With Roman conquest of Parthia in 920(167) no Roman envoys to the Han were made to get around the Parthian middlemen, Central Asia remained more obscure, but the relevance of this Roman ignorance is thought to be little.
The respective reactions to these increases in wealth were different, however. The Han became more decadent while the silk road kingdoms began eras of consolidation and internal development.
For the Han, they became plagued by internal strife and intrigue while the coffers still filled, and they turned to bribing rather than defeating their exterior enemies, strengthening in particular the Xiongnu in the north. The noble families members became numerous, and as they sat on their duffs becoming mad, they produced volumes of poetry, treatises, and religious spin-offs or inventions; leading to religious turmoil when the scripts reached the masses.
The armed forces became as corrupt and self-indulgent as the government. The increasing occurrence of assassination led to the growth of the eunuch harems, who in turn sought to increase their own influence and by the late 930’s(184+) had de-facto control of the Han Dynasty and drastically siphoned off funds previously being spent on the people.
Rebellion of the Western Armies
In 941(188) the silk road kingdom of the Kangju conquered Xiyu(Xinjiang) from the Han for glory’s sake. The Han forces were driven out of the province, and instead of regrouping to counterattack, they settled further east. When the government demanded they recapture the province in 943(190) the western armies rebelled but were defeated the next year.
The eunuchs continuously increased taxes for their insatiable desire for wealth and for the need to pay off the Xiongnu and Kangju year after year until 949(196) when masses of peasants in several central provinces rose up in the Spring Uprising, some stirred by religious texts, unbeknownst to the rebels, written by Han nobles.
The rebel peasant general Teng Song rose to prominence in the rebellion, attaching a number of deserting imperial troops, gaining the compliance of other rebel generals and suppliant kings, and declaring the Han had lost the Mandate of Heaven. After the capital Luoyang was captured in 952(199) much of the noble families were convinced to retire indefinitely from administration, while the eunuchs fled en mass, soon running out of the funds necessary to bribe themselves to safety and being hunted down.
Three Dynasties Period
Teng Song then made a triumvirate agreement with the generals Bao Wen and Tai Huang, starting the Three Dynasties Period in 953(200) and ending the civil war.
Sinica was split into three main kingdoms: Tai Huang’s in the north became the kingdom of Qi; Bao Wen’s in the west became the Kingdom of Wen; and Teng Song in the east became the kingdom of the Song (eventually to become the ethnic group that would rule the Suong Dynasty of northeastern Sinica in the 20th century).
The agreements made regarding succession were adhered to as closely as they were flawed. Hoping to put off internal strife, each dynasty was required to equally divide its holdings among its nobles, and were forbidden to form eunuch offices. The dynasties were expected to prune their own leaves, but the old nobles slowly wedged their children back into the systems of all but the Wen. By the year 1000(247) the three dynasties had become sixteen, the Qi were a subject state to the Xiongnu tribes to the north, and intercine warfare, disease, and agricultural mismanagement had caused the population to crash down to 11 million in all of the three kingdoms. Silk export was near non existent, weakening the Kangju markets in particular.
General He Lin
In 1003(250) The Wen general He Jia Ju Lin showed uncommon competence in governance and military discipline when he began a campaign to reunite the Wen Kingdom. This was accomplished in 1013(260). He made many alliances with those kingdoms not part of the Three Dynasties through economic incentives, and by 1022(269) he had welded several of them into dynastic bonds to his kingdom. The Xiongnu felt threatened by He Jia Ju Lin and sought an alliance with the Kangju and Song, but Wen heavily bribed the Xianbei Tribes north of the Xiongnu to invade, and he interfered with the Xiongnu-Song negotiations. Leading an army himself against a Qi-Xiongnu force in 1027(274), he won a definitive victory, transferring the Qi to his realm as vassals, while the Xianbei invasions from the north thus paralysed further Xiongnu action.
