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The territories of Eastern Wu (in green), AD 262
Capital Wuchang (222-229, 265-266)
Jianye (229-265, 266-280)
Language(s) Chinese
Religion Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion
Government Monarchy
 - 229 - 252 Sun Quan
 - 252 - 258 Sun Liang
 - 258 - 264 Sun Xiu
 - 264 - 280 Sun Hao
Historical era Three Kingdoms
 - Establishment 229
 - Sun Quan declares himself emperor 229
 - Conquest of Wu by Jin 280
 -  est. 10,000,000[citation needed] 
Currency Chinese coin, Chinese cash
This article contains Chinese text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Chinese characters.

Eastern Wu (simplified Chinese: 东吴traditional Chinese: 東吳pinyin: Dōng Wú), also known as Sun Wu (simplified Chinese: 孙吴traditional Chinese: 孫吳pinyin: Sūn Wú), was one of the Three Kingdoms competing for control of China after the fall of the Han Dynasty in the Jiangnan (Yangtze Delta) region of China. During its existence, its capital was largely at Jianye (建業), modern Nanjing), but at times was at Wuchang (武昌, in modern Ezhou, Hubei).



During the decline of the Han dynasty, the region of Wu - a region in the south of the Yangtze River surrounding Nanjing - was under the control of the warlord Sun Quan. Sun Quan succeeded his brother Sun Ce as the lord over the Wu region paying nominal allegiance to Emperor Xian of Han (who was, at that point, under the control of Cao Cao). Unlike his competitors, he did not really have the ambition to be Emperor of China. However, after Cao Pi of Cao Wei and Liu Bei of the Shu Han each declared themselves to be the Emperor, Sun Quan decided to follow suit in 229, claiming to have founded the Wu Dynasty.

Sun Quan's long reign resulted in the stabilizing of the south. Wu and Shu had a military alliance, to defeat Wei in the north. Wu never managed to gain territory north of the Yangtze river, but Wei never managed to take territory south of the river.

Eastern Wu was finally conquered by the first Jin emperor, Sima Yan, in 280. Wu was the longest-lived of the three kingdoms.


Under the rule of Eastern Wu, the Yangtze River Delta region, regarded in early history as a barbaric "jungle" developed into one of the commercial, cultural, and political centers of China. Within five centuries, during the Five Dynasties and Ten States, the development of Southern China centered around Jiangnan had surpassed that of the north. The achievements of Wu marked the beginning of the cultural and political division between Northern and Southern China that would repeatedly appear in Chinese history well into modernity.

The island of Taiwan may have been first reached by the Chinese during the Three Kingdoms period. Contacts with the native population and the dispatch of officials to an island named "Yizhou" (夷州) by the Eastern Wu navy might have been to Taiwan, but the location of Yizhou is open to dispute; some historians believe it was Taiwan, while others believe it was the Ryūkyū Islands.

Notable figures

Jar with modeled figurines from Eastern Wu, 222-280 CE, Shanghai Museum.

List of sovereigns

Eastern Wu 222-280
Posthumous Names ( Shi Hao 諡號) Personal names Year(s) of Reigns Era Names (Nian Hao 年號) and their range of years
Convention: use personal name
Da Di (大帝 dà dì) Sun Quan (孫權 sūn quán) 222-252

Huangwu (黃武 huáng wǔ) 222-229
Huanglong (黃龍 huáng lóng) 229-231
Jiahe (嘉禾 jiā hé) 232-238
Chiwu (赤烏 chì wū) 238-251
Taiyuan (太元 taì yuán) 251-252
Shenfeng (神鳳 shén2 fèng) 252

Kuaiji Wang (會稽王 kuaì jī wáng) Sun Liang (孫亮 sūn liàng) 252-258

Jianxing (建興 jiàn xīng) 252-253
Wufeng (五鳳 wǔ fèng) 254-256
Taiping (太平 taì píng) 256-258

Jing Di (景帝 jǐng dì) Sun Xiu (孫休 sūn xiū) 258-264 Yong'an (永安 yǒng ān) 258-264
Wucheng Hou (烏程侯 wū chéng hóu)
or Guiming Hou (歸命侯; gūi mìng hóu)
Sun Hao (孫皓 sūn haò) 264-280

Yuanxing (元興 yuán xīng) 264-265
Ganlu (甘露 gān lù) 265-266
Baoding (寶鼎 baǒ dǐng) 266-269
Jianheng (建衡 jiàn héng) 269-271
Fenghuang (鳳凰 fèng huáng) 272-274
Tiance (天冊 tiān cè) 275-276
Tianxi (天璽 tiān xǐ) 276
Tianji (天紀 tiān jì) 277-280

See also



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