WH 1111 Ancient china

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WH 1111 Ancient china

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WH 1111 Ancient china

  1. 1. Ancient China 5,000-200B.C.
  2. 2. Xia Dynasty (Sha)  - From these small villages and farming communities grew centralized government; the first of which was the prehistoric Xia Dynasty (c. 2070-1600 BCE).  - The Xia Dynasty was considered, for many years, more myth than fact until excavations in the 1960’s and 1970’s CE uncovered sites which argued strongly for its existence.  - The dynasty was founded by Yu the Great who worked relentlessly for thirteen years to control the flooding of the Yellow River which routinely destroyed the farmer’s crops.
  3. 3. Shang Dynasty -SHANG DYNASTY THE FIRST RECORDED CHINESE DYNASTY FOR WHICH THERE IS BOTH DOCUMENTARY AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE. -THOUSANDS OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL FINDS IN THE HUANG HE, HENAN VALLEY --THE APPARENT CRADLE OF CHINESE CIVILIZATION--PROVIDE EVIDENCE ABOUT THE SHANG DYNASTY, WHICH ENDURED ROUGHLY FROM 1700 TO 1027 B.C. - THE SHANG DYNASTY IS BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN FOUNDED BY A REBEL LEADER WHO OVERTHREW THE LAST XIA RULER. ITS CIVILIZATION WAS BASED ON AGRICULTURE, AUGMENTED BY HUNTING AND ANIMAL HUSBANDRY.
  4. 4. Shang  - Two important events of the period were:  1. the development of a writing system, as revealed in archaic Chinese inscriptions found on tortoise shells and flat cattle bones (commonly called oracle bones or ),  2. and the use of bronze metal in weapon and tool making.  - The oracle bone inscriptions and the bronze inscriptions mark the beginning of written Chinese history.  - The king or professional diviners hired by the king used oracle bones to make predictions about the future or to answer questions such as, “Will the king have a son?”, “ Will it rain
  5. 5. - ACCORDING TO LEGEND, THE SHANG DYNASTY WAS FOUNDED SOMETIME AROUND 1600 BCE BY A VIRTUOUS MAN NAMED CHENG TANG, WHO OVERTHREW THE EVIL KING OF THE LEGENDARY XIA. - THE SHANG DYNASTY WAS A MONARCHY GOVERNED BY A SERIES OF KINGS, 29 OR 3 0 IN TOTAL, OVER THE COURSE OF ALMOST 6 0 0 Y E A R S . - THE KINGS OF THE SHANG ARE BELIEVED TO HAVE OCCUPIED SEVERAL CAPITALS ONE AFTER ANOTHER, ONE OF THEM POSSIBLY AT MODERN ZHENGZHOU, WHERE THERE ARE RICH ARCHAEOLOGICAL FINDS, BUT THEY SETTLED AT ANYANG IN THE 14TH CENTURY BCE.
  6. 6. - THE KING APPOINTED LOCAL GOVERNORS, AND THERE WAS AN ESTABLISHED CLASS OF NOBLES AS WELL AS THE MASSES, WHOSE CHIEF LABOR WAS IN AGRICULTURE. - IN ADDITION TO HIS SECULAR POSITION, THE KING WAS THE HEAD OF THE ANCESTOR- AND SPIRIT-WORSHIP CULT. - - COURT RITUALS TO PROPITIATE SPIRITS AND TO HONOR SACRED ANCESTORS WERE HIGHLY DEVELOPED. - -EVIDENCE FROM THE ROYAL TOMBS INDICATES THAT ROYAL PERSONAGES WERE BURIED WITH ARTICLES OF VALUE, PRESUMABLY FOR USE IN THE AFTERLIFE.
