Concept

Former Zhao

Summary
The Han Zhao (; 304–329 AD), or Former Zhao (), was a dynastic state of China ruled by the Xiongnu people during the Sixteen Kingdoms period of Chinese history. In Chinese historiography, it was given two conditional state titles, the Northern Han (北漢; ) for the state proclaimed in 304 by Liu Yuan, and the Former Zhao (前趙; ) for the state proclaimed in 319 by Liu Yao. The reference to them as separate states should be considered misleading, given that when Liu Yao changed the name of the state from "Han" to "Zhao" in 319, he treated the state as having been continuous from the time that Liu Yuan founded it in 304; instead, he de-established his imperial lineage from the Han dynasty and claimed ancestry directly from Yu the Great of the Xia dynasty. The reason it was also referred to as "Former Zhao" in historiography is that when the powerful general Shi Le broke away and formed his own dynasty in 319, the new regime by Shi Le was also officially named "Zhao" as well, thus in Chinese
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