Leisure in the Tang Dynasty

Much more than earlier periods, the Tang era was renowned for the time reserved for leisure activity, especially for those in the upper classes. Many outdoor sports and activities were enjoyed during the Tang, including...

Why Are Hundreds of Harvard Students Studying Ancient Chinese Philosophy?

The professor who teaches Classical Chinese Ethical and Political Theory claims, "This course will change your life." Picture a world where human relationships are challenging, narcissism and self-centeredness are on the rise, and there is disagreement...

History walks into future

  We live in a world of constant changes. History is a mirror. To know about the future and what actions we should take, we should first have an understanding of the past. Every person...

Life and Society of Song Dynasty

The Song dynasty was an era of administrative sophistication and complex social organization. Some of the largest cities in the world were found in China during this period (Kaifeng and Hangzhou had populations of over...

Zhou Dunyi

Zhou Dunyi (Chinese: 周敦頤;1017–1073) was a Song dynasty Chinese Neo-Confucian philosopher and cosmologist. He conceptualized the Neo-Confucian cosmology of the day, explaining the relationship between human conduct and universal forces. In this way, he...

Why Li Bai and Du Fu Are Still China’s Most Popular Poets

If you ever thought the popular worship of long-gone bards was a uniquely British phenomenon, you may be in for a surprise. The Mandarin poets Li Bai and Du Fu, who lived during the...

Contention of a Hundred Schools of Thought

The Hundred Schools of Thought (Chinese: 諸子百家) were philosophies and schools that flourished from the 6th century to 221 BC, during the Spring and Autumn period and the Warring States period of ancient China. An...

Han Feizi and the legalist school

The grouping together of thinkers that would eventually be dubbed "Fa-Jia" or "Legalists" can be traced to Han Fei (280–236 BC).  On rare occasion Han Fei lauds such qualities as benevolence and proper social...

Lin Zexu and the destruction of opium

Lin Zexu (30 August 1785 – 22 November 1850), was a Chinese scholar-official of the Qing dynasty best known for his role in the First Opium War of 1839–42. Lin became Governor-General of Hunan and...

Legalism and “burining the books”

Qin Shi Huang also followed the school of the five elements, earth, wood, metal, fire and water.(五德終始說) Zhao Zheng's birth element is water, which is connected with the colour black. It was also believed...

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