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3/6/2014

Exemplary Women

Filed under: — Alan Baumler @ 2:13 am Print
A new translation of the Lienu zhuan is out, under the title Exemplary Women of Early China The book was compiled by Liu Xiang, mostly from older sources, so it is both an anthology of Pre-Han stories about women and one of the most important influences on post-Han women's education. The translator, Anne Behnke Kinney, says that the organizing principle of the book is dynastics, “an ideology for reinforcing habits of deference to a family-based hierarchy for the sake of its ongoing continuity and prestige.” It is thus broader than the usual understanding of filial piety and is not the same as patriarchy, although it often overlaps with it. Most of the stories portray women dealing with some sort of crisis that threatens the family or dynasty. Sometimes of course women -are- a threat to the family and dynasty, as in this story from the section on the Depraved and the Favored.
The Songstress Queen of King Dao of Zhao

The Songstress Queen was a singer from Handan and the queen of King Daoxiang of Zhao. At an earlier time, she had brought disorder to an entire clan. When she became widowed, King Daoxiang was struck by her beauty and married her. Li Mu remonstrated with him, saying, "This won't do. A woman's impropriety is the means by which state and family are turned upside down and made unstable. This woman has brought disorder to her clan. Shouldn't Your Majesty be alarmed ?"- The king said, "Whether there is disorder or not depends on how I govern." He then proceeded to marry her.

Earlier, King Daoxiang's queen had given birth to a son named Jia who became heir apparent. After the Songstress Queen entered the court at the rank of consort, she gave birth to a son named Qian. The Songstress Queen then became a great favorite of the king and secretly slandered the queen and the heir apparent to the king. She [also] arranged for someone to offend the heir apparent and thus provoke him into committing a crime. The king thereupon dismissed Jia and set up Qian [in his place], and deposed the queen and established the songstress as queen. When King Daoxiang died, Qian was enthroned as King Youmin.

The Songstress Queen was dissolute and immoral. She developed an illicit connection with the Lord of Chunping and frequently received bribes from Qin. She made the king execute his great general, the Lord of Wuan, Li Mu. Afterward, when Qin troops marched in, no one could stop them. Qian was then taken prisoner by Qin, and Zhao was destroyed. The grandees, resentful that th eSongstress Queen had slandered the heir apparent and killed Li Mu had her killed and exterminated her family. Together they enthroned Jia at Dai. After seven years they could not defeat Qin. Zhao was then annihilated and became a commandery [of Qin].

The Odes says, "If a man have not dignity of demeanor /What should he do but die. These words apply well to her.

The Verse Summary says,

The Songstress Queen of King Daoxiang of Zhao

Was insatiably covetous.

She destroyed the true queen and heir,

Working her deceit with guile.

She was debauched with Lord Chunping,

And ruthlessly pursued what she desired.

She received bribes, ravaged Zhao,

And died in the kingdom she destroyed

This story gives a nice sample of both court politics in the Warring States and pretty traditional views about the dangers of marrying beautiful women. It also reflects one of the reasons the book was complied, since Liu Xiang seems to have been worried that too many Han emperors were marrying low-born women who did not understand proper family behaviour. These women needed to be either avoided or educated, and this book could help with either. We also get a sample of one of the verse summaries that one can memorize to keep the lessons of the story in mind. Much different is this story, from the section on Accomplished Rhetoricians
The Wife of the Bow Maker of Jin

The bow maker's wife was the daughter of an armor craftsman of Jin. In the time of Duke Ping, the duke ordered her husband to make a bow. After three years it was finished. When the duke drew the bow and shot, the arrow did not pierce even one layer of armor. The duke was angry and was about to execute the bow maker.

The bow maker's wife thereupon begged for an audience, saying, "I am the daughter of an armor craftsman and the wife of the bow maker. I would like to be granted an audience." When Duke Ping met with her she said, "Have you heard of Gong Liu's conduct in former times ? Whenever the sheep and oxen trampled their rushes and reeds, he felt great pity for the common people, and his concern even extended to plants and trees. Would he have countenanced the killing of an innocent person? Duke Mu of Qin encountered bandits who ate the meat of his fine steed, but he gave them wine to drink. When an officer of King Zhuang of Chu tugged at his consort's robe, she tore off his hat tassel. But the king later drank with him quite happily. As for these three rulers, their benevolence became known to the entire world. Eventually each one was requited [for their kindness], and their names have been passed down to present times.

