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Formerly the Jìn (08) was spelled "Tsin" and the Jīn (18) was spelled "Chin" to avoid a homonym without using a tone mark.Today in toneless Pinyin, Jìn (08) is spelled "Jin" and Jīn (18) is usually spelled "Kin" for the same reason.

) as "Medieval," with all before this being ancient and all after this modern.

Such a scheme jars most readers, for whom, say 1450, is hardly "modern." However it at least has the merit of making "medieval" line up roughly with Europe and of discouraging the idiotic practice of calling all of pre-Republican China "ancient" (as especially careless people sometimes do). In an effort to simplify keeping track of time without overburdening the reader, this web site uses period numbers, often in addition to names, to designate dynasties.

Chinese failure to modernize the military made it impossible to resist imperial predation effectively, especially from Japan, and led to a crisis of confidence about Chinese traditionalism.

A series of Qīng-period treaties with western powers is still regarded by Chinese as a national embarrassment, and the treaty of Simonoseki ceded Taiwan to Japan.

In contrast, periods 01 and 02 are used to acknowledge the sometimes quite detailed traditions of ancient Chinese historians about their remote past.

Chinese tradition postulates a period of great culture heroes who invented the arts of civilization, followed by the foundation of a dynastic line referred to as Xià (q.v.) The period of the Five Emperors is traditionally considered to run from about 10,000 BC to about 2207 BC.

The page you are reading provdes a quick overview of the Chinese dynasties as I have numbered them (which, except for using numbers, is pretty much how everybody else orders them too).

The web links on the period numbers take you directly to a full list of all the monarchs and their traditional dates.

People who use tone marks do not have to deal with the problem.

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