Chinese civilization


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  • The Great Buddha statue shown in slide 22 is known as Daibutsu and it is in Japan, not in China.
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Chinese civilization

  3. 3. GEOGRAPHICAL AREAS • China Ranges from plateaus and Mountains in the west to lower land in the east. Principle river • In the central-east are the Deltas of China's two major rivers, the Hang He (yellow river) and Yangize in central • North-East Aamur. • Sometimes towards south pearl river, Mekong river, and Brahmaputra. • Chinese rivers are emptying into Pacific Ocean. • In the East, along the Shores of the Yellow Sea. • On the edges of the Inner Mongolian plateau in the north, grasslands can be seen. • Southern China is dominated by hills and low Mountain ranges.
  4. 4. CLIMATE OF CHINA • The central zone has a generally temperate climate. • The southern zone has a generally subtropical climate. • The northern zone has a climate with winters of Arctic severity.
  5. 5. The Political Division of China
  6. 6. • Ancient Era - Xia Dynasty (2100-1600 B.C.) - Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 B.C.) - Zhou Dynasty (1122-256 B.C.) Spring & Antumn Period Waring States Period
  7. 7. Ancient Times Shang Dynasty • China in the Xia & Zhou dynasties consisted of nine Zhou. • Shang dynasty featured 31 kings, the longest dynasty in chines history. • During the Zhou Dynasty, the Zhou Dynasty nation was rulled overall by the “THE SON OF HEVEN”. • The country was divided into competing states Each with a hereditary head, variously styled “prince”, “duke” or “king”.
  8. 8. • Imperial Era (221 B.C. – 1911 B.C.) - Qin Dynasty - Han Dynasty - Southern & Northern Dynasties - Sui Dynasty - Tang Dynasty - Five Dynasties & Ten Kingdoms - Song Dynasty - Yuan Dynasty - Ming Dynasty - Qing Dynasty
  9. 9. • Qin Dynasty – The major contributions of the Qin include the concept of a centralized government, the unification of the legal code, written language, measurement, and currency of China. • Han Dynasty – Emperor Wu consolidated and extended the Chinese empire. – This enabled the first opening of trading connections between China and the West, the Silk Road. – Three states tried to gain predominance in the Period of the Three Kingdoms. This time period has been greatly romanticized in works such as Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
  10. 10. • Sui Dynasty – The Sui brought China together again and set up many institutions that were to be adopted by their successors, the Tang. • Tang Dynasty – The Tang introduced a new system into the Chinese government, called the quot;Equal Field System. – Chang'an (modern Xi'an) the national capital, is thought to have been the world's largest city at the time. The Tang and the Han are often referred to as the most prosperous periods of Chinese history.
  11. 11. Five Dynasty & Ten kingdoms • The period of political disunity between the Tang and the Song, known as the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period lasted little more than half a century, from 907 to 960.
  12. 12. Song Dynasty • In 960, the Song Dynasty (960-1279) gained power over most of China and established its capital in Kaifeng, starting a period of economic prosperity, • China's first permanent standing navy was assembled and provided an admiral's office at Dinghai in 1132 AD, under the reign of Emperor Renzong of Song.
  13. 13. Yuan Dynasty • Kublai Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan, wanting to adopt the customs of China, established the Yuan Dynasty. • This was the first dynasty to rule the whole of China from Beijing as the capital.
  14. 14. Ming Dynasty • Emperor Yong-le strenuously tried to extend China's influence beyond its borders by demanding other rulers send ambassadors to China to present tribute. • A large navy was built, including four-massed ships displacing 1,500 tons. A standing army of 1 million troops was created. The Chinese armies conquered Vietnam for around 20 years. • The Grand Canal was expanded, and proved to be a stimulus to domestic trade. • During the Ming dynasty the last construction on the Great Wall was undertaken to protect China from foreign invasions.
  15. 15. Qing Dynasty • Emperor Kangxi ordered the creation of the most complete dictionary of Chinese characters ever put together at the time. • The Manchus set up the quot;Eight Bannersquot; system in an attempt to avoid being assimilated into Chinese society. • Banner membership was to be based on traditional Manchu skills such as archery, horsemanship, and frugality.
  16. 16. Modern Era • With the proclamation of the People's Republic of China on October 1, 1949, Taiwan was again politically separated from mainland China and was continued to be governed by the Republic of China.
  18. 18. • Taoism • Confucianism • Buddhism - Gods - Buddhas
  19. 19. Taoism • Started by Lao-Tsu, who lived a little before Confucius, about 600 B.C. • Tao means the ‘way’ or the ‘path’
  20. 20. Buddhism • Gautama Buddha taught the four noble truths: that there is suffering, that suffering has a cause, that suffering has an end and that there is a path that leads to the end of suffering.