"Formerly, Yao did not trim the thatch of his roof or carve its mottled beams. He had earthen steps of only three levels.Even so, he felt that his workmen had toiled hard and that he was living in great comfort. Now, when my husband made this bow, his efforts were also laborious. The bow's shaft came from wood grown on the slopes of Mount Tai, and each day he would examine it three times in both the sunlight and the shade. It is decorated with the horn of oxen from Yan, bound with the tendons of deer from Jing, and glued together with adhesive derived from Yellow River fish. Since these four things are among the most select and extraordinary materials in the world, your inability to pierce even one layer of armor must be due to your inability to shoot. Yet you want to kill my husband. Isn't this mistaken?

"I have heard that in the Way of Archery, one's left hand should be held as firm as a rock, while the right hand should be held like a diagonal support beam. When the right hand releases the arrow, the left hand should not be aware of it. This is the Way of Archery."

When Duke Ping did what she said and shot, the arrow pierced seven layers of armor. The woman's husband was immediately set free and given three yi in cash. A man of discernment would say, "The bow maker's wife was able to offer assistance in difficulty." The Odes says, "The ornamented bows are strong;' and "They discharge the arrows and all hit."This phrase describes the methods of archery.

The Verse Summary says,

Duke Ping Jin commissioned a bow,

Which took three years to complete.

But he became angry with the bow maker

And was on the verge of punishing him.

The wife went and spoke tothe duke,

And explained what materials were used in the bow.

She set forth the labor and difficulty involved,

And the duke thereupon released him.

So we have another commoner woman, but this one is an expert on bows, archery, rare materials and persuading rulers. She also has the courage to tell the Duke he is lousy at one of the Six Arts (Archery) and is eloquent enough to both get away with it and improve him. Even men could take her as an example! As a result this is a really useful book to use when teaching about Chinese women. Students come in with a lot of ideas about women in traditional China being powerless and oppressed. That's not wrong, but getting them to go beyond that is often pretty hard. These stories mostly deal with female agency, but always in a family or dynastic context, so we are getting neither Passive Lady Plum Blossom nor Disney's Mulan. It is also a good book for Early China. It's always had to find something to do for the early part of a China class, given that a lot of the secondary stuff is pretty technical and the translated primary sources tend to be philosophical texts that are hard for undergrads to deal with. This seems just about perfect. Of course, even if you are not going to teach with it, you could still read it. Its a good book.

5/17/2012

Buy Clindamycin Gel Without Prescription

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 12:56 am Print

Jeremiah Jenne pointed me to this most wonderful bit of French nonsense: Jean Levi's claim that the terracotta army is a modern forgery Buy Clindamycin Gel Without Prescription, . Buy Clindamycin Gel from mexico,

These famous clay sentinels, which protect the sleep of the despot eternally as is insistently and pompously proclaimed by journalists, get Clindamycin Gel, Clindamycin Gel trusted pharmacy reviews, do not date back from the 3rd century B.C., the time when the Great Emperor was buried, buy Clindamycin Gel from canada, Clindamycin Gel gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release, but from the 20th century, at the end of the Cultural Revolution when the struggle between factions was raging with the “Gang of Four”, taking Clindamycin Gel. Clindamycin Gel overnight, As you’ve pointed out, it is nonetheless surprising that this “new wonder of the world”, buying Clindamycin Gel online over the counter, Cheap Clindamycin Gel, which has crowds from the four corners of the planet gape with admiration, was inscribed on the World Heritage List without being assessed by international experts as is usually the case when a country officially asks for an artistic or architectural place or property to be listed, buy cheap Clindamycin Gel. Online Clindamycin Gel without a prescription, The Chinese authorities purely and simply refused the UNESCO experts access to the archeological site, although those same experts apparently did not take much offence as Lingtong’s buried army was added to the list anyway.

