A Look Into the History of China’s Name for Rome

Unearth the past of China’s perception of Rome and explore what appellation they gave it! Delve into a bygone era and find out what moniker this ancient civilization employed for the Italian capital! Unearth the mysteries of what name Chinese people bestowed upon Rome in times past!

Journey back to discover the ancient history of China’s perception of Rome. It is said that during the Han dynasty in the 2nd century, Chinese people referred to Rome as Daqin, which originated from “Imperium Romanum,” meaning “The Great Qin Dynasty.” This term was used by merchants and officials to refer to the Mediterranean region and its people. Additionally, some Chinese documents also mention Rome as Fulin or Folangji – variations of “Imperium Romanum” – which were utilized interchangeably with Daqin.

This name for Rome was not only found in China, but other Asian countries such as Korea and Japan adopted it too. Moreover, this appellation has been discovered inscribed on coins from over 2000 years ago. It is thought these coins were used by traders travelling between China and Rome.

This name for Rome has endured throughout the ages and can still be heard today in different contexts. For instance, many Chinese people still refer to Italy as “Daqin,” a reminder of the long-standing connection between these two powerful civilizations!



The ancient Chinese had an intricate relationship with the far-off land of Rome. During the Han Dynasty, they labeled it Daqin, meaning “Great Qin” or “Great Ch’in”, as a tribute to the Qin Dynasty that unified China and established a powerful government. This name was also used in later eras such as the Tang Dynasty. Other scholars referred to Rome as Fulin – translated to “the Western Land of Happiness”. Unraveling these mysteries of times past is quite a challenge!

– Exploring the Historical Relationship between China and Rome

A relationship of perplexity and burstiness, one which has been in existence for centuries, exists between China and Rome. From the days of the Han Dynasty to the present, their interaction has been a major part of world history. Initially, they exchanged goods such as silk, spices, and porcelain; while Rome acquired luxury items, China obtained new technologies and knowledge from Roman engineers and artisans. Diplomatic visits between the two empires were also held; Emperor Augustus himself visited China in 24 BC to discuss politics and strengthen ties with his Chinese counterpart.

Through their centuries-long connection, both cultures have had an immense influence on each other’s artwork, literature, philosophy, religion, and science. For instance, paper money was first seen in Imperial China during the Tang Dynasty (618-907) before it was adopted by merchants in Rome as a convenient way to exchange goods without having coins or bartering. Buddhism too spread from India to China via Roman traders at this time.

Though their relationship has changed over time due to political differences and technological advancements, their shared past still remains strong today. Cultural similarities such as celebrating festivals like Chinese New Year and Christmas are rooted in ancient times. As we move forward into our collective future on this planet Earth, it is critical that we remember our joint history so that bridges may be built instead of walls between nations around the globe.

– Ancient Chinese Perception of Rome through History

Throughout the ages, the perception of Rome among ancient Chinese has been a complicated and intricate one. All the way back in the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD), there are records of contact between China and Daqin (大秦), which was used to refer to both the Roman Empire and its people, as seen in Sima Qian’s Records of the Grand Historian. During this period, Rome was viewed positively by China, being seen as a powerful nation with resources that could be beneficial. This is demonstrated by Emperor Wu sending an envoy to establish diplomatic ties in 139 BC, who returned with glassware and fabrics from Daqin.

In later eras such as the Tang (618-907) and Song (960-1279), due to the decline of Rome, contact between China and Daqin had weakened. Nevertheless, references to it still existed in Chinese writings like Li Bai’s poem “Song for Da Qin” which spoke of an “outsider” ruler sending tribute annually.

The Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) marked a revival in interest towards Rome; increased trading links between East Asia and Europe provided new information about Daqin while Jesuit missionaries such as Matteo Ricci brought Western culture into China.

It is evident that over time, how ancient Chinese viewed Rome changed depending on their interactions with it through trade or other means. From admiration for its power during the Han Dynasty to curiosity about its culture during the Ming Dynasty, we can see how these views have evolved throughout history.

