervene in a war between Minyue and Eastern Ou because of a belief in the Son of Heaven's mandate as emperor, a Chinese political and philosophical concept?
And after all, an emperor rules over an empire, doesn't he? Awien (talk) 13:34, 9 July 2013 (UTC)
Since time is so short, I've gone ahead and changed the caption. If there are no objections, that will allow an admin to change the hook. Best, Awien (talk) 13:57, 9 July 2013 (UTC)

Smaller new kingdoms or commanderies?[edit]

I have corrected the sentence "[...]limiting the size and power of these kingdoms and dividing them into smaller ones new commanderies." to say "into smaller new commanderies" since the previous phrasing was clearly incorrect, and it seemed the intent was to say "new commanderies". However, I have no familiarity with the subject, and it is plausible that what was meant was "smaller new kingdoms", and that there is a significant difference between kingdoms and commanderies. I wanted to bring this to the attention of anyone knowledgeable about the subject so that they may correct the information as appropriate. (talk) 16:54, 9 July 2013 (UTC)

Well, apparently some little jerkoff vandalized the page a while ago by removing the word "or" between the two phrases. I just rewrote the last part of the sentence entirely by referring back to Loewe (1986) for clarification. It reads much better than it did before, actually.--Pericles of AthensTalk 06:08, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

Han Dynasty to Han dynasty[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: all moved. There is a clear consensus, both here and at the RFC on this topic to use the lowercase format. There is also a clear consensus here that the natural language disambiguation of "Foo dynasty" is preferable to the parenthesised form "Foo (dynasty)", per WP:NATURALDIS. -- BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 15:00, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

– A proposal to lower case "dynasty" received overwhelming support here. This ngram shows that lower casing is significantly more common in the RS. Since "dynasty" is properly capitalized when it appears in a book title and in some other contexts, the ngram may understate the real difference in usage. Britannica gives these dynasties lower cased here and here. The Chicago Manual of Style gives the examples "Qing dynasty," "Ming dynasty," and "Shang dynasty." The manual explains that the word "dynasty" should be lower cased because it is, "considered an era rather than a political division" (Section 8.71). CMOS is the most widely used style guide and is cited or recommended in the MOS in several places. For non-Asian dynasties, the convention of lower casing is well established, as you can see from this ngram. Taekwondo Panda (talk) 13:15, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

