China Empire and Civilization

ISBN-10: 0195182871
ISBN-13: 9780195182873
Edition: N/A
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Description: To Western eyes, China is one of the most mysterious and intriguing of all civilizations. The legacy of its long dynastic rule, extending back more than 3,000 years, includes fascinating contributions to philosophy, religion, art, science, and  More...

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Book details

List price: $24.99
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 5/26/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 256
Size: 7.00" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 2.112
Language: English

To Western eyes, China is one of the most mysterious and intriguing of all civilizations. The legacy of its long dynastic rule, extending back more than 3,000 years, includes fascinating contributions to philosophy, religion, art, science, and mythology that continue to influence the modern world. China explores the ideas and achievements of this unique culture through a combination of authoritative, accessible scholarship and magnificent imagery. Drawing on the most recent discoveries and theories, the book presents China's history, society, and beliefs from the legends of prehistory to the end of imperial power in 1912. It investigates the key cultural, spiritual, and artistic traditions of this vast civilization and describes the country's major scientific and technological innovations, such as gunpowder, printing, and the compass. An investigation of trading routes, both by land and sea, challenges the conventional view of China as an isolated, insular civilization, stressing instead the impact of its sophisticated society upon the world. A final section discusses the continuing legacy of the imperial period through the turbulent years of the twentieth century up to the present day. A wealth of color photography and imaginative artwork, together with a lively and authoritative text, vividly evokes the pinnacles of Chinese civilization as well as the realities of everyday life, from life in the Imperial court to the most rural villages.

Introduction
The Chinese World
All Under Heaven
Borders of Land and Sea
Mountains and Water
Resources and Ecology
Provinces and Peoples
Communication Routes
Continuity and Change
The Archaic States
The Territorial States
The First Empires
A Time of Disunion
Medieval Empires
The Southward Shift
The Conquest Dynasties
The Rise of Autocracy
Zenith and Decline
The Role of the State
The "Son of Heaven"
Palace and Court
Governing the State
Justice and the Law
The Military
Family and Society
Ties that Bind
Women in Society
Rites of Passage
Village Life
Towns and Cities
The Scholar-Gentry
The Creation of Wealth
The Four Occupations
Settlement and Farming
The Rise of Industry
Trading by Land and Sea
Belief and Ritual
Confucianism: Order and Virtue
Confucius and his Followers
Heroes of Antiquity
The Confucian Canon
Ideology and Empire
Schools and Academies
A World of Ritual
Following the Dao
The Organic Universe
Religious Daoism
In Quest of Immortality
Healers, Magicians, and Exorcists
Meditation and Ritual
Priests and Temples
Daoism and Popular Religion
Sectarian Movements and Secret Societies
The Way of the Buddha
The Buddha and his Teachings
The Dharma in China
Paths to Enlightenment
Sacred Writings
Worship and Monasticism
The Harmony of Heaven and Earth
The Great Trinity
Yin and Yang and the Five Elements
Mapping the Heavens
Interpreting the Heavens
Mapping the Earth
Feng Shui
Divination
The Calendar
The Realm of Ghosts and Spirits
A World of Spirits
Wandering Souls
Death and Burial
Serving the Ancestors
Arts of Transformation
Creation and Discovery
Healing and Medicine
The Sources of Medical Tradition
Healers and their Art
Qi and Human Physiology
The Structure of the Body
Acupuncture and Moxibustion
Self-Cultivation
Drugs and Healing Foods
Technology and Science
The Inquiring Spirit
Farming and Food
Spinners and Weavers
Treasures from the Earth
Transport and Communication
The Technology of War
Mechanics and Power
Paper, Printing, and Publishing
The Fine and Decorative Arts
Ritual Jade and Bronze
Art for the Afterlife
Inspiration and Enlightenment
The Art of Writing
Traditions of Court Painting
A Noble Pastime: Literati Art
The Craft of the Potter
The Aesthetics of Display
The Performing Arts
The Chinese Theater
Musical Traditions
The Art of Dance
Acrobats and Circus
Architecture and Planning
The Technology of Chinese Architecture
The Great Wall
Walled Cities and Towns
A House for the "Son of Heaven"
Places of Worship
The Pagoda
Building for the Afterlife
Designs for Living
Gardens of Delight
Afterword: The Legacy of 4,000 Years
Language and Pronunciation
Table of Dynasties
Further Reading
Index
Picture Credits

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