The Search for Beginnings.docx

13 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Toronto St. George
East Asian Studies
Lin Fang

The Search for Beginnings: Early China 9/14/2013 12:08:00 PM China in Bronze Age:  Began after 2000 BCE  Anyang in north central china= where Shang dynasty developed  1045 BCE Shang dynasty was overthrown by the state of Zhou  Zhou is known from archaeological evidence and transmitted texts o Shows the version of their righteous victory over the Shang  Zhou rulers sent out vassal to establish settlements= feudal like system  China was smaller than present day where people who spoke chinese or Han Chinese lived  Contemporary People’s Republic of china= Tibet, Inner Mongolia, Turkestan and Manchuria which were homes of other people  The soil in the north is fertile and easy to use but most of it ends up as silt in the Yellow River= Riverbed rises= when people dike the river= flood prone= huge dikes will break= huge floods  Flooding and drought are problems for farmer in the north  Yangzi River= warmer wetter and more lush south region o Area suited to rice cultivation and growing two crops a year Shang Dynasty:  China had agriculture from around 10000BCE  First dynasty was Xia  Earliest bronze age may have been connected to Xia but had no texts to prove or to disprove this proposition  Shang dynasty is documented in many text so there is no doubt that it exists  The key texts are oracle bone inscriptions  Shang kings would send out armies on campaigns and when they weren’t at war, these men would go on hunts that would last for months  The armies fought rebellious vassals and foreign tribes  Things changed when the enemies eventually made an alliance  War booty or prizes was an important source of the king’s revenue  Bronze technology gave Shang warriors an advantage on weaponry  Bronze was used to make spears and dagger axes along with chariots that came around in about 1200 BCE  No animals were used before the invention of the chariot  Chariots pulled by 2 or 4 horses, it gave archers and soldiers increased mobility  The Shang king also acted as the high priest, who was qualified to offer sacrifices to the royal ancestors and the high god Di  Di would command rain, thunder and wind  The king made offerings to many nature gods too like the Yellow River  Royal ancestors were seen as able to intervene with Di, they could also send curses, produce dreams and help the king in battle  Offerings including millet, wine, live stock, and human victims  The answers were interpreted by the cracks on the heated bones  Shang palaces were made of wood none of which have survived but underground tombs built for kings and their consorts still exists  Other people and objects were buried with the kings  Human sacrifices were not always just for burials could also be for ceremonies  Nobility built houses made of crammed mud, the common people made houses beneath the ground  Silk had been discovered in an Egyptian tomb  The primary difference between Shang farmers and their predecessors  Hugh gulf that separated the powerful from society  Huge amounts of labor were done by slaves possibly from the wars  Anything backed by violence was the essential element of the Shang Writing:  Writing was probably invented earlier  No trace could of it can be found because it was probably written on perishable materials  Literacy is an help of political control, helping with communications  The language and writing system of Shang was the ancestor of later Chinese  One word was represented by a single character or graph  Graphs became pictures and became characters  Read Chinese could communicate with a wider range of people than those who read scripts based on speech Metalworking:  During Shang times, bronze was used more for ritual  When compared to other societies, Chinese bronzes was recognized for their quality and quantity  Scholars don’t quite know the meaning of the decoration on Shang bronzes  This shows us the gaps of understanding in Shang culture Developments Outside the Shang Core:  Shang was always at war with other groups  Their technology and culture spread beyond the area they controlled Western Zhou Dynasty:  1045 BCE this state rose against the Shang and defeated them  The first part was called the Western Zhou period because the capital was in the west  Three Zhou rulers are given credit for the Zhou conquest of the Shang  King Wen= expanded the Zhou domain  King Wu= Conquered the Shang  Wu’s brother= duke of Zhou= consolidated the conquest and served as regent for Wu’s heir  Book of Documents depicts the victory over the Shang  Another way of preserving information was bronze inscriptions  The ritual of human sacrifices declined during the Zhou dynasty The Mandate of Heaven:  Zhou also sacrifice to the divine force called the Sky or Heaven  King was called “son of heaven”  Theory of mandate of heaven doesn’t have any place in Shang rituals, scholars think Zhou rulers elaborated to win over the conquered subjects of Shang The Zhou Political Structure  Center of political structure was the king  King= ritual head of royal lineage and supreme lord of the nobility  Early Zhou rulers sent out relatives and trusted subordinates to establish garrisons in territories= creates a quasi feudal system  King’s authority was maintained by rituals of ancestor worship and court visits  Zhou vassal was usually able to pass his position to a son, domains because hereditary fiefs  Each lord appoints officers to serve him in ritual, administration, military. These positions are also hereditary  There were groups living outside of the state that were seen to be barbarians but they were not actually very far off in terms of technology  Over time the Zhou king drew many of these groups into the Zhou political order.  The loyal vassals weakened the links to the king over time and the king was assassinated by the vassals and the barbarians  Many nobles buried their valuables expecting to be able to unearth them when they returned Western Zhou Society and Culture:  Was highly aristocratic  All positions in the hierarchy were hereditary and patrilineal family ties were very important  Feudal system Summary:  Shang dynasty created a complex state with writing, metal aworking and large settlements  Inscribed oracle bones confirm the text from the Shang dynasty Cosmology: 9/14/2013 12:08:00 PM  Hindu cosmology= oldest surviving in the world  Buddhists are interested and uninterested in cosmology  Uninterested b/c of distinctions that are taken to characterize cosmos with ignorance with respect to true nature of things  There are no stable unchanging things but rather everything are in perpetual flux through ignorance that one takes them to be distinct  Interested: b/c problem and solution is cosmological Chinese cosmologies:  Some of the oldest originate from the Shang dynasty  Cosmos is often understood as a dome shaped heaven and a square earth= China  Duality between heaven and earth= yin and yang  Parts can be a whole, a whole can be a part Zhou Dynasty:  A move from tribal to feudal society  King makes himself the link that goes between heaven and earth  This made him cosmically legit and in charge of making sure that the earth was modeled after heaven, this responsibility was called “ Mandate of Heaven”  Han brought tenets together and systematized  Japan:  Earliest written account of cosmology are in the Kojiki and Nihongi.  These texts came from a time where Buddhism was already a significant influence  Served as founding documents for Shinto  The In and Yo in Nihongi could also be seen as the Japanese version of yin and yang  Izanagi and Izanami in Kojiki. o They represent the last generation of primordial gods o Who descend from High Heaven to create islands of Japan o Part of the creation myth for Shinto  Early Korea 9/14/2013 12:08:00 PM Early Korea: Daedong and Han river are the most important rivers In winter it’s extremely cold because of the cold air flowing from Siberia In summer it’s hot and humid with monsoon winds Hill land can be terraced for rice but most crops were things like barley, millet, ramie and cotton 6000 BCE earthen ware was used 1300 BCE bronze artifacts were used but the developments of writing and etc did not come into effect as they did in china Early Historical period: the earliest source of written text about Korea was in 414 when Chinese envoys were sent to report their travels The earliest surviving histories written in Korea was in 1145 and 1279. Commonly used as sources for much earlier periods since the assumption is that the earlier records are now lost, it was written from the perspectives of the winners and not the losers The North: When the king of the Han Dyansty state of Yan rebelled, one of his lieutenants named Weiman fled to Joseon with a thousand followers Joseon king put him in charge of guarding the frontier but Weiman seized control of the country and made himself king. His descendants ruled until 108 BCE In 108 BCE Emperor Wu of the Han dynasty invaded Joseon This territory was divided into four commanderies and a
More Less

Related notes for EAS103H1

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.