History Summarized: Ancient China


This video is brought to you by Squarespace. More on that later. The Empire, long divided must unite – long united, must divide. Thus, it has ever been. So opens the famous Chinese tale “The Romance of the Three Kingdoms”, or to put it another way, China is whole again! Then it broke again! And that’s honestly pretty accurate. The story of China is a very long, often winding and all too frequently shattered enterprise – but it is DAMN interesting. So, to find out what’s causing this three thousand year long dance of unifying and fragmenting, let’s do some history. To start, every civilization needs water in some form or another. Egypt has the Nile, Mesopotamia has the Tigris and Euphrates, and China has the Yellow River. The earliest records of centralized civilization in China point to the Yellow River Basin as the cradle of that civilization, but written records only tell part of the story, and in China especially there’s a pretty shocking gap between what our sources tell us and what we found archaeologically in the past century all across the country. So, for instance, the Yangtze River to the South was once regarded as a later development during the Chinese Bronze Age but nope! There was all kinds of separate stuff going on down there before we ever see significant textual evidence for it. So, back to the Yellow River. From what we know, Civilization got properly going during the reign of the five semi-divine and almost certainly legendary Emperors. The last one, Emperor Yu, founded the – also likely mythical – Xia dynasty in the 22nd century BC. And real quick on the subject of names – despite two Chinese speaking friends very generously coaching my pronunciation, I am still sure to fail so: blanket apology. Skipping ahead to sturdier footing, we have the definitely real Shang dynasty, who ruled from the Yellow River Basin during the Chinese Bronze Age. But even here we found boatloads of evidence for distinct cultures with regionally unique bronze work, implying fairly independent societies across China There’s also a decent chance that the Shang and later Zhou dynasties overlapped. I recognize that this is all a bit too hazy, but I hope that you can see why this might be a very contentious issue and we’re still discovering new things all the time! So even more so than usual: general disclaimer that academics are currently spilling rivers of ink debating some of what I’ll cover in this series. And speaking of writing, err, things, our first glimpse of the written Chinese language comes from the Shang Bronze Age. Where Oracles enscribed turtle shells and bones with predictions, before hocking them into a fire, to see how they cracked and which statements were verified. The writing, though obviously SUPER old is still recognizably Chinese. And the quality implies that the script had been around even before that. Plus, the hefty collection of turtle shells We’ve dug up indicates that this was a regular, if not daily procedure, and this tells us two important things: for 1) the Shang rulers believed themselves to have an IN with the gods, and 2) While artwork and bronze work weren’t unique to the Shang, writing at this level of sophistication likely was. This sets the stage for an entire history of power lying with those who have divine favor, and those who can most effectively employ writing to convey that. Our written sources tell us that the last Shang Emperor became tyrannical and King Wu overthrew him to found the Zhou dynasty. Which went on to rule for another 800 years. And this brings us to one of the most central concepts in Chinese history: The Mandate of Heaven. The basic idea is that if you rule justly, Heaven will smile upon you and grant you dominion over China, But if you behave wickedly, as the last Shang Emperor did, you’ve forfeited your power and someone more noble than you is going to claim it. So, just watch out for that happening all the time for the next 3,000 years… Anyway that Zhou dynasty starts to consolidate our mental image of classical China with unique knife and Spade coinage, walls, bureaucratic government and a lot of soon-to-be very famous literature. Unfortunately for the Zhou, their strong start wouldn’t last forever and China’s longest Dynasty would spend half a millenium fending off assailants from all sides after caving in on itself in the 770s BC. So I mean, yeah. The Zhou were around for another 500 years, but come on look at it. barely even exists – it’s tiny. The split between the strong and cohesive western Zhou and that tiny Eastern Zhou as they were known, also marks the start of a lot of wars over the next few centuries. The spring and autumn annals (a historical text describing the 8th to early 5th centuries [BC]) also gives us the name for the Spring and Autumn period. And all things considered, it wasn’t too bad. What started with about 150 independent kingdoms, dukedoms, and city states, gradually glomped each other to narrow that number down to 30 or so. And then to 7 by the end. The Spring and Autumn period was a pretty slow burn, but definitely heated up as the remaining territories became bigger and wealthier. Still, you couldn’t just deathball your way into an empire. So strategy became a crucial weapon. And that’s where the art of war comes in. Sun Tzu’s famous work of military philosophy makes clear, that the first weapon in any generals arsenal is stratagem. All the better to break your opponent without even lifting a spear if you can avoid it. Sun Tsu knew that lengthy campaigns were a disaster waiting to happen – so clever politics and tricky tactics often won the day. Machiavelli would be very proud. So, with all this high-level political, military, stateger-y going on, these