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[FA17] HIST 30147 — Early Chinese Empires

Instructor & Course Description

Professor Liang Cai

Early Chinese Empires were the fountainhead of Chinese Civilization. Our understanding of Chinese history is primarily determined by the available sources and our methodologies. This seminar will provide advanced undergraduates with a critical introduction to the most important sources and major themes, both textual and archaeological, for the study of ancient China. We will consider materials from Spring and Autumn Period, circa eight century BCE., down to the Qin-Han empires (221 BCE to 220 CE). We will focus on outstanding problems and controversies pertaining to this period, such as the relationship between archaeology and classical historiography, myth and history, creation and consolidation of empires, nomads and sedentary civilizations, and gender issues in ancient China. Finally, we will consider the basic methodological tools presently used by historians, textual critics, paleographers, and archaeologists.


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