Acupuncture History
1. The Non-Chinese Origins of Acupuncture Otzi The Iceman
2. The Origin of the I-Ching may also lie outside China.
3. Correspondence between the trigrams & the organs of the body.

7. The Shang Dynasty 1766 - 1122 BC

4. Correspondence between the hexagrams & the the 60 year cycle.
9. Confucianism & Taoism
10. Buddhism And Unclear Traditions
11. Yin YangTheory
12. Five Element Theory
17. The Chou Dynasty 1122 - 256/255BC 19. The Sung Dynasty (960-1279)
18. The T'ang Dynasty 618 - 907 AD 20. Useful Books And Reference Materials






1. The Non-Chinese Origins of Acupuncture Otzi The Iceman
Otzi, a European Austrian shepherd, who froze to death in a blizzard & was glacially preserved for 5000 years suggests that Acupuncture existed in Europe & was not therefore exclusive to China 'ÖTZI, the oldest mummified human body ever found intact. It was found by a German tourist, Helmut Simon, on the Similaun Glacier in the Tirolean Ötztal Alps, on the Italian-Austrian border, on Sept. 19, 1991. Radiocarbon-dated to 3300 BC, the body is that of a man aged 25 to 35 who had been about 1.6 m (5 feet 2 inches) tall and had weighed about 50 kg (110 pounds). He apparently fell victim to exposure or exhaustion while crossing the Alps and died of freezing. The small rocky hollow in which he lay down to die was soon covered (and protected) by glacial ice that happened to be melting 5,300 years later when his body was discovered by modern humans. His nickname, Ötzi, stems from the Ötztal Alps, where he was found. The Iceman's body showed no signs of disease, though he had a broken nose and several recently fractured ribs. His few remaining scalp hairs provide the earliest archaeological evidence of haircutting. The various clothes and accoutrements found with him are truly remarkable, since they formed the gear of a Neolithic traveler. The Iceman's basic piece of clothing was an unlined fur robe stitched together from pieces of ibex, chamois, and deer skin. A woven grass cape and a furry cap provided additional protection from the cold, and he wore shoes made of leather and stuffed with grass. The Iceman was equipped with a small copper-bladed ax and a flint dagger, both with wooden handles; 14 arrows made of viburnum and dogwood, two of which had flint points and feathers; a fur arrow quiver and a bow made of yew; a grass net that may have served as a sack; a leather pouch; and a U-shaped wooden frame that apparently served as a backpack to carry this gear. His scant food supply consisted of a sloeberry, mushrooms, and a few gnawed ibex bones.Otzi was found to have a number of points tattooed on his body, 80% of which are considered valid modern acupucture point this therefore dates acupuncture back to at least 3300 BC. It is also suggested that these acupuncture points might have been activated by the use of crystals whereas in ancient Chinese acupuncture they are said to have used stone needles.



2. The Origin of the I-Ching may also lie outside China
Every serious student of acupuncture should have studied the I-Ching, which is a series of 64 hexagrams based on the 8 trigrams, defining all known states of life-force in the universe. In Chinese literature four men are sited as the founders of the I-Ching documented in the 'Book of Changes'. Those four men are Fu Hsi, King Wen, the Duke of Chou and Confucius. Fu Hsi is a lengendary figure of antiquity and therefore the Book of Changes is held to be of such an age that it predates historical memory. Moreover, the 8 tri-grams have names which do not occur in any other connection in the Chinese language, this questions the origin of the I-Ching.The present collection of 64 hexagrams originate from King Wen, who was the founder of the Chu dsynasty. He added several of his own interpretations of these hexagrams. Later came Confucius, who in his old age together with his pupils, studied the I-Ching and wrote further commentaries on it.



3. Correspondence between the trigrams & the organs of the body
There is a direct and fascinating correspondence between the I Ching Sub-trigrams and the meridians of the body



4. Correspondence between the hexagrams & the years of the 60 year cycle
In a hexagram the top trigram is the branch energy centrifugal anticlockwise and felt by the right hand of the acupuncturist
In a hexagram the bottom trigram is the stem energy centripetal clockwise and felt by the left hand of the acupuncturist