  21. 21. Buddha • Buddha was born around 565 B.C. in Lumbini in modern day Nepal • They are the characteristics of the physical harmony and beauty of a Great Being, and are described in Story of the Life of Buddha Shakyamuni.
  22. 22. MEDITATION I would be honored if you would • The dhyanas are followed by four further spiritual exercises, the samapattis (quot;attainmentsquot;). • They are described as: • consciousness of infinity of space; • consciousness of the infinity of cognition; • concern with the unreality of things (nihility); • consciousness of unreality as the object of thought. Join me in Meditation.
  23. 23. Confucius • Born in a poor family in the year 551 B.C., and he was born in the state of Lu. • Original name was K'ung Ch'iu. • Made many wise phrases and theories about the law, life, and the government. • Philosophy is a kind of a system of ideas and thoughts that talk about the human's behavior
  24. 24. Architecture Of China
  25. 25. Architecture Introduction of the Houses of China. • Certain materials and techniques, such as pounded earth foundations, timber framing, and use of bricks and tile were present throughout the country. Afive-bay house in Zheiiang Province • Chinese homes have survived from antiquity, using archeological evidence. • The basic principles of Chinese house design, such as the emphasis on orientation, layout, and symmetry.
  26. 26. Orientation • Chinese domestic architecture is the practice of making houses face south. • Archeologists have found that many Neolithic-period houses were rectangular with a south-facing door. • Zhou period settlements were also organized on a north- south axis.
  27. 27. • The importance of orientation developed into the practice of Feng-shui which literally means quot;wind and waterquot; • Feng-shui concepts also dictated the kinds of material used in buildings. Combined with the location of the building, • The proper building materials were thought to re-direct beneficial energy for the inhabitants. • The most common building materials for houses in China are earth Detail from a Ming and wood period manual showing brick making
  28. 28. A diagram of the supports for a three A south-facing three bay house in Inner bay house Mongolia • The basic building block of Chinese architecture is the bay or quot;the space between,quot; which is the space defined by roof supports. • Chinese houses almost always consist of an odd number of bays; an even number of bays is considered unlucky. Therefore, three- or five- bay houses are common.
  29. 29. • The Three-bay house can be understood to be the basic unit of Chinese homes. • Depending on the size and the wealth of the family. • One common extension of the three-bay house was the creation of a courtyard Bird's eye view of courtyard house in dwelling. Beijing
  30. 30. • A notable feature of the courtyard house is that the complex is fully enclosed by buildings and walls. • There are no windows on the outside walls, and usually the only opening to the outside is through the front gate. Ming dynasty woodblock print
  31. 31. • It was not easy to see what a house contained by peeking through the front gate. • Courtyards were constructed so that when one looked through the first doorway of the house only a brick screen was visible. A doorway of a Beijing courtyard house showing the screen wall
  32. 32. • The sizes of courtyard houses vary greatly depending on the wealth, size, and the taste of the family. Diagram of a three-sided • Like the simple three-bay courtyard house, the door of the main house                           building faced south. • Doorways to the east or west could open into a garden. Diagram of a four-sided courtyard house
  33. 33. Uses of rooms in a typical two-courtyard house • Main entrance • Rooms facing the rear. The rooms facing the back, those near the entrance to the courtyard were reserved for the servants if the family was well-off. • First courtyard. Cooking was carried out here, and the second courtyard was a living space. East and west-side rooms, for the sons and daughters, or the sons' families. • Inner Hall. Where the members of the family greeted guests or where family ceremonies were held. • Main building. Living space for parents. Small side rooms. These used for children and extended family members.
  34. 34. • The courtyard was used in the design of more complex structures such as palaces and temples.
  35. 35. Roofs Designs and materials • Clay is a fairly common material for making tiles for roofing. • In some areas, for poorer people, thatch and bamboo were also common material. • Where wood was available and affordable, it was used to frame houses, providing support for the roof. Woodblock print from the Ming dynasty Carpenter's Manual, showing a carpenter at work
  36. 36. Pillars-and-beams wooden roof support system, from a building in the Beijing area • Two main kinds of framing systems developed: • pillars-and-beams (tailiang), • pillars-and-transverse-tie-beams (chuandou).
