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Monday, June 16, 2014

Cherishing Antiquity: The Cultural Construction of an Ancient Chinese Kingdom

Author:
Olivia Milburn

Publisher:
Harvard University Asia Center

Publication Year:
2013

Abstract:

Cherishing Antiquity describes the commemoration within Chinese literature and culture of the southern kingdom of Wu, which collapsed in 473 BCE. The sudden rise and tragic fall of Wu within the space of just over one century would inspire numerous memorials in and around the city of Suzhou, once the capital of this ancient kingdom. A variety of physical structures, including temples, shrines, steles, and other monuments, were erected in memory of key figures in the kingdom’s history. These sites inspired further literary representations in poetry and prose—musings on the exoticism, glamour, great wealth, and hideous end of the last king of Wu. Through an analysis first of the history of Wu as recorded in ancient Chinese texts and then of its literary legacy, Olivia Milburn illuminates the remarkable cultural endurance of this powerful but short-lived kingdom.

Table of Contents:

List of Figures and Tables
Acknowledgments
Introduction

Part One: The Kingdom of Wu

1. The Royal House of Wu
The Early History of the Kingdom of Wu
The Rule of King Zhufan 諸樊 and His Brothers
Prince Jizha’s Embassies
The Prince and the Sword
The Funeral of Prince Jizha’s Son
Prince Jizha 季札 and the Fur-Coated Elder

2. The Last Kings of Wu
The Reign of King Liao of Wu
The Assassination of King Liao 僚 of Wu
The Campaigns against Chu
The Death of King Helü 闔閭 
The Conquest of Yue
The Battle of Ailing
The Death of Wu Zixu 伍子胥
The Beauty Xi Shi 西施
The Covenant at Huangchi
The Death of King Fuchai 夫差 of Wu

3. Reflections on the Royal House of Wu
The Wu Royal House in Ancient Chinese Texts
The Wu Royal House in Bronze Inscriptions
The Wu Royal House in Modern Scholarship
Eastern Han Pictorial Mirrors
Mirror Manufacturing in Han Dynasty Jiangnan
Iconography of Eastern Han Dynasty Mirrors
Representing the Royal House of Wu

Part Two: Case Studies

4. Commemorating Master Ji of Yanling
The Tomb of Prince Jizha of Wu
The Temple to Prince Jizha
The 1503 Restoration
The Late Imperial History of the Temple
The Ten-Character Stele
Re-carving the Ten-Character Stele
The Temple to Prince Jizha at Jiujinfeng
Other Temples and Shrines Dedicated to Prince Jizha
Conclusion

5. The Tomb at Tiger Hill
The Burial of King Helü of Wu
Tiger Hill in Imperial Era Gazetteers
The Baicheng yanshui Account
The 1767 Gazetteer for Tiger Hill
Robbing the Tomb at Tiger Hill
The First Emperor of China Attempts to Rob the Tomb
Song Dynasty Investigations of the Tomb
The Ming Dynasty Drought
Conclusion

6. Numinous Cliff and Gusu Tower
Numinous Cliff Mountain
Numinous Cliff Temple
Numinous Cliff in Ming and Qing Dynasty Gazetteers
Qing Imperial Visits to Numinous Cliff Temple
Gusu Tower
Endgame at the Gusu Tower
The Gusu Tower Lives On
Gusu Station and the New Gusu Tower
Conclusion

Afterword: Wu in the Modern World
City Walls and Gates
Roads and Canals
Houses and Gardens
Temples
The Tomb and Temple of Prince Jizha of Wu
Tiger Hill
Numinous Cliff

Works Cited
Index


* 春秋時期吳國史。

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