 I Ching Hexagram  Index


































































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5. The history of Chinese Acupuncture
There are some interesting books on the History Of Acupuncture:
Paul U. Unschuld
Medicine in China: A History of ideas.............. Paul U. Unschuld Medicine in China: A History of Pharmaceutics
According to Paul U. Unschuld the History of acupuncture is neither of the two opposite and extreme misconceptions of Chinese acupuncture as portrayed by, on the one hand, Manfred Porkert who advances selected Chinese concepts as superior to orthodox western medicine, or on the other hand of Joseph Needham who emphasises those aspects of Chinese medicine that are either meaningful to or embryonic of current western medical thinking.According to Unschuld Chinese Acupuncture is better but not totally perceived by a third concept of Erwin Ackerknecht <1940's> that medical concepts should be understood as part of integrated aspects of culture.Total perception of Chinese medicine is not possible because Ackerknecht's ideas relate only to simple societies and not to complex ones like China.Chinese civilization offers the analyst a wealth of primary sources, reflecting concern with the experience of human illness that stretches from the fifteenth century B.C. to the immediate present. During this period of nearly 3,500 years, oracular therapy, demonic medicine, religious healing, pragmatic drug therapy, Buddhist medicine, the medicine of systematic correspondence and, ultimately, modern Western medicine either originated in China itself or were adopted.Although the Chinese world view has been characterized by the yinyang and by the Five Phases of Change theories of systematic correspondence, it should not be overlooked that the paradigm of cause-and-effect relations between non-corresponding phenomena is equally well represented in Chinese literature. In fact, the two paradigms should be seen as complementing each other in various ways; they do not exclude each other. Any systematized world view, be it a religion, an economic theory, or a sociopolitical ideology, including the less articulated perception of the universe in the minds of the common people, contains some specific notions concerning the reasons for crises in the society or community. In fact, the founders and propagators of Confucianism, Taoism, Chris-tian dogma, Marxism, and even capitalism share the belief they have found the ultimate explanation of the origins of conflict and offer guidance toward social harmony. Each of these (and other) world views entails and propagates behavioral norms to be followed by all members of society in order to reach or maintain a state of peaceful coexistence. Any single individual deviating from these norms represents a threat to the social end desired by the dogmatists. The comprehensive nature of most sociopolitical ideologies is apparent not only in the efforts of their propagators to reach each and every member of society but also in their attempts to adapt all aspects of knowledge or science to their central perception of harmony and crisis. Any knowledge which, in its consequences, may contradict this central perception and the behavioral norms derived from it, will be opposed and, if possible, eliminated. Medical knowledge constitutes a case in point. At first glance, medical knowledge may appear peripheral in relation to the goals of social ideologies. Yet, the acceptance or rejection of concepts of disease by groups in society has rarely been independent of socioeconomic and sociopolitical determinants, be they consciously considered or not. Any therapeutic system based on a distinct explanation of illness advocates a specific life-style to avoid disease and identifies specific measures to deal successfully with disease. A particular preventative life-style constitutes, together with specific therapeutic measures, the behavioral norms of any conceptualized system of health care. Important in this regard is the well-known phenomenon that different systems of therapy not only deal differently with one and the same health problem but that they, in addition, frequently recognize or emphasize quite different health problems in the first place. Each medical system organizes the abundance of initially unordered clinical pictures or possible symptoms of illness into an illustrative mosaic which in turn motivates the members of a group or society to act and interact in certain ways in specific situations. It appears to me that it is precisely this action and interaction on a personal and interpersonal basis, required by systems of therapy, that significantly accounts for the acceptance or rejection of the systems by groups in society. This required behavior may, in its consequences, contradict the behavior required by a sociopolitical ideology to maintain its specific type of social order; in fact, the maintenance or achievement of a desired type of social order may be jeopardized if such contradictions occur. The success of a sociopolitical doctrine is enhanced if such contradictions can be avoided. The congruity between a particular therapeutic doctrine and a particular sociopolitical ideology determines, in turn, the appeal of this therapeutic doctrine to individuals and groups. The actual therapeutic value of specific ideas, that is, their efficacy with respect to illness, seems to be of only secondary significance.


The basic validity of therapeutic concepts is primarily social.


Here is a list of the two basic paradigms & of their respective subparadigms 
as they underlie the conceptualized systems of therapy discussed in this book. 
1. Paradigm of Cause-and-Effect Relations  between Corresponding Phenomena
1.1.Causation through Magic Correspondence.
1.1.1.Homeopathic Magic
1.1.2.Contact Magic
1.2. Causation through Systematic Correspondence
1.2.1. Yinyang Correspondence
1.2.2. Five Phases Correspondence
2. Paradigm of Cause-and-Effect  Relations between Non-corresponding Phenomena.
2.1. Causation through Intervention by Supranatural Phenomena 
2.1.2.Spirits and Demons
2.1.3. God(s)
2.1.4. Transcendental Law
2.2. Causation through Influence of Natural Phenomena
2.2.1. Food,Drinks
2.2.2. Air, Wind
2.2.3. Snow, Moisture
2.2.4. Heat, Cold
2.2.5. Subtle Matter Influences
2.2.6. Parasites,Viruses,Bacteria, and others.


Two kinds of culture emerge in his book.



6. Two kinds of culture

1766 -1122 BC The Shang Dynasty In these Zero growth economies with no mobility of labour where 'Centripetal Mind' predominates the main social disharmony could be RESENTMENT by those who produced insufficient harvests, against those who produced bigger harvests but refused to share them out with their neighbours. 1122 - 256 BCChou Dynasty In maximum growth economies with mobility of labour where 'Centrifugal Mind' predominates' the main social disharmony could be FEAR by the rich that what they had earned and produced would be taken from them by people who because they were no longer neighbours were thought of as strangers.



7. The Shang Dynasty 1766 - 1122 BC
Illness is defined as a primary centripetal experience, that is a subjectively perceived feeling of indisposition : Disease by contrast, is a socially determined product, a conceptual reshaping of the primary experience of illness.Therefore one illness may in different societies be perceived as different diseases.The Shang recognised many illnesses but few diseases.Of these few diseases the most important by far was "Curse Of An Ancestor".When food is scarce in times of famine feelings become dominant over thoughts because without nourishment the body loses its ability to move and centrifugal energy and the power of thought wanes. In these Zero growth economies where ' Centripetal Mind ' predominates the main social disharmony could be local resentment by those who produced insufficient harvests, and this was socially unacceptable devisive and dangerous. Zero growth economies without free movement of labour <unlike growth oriented economies with free movement of labour>require orderly and equal distribution of the total harvest amongst members where the needy and sensitive are helped by the powerful and better off in return for prestiege eg 'Fiestas' in Latin America, 'ngbaya' in South Africa, & Potlatch with the Indians in the Pacific North West. Because resentment takes root in those whose minds are in the past it was only natural to consider that 'The Ancestors' were also resentful, & that equal distribution of resources ought to include them as well.' Centripetal Mind ' centres on individual or local responsibility.So that the conduct advocated by the ' Medicine of Systematic Correspondence ' for the preservation of good health conformed to a large degree with the norms of Confucian political philosophy for the maintenance of harmony and order in society. But the predominance of feelings in this age tended to foster an unhealthy ' lets be a victim ' philosophy.