states would sure do well to have a smart person or two on hand. And a latter portion of the Spring and Autumn period saw rise in the power and influence of educated aristocracy. One such scholarly gentleman was a guy who saw no greater purpose in life than serving as a government bureaucrat. No, but like, seriously! Career prospects were way different back then. So anyway, this guy travelled around China for 13 years accomplishing not much of anything the career of this Kong Qui looks like a complete failure at face value, because it kind of was. But fast forward a few hundred years, and his assorted teachings come to us through arguably the most foundational work of Chinese philosophy, The Analects of Confucius Look at that, pulled a sneaky on ya. In a world dominated by conflict and political duplicity between competing States Confucius taught the value of gentlemanly virtue and adherence to cultural norms of conduct and respect yet a very particular view of the past is holding valuable instruction for his largely wayward times and you can argue the subtext here is “Hey guys, if any of you want the Mandate of Heaven you better *get your damn act together*”, but he was also simply teaching everyday people how to cope with stuff being all crazy and invadedy all the time keep a routine, be a good person those ideas come up a lot throughout world history. Confucius was far from the only active philosopher as the famed hundred schools of thought were writing philosophy like there was no tomorrow. Because sometimes there wasn’t. Some other thinkers to note are Mencius, who elaborated on Confucian thought half a century later and codified much of Confucian philosophy for later use and also very much counter to all of this, was Lao Tzu who was cited as the philosopher behinds Taoism and the author of the Dao de Jing, though there is some debate on that one too. I could easily keep going on Confucianism and Daoism for another 30 minutes but suffice to say, the hardest times can produce the wisest works, and oh boy where time starting to get hard. The Spring and Autumn period gave way to the proverbial winter that was the Warring States period when things got much grimmer on the combat front as the remaining powers in China became fiercer in their bid to be the last one standing. Perhaps no surprise considering the few remaining kingdoms gained considerable wealth and power along with their territory the dwindling number of states also coincided with much stronger centralized governments as only the states that could recruit, equip, and mobilize large armies could survive in the first place. And speaking of states that were good at, um. Warring. Blue, you’re really killing with the transitions today aren’t ya. The Qin Kingdom became fiercely legalistic and ruthlessly expansionist in the late 4th and 3rd centuries BC For one, those guys loved their crossbows and I honestly can’t blame them. because crossbows are dope, but more alarmingly they had a clear take-no-prisoners policy and that applied to civilians as well. So their armies pushed east and conquered the remaining kingdoms, unifying China, under the Qin banner in 221, and granting their king the title of ShiHuangDi, first emperor. Given the brutality of their methods you may wonder if they deserve the Mandate of Heaven after all, and heaven seems to have wondered the same, as the Qin Dynasty collapsed a few short years after the death of ShiHuangDi. Still, the Qin are a landmark moment for the birth of a true Chinese Empire and the name China itself comes from the Qin Dynasty. Kind of. The etymology actually goes through about five other languages *before* we get China, but point stands. Short as his dynasty was, ShiHuangDi made some important innovations to literally pave the way for centuries of future Chinese empires. In addition to editing and standardizing the Chinese written language, the Qin engaged in fantastically huge building and infrastructure projects from walls and roads to insane royal structures. Some descriptions of Qin architecture have been mocked as overly fanciful, but after we discovered the Terracotta Army in the 1970s, everybody stopped laughing real fast. A couple of years after the Emperor died from what the doctor promised was an elixir of immortality but in all likelihood was a one-way ticket to mercury poisoning, the Empire was up in full revolt against the Qin. Out of a fierce but mercifully brief civil war, arose the Han Dynasty under Lubang, ruling over most of China by 202 BC. During the 400 year long and largely peaceful reign of the Han Confucianism emerged as a state philosophy after the Qin won on a book-burning spree Woops! Yeah, that happened. Anyway, the Han retained a firmly legalistic framework but they weren’t draconian about it. Instead, they focused on actually being a good Empire, by expanding the bureaucracy. This period also saw the introduction of circular coinage, paper and silk production, early hydraulics and cool astronomy. Plus, more Taoism. You can never have enough Taoism. The Han also had to with trouble in the form of an invasion by the Huns Yep, those are the ones. In the process of dealing with the XiongNu, as they were also called, the Han armies pushed west into Central Asia and found a number of other civilizations. Among them were the Bactrian, said to have a talent for horse riding. A sophisticated culture and splendid cities these Bactrian were in fact the farthest East successors to the Greek Empire of Alexander the Great. What?? Yeah! The King and Generals Channel has a fantastic two-part series on this so I’ll actually just point you to him. But the short of it is that the Han wanted some of these heavenly horses from the Bactrians to help fight the XiongNu and after an unproductive round of haggling, they sent a giant army to the City of Taiwan aka Alexandria Eschate sacked it, took the heavenly horses and yoinked a large share of the territory in the Terran basin on their way back. It’s after pushing this far west and establishing contact with the various states of Central Asia, that the Han began trade relations that would carry goods all the way to the Mediterranean. Most famously, silk. This Silk Road became a backbone of the Han economy for the next few centuries and helped kick the Han Golden Age into high gear. And also, the Han defeated the XiongNu with the help of those heavenly horses though the historian Sumon Chen noted presciently that this was likely only the first round of a much much larger conflict. And on that subject Sumon Chen, the Han’s court historian produced one of the greatest works of history *period*. his ShiJi, aka records of the grand historian, compiled at the turn of the 1st century BC is a really big deal for China and for history Basically he wrote a 12 chapter narrative history from as far back as he could find up until his present day. He also included 30 histories about individual states and a further 70 standalone biographies. It is exceptionally thorough while remaining fairly flexible to read. Though in the process of writing his history Suma Chen may have committed some light treason by speaking a little too openly to the emperor about his opinions as a result he was cast out and castrated but he did get to finish his life’s work and history is all the richer for it. The following decade saw the Han rise to its greatest extent, stretching down along the eastern coast eastward towards Korea and westward into Shin Jung. The bureaucracy also grew during this period, becoming more efficient at acquiring and spending tax revenues broadly and locally, as well as employing mandatory conscription labor to build public works. Life was peaceful, culture was booming, resources were plentiful. It was a good time for everyone involved Of course, it’s usually after a long run of things going well, that politics tend to sour and the heads of state turned away from Confucianism to reprise the harsher tactics and expansionary world view of their Qin predecessors. You’ve seen this before and you’ll see it again someone’s Empire is about to get dunked on and a steady parade of terrible omens for half a century made it very clear that Heaven’s Mandate was about to scram-date. So one enterprising Confucian scholar named Wang Mang carried out a very peaceful usurpation of the throne with every intent to set things right, and start a new dynasty. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out great for him. He had some interesting reforms but he was paying too much attention to whether or not his bureaucrats had the right titles and ignoring how the Yellow River was constantly flooding. No surprise that he too, got the boot. After that it was a bit of a power scramble and against several odds, a member of the Han family reclaimed China moving the capital eastward from ChangAn to LuoYang to establish or re-establish the latter eastern Han Dynasty. The early decades of this Empire were spent recovering from the mess of the past century and with a lot of effort things were pretty solid for a while. Though the official histories pushed the final end of the Han as far forward as 220 AD, their empire kinda went back to a steady decline in the mid second century as the throne passed through a line of young or otherwise incompetent emperors whose regents did all of the governing for them. And honestly calling the Han an empire after the 180sAD is just an exercise in self delusion. Along those lines there’s a comical amount of succession crises and political intrigue shenanigans throughout the 100’s ad that go-a-ways to explain why no one was in a position to do anything when the Empire shattered apart of the turn of the century. However, it’s from this complete mess that we get the setting for the famous Chinese epic, The Romance of the Three Kingdoms and I could keep going, But honestly, I’m done. I’m stopping here. Screw it, China’s broke again we’ll fix in the next damn video. Okay, I actually lied. I’m back. So, as you can see building an empire is hard. But you know what’s easy? Silky smooth transitions and building a website with today’s sponsor, Squarespace. If you have a project or business you want to promote online, a website is like your own personal Silk Road to the world. And Squarespace makes the whole process simple and affordable, especially if you start a free Squarespace trial at squarespace.com/overlysarcastic and use code overly sarcastic to get 10% off your first purchase. I personally have zero skill at coding, but Red and I were able to build a killer website for OSP without worrying about code, plugins, or updates. Seriously, we just kind of sat down thought “Hmmm, what should this thing look like, and then we whipped it right up!” Yeah, maybe I’m Incredibly biased, but I think it’s a pretty slick website. But still, nothing’s perfect, so we’d love to hear your thoughts on what you think we should add to our website in the future. To get started on your website though, though head over to squarespace.com/overlysarcastic, and use code Overly Sarcastic for 10% off. Thank you all for watching, and also thank you for putting up with my voice this time, it might have been a little bit more gravelly and batman-y. Because I have a bit of the cold, but anyway, thanks for watching, had a lot of fun putting this video together, definitely looking forward to going a little bit farther afield, then the typical Greece and Rome, but in any case thanks for watching so much and we’ll see you in the new year!

Comments 100

  • I really your videos! Your presentation is informative and very entertaining, and your cooperation with other history channels just makes them THAT much more awesome. Keep up the great work!

    Respectfully,
    Thomas Lessman

    Talessman's Atlas of World History
    www.WorldHistoryMaps.info

  • weird i thought the cantonese (nam viet) and fukienese (min nan kingdom?) kingdoms weren't conquered till later

  • Where part two?

  • 8:07 BANTER STOPS

  • read kingdom manga

  • I like that assassin's Creed 2 soundtrack

  • get a pop filter for your mic or at least de-ess it a bit

  • the real question i want answered is why 'romance of the three empires' is such a classic otaku trope, did someone remake the entire story into a boys love comic or something, whats the deal

  • Can U do One on India also, Please.

  • awww. after reds videos about the journey to the West I was really looking forward to you guys doing something about the romance of the three kingdoms which is my favorite of the four literary classics of China. :c maybe later I guess

  • China is whole again…Then is broke…

    AGAIN!

  • Ive been studying the ancient china and i knew most of this so i finally feel smart for once;v;

  • Blue this is great! The Chinese pronunciations are also pretty good! Look forward to your next video!

  • Ancient China: Battle Royale

  • Thank you for referencing Bill Wurtz. I wouldn't have forgiven you if you didn't.

  • 3:08 Trump’s inevitable fate.

  • Ah mandate of heaven, the most successful smear campaign in history, and the easiest excuse there is to take over.

  • "fiercely legalistic"?

  • Can we get another peasant uprising?

  • I've conquered China hundreds of times. It turns out if you focus on improving mercantilism and farming as much as you do militarism and defense you can build a dynasty to last millenia.

    Romance of the Three Kindoms is awesome.

  • We Chinese had made a joke about Wang Mang, "Was he a time traveller?" It is because Wang's ideas were very similar to the modern day China!

  • China is bad country

  • Qin Shi Huangdi: Umu That’s an interesting video you got there.

  • History: "Hey, so, how many China's are there?"
    Asia: "Yes."

  • Why am I seeing bill wurtz so much right now?

  • fucking change your water man! been staring at it wonder where this part is!

  • Im taking History of China rn, and I wanna cry

  • @2:46 3. It was a really bad time to be a turtle in Shang China

  • The Xiongnu were not the Huns, that was a conflation Disney slapped together to make the enemies in Mulan have a name that could be pronounced.

  • And turtles had a hard time. Thankyou Blue. Sorry Blue.

  • I unsubbed from Kings & generals when I saw that they had left a racist comment on a video.

  • Im not entirely sure bureaucracy is the best thing. I mean yes certain things go great with bureaucrats like registration of vehicles and the like but it seems to take a huge overstep pretty quickly in most cases.

