Formal name: People’s Republic of China (PRC)
Government type: Communist state
Legal System: Based on a civil law system,
which was derived from the
Soviet legal System.
The red color symbolizes communist revolution.
Red is also the traditional color in Chinese
Golden yellow is the official color of the Manchu
dynasty and also implies that China belongs to
the Chinese people, a "yellow race“
The large star represents the Communist Party.
The four smaller stars represent the four social
classes of the traditional Chinese society - the
working class, the peasantry, the urban petty
bourgeoisie, and the national bourgeoisie
(capitalists) - united under the Communist Party
Five 5-pointed stars reflects the importance of
the number five in Chinese philosophy (The
number 5 is associated with the five elements -
Water, Fire, Earth, Wood, and Metal - and
hence, it was historically associated with the
Emperor of China)
It has been said
the Bronze age.
•The Chinese Oracle
•Made around 1500
BC, during the time of
•Used by priests to
tell the future
•The writing on these
oracle bones is the
same writing that
people use in modern
China, just in an
such as tombs and
ancient cities, scholars
have been able to piece
together many details
of Shang civilization.
confirmed the names
of its kings, its style of
military history, its
religious beliefs and
rituals, and its society.
The Qin Dynasty (221-206
From this dynasty came
two Chinese heritage
sites: The Terracotta
Army and the Great
Wall of China
dynasty, the emperor
Qin Shih Huang Di
currency, system of
writing, and even the
became the state
of wisdom and
virtue” were put in
place through the
were expected to
be junzi or noble.
Women, however, w
Han Dynasty 206 BC – 220CE
Kung Fu Tze or Confucius was born around 551 BCE
in Lu province in Zhou. His parents were nobility, but had
become poor. When Confucius was about 15 years old, he
became quite interested in learning. In those days, only
the nobility and royals were allowed education. All
the teachers were government officials.
It was hard for Confucius to find a way to learn because
he was poor.
To solve this, he went to work for a nobleman.
This gave him the opportunity to learn and to travel to
the imperial capital.
Confucius studied and learned until he probably was the
most learned man of his day. People heard of his
knowledge and sent their sons to study with him. He was
the first private teacher in China.
Confucius taught anyone who was
eager to learn. His ideas, called
Confucianism, stress the need to develop
responsibility and moral character
through rigid rules of behavior.
Confucianism is not, properly
speaking, a religion; it's a way of behaving,
so you'll do the right things.
It is a collection of
moral and ethical principles
enunciated by the Chinese
thinker Confucius (K’ung Fu-tzu)
around 500 BC in conversations
with his disciples. These
principles set standards
for individual conduct and the
administration of government
The Confucian Analects
• Tsze-kung asked what constituted
the superior man. The Master said, "He
acts before he speaks, and
afterwards speaks according to his
• “The man who moves a mountain
begins by carrying away small
• "To have faults and not to
reform them--this, indeed, should be
The Confucian Analects
Ssu Ma Chien (145-
86 BC) is China’s great
historian. He was also
an astronomer and
during after the Han
Dynasty. He was the
first to write a
of China, thus earning
the title of “Father of
The Tang (618-907), along with the Song
dynasty (960-1279 CE) that follows, is often
referred to as China's "Golden Age“.
Poetry, calligraphy, landscape
painting, philosophy, political
thought, historical writing, scientific advances
in astronomy, chemistry, and medicine, and
the production of fine silks, porcelain, and
teas all flourish, particularly in the period
from the 7th to the 12th centuries
7th-12th Century CE – China’s Golden Age
Tao (pronounced Dow) means The Way (to
happiness). It is during the Tang Dynasty that
Taoism becomes the official “state philosophy”
of China, and as such is integrated into the
imperial court system.
It was also the time of the “second
Daozang” – an expansion of the official Taoist
canon, ordered (in CE 748) by Emperor Tang
Taoism is not a religion. Taoism is a
philosophy, a way of looking at life and a
way of thinking about things.
Taoists believe if you look at life and
think about things in the right way, you'll
be much happier.
During the Tang
Dynasty, the great poets Li
Po and Tu Fu became
popular. Tu Fu became
known for his poem about
war and bitter human
experiences. Li Po, a friend
of Tu Fu’, wrote lyrical
poetry about love.
Li Yian, a woman poet
also became famous.
Tang Dynasty -
Li Po –
•Also called Li Bo or
•He wrote about the
good things in
love, friendship, win
e, nature and simple
While my hair was still cut straight across my forehead I
played about the front gate, pulling flowers. You came by on
bamboo stilts, playing horse, You walked about my seat, playing
with blue plums. And we went on living in the village of Chokan:
Two small people, without dislike or suspicion. At fourteen I
married My Lord you. I never laughed, being bashful. Lowering my
head, I looked at the wall. Called to, a thousand times, I never
At fifteen I stopped scowling, I desired my dust to be
mingled with yours Forever and forever and forever. Why should
I climb the look out? At sixteen you departed, You went into far
Ku-to-yen, by the river of swirling eddies, And you have been gone
five months. The monkeys make sorrowful noise overhead. You
dragged your feet when you went out. By the gate now, the moss is
grown, the different mosses, Too deep to clear them away! The
leaves fall early this autumn, in wind. The paired butterflies are
already yellow with August Over the grass in the West garden;
They hurt me. I grow older. If you are coming down through the
narrows of the river Kiang, Please let me know beforehand, And I
will come out to meet you As far as Cho-fu-Sa.
The River Merchant’s wife
•Also known as
• poet friend of
for his poem
about war and
The Solitary Goose
The solitary goose does not drink or eat,
It flies about and calls, missing the flock.
No-one now remembers this one shadow,
They've lost each other in the myriad layers of
It looks into the distance: seems to see,
It's so distressed, it thinks that it can hear.
Unconsciously, the wild ducks start to call,
Cries of birds are everywhere confused.
The world’s oldest book The world’s oldest
surviving book is Chinese— Buddhist text called
the Diamond Sutra, which bears the date 868 AD.
Along with other printed manuscripts, the book
was discovered in 1907 in a walled-up cave in
Dunhang (north-west China) and is on display at
the British Library.
Lu Hsun was the pen name
of Zhou Shuren (1881-1936).
He introduced modern
Chinese literature. Aside
from being a critic , he
became the leader of the
Revolution. One of his
famous works is “A
Madman’s Diary” which
serves as Lu Hsun’’s
declaration of war”
against Chinese Literature.
In the 1930s he became the
titular head of the
Chinese League of the Left-
The “Diary of A Madman”
written by Lu Hsun (1918)
The story presents itself as diary entries of a madman has now been cured of his
paranoia. The diary describes a growing fear, then, after extensively studying the Four
books and five classics of old Confucian culture, the diary writer, the supposed
"madman", began to see the words "Eat People!" “吃人” (chiren) written between the
lines of the texts (in classical Chinese texts, commentary was placed between the lines of
the text, rather than in notes at the bottom of a page). Seeing the people in his village as
potential man-eaters, he is gripped by the fear that everyone, including his brother, his
venerable doctor and his neighbors, who are crowding about to watch him, are
harboring cannibalistic thoughts on him. Despite the brother's apparent genuine
concern, the narrator still regards him as big a threat as any stranger. Towards the end
the narrator turns his concern to the younger generation, especially his late sister (who
died when she was five) as he is afraid they will be cannibalized. By then he is convinced
that his late sister had been eaten up by his brother, and that he himself may have
unwittingly tasted her flesh.
The story ends with the famous line: "Save the children..."
Things to remember from this presentation:
•Why is the Shang dynasty significant to Chinese Literature? Because it was the
time when the archaeologists found written evidences about the existence of
an ancient dynasty through the discovery of the oracle bones. The oracles
bones made from tortoise shells and animal bones provided details about the
•The Chinese Axial Age and the preoccupations of the philosophers during this
time , and the reason for that. – Because war is rampant during the Axial Age, the
pHilosophers wanted to restore social order and harmony so they came up with
philosophies that might be helpful to achieve peace.
•Kung Fu Tze, Confucianism and his teachings (The Confucian Analects)
•Ssu Ma Chien – The Father of Chinese History
•The Ballad of Hua Mulan and its era
•The Golden Age of China : Why is it called the Golden Age?
•The Tang Dynasty (Taoism, Li Po, Tu Fu, and some of their works)
•Modern Chinese Literature: Lu Hsun
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