8. The Chou Dynasty 1122 - 256 BC
In growth economies where 'Centrifugal Mind' predominates' the main social disharmony could be a core of fear amongst those,who, having accumulated more than others are frightened that they might have it taken from them.The Chou Dynasty 1100 - 256 BC and the Warring States 481 BC - 221 BC marked an epoch of greed where success and killing all your vanquished opponents replaced chivalry and the concept of letting your opponent live to fight on another day.In 213 BC the First Emperor Shih Huang Ti wanted to secure his power by burning most historical books and outlawing criticism of the present by reference to the past.He did not want people to go behind his back. Now it was not the resentment or curse of the Ancestors but the invasion of ' Evil Spirits ' & ' Demons 'or poisons which were responsible for everyday misfortunes and personal illness.To expel these demons it was necessary to use either shouts, threats or medicines.The assumption in these growth economies was that if you have a body, a form, and possessions suffering is inevitable and unavoidable;for only formlessness and lack of possessions is free of disease and worry. The inevitability of illness and the need for a healing system devoted to the treatment of existing suffering, implicitly questions personal responsibility for one's health & the need to follow health-preserving moral dictums enshrined in Confucian ideals. Instead a sick man seeks to ally himself with some external force or controlling influence or herb or fashionable doctor who/which will expel or destroy the demons or evil spirit . In this system thought seeks to gain something material which is esteemed by the group accepted political view and sacrifice something spiritual which is the sacred creative spark flame and feeling which is carried in the heart of every living individual.



9. Confucianism & Taoism
After any conflict or social upheavel philosophies were produced to reunite the nation, these were taoism, confucianism, buddhism, the unclear philosophy of gnosis of direct seeing what works.Confucius 551 - 479 BC concluded that the real cause of social unrest was the discrepancy between the expectations associated with social roles & the actual conduct of members of society, including the ruler whose behaviour was expected to be exemplary.The aim of the harmonious society was to bind individuals and groups to precisely defined social roles and to regulate permanently the relationships between those roles by means of a hierarchical tightly knit nexus of mutual obligations.Like Confucianism Taoism offered a way to reverse the decadent decline that occurred between 481 - 221 BC during the period of the warring states. The Taoists were concerned not so much with an understanding of man himself as with a knowledge of how man can best conform to the laws of nature.The Taoists believed that the Confucian establishment of hierarchy and the assignment of positions was itself the cause of misfortune & decadence.The following passage encapsulates the attitude of Taoists." The true men of antiquity did not dream while sleeping and experienced no fear upon awakening.Their meals were simple, their breathing deep.......The true men of the ancient past knew no strong desire for life and no aversion to dying.Their appearance in the physical world brought them no joy, their return to the world of formless existence was accompanied by no resistance.They departed in serenity, they arrived with tranquillity. They neither forgot their origins, nor persued their end; they accepted their fate and were pleased with it; and unmindful of death they returned to the world beyond........"



10. Buddhism And Unclear Traditions

Buddhism In China 65 ADLike Confucianism and Taoism Buddhism offered a way to reverse decadent decline.Buddha lived about 5th & 6th centuries BC .Discarding the teachings of his contemporaries, through meditation Buddha achieved enlightenment, or ultimate understanding. Thereafter, the Buddha instructed his followers. The essence of the Buddha's early preaching was said to be the Four Noble Truths:

(1) Suffering is universal & inevitable
(2a) The immediate cause of suffering is desire
(2b) The ultimate cause of suffering is ignorance
(3) There is a way to dispel ignorance & relieve
(4) This way is detailed in the the "Eightfold Path"

The "Eightfold Path"says:
(1) Right livelihood
(2) Right views
(3) Right intention
(4) Right speech
(5) Right awareness
(6) Right action
(7) Right concentration
(8) Right effort




Unclear Traditions We have no evidence for hidden gnostic traditions except to reflect on the I Ching and realise that there must have been a few enlightened soles who devoted themselves neither to politics nor to resentment but paid deep attention to each moment. The I Ching shows us that while anger and fear lead us towards ego and duality, paying attention to what happens leads us towards enlightenment and unity of mind and body.The exact historical origins of the main theories of Chinese Medicine are somewhat obscure.



The Important Theories of Chinese Medicine
<1> 60 Year Cycle Stems & Branches was developed by Wang Ping <Su Wen> Started in the T'ang 618 - 907 BC The Idea Developed In Sung 960 -1279 BC
But it is worth speculating that they were discovered when great attention was given to understanding each moment. People capable of such perception would not seek attention and fame and so it is only natural that the historical founders of the core of Chinese Medicine slip happily away from the clutches of every zealous historian.



