History 334: East Asian History 11s I. Chinese Civilization: Basis of East Asian Civilizations: Defining Being Chinese

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History 334: East Asian History


I. Chinese Civilization: Basis of East Asian Civilizations: Defining Being Chinese

A. The Development of the Chinese Classical Identity and Tradition
1. Introduction WOA, ix-xviii, 3-4

2. Geographic regions

3. Shang (c. 1600-1045 BC) Dynasty: Foundation of Chinese Civilization WOA, 7-13

a. Oracle bones

b. Bronzes

c. Political order of the state: Zhongguo, “Middle Kingdom” (four aspects)

d. Role of king and religion

e. Three pillars of traditional Chinese society: (1) patriarchal family, (2) scholar-

gentry, (3)village community

f. Shang religion:
(1) Heaven
(2) T(D)ao
(3) ancestor and folk religions

g. Distinctive writing system

4. Transition from Shang to Zhou Dynasty

a. Mandate of Heaven

b. Son of Heaven

5. Zhou (1045-256 BC) Accomplishments

a. Characteristics of Western and Eastern Zhou

b. Later Zhou: Spring and Autumn (722-481 BC), Warring State Period (403-221

c. Confucius/Kongzi (551-479 BC): Theorist of the Middle Kingdom PSR, 1-23
(1) The issue: political and social chaos
(2) The goal: harmony of heaven and earth
(3) The means: ethics, virtue, conduct
(4) The cultural impacts

d. Daoists (Laozi, 604? – 531 B.C.) PSR, 24-31

(1) Protest to society and Confucius
(2) Dao: Pattern of Nature
(3) Mysticism
(4) Harmony of Nature

e. Balance of Confucianism and Daoism

f. Other Schools:
(1) Mencius: moral goodness of people, revolution justified, equalitarian principle
(2) Legalists: authoritarian

6. Qin: First Empire (221-206 BC) founded by Qin Shi Huangdi (King Zheng)

WOA, 13-18

(1) Universal law and centralized bureaucracy

(2) Cultural unity and around Legalism
(3) Extends territory: Great Wall

7. Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD)

(1) Infuses Confucian tradition: “people of Han”
(2) Emperor Wu Di (r. 141-87 BC)
(3) Silk Routes
(4) Pax Sinica
(5) Introduction of Buddhism

(a) Origins

(b) Basic views

(c) Spread to China

(d) Chinese distinctives

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