Daily Life in Ancient China

Neolithic Banpo Village, Xi’an, China, flourished 5,000-3,000 BCE. / Photo by Ian Armstrong, Flickr, Creative Commons Chinese culture is one of the oldest in the world today. Over 6,000 years ago this culture began to develop in the Yellow River Valley and many of those ancient practices are still observed in the present. By Emily[…]

The Dynasties of Medieval China

Luoyang longmen grottoes / Photo by Tgasrio, Wikimedia Commons Examining the Tang, Song, Yuan, and Ming dynasties. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 08.23.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief The Tang Dynasty, 618-907 CE Rise of the Tang Dynasty The Tang dynasty, generally regarded as a golden age of Chinese culture, was founded by the Lǐ family,[…]

The Character and Function of Ancient Chinese Walls and Fortifications

The Great Wall of China / Photo by Jakub Halun, Wikimedia Commons The concepts and technology of defensive fortifications fitfully but continually evolved. By Dr. Ralph D. Sawyer Senior Research Fellow University of Massachusetts The Fortifications LONG VIRTUALLY DEFINED by the mythic aspects of its Great Wall, China’s tradition of wall building far exceeds the most exaggerated[…]

China’s Semilegendary Period: Preliminary Orientations and Legendary Conflicts

King Zhu of the Shang Dynasty Lights the Signal Beacons, a Perspective Picture / Museum of Fine Arts Boston Archaeological discoveries over the past several decades have suddenly infused life into previously shadowy remnants of ancient Chinese civilization. By Dr. Ralph D. Sawyer Senior Research Fellow University of Massachusetts Introduction When warriors battle over territory,[…]

The Civilization of Ancient China

Great Wall illustration from French translation of an 1843 book by Thomas Allorn / Wikimedia Commons Major Stone Age farming cultures had grown up in China since the 7th millennium BCE. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 07.30.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Timeline of Ancient Chinese History 1766 BCE: traditional date for the founding of the first[…]

From China with Love: Tang Xianzu was the Shakespeare of the Orient

Tang and Shakespeare’s dramas are being blended together in a series of adaptions. Performance Infinity, Author provided Shakespeare was not the only famous dramatist to die in 1616. On the other side of theworld, in China, another theatrical legend was laid to rest. By Dr. Mary Mazzilli / 07.21.2016 Lecture in Theatre and Performance Goldsmiths, University of London In his 400th anniversary year, Shakespeare is still rightly celebrated as[…]

Children and Youth in Late Imperial China

Armorial screen Qing dynasty, 1720–1730, Artists from Guangzhou (Canton), Guangdong province, China / Peabody Essex Museum via Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Susan Fernsebner Professor of Modern Chinese History University of Mary Washington An exploration of primary sources on childhood in late imperial China (framed broadly as the Song through Qing dynasties, ca. 960-1911 CE) offers a[…]

Children and Youth in Ancient China

Damen bearbeiten neue Seide, by Meister nach Chang Hsüan / The Yorck Project via Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Anne Kinney Professor of East Asian Languages, Literature and Cultures University of Virginia The unprecedented interest in the child who assumed unique importance in the Han period was set into motion by a convergence of historically-specific conditions: (1)[…]

How China’s First ‘Silk Road’ Slowly Came to Life – On the Water

Curioso/Shutterstock The story of the silk road, ancient or modern, is as much the story of the sea as the dunes. By Dr. David Abulafia / 10.02.2017 Professor of Mediterranean History University of Cambridge Few images are more enduring in the historical imagination than the train of two-humped Bactrian camels plodding across desert sands from west[…]