Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 1
  • Cited by
    This chapter has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Shelach-Lavi, Gideon 2018. Memory and Agency in Ancient China. p. 28.

  • Print publication year: 1999
  • Online publication date: March 2008

14 - The Heritage Left to the Empires


This chapter attempts to identify some of the institutions that were devised and the advances that were achieved principally in the Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods and with out which no idea of a united empire could have been implemented. In some instances it may be seen how an experiment in administrative or economic practice that was carried out with in the confines of a particular region could later be adopted or adapted to suit the needs of a mighty empire. But it is in no way suggested here that those who initiated such steps so as to control a people or organize its labors saw them as instruments devised to lead toward such a unification.

While the unification of Qin and Han should be seen as a definite break and reaction against the practices of the past, it would be erroneous to judge it as a sudden and immediately effective change. For some time, earlier methods of statecraft and the lessons of the past continued to exert their influence, affected as they had been by the ambitions that many had entertained to exercise power and their struggles to do so in the face of the antagonism of their rivals. Alliances could be formed or abandoned with scant attention to personal integrity; loyalties could shift from master to master as circumstance might require. Only rarely were kings or their senior advisers brought face to face with moral aspects of their behavior. Ideas of what had come to be regarded as the normal policies of princes persisted into imperial times; they may well have accounted for the suspicions that some of the emperors entertained of their immediate followers and supporters, seeing them as potentially disloyal rebels.

Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

The Cambridge History of Ancient China
  • Online ISBN: 9781139053709
  • Book DOI:
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to *
Barnard, Noel. Studies on the Ch’u Silk Manuscript. Part 1: Scientific Examination of an Ancient Chinese Document as a Prelude to Decipherment, Translation, and Historical Assessment. Part 2: Translation and Commentary. Canberra: Australian National University, 1972, 1973.
Bielenstein, Hans. “Notes on the Shut ching.” Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities 65 (1993).
Biot, Édouard. Le Tcheou-li ou rites des Tcheou. 3 vols. Paris: Imprimerie nationale, 1851; rpt. Taipei: Ch’eng-wen, 1966.
Cao, Wanru et al., eds. Zhongguo gudai ditu ji. Beijing: Wenwu, 1990.
Chang, Gan. “‘Houma meng shu’ congkao“. Wenwu 1975.5.
Chang, K. C. Shang Civilization. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1980.
Chavannes, Édouard, trans., La mémoires historiqua de Se-ma Ts’ien [vols. 1–5, Paris: Ernest Leroux, 1895–1905;
Chen, Qiyou. Lü shi chunqiu jiaoshi. 2 vols. Shanghai: Xuelin, 1984; rpt., Taipei: Huazheng, 1988.
Duyvendak, J. J. L., trans. The Book of Lord Shang: A Classic of the Chinese School of Law. London: Arthur Probsthain, 1928; rpt. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1963.
Fu, Sinian. “Yi Xia dong xi shuo”. In Qingzhu Cai Yuanpei xiansheng liushiwu sui lunwenji. Nanjing: Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica, 1933.
Fujieda, Akira. Moji no bunka shi. Tokyo: Iwanami, 1971; rpt. 1991.
Guo, Keyu. Lu guo shi. Beijing: Renmin, 1994.
Guo, Moruo. “Guanyu E jun qi jie de yanjiu”. Wenwu 1958.4.
Guo, Qingfan. Zhuangzi jishi. 1894; rpt. Taibei: Huazheng, 1991.
He, Shuangquan. “Tianshui Fangmatan Qin mu chutu ditu chutan”. Wenwu 1989.2.
Huang, Linshu Qin huang changcheng kao Kowloon: Zaoyang wenxueshe, 1973.
Hulsewé, A. F. P.Notes on the Historiography of the Han Period.” In Historians of China and Japan, ed. Beasley, W. G. and Pulleyblank, E. G.. London: Oxford University Press, 1961.
Hulsewé, A. F. P. Remnants of Ch’in Law: An Annotated Translation of the Ch’in Legal and Administrative Rules of the 3rd Century B.C. Discovered in Yün-meng Prefecture, Hu-pei Province, in 1975. Leiden: Brill, 1985.
Karlgren, Bernhard, “Glosses on the Book of Documents,” Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities 20 [1948], gloss 1384.
Karlgren, Bernhard, The Book of Odes (Stockholm: Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, 1950), p..
Lawton, Thomas. “A Group of Early Western Chou Period Bronze Vessels.Ars Orientalis 10 (1975).
Le Coq, Albert von. Buried Treasures of Chinese Turkestan. London: Allen & Unwin, 1928. Rpt. with an introduction by Hopkirk, Peter. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985.
Leban, Carl. “Managing Heaven’s Mandate: Coded Communication in the Accession of Ts’ao P’ei, A.D. 220.” In Ancient China: Studies in Early Civilization, ed. Roy, David T. and Tsien, Tsuen-hsuin. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press, 1978.
Lederose, Lothar, and Schlombs, Adele. Jenseits der Grossen Mauer: Der Erste Kaiser von China und seine Terracotta-armee. Gütersloh München: Bertelsmann Lexicon, 1990.
Legge, James. The Chinese Classics. Vol. 2: The Works of Mencius. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon, 1895 rpt. Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong Press, 1960.
Legge, James. trans. Li Chi, Book of Rites. 2 vols. 1885; rpt. New York: University Books, 1967.
Li, Guoliang. “Wannan chutu de qingtongqi”. Wenwu yanjiu 4 (1988).
Li, Xueqin. “Chu Bronzes and Chu Culture.” In New Perspectives on Chu Culture on the Eastern Zhou Period, ed. Lawton, Thomas. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1991.
Liang, Qixiong. Hanzi qianjie. Beijing: Zhonghua, 1960.
Liu, Wendian. Huainan honglie jijie. 2 vols. Shanghai: Shangwu, 1923; rpt., Taipei: Shangwu, 1968.
Loewe, Michael. “The Orders of Aristocratic Rank in Han China.T’oung Pao 48 (1960).
Loewe, Michael. “Wang Mang and His Forbears: The Making of the Myth.T’oung Pao 80 (1994).
Loewe, Michael. Records of Han Administration. 2 vols. Cambridge University Press, 1967.
Luo, Genze. Guanzi tanyuan. Shanghai: Zhonghua, 1931.
Ma, Tongbo. Han Changli wenji jiaozhu. Shanghai: Gudian wenxue, 1957.
Mattos, Gilbert L. The Stone Drums of Ch’in. Monumenta Serica Monographs, no. 19. Nettetal: Steyler, 1988.
Needham, Joseph, with the research assistance of Wang Ling and Lu Gwei-djen. Science and Civilisation in China. Vol. 4: Physics and Physical Technology. Part3. Civil Engineering and autics. Cambridge University Press, 1971.
Needham, Joseph. Science and Civilisation in China. Vol. 2: History of Scientific Thought. Cambridge University Press, 1969.
Nishijima, Sadao. Chûgoku kodai teikoku no keisei to kôzô: Nijû tô shakusei no kenkyû. Tokyo: Tokyo daigaku, 1961.
Pirazzoli-t’Serstevens, Michèle. The Han Dynasty. New York: Rizzoli, 1982.
Rao, Zongyi and Xiantong, Zeng. Yunmeng Qin jian rishu yanjiu. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press, 1982.
Rao, Zongyi. “Chu boshu tianxiang zaiyi”. Zhongguo wenhua 3 (1990).
Rickett, W. Allyn. Kuan-tzu: A Repository of Early Chinese Thought. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 1965.
Shaughnessy, Edward L., ed., New Sources of Early Chinese History: An Introduction to Reading Inscriptions and Manuscripts (Berkeley: Society for the Study of Early China, and Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, 1997), Chapter 5.
Wu, Hung. “From Temple to Tomb: Ancient Chinese Art and Religion in Transition.” (1988).
Xu, Fuchang. Shuihudi Qin jian yanjiu. Taipei: Wenshizhe, 1993.
Xu, Fuguan. Zhongguo renxing lun shi. Taizhong: Donghai Daxue, 1963.
Yang, Kuan. “Shi Qingchuan Qin du de tianmu zhidu”. Wenwu 1982.7.
Yang, Kuan. Zhanguo shi. Shanghai: Shanghai Renmin, 1955; 2nd rev. ed., Shanghai: Shanghai Renmin, 1980.
Yang, Kuan. Zhongguo gudai ducheng zhidu shi yanjiu. Shanghai: Guji, 1993.
Yang, Lien-sheng. “Historical Notes on the Chinese World Order.” In The Chinese World Order, ed. Fairbank, John King, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1968.
Yin, Difei and Changming, Luo. “Shouxian chutu de E jun Qi jin jie”. Wenwu 1958.4.
Yu, Haoliang. “Shi Qingchuan Qin mu mudu”. Wenwu 1982.1.
Yuan, Ke. Zhongguo gudai shenhua. Rev. ed., Beijing: Zhonghua, 1960.
Zeng, Xiantong. “Chu yue ming chu tan: jian tan Zhaogu mu zhujian de niandai wenti”. Zhongshan Daxue xuebao 1980.1.
Zheng, , see Xin Zhongguo de kaogufaxian he yanjiu (Beijing: Wenwu, 1984)