Also, it should be noted that these six are not the only articles in this posture. See Xia Dynasty, Shang Dynasty, Zhou Dynasty, Qin Dynasty, Jin Dynasty (265–420), Liang Dynasty, Chen Dynasty, Sui Dynasty, Liao Dynasty, and Jin Dynasty (1115–1234), each of which would have to be moved in the same way, and my suggestion to them is the same — to "Foo (dynasty)" as opposed to "Foo dynasty" except for the Jins, which I would suggest moving to "Jin (265–420)" and "Jin (1115–1234)" respectively. --Nlu (talk) 13:35, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support Nlu's alternative proposal. Looks more in line with how these kinds of headlines usually are treated at Wikipedia. (talk) 13:43, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support @Nlu:'s alternative proposal. I wasn't 100% sold on the change to "dynasty" and this is a good alternative. As noted above, this will also avoid issues with category moves. ► Philg88 ◄ Star.pngtalk 14:06, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose parenthetical disambiguators per WP:NATURAL (#1). —  AjaxSmack  02:16, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support original proposal per RfC. I thought we'd been through all this in the discussion linked above. Regarding Nlu's suggestion, parenthetical disambiguation is unnecessary when the commonly-used phrase "Han dynasty" provides natural disambiguation. Naming of categories is a secondary issue that shouldn't drive naming of articles. Kanguole 14:51, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support original proposal per RfC. Putting the word dynasty in parenthesis is not the way Wikipedia handle dynasty articles, and I am not convinced that "Tang (dynasty) emperors" as category name look better, why not "Emperors of Tang dynasty"? _dk (talk) 15:55, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Neutral Support original proposal per Dk. I think in RS, it is referred to as "Han dynasty" not "Han (dynasty)" nor simply "Han". But in my opinion, such move would lead to moving hundred of established articles on Wikipedia such as Government of the Han dynasty,Southward expansion of the Han dynasty and so on. So I think it shouldn't be done unless necessary and uncontroversial. SWH® talk 16:16, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
Technical difficulty or quantity of work involved should not be a consideration here. There are automated tools and bots that can do allot of the grunt work. Example, we moved all articles containing People's Republic of ChinaChina. That involved a huge number of articles but it got done. Rincewind42 (talk) 10:40, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support original proposal on using lowercase "X dynasty", reflecting the common use in reliable sources and the preceding RFC discussion. Oppose alternative proposal using "X (dynasty)" with the parenthetical disambiguation, because there's a natural disambiguation which is overwhelmingly-common in reliable sources and I'm not convinced the purported "awkwardness" should have any bearing on it nor is it conventional. Comment. The RFC should not have been prematurely closed, considering the amount of articles it affects. This move request does not encompass the wholeness of Chinese dynasty articles (many of which haven't been put forth and should be added). --Cold Season (talk) 19:13, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support original proposal. And of course: (1) move *all* the dynasties that are conventionally discussed as part of Chinese history; and (2) uncapitalize the other articles that have "Foo dynasty" in their titles, because Government of the Foo dynasty and Zhang San (Foo dynasty) look perfectly natural with lowercase. Nlu's proposal deserves consideration, and I was about to support it because reliable sources often speak of "the Song", "the Liao", etc. But Foo dynasty also looks natural with lowercase, it reflects what the lede of these articles says, and we can't have titles like "Li Si (Foo [dynasty])" or "Li Si (Han [dynasty] general)", so we might as well be consistent and use "Foo dynasty" throughout. The only problem I can envisage is when "Foo dynasty" is used as a modifier. This happens mostly in category names: Category:Han Dynasty generals, Category:Qing Dynasty poets, and the like. In such cases, I'd say cut "dynasty" altogether. Most category names would remain clear ("Liao poets", "Song chancellors"), with one possible exception, "Han Xxxx", which risks confusing "Han Chinese" with "Han dynasty". If this happens, a simple hat note could easily clarify things. Summary: the simplest and most consistent way to solve all this is to move everything that has "Foo Dynasty" in its title to "Foo dynasty", except when "Foo dynasty" is used as modifier, in which case we should use only the dynastic name ("Foo" without "dynasty"). Madalibi (talk) 07:37, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support original proposal. Not a proper noun and so 'dynasty' should not be capitalised. A quick search on google books shows that it is not normally capitalised in English language sources. In keeping with other articles such as Elizabethan era (England) or Rurik dynasty (Russian). Oppose alternative proposal as an superfluous complication. See WP:NATURAL. Rincewind42 (talk) 10:35, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose - "dynasty" in this case is part of a proper noun (name), and therefore should be capitalized. ミーラー強斗武 (talk) 23:06, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
