Monday, April 2, 2018

Routledge Handbook of Early Chinese History

Paul R. Goldin 


Publication Date:
May 2018


The study of early China has been radically transformed over the past fifty years by archaeological discoveries, including both textual and non-textual artifacts. Thanks to the huge fund of new data provided by archaeology, historians are now keenly aware that traditional accounts of the period are inadequte because they are partisan, prescriptive, and incomplete. Excavations of settlements and tombs have demonstrated that most people did not lead their lives in accordance with the rituals canons, while previously unknown documents have shown that most received histories were written retrospectively by victors, and present a correspondingly skewed and anachronistic perspective.

This handbook provides an authoritive survey of  Chinese history from the Stone Age to A.D. 220. It is the first volume to include not only a comprehensive review of political history, but also detailed treatments of topics that transcend particular historical moments, such as warfare, cities, literature, and science. The contributions from doyens in the field and up and coming scholars reflect the cutting edge research that is redefining the study of Early Chinese history.

Table of Contents:

Introduction: What Is Early Chinese History?, Paul R. Goldin

Part I: Chronology

1. Main Issues in the Study of the Chinese Neolithic, Gideon Shelach-Lavi

2. Of Millets and Wheat: Diet and Health on the Central Plain of China during the Neolithic and Bronze Age, Kate Pechenkina

3. The Bronze Age before the Zhou Dynasty, Robert Bagley

4. The Western Zhou State, Li Feng

5. The Age of Territorial Lords, Chen Shen

6. The Qin Dynasty, Charles Sanft

7. The Former Han Empire, Vincent S. Leung

8. The Latter Han Empire and the End of Antiquity, Wicky W.K. Tse

Part II: Topical Studies

9. The Old Chinese Language, Axel Schuessler

10. Writing, Luo Xinhui; tr. Zachary Hershey and Paul R. Goldin

11. The Spirit World, Jue Guo

12. Religious Thought, Ori Tavor

13. Political Thought, Yuri Pines

14. Food and Agriculture, Roel Sterckx

15. Warfare, Wicky W.K. Tse

16. Currency, François Thierry

17. Women in Early China: Views from the Archaeological Record, Anne Behnke Kinney

18. An Overview of the Qin-Han Legal System from the Perspective of Recently Unearthed Documents, Kyung-ho Kim and Ming-chiu Lai

19. Literature, Stephen Durrant

20. Art, Wang Haicheng

21. "Medicine" in Early China, Miranda Brown

22. Mathematics, Karine Chemla

23. Astronomy, David Pankenier

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