Portland Art Museum - Early Han - Musicians with Chimes Drum and Bells

He argues that the statues are too big - inconsistent with Warring States styles - and were put together too quickly given their scale and complexity, Clindamycin Gel dosage. My Clindamycin Gel experience, As for how such a cover-up could happen, he suggests, Clindamycin Gel from canada, What is Clindamycin Gel, inverting the chronology in a somewhat circular fashion, that their manufacture was covered up by saying that they were making copies, is Clindamycin Gel safe, Kjøpe Clindamycin Gel på nett, köpa Clindamycin Gel online, when what was really going on was the initial planting of the fakes. He goes on to cite Guy Debord (also Agamben and Baidou) and Sunzi, and other famous modern fakes like The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and an incident of a German museum being duped into displaying fake Terracotta Warriors, Buy Clindamycin Gel Without Prescription.

Smithsonian Sackler - China - bce 4c Eastern Zhou Tomb Guardian AntlersHaving read John Man's book on the Terracotta Warriors, Clindamycin Gel schedule, Buy Clindamycin Gel online cod, the argument against the plausibility of construction seems quite hollow: the more Man learns about how the construction is done, the lower his estimates of necessary labor become, online buying Clindamycin Gel hcl. Low dose Clindamycin Gel, The stylistic argument seems oddly deterministic: because the regime was artistically conservative elsewhere (he claims) doesn't mean that there couldn't be some innovation. The literalism of the life-sized warriors seems consistent, effects of Clindamycin Gel, Clindamycin Gel long term, to me, with the ideology of regulation and anti-abstractionism of the Qin regime, order Clindamycin Gel from United States pharmacy. Online buy Clindamycin Gel without a prescription, Why didn't it create a pattern, imitators, comprar en línea Clindamycin Gel, comprar Clindamycin Gel baratos. Order Clindamycin Gel no prescription, Which is more plausible: a Maoist conspiracy or that nobody who had the necessary resources wanted to be caught imitating the Qin state.

I may not have pictures of the warriors in my collection to share, Clindamycin Gel pictures, Online buying Clindamycin Gel, but at least I'm not using images from "The Mummy" or obviously photoshopped Wheel of Fortune pictures.... if Levi wants his ideas taken seriously, Clindamycin Gel maximum dosage, Buy no prescription Clindamycin Gel online, he really should find more friendly magazines. Until I see some actual evidence to the contrary, Clindamycin Gel dose, Australia, uk, us, usa, rather than fanciful theories, I will continue to present the terracotta warriors as an actual component of China's early history.

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12/26/2010

Prozac For Sale

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 10:46 pm Print

Prozac For Sale, Quite by coincidence, I ended up reading three books on Chinese monuments, but not until the third did I realize that what I was reading was a history of modern monuments. The first two books I picked up relatively recently - as my "to read" stack goes - but since they were related to my Early China course this last semester they moved to the front of the line. Order Prozac from United States pharmacy, (( If memory serves, they were both bought at Daedalus Books in Maryland. Great prices, Prozac blogs, if they've got what you're looking for; dangerous place for book-hounds. Buy Prozac without a prescription, )) The third was a review copy sent by Cornell UP to "Jonathan Dresner, Frog In A Well Blog." (( Yes, the rest of the address was there, Prozac canada, mexico, india, too, Online Prozac without a prescription, but that's boring. )) The books are

  • John Man, The Terracotta Army: China's First Emperor and the Birth of a Nation, Bantam Press, 2007

  • Julia Lovell, The Great Wall: China Against the World, 1000 BC - AD 2000, Grove Press, 2006.

  • Chang-Tai Hung, Mao's New World: Political Culture in the Early People's Republic

Why do I say these are modern monuments, Prozac For Sale. The terracotta warriors, while a monumental work, Prozac class, were unknown until 1974, Prozac from canadian pharmacy, and did not become "monuments of China" for several years after. The Great Wall was a fairly obscure remnant until foreign visitors, mistranslations and reporters (including Ripley himself) raised so much interest that the Chinese government refurbished and made it accessible primarily as a nationalist beacon and tourist attraction, Prozac forum. Though they have older stories to tell as well, What is Prozac, they actually fit quite well into the discussion Chang-tai Hung presents of the artistic and aesthetic politics in the first decade of the PRC.

