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Defining Chu: Image and Reality in Ancient China

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Scholars agree that the "southern" culture of China, roughly identifiable with the state of Chu during the period between 700 and 200 B.C. is of great importance in the subsequent development of Chinese culture. This book, the first in a Western language to attempt such a broad and in-depth analysis of a single Chinese state, traces the evolution of the Chu from a vassal state of Zhou in the Spring and Autumn period to its rise and fall as a great hegemonic kingdom in the Warring States period and its eventual ...
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Overview

Scholars agree that the "southern" culture of China, roughly identifiable with the state of Chu during the period between 700 and 200 B.C. is of great importance in the subsequent development of Chinese culture. This book, the first in a Western language to attempt such a broad and in-depth analysis of a single Chinese state, traces the evolution of the Chu from a vassal state of Zhou in the Spring and Autumn period to its rise and fall as a great hegemonic kingdom in the Warring States period and its eventual resurgence in the early Hah dynasty.

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, " a document that has intrigued scholars since its discovery in Changsha some sixty years ago, is appended.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780824829056
  • Publisher: University of Hawaii Press, The
  • Publication date: 7/30/2005
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface : what does "defining Chu" mean?
Introduction 1
1 The geography of Chu 9
2 Chu culture : an archaeological overview 21
3 Chu art : link between the old and new 33
4 Chu society and state : image versus reality 51
5 The ideology of the Chu ruling class : ritual rhetoric and bronze inscriptions 67
6 Chu law in action : legal documents from tomb 2 at Baoshan 77
7 Towns and trade : cultural diversity and Chu daily life 99
8 Characteristics of late Chu religion 121
9 Monkeys, shamans, emperors, and poets : the Chuci and images of Chu during the Han dynasty 145
Conclusion 167
App Translation of the Chu silk manuscript 171
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