The East: Buddhists, Hindus and the Sons of Heaven (Hardback) book cover

The East

Buddhists, Hindus and the Sons of Heaven

By Christopher Tadgell

© 2008 – Routledge

924 pages

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Continuing the Architecture in Context series, this second volume narrates the development of architecture across a huge swathe of the world, from the Indian subcontinent to the Japanese archipelago, over a period extending from prehistory to the arrival of Islam and its distinct traditions from the eleventh century onwards.

Fantastically illustrated, with over 1,000 photographs and drawings, Christopher Tadgell covers the major architectural traditions of India, China, Thailand and Japan as well as the spectacular architecture of Sri Lanka, Nepal, Korea, Myenmar, Bhutan and Tibet. As with the first volume – Antiquity The East presents not only the buildings themselves, but the cultures and peoples that they are a part of.

Unprecedented in its scope, this volume is a beautiful guide to the fascinating history of Eastern architecture.


'The East is truly one of those books that change your life and plans. Christopher Tadgell delivers brilliantly in linking context, structures and high ideals, climate and materials, nature and technology. He gives us a powerful but faithful and finely paced compression of complex interlocked traditions. Few historians have related landscape and meaning with such like success. Impressive learning is worn lightly.' – Sir John Boyd

Table of Contents

Part 1: Buddhist and Brahmanical 1.1 The Indian Subcontinent 1.2 South-East Asia Part 2: Heaven’s Empires 2.1 China and its Orbit 2.2 Japan

About the Author

Born in Sydney, Chistopher Tadgell studied art history at the Courtauld Institute in London and subsequently taught architectural history for almost thirty years before devoting himself full-time to writing and research, travelling worldwide to examine and photograph buildings from every tradition and period. He is a Trustee of the World Monuments Fund, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquities and a member of both the British and American Societies of Architectural History. His History of Architecture in India is the definitive one-volume account, whilst his publications on French architecture include the standard account in Baroque and Rococo Architecture and Decoration.

About the Series

Architecture in Context

Architecture in Context is a series of seven books by Christopher Tadgell describing and illustrating all the seminal traditions from man’s early settlements in the Euphrates and Jordan valleys to the technologically complex and stylistically sophisticated buildings of the second half of the twentieth century. In a synthesis of extraordinary range, it brings together the fruits of a lifetime of teaching and travelling the world, seeing and photographing buildings. Each stand-alone volume sets the buildings described and illustrated within their political, technological, social and cultural contexts, exploring architecture not only as the development of form but as an expression of the civilization within which it evolved.

The series focuses on the story of the Classical tradition from its origins in Mesopotamia and Egypt, through its realization in ancient Greece and Rome, to the Renaissance, Neo-Classicism, Eclecticism and Modernism. This thread is supplemented with excursions to cover the development of architecture in Central America, India, South-East Asia, and the Islamic world.

For students of architecture and art history, for travellers and for readers who want to understand the genesis of the buildings they see around them, each volume provides a complete, readable and superbly illustrated reference.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / History / General
ART / Asian