Week 9: Oct. 23 and Oct. 25

Check you have done your assignments by Tue Oct. 22, 6pm.

User login and password for PDFs can be found on the Canvas Home Page

Wed. Oct. 23: Tang dynasty after the rebellion of An Lushan

  • Complete and bring to class your analysis of the primary sources from Friday’s class (Oct. 18), using the worksheet (PDF). We will spend some time discussing this.
          • Kroll, Paul. “The Flight from the Capital and the Death of the Precious Consort Yang.” In T’ang Studies 3 (1985). (PDF)
          • “Interlude: Xuan-zong and Yang the Prized Consort”. In An Anthology of Chinese Literature: Beginnings to 1911. Edited and translated by Stephen Owen, 441ff. New York: Norton, 1996. (PDF)
  • Textbook: Hansen, The Open Empire. Chapter 6, pp. 215-234.
  • Primary Sources:
    • Han Yu. “Memorial Discussing the Buddha’s Bone”. In An Anthology of Chinese Literature, Beginnings to 1911. Edited and translated by Stephen Owen, 597-601. New York: W.W. Norton and Co, 1996.(PDF)
            • Polemic against the veneration of a Buddhist relic. (This nearly cost Han Yu his life- his death sentence was commuted to exile after intervention from his friends)
  • Liu Zongyuan. “Essay on Enfeoffment” (Fengjian lun). In Sources of Chinese Tradition, Vol. 1. 2nd edition. New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1990.(PDF)
            • An analysis of the evolution of China’s political system, and its problems, according to an eighth-ninth century scholar-official. Compare with what we learned so far about Chinese history. Do Liu’s ideas make sense to a modern historian? Why (not)? Where can we refine his ideas, or correct them? And above all: what does his essay reveal about the way people in medieval China thought about the state?
  • OPTIONAL EXTRA: “The Quest of Mulian, or The Great Maudgalyāyana Rescues his Mother from Hell.” In Classical Chinese Literature. Edited by John Minford and Joseph S. M. Lau, 1088-1110. New York: Hong Kong: Columbia University Press; The Chinese University Press, 2000.(PDF)
            • This is a good example of a Buddhist manuscript found in the “library cave” in Dunhuang.
  • OPTIONAL EXTRA: “Guardians of Dunhuang“: a short excerpt from a documentary about how so many of the Dunhuang manuscripts ended up outside of China.
  • Slides (Gdrive link)

Fri. Oct. 25: Song dynasty and others

  • Textbook: Hansen, Open Empire Chapter 7, pp. 236-48.
  • Primary sources:
            • Wright, David Curtis. From War to Diplomatic Parity in Eleventh-Century China : Sung’s Foreign Relations with Kitan Liao. History of Warfare, 33. Leiden: Brill, 2005. (PDF)
                    • Oath letters from the emperors of the Liao and Song, from the Shanyuan (Chanyuan) covenant. The letters are between red brackets; the extra information is provided for your convenience. How do these letters compare with what we learned about the Chinese world view so far?
                    • Background info: textbook pp. 241-42.
            • Wang Anshi’s new policies, and a voice of protest: Sources of Chinese Tradition, Vol. 1: From Earliest Times to 1600. 2nd edition, 616-619. Edited by Wm Th. de Bary and Irene Bloom. New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1999. (PDF)
                    • The treaties and the upkeep of the military were costly to the state: here is Wang Anshi’s policy suggestion for sweeping reforms to solve the issue of financing them, and an opponents critique. What do these economic policies reveal about the way the Chinese scholar-officials thought about the role of the state and its relationship to money? What changes do you see with previous time periods?
                    • Background info: textbook pp. 244-246.
  • Slides (Gdrive link)