Portland Art Museum - Han Clay ChariotJohn Man's investigation into the Qin tombs is a journalistic archaeological whodunit, a very competent roundup of physical research into Qin remains and contemporary technologies, order Prozac from mexican pharmacy. Prozac For Sale, For me, the journalistic investigation style wears thin very quickly: the habit of holding back important information to the end - which journalists share with weak mystery writers, among others - as a way of impelling the reader really grates my academic reader instincts. The archaelogical and journalistic investigation into the physical possibilities of the tomb and tomb figures is not matched by historical sensitivity: the treatment of historical texts here is adequate but not satisfying. Purchase Prozac online, Man presents the theory that Sima Qian was, through his heavy-handed criticism of the Qin emperors, attacking his own sometimes cruel and capricious monarch, buy Prozac without prescription. (( 16-26, Order Prozac online c.o.d, passim. Man doesn't really explain, then, Prozac natural, how he distinguishes between the details from Sima Qian that he trusts and those that he doesn't, Prozac used for, though he continues to cite him. )) This gives him opportunity to present other recent evidence suggesting that the Qin legal system wasn't that bad (e.g, Prozac For Sale. 82) and that the problem with the Qin was, fundamentally, after Prozac, leadership (especially succession). Online buy Prozac without a prescription, Aside from the historical revision, Man embarks on a revision of the traditional narrative of tomb figure creation itself, investigating the processes of construction and production - using the souvenir reproduction industry as a surrogate - in an attempt to arrive at a plausible figure for workers and time needed to complete the tombs as we know them, where can i order Prozac without prescription. The number of assumptions necessary is problematic, Prozac schedule, but the physical descriptions and pictures of the figures are great fun. In related news, U Mass Amherst's Warring States Project looks like it might bear great fruit, fast shipping Prozac, the lectures section looks like the best starting place for dabblers. Prozac For Sale, Julia Lovell's survey of Chinese wall-building is more traditional history, but is clearly directed at a broad audience as well, and she has extensive journalistic experience in addition to being a history lecturer at Cambridge. Cheap Prozac no rx, The book is quite comprehensive, but the narrow focus on the development of what comes to be known as The Great Wall - the careful elucidation of the history of the naming is worth what I paid for the book by itself - means that the context is sometimes lost. The core of the book is, taking Prozac, in a way, Japan, craiglist, ebay, overseas, paypal, the maps: a lovely series throughout the book showing the different configurations of long walls built by dynasty after dynasty, and pictures and descriptions highlighting the very temporary nature of the typical earthen walls. My biggest question about Chinese wall-building has always been its effectiveness: continuing wall-building suggests that the Chinese dynasties believed their effectiveness, Prozac alternatives, while the historical record seems to plainly indicate that walls were ineffective in times of crisis and conflict with northern societies, Prozac maximum dosage, almost invariably highly mobile cavalry-based forces. Lovell's thesis in this regard is interestingly nuanced: when dynasties are vital and trade with pastoral communities is reasonable, then walls are both effective and largely unnecessary; when dynasties are weak, Prozac brand name, or try to close off trade with the northern peoples, Prozac pharmacy, then the walls are a speedbump, at best. Walls appear effective when they are built by young, vibrant dynasties; this makes them attractive for tottering governments which are trying to bolster borders without spending real time and money on military preparedness, Prozac For Sale. As Lovell notes several times, buy cheap Prozac, and the French learned much later, Ordering Prozac online, the problem with walls is that they have ends: determined enemies routinely rode around, rather than through, them, is Prozac safe. And dynasties in decline often have trouble maintaining the loyalty of border guard commands that are ill-paid and can't rely on vigorous back-up, Prozac overnight, so circumstances like the end of the Ming dynasty were more the rule than the exception. Lovell relies heavily - and openly - on Arthur Waldron's The Great Wall of China: From History to Myth, but since I haven't read Waldron yet, Prozac wiki, I can't tell how much she's added to his work; the bibliography is very substantial, Buy Prozac from canada, though, and very up-to-date. She ends with a consideration of the "Great Firewall" which certainly is appropriate, buy generic Prozac, though I'm not sure really adds all that much to the book.

