For this conclusion of A.D. History’s second century season, the Han Dynasty’s collapse and Japan’s Queen Himiko come to the forefront. With the close of the second season, it is a truly fitting climax.
The Han Dynasty’s Collapse: A Long Time Coming
As Patrick delves chaotic end of China’s Han Dynasty, we see the collapse of a true ancient super power.
After re establishing the Eastern Han Dynasty following the brief and ineffective rule of Wang Mang’s ill fated Xin Dynasty, the Han experienced an extended boom period.
Economic prosperity and territorial reacquisition were achieved within a century of the newest iteration of the Han Dynasty. Yet it would prove to be a shooting star in history.
The endemic corruption of the Han Dynasty ran clear to the top. Hardball political power players managed to actively weaken choices of Han emperors, by maneuvering to place very younger and easily manipulated rulers on the throne.
Moreover, the Han systems of meritocracy through civil service examines eroded the empire’s administration as well – mostly through one paying to play.
The Han Dynasty’s collapse is undoubtedly the first such major player to exit the stage in A.D. History. However, it will not be the last.
Queen Himiko of Japan: The Historical Quagmire
Queen Himiko of Japan is one of the most elusive figures – a very important one – in Japanese history. Though despite Himiko’s notoriety, establishing her existence historically is one of the hottest debates for Japanese historians.
Queen Himiko, according the Chinese Book of Wei, was the Queen of 30 communities in Japan. Himiko came to power in the late second century, after a near century of a poorly defined conflict in Japan. Apparently she spell binded her people, and ruled with her younger brother acting as the face of her rule.
The enduring problem with Himiko’s history is that no Japanese historical sources make mention of her at all. The two main texts used to understand classical Japanese history, the Kojiki (712AD) and Nihon Shoki (720AD) make no mention of her.
Paul breaks down this historical quagmire, and sees if we can get at the truth of her existence, impact and historical legacy.
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Host – Patrick Foote
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