The Cambridge History of Ancient China: From the Origins of Civilization to 221 BC

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Overview

The Cambridge History of Ancient China provides a survey of the cultural, intellectual, political, and institutional developments of the pre-imperial period. The four subperiods of Shang, Western Zhou, Spring and Autumn and Warring States, are described on the basis of literary and material sources and the evidence of recently found manuscripts. Chapters on the prehistoric background, the growth of language, and relations with the peoples of Central Asia provide the major context of China's achievements in the 1,500 years under review. The teachings of China's early masters are set alongside what is known of the methods of astonomers, physicians and diviners. A final chapter leads the reader forward to imperial times, as described in the volumes of The Cambridge History of China.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This volume presents informative summaries of major periods and topics with meticulous attention to the evidence. The discussions of sources, sites, and artifacts will be invaluable to present and future students, who will also be grateful for the illustrations and Chinese characters included in the text." Choice

"It is indeed a daunting task to review this hefty volume consisting of fourteen chapters by specialists in their respective fields and no summary can do justice to its contents. Read it." Susan Bush, Early Medieval China

"...everyone who studies early China will want access to this book." Religious Studies Review

"...is a necessary reference work for students of Chinese history, if they read only those well-researched and carefully written chapters." Historian

"...almost everyone interested in ancient China will find something to reward them within its cover." American Historical Review

"...a necessary reference work for students of chinese history." The Historian

"This is an informative book full of important insights...The successful combination in this volume of these two approaches deserves to be emulated in studies on later periods. This volume is truly an impressive monument--a monument consisting almost exclusively of texts." China Review International

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521470308
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 1148
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 2.56 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction; Calendar and chronology; Geography and climate; 1. China on the eve of the historical period; 2. Language and writing; 3. Shang archaeology; 4. The Shang: China's first historical dynasty; 5. Western Zhou history; 6. Western Zhou archaeology; 7. The waning of the Bronze Age: material culture and social developments, 770–481 BC; 8. The Spring and Autumn period; 9. Warring States: the political history; 10. The art and architecture of the Warring States period; 11. The classical philosophical writings; 12. Warring states: natural philosophy and occult thought; 13. The Northern Frontier in pre-Imperial China; 14. The heritage left to the Empires.
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