Gao Zhen and Gao Qiang - 2009 - Miss Mao Trying To Poise Herself at the Top of Lenins Head Prozac For Sale, Chang-tai Hung's study of cultural production and manipulation in the first ten years of Mao's rule is a surprisingly clear and lively work: the combination of theory and aesthetics and politics could have made this book unreadable and useless, but I'd actually consider using this with undergraduates if I were teaching a more focused course on China. Prozac duration, (( The individual chapters would work as stand-alone readings, as well, though the totality of the vision doesn't come through that way, Prozac dangers. )) Looking at the early years of the People's Republic through the lens of architecture and art makes clear both the ideological themes and the totalizing visions that made up Maoist communism. Prozac coupon, The core of the book is ten chapters in five categories, bracketed by Tiananmen Square - first, the square itself, rx free Prozac, and the Sino-Soviet rivalry that led to the creation of the world's largest public space, Prozac dose, and finally the "Monument to the People's Heroes" which decorates it, and the historical and political debates that determined its orientation, decoration, Prozac trusted pharmacy reviews, inscription and presentation. In between there are chapters on parades, folk dance, cheap prints and ornate oil paintings, including the infamously altered Founding Ceremony by Dong Xiwen. The balance between syncretic adaptation and revolutionary rejection of existing aesthetics is fascinating, as is the tension between internationalist communism and Chinese nationalism, Prozac For Sale. The latter isn't, actually, so much a tension as an outright contradiction, I suppose: Hung argues consistently that nationalism was part and parcel of Mao and the CCP's appeals, a kind of "original sin" of the PRC that eventually manifests in the Sino-Soviet split, the Great Leap Forward and the present rising tide of national self-regard.

In this context, of course, the Qin tomb figures and the walls become part of a longer, larger story of national self-creation. Though it's probably wrong to speak of "nation-building" in the case of the Qin - or even in the case of the Ming - there's a strain of something like nationalism at the elite levels of Chinese culture that is very easy for populist leaders to adapt into a broad-based cultural phenomenon. I had a substantial discussion about American exceptionalism a while back in which I argued that Chinese elite culture displays all the substantive hallmarks of nationalism in the Early Modern, except for a broad-based popular movement, and possibly even before that. At the very least, the centrality of these monumental works is clearly part of the current nationalist discourse, and very deliberately so.

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7/5/2010

Levaquin For Sale

Filed under: — Alan Baumler @ 8:01 am Print

Columbia University Press Levaquin For Sale, is publishing a complete translation of the Huainanzi, a Han-dynasty compendium of philosophy and statecraft which has been of great interest to scholars for many years but is only now receiving a full English translation


We are lucky enough to have John Major, one of the translators here for a guest post on the process of translation and also to answer a few questions.
In March of this year Columbia University Press published The Huainanzi: A Guide to the Theory and Practice of Government in Early Han China, purchase Levaquin for sale, Levaquin price, coupon, a translation of a classic work of early Chinese philosophy written under the general editorship of Liu An, King of Huainan, Levaquin treatment, Buy Levaquin no prescription, and presented to the Han imperial throne in 139 BCE. My colleagues and I in the translation team hope and expect that this first-ever translation of The Huainanzi into English will make an important contribution to the study of Chinese intellectual history by opening a fascinating window into currents of thought in the early Han dynasty, discount Levaquin. Order Levaquin no prescription, The process of translating this massive and challenging work may be of interest.

In about 1994 I mentioned to my friend Hal Roth (Harold D, buying Levaquin online over the counter. Roth, Brown University) that I was thinking of doing a full Huainanzi translation, and he replied that he was thinking of doing the same, Levaquin For Sale. Levaquin images, So we decided to join forces; that's how the project got started. Both of us had already devoted large amounts of our professional attention to the Huainanzi, Levaquin gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release. Where to buy Levaquin, We believed that it was under-appreciated in the field of early China studies; everyone in the field knew of Liu An's great work and perhaps consulted it for comparative purposes when working on other texts, but few people at that time had made The Huainanzi the focus of their research, buy Levaquin online no prescription. Levaquin mg, It was the last really major work of Chinese philosophy from the early imperial period that still lacked a complete English translation. Levaquin For Sale, (A Paris-based group beat us to the distinction of publishing the first Western-language translation; their French translation was published in 2002.)

