Debate on Travels of Marco Polo

An authoritative version of Marco Polo's book does not and cannot exist, for the early manuscripts differ significantly. The published editions of his book either rely on single manuscripts, blend multiple versions together, or...

Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove

The Seven Sages are Ji Kang, Liu Ling, Ruan Ji, Ruan Xian, Xiang Xiu, Wang Rong and Shan Tao.  (阮籍、嵇康、山涛、刘伶、阮咸、向秀、王戎). The Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove (also known as the Seven Worthies of the...

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...

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...

益稷 – Yi and Ji

The Di said, 'Come Yu, you also must have excellent words (to bring before me).' Yu did obeisance, and said, 'Oh! what can I say, O Di, (after Gao-Yao)? I can (only) think of...

Cultural Legacy of Cao Cao

While historical records indicate Cao Cao as a brilliant ruler, he was represented as a cunning and deceitful man in Chinese opera, where his character is given a white facial makeup to reflect his...

Quotes of Xun Zi

Xún Zǐ or Hsün Tzu (荀子 or 荀况; born Zhao c.312 BC - 230 BC) was a Chinese Confucian philosopher. Quotes The person attempting to travel two roads at once will get nowhere. Quoted in:...

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...

A Historical Note of Chinese lyric poetry

Although the oldest surviving textual examples of surviving ci (词) or lyric poetry are from 8th century CE Dunhuang manuscripts, beginning in the poetry of the Liang Dynasty, the ci followed the tradition of the Shi...

Legalism in Chinese History

Qin unification of 221 BCE could have become the triumph of Legalism. The rise of the state of Qin started with Shang Yang; and it was by following his “agriculture cum warfare” course of...
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