Historical Records Of The Five Dynasties

Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231502281
Size: 63.52 MB
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Historical Records Of The Five Dynasties. Only fragments of historical text from China's middle period have been translated into English, until now. Here at last is the first major Chinese historical work from the Song dynasty. Written by Ouyang Xiu, an intellectual giant of the eleventh century, this is a history of the preceding century (907--979), a period known as the Five Dynasties. The historical and literary significance of Ouyang's achievement cannot be underestimated. In rewriting the existing official history of the Five Dynasties, Ouyang -- whose own time was characterized by extraordinary intellectual and political innovation -- made several notable decisions. He rewrote the history in the "ancient" style preferred by forward-thinking literati; he even rewrote the original documents quoted within biographies. He also relied on his own moral categories, reevaluating the worth of the historical figures in light of his own convictions that individuals should take personal responsibility for the fate of society. Ouyang's history would eventually become the official version -- the last state-sanctioned dynastic history of imperial China to be written by an individual in a private capacity. In addition to its provocative insights and lucid presentation, Historical Records of the Five Dynasties is an eloquent statement on the art of historical writing in the eleventh century. A preeminent scholar of Chinese history, Richard L. Davis has provided a thorough introduction and rendered nearly two-thirds of the Chinese original into English, including complete sections critical to understanding the politics and personalities of the time. Biographical clusters based on Ouyang's moral categories also appear in full, helping readers to appreciate the Confucian agenda that informs the work.

From Warhorses To Ploughshares

Author: Davis, Richard L.
Publisher: Hong Kong University Press
ISBN: 9888208101
Size: 10.70 MB
Format: PDF
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From Warhorses To Ploughshares. Mingzong (r. 926–33) was the most illustrious emperor of the Five Dynasties, and one of the most admired of China’s middle period, the Tang to Song. A warrior of Shatuo-Turk ancestry, he ascended the throne of the Later Tang on the heels of a mutiny against his adopted brother, thus sparing his dynasty an early death. Mingzong’s brief reign came to be heralded by historians as the “Small Repose”—a happy convergence of peace and prosperity. He marshaled a cluster of eminently able courtiers, men who balanced Confucian charity against the military discipline demanded in a time of transition. These years were marked by trade with bordering states, frenzied diplomatic activity, and a succession of defections from states to the north. Mingzong wisely eschewed military conflict, except as a last resort. Conservative in moral and legal matters, he introduced radical economic reforms that included deregulation of traditional monopolies and timely changes to the tributary system. Drawing extensively on primary sources, including Mingzong’s spirited correspondence with his officials, this political and cultural biography brings to life a charismatic emperor who was held up as a model ruler by succeeding generations. “In this evocative and fascinating study of the Later Tang emperor Mingzong, Richard Davis has brilliantly illuminated a little known and even less understood period of Chinese history, the interval between the unified Tang empire and the Song dynasty when native Chinese and Shatuo Turkish peoples worked together to transform the politics and culture of North China. It is a delight to read a historian who is a master of his sources and at the top of his craft.” —Robin D. S. Yates, McGill University “The political history of the early tenth century is not for the faint of heart. Shatuo Turks, Kitans, and Han Chinese, from aspirants to the throne, to surrogate sons, generals, mutineers, and courtiers were all maneuvering for advantage as circumstances constantly shifted. Richard Davis, by focusing on one of the Shatuo rulers, helps us understand the many challenges facing would-be reunifiers of China.” —Patricia Ebrey, University of Washington “This is a fascinating portrait of a man who contrived in his way to be a good ruler and was to die of natural causes in an age when life was for most in China nasty, brutish and all too short, and who, moreover, by instituting the preservation of the Chinese heritage through printing transformed the Chinese world for ever after.” —T. H. Barrett, SOAS, University of London