  • You forgot the third thing about the shells.

    THATS A FUCK TON OF DEAD TURTLES

  • I want to point out that at 4:00 the all red area in the map is actual Eastern Zhou. Zhou is a feudal kingdom that hand out land to its vassals. They kinda get too use to hand out land and let noble rule themselves, leads to the at the beginning of the Spring and Autumn period, the green area is the only area the king directly rules. (1000 ish years later the same thing happened in Japan but called Shogunates ) So in the Spring and Autumn period, there is no hundreds of warring kingdoms, but mostly dukedoms, with exception of Chu Kingdom, since they were not consider Chinese at that point.

  • Me: hey man can I have some china
    China: sorry sir, china broke
    Me: understandable, have a nice day

  • In the beginning, it's a long story to talk with non-Chinese about Chinese culture. So I will just focus on only one point.

    Mongolians built Mongolia empire. But they separated the empire from several pieces for convenient management. At that time, the core of Mongolia empire located in the Chinese area, for simply understanding that royal families or capital were in China.
    They built a Chinese dynasty named Yuan, which was the emperors were Mongolians but they used the traditional Han Chinese system to run the dynasty. They learned Han Chinese characters, Han Chinese culture, and be named in Chinese names. Just the same as the Qing Dynasty, the last dynasty in China.
    When we talk about Chinese history, even the majority of history is controlled by Han Chinese (95% above the Chinese population), but there still have other nations belong into Chinese history. Nowadays, some western scholars think Chinese history is Han Chinese history which is incomplete. We have 56 nations in China (Mongolians in these nations), all their culture are parts of Chinese history. But it hard for non-Chinese people determine what is Chinese culture and what is Han Chinese culture.
    BTW, Han Chinese is not a pure nation because of national mergence (Yuan Dynasty also was in the process of national mergence) in thousands of year.
    PLUS: Mongolia (country name) is a part, the whole Mongolian area was divided into Mongolia and Chinese Inner Mongolia in WWII because of Soviet. If you are familiar with the territories between China and Russia, you would realize. There have too long bordering on the border. Soviet didn't want that much long, so they said let Mongolia separated then we would help China in the WII.
    PLUS PLUS: Chinese culture is sophisticated, I don't think it can be introduced in a short video, but good job. Thanks for introducing Chinese culture to other non-Chinese speakers

  • china was like a kit kat bar, in the end it gets broken and you eat and digest it and forget you did until you buy another one and the process repeats until you get diabetes and die

  • 都说秦始皇是暴君,而我只想说,中国能统一真的应该感谢秦始皇的三统一!

  • text and picture boring, low quality

  • Ancient China offshoot doesn't confine only to present day Chinese country but then it's scattered far and wide. Here for instance, the genuine Chinese offshoot among Naga ethnic of northwestern Myanmar and Northeast India is khiamniungan Naga tribe. This historical foothold is based upon Ancient folktales,Lores,Language,culture and so on. The specific community lives in slate houses and were known as Kalyo kengyu during British colonial era. However, the original name of the tribe is khiamniungan meaning 'Origin from the source of Great waters'.

  • 7:38
    "name for China comes from the Qin dynasty"
    NOOOOOOOOOOO

  • For when you sign up for square space and you either have lost interest, miserably failed or didn't get the results you were looking for from out of the box solutions (hint they are limited to blogging – and only blogging) then you can hire a developer who knows what hes doing. Like myself 😀

  • CHINA IS BROKEN WE’LL FIX IT WHEN I GET BACK

  • "Things are going well! …maybe too well." is just. rly, rly relatable

  • Oof ouchie, god dang it. You just had to reference bone hurting jui- ow my bones

  • 3:03
    Blue: "And this brings us to one central concept in Chinese history, the Mandate of Heaven "
    Me: "-1 Stability, 20 Legitimacy, Unguarded Nomadic Frontier
    ," sweats nervously

  • Well this is going to be a fun unit of seventh grade history. 🙂

  • Sunzi would be proud of Machiavelli, Machiavelli would be inspired by Sunzi.

    That would be a better way to say it.

  • always hated crossbows….TAKE TO LONG TO LOAD!!!

