Capital Cities and Urban Form in Pre-modern China: Luoyang, 1038 BCE to 938 CE, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Capital Cities and Urban Form in Pre-modern China

Luoyang, 1038 BCE to 938 CE, 1st Edition

By Victor Cunrui Xiong


304 pages | 21 B/W Illus.

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Luoyang, situated in present-day Henan province, was one of the great urban centres of pre-Qin and early imperial China, the favoured site for dynastic capitals for almost two millennia. This book, the first in any Western language on the subject, traces the rise and fall of the six different capital cities in the region which served eleven different dynasties from the Western Zhou dynasty, when the first capital city made its appearance in Luoyang, to the great Tang dynasty, when Luoyang experienced a golden age. It examines the political histories of these cities, explores continuity and change in urban form with a particular focus on city layouts and landmark buildings, and discusses the roles of religions, especially Buddhism, and illustrious city residents. Overall the book provides an accessible survey of a broad sweep of premodern Chinese urban history.

Table of Contents


1. Genesis: From Luoyi to Wangcheng

2. Eastern Han Luoyang: The Imperial Capital

3. Towards a National Metropolis: Cao-Wei and Western Jin Luoyang

4. Rebirth and Destruction: Northern Wei Luoyang

5. The Sui Eastern Capital

6. Tang Luoyang I: A Historical Perspective

7. Tang Luoyang II: Physical Characteristics

8. Tang Luoyang III: The Inhabitants

9. Epilogue

About the Author

Victor Cunrui Xiong is a Professor in the Department of History at Western Michigan University, US.

About the Series

Asian States and Empires

The importance of Asia will continue to grow in the twenty-first century, but remarkably little is available in English on the history of the polities that constitute this critical area.  Most current work on Asia is hindered by the extremely limited state of knowledge of the Asian past in general, and the history of Asian states and empires in particular.  Asian States and Empires is a book series that will provide detailed accounts of the history of states and empires across Asia from earliest times until the present.  It aims to explain and describe the formation, maintenance and collapse of Asian states and empires, and the means by which this was accomplished, making available the history of more than half the world’s population at a level of detail comparable to the history of Western polities.  In so doing, it will demonstrate that Asian peoples and civilizations had their own histories apart from the West, and provide the basis for understanding contemporary Asia in terms of its actual histories, rather than broad generalizations informed by Western categories of knowledge.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies