An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Terms and Events in Chinese History

The following table includes key terms of event history, and a wide range of special terms used in the fields of administrative history, economic history, military history, law and jurisdiction, the calendar, education and scholarship, and religion.

The terms and keywords are arranged alphabetically (Pinyin system, and some English terms), but of course they can also be sought for by the search funtion.

A [top]
academies see shuyuan 書院
amnesty from punishment see she
anchashi 按察使 surveillance commissioner
anfushi 安撫使 pacification commissioner
B [top]
ba hegemonial lord
Bailian School 白蓮教 see White Lotus Sect
bailiang 白糧 metropolitan tribute grain
baguwen 八股文 eight-legged essay
banks, traditional banking see qianzhuang 錢莊 and piaohao 票號
Banner land see qidi 旗地
Banner system see baqi 八旗
baochao 寶鈔 see paper money
baojia 保甲 communal self-defence system
baojiafa 保甲法 see baojia 保甲
baomafa 保馬法 horse protection law (Wang Anshi reforms)
baqi 八旗 Eight Banners (Qing)
ba wang zhi luan 八王之亂 Rebellion of the Eight Princes (Jin period)
beifubing 北府兵 elite army (Jin period)
biyong 辟雍 instruction hall of the imperial palace
bo 伯 earl, see wujue 五爵
boshi 博士 erudite, "professor"
Boxer Uprising 1900
bronze inscriptions jinwen 金文
buqu 部曲 private army (Cao-Wei, Jin, Nanbeichao); serfs (Sui, Tang)
buzhengshi 布政使 provincial administration commissioner
C [top]
caifangshi 採訪使 investigation commissioner
cangue see jia
caoliang 漕糧 tribute grain
caoyun 漕運 transport of tribute grain
caoyunsi 漕運司 see zhuanyunshi 轉運使
caoyun zongdu 漕運總督 Director-general of grain transport
castration, as punishment see gong
censor see yushi dafu 御史大夫
Censorate see Yushitai 衘史臺
chaju zhi 察舉制 commandery quota system of official recruitment (Han period)
changpingcang 常平倉 ever-normal granaries
Chimei 赤眉 Red Eyebrows, name of a peasant uprising (Han/Xin)
chafa 茶法 tea administration
chamafa 茶馬法 tea-horse trade, see chafa 茶法, mazheng 馬政
changcheng 長城 Great Wall
changwei 廠衛 Depots and Brocade Guards
chengxiang 丞相 Counsellor-in-chief
chi beating with the light stick
chongjun 充軍 penal military service
chuilian tingzheng 垂簾聽政 regency by an empress dowager
cipei 刺配 penal tattooing and exile or military service
circuit see lu
cishi 刺史 regional inspector
cisi 賜死 imperial order to commit suicide
concubines see Female officials
Confucian Classics
contribution see juanna 捐納
Counsellor-in-chief see chengxiang 丞相
corvée labour see yaoyi 徭役
D [top]
dafu 大夫 grand master (Zhou); see also jiu qing 九卿
dalisi 大理寺
dao-fu 道府 = daoyuan 道員 + zhifu 知府
daotai 道臺 circuit intendant
daoyuan 道員 see daotai 道臺
dapi 大辟 death penalty, see si
dayunhe 大運河 see Grand Canal
death penalty see si
di 禘 sacrifices see jiaosi 郊祀
diandang 典當 pawnshop
dianke 佃客 client-farmers (Jin, Nanbeichao)
diding 地丁 unified field-and-poll tax, see also tanding rumu 攤丁入畝
diding heyi 地丁合一 see tanding rumu 攤丁入畝
dingdai 頂戴 hat button as a marker of rank (Qing)
dingfu 丁賦 service tax
donglin dang 東林黨 Donglin Faction
du caoyun shisi 都漕運使司 see zhuanyunshi 轉運使
duchayuan 都察院 see Yushitai 衘史臺
dudie 度牒 tax-exemption certificate (for the clergy)
