Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Conquest and Domination in Early China: Rise and Demise of the Western Chou 古代中國的征服與支配:西周的崛起與滅亡

Ralph D. Sawyer

發行年Publication Year:

出版社 Publisher:
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

摘要 Abstract:

Conquest and Domination examines the strategy and actors instrumental in the Chou’s (Zhou’s) astonishing rise from an obscure clan of uncertain location to their surprising conquest of the mighty Shang at the decisive battle of Mu-yeh in 1045 BCE. Based upon traditional historical literature, extensive archaeological materials, and contemporary bronze inscriptions, the first section traces their early migrations and gradual acquisition of power and territory through both political and military means before analyzing the many physical, tactical, and psychological factors that contributed to their success. 

The second part is devoted to reprising and understanding the rebellion that arose within a few years, with the third chronicling the military activities of the nearly three centuries before the Western Chou’s highly melodramatic but ignominious collapse. The final section is devoted to pondering several crucial factors and raising questions about the period’s history. Particular emphasis is placed employing the insights that can be gleaned from traditional Chinese military science and understanding the importance of developments from within the subsequent historical perspective.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Astrology and Cosmology in Early China: Conforming Earth to Heaven 古代中國的占星學與宇宙觀

David W. Pankenier 

Cambridge Press

Publication Year: 


The ancient Chinese were profoundly influenced by the Sun, Moon and stars, making persistent efforts to mirror astral phenomena in shaping their civilization. In this pioneering text, David W. Pankenier introduces readers to a seriously understudied field, illustrating how astronomy shaped the culture of China from the very beginning and how it influenced areas as disparate as art, architecture, calendrical science, myth, technology, and political and military decision-making. As elsewhere in the ancient world, there was no positive distinction between astronomy and astrology in ancient China, and so astrology, or more precisely, astral omenology, is a principal focus of the book. Drawing on a broad range of sources, including archaeological discoveries, classical texts, inscriptions and paleography, this thought-provoking book documents the role of astronomical phenomena in the development of the 'Celestial Empire' from the late Neolithic through the late imperial period.

Table of Contents: 


Part I. Astronomy and Cosmology in the Time of Dragons:
1. Astronomy begins at Taosi
2. Watching for dragons

Part II. Aligning with Heaven:
3. Looking to the supernal lord
4. Bringing heaven down to earth
5. Astral revelation and the origins of writing

Part III. Planetary Omens and Cosmic Ideology:
6. The cosmo-political mandate
7. The rhetoric of the supernal
8. Cosmology and the calendar

Part IV. Warring States and Han Astral Portentology:
9. Astral prognostication and the battle of Chengpu
10. A new astrological paradigm

Part V. One With the Sky:
11. Cosmic capitals
12. Temporality and the fabric of space-time
13. The sky river and cosmography
14. Planetary portentology east and west


Appendix. Astrology for an empire: the 'treatise on the celestial offices' in The Grand Scribe's Records (ca. 100 BCE)