We landed a Chiang Ching-kuo fellowship to begin the work in 1996-98. Jay Sailey, buy cheap Levaquin no rx, Levaquin samples, an independent scholar who also had a longstanding interest in The Huainanzi was initially part of the project but later dropped out; a few years into the project two additional participants came on board. The final team consisted of John Major, my Levaquin experience, Levaquin trusted pharmacy reviews, Sarah Queen (Connecticut College), Andrew Meyer (Brooklyn College) and Hal Roth, Levaquin dangers. Online buying Levaquin, Michael Puett (Harvard) participated in the translation of chapter 13, and Judson Murray (Wright State U.) participated in the translation of chapter 21, Levaquin blogs. Levaquin use, But the core team was the four of us.

The project took so long -- about fifteen years -- partly because the text is quite large (the published translation runs to just over 1000 pages) and also quite difficult (it is in standard Classical Chinese but there are many textual issues to deal with and some of the language and the technical terminology is far from transparent), Levaquin For Sale. Also all of the participants had other ongoing obligations; it was never possible for everyone on the team to work on the project full-time, Levaquin australia, uk, us, usa, Levaquin without prescription, all the time. The last three years or so were very intense and we all basically put aside as much as possible of our other research and writing to concentrate on the Huainanzi, doses Levaquin work, Order Levaquin from United States pharmacy, but even so, there were courses to prepare and teach, comprar en línea Levaquin, comprar Levaquin baratos, Buy no prescription Levaquin online, administrative work to be done, other research and writing commitments to honor, ordering Levaquin online, Kjøpe Levaquin på nett, köpa Levaquin online, and so on. But we were determined to work as a team rather than simply dividing up and parceling out the work (as the French group had done); we were convinced that approaching the text in a truly collaborative fashion was the key to making the translation as accurate and graceful as possible, Levaquin steet value. Where can i cheapest Levaquin online, The procedure that we adopted was complicated. Levaquin For Sale, We began by dividing up responsibility for doing first-draft translations of all of the 21 chapters. Then each draft was read and critiqued by all other members of the team, Levaquin pictures, Purchase Levaquin online, revised, read and critiqued again, Levaquin reviews, Levaquin from mexico, and further revised. The aim was to make the final versions as complete, generic Levaquin, Buy Levaquin without prescription, accurate, and seamless as possible, buy Levaquin without a prescription, Cheap Levaquin, no matter who did the initial draft. From 1998 to 2009 we met for four or five very hard-working weekends per year at Brown to hash out difficult passages and discuss, Levaquin long term, Buy Levaquin from mexico, for example, uniform ways of translating important terms. The last stage of translation consisted of reading the entire work aloud -- taking turns, one person would read while the other three followed along in the classical Chinese text, looking for errors. That took many, many hours, but it proved to be extremely worthwhile, Levaquin For Sale.

Manuscript preparation itself was a big job that took about two years: peer review, revision; copy-editing, more revision; page proofs, corrections; appendices, index, etc. It was a huge undertaking just in the physical sense; the final typescript ran to over 1600 double-spaced pages.

Working as a team was really essential to the project; it was a much more complicated way of doing the task than a solo effort might have been, but the result is much better than any of us could have done alone. Intensive, long-term collaborative work is quite common in the natural sciences but relatively rare in other fields; I think that the success of this project demonstrates the merits of such close collaboration in the humanities despite its complexity and the hard work required to implement it. Levaquin For Sale, The Huainanzi is full of fascinating material, and the effort of translating it was more than repaid by the intellectual challenge of doing the work and the satisfaction of having it turn out well. And we are delighted with the actual published volume, which was extremely handsomely produced by Columbia University Press. It is gratifying that the first printing sold out within three months, and the book is already in its second printing. It is very satisfying to have this work finally out in the world.

John S. Major

.

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6/18/2009

Weird Orientalism

Filed under: — Alan Baumler @ 12:24 pm Print

The kids and I have been playing a game called Great Wall of China, which is a German board game ((Wikipedia rules)) (actually a card game) designed by Reiner Knizia, who judging from the prominence of his name on the box is a big wheel in the game biz. It's a fun game you can play with 2 or more, and like a lot of games they have dressed it up with a bit of history, connecting it to the building of the Great Wall. The connection is a bit odd at first. You are supposed to be a Chinese nobleman helping build the Great Wall, which is a little odd, since Qin Shihuang prefered to work through the buraucracy. The really odd thing, however, is that if you are about to win and want to declare this the last round you have to inform the other players that this is the last round by shouting out "Guangzhou!" I can think of  a few reasons for this. 1. The game box says it was made in China. Maybe it was made in Guangzhou. 2. Most historical atlases say that the Guangzhou region first became part of the empire in the Qin, so since the game is about the North part of the Qin empire you should bring in the South part at the end. 3. Asian words and history are just cute ways of making things seem exotic, and so you don't need to worry too much about what things actually mean. P.S. It is a cool game. Maybe not as good as Wasabi!, or Munchkin, or Settlers of Catan, but well worth getting.