dudu 都督 commander-in-chief
duhu 都護 protector-general
duliangheng 度量衡 weights and measures
Dunhuang 敦煌 westernmost commandery of ancient China
duyushi 都御史 see yushi dafu 御史大夫
E [top]
Eight Banners see baqi 八旗
eight-legged essay see baguwen 八股文
equal-field system see juntian zhi 均田制
ershideng jue 二十等爵 twenty military ranks of honour in the Qin and Former Han empires
examination system (kejuzhi 科舉制) see also academies
baguwen 八股文
chaju zhi 察舉制
gongsheng 貢生
jiansheng 監生
jinshi 進士
juren 舉人
kaoji 考績
kemu 科目
mingjing 明經
shengyuan 生員
shuyuan 書院
xiucai 秀才
zheng-bi zhi 征辟制
exile see liu
F [top]
fangtianfa 方田法 see junshuifa 均税法
fangyushi 防禦使 defence commissioner
fangzhen 方鎮 defence command
fanzhen 藩鎮 frontier defence command
fei cutting off a foot as punishment
feiqian 飛錢 bills of exchange (Tang)
female officials see nüguan 女官
fengjian zhidu 封建制度 see zhuhou 諸侯
fenglu 俸祿 salary of state officials
fengshan 封禪 sacrifices to Heaven and Earth of Mt. Taishan
"feudal lords", regional rulers see zhuhou 諸侯
"feudal system" see zhuhou 諸侯
Five Directorates see jiusi wujian 九寺五監
fubing 府兵 garrison militia (Northern Dynasties-Tang)
fushe 復社 Revival Society, a literary society (Ming)
fuyi 賦役 taxation methods
fuzheng 輔政 regency
G [top]
gaitu guiliu 改土歸流 abolition of indirect rule by native chieftains
gong 公 duke, see wujue 五爵
gong penal castration
gongcha 貢茶 tribute tea
gongsheng 貢生 tribute student
gongxietian 公廨田 "office fields" for covering administrative expenses (Sui and Tang)
granaries see changpingcang 常平倉, shecang 社倉, yicang 義倉; pingdi pingtiao 平糴平糶
Grand Canal or Imperial Canal (dayunhe 大運河)
guanchashi 觀察使 surveillance commissioner
guanglu dafu 光祿大夫
guanglu xun 光祿勛
guanzi 關子 a kind of paper money (Song)
guozijian 國子監 Directorate of Education
H [top]
Hanlinyuan 翰林院 Hanlin Academy
haoqiang 豪強, haozu 豪族 see menfa 門閥
haoxian 耗羨 transport-loss surcharge
Heavenly Mandate see tianming 天命
hedao zongdu 河道總督 director-general of the Grand Canal
heqin 和親 political marriage between China and "barbarian" rulers (Han-Tang)
horse administration see mazheng 馬政
hou 候 marquis, see wujue 五爵
household tax system see hudiao zhi 戶調制
hualing 花翎 peacock feather as a marker of rank (Qing)
huangce 黃冊 the yellow registers
Huanghe 黄河 Yellow River
huangji 黃籍 yellow household registers
huangjin qiyi 黃巾起義 Yellow Turban uprising
huangshicheng 皇史宬 Imperial Archives
huanqian 圜錢 round coins (Zhanguo and Qin)
hubu 戶部 Ministry of Revenue
hudeng zhi 戶等制 household classification system
hudiao zhi 戶調制 household tax system
huiguan 會館 guild hall
huizi 會子 a kind of paper money (Song)
huji 戶籍 household registers
I [top]
Ili border region in the far west
Imperial Canal, see Grand Canal
inspection tours see xunshou 巡狩
J [top]
jia the cangue, a wooden panel to be worn around the head of delinquents
jianguo 監國 regency
jiansheng 監生 university student
jiangbingfa 將兵法 see zhijiangfa 置將法
jiaoshou 教授 teacher
jiaosi 郊祀 suburban sacrifices
jiaguwen 甲骨文 oracle bone inscriptions
jiaozi 交子 paper money (Song)
jiawu zhangzheng 甲午戰爭 First Chinese-Japanese War 1895
jiedushi 節度使 military commissioner
jimi 羈縻 indirect rule over native border territories
jinglüeshi 經略使 regulatory commissioner
