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Author: Shu-hui Wu

Abstract

A series of new archaeological excavations in China has enriched the study of ancient Shang and Zhou history. Many Chinese scholars have devoted considerable research to the recently deciphered oracle bone inscriptions, which have illuminated the military and religious practices of the Shang in greater detail. Their achievements enable us to arrive at new understandings about the processes, purposes, and strategies employed by the Shang people to expand their territory. This article explores the structure of the Great Settlement of the Shang and what life was like in the late Shang period. Also, it intends to shed new light on the wars between the Shang and their enemies, including their military arrangements, the major generals of the Shang king, and their strategies for building alliances. Finally, I argue that the chief purpose of Shang expansion to the south was to procure a supply of a key natural resource, copper.

In: Journal of Chinese Military History
Author: Shu-hui Wu

Abstract

This essay, one of the two parts of my research on Shang militarism, focuses on Shang military rituals and war preparations. I tackle issues such as the Shang king’s way of decision-making in regard to battles and military actions, the Shang communications system and logistics network, and the details of how the Shang produced grains and meats. Finally, I argue that careful scrutiny of the excavated buildings at Yanshi city, an early Shang capital before Anyang, strongly suggests that the Shang excelled at defense as well. In contrast to the first part of my research, which relied on secondary materials published by modern Chinese scholars, in the present essay I utilize published collections of oracle bone inscriptions. I have analyzed more than one hundred inscriptions and also discuss several individual graphs in order to ground my arguments.

In: Journal of Chinese Military History
In: Debating War in Chinese History
In: Debating War in Chinese History
Military History and Ethnicity. Volume 1: The Twenty-Eight Yuntai Generals of the Eastern Han
Author: Fan Ye
Editor / Translator: Shu-hui Wu
Fan Ye’s Book of Later Han (Houhanshu) is enormously important as China’s most complete work on Eastern Han history in biographical form. For the first time in any Western language, the author introduces Fan Ye’s magnificent writings in lively translation with rich annotation and informative and insightful commentary.
This first volume covers its early military history and highlights the lives and achievements of the twenty-eight generals who helped Emperor Guangwu unify China and establish the Eastern Han dynasty (Houhanshu, 15-22).
Also included are images of these twenty-eight founding fathers, maps, and information related to early Eastern Han systems.