The history of China is a history of warfare. Rarely in its 3,000-year existence has the country not been beset by war, rebellion, or raids. Warfare was a primary source of innovation, social evolution, and material progress in the Legendary Era, Hsia dynasty, and Shang dynasty -- indeed, war was the force that formed the first cohesive Chinese empire, setting China on a trajectory of state building and aggressive activity that continues to this day. In Ancient Chinese Warfare, a preeminent expert on Chinese military history uses recently recovered documents and archaeological findings to construct a comprehensive guide to the developing technologies, strategies, and logistics of ancient Chinese militarism. The result is a definitive look at the tools and methods that won wars and shaped culture in ancient China.
Ancient China may have existed thousands of years ago, but its civilization was incredibly rich with culture. This book explores the clues that have been left behind from this fascinating civilization. Specifically looking at artifacts, the main text invites readers to analyze items from Ancient China and draw conclusions following the questions and prompts. From the bamboo staff to oracle bones, these items help young learners learn about a culture that existed so long ago, and get them ready for the challenge of thinking like an archaeologist themselves.
The Eurocentric conventional wisdom holds that the West is unique in having a multi-state system in international relations and liberal democracy in state-society relations. At the same time, the Sinocentric perspective believes that China is destined to have authoritarian rule under a unified empire. In fact, China in the Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods (656–221 BC) was once a system of sovereign territorial states similar to Europe in the early modern period. Both cases witnessed the prevalence of war, formation of alliances, development of the centralized bureaucracy, emergence of citizenship rights, and expansion of international trade. This book, first published in 2005, examines why China and Europe shared similar processes but experienced opposite outcomes. This historical comparison of China and Europe challenges the presumption that Europe was destined to enjoy checks and balances while China was preordained to suffer under a coercive universal status.
In the field of military history as in so many others, the Chinese have often been both admired and seen as something utterly mysterious and inscrutable. Chris Peers illuminates the evolution of the military art in China with reference to ten battles, spanning more than 2,000 years, from the Battle of Mu in 1027BC to the Fall of Chung Tu in 1215 AD. Selected both for their historical importance and for the light which they shed on weapons and tactics, the author uses these examples to discuss the many myths still current in the West about ancient Chinese warfare: for example that the Chinese were an unwarlike people, always preferring subterfuge over the use of force; or that they were essentially defensive minded, relying on works such as the Great Wall. On the other hand, a recent reaction to this dismissive attitude portrays China as technologically far in advance of the West. Battles of Ancient China shows that none of these stereotypes are accurate. Comparison with contemporary Western practice is a major theme of the book which adds a new perspective not developed in the author's previous works on the subject.
In this comprehensive volume dedicated to ancient Chinese civilization, upper elementarylevel readers will learn the different dynasties of ancient China, the memorable leaders that spearheaded them, and the lasting influences each period had on civilizations to follow. Readers will learn about the oldest examples of Chinese writing, which ruler was responsible for completing the Great Wall, and the cultural context in which Confucius became a prominent philosopher, among other fascinating details. These ancient Chinese contributionsall still well known todayconstitute only a few of the aspects of ancient China waiting to be discovered.
Endymion Wilkinson's bestselling manual of Chinese history has long been an indispensable guide to all those interested in the civilization and history of China. In this latest edition, now in a bigger format, its scope has been dramatically enlarged by the addition of one million words of new text. Twelve years in the making, the new manual introduces students to different types of transmitted, excavated, and artifactual sources from prehistory to the twentieth century. It also examines the context in which the sources were produced, preserved, and received, the problems of research and interpretation associated with them, and the best, most up-to-date secondary works. Because the writing of history has always played a central role in Chinese politics and culture, special attention is devoted to the strengths and weaknesses of Chinese historiography.
The Chinese double-edged straight sword (jian), the "gentleman of weapons," is the focus of this e-book. There are a growing number of people interested in this fascinating weapon, its history, and its use. For your convenience, this anthology assembles the best articles on this subject as published in the Journal of Asian Martial Arts. Chapters 1 and 2 were written by Dr. Richard Pegg, a scholar of Asian studies and art curator with over thirty years of studies in the martial arts. With sound academic and practical experience in swordsmanship, Dr. Pegg writes here on ancient Chinese bronze swords and also on the parallels of Chinese calligraphy and swordplay. The analysis and presentation of the calligraphic illustrations give insight into the physical execution of sword movement. These superb presentations provide a perspective that is useful for understanding the technical and historical significance of the sword arts in China. In the next chapter, Tony Yang, Andy Lianto, and Robert Figler give an excellent overview of the fundamentals of training with the straight sword. This article outlines some of the most famous sword forms in history, Liu Yunqiao's lineage, solo and two-person practice, as well as details on fundamental techniques and their combinations. For all intents and purposes, the practice and perfection of these fundamentals make one a master of the sword. Over 140 photos are used just in this chapter to illustrate the techniques. Stephan Berwick's chapter details the history and practice of a famous straight sword system, the Qingping (Green Duckweed). The study meshes Chinese- and English-sourced research and a revealing interview with Lu Junhai-the grandmaster of this unique sword system. The interview is conducted by America's senior Qingping disciples, Reza Momenan and Hon Lee. If you are a serious practitioner of the Chinese double-edged straight sword and have an interest in its history and techniques, you'll enjoy each chapter included in this anthology. May it be a handy reference work for information as well as a source of inspiration for actual sword practice.
Military technology is almost as old as human society. The first humans sometimes fought one another with sticks and spears. Over the centuries, early peoples developed more powerful and deadlier weapons. The ancient Egyptians built the first warships. The Mayans crafted razor-sharp blades from obsidian, a kind of glass. The ancient Chinese invented the crossbow. This mechanized weapon could shoot arrows much farther than an ordinary bow. What other kinds of weapons did ancient warriors use? What tactics and strategies did they employ? How did they protect themselves from enemies? And how did ancient warfare technology set the stage for our own modern warfare technology? Learn more in Ancient Warfare Technology.
A study of the production and use of iron and steel in early China, and simultaneously a methodological study of the reconciliation of archaeological and written sources in Chinese cultural history. Includes chapters on the technology of iron production based on studies of artifact microstructures.