History 1601E Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Logogram, Han Feizi, Analects

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SHANG CHINA
1523-1028 BCE
Sources of power: Wealth (ex. Bronze ritual vessels)
Military power (ex. Chariots, horses, weapons, ritual sacrifices-war prisoners)
Ideology (ex. Oracle Bones-bones of cattle or sheep, heated to the point of cracking. Kings
would be able to interpret these cracks to predict the future.)
Beginning of writing in China: Writing was directly ancestral to the language and writing of later Chinese.
Script was logographic, similar to ancient egyptian.
Questions asked on Oracle
Bones:
Military Campaign success
Agriculture - How good crops will be this year
Sickness - why people get sick, interpreting dreams
a tool used by individuals for various purposes
institutionalized as a state decision making process
involved elaborate procedures, restricted to elites
elites could interpret the answers any way that they wished and bones were not kept if they
went against the divinations of the King
Anyang-oracle bones found (Last ruling city of the Shang dynasty)
Divination:
ZHOU CHINA
The Mandate of Heaven
- kings are allowed to rule because heaven allows them to rule
- The reason dynasties fall is because rulers become corrupt/careless and
1046-256 BCE
Source of power:
heaven thus takes away their permission to rule
HIS1601E Lecture 2 - Shang, Zhou + Qin China
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