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  • Cited by 11
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    Liu, Zengguang and Dessein, Bart 2014. The Chapter “Sheng Zhi” Of TheXiaojingand The Jiajing Emperor’S Ritual Reform. Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, Vol. 67, Issue. 2, p. 187.

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    Dien, Albert 1999. Six Dynasties Bibliography in Western Languages 1970–1980. Early Medieval China, Vol. 1999, Issue. 1, p. 110.

    Bokenkamp, Stephen R. 1998. A Medieval Feminist Critique of the Chinese World Order: The Case of Wu Zhao (r. 690–705). Religion, Vol. 28, Issue. 4, p. 383.

    Christides, Vassilios 1995. New light on the transmission of Chinese naval technology to the mediterrranean world: The single rudder. Mediterranean Historical Review, Vol. 10, Issue. 1-2, p. 64.

    Collins, Randall Chafetz, Janet Saltzman Blumberg, Rae Lesser Coltrane, Scott and Turner, Jonathan H. 1993. Toward an Integrated Theory of Gender Stratification. Sociological Perspectives, Vol. 36, Issue. 3, p. 185.

    Wickham, Chris 1985. The uniqueness of the East. The Journal of Peasant Studies, Vol. 12, Issue. 2-3, p. 166.

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    The Cambridge History of China
    • Online ISBN: 9781139055949
    • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521214469
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Book description

The Cambridge History of China is one of the most far-reaching works of international scholarship ever undertaken, exploring the main developments in political, social, economic and intellectual life from the Ch'in empire to the present day. The contributors are specialists from the international community of sinological scholars. Many of the accounts break new ground; all are based on fresh research. The works are written not only with students and scholars but also with the general reader in mind. No knowledge of Chinese is assumed, though for readers of Chinese, proper and other names are identified with their characters in the index. Numerous maps and tables illustrate the text. Volume 3, covers the second great period of unified imperial power, 589–906, when China established herself as the centre of a wider cultural sphere, embracing Japan, Korea and Vietnam. It was an era in which there was a great deal of rapid social and economic change, and in which literature and the arts reached new heights of attainment.

