Poetry and Thought in Early China: Poetry and Thought in Early China Ca 1000 – 600 BC A Chapter Overview: A Chapter Overview Chinese civilization first developed in the Yellow River basin.
The Classic of Poetry, also called The Book of Songs, is a lyric poetry collection that stands at the beginning of the Chinese literary tradition.
Greatly valued by Confucius who supposedly edited the first copy from an earlier work. Doubtful but he certainly valued The Book of Songs and refers to them often in his own writing.
Slide3: The fusion of ethical thought and idealized Chou traditions associated with Confucius were recorded in The Analects by Confucius's disciples following his death.
The Chuang Tzu offers philosophical meditations in a multitude of forms, ranging from jokes and parables to intricate philosophical arguments.
During the period of the Warring States, Ssu-ma Ch'ien produced the popular Historical Records chronicling the lives of ruling families and dynasties in a comprehensive history of China up to the time of Emperor Wu's reign.
The end of ancient China is often linked with the rise of the draconian ruler Ch'in Shih-huang.
The Yellow River, or Huanghe : The Yellow River, or Huanghe Slide5: Shang Dynasty http://www.uic.edu/educ/bctpi/whittier/curriculum/china/ Chinese Civilization First Developed in the Yellow River Basin : Chinese Civilization First Developed in the Yellow River Basin The first dynasty, the Shang, was a loose confederation of city-states ruled by princes with a common ancestry.
Chinese writing based on characters developed during the Shang era.
Shang Writing : Shang Writing Other than bronze making, the most significant achievement of the Shang period was the extensive practice of writing.
From the Oracle Bones, people had the chance to study and determine the earliest and most complete evidence of writing in China. <http://www.library.utoronto.ca/east/students02/hoi_wan_lai/writing.htm> Slide8: From the unearthed evidence, 150,000 inscriptions have been discovered; 5,000 ancient Chinese characters were found and published;
and 3,000 of those ancient words were successfully translated into modern Chinese characters.
Actually, writing was not only found on Oracle Bones but on some other materials as well, including wood, bamboo, and silk.
However, all of these materials were perishable.
Slide9: The writings found on the Shang Oracles was highly developed and sophisticated in form.
Scholars found that the inscriptions on the Oracle Bones contained many pictographs (characters created based on real objects), proving that the Chinese writing structure and technique had been well developed before the Shang period.
Scholars realized that the stage of writing in Shang had been stylized and that the characters were geometric lines and shapes. Slide10: The characters were written from top to bottom, and from left to right.
Therefore, as the form of writing was sophisticated, the creation of words must have occurred at least a few hundred years before Shang; and may even have been created during the Hsia Dynasty.
Certainly, our modern Chinese language developed from ancient language. We can see that some of the ancient characters are still in use today, just slightly different in shape. The Chau (Zhao) Dynasty: The Chau (Zhao) Dynasty http://www.artsmia.org/art-of-asia/history/dynasty-chou.cfm
A Change – the Chou (Zhou): A Change – the Chou (Zhou) By the end of the second millennium B.C., the Chou people migrated from the west and conquered the Shang.
Tracing their origins from Hou-Chi (Lord Millet), the Chou put forth the argument that the last rulers of the Shang had been guilty of misrule and had caused hardship to the people, which led Heaven to transfer power to the Chou.
Over the centuries, the idea of heaven changed: sometimes it was an anthropomorphic deity, a natural and moral force, or a collection of ancestral spirits.
Slide13: Because those in power were expected to rule virtuously, rulers typically adhered to the statutes and models put in place by former kings.
These ideas were recorded in three important texts: The Book of Documents, a collection of statements and proclamations from the early Chou period; the Classic of Poetry; and the Book of Changes.
The Classic of Poetry is a lyric poetry collection that stands at the beginning of the Chinese literary tradition. : The Classic of Poetry is a lyric poetry collection that stands at the beginning of the Chinese literary tradition. Although it circulated among the Chou aristocracy, it is a heterogeneous text that includes many types of songs, ranging from hymns, temple songs, and hunting songs to love and marriage songs.