11. Yin YangTheory
Yin Yang Correspondence was said to be born in approximately the 4th century BC. Much of the world is dualistic or complementary so that natural events can be explained by a model of the ceaseless rise and fall of opposite but yet complementary forces.These forces were given the symbols yin and yang:Yin is female,while Yang is male.The most complete set of yin yang symbols is contained in the I Ching



12.Five Element Theory
Yin Yang Correspondence was said to be born in approximately the 4th century BC. Much of the world is dualistic or complementary so that natural events can be explained by a model of the ceaseless rise and fall of opposite but yet complementary forces.These forces were given the symbols yin and yang:Yin is female,while Yang is male.The most complete set of yin yang symbols is contained in the I Ching



Five Elements Theory balances destruction against creation
The doctrine of the 5 phases might be attributed to Tsou Yen 350 - 270 who selected this number <for reasons unknown> & arranged natural phenomena into 5 categories or elements.This theory encompassed 5 relationships of mutual destruction and 5 relationships of mutual generation.The background to this doctrine is that it is explaining the real world as a process of generation and destruction.



13.The sixty year cycle
The Cosmobiological Concepts Wu-yun liu-ch'i The notions of a correspondence between cosmically determined seasonal cycles and phenomena in the existence of individual organisms, which Wang Ping had introduced to the Su-wen during the T'ang period, did not raise great interest until the Sung epoch, when such concepts were even adopted as an examination topic. Since such a significant part of the theoretical framework of Sung-Chin-Yuan medicine is unintelligible without an understanding of the five phases of circulation (wu-yun) and six climatic influences (Liu-ch'i), it will be necessary to discuss briefly the basic outline of these concepts. The five phases of circulation are five different time periods that together constitute a cycle. All are of equal duration, encompassing a total of one year. A distinction was drawn between "primary" phases and "guest" phases. The former are the phases that theoretically correspond exactly to the calendar, while the latter are the actual seasonally related phases, which are subject to certain fluctuations from year to year. Each of the five phases of circulation is associated with one of the Five Phases of change (wu-hsing). An older calendrical system was also incorporated, the so-called celestial stems (t'ien-kan), a system consisting of ten symbols, in which the odd-numbered symbols are associated with yang, while the even-numbered symbols are each associated with yin. Two symbols from the ten celestial stems, namely one "odd" yang and the following fifth-that is, even-yin, are associated with each of the five phases of circulation. The five phases of circulation ensure the orderly progression of seasons and formation of corresponding climatic conditions. In systematic correspondence the circulatory phase chia-chi (symbolized by the first and sixth celestial stems) corresponds to soil and stimulates the formation of moisture. The circulatory phase i-keng (symbolized by the second and seventh celestial stems) corresponds to metal and engenders dry-ness. The phase ping-hsin (symbolized by the third and eighth celestial stems) corresponds to water and produces cold. The phase ting-jen (symbolized by the fourth and ninth celestial stems) corresponds to wood and gives rise to wind. Finally, the phase mou-kuei (symbolized by the fifth and tenth celestial stems) corresponds to fire and brings forth heat. Since the cycle of five phases together encompasses a period of one year, each phase lasts one-fifth of a year, or a total of seventy-three days. Irregularities can appear within the relationships between phases of circulation and climatic conditions: the influence of a phase, for example, can be only partly developed (pu-chi), producing an insufficient supply of the expected seasonal climatic circumstances. Moreover, each phase can also be excessively developed (t'ai-kuo), resulting in the exaggerated presence of normal climatic conditions. In addition to the five phases of circulation, the year was divided into a cycle of six climatic influences (liu-ch'i), which were also as-sociated with the yinyang duality and the Five Phases. In order to achieve correspondence between the groups of six and five, one of the Five Phases or agents had to be further split; in this system, therefore, "fire" is replaced by the two phases "ruler-fire" (chiin-huo) and "min-ister-flre" (hsiang-huo). A second calendrical system, the twelve so-called terrestrial branches (ti-chib), was used to designate the six climatic influences. Each influence was associated with two symbols-the first and following sixth terrestrial branches. The six climatic influences encompass the entire range of climatic conditions (ch'i) that affect man during the course of a year. Once again, a distinction was drawn between two constellations: namely, the constellation of "primary influences" (chu-ch'i), the unchangeable climatic influences that theoretically should occur during the yearly cycle, and the constellation of "guest influences" (k'e-ch'i), the actual weather conditions. Both constellations correspond to the progression of an entire year. Climatic influences of the first half of the year are associated with heaven and thus with yang; those of the second half are associated with earth and therefore with yin. Each half of the year is further separated into three climatic periods of sixty days each. This produces a total of six climatic periods, each of which is itself divided into four sections of fifteen days corresponding to specific weather conditions. Consequently, a year encompasses twenty-four different climatic periods. The functions of the human organism, it was believed, are to a great extent determined by the influences that affect it during each season. Liu Wen-shu, who in 1099 published one of the best-known works on the theory of the five phases of circulation and six climatic influences, went so far as to claim that each season was dominated by certain climatic influences that inevitably caused certain illnesses, giving rise to the concept of "illness caused by seasonal influence" (shih-ch'i ping). Other authors, however, rejected or modified this extreme interpretation of wu-yiin liu-ch'i theories. They argued that good health was completely possible if man was able, through appropriate conduct, to adapt himself and, should climatic irregularities occur, take appropriate therapeutic measures to rectify a condition of excess or deficiency of influences from the yinyang or Five Phases categories.



14 . The I Ching shows the path of ego and the path of enlightenment.
I Ching Shows us that while anger and fear lead us towards ego and duality, paying attention to what happens leads us towards enlightenment and unity of mind & body.



