The Concept of ‘Oriental Despotism’ from Aristotle to Marx

Terracotta Army detail, Xi’an, China / Photo by Peter Morgan, Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Rolando Minuti / 05.03.2012 Fernand Braudel Fellow, Professor of History European University Institute Abstract The concept of Oriental Despotism has shaped the European interpretation and representation of Asiatic governments and societies for many centuries. Its origins can be found in Aristotelian[…]

Did Ancient Irrigation Technology Travel the Silk Road?

By Gerry Everding / 01.03.2018 Senior News Direct, Social Sciences Washington University, St. Louis Using satellite imaging and drone reconnaissance, archaeologists from Washington University in St. Louis have discovered an ancient irrigation system that allowed a farming community in arid northwestern China to raise livestock and cultivate crops in one of the world’s driest desert[…]

Ancient Agricultural Trade and Changing Crop Seasons

Barley continues to be the staple diet of people living in this Dolpo Valley of Nepal, a harsh environment at 13,000 feet above sea level. Research suggests that ancient barley cultivation moved into China after being farmed in high altitude regions such as this along the southern edge of the Tibetan Plateau. (Photo: Wikipedia Commons)[…]

Paper in Ancient China

A 13th century CE wooden printing plate and paper bank note from the Chinese Yuan dynasty (1271-1368 CE). (Tokyo Currency Museum) By Mark Cartwright / 09.15.2017 Historian The widespread use of paper and printing were features of ancient China which distinguished it from other ancient cultures. Traditionally, paper was invented in the early 2nd century CE, but[…]

Why Study Chinese Philosophy?

Plato, Confucius and Aristotle. Ancient Greek philosophy is widely taught in American universities, but classes in Chinese philosophy are few and far between. Public domain By Dr. Bryan W. Van Norden / 07.19.2017 Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple Professor of Philosophy Yale-NUS College Part of what U.S. diplomats and informed citizens need to know is[…]