Serving as a the basic educational text of upper class Chou, it eventually became part of the canon of Confucian classics, along with the Book of Changes and the Book of Documents. “By the Poems you can stir people and you can observe things through them; you can express your resentment in them and you can show sociable feelings. Clot to home you can use them to serve your father, and on a large scale you can use them to serve your ruler. Moreover, you can learn to recognize many names of birds, beasts, plants, and trees.”Confucius speaking about Classics of Poetry: “By the Poems you can stir people and you can observe things through them; you can express your resentment in them and you can show sociable feelings. Clot to home you can use them to serve your father, and on a large scale you can use them to serve your ruler. Moreover, you can learn to recognize many names of birds, beasts, plants, and trees.” Confucius speaking about Classics of Poetry Aspects of the Classics of Poetry: Aspects of the Classics of Poetry In poetry people within the early Chinese could say things which were forbidden in other parts of their structured culture.
Often were used as a means of diplomacy.
The “Feng” ("wind" but also "mores," "folkways," or "customs" ) often involves the communication across lines of authority. Slide17: Usually, the Chinese poem is fairly simple on the surface.
Western culture, which was influenced by Shakespeare, Milton, and the Romantic poets, had a pronounced tendency to think of poems as ornate, elaborate creations made by a few men of genius.
Chinese culture, influenced by the anonymity of the Shih Ching, had a tendency to think of poems as something written by common humanity for the eyes of other humans. .
Slide18: Usually the poem deals with either agrarian imagery, courtship and marriage, or dynastic concerns.
The Zhou (or Chou) dynasty was agrarian in its roots, and for its people, "their sense of beauty and order is closely related to the cycles and abundance of the agricultural year," as Stephen Owen suggests (xx).
Likewise, the poems often revolve around the sorrows and joys of romance, or dealt with the heroic and legendary exploits of rulers and kings.
Other poems, which probably originated in folk-songs, deal with the everyday trials and tribulations of love, life, and the family Slide19: Each poem is usually composed of lines of four syllables,
Usually they will with rhymed endings in the original Chinese.
Often these four syllables appear as four pictograms.
The normal form of the courtship and marriage songs is three verses of four lines each.
Only a single non-fragmentary poem consists of a single quatrain, the form that later became popular in modern Chinese poetry. Slide20: The poetic principle organizing the poem is often one of contrast:
Often Chinese poetry will juxtapose a natural scene with a social or personal situation. The reader of the poem sees the similarity in the natural description and the human condition, and comes to a new awareness of each by this contrast.
In Chinese, this idea is embodied in the terms fu, bi, and xing (pronounced "shing"). Fu refers to a straightforward narrative with a beginning, middle, and conclusion, that stands by itself.
Bi, literally "against," implies a comparison or contrast, placing two things side by side.
When one takes two different fu, and places them together, the two create a bi.
This results in xing, a mental stimulation or "lightning" that pervades the mind of the reader, bringing new insight or awareness into the nature of the individual fu that compose the poem. Confucius stated that this xing is the purpose of poetry, that the point of a poem was to make the mind contemplate its subject deeply. II. YA : II. YA The second section of the Book of Songs, known as the ya or "Courtly Songs,"
It consists of 105 poems. Ya translates as "elegant" or "refined," the word here seeming to indicate that most of the songs are by courtiers or members of the aristocracy, not the common folk.
The ya are further subdivided into seventy-four hsiao ya ("Lesser Courtly Songs") and thirty-one ta ya ("Greater Courtly Songs"), probably distinguished on the basis of differing musical accompaniments, now lost. Slide22: The Lesser Courtly Songs
concern the aristocratic life centering around the Chou court.
Even these latter poems, while seeming to focus on romantic love, have traditionally been viewed as allegories--political satires disguised as folksongs.
And, indeed, there are many bitter reflections on war, as well as outright complaints about misgovernment, lying officials, administrators living luxuriously, and other political scams.
The poems in this section also contain many references to specific historical persons and events--are topical, in other words; a few, likewise, include some kind of identification of the poet in the last line, especially the political complaints. Slide23: The Greater Courtly Songs
They manifest, however, a difference in tone and superior literary artistry.
More reverent, ornate, and formal, a number of these poems celebrate the myths and legends of the Chou dynasty.
