Scholar-officials in the Ming Dynasty

During the Ming dynasty, the Neo-Confucian doctrines of the Song scholar Zhu Xi were embraced by the court and the Chinese literati at large, although the direct line of his school was destroyed by the Yongle Emperor's extermination of the ten degrees of kinship of Fang Xiaoru in 1402.

History of banking in Imperial China

An early Chinese banking institution was called the draft bank or piaohao (票号) in Chinese, also known as Shanxi banks because they were owned primarily by Shanxi merchants.

Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor and the Terracotta Army

Located at the northern foot of Lishan Mountain, 35 kilometers northeast of Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, Qinshihuang Mausoleum is the tomb of Emperor Qinshihuang, founder of the first unified empire in Chinese history during the...

Nine major enigmas of Qin Shihuang Mausoleum

Qin Shihuang, the first creator of a unified dynasty in Chinese history, died at the age of 50 during his tour of inspection. Emperor Qin Shihuang's experience, life and merits and demerits are noticeable, even the...

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...

Social status of businessmen in imperial China

In Ancient pre-Imperial China,the tribes living in what is now the Yellow River valley were practising agriculture. Merchants were highly regarded as necessary for the circulation of essential goods. The legendary Emperor Shun, prior to receiving the throne from...

The Shi as a noble occupation

The four categories of the people (四民) was an occupation classification used in ancient China and is considered a central part of the feudal social structure. These were the shi (gentry scholars), the nong (peasant farmers), the gong (artisans and craftsmen), and the shang (merchants and traders). According to historian Ban Gu (AD 32–92) of...

History of China: timeline

What is now China was inhabited by Homo erectus more than a million years ago. Recent study shows that the stone tools found at Xiaochangliang site are magnetostratigraphically dated to 1.36 million years ago. 

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