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Diana Lange

Diana Lange's patient investigations have, in this wonderful piece of detective work, solved the mysteries of six extraordinary maps of routes across Tibet, clearly hand-drawn in the late 1850s by a local artist, known as the British Library's Wise Collection. Diana Lange now reveals not only the previously unknown identity of the Scottish colonial official who commissioned the maps from a Tibetan Buddhist lama, but also the story of how the Wise Collection came to be in the British Library. The result is both a spectacular illustrated ethnographic atlas and a unique compendium of knowledge concerning the mid-19th century Tibetan world, as well as a remarkable account of an academic journey of discovery. It will entertain and inform anyone with an interest in this fascinating region. This large format book is lavishly illustrated in colour and includes four separate large foldout maps.

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Nobuto Yamamoto

In Censorship in Colonial Indonesia, 1901–1942 Nobuto Yamamoto examines the institutionalization of censorship and its symbiosis with print culture in the former Dutch colony. Born from the liberal desire to promote the well-being of the colonial population, censorship was not practiced exclusively in repressive ways but manifested in constructive policies and stimuli, among which was the cultivation of the “native press” under state patronage. Censorship in the Indies oscillated between liberal impulse and the intrinsic insecurity of a colonial state in the era of nationalism and democratic governance. It proved unpredictable in terms of outcomes, at times being co-opted by resourceful activists and journalists, and susceptible to international politics as it transformed during the Sino-Japanese war of the 1930s.

Handbooks and Anthologies for Officials in Imperial China

A Descriptive and Critical Bibliography

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Pierre-Étienne Will

The 1,165 entries of Handbooks and Anthologies for Officials of Imperial China by Pierre-Étienne Will and collaborators provide a descriptive list of extant manuscript and printed works—mainly from the Song, Ming, and Qing dynasties—created with the aim to instruct officials and other administrators of imperial China about the technical and ethical aspects of government, and to provide tools and guides to help with the relevant procedures. Both generalist and specialized texts are considered. Among the latter, such disciplines as the administration of justice, famine relief, and the military receive particular attention. Each entry includes the publishing history of the work considered (including modern editions), an analysis of contents, and a biographical sketch of the author.

The Mandate of Heaven

Strategy, Revolution, and the First European Translation of 'Sunzi’s Art of War' (1772)

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Adam Parr

The Mandate of Heaven examines the first European version of Sunzi’s Art of War, which was translated from Chinese by Joseph Amiot, a French missionary in Beijing, and published in Paris in 1772. His work is presented in English for the first time. Amiot undertook this project following the suppression of the Society of Jesus in France with the aim of demonstrating the value of the China mission to the French government. He addressed his work to Henri Bertin, minister of state, beginning a thirty-year correspondence between the two men. Amiot framed his translation in order to promote a radical agenda using the Chinese doctrine of the “mandate of heaven.” This was picked up within the sinophile and radical circle of the physiocrats, who promoted China as a model for revolution in Europe. The work also arrived just as the concept of strategy was emerging in France. Thus Amiot’s Sunzi can be placed among seminal developments in European political and strategic thought on the eve of the revolutionary era.

Empires of the Sea

Maritime Power Networks in World History

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Edited by Rolf Strootman, Floris van den Eijnde and Roy van Wijk

Empires of the Sea brings together studies of maritime empires from the Bronze Age to the Eighteenth Century. The volume aims to establish maritime empires as a category for the (comparative) study of premodern empires, and from a partly ‘non-western’ perspective. The book includes contributions on Mycenaean sea power, Classical Athens, the ancient Thebans, Ptolemaic Egypt, The Genoese Empire, power networks of the Vikings, the medieval Danish Empire, the Baltic empire of Ancien Régime Sweden, the early modern Indian Ocean, the Melaka Empire, the (non-European aspects of the) Portuguese Empire and Dutch East India Company, and the Pirates of Caribbean.

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Molly Vallor

Not Seeing Snow: Musō Soseki and Medieval Japanese Zen offers a detailed look at a crucial yet sorely neglected figure in medieval Japan. It clarifies Musō’s far-reaching significance as a Buddhist leader, waka poet, landscape designer, and political figure. In doing so, it sheds light on how elite Zen culture was formed through a complex interplay of politics, religious pedagogy and praxis, poetry, landscape design, and the concerns of institution building. The appendix contains the first complete English translation of Musō’s personal waka anthology, Shōgaku Kokushishū.

The Church of the Holy Cross of Ałt‘amar

Politics, Art, Spirituality in the Kingdom of Vaspurakan

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Edited by Zaroui Pogossian and Edda Vardanyan

This book is dedicated to an outstanding architectural monument of medieval Armenia – the church of the Holy Cross, built in the tenth century on the island of Ałt‘amar on Lake Van, and a UNESCO world heritage site. This jewel of architecture has been researched mainly from an art historical perspective. The current multi-author volume offers diverse studies aimed at placing the construction of the church in its proper historical, political, religious, and spiritual context. It explores the intellectual climate in the Kingdom of Vaspurakan during the reign of its founder, King Gagik Arcruni, the Kingdom’s relations with Byzantium and the Abbasids, analyzes local historiography, biblical exegesis, hagiography, veneration of the True Cross, and royal ideology. Novel interpretations of architectural features and sculptural decorations close the volume.
Le livre est consacré à l'un des plus importants monuments architecturaux de l'Arménie médiévale, l'église de la Sainte-Croix construite au Xe siècle sur l'île d’Ałt‘amar sur le lac de Van. Elle est inscrite sur la liste du patrimoine mondial de l'UNESCO. Ce joyau de l'architecture arménienne a été étudié principalement dans la perspective de l’histoire de l’art. Le présent volume multi-auteurs propose une diversité d’approches qui placent la construction de cette église dans le contexte historique, politique, religieux et spirituel. Il étudie l’ambiance intellectuelle du Royaume du Vaspurakan durant le règne de son fondateur, le roi Gagik Arcruni, les relations du Royaume avec Byzance et les Abbassides, il analyse l’historiographie locale, l’exégèse biblique, l’hagiographie, le culte de la Vraie Croix et l’idéologie royale. De nouvelles interprétations des particularités architecturales et des décors sculptés achèvent le volume.
Contributors are Krikor Bélédian, Jean-Claude Cheynet, Patrick Donabédian, Bernard Flusin, Tim Greenwood, Gohar Grigoryan, Armen Kazaryan, Davit Kertmenjyan, Sergio La Porta, Jean-Pierre Mahé, Zaroui Pogossian, Robert Thomson (†), Alison Vacca, Edda Vardanyan.

The Price and Promise of Specialness

The Political Economy of Overseas Chinese Policy in the People’s Republic of China, 1949–1959

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Jin Li Lim

In The Price and Promise of Specialness, Jin Li Lim revises narratives on the overseas Chinese and the People’s Republic of China by analysing the Communist approach to ‘overseas Chinese affairs’ in New China’s first decade as a function of a larger political economy.
Jin Li Lim shows how the party-state centred its approach towards the overseas Chinese on a perception of their financial utility and thus sought to offer them a special identity and place in New China, so as to unlock their riches. Yet, this contradicted the quest for socialist transformation, and as its early pragmatism fell away, the radicalising party-state abandoned its promises to the overseas Chinese, who were left to pay the price for their difference.

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Ronald P. Toby

In Engaging the Other: “Japan and Its Alter-Egos”, 1550-1850 Ronald P. Toby examines new discourses of identity and difference in early modern Japan, a discourse catalyzed by the “Iberian irruption,” the appearance of Portuguese and other new, radical others in the sixteenth century. The encounter with peoples and countries unimagined in earlier discourse provoked an identity crisis, a paradigm shift from a view of the world as comprising only “three countries” ( sangoku), i.e., Japan, China and India, to a world of “myriad countries” ( bankoku) and peoples. In order to understand the new radical alterities, the Japanese were forced to establish new parameters of difference from familiar, proximate others, i.e., China, Korea and Ryukyu. Toby examines their articulation in literature, visual and performing arts, law, and customs.

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Edited by Paul W. Kroll