''This article is about "Three Kingdoms" in China. For other "Three Kingdoms", please refer to Three Kingdoms (disambiguation).
The Three Kingdoms (Traditional Chinese characters: 三國, Simplified Chinese characters: 三国, pinyin Sānguó) (220 - 265) refers to a period of time after the fall of the Han Dynasty in China, marked by the struggle of three rival kingdoms: the Kingdom of Wei, the Kingdom of Shu, and the Kingdom of Wu for control of China. Each kingdom's ruler called himself "emperor" and believed that his "empire" should be the true successor of the Han Dynasty.
Of the three, Wei was always the most powerful kingdom. It conquered the Shu kingdom in 263. By this time the Sima clan had effectively wrested control of Wei away from the Cao family; Sima Yan formally seized the throne in 265 and established the Jin Dynasty (265-420). In 280, Sima Yan succeeded in conquering the Wu kingdom and reunifying China.
The famous Chinese epic Romance of Three Kingdoms was based on this period. The authoritative historical record of this era is the Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms.
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