Many poems exhibit considerable length, yet are marked by more variety and consistency in their rhyme schemes, tighter transitions between stanzas, and sustained thematic development. The most common themes are good wishes, congratulations, eulogies, offerings to gods and ancestors, and dining and drinking.
But there are also poems of "change"--sharp, passionate outcries against rulers whose indecent behavior brings grief to their subjects and threatens their kingdoms with ruin.
III. SUNG : III. SUNG The sung section can also be read as "Hymns."
These forty sacrficial and temple songs are subdivided into three parts on the basis of geographical origin--thirty-one attributed to the Chou court, four to the court of the Duchy of Lu, and five hymns attributed to the Shang dynasty, which preceded Chou.
These songs seem to have been sung to the accompaniment of music and group dancing when the King or lord worshipped his ancestors and commemorated their heroic deeds.
Slide25: The poems in this section are hymns of praise, ritual pieces describing sacrifices, feasts, musical performances, or celebrations of the dynasty's glory and its military victories.
The mood of the poems is celebratory throughout--no complaints about misrule, disorder, or personal hardships. As a result, most critics regard these poems as Chou propaganda pieces. The poems in this section are believed to be the earliest in the Book of Songs, some composed as early as 1700 B. C. (Shang dynasty) and many by no later than 700 B. C.
This antiquity accounts for the stylistic awkwardness displayed in a number of the songs. Of the poems in our text, number 157 provides an example of the sung. Slide26: Qin Dynasty Slide27: By 770 B.C., the Chou dynasty had lost much of its power, and the bordering new kingdoms—the Ch'u, Wu and Y¸eh—grew stronger.
Culturally, they absorbed many of the Chou ways. The Lu province also saw itself as the preserver of Chou traditions. (It was also the home of Confucius.)
There is a fusion of ethical thought and idealized Chou traditions associated with Confucius were recorded in the Analects by Confucius's disciples following his death.
Many of the philosophers that followed Confucius were influential, but Confucianism's emphasis on the connection between idealized history and social history proved to be stronger. Slide28: With new technological advances, the nature of warfare changed, resulting in increasingly destructive wars between domains. In the period known as the Spring and Autumn Annals, regions were ruled by aristocratic families with officials chosen from lesser clans.
Because the domains were gradually evolving into centralized states during a period of upheaval, this era is known as the Warring States.
In addition to the massive political upheaval, there was also significant intellectual upheaval.
Schools of thought concerned with the individual rather than the polity began to emerge. Independent thinkers such as Chuang Chou without patronage or school were also important. Chinese Philosophy: Chinese Philosophy Philosophy has had a tremendous effect on Chinese civilization, and East Asia as a whole.
Many of the great philosophical schools were formulated during the Spring and Autumn Period and Warring States Period, and came to be known as the Hundred Schools of Thought.
The four most influential of these were
Later on, during the Tang Dynasty, Buddhism from India also became a prominent philosophical and religious discipline. Slide30: Eastern thought, unlike Western philosophy, did not express a clear distinction between philosophy and religion.
Like Western philosophy, Chinese philosophy covers a broad and complex range of thought, possessing a multitude of schools that address every branch and subject area of philosophy.
In China, the Tao Te Ching (Dào dé jīng, in pinyin romanisation) of Lao Tzu (Lǎo zǐ)  and the Analects of Confucius (Kǒng fū zǐ; sometimes called Master Kong) both appeared around 600 BC, about the time that the Greek pre-Socratics were writing.
Confucius: Confucius 孔夫子, transliterated Kong Fuzi or K'ung-fu-tzu, lit. "Master Kong," but most frequently referred to simply as Kongzi 孔子,
The most famous thinker and social philosopher of China, whose teachings have deeply influenced East Asia for centuries.
Living in China between 722 BC and 481 (a time when feudal states fought against each other), he was convinced of his ability to restore the world's order, but in the end failed. A man who only learns the truth at the last moment of his life has not wasted his opportunities. 551 – 479 BC Slide32: After much traveling around China to promote his ideas among rulers, he eventually became involved in teaching disciples.
His philosophy emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, and justice and sincerity.
These values gained prominence in China after being chosen among other doctrines such as Legalism or Taoism during the Han dynasty.
Used since then as the imperial orthodoxy, Confucius' thoughts have been developed into a vast and complete philosophical system known in the west as Confucianism.
