the city of light quanzhou zaitun n.
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The City of Light: Quanzhou (Zaitun)
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  1. The City of Light: Quanzhou (Zaitun) • The City (according to Jacob D’ancona) • Encircled by great walls and many gates with towers • At each gate there is a specialized market for • silks, spices, oxen and carts, horses, grains, rice of every kind, rams and goats, fish if the seas and the rivers, fruits and flowers, cloth, books, incense, porcelains, pearls and precious stones

  2. Streets are narrow and crowded with people So many “great temples of the idolaters” and other buildings which are carved and decorated with gold” A Thousand Arms Guanyin, Ming Dynasty, Pingyao, Shandong

  3. Shops • Shops are more numerous than in any other city of the world • Sell “every kind of merchandise, spicery, silk cloth, jewel, wine or slave” • “Medicines against the cold, ointment to ward off insects, herb for the gall” • One street sells nearly two hundred kinds of silk fabrics, “woven with such skill that they are a marvel to behold” • Another street, “given to gold- and silversmiths” • Another, “to apothecaries” • Another, “to astrologers”

  4. Special Districts • Different districts have different activities • Astrologers’ • Taverns • Where men and women dance together(?) • Fish or beverage of fine herbs are prepared. • Storytellers • Singers • Prostitutes • City inhabitants run hither and thither at night and by day; no curfew at night • Men go for enjoyment and in search of every pleaure, remaining thronged until the rise of the Sun.

  5. City Life (I) • “In the streets of the City of Light there pass continuously thousands of carriages and carts, whose noise and number are overpowering” • “At all hours of the day from earliest dawn, for the people of the City of Light rise early from their beds, a multitude go to and fro non its business, so large that one would believe it impossible that there could be enough food in the city to feed them.” • “Yet, already at dawn, the stalls of those who sell food are thronged, the passers-by eating pieces of mutton and goose, soups of various kinds and other hot foods, while others, both men and women, are at large in the streets, some with rapid feet proceeding in all directions ..and others as if lost people or eating while in motion…” (p. 116)

  6. City Life (II) • “In this vast throng, which grew beyond measure with the hours, were peasants and citizens without number, the rich and the poor, men and women, masters and servants, noblemen and miscreants,…There were those who labor in the workshops of silk and clay, in the taverns and the shops, merchants and sellers of food and other things, vagabonds, barbers, those who carried sedan-chairs, idolatrous priests, jugglers with dishes or porcelain, as well as soothsayers and astrologers, and those who go about with wild animals on a fetter.” (p.117)

  7. Foodstuff • Foreign account indicates the abundance and a wide variety of foodstuffs • Every type of foodstuffs cannot be bettered • Wild game, including deer and birds, hens and docks • Fish unseen in other parts of the world • All types of flesh and meat: • Kites, cats, dogs, owls, snakes, mice • The flesh of children who have been cast away, called “mutton two two legs” • The pig most common, cooked in the street with their entrails • Some people “would kill no animals in the world, not even a flea or a louse” • “Many are rich and glorious and many are poor, those who are without aid lacking even a morsel of bread”(p.131)

  8. The Gods without Number • “The idolaters of China have gods without number, …or they are the number of the sands of the seas.” (p.129) • Images of gods are made of earth, wood, stone, “some are painted with gold, and some have many hands and heads”

  9. the statues of their gods are for the most part wooden and gilded” • “Upon which the priests place garlands of flowers, also offering up to them, pans of hot food as if they should eat with their wooden mouths, which only a man without reason could believe” (p.129) Huge stone statue of Laozi in Southern Song Quanzhou

  10. Worship of Gods • “0ld men and women only who, raised their hands on high to the idols about them, struck their foreheads three times on the ground, praying that such idols might bring them a good understanding and a happy fate.” (p. 130) “Zhong Kui, the Demon Queller” by Zhou Fang, Early Qing

  11. “but if such a cat, dog or pig perform well its animal offices, as by catching mice or finding out truffles, they do not say whether such souls may once more ascend the ladder of creations and enter once again into the bodies of men” (p.130) • “They believe that the soul of him who behaves ill towards the spirits descends to a lowly life and enters into anther body, and may even be reborn in the form of a cat, dog, or pig.” “Gong yang ren” (worshippers offering sacrifice), Five Dynasties, Dunhuang Cave