The Spring and Autumn Period

“Ancient scholars studied for their own improvement. Modern scholars study to impress others.” — Confucius With the benefit of hindsight, we now know that the real tragedy of the Western Zhou wasn’t their decline. It was that when they fell,

The Spring and Autumn Period

“Ancient scholars studied for their own improvement. Modern scholars study to impress others.” — Confucius With the benefit of hindsight, we now know that the real tragedy of the Western Zhou wasn’t their decline. It was that when they fell,

False Alarms: No Zhou-King Matter

It went great for the Zhou for a couple hundred years—for the legacy of the Duke of Zhou and his elder brother’s imperial line. Eventually, though, all good things come to an end. In the Zhou’s case, it was the

False Alarms: No Zhou-King Matter

It went great for the Zhou for a couple hundred years—for the legacy of the Duke of Zhou and his elder brother’s imperial line. Eventually, though, all good things come to an end. In the Zhou’s case, it was the

The Duke of Zhou and the Mandate of Heaven

“I must be slipping. It’s been too long since I have dreamt of the Duke of Zhou.” — Confucius When trying to sort out the Bronze Age Dynasties—Xia, the Shang, and the Zhou—it’s helpful to remember the three Ancient Greek

The Duke of Zhou and the Mandate of Heaven

“I must be slipping. It’s been too long since I have dreamt of the Duke of Zhou.” — Confucius When trying to sort out the Bronze Age Dynasties—Xia, the Shang, and the Zhou—it’s helpful to remember the three Ancient Greek

Zhengzhou

The smartest purchase I make all year is a fifteen rmb folding stool ($2.50) right there in the Anyang train station. A tiny backless stool you see the old men and women sitting on in the park or on the

Zhengzhou

The smartest purchase I make all year is a fifteen rmb folding stool ($2.50) right there in the Anyang train station. A tiny backless stool you see the old men and women sitting on in the park or on the

Hao and Wen: Lady General and Prisoner King (Shang Dynasty)

At the Yinxu ruins in Anyang, I visit the underground tomb of Lady Fu Hao, wife of King Wu Ding. Fu Hao was unusual in that she was a high-ranking military general—the most powerful of her day—as well as a

Hao and Wen: Lady General and Prisoner King (Shang Dynasty)

At the Yinxu ruins in Anyang, I visit the underground tomb of Lady Fu Hao, wife of King Wu Ding. Fu Hao was unusual in that she was a high-ranking military general—the most powerful of her day—as well as a

Wang, Shang, Thank you Anyang (Shang Dynasty)

According to legend, before the invention of writing the ancient Chinese used a knot-tying technique to keep their records, but the tedious process had its limits, and the Yellow Emperor was literally at the end of his rope. Enter the

Wang, Shang, Thank you Anyang (Shang Dynasty)

According to legend, before the invention of writing the ancient Chinese used a knot-tying technique to keep their records, but the tedious process had its limits, and the Yellow Emperor was literally at the end of his rope. Enter the

Sailing a Boat on Dry Land (Xia Dynasty)

One of the most entertaining traditions of the Chinese New Year is a performance known as Sailing a Boat on Dry Land. In it, a female singer ‘wears’ a boat by carrying a long bamboo scaffold around her waist in

Sailing a Boat on Dry Land (Xia Dynasty)

One of the most entertaining traditions of the Chinese New Year is a performance known as Sailing a Boat on Dry Land. In it, a female singer ‘wears’ a boat by carrying a long bamboo scaffold around her waist in