EAS103H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Song Dynasty, Sui Dynasty, Wutai County

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31 Aug 2017
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Networks connected regions of East Asia
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Convergence of networks (people, knowledge, commerce, power)
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Previous week: networks spreading
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Cities
What makes a city a "city"? How have East Asian cities changed over the centuries?
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Key question:
How do they start and become a place people go to?
Why and how do cities grow and prosper? (Why do they decline and get forgotten?)
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What are some ways we can learn about cities in the distant past?
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Smaller questions:
Currently 54% of people live in cities
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50 years ago only 34% lived in cities
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Predict that in 2030, 75% of people will live in cities
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The History of Urbanization (3700BC-2000CE)
"As this millennium dawns, NYC is the most important city in the world… But before we New
Yorkers become too full of ourselves, it might be worthwhile to glance at a dilapidated Kaifeng
in central China."
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"Kaifeng, an ancient city along the mud-clogged Yellow River, was by the most important place
in the world in 1000. And if you've never heard of it, that's a useful warning for Americans…"
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What was important in 2000 vs 1000
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What happened between 1000-2000?
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Kaifeng= capital in Northern Song Dynasty
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Why do cities become important at one point in history and then become forgotten?
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From Opinion Column (by Nicholas Kristof)
E.g. Qin dynasty (Terracotta soldiers), Han empire, etc.
Multiple capitals in this region in the past, but not exactly the same
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Looked very different
Both had imperial functions in their architecture
Vs. Rome
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Chang'an (Modern day Xi'an)
Sui Dynasty (581-618 AD)-> unification
Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD)-> expansion
Capital of 2 empires:
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Unusual because it expanded into Central Asia
At Battle of Talas (751 AD), Tang army defeated by Islamic army-> stopped expansion
Tang dynasty at its peak in mid 8th century
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Sui-Tang Chang'an
Different site from Han-dynasty Chang-an (further north)
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One-time design-> constructed in 582
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Wards= walled off
Avenue= 120m wide
Regular squares ("chessboard") wards separated by wide avenues
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Huge-> no one lived in south part of city
Size: 6x Bagdad, 6x Byzantium
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Design of Chang'an
Archeological remains
How do we figure out the rest?
Lecture 8: Cities
November 22, 2016
10:18 AM
Lecture 8 Page 1
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