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Zuo Tradition (Zuozhuan; sometimes called The Zuo Commentary) is China�s first great work of history. It consists of two interwoven texts - the Spring and Autumn Annals (Chunqiu, a terse annalistic record) and a vast web of narratives and speeches that add context and interpretation to the Annals. Completed by about 300 BCE, it is the longest and one of the most difficult texts surviving from pre-imperial times. It has been as important to the foundation and preservation of Chinese culture as the historical books of the Hebrew Bible have been to the Jewish and Christian traditions. It has shaped notions of history, justice, and the significance of human action in the Chinese tradition perhaps more so than any comparable work of Latin or Greek historiography has done to Western civilization. This translation, accompanied by the original text, an introduction, and annotations, will finally make Zuozhuan accessible to all.
Zuo Tradition, China's first great work of history, was completed by about 300 BCE and recounts events during a period of disunity from 722 to 468 BCE. The text, which plays a foundational role in Chinese culture, has been newly translated into English by Stephen Durrant, Wai-yee Li, and David Schaberg in an unabridged, bilingual, three-volume set. This reader arranges key passages from that set according to topic, as a guide to the study of early Chinese culture and thought. Chapter subjects include succession struggles; women; warfare; ritual propriety; governance; law and punishment; famous statesmen; diplomacy; Confucius and his disciples; dreams and anomalies; and cultural others. An introduction explains the nature and significance of Zuozhuan and discusses how to read the text. Section introductions and judicious footnoting provide contextual information and explain the historical significance and meaning of particular events. The Zuo Tradition / Zuozhuan Reader will appeal to readers interested in Chinese and world history, claiming a place on library and personal bookshelves alongside other narratives from the ancient world.
Zuo Tradition (Zuozhuan; sometimes called The Zuo Commentary) is China's first great work of history. It consists of two interwoven texts - the Spring and Autumn Annals (Chunqiu, a terse annalistic record) and a vast web of narratives and speeches that add context and interpretation to the Annals. Completed by about 300 BCE, it is the longest and one of the most difficult texts surviving from pre-imperial times. It has been as important to the foundation and preservation of Chinese culture as the historical books of the Hebrew Bible have been to the Jewish and Christian traditions. It has shaped notions of history, justice, and the significance of human action in the Chinese tradition perhaps more so than any comparable work of Latin or Greek historiography has done to Western civilization. This translation of Volume Three, accompanied by the original text, an introduction, and annotations, will finally make Zuozhuan accessible to all.
This title presents an up-to-date comprehensive treatment of Chinese literature from classical times to the present.
In early China, was it correct for a woman to disobey her father, contradict her husband, or shape the public policy of a son who ruled over a dynasty or state? According to the Lienü zhuan, or Categorized Biographies of Women, it was not only appropriate but necessary for women to step in with wise counsel when fathers, husbands, or rulers strayed from the path of virtue. Compiled toward the end of the Former Han dynasty (202 BCE-9 CE) by Liu Xiang (79-8 BCE), the Lienü zhuan is the earliest extant book in the Chinese tradition solely devoted to the education of women. Far from providing a unified vision of women's roles, the text promotes a diverse and sometimes contradictory range of practices. At one extreme are exemplars resorting to suicide and self-mutilation as a means to preserve chastity and ritual orthodoxy. At the other are bold and outspoken women whose rhetorical mastery helps correct erring rulers, sons, and husbands. The text provides a fascinating overview of the representation of women's roles in early legends, formal speeches on statecraft, and highly fictionalized historical accounts during this foundational period of Chinese history. Over time, the biographies of women became a regular feature of dynastic and local histories and a vehicle for expressing and transmitting concerns about women's social, political, and domestic roles. The Lienü zhuan is also rich in information about the daily life, rituals, and domestic concerns of early China. Inspired by its accounts, artists across the millennia have depicted its stories on screens, paintings, lacquer ware, murals, and stone relief sculpture, extending its reach to literate and illiterate audiences alike.
A comprehensive, yet entertaining look at China's history through a modern lens. For millennia, China was the largest and richest nation on earth. Two centuries ago, however, its economy sank into a depression from which it had not fully recovered—until now. China's modern resurgence as the world's largest nation in terms of population and its second-largest economy—where 800 million people have been lifted out of poverty in the space of a few decades—is the greatest untold story of the 21st century. A Brief History of China tells of the development of a rich and complex civilization where the use of paper, writing, money and gunpowder were widespread in ancient times and where silk, ceramics, tea, metal implements and other products were produced and exported around the globe. It examines the special conditions that allowed a single culture to unify an entire continent spanning 10 billion square kilometers under the rule of a single man—and the unbelievably rich artistic, literary and architectural heritage that Chinese culture has bequeathed to the world. Equally fascinating is the story of China's decline in the 19th and early 20th century—as Europeans and Americans took center stage—and its modern resurgence as an economic powerhouse in recent years. In his retelling of a Chinese history stretching back 5,000 years, author and China-expert Jonathan Clements focuses on the human stories which led to the powerful transformations in Chinese society—from the unification of China under its first emperor, Qinshi Huangdi, and the writings of the great Chinese philosophers Confucius and Laozi, to the Mongol invasion under Genghis Khan and the consolidation of Communist rule under Mao Zedong. Clements even brings readers through to the present day, outlining China's economic renaissance under Deng Xiaoping and Xi Jinping. What really separates this book from its counterparts is the focus on women, and modern themes such as diversity and climate change. Chinese history is typically told through the stories of its most famous men, but Clements' telling gives women equal time and research—which introduces readers of this book to equally important, but less commonly-known facts and historical figures. Often seen in the West in black or white terms—as either a savage dystopia or a fantastical paradise—China is revealed in the book as an exceptional yet troubled nation that nevertheless warrants its self-description as the Middle Kingdom.
Endymion Wilkinson's bestselling manual of Chinese history has long been an indispensable guide to all those interested in the civilization and history of China. In this latest edition, now in a bigger format, its scope has been dramatically enlarged by the addition of one million words of new text. Twelve years in the making, the new manual introduces students to different types of transmitted, excavated, and artifactual sources from prehistory to the twentieth century. It also examines the context in which the sources were produced, preserved, and received, the problems of research and interpretation associated with them, and the best, most up-to-date secondary works. Because the writing of history has always played a central role in Chinese politics and culture, special attention is devoted to the strengths and weaknesses of Chinese historiography.
When people experience a traumatic event, such as war or the threat of annihilation, they often turn to history for stories that promise a positive outcome to their suffering. During World War II, the French took comfort in the story of Joan of Arc and her heroic efforts to rid France of foreign occupation. To bring the Joan narrative more into line with current circumstances, however, popular retellings modified the original story so that what people believed took place in the past was often quite different from what actually occurred. Paul A. Cohen identifies this interplay between story and history as a worldwide phenomenon, found in countries of radically different cultural, religious, and social character. He focuses here on Serbia, Israel, China, France, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain, all of which experienced severe crises in the twentieth century and, in response, appropriated age-old historical narratives that resonated with what was happening in the present to serve a unifying, restorative purpose. A central theme in the book is the distinction between popular memory and history. Although vitally important to historians, this distinction is routinely blurred in people's minds, and the historian's truth often cannot compete with the power of a compelling story from the past, even when it has been seriously distorted by myth or political manipulation. Cohen concludes by suggesting that the patterns of interaction he probes, given their near universality, may well be rooted in certain human propensities that transcend cultural difference.
"Paul Cohen shows us again how a master historian works."--Timothy Brook, Professor of History, University of Oxford "An important work for understanding modern China's desire to shake off its 'century of shame.' It takes us to a deeper level of understanding China's sometimes fragile national psyche."--Ian Johnson, The Wall Street Journal "Like all of Cohen's work, this is a stunningly insightful analysis. It is, without exaggeration, a tour de force, opening up a new world for understanding Chinese political culture. The book is extraordinarily important."--Keith Schoppa, author of Blood Road: The Mystery of Shen Dingyi in Revolutionary China
This volume explores the intersection between historiography and related genres in antiquity, ranging from China to the Mediterranean. Contributors use a range of reading strategies to analyze the place of rhetoric, genre, and intertextuality in these important ancient narratives.
In recent years, three ancient manuscripts relating to the Yi jing (I Ching), or Classic of Changes, have been discovered. The earliest—the Shanghai Museum Zhou Yi—dates to about 300 B.C.E. and shows evidence of the text's original circulation. The Guicang, or Returning to Be Stored, reflects another ancient Chinese divination tradition based on hexagrams similar to those of the Yi jing. In 1993, two manuscripts were found in a third-century B.C.E. tomb at Wangjiatai that contain almost exact parallels to the Guicang's early quotations, supplying new information on the performance of early Chinese divination. Finally, the Fuyang Zhou Yi was excavated from the tomb of Xia Hou Zao, lord of Ruyin, who died in 165 B.C.E. Each line of this classic is followed by one or more generic prognostications similar to phrases found in the Yi jing, indicating exciting new ways the text was produced and used in the interpretation of divinations. Unearthing the Changes details the discovery and significance of the Shanghai Museum Zhou Yi, the Wangjiatai Guicang, and the Fuyang Zhou Yi, including full translations of the texts and additional evidence constructing a new narrative of the Yi jing's writing and transmission in the first millennium B.C.E. An introduction situates the role of archaeology in the modern attempt to understand the Classic of Changes. By showing how the text emerged out of a popular tradition of divination, these newly unearthed manuscripts reveal an important religious dimension to its evolution.
The vision of poetic competence evolved for over a millennium from calculated performances of inherited words to sincere passionate outbursts to displays of verbal wit combining calculation with the appearance of spontaneity. This book tells the story of the development of poetic competence to uncover the complexity of the concept.
This volume offers a comparative, cross-cultural history of dreams. The essays examine a wide range of texts concerning dreams, as culled from a rich variety of religious contexts: China, India, the Americas, classical Greek and Roman antiquity, early Christianity, and medieval Judaism and Islam. Taken together, these pieces constitute an important first step toward a new understanding of the differences and similarities between the ways in which different cultures experience the universal yet utterly unique world of dreams.
Contains bibliographies and book reviews.
There is a stark contrast between the overarching importance of history writing in imperial China and the meagerness of historical texts from the centuries preceding the imperial unification of 221 BCE. However, recently discovered bamboo manuscripts from the Warring States period (453–221 BCE) have changed this picture, leading to reappraisals of early Chinese historiography. These manuscripts shed new light on questions related to the production, circulation, and audience of historical texts in early China; their different political, ritual, and ideological usages; and their roles in the cultural and intellectual dynamics of China’s vibrant pre-imperial age. Zhou History Unearthed offers both a novel understanding of early Chinese historiography and a fully annotated translation of Xinian (String of Years), the most notable historical manuscript from the state of Chu. Yuri Pines elucidates the importance of Xinian and other recently discovered texts for our understanding of history writing in Zhou China (1046–255 BCE), as well as major historical events and topics such as Chu’s cultural identity. Pines explores how Xinian challenges existing interpretations of the nature and reliability of canonical historical texts on the Zhou era, such as Zuo zhuan (Zuo Tradition/Commentary) and Records of the Historian (Shiji). A major work of scholarship and translation, Zhou History Unearthed sheds new light on early Chinese history and historiography, demonstrating how new archaeological findings are changing our knowledge of China’s pre-imperial days.

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