Leading his forces against the ailing Song, He Jia Ju Lin, at the age of 62, died from an unknown disease, perhaps bowel cancer, in 1032(279) without a male heir. His dynasty was commandeered by his niece of all people Shi An, becoming the Empress Dowager He Ling, and placing her nine year old son He Dong on the throne and ruling as regent for ten years, fighting mostly to keep her son on the throne and contending with the Xianbei (having replaced the Xiongnu as the northern enemy) for control of the Qi. In 1042(289) He Dong fully obtained his position, becoming Emperor He Xiang Zheng. However, the Song at this time had produced their own legendary general-king, Yong Shun King of the Song, who in the same year invaded Szengzhou(~Sichuan) and the Wen capital of Yizhou was soon threatened. Xiang Zheng proved to extraordinarily lucky, for he had no military skill, but through guesswork routed Yong’s invasion.
This marked a tentative end of the Three Dynasties Period (although the Qi continued to be in actuality an independent kingdom). For the next thirty years Xiang and Yong would vie with each other both over the Qi and attempting to defeat each other. Xiang continued to show never ending luck in avoiding disaster while still never revealing true skill himself. There were also technological developments in this era, designs of the wheelbarrow and windmill were received from western traders in the Wen Kingdom, while Song engineers developed improved repeating crossbows (which would later be drawn upon by the Romans) and mechanical compasses. During Emperor He Jia Ju Lin’s reign, the overall population of Sinica had reached 16 million, but it was again in decline as Xiang and Yong relentlessly fought, even the Xianbei and Kangju by this time had withered away as states and became of little concern.
Showing the lack of foresight of his predecessor, Xiang failed to produce a proper heir, and his mother had to arrange it for him, thus at Xiang Zheng’s death in 1073(320) his cousin Chao Yang became Emperor He Yi. Yong was still virile at this point in his life at age 59, however, and the wars and espionage continued to his death in 1090(337). Yong’s court produced a successor, Emperor Yong Dan, and both emperors were able to come to an agreement, making a truce in 1091(338). However, the noble families again began to become tumultuous and neither successors proved to be as great as administrators as their predecessors. Also during this time the Ruru tribes lead by the Khan Bayarburilgi in what used to be the Xianbei heartland had descended upon their cousins; defeating the Xianbei tribes, then invading and conquering the Qi kingdom in 1092(339). In a hasty alliance the Wen and Song were able to repel the Ruru invasions, but court schemes destroyed the He and Yong dynasties, splintering the kingdoms, and inviting the Ruru to again invade in 1096(343).
Here is the definitive end of the Three Dynasties Period, with the Ruru successfully conquering and uniting all of Sinica in 1109(356), exterminating much of the old nobility, taking up the Mandate of Heaven, and establishing the Bayar Dynasty and the Bayar Period of Sinica. It would be its first and last foreign dynasty.
The Bayar dynasty was terribly stable for Sinica. Agriculture resumed, including the growth of chain pumps in irrigation, and population began to increase. The Bayar introduced the stirrup, funded cartographical studies, sponsored all forms of traditional arts, and generally ruled with benevolence.
The Bayars replaced the Banliang currency in use since the Qin unification of Sinica with the Yuhazhe Zheghezhea, the only difference being the increased use of iron in coins and a changing of the characters to enhance the Ruru nobility.
They became surprisingly civilised if elitist; taking Sinican names, maintaining a competent leadership through 4 Khans, and repelling Hun invasions from the north and west through the 1150’s(397).
In 1153(400) the Kangju kingdom collapsed, replaced by Hun states.
