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12 August 2014

Chinese Heritage
GEK 1007
Gregory
scott.gregory@nus.edu.sg
Your TAs
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Module Notes
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Syllabus has been updated! Readings
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Requirements:
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Participation 50%
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Group presentation in tutorial
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Post two critical questions to IVLE by 8:00pm night before tutorial
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In-class quiz x2 20% (10%+10%)
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Short paper 30%
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Notes
Critical Questions
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Should not have a simple, "factual" answer.
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"What poems did Li Bai write?"
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Not simple opinion.
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"What story is your favorite?"
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Question authors' points of view.
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"The author says xyz... But did she consider 123?"
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Contrast one author against another, if authors disagree.
What is Chinese Heritage?
The roots of the tradition
Fact vs. Fiction
The Great Wall
as an example
Great Wall
Fictions
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Monolithic and ancient
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Sealed off the nation from
outsiders
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Can be seen from outer space
Great Wall Facts
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Not a continuous wall
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Built at different times in
history
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Cannot be seen from space
Ripley's Believe it
or Not, 1932
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The Mightiest Work of Man
the only one that would be
visible to the human eye from
the moon!
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The word peace is a pig
under a roof! _
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He laughs when he is sad and
cries when he is glad!
Great Walls
Qin Dynasty 221-207BC
Western Han 202BC-9AD
Ming 1368-1644
Fictions
about China
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Monolithic and unchanging,
like Great Wall
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The Dynasty model
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Mandate of Heaven allows
for dynastic turnover
The Handoff
The Dynastic
Handoff
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Traditional history-book style
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From dynasty to dynasty
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From emperor to emperor
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Mandate of Heaven
The beginnings of the cycle.
Emperor Yao
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Beginnings of Classical history
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ca. 23rd? c. BCE
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Wise and virtuous ruler
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Chose Shun as his successor
Shun
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Not Yao's son!
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Co-ruled with Yao for 30 years
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Ruled after Yao's death for 50
more
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Renowned for his lial piety
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Chose Yu as his successor
Yu the Great
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Tamed disastrous oods
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Chosen by Shun to lead
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Founded Xia Dynasty
Xia Dynasty's
Collapse
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Last ruler, Jie
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Liked his ladies
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Alcohol lake and meat tree
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Shang rises against Xia
Shang Dynasty
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1766-1045BC
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Corrupt King Zhu _
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Zh"u conquest of Shang in
1045BC
Zhou Dynasty
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1045-256BC
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Forces of King Wen and King
Wu, led by Jiang Ziya, 1045BC
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Golden Age of Sagely Rule
Eastern Zhou
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Zhou was weakened around
770
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Moved capital to Luoyang
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Lasted until 256BCE
Qin Dynasty
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State of Qin swallowed up all
others
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Founded Dynasty in 221BCE
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Qin Shihuang, "First Emperor"
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Ended in 206BCE
Facts of
Chinese history
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Messier, more fragmented
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Not necessarily a single story
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Open to outside inuence
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For early China, archaeological
nds
"The Losers of History"
Sanxingdui
1300-1100BC, Sichuan area
Other early cultures....
Early Cultures
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Little is known about them
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Debate on Xia's existence,
origins of bronze cultures
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None were strong enough to
control all of China
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No written record
Heritage and
Wen ()
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Wenxue "Literature"
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Wenhua "Culture"
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Wenming "Civilization"
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Originally, "Patterning"
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The beginning of Chinese
heritage
Written
Tradition
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History slowly emerges from
myth and legend
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Western Zhou Bronzes
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Book of Changes ~900BCE?
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Book of Songs ~1000-600BCE?
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Book of Documents ~600BCE?
Zhou bronzes
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Used in ancestor worship
rituals, covenants
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Writing on vessels and bells for
ancestors
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Sometimes details match ritual
or historical records
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However, not purely historical
Book of Changes
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Reveals movings of cosmos
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Used in divination
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Yin and Yang lines
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Throw coins or sticks to
determine lines of hexagram
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Text very difcult to interpret
Book of Songs
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According to legend, collected
by ofcials
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View of everyday life in Zhou
era
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Supposedly edited by
Confucius from 3000 to 306 of
the best poems
"Big Rat, Big Rat"
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Big rat, big rat,
Do not gobble our millet!
Three years we have slaved for you,
Yet you take no notice of us.
At last we are going to leave you
And go to that happy land;
Happy land, happy land,
Where we shall have our place.
Book of
Documents
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Collection of historical records,
speeches of major gures
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Begins with Yao, Shun, and Yu
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Supposedly compiled by
Confucius
The "Pan-Asian" Heritage
The Spread of
Chinese Language
Literary Sinitic
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[]_[
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Of the people of Chu, there was one who sold shields
and spears.
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Ch# rn y$u y dn y# mo zh%....
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[]_[
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Ch# rn y$u y dn y# mo
zh%....
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;_[[|
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So hito ni tate to hoko to o
hisagu mono ari
Literary Sinitic
The Take-Away
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Like the Great Wall, China has a complex history
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Chinese heritage: a written record of wen
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History and literature
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Remarkable continuity
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However, leaves some things out
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Chinese heritage spread throughout Asia via writing
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http://www.yellowbridge.com/mysticism/i-ching-
wizard.php