Middle Dynasties in China
Han Dynasty was followed by the Three Kingdoms Period (220-265) of Wei, Shu, and Wu. It was followed by the Jin (265-420), the Southern and Northern Dynasties (420-589), and the Sui Dynasty (581-618).
A jade item displayed at Beijing Forbidden City Museum.
In 618, Li Yuan founded the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Later, Li Shimin (r. 626-649), son of Li Yuan, ascended the throne as Emperor Taizong, considered one of the greatest emperors in Chinese history.
After the Tang Dynasty, came the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms (907-960).
Song and Yuan Dynasties
Kublai KhanKublai Khan, the first man made Beijing the capital
In 960, General Zhao Kuangyin of the Later Zhou Dynasty rose in mutiny, and founded the Song Dynasty (960-1279).
In 1206 Genghis Khan unified all the tribes in Mongolia and founded the Mongol Khanate. In 1271, his grandson, Kublai Khan, conquered the Central Plain, founded the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), and made Dadu (today's Beijing) the capital.
During the Song and Yuan dynasties, handicraft industry and domestic and foreign trade boomed. Many merchants and travelers came from abroad. Marco Polo from Venice traveled extensively in China, later describing the country's prosperity in his book ‘Travels’.
The "four great inventions" of the Chinese people in ancient times, paper making, printing, the compass and gunpowder, were further developed in the Song and Yuan dynasties, and introduced to foreign countries.