Khan An Wei and the War of the Eighteen Tribes
In 1252(499) the Bayar Khan An Hong died of natural causes, and was succeeded by his son An Wei, who knew not the kindness of his precursors. He greatly disliked the ethnic Sinicans, placing high poll taxes and restricting their property rights while promoting the Ruru tribes to push the Sinicans out of their old lands. This lead to the Han Uprising in 1254(501) which An Wei brutally put down, exterminating whole cities and funding recolonisation by ethnic Rurus. Outrage among the Sinicans ensued, leading to the War of the Eighteen Tribes in 1257(504), a full civil war lead mostly by decedents of fragments of the old nobility. The capital Jianye was captured and much of the Bayar nobles were killed but An Wei escaped with a sizable force, evading the rebels for two years wherein they began to squabble and lose their cohesion. An Wei by a miracle defeated the armies of general Chun Bo his pursuer in 1259(506), and the rebels lost the ability to pull together. An Wei began his reconquest of Sinica, the retreating Chun Bo acquired a short lived unity of the rebels when he coerced those assembled to declare him Emperor Qing Ho. However after another disastrous defeat at the Battle of Wan(~Anhui), he found he had power enough only to massacre the Ruru people settled in his territories, contributing to additional uprisings and shifting popular support back to An Wei. Qing Ho was killed in 1262(509) after the Battle of the Yangtze, after which An Wei recaptured Jianye and executed most of the leaders of the Eighteen Tribes. The Bayar Dynasty re-instated. An Wei was, however, changed by his experiences in the civil war and by all accounts much more compassionate, but the dynasty was severely weakened from the war and began its decline as the rebel survivors expeditiously turned to bandits, raiding villages, burning farmlands, and inciting small rebellions throughout the country. The rebels and bandits through pardons and defeats were finally pacified in the 1300’s(547) but the Bayar Dynasty had lost much central authority and the population of Sinica had fallen from 32 million in 1250(497) to 22 in 1303(550). The Solar shade of 1288-92(535-9) also was detrimental to Sinica. What remained of the western provinces was lost also.
North And South Period
However with regional autonomy and the return of peace, the population began to grow again. Although the central government became impoverished and again rife with internal crisis, the provinces became rich yet paid enough respect to the capital to refrain from war with each other. By 1324(571) the population of Sinica had reach 45 million, but also by this time the provinces’ respect for the capital disintegrated under the regency of the Empress Dowager Chun Ai, and the southern general Bei Wei of the Song led the Song Rebellion. After the Battle of Chungking in 1334(581) the situation went from rebellion to civil war and the start of the North and South Period . Bei Wei secured Sinica below the Yellow River to his empire. This division of Sinica into north Ruru dominated and south Song dominated would see another era of population decline.
In 1353(600) the Bayar attempted an invasion of the Choson kingdom of the Goguryeo after they resisted Bayar entreaties for assistance against the Song and inhibited Bayar envoys to tribes in Choson’s north. The expedition was such a disaster that the Goguryeo were able to dictate the next heir to the Bayar throne, of which they chose Li Hai, of a northeast Sinican stock. The Song to the south were persuaded away from invading the north through the skilled negotiations of the Bayar diplomat philosopher Dong Da Heng.
Li Hai had an incredible talent for realpolitik and the art of war, both the Bayar and Goguryeo realising that it was naïve to think he could be controlled. In 1370(617) they attempted to cut back his invasive tendrils of influence but Li Hai had the Sinican court declare the Bayar as submissive to the Choson and forfeit of the Mandate of Heaven, pro-actively mobilising armies of tens of thousands in the capital itself. Li Hai executed the current emperor An Guoui and massacred the Bayar aristocracy, ending the 262 year dynasty in 1371(618). Li Hai’s family became the new rulers, starting the Tang Dynasty with Li Hai becoming First Tang Emperor Li Heng.
Li Heng’s first act was to plan the reunification of Sinica. He placed his mother Li Nao as regent of the empire’s heart, to enact his preset and various economic, military, and political reforms, whilst he took armies into Choson. He assigned his brother general Li Ling to subdue the Song Dynasty, and his uncle Chin Yun to retake the long lost western provinces from the Hun tribes who had settled the regions.
