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Han dynasty (漢朝, 206 B.C. – 220 C.E.)

During the Han dynasty, clerical script (隷書, れいしょ, reisho), which evolved from seal script (篆書, てんしょ, tensho) as the official script for general documents, went through a radical reform and became the official style. The vast majority of clerical script characters have been used continuously throughout history and they survived till today. The impact that the Han dynasty had on the development of calligraphy was so significant, that in modern China people still refer to the characters as漢字 (Chinese: Hàn zì, i.e. “the characters of Han China). Eight main styles of calligraphy, known as八體 (Bā tǐ, i.e. “eight bodies (scripts)”) matured throughout 400 years of the Han empire.

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Page last modified on October 24, 2011, at 08:04 AM