  7. 7. THE ZHOU DYNASTY  - Around the year 1046 BCE, King Wu, of the province of Zhou, rebelled against King Zhou of Shang and defeated his forces at the Battle of Muye, establishing the Zhou Dynasty (c. 1046- 226 BCE).  - The Mandate of Heaven was invoked by the Duke of Zhou, King Wu’s younger brother, to legitimize the revolt as he felt the Shang were no longer acting in the interests of the people.  - The Mandate of Heaven was thus defined as the gods’ blessing on a just ruler and rule by divine mandate. When the government no longer served the will of the gods, that government would be overthrown.
  8. 8. - UNDER THE ZHOU, CULTURE FLOURISHED AND CIVILIZATION SPREAD. WRITING WAS CODIFIED AND IRON METALLURGY BECAME INCREASINGLY SOPHISTICATED. - THE GREATEST AND BEST KNOWN CHINESE PHILOSOPHERS AND POETS, CONFUCIUS, MENCIUS, MO TI (MOT ZU), LAO-TZU, TAO CHIEN, AND THE MILITARY STRATEGIST SUN-TZU (IF HE EXISTED AS DEPICTED), ALL COME FROM THE ZHOU PERIOD IN CHINAAND THE TIME OF THE HUNDRED SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT.
  9. 9. - During the Zhou dynasty, China underwent quite dramatic changes. Iron, ox-drawn plows, crossbows, and horseback riding were all introduced; large-scale irrigation and water- control projects were also instituted for the first time, greatly increasing the crop yield of the North China Plain. - The communication system was also greatly improved through the construction of new roads and canals. Trade was increased, towns grew up, coinage was developed, chopsticks came into use, and the Chinese writing system was created out of its primitive beginnings in the Shang period. - In 771 B.C. the Zhou court was sacked, and its king was killed by invading barbarians who were allied with rebel lords. The capital was moved eastward to Luoyang in present-day Henan Province. - With the royal line broken, the power of the Zhou court gradually diminished; the fragmentation of the kingdom accelerated.
  10. 10. THE SPRING & AUTUMN PERIOD & THE WARRING STATES  - During the Spring and Autumn Period (772-476 BCE the Zhou government became decentralized in their move to the new capital at Luoyang, marking the end of the `Western Zhou’ period and the beginning of `Eastern Zhou’.  - At the same time, however, the different states were breaking away from central rule by Luoyang and proclaiming themselves sovereign.  - This, then, led to the so-called Warring States Period (476-221 BCE) in which seven states fought with each other for control.  - All seven of the states used the same tactics and observed the same rules of conduct in battle and so none could gain the advantage over the others.  - between 262 and 260 BCE, the state of Qin gained supremacy over Zhao, finally defeating them at The Battle of Changping.
  11. 11. Three Schools of Thought  -Due to the political and economic uncertainty of the waring states period, several schools of thought emerged that sought to provide answers to the problems that were plaguing China. Three of the most popular schools were:  1. Legalism  2. Confucianism  3. Daoism
  12. 12. Legalism  -Over the course of the 4th-3rd centuries one small state after the other was conquered, and the number of surviving states dwindled.  -Rulers fearful that their states might be next were ready to listen to political theorists who claimed expertise in the accumulation of power.  -These theorist, labeled Legalists because of their emphasis on the need for rigorous laws, argued that strong government depended not on moral qualities of the ruler or his officials, as Confucius would claim, but on establishing effective laws and procedures.
  13. 13. -The doctrine was formulated by Han Fei Zi ( d. 233 B.C.) and Li Si ( d. 208 B.C.), who maintained that human nature was incorrigibly selfish and therefore the only way to preserve the social order was to impose discipline from above and to enforce laws strictly. - The Legalists exalted the state and sought its prosperity and martial prowess above the welfare of the common people. Legalism became the philosophic basis for the imperial form of government.
  14. 14. Confucianism  - Confucius (551?-479? BCE), according to Chinese tradition, was a thinker, political figure, educator, and founder of the Ru School of Chinese thought  - His teachings, preserved in the Lunyu or Analects, form the foundation of much of subsequent Chinese speculation on the education and comportment of the ideal man, how such an individual should live his life and interact with others, and the forms of society and government in which he should participate.  - Confucianism is a worldview, a social ethic, a political ideology, a scholarly tradition, and a way of life.  - Sometimes viewed as a philosophy and sometimes as a religion, Confucianism may be understood as an all-encompassing way of thinking and living that entails ancestor reverence and a profound human-centered religiousness.