They were introduced to Europe by the Jesuit Matteo Ricci, the first to Latinise the name as "Confucius".
Slide33: Of all the Chinese philosophies it is quite safe to say Confucianism has had the greatest impact throughout East Asia.
His philosophy focused in the fields of ethics and politics, emphasizing personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice, traditionalism, and sincerity.
Confucianism, along with Legalism, is responsible for creating the world’s first meritocracy, which holds that one's status should be determined by ability instead of ancestry, wealth, or friendships. It is arguable that Confucianism is most responsible for shaping the Chinese culture and state of China.
孔夫子 Legalism: Legalism In Chinese history, Legalism (Chinese: 法家; Pinyin: Fǎjiā; Wade-Giles: Fa-chia; literally "School of law") was one of the four main philosophic schools in the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period (Near the end of the Zhou dynasty from about the sixth century B.C. to about the third century B.C.).
It is actually rather a pragmatic political philosophy, with maxims like "when the epoch changed, legalism is the act of following all laws ," and its essential principle is one of jurisprudence.
"Legalism" here can bear the meaning of "political philosophy that upholds the rule of law", and is thus distinguished from the word's Western sense.
Mohism: Mohism In China, a contemporary of Confucius, Mozi, "Master Mo", is credited with founding the Mohist school, whose canons dealt with issues relating to valid inference and the conditions of correct conclusions.
The Mohist school of Chinese philosophy contained an approach to logic and argumentation that stresses analogical reasoning over deductive reasoning, and is based on the three fa, or methods of drawing distinctions between kinds of things.
One of the schools that grew out of Mohism, the Logicians, are credited by some scholars for their early investigation of formal logic.
It disappeared during the Qin dynasty. Mozi's philosophy was described in the book Mozi, compiled by his students from lecture notes. Slide36: In Mohism, morality is defined not by tradition, but rather by a constant moral guide that parallels utilitarianism.
Tradition is inconsistent, and human beings need an extra-traditional guide to identify which traditions are acceptable.
The moral guide must then promote and encourage social behaviors that maximise general utility. He also belived in the 2nd law and was in conflict with the ancients.
Mohism promotes a philosophy of universal love, i.e. an equal affection for all individuals.
This universal love is what makes man good. This advocacy of universal love was a target of attack by other schools, most notably the Confucians who believed, for example, that children should hold a greater love for their parents than for random strangers. He also had much conflicts with Confucian ideas.
Lao Tzu: Father of Taoism: Lao Tzu: Father of Taoism Although ascetics and hermits such as Shen Tao (who advocated that one 'abandon knowledge and discard self') first wrote of the 'Tao' it is with the sixth century B.C. philosopher Lao Tzu (or 'Old Sage' -- born Li Erh) that the philosophy of Taoism really began.
Some scholars believe he was a slightly older contemporary of Confucius.
Other scholars feel that the Tao Te Ching, is really a compilation of paradoxical poems written by several Taoists using the pen-name, Lao Tzu. There is also a close association between Lao Tzu and the legendary Yellow Emperor, Huang-ti. Slide38: The five colours blind the eye. The five tones deafen the ear. The five flavours dull the taste. Racing and hunting madden the mind. Precious things lead one astray.Therefore the sage is guided by what he feels and not by what he sees. He lets go of that and chooses this.
In Lao Tzu's view things were said to create "unnatural" action (wei) by shaping desires (yu).
The process of learning the names (ming) used in the doctrines helped one to make distinctions between good and evil, beautiful and ugly, high and low, and "being" (yu) and "non- being" (wu), thereby shaping desires. To abandon knowledge was to abandon names, distinctions, tastes and desires. Thus spontaneous behavior (wu-wei) resulted.
Slide39: Lao-tzu is venerated as a philosopher by Confucianists and as a saint or god by some of the common people and was worshiped as an imperial ancestor during the T'ang dynasty (618–907). Taoism (also called of Daoism) : Taoism (also called of Daoism) Taoism is an indigenous religio-philosophical tradition that has shaped Chinese life for more than 2,000 years.
In the broadest sense, a Taoist attitude toward life can be seen in the accepting and yielding, the joyful and carefree sides of the Chinese character, an attitude that offsets and complements the moral and duty-conscious, austere and purposeful character ascribed to Confucianism.