15. True Attention To What Happens is the mother of chinese medicine.

The mother of chinese medical theories is true attention to what happensThe exact historical origins of the theories of yin/yang , the 5 phases are neither clear to Unschuld nor to other researchers but it is worth speculating that neither the earliest healing which concerned itself with past guilt about what you have done to upset the sensitivity of your poorer hungry villagers or your dead ancestors nor the later healing that concerned itself, not with sensitivities about morality, but with selfish politics and future fear of losing hard-earned possessions to evil spirits and robbers had anything to do with what became and is at the core of Chinese Medicine, namely, what happens in each present moment.It is likely that the theories of yin/yang, the 5 phases and all the core theories of chinese medicine were perceived when great attention was given to perceiving each moment.People capable of such attention would not seek attention and fame and so it is only natural that the historical founders of the core of Chinese Medicine slip happlily away from the clutches of every zealous historian.


16. The Shang Dyanasty
Shang Dynasty The latter part of the Shang dynasty, from the reign of P'an-k'ang on, is also called the Yin dynasty. Shang China was centred in the North China Plain and extended as far north as modern Shantung province and westward through present Honan province. The kings of the Shang are believed to have occupied several capitals one after another, one of them possibly at modern Cheng-chou, where there are rich archaeological finds, but they settled at An-yang in the 14th century BC. The king appointed local governors, and there was an established class of nobles as well as the masses, whose chief labour was in agriculture. The king issued pronouncements as to when to plant crops, and the society had a highly developed calendar system with a 360-day year of 12 months of 30 days each. It was in this period that Chinese writing began to develop, and the symbol for "moon" was--as it remains--that also for "month." The calendar took cognizance of both lunar and solar cycles; and, when it became necessary to adjust the basically lunar year to the seasonal reality of the solar year, intercalary months were added.No literature as such survives from the Shang, but quite numerous records and ceremonial inscriptions and family or clan names exist, carved into or brushed onto bone or tortoise shells. Three kinds of characters were used--pictographs, ideograms, and phonograms--and these records are the earliest of writing in China.The Shang dynasty. The first dynasty to leave historical records is thought to have ruled from the mid-16th to mid-11th century BC. (Some scholars date the Shang dynasty from the mid-18th to the late 12th century BC.) One must, however, distinguish Shang as an archaeological term from Shang as a dynastic one. Erh-li-t'ou in north central Honan, for example, was initially classified archaeologically as Early Shang; its developmental sequence from c. 2400 to 1450 BC documents the vessel types and burial customs that link Early Shang culture to the Late Neolithic cultures of the east. In dynastic terms, however, Erh-li-t'ou periods I and II (c. 1900 BC?) are now thought by many to represent a pre-Shang (and thus, perhaps, Hsia) horizon. In this view, the two palace foundations, the elite burials, the ceremonial jade blades and sceptres, the bronze axes and dagger axes, and the simple ritual bronzes--said to be the earliest yet found in China--of Erh-li-t'ou III (c. 1700-1600 BC?) signal the advent of the dynastic Shang. The archaeological classification of Middle Shang is represented by the remains found at Erh-li-kang (c. 1600 BC) near Cheng-chou, some 50 miles (80 kilometres) to the east of Erh-li-t'ou. The massive rammed-earth fortification, 118 feet (36 metres) wide at its base and enclosing an area of 1.2 square miles (3.2 square kilometres), would have taken 10,000 men more than 12 years to build. Also found were ritual bronzes, including four monumental tetrapods (the largest weighing 190 pounds; palace foundations; workshops for bronze casting, pot making, and bone working; burials; and two inscribed fragments of oracle bones. Another rammed-earth fortification, enclosing about 0.7 square mile and also dated to the Erh-li-kang period, has been found at Yen-shih, about three miles east of the Erh-li-t'ou III palace foundations. While these walls and palaces have been variously identified by modern scholars--the identification now favoured is of Cheng-chou as Po, the capital of the Shang dynasty during the reign of T'ang, the dynasty's founder--their dynastic affiliations are yet to be firmly established. The presence of two large, relatively close contemporary fortifications at Cheng-chou and Yen-shih, however, indicates the strategic importance of the area and impressive powers of labour mobilization. P'an-lung-ch'eng in Hupeh, 280 miles south of Cheng-chou, is an example of Middle Shang expansion into the northwest, northeast, and south. A city wall, palace foundations, burials with human sacrifices, bronze workshops, and mortuary bronzes of the Erh-li-kang type form a complex that duplicates on a smaller scale Cheng-chou. A transitional period spanning the gap between the Upper Erh-li-kang phase of Middle Shang and the Yin-hsü phase of Late Shang indicates a widespread network of Shang cultural sites that were linked by uniform bronze-casting styles and mortuary practices. A relatively homogeneous culture united the Bronze Age elite through much of China around the 14th century BC. The Late Shang period is best represented by a cluster of sites focused on the village of Hsiao-t'un, west of An-yang in northern Honan. Known to history as Yin-hsü, "the Ruins of Yin" (Yin was the name used by the succeeding Chou dynasty for the Shang), it was a seat of royal power for the last nine Shang kings, from Wu-ting to Ti-hsin. According to the "short chronology" used here, which is based upon modern studies of lunar eclipse records and reinterpretations of Chou annals, these kings would have reigned c. 1200-1045 BC. (One version of the traditional "long chronology," based primarily upon a 1st-century-BC source, would place the last 12 Shang kings, from P'an-keng onward, at Yin-hsü from 1398 to 1112 BC.) Sophisticated bronze, ceramic, stone, and bone industries were housed in a network of settlements surrounding the unwalled cult centre at Hsiao-t'un, which had rammed-earth temple-palace foundations. And Hsiao-t'un itself lay at the centre of a larger network of Late Shang sites--such as Hsing-t'ai to the north and Hsin-hsiang to the south--in southern Hopeh and northern Honan. Copyright 1994-1998 Encyclopaedia Britannica



