Three Kingdoms China – Early Medieval Chinese History

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A Chinese walkway, garden, and tomb

Three Kingdoms China: The tomb of Liu Bei

The Han Dynasty collapsed about 220 AD. For three hundred years after that, China was divided into three smaller kingdoms (which were each still really pretty big). One kingdom was Wei, and the Ts’ao family ruled the kingdom of Wei. It was in the northern part of China. Wei was not really strong enough to protect itself against invaders from the north, and soon some of these invaders, the Toba, took over ruling it.

The second kingdom was Shu Han, and Liu Bei ruled the kingdom of Shu Han. It was in the south-west part of China.

The third kingdom was called Wu, and Sun Ch’uan ruled it. Wu was in the south-east part of China.

One of the great books of Chinese literature, the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, is about the wars that happened during the time when the Three Kingdoms were all fighting each other.

After about 300 years, in 581 AD, the Sui Dynasty pulled China back together again into one big empire.

Did you find out what you wanted to know about China under the Three Kingdoms? Let us know in the comments!

Three Kingdoms Chinese art
Three Kingdoms architecture

Go on to the Sui Dynasty

Bibliography and further reading about the Three Kingdoms:

Three Kingdoms Chinese art
Three Kingdoms architecture
Sui Dynasty (581-618 AD)
Ancient China

By |2018-04-18T09:54:19+00:00June 6th, 2017|China, History|0 Comments
Cite this page: Carr, K.E. Three Kingdoms China – Early Medieval Chinese History. Study Guides, June 6, 2017. Web. August 14, 2018.

About the Author:

Dr. Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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