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Routledge Handbook of Early Chinese History

Goldin, Paul R.

978 1 138 77591 6
List price(s):
240.00 USD
150.00 GBP

Publication date:
30 November 2017

Full description: 

The study of early China has been radically transformed over the past fifty years by archaeological discoveries, including both textual and non-textual artifacts. Thanks to the huge fund of new data provided by archaeology, historians are now keenly aware that traditional accounts of the period are inadequte because they are partisan, prescriptive, and incomplete. Excavations of settlements and tombs have demonstrated that most people did not lead their lives in accordance with the rituals canons, while previously unknown documents have shown that most received histories were written retrospectively by victors, and present a correspondingly skewed and anachronistic perspective. This handbook provides an authoritive survey of Chinese history from the Stone Age to A.D. 220. It is the first volume to include not only a comprehensive review of political history, but also detailed treatments of topics that transcend particular historical moments, such as warfare, cities, literature, and science. The contributions from doyens in the field and up and coming scholars reflect the cutting edge research that is redefining the study of Early Chinese history.

Table of contents: 

Introduction: What is Early China? Paul R. Goldin Part 1: Geography and Environment 1. Human Responses to the Challenges of the Environment Kate Pechenkina 2. China's Place in Early Eurasia Nicola di Cosmo Part 2: Political History 3. Main Issues in the Study of the Neolithic Gideon Shelach 4. The Bronze Age before the Zhou Conquest Robert W. Bagley 5. The Kingdom of Zhou Li Feng 6. The Age of Territorial Lords Lai Guolong 7. The Qin Empire Charles Sanft 8. The Former Han Empire Vincent Leung 9. The Latter Han Empire and the End of Antiquity Wai-kit Tse Part 3: Language and Writing 10. Language Axel Schuessler 11. Writing and Palaeography Adam Smith Part 4: Philosophy and Religion 12. Divination and the Spirit World Jue Guo 13. The Revolt against Ghosts Paul R. Goldin 14. Political Thought Yuri Pines Part 5: Economy and Society 15. Food and Agriculture Roel Sterckx 16. Warfare Robin D.S. Yates 17. Money Francois Thierry 18. Gender and Family Anne B. Kinney 19. Law Lai Ming Chiu and Kim Kyong-ho Part 6: Literature, Art, and Science 20. Literature Stephen W. Durrant 21. Art Haicheng Wang 22. Medicine Miranda Brown 23. Mathematics Karine Chemla 24. Astronomy David W. Pankenier


Paul R. Goldin is Professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Rituals of the Way: The Philosophy of Xunzi (1999), The Culture of Sex in Ancient China (2002), and After Confucius: Studies in Early Chinese Philosophy (2005); he also edited the revised version (2004) of R.H. van Gulik's classic study, Sexual Life in Ancient China , and is a co-editor of the Hawai'i Reader of Traditional Chinese Culture (2005).




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