17. The Chou Dynasty 1122 - 256 / 255 BC
The Chou dynasty Pinyin ZHOU (traditionally, 1122-256/255 BC), dynasty that ruled ancient China for almost a millennium, establishing the distinctive political and cultural characteristics that were to be identified with China for the next 2,000 years. (The latest [proposed] date for the beginning of the Chou dynasty is 1027 BC; many scholars favour a date between the traditional date and 1027, roughly 1050 BC.) The Chou coexisted with the Shang for many years, living just west of the Shang territory in what is now Shensi province. At various times they were a friendly tributary state to the Shang, alternatively warring with them. One of the Chou ruling house devised a plan to conquer the Shang, and a decisive battle was fought, probably in the mid-11th century. Before the whole Shang territory could be consolidated by the Chou, a rebellion broke out. The fighting went on for three years before the rebellion was put down, and finally the Chou solidified their reign over all of China. An array of feudal states was created within the empire to maintain order and the emperor's hold on the land. The original Chou capital had been located near present-day Sian on the Wei River above its confluence with the Huang Ho (Yellow River). To support the empire in the east and its loyal feudal rulers, an eastern capital was built at Lo-yang on the middle reaches of the Huang Ho. (see also Index: Shang dynasty) It was some 200 years before the stability of this arrangement began to collapse with the increasing local interests of the 20 or more feudal lords, and in the 8th century BC the political system, which had essentially consisted of a network of extended family, began to weaken seriously. With the decline of the feudal king's power, de facto power fluctuated among various of the feudal chiefs as they were able to make themselves overlords. The period before 771 BC is usually known as the Western Chou (Hsi Chou) dynasty, and that from 770 is known as the Eastern Chou (Tung Chou) dynasty. The Eastern Chou itself is often further subdivided into the Spring and Autumn (Ch'un-ch'iu) Period (770-476), when China consisted of many small squabbling states, and the Warring States (Chan-kuo) Period (475-221), when the small states consolidated into several larger units, which struggled with one another for mastery. Finally, one of these small kingdoms, Ch'in (from which derives modern China's name), succeeded in conquering the rest of the states and establishing the Ch'in dynasty (221-206 BC). The visual arts of the Chou dynasty reflect the diversity of the feudal states of which it was composed and into which it eventually broke up. The arts of the early Chou dynasty were essentially a continuation of those of the Shang dynasty. This was especially true of works in bronze, in which there was an accelerated deterioration of the variety of shapes, the decoration, and the craftsmanship of casting. It was not until the Eastern Chou and the classical age of Confucius and Lao-tzu that unique local traditions became apparent. The range of applied decoration for the first time included pictorial subjects--for example, hunting scenes and chariots and horsemen. As the empire was breaking up, arts and culture were flowering in the various component states, encouraged and stimulated by the very localized interests that fed the impulse toward independence of the empire. The remains of many of the feudal capitals during the Chou period have been uncovered and reveal great buildings with rammed-earth floors and walls; there were also two-story buildings and observation towers, and Lao-tzu mentions a nine-story tower. Although (with the exception of a few works on silk) no painting survives from the Chou, written descriptions of paintings evidence their themes, including figures, portraits, and historic scenes. Lacquerware including gold and silver inlay became finely developed, and bronzework carried on from the great legacy of the Shang. Jade ornaments and objects were used lavishly for funerary and ritual purposes, and ornamental carvings reflected superb craftsmanship. Pottery continued Shang traditions and expanded greatly in variety of shapes and finishes during the Warring States Period. During the Chou dynasty, China underwent quite dramatic changes. Iron, ox-drawn plows, crossbows, and horseback riding were all introduced; large-scale irrigation and water-control projects were also instituted for the first time, greatly increasing the crop yield of the North China Plain. The communication system was also greatly improved through the construction of new roads and canals. Trade was increased, towns grew up, coinage was developed, chopsticks came into use, and the Chinese writing system was created out of its primitive beginnings in the Shang period. There was also a great philosophical flowering: the schools of Confucianism, Taoism, and legalism developed in this period. Literature flourished with Confucius and other great Chinese philosophers. Later generations of Chinese regularly studied the Chou dynasty for information regarding the origin of their civilization. Copyright 1994-1998 Encyclopaedia Britannica




