What Is The Shang Dynasty?

The Shang Dynasty is the first ruling dynasty of China established in human history, although it was preceded by other dynasties. The Shang Dynasty was, according to traditional Chinese lore, the second dynasty of ancient China, ruling from 1766 B.C. until 1122 BC The Shang Dynasty ruled a well-organized and civilized state in northern China between 1766 B.C. and 1122 BC (although there is debate about the number of modern scientists on the exact dates). The Shang Dynasty would have ruled for 800 years, although the Shang Dynasty left an indelible mark on Chinese history.

Shang Dynasty was the second Chinese dynasty to succeed the Xia Dynasty (circa 2700-1600 BC) after the Shang and Tang rulers overthrew the tyrant Xia Jie. The earliest written records in Chinese history date back to the Shang Dynasty, when it was defeated by a tribal leader named Tang. According to legend, the Shang Dynasty was established around 1600 BC. A wise man named Cheng Tang overthrew the legendary King Xia Xie. With many historians questioning whether the Xia Dynasty really existed, the Shang Dynasty may have been China’s first dynasty and the source of Chinese culture.

Scholars do not fully agree on the dates and details of the early Chinese dynasties, but most agree that the Shang dynasty was the first to leave written records and strong archaeological evidence for the existence of the Shang dynasty. Many Chinese scholars firmly believe that the previous Xia Dynasty actually existed, although no written evidence has been found of it. The Shang is the first dynasty in Chinese history whose existence can be confirmed by written and archaeological evidence. Thus, the late Shang state of present-day Anyang is generally considered to be the first verifiable civilization in Chinese history.

The earliest accurately dated event in Chinese history is the beginning of the Gonghe Regency in 841 BC, at the start of the Zhou Dynasty, a date first established by the Han dynasty historian Sima Qian. As some Chinese scholars suggest, the Xia and Shang periods may possibly refer to political entities that existed at the same time, just as the later Zhou dynasty is known to have existed at the same time as the Shang.

Chinese historians have become accustomed to the idea of ​​one dynasty succeeding another, and have readily identified the sites of Erligan and Erlitou with the first Shang and Xia dynasties of traditional histories. The Xia-Shang-Zhou chronological project identifies the founding of the dynasty with the founding of the walled city of the Erligang culture at Yanshi dated to c. 1600 BC.

It is said that Cheng Tang founded the first capital of the dynasty at a city called Shang (near modern Zhengzhou), present-day Zhengzhou, but subsequent kings moved the capital several times, the last being a place called Yin (near modern Zhengzhou). The last and most significant transfer occurred around 1350 BC, during the reign of King Pangeng (14th century BC), when the Shang capital was moved to the ancient city of Yin (today’s Anyang). According to the Bamboo Annals, the Shang moved their last capital five times, and the last move to Ying during Pan Geng’s reign ushered in the dynasty’s golden age.

The Shang Empire expanded into northern and central China over the next 1500 years. A line of hereditary kings from the Zhou dynasty ruled much of northern China, and the Shang troops fought frequent wars with neighboring settlements and pastoral nomads from the steppes of Inner Asia. The descendants of the kings of the Song and Shang dynasties maintained rites in honor of the deceased rulers of the Shang dynasty, which lasted until 286 BC. e.

King Zheng of Zhou, through the regent, his uncle Duke Dan of the later Zhou dynasty, offered the former brother of King Shang Zhou, the ruler of Wei, in the former Zhou dynasty capital of Shang, with the territory that became the State of Song. The Shang leader ruled over the Shang Kingdom, a vassal state under the supreme rule of the Xia Dynasty.

The last king of the Shang Dynasty, King Di Xin, was considered a cruel leader who enjoyed torturing the people, leading to demands for an end to his reign. It is written that King Tang of the Shang tribe (1675–1646) saw the last Xia ruler hesitate. When Cheng Tang overthrew the last king of the Xia dynasty, Cheng Tang established his dynasty’s new capital at a city called Shang, near today’s Zhengzhou.

Since the roots of Chinese civilization are much further back than the Shang Dynasty, there are many reasons to believe that the Xia Dynasty did rule northern China. Ancient China Shang Dynasty was a decisive stage in the rise of one of the greatest civilizations in world history.

Founded around 1600 BC, the Shang Dynasty is located along the Yellow River Valley in northern China and is known as the cradle of Chinese civilization. Information about the Shang Dynasty comes from Zhou historical records and inscriptions on Shang bronzes and oracle bones: tortoise shells, ox shoulder blades, or other bones with the first important Chinese characters written on them. During the Zhou and Qin dynasties, Chinese culture was already formed, and if the Xia Dynasty is excluded from the politically motivated inventions of later historians, it can be concluded that the Shang Dynasty is the foundation of Chinese culture and civilization. .The Shang Dynasty was replaced by the Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BC), which began to disintegrate in the later years, known as the Warring States Period (about 481-221 BC).

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