  15. 15. -CONFUCIUS CONSIDERED THE FAMILY THE BASIC UNIT OF SOCIETY, AND AS A RESULT FOCUSED A LOT OF HIS TEACHING ON THE CONCEPT OF FILIAL PIETY. -IN CONFUCIANISM, FILIAL PIETY IS THE ATTITUDE OF OBEDIENCE, DEVOTION, AND CARE TOWARD ONE’S PARENTS AND ELDER FAMILY MEMBERS THAT IS THE BASIS OF INDIVIDUAL MORAL CONDUCT AND SOCIAL HARMONY. -FILIAL PIETY CONSISTS IN PUTTING THE NEEDS OF PARENTS AND FAMILY ELDERS OVER SELF, SPOUSE, AND CHILDREN, DEFERRING TO PARENTS’ JUDGMENT, AND OBSERVING TOWARD THEM THE PRESCRIBED BEHAVIORAL PROPRIETIES.
  16. 16. -FILIAL PIETY WAS ROOTED IN CHINA’S FEUDAL SOCIAL STRUCTURE, IN WHICH LAND WAS HELD BY LARGE CLANS WHOSE INTERNAL LIFE WAS STRUCTURED HIERARCHICALLY AND PATRIARCHALLY. CONFUCIUS RAISED FILIAL PIETY TO A MORAL PRECEPT BY CITING IT AS THE BASIS OF REN (“HUMANITY”), THE CULTIVATED LOVE OF OTHER PEOPLE THAT WAS THE CONFUCIAN MORAL IDEAL. - FILIAL PIETY IS NOT SIMPLE OBEDIENCE BUT RATHER DEFERENCE, AND ON OCCASION IT EVEN ENTAILS REMONSTRANCE OR GENTLE ADMONITION.
  17. 17. - Confucius' social philosophy largely revolves around the concept of ren, “compassion” or “loving others.” - Cultivating or practicing such concern for others involved deprecating oneself. This meant being sure to avoid artful speech or an ingratiating manner that would create a false impression and lead to self-aggrandizement. -For Confucius, such concern for others is demonstrated through the practice of forms of the Golden Rule: “What you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others;” “Since you yourself desire standing then help others achieve it, since you yourself desire success then help others attain it” (Lunyu 12.2, 6.30). - Confucius taught that the practice of altruism he thought necessary for social cohesion could be mastered only by those who have learned self-discipline. - Learning self-restraint involves studying and mastering li, the ritual forms and rules of propriety through which one expresses respect for superiors and enacts his role in society in such a way that he himself is worthy of respect and admiration.
  18. 18. - A CONCERN FOR PROPRIETY SHOULD INFORM EVERYTHING THAT ONE SAYS AND DOES: “LOOK AT NOTHING IN DEFIANCE OF RITUAL, LISTEN TO NOTHING IN DEFIANCE OF RITUAL, SPEAK OF NOTHING IN DEFIANCE OR RITUAL, NEVER STIR HAND OR FOOT IN DEFIANCE OF RITUAL.” (LUNYU 12.1) - SUBJECTING ONESELF TO RITUAL DOES NOT, HOWEVER, MEAN SUPPRESSING ONE'S DESIRES BUT INSTEAD LEARNING HOW TO RECONCILE ONE'S OWN DESIRES WITH THE NEEDS OF ONE'S FAMILY AND COMMUNITY. - CONFUCIUS' EMPHASIS ON RITUAL DOES NOT MEAN THAT HE WAS A PUNCTILIOUS CEREMONIALIST WHO THOUGHT THAT THE RITES OF WORSHIPAND OF SOCIAL EXCHANGE HAD TO BE PRACTICED CORRECTLY AT ALL COSTS.