Power And Identity In The Chinese World Order

Author: Billy K.L. So
Publisher: Hong Kong University Press
ISBN: 9789622095908
Size: 18.10 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Power And Identity In The Chinese World Order. Wang Gungwu is one of the most influential historians of his generation. Initially renowned for his pioneering work on the structure of power in early imperial China, he is more widely known for expanding the horizons of Chinese history to include the histories of the Chinese and their descendents outside China. It is probably no coincidence, Philip Kuhn observes, that the most comprehensive historian of the Overseas Chinese is the historian most firmly grounded in the history of China itself. This book is a celebration of the life, work, and impact of Professor Wang Gungwu over the past four decades. It commemorates his contribution to the study of Chinese history and the abiding influence he has exercised over later generations of historians, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. The book begins with an historiographical survey by Philip Kuhn (Francis Lee Higginson Professor of History at Harvard University) of Wang Gungwu's enduring contribution to scholarship. It concludes with an engaging oral history of Professor Wang's life, career, and research trajectory. The intervening chapters explore many of the fields in which Wang Gungwu's influence has been felt over the years, including questions of political authority, national identity, commercial life, and the history of the diaspora from imperial times to the present day. Each of these chapters is authored by a former student of Professor Wang, now working and teaching in Hong Kong, Southeast Asia, Australasia, Taiwan and Canada.

A Portrait Of Five Dynasties China

Author: Glen Dudbridge
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191649678
Size: 80.98 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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A Portrait Of Five Dynasties China. The anecdotal literature of late-medieval China is not unknown, but it is under-used. Glen Dudbridge explores two collections of anecdotal memoirs to construct an intimate portrait of the first half of the tenth century as seen by people who lived through it. The author Wang Renyu's adult life coincided closely with that period, and his memoirs, though not directly transmitted, can be largely recovered from encyclopaedia quotations. His experience led from early life on the north-west border with Tibet, through service with the kingdom of Shu, to a mainstream career under four successive dynasties in northern China. He bore personal witness to some great events, but also travelled widely and transcribed material from a lifetime of conversations with colleagues in the imperial Hanlin Academy. The study first sets Wang's life in its historical context and discusses the nature and value of his memoirs. It then pursues a number of underlying themes that run through the collections, presenting nearly 80 distinct items in translation. Together these offer a characterization of an age of inter-regional warfare in which individual lives, not grand historical narrative, form the focus. A nuanced self-portrait of the author emerges, combining features that seem alien to modern values with others that seem more familiar. Four appendixes give the text of the author's tombstone epitaph; a detailed list of his surviving memoir items; data from Song catalogues on the early transmission of his writings; and Wang Renyu's own definition of the four musical modes inherited from the Tang dynasty.

Five Dynasties And Ten Kingdoms

Author: Peter Allan Lorge
ISBN: 9789629964184
Size: 32.89 MB
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Five Dynasties And Ten Kingdoms. "The period of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms (907-960) has long been treated as an anomaly in the history of China, an age of great disunity between the empires of the Tang and the Song dynasties. Breaking with previous scholarship on China's middle period, this edited volume presents individual studies that focus on the art, culture, and politics of the interregnum, challenging underlying assumptions about the unitary nature of dynastic culture and its value as a category of historical analysis. It understands these decades as a time of important transition in which the incipient cultural shifts of the mature Tang dynasty turned into the foundations of Song society. Consequently it highlights the complex narrative processes that gave birth to Songculture."--Publisher's web site.

The First Emperor

Author: Sima Qian
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199226342
Size: 32.56 MB
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The First Emperor. Sima Qian tells the story of the First Emperor, founder of the Qin dynasty, in whose reign the Great Wall was built and whose tomb was guarded by the famous terracotta warriors excavated in 1974. His account details the ruthless exercise of power but also the creation of an empire that endured until 1911.

Who Will Lead Us

Author: Samuel C. Heilman
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520277236
Size: 12.48 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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Who Will Lead Us . Hasidism, a movement many believed had passed its golden age, has had an extraordinary revival since it was nearly decimated in the Holocaust and repressed in the Soviet Union. Hasidic communities, now settled primarily in North America and Israel, have reversed the losses they suffered and are growing exponentially. With powerful attachments to the past, mysticism, community, and charismatic leadership, Hasidism is the opposite of contemporary Western culture, which is built on the ideals of constant change, secular rationality, and individual achievement. Yet Hasidism has thrived in the Zionist state and the democratic countries of the West. Why? And how? Who Will Lead Us? finds the answers to these questions in the fascinating story of five contemporary Hasidic dynasties and their handling of the delicate issue of leadership and succession. Revolving around the central figure of the rebbe, the book explores two families with too few successors, two with too many successors, and one that believes their last rebbe continues to lead them even after his death. Samuel C. Heilman, recognized as a foremost expert on modern Jewish Orthodoxy, here provides outsiders with the essential guide to continuity in the Hasidic world.