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Imperial China

A Beginner's Guide

Peter Lorge



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One World
28 September 2021
A comprehensive and engaging guide to Imperial China Imperial China, dating from the Qin conquest of China in 221 BCE until the final abdication of the last Qing emperor on 12 February 1912, maintained many consistent threads over its two millennia but was neither static nor unchanging. This introduction will examine both the changes and the consistencies of imperial Chinese history, spanning centuries and dynasties to examine what was characteristic of this period. The contradictions and tensions inherent in the imperial system were solved in some periods before subsequent changes undermined that solution. Yet the history of imperial China remains important because many of those tensions remain until this day.
By:   Peter Lorge
Imprint:   One World
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 12mm
ISBN:   9781786075789
ISBN 10:   1786075784
Series:   Beginner's Guides
Pages:   208
Publication Date:   28 September 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Map A Timeline of the Dynasties of Imperial China Introduction Before the Imperial Age Imperial China Master Kong, the Ru, and Confucius Language Conclusion 1 Foundations The Imperial State Law and Morality in Reality Conclusion 2 Dynasties Similarities Differences The Other Dynasties Conclusion 3 Borders Geography Macroregions Localities Conclusion 4 War and the Military Military Technology, Society, and Politics Organization Guns Military Thought Conclusion 5 Discovery The Four Great Inventions Other Technology Contact and Exploration Conclusion 6 Religions Popular Religion Ruism (Confucianism) Buddhism Daoism Conclusion 7 The Imperial Economy The State Money Markets Conclusion 8 The Arts: Literature, Calligraphy, Painting, and Architecture Literature Poetry Prose Calligraphy Painting Architecture Conclusion 9 Popular Arts and Culture Decorative Arts Gardens Public Performance and Theatre Popular Literature Conclusion 10 Constructing China Through History Sima Qian (c.145/135-c.86 BCE) and The Records of the Grand Historian Ban Gu (32-92) and The History of the Han (Hanshu) History Writing in the Tang Dynasty History Writing in the Song Dynasty Conclusion 11 The End of Imperial China? Imperial History Diversity Unity Conclusion Acknowledgments Further Reading Index

Peter Lorge is Associate Professor of Asian Studies at Vanderbilt University. He is a historian of tenth- and eleventh-century China, with a particular interest in Chinese military, political and social history. His previous books include Chinese Martial Arts: From Antiquity to the Twenty-First Century and The Asian Military Revolution.

Reviews for Imperial China: A Beginner's Guide

'In short, fast-paced chapters, Peter Lorge provides a fresh look at key elements of China's imperial past. He invites the reader to ponder what we mean by China , how to understand dynasty , and whether sources written in literary Chinese overstate unity and continuity and underplay law, the military, and openness to new ideas.' -- Patricia Buckley Ebrey, Professor of History Emeritus, University of Washington, and author of The Cambridge Illustrated History of China

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