Li Ling, a disciple of Dong Da Heng, successfully brought the Song under his brother’s empire in 1381(628), negotiating and bribing as much as defeating them, and assimilating their war engine, conquered the coast of the future Dai Viet for the Tang in 1388(635).
Chin Yun had considerable difficulty in the west against the Huns, more so because the influx from central and north Asia was still underway, and thus he was moving upstream, but by 1388(635) he had conquered Xiyu, reduced much of Central Asia to vassals, and made the Tuban (Tibetan) Kingdoms recognise Tang supremacy.
The Tang ruled Sinica undisputed, bringing Sinica into an all around golden age, establishing a stable succession and responsible government, and having on all fronts strongly won the barbarians’ respect until the emergence of the Uyghur Khaganate in 1497(744). Several battles in the north the Tang lost, their capital Chang’an threatened with siege. However, Emperor Li Qiuan was steadfast, regrouping the armies, and with Kyrgyz vassal auxiliaries annihilated the northern enemy’s empire in 1503(750), splitting it up into many small kingdoms and nomadic regions as vassals to the Tang.
1750s(1000+) Suffering from financial difficulties, the Tang implemented the first paper currency, the Rendeqian (trusty money). These promissory notes were preferred by merchants over the bulky coin bundles. However, the system soon suffered uncontrolled inflation from poorly governed printing regulations, something Rome managed to realise in time to make fixes for their issuing of Procurapapayros.
Cultural Exchanges between Sinica and Rome
Sinican culture developed a hierarchical class system called the four occupations during the Zhou Dynasty (-293-487(-1046--256)). It was not a meticulous setup, but many other Asian cultures adopted a form of it. Rome was progressively becoming less socially stratified and always had some intention of causing some level of assimilation of Sinica, in reaction the Tang and Nanchao actually strengthening the caste system. Rome in general saw this system as backward (to put in the pile of other backwards practices of the Sinicans) and was hardly affected by it.
Although officially Buddhist; Animism, D/Taoism, Confucianism, ancestor worship, many folk religions, and fortune telling methods existed in Sinica. The more concrete systems found adoption in the upper and middle classes of the Empire, while the eclectic folk religions and their distortions, introduced through the same conduits, were taken up by the poor and slaves. Due to Xun’s expulsion of all but the approved Buddhism, these small religions and superstitions grew in Rome with the refugee populations.
Sinican and Roman family structures used to be more similar. However, Roman households were on a continual path towards equality even at the time of official contact. In Sinican families communication was valued when subtle and indirect but in Rome it was rather opposite. The level of formality was slightly more lax in Rome. Romans had a greater focus on individuals also.
Like in India, arranged marriage even among the lower classes was common, but the Sinican influence on Rome was weaker than after the conquest of India. Sinican marriage rituals were also far more complex but had basic similarities such as dowries, a procession, and a banquet.
Sinican honorifics at times made Romans view the Sinicans as submissive and the Sinicans view Romans as slightly rude for not consistently using them in turn.
Rome almost off hand adopted a number of Sinican holidays, some of which already had equivalents at a different time of the year, but some were adopted during diplomatic meetings to promote friendship between Sinica and Rome. The Sinicans did not show a great adoption of Roman festivals until the Nanchao.
All Sinican names were Latinised in some way when in Rome, or else Sinicans took traditional Roman names when in the Empire. The Romans did not adopt Sinican inspired names nearly as much as they would Indian.
Although not explicitly abvironator, the Sinicans, even the Nanchao, did a far better job of refusing and preventing Romans from throwing all available exotic fauna to the arenas, about a good a job as preventing their own people from poaching and selling them or their derivatives to Romans.
A great transfer of recipes was always underway between Sinica and Rome since the official contact; both finding detractors and enthusiasts in all social and financial orders. By the late 16th century popinæ and cauponæ in the east and Urbs began offering egg noodles, rice, and other Asia Ulterior staples and dishes. During the recovery from the Miasmata Asian staples played a part in the food surpluses and aided the recovery of the empire, becoming as integrated in Roman food production as standard grain and olives. They were, however, neglected in the secessionist eastern provinces.