  37. 37. • The function of the cantilevered beam might be replaced by complex, or corbelled, brackets, shown below. • They are the layered green pieces below the eaves. Corbelled brackets and drip tiles, Hall of Celestial Piety, Forbidden City, Beijing
  38. 38. How Did They Decorate their Houses ? • Walls and eaves are often decorated, but particular attention is paid to doorways and windows because these are places where good or evil spirits were thought to enter. • Elegant decorative schemes would also provide ventilation or shading. • Many openings would be covered with latticework in an endless variety of patterns that quot;shape the windquot; or alter the way air flows into a home.
  39. 39. Doors in Sichuan Province
  40. 40. • One way to summon good fortune is to invoke the character fu, seen on the wall to the right. • Fu can be translated as quot;happiness,quot; quot;good fortune,quot; quot;blessings,quot; or quot;Fuquot; on wall in Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province quot;luck.quot;
  41. 41. Lattice found in Sichuan Province • This character is often represented stylistically as a backwards swastika, such as on the lattice work to the left.
  42. 42. • To the left is a picture of a tiger with the eight trigrams. • This is often hung above doors. • The eight trigrams are thought to ward off evil influences. • In combination with the tiger's fierce face, this image makes a powerful amulet. Atiger hanging above a door in Zhejing province 
  44. 44. • The Great Wall of China is a series of stone and earthen fortifications in China, built, rebuilt, and maintained between the 5th century BC and the 16th century to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire during the rule of successive dynasties. • Several walls, referred to as the Great Wall of China, were built since the 5th century BC. • The most famous is the wall built between 220 BC and 200 BC by the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang; little of it remains; it was much farther north than the current wall, which was built during the Ming Dynasty.
  45. 45. TEMPLE
  46. 46. Temple of Heaven first of the five • Temple of Heaven , the sacrificial temples in Beijing, is situated south of Beijing city. It was first built in 1420, along with the construction of the Forbidden City. • The Temple of Heaven covers an area of 273 hectares. It is the best preserved and largest sacrificial building complex in the world.
  47. 47. • Temple of Heaven was the place where emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties (about seven hundreds years ago) came to perform worship to the God of Heaven and pray for good harvests.
  48. 48. LINGYIN TEMPLE • Lingyin Temple, or the Temple of Inspired Seclusion, was founded in 326 AD by the Indian monk, Hui Li. • During its turbulent history the temple has been destroyed and then restored no less than sixteen times with the current structures dating to the late Qing dynasty (1644-1911).
  49. 49. •quot;His belly is big enough to contain all intolerable things in the world; •His mouth is ever ready to laugh at all snobbish persons under heaven.quot; It is believed that if you rub the belly of this Buddha, he will be able to foretell your future and make your wishes come true.
  50. 50. Pagoda • During Han times, the idea of the pagoda came to China from India, along with other goods and ideas, via traders on the SilkRoad. • The origin of the pagoda can be traced to the Indian stupa (3rd century BCE).
  51. 51. THE YIN & YANG • It shows how the YIN & the YANG are intertwined with each other. • The YIN (The DARK side) -The side of WOMEN,THE MOON,COMPLETION & DEATH. • The YANG (The LIGHT side) -The side of MEN, THE SUN, CREATION & BIRTH
  52. 52. I CHING • The I Ching is a collection of predictions about the future. • It's a fortune-telling book to help people predict what is going to happen in the future. • People wrote the first versions of the I Ching on silk cloth, • quot;Iquot; means change. quot;Chingquot; means book. • Therefore I Ching means 'The Book Of Changes'.
  53. 53. People threw three yarrow stalks (yarrow is a kind of flowering plant), and depending on how they fell they used that pattern to choose which predictions to read.
  54. 54. Chinese Calligrphy • Chinese calligraphy (Brush calligraphy) is an art unique to Asian cultures. • Shu (calligraphy), Hua (painting), Qin (a string musical instrument), and Qi (a strategic boardgame) are the four basic skills and disciplines of the Chinese literati.
  55. 55. Oracle bones • People in China began writing about 1500 BC . • The earliest writing that we know of from China was on animal bones, which are called quot; oracle bonesquot; because they were used to tell the future. Chinese oracle bone (Shang Dynasty, about 1500 BC)
  56. 56. Chinese Script • Cangjie created the earliest written characters.
  57. 57. Pottery • The earliest form of art we know from China was pottery - clay pitchers and bowls. • Most of the best early pottery comes from a place called Ban’po and it is named after that place. This Ban'po pottery was handmade. Jar from Ban'po, 4800 BC
  58. 58. Pottery bowl from Henan in Northern China,about 3500 BC (Musee Guimet, Paris) Pottery jar from Gansu in North-West China, about 2500 BC