  • not my type of documentary..

  • WHOHA this makes me REALLY want to read that Sima Quan guy

  • nhu con cac
    #

  • Can’t sleep, 8 hours until Three Kingdoms release… so I’m watching everything Chinese until then. Anyone else’s?

  • Oh, come on, that would've been the perfect transition into Red summarizing The Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

  • My goodness I can feel the low tones of Blue's voice in my throat.. It is not a good feeling 😅

  • You have introduced China's history of more than a thousand years in 14 minutes, and there are many fallacies.

  • The First Step in Learning Chinese History: Learning Chinese

  • 天下大勢,合久必分,分久心合

  • Holy fuck when did this channel get from 45000 subs to around 1 million

  • Don't you hate when you get sleep paralysis and see the Terracotta army at the end of your bed.

  • "I could go on for another thirty minutes about Confucianism amd Taoism"
    Pls do

  • Would you ever do a video on Hypatia and Alexandria?

  • To summarize, take a piece of Chinese porcelain, and smash it on the floor. Boom.

  • "Chiiinas whole again…and then it brooooke again"
    WHY do you not narrate stories like this MUCH more?

  • I like the AC2 soundtrack

  • so scary! my nut sack was wet! pls do a. video on nanking I want to see some babies getting stabbed by bayonets! 🙂
    -from
    Chiang Kai-shek

  • 1:49 I need this Owl Wine Vessel and i need it now

  • Doesn't help that the Chinese government is very sensitive about independent researchers looking at certain archaeological sites in China.

  • So, anyone else read Kingdom?

    Kinda funny to learn that this long-ass epic series about uniting China will only result in China breaking apart again after a short time………

  • nice.

  • I could see Machiavelli and Sun Tzu having tea discussing things.

  • History of the world, I guess

  • Burned turtle shells providing evidence of early writing is really interesting. I am very curious about the earliest civilizations, and I am glad to see you on it Blue.

  • I just love how beautiful your maps are 🙂

  • Whole and broken cycle, is the law for everywhere every country and the world, not only for China, but Chinese know that. Everyone check their own history and look.

  • But everything changed when anoTHER FREAKING CIVIL WAR BROKE OUT

  • "There is not instance of a country benefited from prolonged warfare".

    The violence-loving warmongers/military industrial complex of USA will not take the wise words of the Chinese at face value: They are ever intent on trying again and again to prove wise Chinese wong — on the Arabian Peninsula, in Afghanistan, etc, etc. lol

  • its the circle of CHHIIIINNAAAAAAAAAA

  • Qin+ Google Translate 4 times = China

    Me: Makes sense

  • Take it from someone who lived in third-tier Chinese cities for three years, good attempt on pronunciation. Your Mandarin pronunciation kind of sounded southern Chinese on a few words. Most native English speakers don't even attempt to pronounce Mandarin words correctly, so I give you a round of applause 👏

  • So when will China break again?

  • "If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight! Sun Zhu said that." – Soldier

  • 分久必合,合久必分。
    逢酒必喝,喝酒必疯。

  • "Heaven's mandate was about to scram-date"

  • The founding of the Han Dynasty is one of my favorite stories. Liu Bang was a sheriff of the Qin Dynasty, and one day some prisoners he was transporting escaped. Now, since they were his responsibility, the law said Liu Bang would be put to death for it. But, he said to himself “but if I overthrow the Emperor, then he can’t execute me”. He offered the remaining prisoners the chance to rebel under his leadership and became one of the leading Anti-Qin generals and was later installed as Emperor. And the Han’s became one of the most influential dynasties of China (there’s a reason China’s major ethnic groups is called “Han”)

  • "Owie oof ow, my bones"
    -Shi Huangdi 210 BC

  • Where's part 2? 😍

  • I love the fact you put the plug at the end of the vid rather than in the middle like a jackass

  • So you’re telling me the ancient Chinese understood not to get involved in a land war in Asia

  • 11:20
    his name blue
    sans' jacket is blue
    doodododooooodoooodudududududud

  • Why do you always feel the need to tell us that your 'VERY real' friends always clean your pronunciation? Like don't apologize for a small mistake like that, at least you are trying.

