HIST103 Lecture 5: China in Antiquity

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8 Feb 2017
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Lecture 5
China in Antiquity
c. 1600-221 BCE
China in Antiquity
4000 BCE: farming in north china plain
begin to form kingdoms
I. The warrior kings of the Shang era
a. Tang overthrows small kingdoms
b. Shang society and culture
i. Aristocratic fashion of fighting
1. Loser has the choice to die or become a vassal
ii. Settle selves and rule areas w/ their family
1. Land outside owned by vassals at good will of Shang kings
2. Commoners serfs (required to stay on land)
a. Demanded to give produce to vassals rest is tribute to
Shang king
iii. Lived in walled towns
1. Extended families
a. Patriarchal & patrilocal neighbors
b. 3 generations under 1 roof
c. most live in nuclear families
c. Shang religion
i. Polytheistic
ii. Shangdi Lord on High
1. Kings claim to be from that being
2. Propitiate to gain blessings
3. Included human sacrifices
iii. Shaman can contact other world
1. Foretell future w/ oracle bones
a. Take bones & rocks
i. The way the bones cracked were how the spirits
talked
ii. Draw images on shells
1. Becomes standardized
iii. Thrown away after use
iv. Later referred to as drago boes
v. Used in medicine
iv. Pictograms Chinese characters
1. 3000 diff symbols
2. combined w/ phonograms
3. 1st written on bones
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