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Age of Confucian Rule The Song Transformation of China

ISBN-10: 0674031466

ISBN-13: 9780674031463

Edition: 2009

Authors: Dieter Kuhn, Timothy Brook

List price: $42.00
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Just over a thousand years ago, the Song dynasty emerged as the most advanced civilization on earth. Within two centuries, China was home to nearly half of all humankind. In this concise history, we learn why the inventiveness of this era has been favorably compared with the European Renaissance, which in many ways the Song transformation surpassed. With the chaotic dissolution of the Tang dynasty, the old aristocratic families vanished. A new class of scholar-officials-products of a meritocratic examination system-took up the task of reshaping Chinese tradition by adapting the precepts of Confucianism to a rapidly changing world. Through fiscal reforms, these elites liberalized the economy, eased the tax burden, and put paper money into circulation. Their redesigned capitals buzzed with traders, while the education system offered advancement to talented men of modest means. Their rationalist approach led to inventions in printing, shipbuilding, weaving, ceramics manufacture, mining, and agriculture. With a realistrsquo;s eye, they studied the natural world and applied their observations in art and science. And with the souls of diplomats, they chose peace over war with the aggressors on their borders. Yet persistent military threats from these nomadic tribes-which the Chinese scorned as their cultural inferiors-redefined Chinarsquo;s understanding of its place in the world and solidified a sense of what it meant to be Chinese. The Age of Confucian Rule is an essential introduction to this transformative era. ldquo;A scholar should congratulate himself that he has been born in such a timerdquo; (Zhao Ruyu, 1194).
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Book details

List price: $42.00
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 3/16/2009
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 448
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.25" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.540
Language: English

Dieter Kuhn is Professor and Chair of Chinese Studies, University of Wuuml;rzburg.

A Time of Turmoil
Model Rulers
Reforming into Collapse
The Song in the South
Three Doctrines
Education and Examination
Life Cycle Rituals
Exploring the World Within and Without
Transforming the Capitals
A Changing World of Production
Money and Taxes
Private Lives in the Public Sphere
Dynastic Rulers
Pronunciation Guide