Slide41: Taoism is also characterized by a positive, active attitude toward the occult and the metaphysical (theories on the nature of reality), whereas the agnostic, pragmatic Confucian tradition considers these issues of only marginal importance, although the reality of such issues is, by most Confucians, not denied.
More strictly defined, Taoism includes: the ideas and attitudes peculiar to the Lao-tzu (or Tao-te Ching; “Classic of the Way of Power”), the Chuang-tzu, the Lieh-tzu, and related writings; the Taoist religion, which is concerned with the ritual worship of the Tao; and those who identify themselves as Taoists. Slide42: The Taoist philosophy can perhaps best be summed up in a quote from Chuang Tzu:
"To regard the fundamental as the essence, to regard things as coarse, to regard accumulation as deficiency, and to dwell quietly alone with the spiritual and the intelligent -- herein lie the techniques of Tao of the ancients."
Slide43: Whatever the truth, Taoism and Confucianism have to be seen side-by-side as two distinct responses to the social, political and philosophical conditions of life two and a half millennia ago in China. Whereas Confucianism is greatly concerned with social relations, conduct and human society, Taoism has a much more individualistic and mystical character, greatly influenced by nature.
Contemplating the remarkable natural world Lao Tzu felt that it was man and his activities which constituted a blight on the otherwise perfect order of things. Thus he counseled people to turn away from the folly of human pursuits and to return to one's natural wellspring. The Chuang Tzu (Chung Chou) offers philosophical meditations in a multitude of forms, ranging from jokes and parables to intricate philosophical arguments. : The Chuang Tzu (Chung Chou) offers philosophical meditations in a multitude of forms, ranging from jokes and parables to intricate philosophical arguments. Along with the Lao Tzu, it is considered one of the foundational texts of philosophical Taoism and explores how Tao (way) represents the natural course of things.
Confucians define it in a moral sense as it operates within society; in the Chuang Tzu, the way is often immoral. Slide45: Pseudo-historical knowledge of the sage Chuang-tzu (Zhuangzi) is even less well defined than that of Lao-tzu.
Most of Ssu-ma Ch'ien's brief portrait of the man is transparently drawn from anecdotes in the Chuang-tzu (Chung Chou) itself and as such has no necessary basis in fact.
The Chuang-tzu, (Zhuangzi) however, is valuable as a monument of Chinese literature and because it contains considerable documentary material, describing numerous speculative trends and spiritual practices of the Warring States period (475–221 BC).
Slide46: Whereas the Tao-te Ching is addressed to the sage-king, the Chuang-tzu is the earliest surviving Chinese text to present a philosophy for private life, a wisdom for the individual.
Chuang-tzu is said to have preferred the doctrine of Lao-tzu over all others; many of his writings strike the reader as metaphorical illustrations of the terse sayings of the “Old Master.”
Whereas Lao-tzu in his book as well as in his life (in legend) was concerned with Taoist rule, Chuang-tzu, some generations later, rejected all participation in society.
He compared the servant of state to the well-fed decorated ox being led to sacrifice in the temple and himself to the untended piglet blissfully frolicking in the mire.
Ssu-ma Ch'ien145 BC-185 BC: Ssu-ma Ch'ien 145 BC-185 BC Astronomer,
The first great Chinese historian,
Noted for his authorship of the Shih-chi (“Historical Records”) also spelled “Shiji. ”
Considered to be the most important history of China down to the end of the 2nd century.
Also spelled “Sima Qian”
Slide48: Sima Qian was born and grew up in Longmen, near present-day Hancheng, Shaanxi. He was raised in a family of historiographers. His father, Sima Tan (司馬談), served as the Prefect of the Grand Scribes of Emperor Wu of Han (Emperor "Han Wudi"). His main responsibilities were managing the imperial library and calendar. Under the influence of his father, at the age of ten, Sima Qian was already well versed in old writings. He was the student of the famous Confucians Kong Anguo (孔安國) and Dong Zhongshu (董仲舒).
