Shang Yang and his political reforms

Shang Yang was a statesman and reformer of the State of Qin during the Warring States period. His policies laid the administrative and political foundations that would enable Qin to conquer all of China and unite...

Li Si, most capable politician behind the unified Qin empire

Li Li served as Prime Minister from 246–208 BC under two rulers: Qin Shi Huang and the Second Emperor. Li Si was originally from Shang Cai (上蔡) in the State of Chu. As a young man he was a minor functionary in...

Zhao Gao points to a deer and calls it a horse

The Records of the Grand Historian By Sima Qian records that Zhao Gao, in an attempt to control the Qin government, devised a loyalty test for court officials using a deer and horse: Zhao Gao was contemplating...

Su Shi, one of the most accomplished figures in classical Chinese literature

The Song Empire was administered and run by scholar officials who were selected through a meritocratic system of examination and imperially orchestrated appointments. One of the results of this meritocracy was a flowering of...

The Story of Laozi

The Shiji (Records of the Historian) by the Han dynasty (206 B.C.E.–220 C.E.) court scribe and historian Sima Qian (ca. 145–86 B.C.E.) offers a “biography” of Laozi. Its reliability has been questioned, but it provides a...

The Complete Works Of Chuang Tzu Translated by Burton Watson

Section ONE - FREE AND EASY WANDERING IN THE NORTHERN DARKNESS there is a fish and his name is K'un. The K'un is so huge I don't know how many thousand li he measures. He...

Nuwa: the first creative Chinese deity

In Chinese mythology, Nüwa (女娲) is a Chinese mythological character best known for creating and reproducing people after a great calamity. Some scholars suggest that the female Nuwa was the first creative Chinese deity, appropriate for ancient...

Shennong: The God-King of Chinese Medicine and Agriculture

Shennong(神农), which means “God farmer” or “God peasant”, is a deity in Chinese religion. He is a mythical sage healer and ruler of prehistoric China. Shennong is also known as Wugushen “God of five...

Yu the Great

Yu the Great (大禹) was long regarded as an ideal ruler and kind of philosopher king by the ancient Chinese. He was a legendary ruler in ancient China famed for his introduction of flood control, inaugurating dynastic rule in China by...

Two Sima Masters as China’s most honored and popular historians

In five thousand years of Chinese history, Sima Clan family produced the best known and most important historians. Sima Qian and Sima Guang top the list. Sima Qian is considered the father of Chinese historiography for his Records...

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