Routledge Handbook of Early Chinese History: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Routledge Handbook of Early Chinese History

1st Edition

Edited by Paul R. Goldin


526 pages | 107 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2018-05-14
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The study of early China has been radically transformed over the past fifty years by archaeological discoveries, including both textual and non-textual artefacts. Excavations of settlements and tombs have demonstrated that most people did not lead their lives in accordance with ritual canons, while previously unknown documents have shown that most received histories were written retrospectively by victors and present a correspondingly anachronistic perspective.

This handbook provides an authoritative survey of the major periods of Chinese history from the Neolithic era to the fall of the Latter Han Empire and the end of antiquity (AD 220). It is the first volume to include not only a comprehensive review of political history but also detailed treatments of topics that transcend particular historical periods, such as:

  • Warfare and political thought
  • Cities and agriculture
  • Language and art
  • Medicine and mathematics

Providing a detailed analysis of the most up-to-date research by leading scholars in the field of early Chinese history, this book will be useful to students and scholars of Chinese history, Asian archaeology, and Chinese studies in general.

Table of Contents

Introduction: What Is Early Chinese History?, Paul R. Goldin

Part I: Chronology

1. Main Issues in the Study of the Chinese Neolithic, Gideon Shelach-Lavi

2. Of Millets and Wheat: Diet and Health on the Central Plain of China during the Neolithic and Bronze Age, Kate Pechenkina

3. The Bronze Age before the Zhou Dynasty, Robert Bagley

4. The Western Zhou State, Li Feng

5. The Age of Territorial Lords, Chen Shen

6. The Qin Dynasty, Charles Sanft

7. The Former Han Empire, Vincent S. Leung

8. The Latter Han Empire and the End of Antiquity, Wicky W.K. Tse

Part II: Topical Studies

9. The Old Chinese Language, Axel Schuessler

10. Writing, Luo Xinhui; tr. Zachary Hershey and Paul R. Goldin

11. The Spirit World, Jue Guo

12. Religious Thought, Ori Tavor

13. Political Thought, Yuri Pines

14. Food and Agriculture, Roel Sterckx

15. Warfare, Wicky W.K. Tse

16. Currency, François Thierry

17. Women in Early China: Views from the Archaeological Record, Anne Behnke Kinney

18. An Overview of the Qin-Han Legal System from the Perspective of Recently Unearthed Documents, Kyung-ho Kim and Ming-chiu Lai

19. Literature, Stephen Durrant

20. Art, Wang Haicheng

21. "Medicine" in Early China, Miranda Brown

22. Mathematics, Karine Chemla

23. Astronomy, David Pankenier

About the Editor

Paul R. Goldin is Professor of East Asian Languages & Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania, USA. His recent publications include the Dao Companion to the Philosophy of Han Fei (2012) and A Concise Companion to Confucius (2017).

Subject Categories

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