  • Distracted from an otherwise stellar video by you butchering of Kung Fu Tze's name.

  • 古代中国的历史修正主义争议

    中國上古時期禪讓制度的真實性

    夏朝的存在问题

    左传是中国第一本较详细记载春秋的史书,之前商朝、西周的具体情况早已堙没无法得知了,但商朝和西周是真实存在的。

    由于焚书坑儒,战国的具体情况早已堙没无法得知了,甚至连重大战役如长平之战的具体情况也难以确知。

    记载中国历史的资料以二十四史为主 ,但是由于二十四史与前朝当事人年代久远,如后汉书成书年代与东汉相差两百年以上、缺少当事人本人的说法,不可能非常准确甚至误差很大。

    唐太宗#觀史書己

    宋朝以前歷史書籍非印刷,手寫史書與原作者原文可能有誤差,日本藏六朝抄本史記已經與宋版史記差别很大。现在市场上明清版书籍很多,宋版书留存到現代數量很少很珍贵,宋朝以前的书籍极少出现。

    考古资料有限。甲骨文、金文、古本竹书纪年、近年流出的清华简、孙膑兵法等秦汉简牍有助于矫正传统史书的错误。

    中国的书籍在战乱中损毁严重,除了晋书、十六国春秋竟然再也找不出像样的记载两晋的史书。

    十六国春秋在历次战争中已经消失殆尽。

    宋代太平御览在历次战争中已经消失殆尽。

    明代永乐大典在历次战争中已经消失殆尽。最近美国发现了一本永乐大典。

    蒙古国方面的蒙古语史料有助于解决蒙金战争、宋元战争问题。

    明史纪事本末、明季南略、明季北略等民间史书有助于解决明末民变、明清战争问题。

    蒙金战争、宋元战争、明朝、明末民变、明清战争问题较大。事实上,现在紫禁城很少见到明朝万历年以前的中央档案,早在清朝就应该已经被销毁。

    张元济百衲本二十四史的底本在一·二八事变日军炮火引起的商务印书馆大火中得以保存已属奇迹。

    封建社会定义的争议

    欧洲中世纪的“封建”的特点是“领主、封臣、采邑”,这些特点与中国传统上西周的封建制基本一致,因此,当年在翻译西方文献时就把欧洲中世纪的制度翻译作中文的“封建”。西周的制度数千年来在中国都是称作“封建制”,秦至清的制度称为中央集权制,中央集权与封建刚好是相反的两个制度。封建主张“地方分权”,中央集权则反对“地方分权”。数千年来,这些概念绝无异议,至今台湾和世界其他国家的学者都一直如此称呼。 [3]

    西周的封建制早于欧洲中世纪的封建制,与马克思的社会發展五个階段理论完全不相容。马克思本人认为五个社会發展階段仅适用于西欧,指出东亚有特殊的“亚细亚生产方式”,但这一理论从苏联时代开始被扩大到全世界[4]。中共上台后,为配合马克思列宁主义的社会發展五个階段理论,将秦至清的社会强行改称“封建社会”,而原本西周的封建则被强行改称“分封制”。因此出现了“在封建社会(地方分权)推行中央集权”的逻辑矛盾。[5]

    此外,封建一词又被中共加上落后、迷信等特点。[6]

    2003年后,在中国大陆一些进行义务教育课程改革的地区,教科书中已不再出现这种观点表述。关于人类社会阶段的划分,则使用诸如“史前时代”、“农耕文明时代”、“工业文明时代”等术语。

  • China: Forms a Dynasty
    China: Revolution/Rebellion
    China: Forms a Dynasty
    China: *Revolution/Rebellion
    China: Forms a Dynasty
    Mongolia: Genghis Khan!!
    China: “Oh CoMe oN!!!!!!”
    China: Mao Zhe Dong – “imma make the country communist!”

  • ancient china is definitely me when i think i have succeeded in forming a good habit

  • Whoever watched this might understand why Chinese people care so much about being united and not being separated.

  • Basically, China's history is a clusterfuck to rival Europe's history.

  • I was automatically in love with this video the very instant you put a Bill Wurtz's clip there. That one video is the best I have ever seen.

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