That is based on little-to-none. It certainly does not reflect the sources, where--as previously stated and shown by other users--the decapitalized "dynasty" is the most prevalent one in use. --Cold Season (talk) 03:09, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
Hi ミーラー強斗武: this move request is a bit misleading, as we have already established a consensus on whether "dynasty" should be capitalized. See Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (Chinese)#Capitalization: "Foo Dynasty" or "Foo dynasty"? Cheers, Madalibi (talk) 03:33, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support alternative proposal - makes better sense. This change would also affect Ryūkyūan dynasties. ミーラー強斗武 (talk) 18:58, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support original proposal due to the natural language aspect (there's no need for parentheticals here) and due to the overwhelming consensus at the RfC. Huntster (t @ c) 18:31, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppoose. First of all, many English sources that covers Chinese history do often use the upper case "Dynasty"; they range from the Metropolitan Museum of Art [2] [3], to the University of Cambridge [4], to the Stanford University [5], to the Smithsonian Institution [6] and to the BBC [7]. Simply put, the use of the upper case "Dynasty" when referring to Chinese dynasties/states is common in English. I do agree that the lower case is more often used in the content/body of the works (in a sentence etc.), but not when it comes to the actual main "title". Thus I think the main title should stay upper case, but usage in the article be the lower case. And also to consider, this drastic move would impact many many articles. Finally, I think this move should not be hurried.--Balthazarduju (talk) 20:42, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
    • As you say, the lower case form is more common in running text, including in several of the examples you link to. Because Wikipedia is based around hyperlinks, the running text style is what is usually used for article titles, per WP:NCCAPS. As that guideline says, "adherence to conventions widely used in the genre are critically important to credibility." Kanguole 21:19, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
In the Metropolitan Museum of Art [8] [9] they use a lower case 'd' "...China until the collapse of the Qing dynasty in 1911..." or "China was reunited under the rule of the Han dynasty" the heading uses an upper case 'D' because their manual of style (MOS) uses title case. In title case, all words are capitalised except for certain small words like 'a', 'of' or 'the'. Wikipedia's MOS says to use sentence case in titles and headings and not to use title case. (see Wikipedia:Manual of Style#Article_titles.
The Stanford University [10] paper is inconsistent. One line it has, "..that the Shang Dynasty is the..." then the next line has, "Legends speak of the earlier Xia dynasty..." All we derive form that is the the article is that it doesn't follow any MOS and it poorly copy edited.
The Smithsonian Institution [11] is another example of title case. It is a style for headings only and not an indication for prose or for wikipedia headings. Within their prose they use a small 'd' or omit the word dynasty completely such as, "Around 1050 B.C.E, this group conquered the Shang and setablished the Zhou dynasty."
The BBC [12] article is another example of inconsistency. They use large 'D' the first time a dynasty is mentioned then small 'd' thereafter. Another example of poor copy editing and not following a MOS.
Rather than looking at web base sources, which tend to be low quality with light editorial control, try searching on Google Books and Google Scholar and see what academic publications use: Google Scholar search for "Han dynasty" and Google books search for "Han dynasty".
-- Rincewind42 (talk) 06:00, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support original proposal to reflect common usage. Second choice would be to support the alternate proposal. The status quo is my least favored alternative. Good Ol’factory (talk) 22:57, 17 March 2014 (UTC)


Other dynasties to consider:

  1. Missed by nominator: Xia Dynasty, Shang Dynasty, Zhou Dynasty, Qin Dynasty, Jin Dynasty (265–420), Liang Dynasty, Chen Dynasty, Liu Song Dynasty, Sui Dynasty, Liao Dynasty, Jin Dynasty (1115–1234)
  2. Xin Dynasty, Shun Dynasty - These ones don't make sense to me as they aren't "dynasties" in the English usage of the word. Someone please check RS to see how they are named.
  3. Vietnamese dynasties: Hồng Bàng Dynasty, Triệu Dynasty, Early Lý Dynasty, Ngô Dynasty, Đinh Dynasty, Lý Dynasty, Hồ Dynasty, Lê Dynasty, Tây Sơn Dynasty, Trần Dynasty, Nguyễn Dynasty. Notice some Vietnamese dynasties are already lower cased: Early Lê dynasty, Mạc dynasty, Later Trần dynasty.
  4. Burmese dynasties: Taungoo Dynasty, Konbaung Dynasty, Tibetan Phagmodrupa Dynasty, not sure at all about these.

Timmyshin (talk) 18:03, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

The RFC discussion only covered Chinese dynasties. Kanguole 18:29, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
Well, are Liao Dynasty and Jin Dynasty (1115–1234) Chinese? Yuan and Qing? I think you have to at least consider the Vietnamese dynasties. Timmyshin (talk) 18:51, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
Liao, Jin, Yuan and Qing are clearly part of Chinese history. Qing was used as an example several times in the discussion. The Vietnamese dynasties aren't, and should be considered separately. Kanguole 19:05, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
Clearly part of Chinese history just means that their boundaries today fall for the most part in the PR China map. Both linguistically and culturally, Lý Dynasty is much more similar to Song Dynasty than Liao Dynasty, for example. I'm not saying you are wrong, but it makes no sense to read something like "The Song dynasty borders the Lý Dynasty and the Liao dynasty." especially if the Lý dynasty had been a vassal state of the Song. Consistency is important. Timmyshin (talk) 19:31, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
Bunching everything together from a variety of fields will often result in no-results. I have to agree with Kanguole that the dynasties outside the scope of Chinese history should be considered separately. I'm certainly not that focused on Vietnamese or Burmese history; I like too wager plenty involved users aren't. There's no reason to bunch up everything together here in as a logistic mess. It does not matter what kind of relatedness there is between topics, what matters is what academic field notably deals with it and how. List one and two should definitely be considered in this move request though. --Cold Season (talk) 19:48, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment: Moving Han Dynasty for example, will inevitably affect about one hundred articles with Han Dynasty in their titles. Should we notify at all these articles' talk pages too? I think the editors of all these articles may have legitimate interest to participate in this discussion.SWH® talk 03:54, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
No, not all. We should notify the editors of all Chinese dynasties articles (including those that the nomination missed) and the related high-traffic (sub-)articles (in what is reasonable like how the move request of China happened). --Cold Season (talk) 17:43, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment: Let's not rush into this without considering whether the whole thing is going to end up as an inconsistent mess. Apropos the preceding comments that the Vietnamese dynasties should be considered separately - a large part of the previous discussion resolved around whether "Foo Dynasty" is a proper noun. The (partly implied) consensus was that it isn't so that means that the names of the Vietnamese dynasties aren't either so they cannot be considered as a seperate case. They would have to move too if the rule is to be applied consistently and no doubt the members of Wikiproject:Vietnam would want to comment before that happens. Then there's Korea ... ► Philg88 ◄ Star.pngtalk 05:54, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
    • The RFC at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (Chinese) was surely limited to Chinese history. We heard again and again how English-language authors writing about Chinese history referred to the dynasties as the "Han dynasty", etc. We can't extend that to other countries without a separate discussion. And since people are already worried about the scale of the long-overdue fix to Chinese history articles, perhaps it would be better not to broaden its scope now. Let's fix this and let authors more familiar with the literature on Vietnamese history discuss those separately. Kanguole 09:57, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
      • @Kanguole: That is a valid point, however, my issue is that if something is not a proper noun when applied to Chinese history, how can it possibly be one when applied to Vietnamese history? Surely the rules of grammar apply across the board? ► Philg88 ◄ Star.pngtalk 10:59, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
        • It's an argument that could be made, but note that Talk:First Dynasty of Egypt#Requested move went the other way because authors in that field treat "First Dynasty" etc as proper names. However we've already got plenty on our plate, so let's leave the broader issue for elsewhere. Kanguole 11:11, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
  • I've assembled a list of the article titles that I think are affected by the RFC, grouped by the way the name is used, at User:Kanguole/Dynasties. Like Madalibi, I think the only problematic ones are the last group, where "X Dynasty" is used as a modifier. They are so few they could be handled separately. I think that for some of those re-phrasing might be the best course. Kanguole 18:40, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
    • Great work! Timmyshin (talk) 03:06, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
      • Yes, very helpful! Thank you! There are even fewer problematic pages than I thought, and for most of them we can just cut "dynasty" altogether: "Tang art", "Ming painting", "anti-Qing rebellions", etc. Madalibi (talk) 03:40, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
  • My guess is that Hapsburg dynasty is a family of rulers and Ming Dynasty is a historical period and distinct government. In Liao Dynasty, etc. Dynasty means kingdom, or something close. The Chinese word behind Dynasty is something stronger than the European sense of a ruling family, which causes the problem.01:05, 16 March 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Benjamin Trovato (talkcontribs)
    • I don't believe the "dynasty" in "Ming dynasty" and "Liao dynasty" are any different. The one that I believe might be different is Chen Dynasty, which is more like Vietnamese dynasties in being denoted by the rulers' surname. Asian regimes are clearly different from European dynasties. Personally, I would have liked to see all the Chinese "dynasties" (other than Xia, Shang, and Zhou) renamed to "empires", if just to resolve the problems with Xin Dynasty and Shun Dynasty, and I'm clearly not the only one holding this opinion, just scroll the page up to see a discussion from last year; but I realize such a proposal is unlikely to get much support from WP:RS. Timmyshin (talk) 03:06, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
    • I don't see how it is an imperfect translation (edit summary) to cause a problem. "Dynasty" can mean a line of ruling people of a region or a period of the region during the line of ruling people ([13][14]), consistent with the common usage in these articles and the sources, e.g. "during the Foo dynasty". --Cold Season (talk) 03:09, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
    • This is explained in the nomination. In this context, "dynasty" means era. That implies the word should be lower cased. Whether or not the name of a dynasty is same as that of the ruling family has nothing to do with it. The name of a political unit is upper cased, so it's "Han Empire." The reason for calling the subjects dynasties is because they are considered eras of Chinese history. But you can consider each one to be its own thing and still lower case. A state can exist in a single era that is named for itself. The translation issue is a separate thing altogether. As far as Vietnamese dynasties go, there is no grammatical reason to treat them differently. I assume they were upper cased to correspond to Wikiproject China usage. Taekwondo Panda (talk) 04:06, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Remember to check for red links if you're lowercasing "dynasty" in the prose, especially concerning low-traffic articles. --Cold Season (talk) 22:55, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