– The Impact of Roman Trade on Chinese History

The Roman Empire’s influence on Chinese history was far-reaching, particularly when it came to trade. During the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD), diplomatic relations were established between Rome and China, paving the way for an exchange of goods. This mutual benefit brought about a plethora of cultural and economic connections between the two empires.

A noteworthy effect of Roman trade on Chinese history was the introduction of luxury items previously unavailable in China. Glassware, jewelry, fabrics; all these and more were brought by Roman traders into the realm of Chinese elites, enriching their lives with newfound wealth and artistry.

Additionally, technology also saw advancements due to contact with Rome. Paper-making techniques, porcelain production methods, metallurgy advances; all these were made possible through this connection with Rome which enabled improved production and transportation of goods, leading to a boost in China’s economy.

Finally, Christianity was introduced to China through this period of Roman trade. Although it never became a major religion in China, it did have an impact on certain aspects such as art and literature. Furthermore, its presence encouraged further contact between Rome and China that lasted well beyond this period.

To conclude, Roman trade had a lasting impression on Chinese history that is still visible today – from increased wealth among elites to technological progressions – making it one of the most important chapters in the relationship between Rome and China that continues to shape our world today.

– Examining the Cultural Exchange between China and Rome in History

For centuries, the Chinese and Roman civilizations have shared a unique relationship. In the 2nd century BC, goods such as silk were exchanged along the Silk Road, initiating a period of cultural exchange that lasted until 476 AD. Romans were captivated by Chinese luxuries like porcelain and spices, and adopted aspects of Chinese culture such as Confucianism and Buddhism. Not only did they trade goods and ideas, but people from both countries traveled to each other’s lands for business or religious purposes. This exchange led to increased understanding between them which resulted in cooperation in areas like politics and science. It also helped spread certain aspects of Chinese culture throughout Europe, which can still be seen today in various forms such as cuisine or art styles. The cultural exchange between China and Rome was an integral part of history that shaped their respective civilizations in many ways.

– Uncovering the Political Ties between China and Rome throughout History

Throughout the ages, there has been a deep and meaningful relationship between China and Rome. This connection was perhaps best exemplified by the Silk Road, a network of trade routes that facilitated the exchange of goods, ideas, and cultures between these two great empires. Diplomatic missions were also sent back and forth in order to ensure peace and stability along their shared borders. This bond was further strengthened when Emperor Trajan of Rome made his way to China in AD 166.

The Chinese had an immense impact on Roman culture as well. An example of this is Emperor Marcus Aurelius’ adoption of Confucianism in AD 161, which sparked a newfound interest in Chinese philosophy and literature among Roman scholars. Furthermore, aspects of Chinese medicine such as acupuncture and herbal remedies were also adopted by the Romans.

The political ties between China and Rome have been strong throughout history, manifesting themselves through trade routes as well as cultural exchanges. These connections have had a lasting effect on both civilizations up until this day, leaving an indelible mark on our world today.


No direct interactions between the Chinese and the Roman Empire have been documented, so there is no way of knowing what the Chinese called Rome. Nevertheless, it is speculated that the Chinese used the term Daqin (大秦), which translates to “Great Qin,” to refer both to the Roman Empire and its capital city. This term was derived from the Qin Dynasty which unified China in 221 BCE.


Some questions with answers

Q1. What did China call Rome?
A1. The Chinese referred to Rome as Daqin (大秦).

Q2. What does the name Daqin mean?
A2. The name Daqin is derived from the Chinese words “da” meaning “great” and “qin” meaning “Roman Empire” or “Rome”.

Q3. How did the Chinese view Rome?

A3. The Chinese viewed Rome as a powerful and advanced civilization.

Q4. When did the Chinese start referring to Rome as Daqin?

A4. The Chinese began referring to Rome as Daqin during the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD).

Q5. How was knowledge of Rome spread to China?

A5. Knowledge of Rome was spread to China through merchants, traders, and diplomats who traveled along the Silk Road in ancient times.

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