Advertisement

World Apart: China in Antiquity, 200 BC to 400 AD

Chapter
  • 56 Downloads

Abstract

This chapter concerns China’s relationship to the outside world in the period of the Han dynasty, 206 bc to 220 ad, glancing at the pre-imperial past of the Chou and the Shang and the post-imperial future of the San-kuo and the Chin. Its argument is that though Han China shared in the common foundations of civilized humanity laid down in the early Pleistocene epoch and extended in the Neolithic, it built on them in such an original fashion and with such little contact with other centres of civilization as to constitute a world apart in a planet of separate worlds. Teilhard de Chardin saw history as spindle-shaped:1 original unity, a southern hemisphere of divergence, an equator of transition, a northern hemisphere of convergence, ultimate unity. Our story begins at the moment of maximum divergence.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Man’s Place in Nature (Collins Fontana Books, London 1973) p. 116.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Werner Benndorf, Das Mittelmeerbuch, quoted in Fernand Braudel, La Mediterranée et Le Monde mediterranéen à l’époque de Philippe II (Librairie Armand Colin, Paris 1949) p. 187.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    For this paragraph, see Fernand Braudel, Capitalism and Material Life 1400–1800 (Collins, Fontana Books, London 1974).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ferdinand von Richthofen, Baron Richtehofen’s Letters, 1870–1872 (North China Herald Office, Shanghai 1903) p. 125.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Karl A. Wittfogel, Oriental Despotism, A Comparative Study of Total Power (Yale University Press, New Haven 1957).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ho Ping-ti, ‘The Loess and the Origins of Chinese Agriculture’, American Historical Review, vol. LXXV, no.1 (October 1969) pp. 1–36.Google Scholar
  7. 8.
    C.S. Lewis, The Pilgrim’s Regress (Geoffrey Bles, London 1947) p. 154.Google Scholar
  8. 10.
    Joseph Needham, Science and Civilisation in China Vol. I (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1954) pp. 30, 36.Google Scholar
  9. 12.
    Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Letters from a Traveller (Collins Fontana Books, London 1967) p. 57.Google Scholar
  10. 13.
    For European and Chinese options in housing, see Pierre Chaunu, ‘Le Bâtiment dans L’Économie Traditionnelle’, in J–P Bardet, P. Chaunu, G. Désert, P. Gouhier and H. Neveux, LeBâtiment: Enquete D’Histoire Économique XIVe — XIXe Siècles (Mouton, Paris and The Hague 1971) pp. 9–32Google Scholar
  11. 14.
    F. Alvarez Semedo, The History of That Great and Renowned Monarchy of China (John Crook, London 1655) p. 3Google Scholar
  12. Jan Nieuhof, ‘An Appendix or special Remarks taken at large out of Athanasius Kircher his Antiquities of China’, An Embassy from the East India Company of the United Provinces to the Grand Tartar Cham Emperor of China (John Ogilby, London 1669) p. 99Google Scholar
  13. 15.
    For modem interpretations of the fall of the Roman empire, see Peter Brown, The World of Late Antiquity from Marcus Aurelius to Muhammed (Thames and Hudson, London 1971)Google Scholar
  14. Richard W. Bulliet, The Camel and the Wheel (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts 1975).Google Scholar
  15. 16.
    For the fall of the Han, see Yang Lien-sheng, ‘Great Families of Eastern Han’, in E–tu Zen Sun and John de Francis (eds) Chinese Social History (American Council of Learned Societies, Washington 1956) pp. 103–34Google Scholar
  16. Etienne Balazs, Chinese Civilization and Bureaucracy (Yale University Press, New Haven and London 1964) especially chapters 12–14, pp. 173–254.Google Scholar
  17. 18.
    Sir Aurel Stein, On Ancient Central–Asian Tracks (Pantheon, New York 1964) pp. 19–20.Google Scholar
  18. 19.
    M J. Finley, The Ancient Economy (Chatto and Windus, London 1973) p. 137.Google Scholar
  19. 20.
    For the cultural functions of the Chinese empire, see Leon E. Stover, The Cultural Ecology of Chinese Civilization (Mentor, New American Library, New York and Scarborough, Ontario 1974) pp. 189Google Scholar
  20. 21.
    Burton Watson, Records of the Grand Historian of China, Translated from the Shih chi of Ssu–ma Chien, Vol. II: The Age of Emperor Wu 140 to circa 100 BC (Columbia University Press, New York and London 1961) p. 329.Google Scholar
  21. 22.
    Peter Levi, The Light Garden of the Angel King (Collins, London 1972) pp. 132, 256.Google Scholar
  22. 23.
    E. Zurcher, The Buddhist Conquest of China (E.J. Brill, Leiden 1959) p.62.Google Scholar
  23. 24.
    Liu Mau-tsai, Kutscha and Seine Beziehungen zu China Vom 2 JH. V. Bis Zum 6.JH. N. CHR I Band (Otto Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1969), p. 22.Google Scholar
  24. 27.
    Paul Wheatley, The Golden Khersonese (University of Malaya Press, Kuala Lumpur 1961) p. 16.Google Scholar
  25. 28.
    H.A. Giles, The Travels of Fa–Hsien (Routledge and Kegan Paul, London 1959) pp. 76Google Scholar
  26. 33.
    J. Innes Miller, The Spice Trade of the Roman Empire 29BC–AD 641 (Clarendon Press, Oxford 1969).Google Scholar
  27. 42.
    For the history of horsepower, see Miklos Jankovich, They Rode into Europe (Harrap, London 1971).Google Scholar
  28. 47.
    Fan Yeh, quoted in C.P. Fitzgerald, China A Short Cultural History (The Cresset Press, London 1954) p. 199.Google Scholar
  29. 48.
    C.G. Jung, The Practice of Psychotherapy (Routledge and Kegan Paul, London 1954) pp. 200Google Scholar
  30. 49.
    For Zervanism, see R.C. Zachner, Zurvan, A Zoroastrian Dilemma (Clarendon Press, Oxford 1955).Google Scholar
  31. 50.
    T.R.V. Murti, The Central Philosophy of Buddhism. A Study of the Madhyamika System (Allen and Unwin, London 1953)Google Scholar
  32. Max Loehr, Buddhist Thought and Imagery (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts 1961) p. 26.Google Scholar
  33. 51.
    Helen Dunstan, ‘The Late Ming Epidemics: A Preliminary Survey’, Ch’ing–shih Wen–t’i, vol. III, no. 3 (November 1975) pp. 24–6.Google Scholar
  34. 52.
    For the significance of the Mahaprajnaparamitasastra, see Etienne Lamotte, Le Traité de la Grande Vertu de Sagesse, Tome III (Université de Louvain, Institut Orientaliste, Louvain 1970) pp. V–LXGoogle Scholar
  35. K. Ven-kata Ramanan, Nagarjuna’s Philosophy as Presented in the Maha–Praj-naparamita–Sastra (Harvard–Yenching Institute, Tuttle, Rutland, Ver-mont and Tokyo 1966)Google Scholar
  36. S.A.M. Adshead, ‘Buddhist Scholasticism and Transcendental Thomism’, The Downside Review, vol. 95, no. 321 (October 1977) pp. 297–305.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© S. A. M. Adshead 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations