Week 3: China and Inner Asia

Lecture 1: The Making of Inner Asia

I. Logic of Engagement

  1. Geography
  2. Economy
  3. Social organization

II. History of Engagement

  1. The first empire—Qin (221-207 BCE) . . . Han (207 BCE–220 CE) . . . Xiongnu . . . tributary system
  2. Period of disunity—Northern Wei (386–534 CE) . . . Tabgach/Tuoba/Xianbei
  3. The second empire—Tang (618–907) . . . Silk Road . . . Bohai . . . Khitans . . . Turks . . . Uighurs . . . Tibet . . . Nanzhao

III. At the (Tang) Empire’s End

  1. Decentering China—Khitans . . . Tanguts . . . Jurchens

Lecture 2: Two Sons of Heaven

I. Context

  1. Disintegration of the Tang (618–907) empire
  2. The confederations of Inner Asia
  3. “Five dynasties and ten kingdoms”

II. The Song state (960–1276)

  1. Background—Later Zhou (951–960) . . . Zhao Kuangyin (r. 960–976)
  2. Nature of the Song state
  3. Major concerns

III. The Khitan/Liao state (ca. 907–1125)

  1. Background
  2. Nature of the Liao state
  3. Relations with the Song and other neighboring states

IV. The Tangut/Xia state

V. Significance

Sources

  1. Tangut documents
  2. Li Qingzhao / Ci poetry

Discussion

  1. What types of values are expressed in the Tangut proverbs?
  2. What was the significance of Weiming Yuanhao's letter and the preface by Gule Maocai?
  3. Why did Yue Fei (purportedly) want to "slake my thirst with the blood of the tribesmen"?

Maps

External links to Maps:

Rainfall | Han Dynasty | Northern Wei | Tang Dynasty | Silk Road | Northern Song

Physical Map

Map of Modern China: Physical Geography

Source: National Museum of Chinese History, ed., A Journey into China's Antiquity, vol. 1 (Beijing: Morning Glory Publishers, 1997), pp. 8–9.

 

Physical Map by Satellite

Map of Modern China: Physical Geography

Administrative Map

Map of Modern China: Administrative Divisions

Source: SACU

 

Images

 

References

  • Barfield, Thomas J. The Perilous Frontier: Nomadic Empires and China, 221 BC to AD 1757. Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell, 1989.
  • Di Cosmo, Nicola. Ancient China and Its Enemies: The Rise of Nomadic Power in East Asia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001.
  • Franke, Herbert, and Denis Twitchett, eds. The Cambridge History of China. Vol 6: Alien Regimes and Border States 907-1368. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994.
  • Standen, Naomi. Unbounded Loyalty: Frontier Crossings in Liao China. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2007.
  • Wright, David Curtis. From War to Diplomatic Parity in Eleventh-Century China. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2005.

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