  19. 19. Daoism  - Daoism stands alongside Confucianism as one of the two great religious/philosophical systems of China.  - Traditionally traced to the mythical Laozi “Old Philosopher,” Philosophical Daoism owes more to “philosopher Zhuang” (Zhuangzi) (4th Century BCE).  - In the broadest sense, a Daoist attitude toward life can be seen in the accepting and yielding, the joyful and carefree sides of the Chinese character, an attitude that offsets and complements the moral and duty-conscious, austere and purposeful character ascribed to Confucianism.
  20. 20. - DAOISM IS ALSO CHARACTERIZED BY A POSITIVE, ACTIVE ATTITUDE TOWARD THE OCCULT AND THE METAPHYSICAL (THEORIES ON THE NATURE OF REALITY), WHEREAS THE AGNOSTIC, PRAGMATIC CONFUCIAN TRADITION CONSIDERS THESE ISSUES OF ONLY MARGINAL IMPORTANCE. - BEHIND ALL FORMS OF DAOISM STANDS THE FIGURE OF LAOZI, TRADITIONALLY REGARDED AS THE AUTHOR OF THE CLASSIC TEXT KNOWN AS THE LAOZI, OR THE DAODEJING (“CLASSIC OF THE WAY OF POWER”). - CERTAIN CONCEPTS OF ANCIENT AGRARIAN RELIGION HAVE DOMINATED CHINESE THOUGHT UNINTERRUPTEDLY FROM BEFORE THE FORMATION OF THE PHILOSOPHIC SCHOOLS UNTIL THE FIRST RADICAL BREAK WITH TRADITION AND THE OVERTHROW OF DYNASTIC RULE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 20TH CENTURY, AND THEY ARE THUS NOT SPECIFICALLY DAOIST.
  21. 21. - The most important of these concepts are: 1. the continuity between nature and human beings, or the interaction between the world and human society. 2. the rhythm of constant flux and transformation in the universe and the return or reversion of all things to the Dao from which they emerged 3. the worship of ancestors, the cult of heaven, and the divine nature of the sovereign. - What Laozi calls the “constant Dao” in reality is nameless. The name (ming) in ancient Chinese thought implied an evaluation assigning an object its place in a hierarchical universe. - The Dao is outside these categories. “It is something formlessly fashioned, that existed before heaven and earth… Its name (ming) we do not know; Dao is the byname that we give it. Were I forced to say to what class of things it belongs I should call it Immense.”
  22. 22. - Dao is the “imperceptible, indiscernible,” about which nothing can be predicated but that latently contains the forms, entities, and forces of all particular phenomena: “It was from the Nameless that heaven and earth sprang; the Named is the mother that rears the Ten Thousand Things, each after its kind.” -The Nameless (wuming) and the Named (youming), Nothing (wu) and Something (you), are interdependent and “grow out of one another.” - Nothing (wu) and Dao are not identical; wu and you are two aspects of the constant Dao: “in its mode of being Unseen, we will see its mysteries; in the mode of the Seen, we will see its boundaries.” -Nothing does not mean “Nothingness” but rather indeterminacy, the absence of perceptible qualities; in Laozi’s view it is superior to Something. It is the Void (that is, empty incipience) that harbours in itself all potentialities and without which even Something lacks its efficacy.
  23. 23. RETURN TO THE DAO  -The law of the Dao as natural order refers to the continuous reversion of everything to its starting point.  - Everything issues from the Dao and ineluctably returns to it; Undifferentiated Unity becomes multiplicity in the movement of the Dao. Life and death are contained in this continuing transformation from Nothing into Something and back to Nothing, but the underlying primordial unity is never lost.  - For society, any reform means a type of return to the remote past; civilization is considered a degradation of the natural order, and the ideal is the return to an original purity.  - Any willful human intervention is believed to be able to ruin the harmony of the natural transformation process. The spontaneous rhythm of the primitive agrarian community and its un-self- conscious symbiosis with nature’s cycles is thus the Daoist ideal of society.

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