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Chinese Literature. 1000 B.C. – A.D. 1890. Shang Dynasty. 1600 B.C. Divided northern China into many small regions, each governed by a king Nature inhabited by gods and spirits Developments: New technologies in bronzeworking Decimal system 12 month calendar

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chinese literature

Chinese Literature

1000 B.C. – A.D. 1890

shang dynasty
Shang Dynasty
  • 1600 B.C.
  • Divided northern China into many small regions, each governed by a king
  • Nature inhabited by gods and spirits
  • Developments:
    • New technologies in bronzeworking
    • Decimal system
    • 12 month calendar
    • Creation of fine pottery, silk textiles, and Jade ornaments
chou dynasty
Chou Dynasty
  • 11th Century B.C. – 256 B.C.
  • Central Asian people who overthrew Shang dynasty
  • Severe political disunity
    • Hundreds of small feudal states with its own ruler
    • Many wars
  • The Hundred Schools period
    • Lao Tzu (Taoism – freedom, simplicity, and mystical contemplation of nature)
    • Confucius (Confucianism – code of social conduct and stressed discipline, morality and knowledge)
ch in dynasty
Ch’in Dynasty
  • Lasted 15 years
  • A feudal state that overthrew other states by 221 B.C.
  • Intolerant of other views
  • Strengthened central government
  • Divided China into provinces
  • Built road system
  • Patched the Great Wall of China
han dynasty
Han Dynasty
  • Lasted 400 years
  • Strengthened central gov’t
  • Improved education system
  • Made important advances in science and art
  • Established trade with Europe and Southern Asia
    • Introduced Buddhism (advocates freedom from worldly desires)
t ang dynasty
T’ang Dynasty
  • Followed period of disunity and a time when fine arts and literature flourished
  • Golden Age
    • Chinese poetry
  • Empire stretched from Pacific Ocean to Persian and India
  • Most effective system of government
  • Gunpowder and block printing invented
sung dynasty
Sung Dynasty
  • Mid-tenth century
  • Peasant revolts brought about the dynasty
  • Era of “delicacy and refinement” (198)
  • Neo-Confucianism: originally, return to Confucius teachings, but blended Buddhist ideas of seeking enlightenment through mediation and moral action
mongol invasion
Mongol Invasion
  • Late 12th, early 13th century A.D., the Yuan dynasty, first foreign dynasty established.
  • Conquest started by Genghis Khan; finished by Kublai Khan (grandson of Genghis) in 1279
  • Had contact with other countries unlike other parts of Mongol empire
ming dynasty
Ming Dynasty
  • Mongols driven out in mid-1300’s
  • Ming emperors revived Chinese culture previous to Mongol invasion
  • Overthrown by foreign invaders
ch ing dynasty
Ch’ing Dynasty
  • Manchurians conquered China in 1644
  • Adopted many elements of Chinese culture
  • Government modeled that of Ming dynasty
  • Rapid population growth led to unrest in Chinese society
  • Ended early 1900’s
  • Important in Chinese culture
  • Civic service exams required a poetic composition
  • Oldest collection The Book of Songs
    • Written after Han dynasty fell; compiled 16 century B.C.
    • Students expected to memorize it
  • Shih form: emotive versus, rigid form
    • T’aoCh’ien, master of this form
    • Greatest during T’ang dynasty
  • Tz’uform: lyrical, written to music – varying line length
philosophical text
Philosophical Text
  • Highly valued like poetry
  • Confucius’ The Analects
  • Lao Tzu’s Tao TeChing
  • Chuang Tzu ’s, disciple of Lao Tzu, Chuan Tzu:
    • witty, imaginative style
    • Animal fables and anecdotes teaching Taoist philosophy and questioning Confucius’ principles
chinese drama and fiction
Chinese Drama and Fiction
  • Inferior to poetry
  • Golden age of drama during Yuan dynasty; included a consistent plot
  • Drama included singing and dancing
  • Fiction gained popularity during the Ming and Ch’ing dynasties
    • Romance of the Three Kingdoms by LuoGuanzhong, a historical tale
    • The Journey to the West by Wu Cheng’en, a comic novel
    • The Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xeuqui, long work filled with psychological insights, about the decline of a prominent aristocratic family