List of Countries that the Han Empire Conquered[edit]

On the template only PRC, North Korea, and Vietnam are included on the list of countries that made up the Han Empire. However, I politely disagree. Mongolia was taken by China through the Battle of Mobei. Also, the Central Asian countries were also taken by China through their wars against the Xiongnu. A great example is the Battle of Taraz, which took place in present-day Kazakhstan. Please add these countries to the list in order to create a more realistic and historically accurate article. Thank you, (talk) 01:51, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

The Battle of Mobei was part of the wider Han–Xiongnu War, which was more about stopping Xiongnu incursions rather than territorial expansion. To suggest that the conflict resulted in Han control of Mongolia and Kazakhstan is a bit wide of the mark. ► Philg88 ◄ Star.pngtalk 05:29, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
What are you talking about a "list of countries"? Those countries you mention didn't exist at the time. ミーラー強斗武 (talk) 02:39, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
This is about the "Today part of" entry in the infobox. Kanguole 03:08, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

I think it is quite clear even in the article itself that the Han Empire held uncontested control over Central Asia through is conquests of the Xiongnu Empire. While it is completely true that Mongolia and the Central Asian republics did not exist back then, the Chinese still held onto territory that is now under their jurisdiction. Also, please get your facts straight before you rashly respond to my messages. Emperor Han Wudi launched several significant invasions deep into Mongol territory. Is this not a form of territorial expansion? If it isn't, please use reasonable logic to defend your argument. Do not simply assume things without evidence. Last but certainly not least, the map of the empire is nowhere near accurate. There is no indication whatsoever of the Han Empire's military campaigns in Mongolia and Central Asia. Without an accurate map, how are readers supposed to receive truthful and untampered information? Thank you for your careful consideration. Aslanofnarnia7 (talk) 05:13, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

You are trying to apply modern western concepts of nation states with defined territories and governments onto events that happened around two-thousand years. It doesn't work. The past is like a foreign country, they do things differently there. The Han missions into central Asia do not principally constitute territorial expansion. That was not their purpose, objective, nor their result. Rincewind42 (talk) 13:06, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

Religion during the Han dynasty[edit]

Title Early Chinese Religion: Part One: Shang Through Han (1250 BC-220 AD) (2 Vols) Early Chinese Religion Editors John Lagerwey, Marc Kalinowski Publisher BRILL, 2008 ISBN 9004168354, 9789004168350

Rajmaan (talk) 19:29, 8 October 2014 (UTC)


In academic sources the map for the Han dynasty always includes the Protectorate of the Western Regions in the Tarim Basin as a solid block of color, whether the same or different shade than the rest of the Han dynasty (the commanderies). The protectorates are never shown as a bunch of dots which is what the current map does.

Even when the western protectorate is shown as a different color it is colored in solid and not as a bunch of dots.

Same issue with the map on Qin dynasty - no other academic source represent the south as a bunch of dots all over the place, they showmthe thing as a solid block of color connected to the rest of the empire.

