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Lecture 8

MMW 12 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Stirrup, Xiongnu, Buddhism

Making of the Modern World
Course Code
MMW 12
Janet Smarr

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2/6/17 Lecture: Han Dynasty in China
Han 206 BC -/ (9 AD)/- c.215 AD
“Late” Han = 1st-2nd centuries AD
China produced lots of historical documentation (unlike India) because of its institutional
government and bureaucracy
Han era - invention of paper for books, record-keeping
Ssu-ma Chi’en/Sima Qian (c 100 BC) - model historian:
Careful attention to facts and dates
long quotations from imperial documents and decrees
biographies of important people
moral and political reflections about events
Han Dynasty in China
Han 206 BC -/ (9 AD-2.3 AD )/- c.215 AD
capital in Chang-An (BC)
early/western Han
capital in Loyang (AD)
late/eastern Han
People died of exposure (weather)
Issues on who get to collect taxes
When one of the Qin emperor died, there was a revolt with the peasants
Picture: The Han Capitals —> Early Han and Late Han
Revival of Confucianism
Discovery of ancient Confucian manuscripts
Confucius’s texts canonized as “classics”
Palace Academy established for scholars to study, write about, and teach the
Confucian classics (=moral & political philosophy, poetry)
Confucian texts —> basis for Han education (shared set of values and ideas) for
students aiming at a career in civil service
Institutional government has bureaucracy (literate people) - requires education
Invention of paper for books and gov’t records —> much cheaper to have books to
Han Dynasty: Roman Empire
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