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Defining Chu

Author: Constance A. Cook
Publisher: University of Hawaii Press
ISBN: 9780824829056
Size: 11.60 MB
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Defining Chu begins with an overview of the historical geography, an outline of archaeological evidence for Chu history, and an appreciation of Chu art. Following chapters examine issues of state and society: the ideology of the ruling class, legal procedures, popular culture, and daily life. The final section surveys Chu religion and literature and includes an analysis of the Chuci, the great anthology of Chu poetry, and its impact on mainstream Chinese literature. A translation of the Chu Silk Manuscript¿ is appended. This document has intrigued scholars since its discovery in Changsha some sixty years ago. The inclusion of this rare and difficult text, available for the first time in an effective and accessible translation, will make this volume indispensable to students and scholars of early Chinese history and thought.

Ten Thousand Things

Author: Lothar Ledderose
Publisher: Bollingen Foundation
ISBN: 9780691006697
Size: 63.82 MB
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Chinese workers in the third century b.c. created seven thousand life-sized terracotta soldiers to guard the tomb of the First Emperor. In the eleventh century a.d., Chinese builders constructed a pagoda from as many as thirty thousand separately carved wooden pieces. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, China exported more than a hundred million pieces of porcelain to the West. As these examples show, the Chinese throughout history have produced works of art in astonishing quantities--and have done so without sacrificing quality, affordability, or speed of manufacture. How have they managed this? Lothar Ledderose takes us on a remarkable tour of Chinese art and culture to explain how artists used complex systems of mass production to assemble extraordinary objects from standardized parts or modules. As he reveals, these systems have deep roots in Chinese thought--in the idea that the universe consists of ten thousand categories of things, for example--and reflect characteristically Chinese modes of social organization. Ledderose begins with the modular system par excellence: Chinese script, an ancient system of fifty thousand characters produced from a repertoire of only about two hundred components. He shows how Chinese artists used related modular systems to create ritual bronzes, to produce the First Emperor's terracotta army, and to develop the world's first printing systems. He explores the dazzling variety of lacquerware and porcelain that the West found so seductive, and examines how works as diverse as imperial palaces and paintings of hell relied on elegant variation of standardized components. Ledderose explains that Chinese artists, unlike their Western counterparts, did not seek to reproduce individual objects of nature faithfully, but sought instead to mimic nature's ability to produce limitless numbers of objects. He shows as well how modular patterns of thought run through Chinese ideas about personal freedom, China's culture of bureaucracy, Chinese religion, and even the organization of Chinese restaurants. Originally presented as a series of Mellon lectures at the National Gallery of Art, Ten Thousand Things combines keen aesthetic and cultural insights with a rich variety of illustrations to make a profound new statement about Chinese art and society.

Everyday Life In Early Imperial China During The Han Period 202 Bc Ad 220

Author: Michael Loewe
Publisher: Hackett Publishing
ISBN: 9780872207585
Size: 62.66 MB
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In this lively and accessible account, with illustrations on nearly every page, Michael Loewe gives us a vivid picture of the lives of peasants working the land, the lives of town inhabitants, and the elaborate hierarchy of institutions and civil servants that sustained the vast imperial government. In a new Preface and an updated Bibliography, Loewe calls our attention to the significance of scholarly research and discoveries since the original publication of his classic work.

The Cambridge History Of Ancient China

Author: Michael Loewe
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521470308
Size: 54.69 MB
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A survey of the cultural history of pre-Imperial China. Historians and archaeologists cover the Shang, Western Zhou, Spring and Autumn, Warring States, Neolithic background, language, intellectual history, relations with central Asia, and the debts of the Qin and Han empires to these periods. There are chapters on institutional history, based on both traditional and palaeographic literature, and on material culture.

The Formation Of Chinese Civilization

Author: Kwang-chih Chang
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300093829
Size: 14.84 MB
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Paleolithic sites from one million years ago, Neolithic sites with extraordinary jade and ceramic artifacts, excavated tombs and palaces of the Shang and Zhou dynasties--all these are part of the archaeological riches of China. This magnificent book surveys China’s archaeological remains and in the process rewrites the early history of the world’s most enduring civilization. Eminent scholars from China and America show how archaeological evidence establishes that Chinese culture did not spread from a single central area, as was long assumed, but emerged out of geographically diverse, interacting Neolithic cultures. Taking us to the great archaeological finds of the past hundred years--tombs, temples, palaces, cities--they shed new light on many aspects of Chinese life. With a wealth of fascinating detail and hundreds of reproductions of archaeological discoveries, including very recent ones, this book is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in Chinese antiquity and Chinese views on the formation of their own civilization.


Author: Robert E. Murowchick
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
ISBN: 9780806126838
Size: 52.14 MB
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Anthropologists, archaeologists, geographers, and historians chronicle the evolution of Chinese culture and history from antiquity to present times

Ancient China And Its Enemies

Author: Nicola Di Cosmo
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781139431651
Size: 70.45 MB
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Relations between Inner Asian nomads and Chinese are a continuous theme throughout Chinese history. By investigating the formation of nomadic cultures, by analyzing the evolution of patterns of interaction along China's frontiers, and by exploring how this interaction was recorded in historiography, this looks at the origins of the cultural and political tensions between these two civilizations through the first millennium BC. The main purpose of the book is to analyze ethnic, cultural, and political frontiers between nomads and Chinese in the historical contexts that led to their formation, and to look at cultural perceptions of 'others' as a function of the same historical process. Based on both archaeological and textual sources, this 2002 book also introduces a new methodological approach to Chinese frontier history, which combines extensive factual data with a careful scrutiny of the motives, methods, and general conception of history that informed the Chinese historian Ssu-ma Ch'ien.

Ritual And Mythology Of The Chinese Triads

Author: B. J. Ter Haar
Publisher: BRILL
ISBN: 9789004110632
Size: 20.71 MB
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The extensive ritual and mythological lore of the Chinese Triads form the scope of the new title in Brill's monograph series Sinica Leidensia. The author evaluates the extant sources and introduces several little used Triad manuals, as well as a wealth of contextual information. Triad lore is placed in its own religious and cultural context, allowing radically new conclusions about its origins, meanings and functions. Readership: Those interested in late imperial China's social and religious history, Chinese Triads, local ritual traditions, charter myths, as well as anthropologists, Asian administrators and overseas Chinese, and martial arts practitioners.