6/1/2009

Student Protests in Han China

Filed under: — Alan Baumler @ 1:47 am Print
June is the month to blog about student protests in China. There have been a lot of them, and like other types of protesters Chinese students often consciously or unconsciously use scripts. American protesters want to occupy an administration building, French students want to go on strike (or whatever) and they do these things because the students are embedded in a political culture where these are the proper ways for students to protest. This is not to say that new forms of protest are not developed, but  that students, like everyone else, tend to choose a their actions from a set of roles that they are familiar with. Jeffery Wasserstrom's book on student protest is probably the best source on the patterns of student protest in 20th century China. How far back do Chinese traditions of student protest go? To a certain extent they can't go back too far, since China did not get its first modern university until 1898. On the other hand there have been students and schools in China for a very long time. The most interesting of the early protests come from the Latter Han dynasty. In the decade of the 160's, during the reigns of Emperors Huan and Ling, students at the Imperial University (太學) were noted for their political activism. Like most university students, these were in an anomalous position in society. Imperial University students were members of the elite, but not elite enough to get government jobs just based on their family. Like later students they were also frustrated by their prospects. By the Later Han the curriculum at the University was considered hopelessly out of date and attending was no longer a reliable route to office. Students were deeply concerned with the problems of the state, which is not surprising, and they were particularly concerned with the problem of corruption and favoritism in official appointments, which is also not surprising, given that they were the ones most likely to be passed over if jobs were not given on merit. During this period the student's enemies were not the Communist Party, but the eunuchs and their faction, who were rivals of the great aristocratic families. The emperors tried, without much success in the Later Han, to balance and stay above these factions.
In the first years of Emperor Huan, the fashion of student debate and criticism had taken the form of seven-character slogans, arranged in rhyming couplets, which were chanted in unison, shouted in the streets, and frequently written on walls...Short, pithy opinion combined with a good beat and rhyme made slogans such as these popular and influential. In a comparatively short time, under the name of "pure judgments" (qingyi 清義) they developed into a style of criticism that could be applied to any official or scholar and, as the name would indicate, such assessments were regarded as impartial and accurate summaries of character. Their most [20] effective practitioners, notably the student leader Guo Tai 郭泰, a man of humble birth but considerable intelligence and literary skill, gained immense prestige and a large following. ((from Political Protest in Imperial China: the Great Proscription of Later Han 167-184 Second edition [Internet] 2007. This is a revised version of an article first published in Papers on Far Eastern History, The Australian National University, Canberra, no. 11 [March 1975], pp. 1-36))
So basically they were student-rappers. And, like later Chinese student protesters they looked to reformist officials with rhymes like this A model for the empire, Li Yuanli; Fearless of powerful enemies, Chen Zhongju Hmm. I guess it worked better in the Han pronunciation. Of course the students lost, and many of them and many of those they supported in the regular bureaucracy were purged in 169. As became normal in Chinese politics the losers were accused of forming a faction (部黨). This was a serious accusation, since there was no tradition of loyal dissent in China. Just as there was little hope that Zhao Ziyang and the student protesters at Tiananmen would be able to work out a compromise that would preserve both the party and the students' principles there was not much possibility that that bureaucracy and the eunuchs were going to work out an accommodation. Both were competing to be the exemplars of virtue for the empire, and there could be only one of them. Also like Tiananmen, the aftermath of the purge was not what you might expect. Although people were in fact fired and executed and exiled, in practice the witch hunt did not and could not go very far. In part this was because the dispute was between two factions of the elite, and the eunuchs could not massacre the entire bureaucracy. In part this was because many government officials were unwilling to hunt people down, and many not connected with the Faction were eager to give them shelter. Sima Guang tells a number of stories of men like Zhang Jian, who managed to escape capture with the help of many people he had never even met. Many members of the local elite were eager to associate themselves with a certified Man of Virtue like Zhang, and many of these helpers suffered severely because of it. Eventually Zhang found his way back into government, becoming Captain of the Guards. Zhang Jian was crticized for his escape and its costs by Xia Fu, who said "He brought this misfortune upon himself, and then he pointlessly caused the involvement of other good and honest people. In order the one man might escape death, ten thousand households suffered misfortune. How could one live with that?" Xia Fu hid himself on a mountain and became an ironworker, dying before he could return to office. ((see Emperor Huan and Emperor Ling: being the Chronicle of Later Han for the years 157 to 189 AD as recorded in Chapters 54 to 59 of the Zizhi tongjian of Sima Guang, translated and annotated by Rafe de Crespigny. Asian Studies Monographs, New Series No. 12, Faculty of Asian Studies, The Australian National University, Canberra 1989 )) Zhang Jian and Xia Fu demonstrated two of the ways that protesters could deal with defeat, and here too the Han figures were part of a developing tradition. Withdrawing from politics (into business in the 1990's onto a mountaintop in the 170's) was a standard option. Sima Guang approved
Your servant Sima Guang remarks: If the empire is following the proper Way, true gentlemen assemble at the court of the ruler to correct the misbehavior by the men of mean spirit, and there on-one who dares not submit. When the empire has lost the Way, gentlemen retire into seclusion and do not speak out, hoping that they may avoid misfortune from the men of mean spirit, and yet still it happens that some of the fail to escape. The men of Faction lived in a age of confusion and disorder, when all things were out of place and the four seas were in turmoil. They sought to solve problems by the words in their mouths, giving  judgments of good and bad so as to wipe out evil and restore purity. They sought to seize the snakes and vipers by the head, and trample on the tails of the tiger and the wolf. But it was they themselves who were injured and wrongfully punished, and the ill fortune reached their friends. Men of quality were destroyed, and the nation moved on to disaster. The pity of it! Only Guo Tai hand the insight and understanding to preserve his own life, while Shentu Pan (two men who retired from politics) realised what would happen and took appropriate action, not waiting till the final day. This is exceptional wisdom!
Obviously China has changed a lot in 2000 years, but it was odd for me to read some of this stuff and see some of the same roles and scripts being used that far back. Pretty much all of the information in this post comes from Rafe de Crespigny's work and translations, which are now available online