For those who say its because the empire only has control over the cities and outposts- no real life academic publisher makes maps like that. If they did, the Persian Empire would be a bunch of unconnected dots and roads, the United States in the early nineteenth map should be represented as a bunch of dots centered around where the cities and forts were since they didn't even have full control over the Native American tribes and so on for other countries in similar situations.Rajmaan (talk) 19:36, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

Indeed. Using dots to show the cities under control is not clear and misleading.--Alvin Lee 07:13, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
The creator of the map User:Yuninjie provided no sources for the borders and territories depicted. This is almost an entirely user made map, same as the Qin dynasty one. This is a serious violation of WP:Original research and I recommend it be deleted. Better no map than a misleading map. I don't know why people treat images differently from articles content when it comes to original research, especially on historical maps. What is that random salient in the Ordos loop on that map for?Rajmaan (talk) 06:32, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
In either case, I suggest a new map be found quickly. The lead seems pretty barren and odd without one. There is a bunch of maps available for the Han dynasty at Wikimedia Commmons:
Any number of these pictures can be used, but I'm not sure about the sourcing for any of them. Hopefully one of these has a reliable source behind it. If not, someone needs to upload a new map quickly. Pericles of AthensTalk 18:11, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Map of the Western Han Dynasty in 2 CE. SOURCE: Self made, copied map from Page 63 of the book, "MAPPING HISTORY WORLD HISTORY" by Dr. Ian Barnes.ISBN 978-1-84573-323-0
I found one!Pericles of AthensTalk 18:15, 23 May 2015 (UTC)


I have reverted the text

The character 'Han' (漢) itself refers to the Milky Way, due to the ancient Chinese cosmological belief that everything in the mortal world reflected the heavens, and the Han River, flowing through the central part of China proper, was considered to correspond with the Milky Way.

While the character 漢 can refer to both the river and the Milky Way, there is no evidence that the former was named after the latter, and thus the celestial feature is not relevant to the dynasty. In addition, we should be using modern scholarship instead of old sources like the Kangxi dictionary (though it doesn't support the claimed derivation either). In fact some sources (e.g. Karlgren) suggest that Hàn has a generic term for river. Kanguole 17:13, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

Huh! I was unaware of this, so I started looking for sources to clear up the matter. Thanks for citing Karlgren here. Very helpful. Cheers. -- Pericles of AthensTalk 04:19, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, I got that mixed up. Karlgren only says "name of a river". It was Schuessler (ABC Etymological Dictionary of Old Chinese) who says "'Name of a river' in the ancient Chǔ area, can also mean 'river' generally as in 'Milky way' [Shi]." Kanguole 07:14, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
It's funny, this whole talk about the Milky Way Galaxy got me to think that's the reason why Americans and Europeans called Chinese "Celestials" in the 19th century, when in fact the term simply derives from Tianxia, or Celestial Empire, one of the names of China. Since the majority ethnic group (i.e. the Han Chinese) takes its name from this dynasty, it caused some confusion for me about the origins of the other term. I'm glad I got this cleared up. :D --Pericles of AthensTalk 15:44, 17 February 2015 (UTC)


Liu Pengli, reputed to be the first identified serial killer, is said to have been a nephew of Emperor Jing of Han and prince (or king) of Jidong. However, the only "Jidong" article in Wikipedia is a county on the modern Sino-Russian border, well outside of the territory ruled by the Han dynasty. Was there some other Jidong back then?--Menah the Great (talk) 18:47, 31 December 2014 (UTC)

That could be an issue of multiple things, A) the area could've historically been called the same as the modern area, note how the 100 Viet all are named "Viet" while today only the nation of Viet-Nam and Kwengtoong use that term (though a different character), or B) it could simply be a different name but are romanized the same, see example A where both are Yuè, Yue, or Yüe (or "Viet" as I call them) while the Chinese characters may differ greatly, it's common for places to have near synonymous names.

Sincerely, --Namlong618 (talk) 22:37, 15 February 2015 (UTC)


@Ph: There's a detailed discussion on the location of Han dynasty's Zhenfan (Jinbeon) Commandery in Professor Hyung Il Pai's book Constructing Korean Origins. Although scholars disagree about its exact location, they do agree that it encompassed part of modern South Korea. Ikeuchi placed it in North Gyeongsang and South Gyeongsang, while Yi Pyong-do placed it further north, but still in South Korea, reaching Chuncheon. In addition, The Cambridge History of China (Vol. 1, p. 167) also places Zhenfan in South Korea. Please stop reverting White whirlwind and me on this matter. You've already been warned before for edit warring. -Zanhe (talk) 07:16, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