At the age of twenty, with the support of his father, Sima Qian started a journey throughout the country, collecting useful first-hand historical records for his main work, Shiji. The purpose of his journey was to verify the ancient rumors and legends and to visit ancient monuments, including the renowned graves of the ancient sage kings Yu and Shun. Places he had visited include Shandong, Yunnan, Hebei, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Jiangxi and Hunan.
Slide49: After his travels, he was chosen to be the Palace Attendant in the government whose duties were to inspect different parts of the country with Emperor Han Wudi. In 110 BC, at the age of thirty-five, Sima Qian was sent westward on a military expedition against some "barbarian" tribes. That year, his father fell ill and could not attend the Imperial Feng Sacrifice. Suspecting his time was running out, he summoned his son back to complete the historical work he had begun.
Sima Tan wanted to follow the Annals of Spring and Autumn (春秋左氏傳) - the first chronicle in the history of Chinese literature. Fuelled by his father's inspiration, Sima Qian started to compile Shiji in 109 BC. In 105 BC, Sima was among the scholars chosen to reform the calendar. As a senior imperial official, Sima was also in the position to offer counsel to the emperor on general affairs of state.
Slide50: In 99 BC, Sima Qian got involved in the Li Ling Affair: Li Ling (李陵) and Li Guangli (李廣利), two military officers who lead a campaign against the Xiongnu (匈奴) in the north, were defeated and taken captive. Emperor Han Wudi attributed the defeat to Li Ling, and all the officials in the government condemned Li Ling for the defeat. Sima was the only person to defend Li Ling, who had never been his friend but who he respected.
Emperor Han Wudi interpreted Sima’s defence of Li Ling as an attack on his brother-in-law, who had also fought against the Xiongnu without much success, and sentenced Sima to death. At that time, execution could be commuted either by money or castration. Slide51: Since Sima did not have enough money to atone his "crime", he chose the latter and was then thrown into prison, where he endured three years. He described his pain thus: "When you see the jailer you abjectly touch the ground with your forehead. At the mere sight of his underlings you are seized with terror... Such ignominy can never be wiped away."
In 96 BC, on his release from prison, Sima chose to live on as a palace eunuch so to complete his histories, rather than commit suicide as was expected of a gentleman-scholar. As Sima Qian's words explained:
“The losses he [Li Ling] had formerly inflicted on the enemy were such that his renown filled the Empire! After his disgrace, I was ordered to give my opinion. I extolled his merits, hoping the Emperor would take a wider view, but ...in the end it was decided I was guilty of trying to mislead the Emperor...I had not the funds to pay a fine in lieu of my punishment, and my colleagues and associates spoke not a word in my behalf. “
Slide52: “Had I chosen suicide, no one would have credited me with dying for a principle. Rather, they would have thought the severity of my offense allowed no other way out. It was my obligation to my father to finish his historical work which made me submit to the knife...If I had done otherwise , how could I have ever had the face to visit the graves of my parents?”
...There is no defilement so great as castration. One who has undergone this punishment is nowhere counted as a man. This is not just a modern attitude; it has always been so. Even an ordinary fellow is offended when he has to do business with a eunuch -- how much more so, then, a gentleman! Would it not be an insult to the court and my former colleagues if now I, a menial who sweeps floors, a mutilated wretch, should raise my head and stretch my eyebrows to argue right and wrong?
“I am fit now for only guarding the palace women's apartments. I can hope for justification only after my death, when my histories become known to the world."
As an Historian: As an Historian Although the style and form of Chinese historical writings varied through the ages, Shiji has defined the quality and style from then onwards.
Before Sima, histories were written as dynastic history; his idea of a general history affected later historiographers like Zhengqiao (鄭樵) in writing Tongshi (通史) and Sima Guang (司馬光) in writing Zizhi Tongjian (資治通鑑).
The Chinese historical form was codified in the second dynastic history by Ban Gu’s (班固) History of Han (漢), but historians regard Sima’s work as their model, which stands as the "official format" of the history of China.
Slide54: In writing Shiji, Sima initiated a new writing style by presenting history in a series of biographies. His work extends over 130 chapters — not in historical sequence, but was divided into particular subjects, including annals, chronicles, treatises — on music, ceremonies, calendars, religion, economics, and extended biographies. Sima's influence on the writing style of histories in other places is also evident in, for example The History of Korea As a Literary Figure: As a Literary Figure Sima's Shiji is respected as a model of biographical literature with high literary value, and still stands as a "textbook" for the study of classical Chinese worldwide.