18. The T'ang Dynasty 618 - 907 AD
T'ang dynasty Pinyin TANG (618-907AD), Chinese that succeeded the short-lived Sui dynasty and developed a successful form of government and administration on the Sui model and stimulated a cultural and artistic flowering that amounted to a golden age. The first T'ang emperor, Li Yüan, known by his temple name Kao-tsu, began as a contender for the rule of the Sui dynasty, of which he had been an official. He overcame various rivals and rebels, and by 621 he controlled China's eastern plain; in 624 he added the North and South, although some rebels remained in the North throughout the dynasty. He directed many complex military operations in his tenure and established the basic institutions of the T'ang state. He emulated the first Sui emperor in establishing a highly competent bureaucracy, and he adopted the same pattern of local administration. Because the state was bankrupt, the administration was kept small, simple, and cheap. The land-distribution system of the Sui was adopted to give every taxable male a plot and to minimize the number of large estates, and Li Yüan also took on the Sui system of taxation. He created mints and established a copper coinage that lasted throughout the dynasty. He recodified the laws with stated penalties for specific acts and provided for their review every 20 years. The second emperor, Li Shih-min, known as T'ai-tsung, succeeded to the throne in 626 by murdering two brothers and forcing the abdication of his father, but he became one of the greatest emperors China has known. He adjusted the balance of the court aristocracy to equalize regional influences and expanded both the Sui use of examinations in literature and culture for hiring civil servants and the Sui system of high-quality schools at the capital. He further enshrined the classics and published a standard edition. He defeated his eastern Turkish enemies and spread disunity among those in the west, expanding China farther westward than ever before. One of the most remarkable women in Chinese history, Wu-hou, intrigued her way into the role of empress during the reign of Kao-tsung (649-683). She took up residence in Lo-yang (the western capital) and ruthlessly aggrandized her role by inflating the bureaucracy during Kao-tsung's illness. Despite her excesses, she maintained a steady grip on the government until she was in her 80s, when she was forced to abdicate. The dynasty reached the peak of its wealth and power during the early 8th century, which was a golden age for its arts. The aristocracy, scattered, murdered, and incarcerated under the empress Wu-hou, was restored and oversaw an era of reform. In the second half of the 8th century, however, rebellion broke out in the northeast and spread rapidly, forcing the emperor Hsüan-tsung to flee west to Szechwan. Although the rebellion was finally suppressed, in its wake came a period of provincial separation and later rebellion. By 818 the emperor Hsien-tsung had restored the authority of the empire throughout most of the country. In the second half of the 9th century, the government grew weaker, and rebellions recurred; the dynasty declined until 907, when it collapsed into a scattering of independent kingdoms that withstood unification for more than 50 years. The years of the T'ang were brilliant times for the arts and culture. Major imperial ceremonies saw a revival and elaboration of the ancient orchestras and companies of courtly dancers. The musicians played on bells, stone chimes, flutes, zithers, and drums. China in this period was hospitable to foreign ideas, as Arabian and Persian seamen roved its ports and "western" music and dance found their way into China from Central Asia. In the taverns of the western capital at Ch'ang-an (Sian), western songs and dances were performed to the accompaniment of western musicians on strange instruments. Exotic troupes of dancing girls became the subject of paintings and reproduction in clay figurines. The Pear Garden at the palace was reserved for training musicians and dancers. Foreign music became a third category of music, in addition to court and common music. Before the end of the dynasty there were 10 musical categories, several of them foreign. Although no orchestral scores survive, the music for several solo pieces has been found. Late T'ang paintings show imperial entertainments with ensembles of strings, winds, and percussion, and choreographic plans for bands and dancers have also been preserved. Poetry was the greatest glory of the period. All the verse forms of the past were used and refined, and new ones developed. Regulated verse (lü shih) and an abbreviated, truncated verse (chüeh chü) were introduced and became widely popular. Nearly 50,000 works by some 2,000 T'ang poets have been preserved. Prose stylists were concerned with lyrical expression and rhetorical devices for artistic effect. Heroic sculpture of Buddhas was a feature of the middle T'ang; and, although no works of this size and period survive in China, several do in Japan, which was profoundly influenced by the administration, arts, culture, and religion of the T'ang dynasty. Painting played a major role in the culture of the era, and painters were important court figures. One of the T'ang ministers of state, Yen Li-pen, is far better known as a painter than as a statesman. The greatest master of figure painting of the dynasty was Wu Tao-tzu, who did 300 wall paintings in temples at Lo-yang and Ch'ang-an. A painter of horses was a great favourite in an era when military steeds were a matter of life and death and when court ladies played a form of polo. Landscape painting was dominated by Wang Wei, who was also an official at the court in the western capital. A new freedom with brushwork developed to provide a wider range of effects of texture and tone. Ch'an, or Zen, Buddhist painters brought still further freedom with the brush to religious painting. Pottery made huge strides after the sterility of the Six Dynasties period. Finishes in white porcelain, three-colour pottery and figurines, stoneware with a rich black glaze, and a type of celadon all were developed by T'ang potters; and, in keeping with the general interest in things foreign, their wares were often in foreign shapes and followed foreign motifs. Great volumes of tomb figurines were produced. Metalwork and jewelry of the period included much silver. Ritual objects included foreign shapes among the traditional Chinese forms. Silver and gold vessels were no longer cast but "raised" into bowl shape by hammering thin sheets; such vessels for drinking were double thicknesses soldered together with an insulating layer of air between them. Decorated bronze mirrors were also popular. The T'ang dynasty--like most--rose in duplicity and murder, and it subsided into a kind of anarchy; but at its apex in the early 8th century, the splendour of its arts and its cultural milieu made it a model for the world. Copyright 1994-1998 Encyclopaedia Britannica