@Zanhe: Unfortunately, your sources are old-fashioned. You may saw the 3 maps of the ancient Korea in this link, which is based on the new research. Modern South Korean scholars indicated some errors in the former theories, and especially they point out the fact that Han site has never been excavated in the South Korean region. (The southernmost historic site of Jinbeon (Zhenfan) and Daebang (Daifang) is only excavated in Sariwon, North Hwanghae.) So Northeast Asian History Foundation offered historical maps to the Congressional Research Service to introduce their new works, and it is not a low-quality production you said. We need to take a neutral attitude over the nationalistic views.--Ph (talk) 08:20, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
@Ph: A Korea-based history foundation and a Korea-based news service are not sufficient to overturn the consensus reliable sources published by respectable publishers such as Brill or university publishers. If you cannot understand and follow Wikipedia's reliable sources policy, you will not be able to edit on Wikipedia, as Philg88 (talk · contribs) stated on his talk page.  White Whirlwind  咨  20:33, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
Sigh ... Please, Ph, listen to what you are being told about sources. Continually reinserting material that three other editors have told you is inappropriate is disruptive and has to stop.  Philg88 talk 05:12, 20 October 2015 (UTC)
@White whirlwind:, It's not a matter of reliable sources policy. I can't understand why did you disregard its own studies. Are you ignoring the Chinese studies researched by Chinese scholars? Probably you don't.--Ph (talk) 15:01, 20 October 2015 (UTC)
Chinese scholars commonly identify the traditional Xia dynasty with the archaeological Erlitou culture, but we don't do that on Wikipedia because it has not been internationally accepted. Besides, the link you provided is a news article, not an academic publication, and it merely shows a few maps without any explanation of how they're drawn or where they come from. In contrast, Constructing Korean Origins is a scholarly work written by a prominent Korean-American historian at University of California, and published by Harvard University Press. It provides a detailed overview of major academic opinions regarding the locations of the Han commanderies. -Zanhe (talk) 19:34, 20 October 2015 (UTC)
@Ph: "Probably you don't." Wrong: we frequently do. As Zanhe (talk · contribs) said, there is a lot of nationalism in Chinese sources on Chinese topics, and we are careful to treat those as objectively as possible. The same is true with Korean sources tinged with Korean nationalism, such as yours.  White Whirlwind  咨  20:23, 20 October 2015 (UTC)
@White whirlwind:, I doubt you and his veracity. But, let's put aside the question for now. Anyway, you still didn't answer about the presence of the historical sites of Han China in the South Korea. For instance, the presence of Nanglang/Lelang in North Korea are clearly accepted for its locations based on the historical sites. (樂浪土城 etc.) However, Jinbeon/Zhenfan is not. You and Zanhe didn't give me a straight answer, it appears you and Zanhe are avoiding it. Do you know specific sites?--Ph (talk) 04:06, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
What's there to answer? WP requires WP:RS for adding content, which is already provided. WP does not require archaeological evidence for historical information (otherwise 99% of history would need to be deleted), and even historians mainly rely on contemporary records, not archaeology, as their main source. Archaeological evidence is only essential when contemporary written sources are lacking, which is not the case with the Han dynasty. -Zanhe (talk) 22:46, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
I clearly point out the problems of your contents. However, you treated the Korean academy like the nationalists by ignoring their new works, and still didn't answer about specific sites. In the historical geography, especially ancient period, both record and archaeology are important role in regional history studies because of lack of its detail and consistency. It should be treated equally in the case with the Han dynasty.--Ph (talk) 11:34, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
Two things: 1. Many (though definitely not all) Korean scholars are known for their illogical, nationalistic views, see this analysis of the dominant Korean stance on Dangun vs. Jizi/Kija; 2. You keep bringing up Korean academy, yet so far the only evidence you've given is a map of unknown provenance from a Korean news article. Unless you bring forward concrete academic sources, I'm not going to waste more of my time continuing this discussion. -Zanhe (talk) 01:11, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
@Ph: please give it a rest. Zanhe (talk · contribs) is correct here regarding the reliable sources. Your edits are not supported by consensus. Part of editing Wikipedia is accepting it when consensus goes against you. If you cannot accept that, please go elsewhere.  White Whirlwind  咨  04:45, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Zanhe (talk · contribs), please don't discuss another matter. It seems like that you trying to cloud the issue. You needs an objective interpretation thorough the clear historical research, not ambiguous one. I think you probably don't know what they're clearly established in.--Ph (talk) 04:27, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Citation style[edit]