jingtian zhi 井田制 well-field system
jinshi 進士 "presented scholar", title awarded to graduates of the metropolitan and palace examinations
jinwen 金文 bronze inscriptions
jinyiwei 錦衣衛 Brocade Guards, see changwei 廠衛
jiupin 九品 nine ranks of state officials
jiupin huntong 九品混通 see hudiaozhi
jiupin xiangtong 九品相通 see hudiaozhi
jiuqing 九卿 Nine Chamberlains
jiusi wujian 九寺五監 The Nine Courts and Five Directorates
jiuxi 九錫 the nine privileges
juanmian 蠲免 tax remissions or waivers
juanna 捐納 contributions
juanshu 捐輸 see juanna 捐納
junjichu 軍機處 Council of State
junshufa 均輸法 balanced-delivery law (Wang Anshi reforms)
junshuifa 均税法 equal-tax law (Wang Anshi reforms)
juntian zhi 均田制 equal-field system
junxiang 軍餉 military pay
juren 舉人 "recommendee", title awarded to graduates of prefectural or provincial examinations
K [top]
kaoji 考績 evaluation of state officials
kejuzhi 科舉制 see examination system
kemu 科目 type of examinations, see also examination system
keze 科則 classification system for land tax
king see wujue 五爵
kongqueling 孔雀翎 peacock feather as a marker of rank (Qing)
koufu 口賦 see suanfu 算賦
kuping tael 庫平 government standard weight for silver money (Qing)
L [top]
lanling 藍翎 pheasant feather as a marker of rank (Qing)
liangshuifa 兩稅法 twice-taxation system
lianzuofa 連坐法 collective liability
lifanyuan 理藩院 Court of Colonial Affairs
lijia 里甲 rural self-administration system
ling district magistrate or institutional director
liu exile
liubu 六部 the Six Ministries
liumang 流氓 see liumin 流民
liushou 留守 resident regent
liumin 流民 peasant refugees
liuwang 流亡 see liumin 流民
lougui 陋規 surcharge, "customary fee"
lu circuit
Lulin 綠林 peasant uprising under Wang Mang, see Red Eyebrows
lutian 祿田 see zhitian 職田
lüyingbing 綠營兵 Green Standard Troops (Qing)
M [top]
magistrate see ling 令 or zhixian 知縣
Manchu Banners see baqi 八旗
Mandate of Heaven see tianming 天命
mazheng 馬政 horse administration
menfa 門閥 eminent or distinguished families (Wei to Tang)
menke 門客 retainers
menxiasheng 門下省 the Chancellery (Han to Song)
mensheng 門生 see menke 門客
mianhangfa 免行法 see shiyifa 市易法
mianyifa 免役法 see muyifa 募役法
mingjing 明經 classicist, expert in the Confucian Classics
mingtang 明堂 main ceremonial hall of the imperial palace
Ministry of Revenue see hubu 戶部
mo penal tattooing
money see huanqian 圜錢, standard cash,
paper money,
money of the Qing period
mourning dress see sangfu 喪服
mu regional governor
muyifa 募役法 labour recruitment law (Wang Anshi reforms)
N [top]
nan 男 baron, see wujue 五爵
nanxun 南巡 see xunshou 巡狩
neige 内閣 Grand Secretariat
neiwufu 内務府 Imperial Household Department
Nine Courts see jiusi wujian 九寺五監
nongtian shuili fa 農田水利法 see shuilifa 水利法
nüguan 女官 see female officials
O [top]
oracle bone inscriptions jiaguwen 甲骨文
P [top]
palace memorial system see zouzhe 奏摺
paper money
pawnshops see diandang 典當
pengmin 棚民 shed people, migrant workers (Ming-Qing)
piaohao 票號 the Shanxi Banks
pingdi pingtiao 平糴 平糶 price regulation of grain
pingmifa 平米法 field tax adjustment method
pingyu 平餘 surcharge
poll tax see suanfu 算賦
Prime Minister see chengxiang 丞相
prince see wujue 五爵
protectorate see duhu 都護
Q [top]
qianyin 錢引 paper money (Song)
qianzhuang 錢莊 banks
qidi 旗地 Banner land