Sima’s writings were influential to Chinese writing, and become a role model for various types of prose within the neo-classical ("renaissance" 复古) movement of the Tang-Song (唐宋) period. The great use of characterization and plotting also influenced fictional writing, including the classical short stories of the middle and late medieval period (Tang-Ming), as well as the vernacular novel of the late imperial period.
The influence is derived from the following key elements of his writing: Slide56: Skillful depiction: Sima portrayed many distinguished subjects based on true historical information. He would illustrated the response of the subject by placing him in a sharp contrast or juxtaposition, and then letting his words and deeds speak for him. The use of conversations in his writing also makes the descriptions more vibrant and realistic.
Innovative approach: Sima's new approach in writing involved using language which was informal, humorous and full of variations. This was an innovative way of writing at that time and thus it has always been esteemed as the highest achievement of classical Chinese writing; even Lu Xun (魯迅) regarded Shiji as "the first and last great work by historians, poems of Qu Yuan without rhyme." (史家之絕唱，無韻之離騷) in his Hanwenxueshi Gangyao (《漢文學史綱要》).
Concise language: The style was simple, concise, fluent, and easy-to-read. Sima made his own comments while recounting the historical events. In writing the biographies in Shiji, he avoided making general descriptions, and instead tried to catch the essence of the events. He would portray the subjects concretely, giving the readers vivid images with strong artistic appeal. Conclusion: Conclusion Throughout history, Chinese philosophy has been molded to fit the prevailing school of thought in China. The Chinese schools of philosophy, except during the Qin Dynasty, have been relatively tolerant of one another.
Instead of competing, they generally have cooperated and shared ideas, which they would usually incorporate with their own. For example, Neo-Confucianism was a revived version of old Confucian principles that appeared around the Song Dynasty, with Buddhist, Taoist, and Legalist features.
philosophy has spread around the world in forms such as the so-called New Confucianism and New Age ideas such as Chinese traditional medicine.
Many in the academic community of the West, however, remain skeptical, and only a few assimilate Chinese philosophy into their own research, whether scientific or philosophical. Matteo Ricci = a footnote: Matteo Ricci = a footnote Born in 1552 in Macerata, then part of the Papal States, Ricci started learning theology and law in a Roman Jesuits' school. In 1577,
He filed an application to be a member of a Missionary to India, and his journey began in March 1578 from Lisbon, Portugal, arrived in Goa, a Portuguese Colony, in September 1578, and four years later hwas dispatched to China.
In 1582, he started learning the Chinese language and customs in Macao, a Portuguese trading post in Southern China, and became a rarely seen Western scholar who mastered Chinese classical script. He moved to Beijing in 1601, where he presented himself at the Imperial court of Wanli.
Not only could he write in ancient Chinese, he was also renowned for his great understanding of Chinese culture.
He later discovered that Confucian thought was dominant in the Ming dynasty in China. Ricci became the first to translate the Confucian classics into a western language, Latin; in fact "Confucius" was Ricci's own Latinisation.
Matteo Ricci (left) and Xu Guangqi(徐光啟) (right) in the Chinese edition of Euclid's Elements (幾何原本). Sites Cited: Sites Cited Norton Anthology Resource http://www.wwnorton.com/nawol/s3_overview.htm
Clothing of China http://www.library.utoronto.ca/east/students03/tai_amy/ancient.htm
The Art of China http://www.artsmia.org/art-of-asia/history/dynasty-chou.cfm
China’s Ancient Dynasties and Geography http://www.uic.edu/educ/bctpi/whittier/curriculum/china/
About the Yellow River http://www.cis.umassd.edu/~gleung/geofo/geogren.html
Sites Consulted: Sites Consulted Confucius: K'ung-fu-tzu or Kongfuzi http://www.friesian.com/confuci.htm
Multi-Lingual Web Site of Confusions Publishing http://www.confucius.org/maine.htm
Quotations by Author: Confusions http://www.quotationspage.com/quotes/Confucius/
Taoism Information Page http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/gthursby/taoism/cz-text2.htm
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