19. The Sung Dynasty (960-1279)
The Sung dynasty<Pinyin SONG> (960-1279), Chinese dynasty that ruled the country (only in the south after 1127) during one of its most brilliant cultural epochs. The Sung dynasty was founded when Chao K'uang-yin, the military inspector general of the Chou dynasty, last of the Five Dynasties, usurped control of the empire in a coup. Thereafter, he used his mastery of diplomatic maneuvering to persuade powerful potential rivals to exchange their power for honours and sinecures, and he proceeded to become an admirable emperor. He set the nation on a course of sound administration by instituting a competent and pragmatic civil service; he followed Confucian principles, lived modestly, and took the country's finest military units under his personal command. Before his death he had begun an expansion into the southern Ten Kingdoms. Chao's successors maintained an uneasy peace with the menacing Liao kingdom of the Khitan to the north. Over time, the quality of the bureaucracy deteriorated, and when the Juchen (Mongolian tribes from the North who overthrew the Liao) burst into the northern Sung state, it was easy prey. The Juchen took over the North and established a dynasty with a Chinese name, the Chin. But they were unable to take those regions of the Sung territory south of the Yangtze River. In the South, the climate and the beautiful surroundings were the setting for the Southern Sung dynasty established (1127) by Kao-tsung. He chose a capital he called Lin-an (present Hang-chou) and set about maintaining defenses against the hostile North and restoring imperial authority in the hinterland. Kao-tsung was a conscious admirer and emulator of the highly successful approach of the Han dynasty to the management of civil service, and the empire's bureaucrats long functioned well. In due course, however, the dynasty began to decline. But the eventual fall of the Sung dynasty was neither sudden nor a collapse upon itself such as had ended several of its predecessors. The Mongols, under Genghis Khan, began their move on China with an assault on the Chin state in the North in 1211. After their eventual success in the North and several decades of uneasy coexistence with the Sung, the Mongols--under Genghis Khan's grandsons--advanced on the Sung forces in 1250. The Sung forces fought on until 1276, when their capital fell. The dynasty finally ended in 1279 with the destruction of the Sung fleet near Canton. During the Sung dynasty, commerce developed to an unprecedented extent; trade guilds were organized, paper currency came into increasing use, and several cities with populations of more than 1,000,000 flourished along the principal waterways and the southeast coast. Widespread printing of the Confucian Classics and the use of movable type, beginning in the 11th century, brought literature and learning to the people. Flourishing private academies and state schools graduated increasing numbers of competitors for the civil service examinations. The administration developed a comprehensive welfare policy that made this one of the most humane periods in Chinese history. In the works of the 12th-century philosophers Chu Hsi and Lu Chiu-yüan, Neo-Confucianism was systematized into a coherent doctrine. The Sung dynasty is particularly noted for the great artistic achievements that it encouraged and, in part, subsidized. The Northern Sung dynasty at Pien-ching had begun a renewal of Buddhism and of literature and the arts. The greatest poets and painters in the empire were in attendance at court. The last of the Northern Sung emperors was himself perhaps the most noteworthy art collector in the country. His capital at Pien-ching was a city of beauty, abounding in palaces, temples, and tall pagodas when, in 1126, the Juchen burned it. The architecture of the Sung era was noted for its tall structures; the highest pagoda at Pien-ching was 360 feet (110 m). Sung architects curved the eave line of roofs upward at the corners. Pagodas, six- or eight-sided and built of brick or wood, still survive from the period. The sculpture of the Sung period continued to emphasize representations of the Buddha, and in that genre there were no substantive improvements over the work of Sung sculptors in succeeding dynasties. Landscape painting was one of the outstanding arts of the Northern Sung, and its most noted figures were Fan K'uan and Li Ch'eng. In the Southern Sung many great painters served at the Hanlin Academy, becoming noted for brush effects, miniatures, and, under Zen influence, paintings of Buddhist deities, animals, and birds. In the decorative arts the Sung dynasty marked a high point in Chinese pottery. Sung wares are noted for their simplicity of shape and the purity of colour and tone of their glazes. From the Northern dynasty came Ting, Ju, Chun, Tz'u-chou, northern celadon, and brown and black glazed wares; from the Southern came Ching-te-chen whiteware, Chi-chou wares, celadons, and the black pottery of Fukien. Kuan produced near the Southern capital was the finest of an enormous number of celadons of the dynasty. The tendency of Sung jade carvers to adopt old lines and techniques makes difficult the accurate dating of jades that may be from the Sung, and it has been similarly difficult to place Sung lacquerware. In music the Northern Sung adopted a two-stringed fiddle from the Mongols, and the court revived musical events and entertainments. Music attracted considerable attention in the dynasty's enormous works of literature: the official history of the dynasty devoted 17 of its 496 chapters to musical events, and an encyclopaedia of 1267 has 10 of 200 chapters on the subject of music. Music drama flourished throughout the Sung, and distinctly different styles evolved in the North and the South. The literature of the Sung dynasty emphasized a return to old-time simplicity of expression in prose, and short tales called ku-wen were written in great volume. A school of oral storytelling in the vernacular arose, and conventional poetry enjoyed wide cultivation. Sung poets achieved their greatest distinction, however, in the new genre of the tz'u, sung poems of joy and despair. These poems became the literary hallmark of the dynasty. For the diversity and richness of its cultural achievements, the Sung dynasty is remembered as one of China's greatest. Copyright 1994-1998 Encyclopaedia Britannica



20. Useful Books And Reference Materials

The Book Of Changes And TheUnchanging Truth
By Ni Hua Ching
ISBN 0 - 686 - 84582 - X
117, Stonehaven Way Los Angeles, Ca 90049


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