qing minister (Zhou), see also jiu qing 九卿
qing shi dafu 卿士大夫 ministers, grand masters, and servicemen (Zhou)
qingmiaofa 青苗法 green-sprouts law (Wang Anshi reforms)
quecha 榷茶 tea monopoly, see chafa 茶法
R [top]
Red Turbans
regional rulers see zhuhou 諸侯
renxun 人殉 human sacrifice (mainly for burials)
rouxing 肉刑, penal mutilation see wuxing 五刑
S [top]
sacrifices see suburban sacrifices to Heaven and Earth (jiaosi 郊祀)
fengshan sacrifices 封禪 to Heaven and Earth
sacrifices to sun and moon
sacrifices to the spirits of soil and grain (sheji 社稷)
the five sacrifices
blood sacrifices (xueji 血祭)
salt tax see yanke 鹽課
salt administration, salt monopoly see yanfa 鹽法
sandeng jiuze 三等九則 see keze 科則, classification of land
sangfu 喪服 mourning clothes
sangong 三公 the Three Dukes
sanshefa 三舍法 law on the three colleges (Wang Anshi reforms)
sansheng 三省 see shangshusheng 尚書省,
zhongshusheng 中書省,
menxiasheng 門下省
sanxiang 三餉 extraordinary taxes for war finance (late Ming)
sanzhang zhi 三長制 "three-heads system" for household registration (Northern Wei to Tang)
sanzu 三族 the extinction of three generations
shangshusheng 尚書省 Imperial Secretariat, Department of State Affairs
shanrang 禪讓, shanwei 禪位 leaving the throne to a worthy successor (and not the son)
she 赦, shemian 赦免 amnesty from punishment
shecang 社倉 community granaries
sheji 社稷 the altars of the spirits of soil and grain
shengyuan 生員 student obtaining a goventment-sponsored scholarship and a college place
sheren 舍人 retainers, later secretaries, see menke 門客
shezheng 攝政 regency
shi serviceman (Zhou); "scholar"
shiyifa 市易法 market exchange law (Wang Anshi reforms)
shiwei 侍衛 imperial guardsman
shizu 士族, shizu 世族 see menfa 門閥
shuilifa 水利法 hydraulic works law (Wang Anshi reforms)
shumishi 樞密使 see shumiyuan
shumiyuan 樞密院 Bureau of Military Affairs
shuyuan 書院 academy
shuzui 贖罪 buying redemption from punishment
si death penalty
sichou zhi lu 絲綢之路 see Silk Road
Silk Road
silver ingots as money
single-whip method of taxation see yitiaobian fa 一條鞭法
Son of Heaven see tianzi 天子
suanfu 算賦 poll tax
suburban sacrifices see jiaosi 郊祀
sui traditional lunar age
suicide, enforced, as a penalty see cisi 賜死
sycee see silver ingots
T [top]
taichang 太常
taishou 太守 commandery governor
taiwei 太尉 Defender-in-chief
taixue 太學 National University
tanding rumu 攤丁入畝 fusion of the poll tax with the field tax
Taoism see Daoism
tattooing see mo
taxes see diding 地丁
dingfu 丁賦
fuyi 賦役
hudiao zhi 戶調制
juanmian 蠲免
junshuifa 均税法
ketian zhi 課田制
keze 科則
liangshui fa 兩稅法
pingmifa 平米法
suanfu 算賦
tanding rumu 攤丁入畝
tianfu 田賦
yanke 鹽課
yitiaobian fa 一條鞭法
zhengshang 征商
zhengyifa 征一法
zuyongdiao zhi 租庸調制
tea administration, tea monopoly, tea-horse trade see chafa 茶法
tianfu 田賦 field tax
tianming 天命 the Mandate of Heaven
tianzi 天子 Son of Heaven, title of the king or emperor
tidu xuezheng 提督學政 provincial educational commissioner
Thirteen Classics
tribute grain see caoliang 漕糧
tribute tea see gongcha 貢茶
tu penal servitude
tuntian 屯田 military agro-colonies
tusi 土司 native chieftain
W [top]
Wang Anshi, reforms of
waiqi 外戚 kinsmen of empresses and consorts
wanli changcheng 萬里長城 see Great Wall
weights and measures
well-field system see jingtian zhi 井田制
wenyin 紋銀 see silver ingots
White Lotus Sect (Bailianjiao 白蓮教)
wu ba 五霸 the five hegemonial lords
wubao 塢堡 fortified manors (Jin)
wubi 塢壁 see wubao 塢堡
Wu-Chu qiguo zhi luan 吳楚七國之亂 see Rebellion of the Seven Princes
wujian 五監 see jiusi wujian 九寺五監
wujue 五爵 the five titles of nobility
wuli 五禮 the five types of rites
wusi 五祀 the five sacrifices
wuxing 五刑 the five capital punishments
wuxu bianfa 戊戌變法 Reform movement of 1898
X [top]
xia 祫 sacrifices see jiaosi 郊祀
xiangbing 廂兵, xiangjun 廂軍 prefectural armies (Song)
xiangshe 鄉射 village or district archery contest
xiangbing 鄉兵, xiangyong 鄉勇, village militia
xiangyue 鄉約 community compact
xinhai geming 辛亥革命 Revolution of 1911
xiucai 秀才 "cultivated talent", title awarded to graduates of a type of state examination
xuanfushi 宣撫使 pacification commissioner
xuanweishi 宣慰使 pacification commissioner
xueji 血祭 blood offerings
xunfu 巡撫 provincial governor
xunshou 巡狩, xunxing 巡幸 inspection tours
Y [top]
yamen 衙門 district administration
yandang 閹黨 eunuch faction (ministers siding with the eunuchs)
yanglian yin 養廉銀 anti-corruption allowance
yanfa 鹽法 salt administration
yanglao 養老 ancient ceremony of "nourishing the aged"
yanke 鹽課 salt tax
yantieshi 鹽鐵使 salt-and-iron commissioner
yaoyi 徭役 corvée labour
yi cutting off the nose as punishment
yicang 義倉 charity granaries
yin metropolitan magistrate
yinding 銀錠 see silver ingots
yinhu 蔭戶 client households, see yinke 蔭客
yinke 蔭客 clients, dependents of eminent families (Jin, Nanbeichao)
yinliang 銀兩 see silver ingots
yitiaobian fa 一條鞭法 single-whip method of taxation
yulin tuce 魚鱗圖冊 "fish scale registers" for land registration for land allotment (Ming)
yunhe 運河 see Grand Canal
yuping 餘平 surcharge
yushi dafu 御史大夫 Censor-in-chief
Yushitai 衘史臺 Censorate
Z [top]
zaixiang 宰相 Councellor-in-chief, see chengxiang
zhang beating with the heavy stick
zhantian ketian zhi 占田課田制 land quota and tax quota system (Jin)
zhao-mu 昭穆 intra-lineage rank system
zheng-bi zhi 征辟制 internal recommendation system of official recruitment (Han period)
zhengshang 征商 commercial taxes
zhengyifa 征一法 unified taxation method
zhezhongfa 折中法 equitable exchange method (salt administration)
zhifentian 職分田 see zhitian 職田
zhifu 知府 prefect
zhijiangfa 置將法 law on military commands (Wang Anshi reforms)
zhiqian 制錢 standard cash
zhitian 職田 "office fields" to provide salaries in grain (Jin to Yuan)
zhixian 知縣 district magistrate
zhizheng 執政 regency
zhizhou 知州 prefect, see zhifu 知府
Zhong-Fa zhanzheng 中法戰爭 Chinese-French War in 1883-1885
zhongshusheng 中書省 Palace Secretariat
zhuanzheng 專政 regency or (illegal) dominance of the government
zhuangtian 莊田 manors, large estates, latifundia
zhuangyuan 莊園 see zhuangtian 莊田
zhuanyunshi 轉運使 transport commissioner
zhuhou 諸侯 regional rulers, "feudal lords" (Zhou)
zi 子 viscount, see wujue 五爵
ziqiang yundong 自強運動 Self-strengthening Movement in the late 19th cent.
zongdu 總督 governor-general
zongfa 宗法 ancestral lineage system
zongli yamen 總理衙門 Foreign Office
zongzhu duhu 宗主督護 local administration and defence by clan heads (Jin)
zouzhe 奏摺 palace memorial
zuo-za 佐雜 subofficial functionary
zuyongdiao zhi 租庸調制 tripartite tax system
zuyin 足銀 see silver ingots