China: Empire and Civilization / Edition 1

China: Empire and Civilization / Edition 1

by Edward L. Shaughnessy
Pub. Date:
Oxford University Press, USA
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China: Empire and Civilization / Edition 1

To Western eyes, China is one of the most mysterious and intriguing of all civilizations. The legacy of its long dynastic rule, extending back more than 3,000 years, includes fascinating contributions to philosophy, religion, art, science, and mythology that continue to influence the modern world. China explores the ideas and achievements of this unique culture through a combination of authoritative, accessible scholarship and magnificent imagery.

Drawing on the most recent discoveries and theories, the book presents China's history, society, and beliefs from the legends of prehistory to the end of imperial power in 1912. It investigates the key cultural, spiritual, and artistic traditions of this vast civilization and describes the country's major scientific and technological innovations, such as gunpowder, printing, and the compass. An investigation of trading routes, both by land and sea, challenges the conventional view of China as an isolated, insular civilization, stressing instead the impact of its sophisticated society upon the world. A final section discusses the continuing legacy of the imperial period through the turbulent years of the twentieth century up to the present day.

A wealth of color photography and imaginative artwork, together with a lively and authoritative text, vividly evokes the pinnacles of Chinese civilization as well as the realities of everyday life, from life in the Imperial court to the most rural villages.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195182873
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 07/01/2005
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 9.00(w) x 6.90(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

Part 1The Chinese World10
Chapter 1All Under Heaven12
Borders of Land and Sea12
Mountains and Water14
Resources and Ecology18
Provinces and Peoples20
Communication Routes22
Chapter 2Continuity and Change24
The Archaic States24
The Territorial States26
The First Empires28
A Time of Disunion30
Medieval Empires32
The Southward Shift34
The Conquest Dynasties36
The Rise of Autocracy38
Zenith and Decline40
Chapter 3The Role of the State44
The "Son of Heaven"44
Palace and Court46
Governing the State48
Justice and the Law52
The Military54
Chapter 4Family and Society56
Ties that Bind56
Women in Society58
Rites of Passage60
Village Life62
Towns and Cities64
The Scholar-Gentry66
Chapter 5The Creation of Wealth68
The Four Occupations68
Settlement and Farming70
The Rise of Industry72
Trading by Land and Sea74
Part 2Belief and Ritual76
Chapter 6Confucianism: Order and Virtue78
Confucius and his Followers78
Heroes of Antiquity80
The Confucian Canon82
Ideology and Empire84
Schools and Academies86
A World of Ritual88
Chapter 7Following the Dao90
The Organic Universe90
Religious Daoism92
In Quest of Immortality94
Healers, Magicians, and Exorcists96
Meditation and Ritual98
Priests and Temples100
Daoism and Popular Religion102
Sectarian Movements and Secret Societies104
Chapter 8The Way of the Buddha108
The Buddha and his Teachings108
The Dharma in China110
Paths to Enlightenment112
Sacred Writings116
Worship and Monasticism118
Chapter 9The Harmony of Heaven and Earth120
The Great Trinity120
Yin and Yang and the Five Elements122
Mapping the Heavens124
Interpreting the Heavens126
Mapping the Earth128
Feng Shui130
The Calendar134
Chapter 10The Realm of Ghosts and Spirits136
A World of Spirits136
Wandering Souls138
Death and Burial140
Serving the Ancestors142
Arts of Transformation144
Part 3Creation and Discovery146
Chapter 11Healing and Medicine148
The Sources of Medical Tradition148
Healers and their Art150
Qi and Human Physiology152
The Structure of the Body154
Acupuncture and Moxibustion156
Drugs and Healing Foods162
Chapter 12Technology and Science166
The Inquiring Spirit166
Farming and Food168
Spinners and Weavers170
Treasures from the Earth172
Transport and Communication174
The Technology of War176
Mechanics and Power178
Paper, Printing, and Publishing182
Chapter 13The Fine and Decorative Arts184
Ritual Jade and Bronze184
Art for the Afterlife186
Inspiration and Enlightenment188
The Art of Writing190
Traditions of Court Painting194
A Noble Pastime: Literati Art196
The Craft of the Potter198
The Aesthetics of Display202
Chapter 14The Performing Arts204
The Chinese Theater204
Musical Traditions206
The Art of Dance208
Acrobats and Circus210
Chapter 15Architecture and Planning212
The Technology of Chinese Architecture212
The Great Wall214
Walled Cities and Towns216
A House for the "Son of Heaven"218
Places of Worship220
The Pagoda222
Building for the Afterlife224
Designs for Living226
Gardens of Delight228
Afterword: The Legacy of 4,000 Years230
Language and Pronunciation238
Table of Dynasties239
Further Reading240
Picture Credits256

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