5/22/2009

Male and female lightly engaged in erotic excess

Filed under: — Alan Baumler @ 1:12 am Print
The behavior of the people, the cosmic order, and the stability of the state were all linked in traditional Chinese political theory. Disorder in one would lead to disorder in the others. This cosmology had been pretty much worked out by the Han Dynasty. A good illustration of this principle comes from Commands and Admonitions for the Families of the Great Dao dating from 255 ((translated Stephen Bokenkamp in Early Daoist Scriptures,  p.179))
Formerly, during the latter generations of the Han house, strong men began to carve up the empire. The mighty encroached upon the weak, and the people became deceitful and shrewd. Male and female lightly engaged in erotic excess. The government could not relieve the situation and families did not impose prohibitions. Cities were plundered and the common people were victims of injustice, even to the extent of being made slaves. The people were being devoured )ust as mulberry leaves are consumed by silkworms, and because of their grievances they began to consider revolt. The pneumas [emanating from) their resistance blocked the heavens. This caused the five planets to depart from their measured movements, aphelial and parhelial comets to sweep the skies, and the fire star to depart from its position as adjunct. Then powerful ministers began to fight among themselves and hosts of treacherous people led one another [in rebellion]. After more than a hundred years, the Wei house received the mandate of Heaven and eradicated all of these evils. Calendrical signs showed that this was so. Their ascension was-recorded in the River [Chart} and the Luo [River Writings} and in other portents suspended in the heavens.  Conforming to the celestial dispensation and the propitious times, I received the mandate to be Master of the Kingdom. The Martial Thearch [Cao Cao] launched the empire.
If anyone is wondering, the reason I keep posting all these little quotes and stuff for use in class is so that future teachers of Chinese history will know where to find them. The main future person I want to be able to find them is me, since the web seems a better place to keep ones notes than a hard drive.

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