Would people mind if I changed this article to use citation templates (as in Ming dynasty)? It's much the same appearance, but would link short citations to references and greatly simplify handling of repeated citations. Kanguole 22:17, 11 March 2016 (UTC)

@Kanguole: That would be a great improvement! Harv ref style is much better suited for complicated articles like this one. -Zanhe (talk) 14:41, 23 March 2016 (UTC)
Done. I couldn't find a target for de Crespigny (1986), though. Kanguole 23:27, 26 March 2016 (UTC)
Thanks a lot! Looks like Underbar dk fixed the de Crespigny issue. -Zanhe (talk) 19:42, 27 March 2016 (UTC)

Lead Too Long[edit]

I've added cleanup tags for someone to shorten the lead to "Three or four paragraphs." I am not well versed on this subject, so I will leave that to those of you that are.  {MordeKyle  02:39, 10 November 2016 (UTC)

Well, WP:LEAD also says it's not an absolute rule. I notice that World War II's lead has 5 paragraphs. _dk (talk) 22:03, 10 November 2016 (UTC)
Almost all policies on Wikipedia are not absolute rules and allow for exceptions. I don't see why this article, or even World War II, would be exceptions to these standards.  {MordeKyle  22:12, 10 November 2016 (UTC)
It's not really an issue now that I've combined the last two paragraphs. Pericles of AthensTalk 22:39, 10 November 2016 (UTC)
It still is though. Combining two separate paragraphs makes the now extra large paragraph grammatically incorrect. The lead needs to be shortened overall. The lead is supposed to be a brief summary of the article. Information that is mentioned later in the article can be removed from the lead.  {MordeKyle  00:09, 11 November 2016 (UTC)
Grammatically incorrect? What? That doesn't make any sense. In either case the final paragraph is a summary of the entire history of the Han dynasty, spanning 400 years. That's roughly as long as the Roman Empire; you should take a look at the lead section in that article for a comparison. Every statement found in the lead section is covered at length in the article. The length of the lead is by no means unwieldy either. If you are new to Wikipedia you should familiarize yourself with other articles and how they are written. Pericles of AthensTalk 01:15, 11 November 2016 (UTC)
The format of other articles do not indicate how this article should be. I can point to other articles that have absolutely atrocious layouts that have been stable for a long time, but this does not mean they are correct. One paragraph that covers multiple subjects would not be grammatically correct. I have familiarized myself with a lot of article, including some that are just as long as this one, if not longer, yet have much smaller leads. I am not well versed on this subject, which is why I added the tags and made a note in the talk section. I do not know exactly which bits of information are necessary for the lead, and which bits could be removed.  {MordeKyle  01:48, 11 November 2016 (UTC)
Then I would advise that you actually read the article, thoroughly, making a note of every major point that is made, and then return to the lead section. Otherwise this conversation is rather pointless. I could save you the trouble, though, by assuring you that the statements contained in the lead fully reflect the content of the article (I should know, I'm the one who submitted this as a Featured Article candidate several years ago). No one in the FA process found any glaring errors or problems with the lead. I'm also perplexed as to why you keep referring to grammar & syntax. Grammatical accuracy has nothing to do with going off-topic and introducing a number of different subjects within the same paragraph. Looking at the lead section as it stands now, the first paragraph is clearly an introductory blurb that defines the Han dynasty, gives date ranges, and briefly mentions its significance for Chinese culture. The second paragraph talks about Han society and culture. The third paragraph talks about Han economics and innovations. The fourth paragraph is essentially a summary of the history section, a very terse and condensed historical narrative for the four centuries that the Han Empire existed in China/Mongolia/northern Vietnam/North Korea. Pericles of AthensTalk 02:41, 11 November 2016 (UTC)
To be frank about it, I think you're "making a mountain out of a molehill" here, so to speak. Pericles of AthensTalk 02:48, 11 November 2016 (UTC)
Ok, sorry about trying to be helpful and stick to the guidelines and policies of Wikipedia. Cya later.  {MordeKyle  02:52, 11 November 2016 (UTC)

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