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Administrative Documents Excavated at Zoumalou, Hunan
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In 1996 archaeologists excavated over 70,000 inscribed pieces of wood from a well in Changsha, the largest such discovery ever made in China. They are local administrative records of the state of Wu in the 230s and provide remarkable detail on the society, governance, and economy of third century central China.
Although Wu was one of the famous Three Kingdoms, its administrative history was poorly known until these documents were found, so we have written this book to explain the context and content of these document to help researchers use these valuable texts to rewrite the history of South China.
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In the early twentieth century, the first large batch of Chinese civil engineers had graduated from the USA, and together with their American senior colleagues returned to China. They were enthusiastic about reconstructing the young republic by building new railways, highways, and canals, but what the engineers experienced in China, including mismanaged railways, useless highways, and silted canals, did not always meet their expectations and ideals. In this book, Thorben Pelzer makes the stories of these Chinese and American engineers come to life through exploring previously unpublished letters, rare images, maps, and a rich biographical dataset. He argues that the experiences of these engineers include a myriad of contradictions, disillusionment, and discontent, keeping the engineering profession in a constant flux of searching for its meaning and its place in Republican China.
The Song Dynasty Making of China’s Greatest Poet
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Irreducible to conventional labels usually applied to him, the Tang poet Du Fu (712–770) both defined and was defined by the literary, intellectual, and socio-political cultures of the Song dynasty (960–1279).
Jue Chen not only argues in his work that Du Fu was constructed according to particular literary and intellectual agendas of Song literati but also that conventional labels applied to Du Fu do not accurately represent this construction campaign. He also discusses how Du Fu’s image as the greatest poet sheds unique light on issues that can deepen our understanding of the subtleties in the poetic culture of Song China.
The book investigates China’s relations to the outside world between ca. 100 BCE and 1800 AD. In contrast to most histories of the Silk Roads, the focus of this book clearly lies on the maritime Silk Road and on the period between Tang and high Qing, selecting aspects that have so far been neglected in research on the history of China’s relations with the outside world. The author examines, for example, the power alliance between the Tang and the Arabs during Tang times, the specific role of fanbing 蕃兵 (frontier tribal troops) during Song times, the interrelationship between maritime commerce, military expansion, and environmental factors during the Yuan, the question of whether or not early Ming China can be considered a (proto-)colonialist country, the role force and violence played during the Zheng He expeditions, and what role of the Asia-Pacific world played for late Ming and early Qing rulers.