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Shang Dynasty

 This article is part of the
History of China series.
 Shang Dynasty
 Zhou Dynasty
 Qin Dynasty
 Han Dynasty
 Three Kingdoms
 Jin Dynasty
 Southern and Northern Dynasties
 Sui Dynasty 
 Tang Dynasty
 Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period
 Song Dynasty
 Yuan Dynasty
 Ming Dynasty
 Qing Dynasty
 History of the Republic of China
 History of the PRC (1949-1976)
 History of the PRC (1976-present)
 Timeline of Chinese History

Shang Dynasty (商朝) (1600 BC - 1046 BC) followed Xia Dynasty and preceded Zhou Dynasty in China. Information about the Shang dynasty comes from bronze artifacts and oracle bones, which are turtle shells on which were written the first recorded Chinese characters, found in the Huang He valley. These bones typically had three sections: a question for the oracle, the oracle's answer, and whether the oracle later proved to be correct. A number of ceremonial bronze vessels with inscriptions date from the Shang period; the workmanship on the bronzes attests to a high level of civilization.

The Shang dynasty is believed to have been founded by a rebel leader who overthrew the last Xia ruler. Its civilization was based on agriculture, augmented by hunting and animal husbandry. The Records of the Grand Historian states that the Shang Dynasty moved its capital six times. The Shang dynasty at its latest stage is sometimes called Yin Dynasty, after its final capital Yin.

A line of hereditary Shang kings ruled over much of northern China, and Shang troops fought frequent wars with neighboring settlements and nomadic herdsmen from the inner Asian steppes. The capitals, one of which was at the site of the modern city of Anyang, were centers of glittering court life. Court rituals to propitiate spirits and to honor sacred ancestors were highly developed. In addition to his secular position, the king was the head of the ancestor- and spirit-worship cult. Evidence from the royal tombs indicates that royal personages were buried with articles of value, presumably for use in the afterlife. Perhaps for the same reason, hundreds of commoners, who may have been slaves, were buried alive with the royal corpse.

Shang Zhou, the last king, committed suicide after his army was defeated by the Zhou people. Legends say that his army betrayed him by joining the Zhou rebels in a decisive battle. A classical novel Fengshen Yanyi is about the war between that Shang and Zhou, in which each was supported by one group of gods.

Table of contents
1 Sovereigns of Shang Dynasty
2 See also
3 External Link

Sovereigns of Shang Dynasty

Posthumous names
Convention: posthumous name or King + posthumous name
Note: 1) all dates are approximate up to 841 BC. Refer to Zhou dynasty for more info. 2) Personal names of most of the Shang sovereigns were unknown. The following names were most likely posthumous owing to frequent appearances of the Heavenly Stems.
Tang (湯 tang1) or Shang Tang (商湯 shang1 tang1)
Wai Bing (外丙 wai4 bing3)
Zhong Ren (仲壬 zhong4 ren)
Tai Jia (太甲 tai4 jia3)
Wo Ding (沃丁 wo4 ding1)
Tai Geng (太庚 tai4 geng1)
Xiao Jia (小甲 xiao3 jia3)
Yong Ji (雍己 yong1 ji3)
Tai Wu (太戊 tai4 wu4)
Zhong Ding (仲丁 zhong4 ding1)
Wai Ren (外壬 wai4 ren2)
He Dan Jia (河亶甲 he2 dan3 jia3)
Zu Yi (祖乙 zu3 yi3)
Zu Xin (祖辛 zu3 xin1)
Wo Jia (沃甲 wo4 jia3)
Zu Ding (祖丁 zu3 ding1)
Nan Geng (南庚 nan2 geng1)
Yang Jia (陽甲 yang2 jia3)
Note: As Shang finally settled down at Yin (殷 yin1). The period of Shang Dynasty starting from Pang Geng (盤庚 pang2 geng1) is also frequently referred to as the Yin Dynasty.
Pang Geng (盤庚 pang2 geng1)
Xiao Xin (小辛 xiao3 xin1)
Xiao Yi (小乙 xiao3 yi3)
Wu Ding (武丁 wu3 ding1)
Zu Geng (祖庚 zu3 geng1)
Zu Jia (祖甲 zu3 jia3)
Lin Xin (廩辛 lin3 xin1)
Kang Ding (康丁 kang1 ding1)
Wu Yi (武乙 wu3 yi3)
Tai Ding (太丁 tai4 ding1) or Wen Ding (文丁 wen2 ding1)
Di Yi (帝乙 di4 yi3)
Di Xin (帝辛 di4 xin1) or Zhou (紂 zhou4) or Zhou Xin (紂辛 zhou4 xin1) or Zhou Wang (紂王zhou4 wang2)
Note: King Zhou could also referred to as adding Shang (商 shang1) in front of any of his names.

See also

External Link