Ancient Chinese History

1. Course Discription

This course, providing students with an access to understand China in its historical context, is a general introduction on the Chinese civilization, including the inventing of Chinese civilization and the dynastic history of China, as well as Chinese cultural features, and the racial and physiographic factors that have significant infected the evolution of Chinese civilization. The students will be encouraged to investigate some specific issues, which are research focuses in recent years, such as the institutional changing, the cultural evolution, the social transition, the women history, and so on. In this course, Chinese history will be investigated as an example of human history. As one of the earliest civilizations, Chinese history has great contribution to the world history; however, it has also been benefited from the influence from other civilizations. Students in this course will also be encouraged to seek the uniqueness of Chinese history, and the overlap between Chinese civilization and the other civilizations.

2. Assessment

Full attendance is required in this course. The student who is unable to attend a class session for some emergent reason will need to inform the teacher in advance via e-mail or telephone.

Class format will combine lectures with discussion. In addition to actively participating in class discussion (which counts 20% of your class grade), the course work also includes 2 quizzes (20% each), and the final exam (40%).




3. Planned Weekly Schedule


Week 1- Introduction
            1) Overview of the Course
            2) Natural and Cultural China
Week 2 - The Origin and Early Dynasties
1) Chinese Cultural Tradition
2) Archeological Records
3) The Xia Dynasty
4) The Shang Dynasty: Political Institution and Cultural Features
Week 3 - The Zhou Dynasty
          1) A Brief History Zhou and the Political Institution
          2) The States of Spring and Autumn & Warring States (Part 1): The Political and Social Innovation
Week 4 - Spring and Autumn & Warring States (Part 2 ): The Age of Philosophers and Classics
First Quiz
           The History from the Neolithic Era to the End of the Warring States
Week 5 - The First Chinese Empire: The Qin and Han Dynasties  
      1) Qin and the Leagalist Institution
      2) The Political, Economical, and Cultural Institution of Early Han Dynasty
           3) The Han Empire
           4) The Later Han Dynasty
Week 6 - The End of the First Empire and the Regeneration of the Empire (Part I)
1) The Three Kingdoms
2) The Northern Dynasties: the Interaction Between the Northern Nationalities and Han Nationality
Week 7 - The End of the First Empire and the Regeneration of the Empire (Part II)
1) The Six Dynasties: the Rising of South China
2) The Taoism and the Coming of Buddhism
Week 8 - The Second Empire: The Sui and T’ang Dynasties (PartI)
1) The Sui Dynasty: The Reunification of the Empire
2) The Founding of Tang Dynasty and the Revival of Centralized Rule
Week 9 - The Second Empire: The Sui and T’ang Dynasties (PartII)
1) The Political History of Early T’ang Dynasty
2) Tang’s Prosperity
Week 10 - The Second Empire: The Sui and T’ang Dynasties (Part III)
1) The Decline of the Tang Dynasty
2) Literature and Buddhism
Second Quiz (Thurs day, Nov. 15)
             The History from the First Empire to the Second Empire
Week 11 - The End of the Second Empire
            1) The Five Dynasties and the Founding of the Sung Dynasties
            2) The Transition from Classic to Early Modern China
Week 12 - The Song Dynasty and the Northern Dynasties(Part I)
      1) The Northern Song Dynasty and the Attempts to restore the Classics
      2) The Response of Song Dynasty to the Northern Dynasties: Liao and Jin
Week 13 - The Song Dynasty and the Northern Dynasties(Part II)
           1) The Southern Song Dynasty and the Commercial Revolution
           2) The Prosperity in Culture
Week 14 - The Mongols’Dynasty--- the Yuan Dynasty    
           1) The Mongol Empire
      2) China under Mongol Rule
Week 15 - The Ming Dynasty
1) Government Under the Ming
2) The Cultural Features of the Late Imperial Time
Week 16 - Qing Dynasty and the Ending of Ancient China
1)      The Rise of Manchus
2)      The Last Dynasty
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