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By K. C. Chang

Best pupil ok. C. Chang demanding situations long-standing conceptions of the increase of political authority in historical China. This strikingly illustrated ebook is a persuasive demonstration of the significance of an interdisciplinary method of the research of early civilizations.

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Additional resources for Art, Myth and Ritual. The Path to Political Authority in Ancient China

Sample text

During the Three Dynasties, rules of behavior within the tsu were codified in rituals, which, most Chinese legal historians agree, were in fact laws. 88 The power of the lineage lords over their subjects was manifested in the ritual obligations of lineage members. Members of the same patrilineage traced their common descent to acknowledged male ancestors, a fact that was symbolized by and crystallized in the ancestor cult. Yi Li gives us an account of the procedures and details of some of the related rites, but we are best acquainted with some of the tangible aspects of these cults.

1I will then greatly reward you. May there be none of you who do not believe me. I do not eat my words. If you do not obey the words of this proclamation, I will kill you and your wife and children; there will be nobody who will be pardoned. 33 Chieh's fate was, of course, eventually also the fate of Chou, the last monarch of the Shang dynasty, who was in turn vanquished by the Chou people when he incurred hatred for his despotic actions. Mencius lumped 1. In Bernhard Karlgren, The Book of Odes (Stockholm: Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, 1974), p.

As a consequence, the spheres of the divine and the profane were kept distinct. The spirits sent down blessings on the people, and accepted from them their offerings. There were no natural calamities. ), however, the Nine Li threw virtue into disorder. Men and spirits became intermingled, with each household indiscriminately performing for itself the religious observances which had hitherto been conducted by the shamans. As a consequence, men lost their reverence for the spirits, the spirits 44 Shamanism and Politics violated the rules of men, and natural calamities arose.

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