Clothing and Accessories
Romans copied many Sinican styles (hanfu) in various degrees for mere fashion, including the buzi rank badge, dragon motifs, and knob hats.
Under the Tang, Sinican dance reached an unprecedented level of professionalism. Romans could appreciate the Lion and Dragon dances for festivals, but had less enthusiasm for the uncostumed dances.
Drama and Theatre
Sinican theatre forms (mimes, musical displays) were enthusiastically copied in Rome, though the operas were often truncated to fewer than five acts.
Traditional Sinican music found only sparing popularity in the Empire. During the Nanchao, Indian and Roman music forms displaced traditional styles until the Xun Revolution, when the rebel government banned foreign music but also traditional music, instead propagating a monotonous style found by many outsiders to be even more whacked than the traditional forms.
TV and radio
As commercial aeralexy sets weren’t developed until the start of the 22nd century, the Nanchao never got a chance to use radio for propaganda uses, whereas the Xun used it crazy, though often only setting up sets in public spaces. The same would occur with televisa until the late 22nd century. Xun broadcasts were illegal to listen to in India and Ulterior Australis, but only ill-advised in the rest of the Empire.
Sinican cinema, even government propaganda, was slow to emerge, and at the end of the 22nd century the government was only starting to allow greater civilian expression, Sinican films were banned Empire-wide and some gained a discreet Roman following.
The Sinican script had been in existence for thousands of years but it had become fossilised as a formal bureaucratic standard, and education in it was not encouraged outside the government. In the Nanchao era (1872(1119)-2099(1346)) more citizens could write the Latin alphabet than Sinican script, developing hundreds of ad hoc pronunciations, and the Nanchao let this slide, while Rome thought it a right good part of assimilation even if the Rectorius Latinus went into conniptions. Early in the Xun revolution (2089-99(1336-46)) several ‘more natural’ Sinican scripts emerged, but in 2091(1338) Xun outlawed all but a north central variant, calling it Zhen Zhuan.
Sinican poetry and classics became translated, copied, and re-interpreted many times, and many works lost in Sinica itself from the fall of the Tang and especially the Xun Revolution were preserved.
Sinican paintings found undulating but ubiquitous popularity in the Empire, often copied and made as mosaics or murals. Sinican wall artists became well known by the late 16th century Empire-wide. As time passed mixed styles emerged as well, the old forms survived in Rome (and Nihhon) even as the Nanchao popularised heavily Roman influenced arts.
Sinica’s first exportation of porcelain in the 17th century was an immediate hit with the patricians and for a wonder never reached a saturation point. By the 18th century the production of porcelain was half stolen half reverse engineered, and Rome began producing its own wares.
Paper cutting was invented in Sinica in the mid 9th century, an entertainment for the aristocracy. It was adopted by the Roman aristocracy in the late 16th century.
The Bung Sui practices became adopted in Rome either as apotropaic arrangements or for mere aesthetics in homes, tombs and monuments; their popularity being in that order. Sinican style domi or villas have been built in the Empire, but solely by the individual initiative of their owners.
No less than from the Indians, Romans took and modified Sinican games and sports, some such as Lonku (dragonboat) races and tulluspila (Sinican football)
- ↑ Three Dynasties Period: 953(200)-[1042(289)]-1096(343) (89 or 143 years)
- ↑ Bayar Period: 1109(356)-1334(581) (225 years)
- ↑ North and South Period: 1334(581)-1364(611) (37 years)
- ↑ Tang Dynasty: 1371(618)- 1860(1107) (489 years)
- ↑ including the replacing of the Bayar currency with the Qian (which simply changed the characters to promote the Tang), the implementation of the horse collar, development/learning of mathematics, astronomy, medicine(later including ether), mechanics, and cartography independently and from western traders, woodblock printing, and western time pieces