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  • 1 - Introduction
    pp 1-47
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521214469.002
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the various chapters in this book. This volume is the first of two devoted to the Sui and T'ang dynasties. These dynasties established the idea of the integrity of China as the territory of a single unified empire. A major long-term change during the Sui and T'ang was the complete transformation of the patterns of political life. The contribution to the interpretation of the political and institutional history of the period was the work of the great Chinese historian Ch'en Yin-k'o. The decentralization of power after the An Lu-shan rising accelerated complex economic and social changes. The most important long term development during these centuries was the final re-establishment of Chinese national unity. The compilers of the Chiu T'ang shu and other major surviving sources had at their disposal much more documentation for the subsequent period, from 763 to 847, for they had the Veritable Records to work with.
  • 2 - The Sui dynasty (581–617)
    pp 48-149
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521214469.003
  • View abstract
    Summary
    The Sui dynasty swept away much of the institutional detritus that was the legacy of disunion and laid the foundations of a new unified state and society. This chapter assesses the accomplishments of the Sui and come to an estimate of the significance of this period in Chinese history. It first presents an account of China as it was in the sixth century. Yang Chien, who was to found the Sui and reign as Wen-ti, was a typical north-western aristocrat of the sixth century. The problems faced by the Sui dynasty and the steps taken to broaden the base of the governing class in establishing a new unified institutional order are then discussed. The second emperor, Yang-ti, gathered to himself even more administrative powers than his father. The chapter also elucidates the second reign, its steps towards the consolidation of power, its innovations and its final and dramatic collapse.
  • 3 - The founding of the T'ang dynasty: Kao-tsu (reign 618–26)
    pp 150-187
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521214469.004
  • View abstract
    Summary
    Li Yuan, the Duke of T'ang and one of the most powerful Sui generals, founded a new dynasty which was to endure for almost three centuries, and would rank alongside the Han as one of China's two golden ages of empire. Li Yuan, temple name, Kao-tsu, ascended the throne himself as the first emperor of a new dynasty, and appointed his eldest son heir apparent. The T'ang occupied the Sui capital, and parts of Shensi and Shansi provinces. Although the T'ang made no systematic effort to tax commerce until the eighth century, from the very beginning of the dynasty they exercised strict control over trade, especially in the major markets of the capital and the prefectural cities. The greatest threat to the T'ang came from the Eastern Turks. Just three days after the Hsuan-wu Gate incident, Li Shih-min was proclaimed heir apparent and took over the actual control of the administration from his father.
  • 4 - T'ai-tsung (reign 626–49) the consolidator
    pp 188-241
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521214469.005
  • View abstract
    Summary
    The future T'ai-tsung, Li Shih-min, the second son of Kao-tsu was born in the year 6001 in Wu-kung county in modern Shensi. Despite his failure to live up to the high ideals of his early years on the throne, the larger-than-life figure of T'ai-tsung and the concept of the 'Good government of the Chen-kuan period' were to remain potent political symbols, not only for the rest of the T'ang period but throughout Chinese history. In the highest offices of his administration, T'ai-tsung gathered around himself a remarkable group of ministers. T'ai-tsung's most urgent concern was to ensure the long life of his dynasty. He concluded that central power, and above all the authority of the imperial house, had to be increased in relation to other rival groups in the empire. Chinese historians have portrayed T'ai-tsung's reign as an ideal age of politics by relations between the emperor and his officials and by a good esprit de corps within the bureaucracy.
  • 5 - Kao-tsung (reign 649–83) and the empress Wu: the inheritor and the usurper
    pp 242-289
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521214469.006
  • View abstract
    Summary
    The early years of Kao-tsung's reign were dominated by a group of chief ministers led by powerful elder statesmen. Traditional sources hint darkly that Kao-tsung and Wu Chao had been improperly intimate, and the latter bore a son to Kao-tsung in 652. Wu Chao was enthroned empress, and lost little time in taking her revenge against those who had opposed her elevation. Late in 674 she made a public bid for wide favour, with a memorial suggesting a twelve point reform programme which made sweeping concessions both towards the common people and towards the members of the bureaucracy. Kao-tsung's policies, the building of a new capital, the constant increase in the size of the bureaucracy, and above all the constant large-scale warfare, placed a constant and growing strain upon the empire's finances. Militarily, the reign saw spectacular successes, but these over-extended the empire's forces, which were finally pushed on to the defensive by the emergence of new foreign rivals.
  • 6 - The reigns of the empress Wu, Chung-tsung and Jui-tsung (684–712)
    pp 290-332
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521214469.007
  • View abstract
    Summary
    The fourth T'ang emperor, who ascended the throne as Chung-tsung in the twelfth month of 683, was the third son of Kao-tsung and the empress Wu. The Chou dynasty was not regarded by contemporaries as a sharp break in T'ang continuity. The last years of the Chou court were dominated by the Chang brothers, and by the attempts of the bureaucracy to topple them. The arch-enemy of the Changs was an outspoken elder statesman called Wei Yuan-chung, who had suffered numerous imprisonments and banishments in his eventful career. The T'ai-p'ing Princess had never forgiven the treachery of the Wei faction in trying to eliminate her, and had steadily been building personal support, while simultaneously extending her influence over her brother, Jui-tsung. The fall of the empress Wei and the T'ai-p'ing Princess, and the reform of the abuses they had sanctioned, won for Hsiian-tsung the support of a reunited officialdom.
  • 7 - Hsüan-tsung (reign 712–56)
    pp 333-463
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521214469.008
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter talks about Hsuan-tsung who was an immensely capable ruler and who restored his dynasty to a new peak of power after decades of usurpation, weakened authority and corruption. The higher echelons of the bureaucracy in the early reign of Hsuan-tsung reflect great credit upon the empress Wu as an excellent judge of men. The political problems which Hsuan-tsung faced after 714 had emerged clearly during the previous reign, and Yao Ch'ung's points had been anticipated by many other memorials. Yao Ch'ung and Sung Ching had attempted to attack the problem of supernumerary posts, only to have their policies reversed in the next year. Along with the codified law, Li Lin-fu and his collaborators presented a digest of legislation arranged according to categories. Yang Kuo-chung was the son of a minor official and despised by his relatives had gone to Szechwan where he served in the army, and was later appointed as a minor local official.
  • 8 - Court and province in mid- and late T'ang
    pp 464-560
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521214469.009
  • View abstract
    Summary
    The powerful decentralized provincial order which emerged in China after the middle of the eighth century was a direct result of the An Lu-shan rebellion of 755-63. The growth of a powerful frontier command on the north-eastern border was fully consonant with overall Chinese foreign and military policy. The civilian court interest led by Yang Kuo-chung, whose hostility to An Lu-shan had unquestionably helped to bring about the rebellion, predominated. T'ang rule survived in the late eighth and ninth centuries only, as Ch'en Yin-k'o has pointed out, by virtue of the northwest- south-east axis which it successfully sustained. Te-tsung ascended the throne in mid-779 among high expectations for a resurgence of T'ang power and glory. By the beginning of the ninth century the new provinces had been in existence for some four decades and had become permanent features of the T'ang landscape.
  • 9 - Court politics in late T'ang times
    pp 561-681
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521214469.010
  • View abstract
    Summary
    The activity of eunuchs in court politics was undoubtedly one of the distinguishing features of late T'ang Ch'ang-an history. Their rise to prominence was gradual and their role in the first half of the dynasty had been very limited The crisis of the An Lu-shan rebellion provided a natural opportunity for highly-placed eunuchs to advance their own interests. The revolt of the Ho-pei governors has been pictured as a humiliating interlude between the mid-eighth-century cataclysm and the resurgence of imperial pride during Hsien-tsung's centralization campaigns of the early ninth century. The appointment of Lu Chih and the eunuchs to positions of great responsibility marked the beginning of the most important political development of the late eighth century, namely the growth in power of what is known as the inner court. The inner court proved to be useful in peacetime as well as in war.
  • 10 - The end of the T'ang
    pp 682-789
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521214469.011
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter discusses the end of the T'ang dynasty. Increasing numbers of peasants left their own lands to escape their tax obligations, to become tenants on the rapidly increasing estates of rural landowners thus posing a serious social and fiscal problem for the government. Many of the underlying problems and forces that combined finally to bring down the T'ang dynasty were apparent in the P'ang Hsun rebellion. The court officials were held high office under I-tsung at first sight to have been a highly aristocratic group. During the early years of Hsi-tsung's reign, bandit activity entered a new phase. Serious fighting between bandit groups and government forces, and large-scale campaigns for the suppression of bandits began in 875 and lasted for nearly a decade. Apart from banditry, there were many signs in the late 860s and early 870s that authority was insecure, and was being challenged in ways that a few years before would have been unthinkable.

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