The Three States (Three Kingdoms)

Authored by: J. Michael Farmer

Routledge Handbook of Imperial Chinese History

Print publication date:  October  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138847286
eBook ISBN: 9781315726878
Adobe ISBN:


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The Three States period marks the end of the Han dynasty and the beginning of nearly four centuries of political fragmentation in China. Encompassing the final three decades of the Han dynasty and another 60 years of autonomous rival states (Wei, Shu, and Wu), the era was characterized by warfare and diplomacy, the continuation of various Han political and social institutions (though with notable innovations), and the rise of new strains of literature and thought. Despite an abundance of historical sources, the period is best known from later literary and popular accounts of the warriors and statesmen of the time.

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