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What is "Ancient" China


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#1 emeng

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 04:48 PM

This is my first substantive post.

How de we define the term ancient (or in Chinese, gudai 古代) I've seen both the English and Chinese refer to many different periods, especially in popular usage.

In a more narrow sense, should we limit "ancient" to before 221 B.C.?

#2 General_Zhaoyun

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 12:36 AM

I think, in chinese historical term, "ancient" basically refers to any period that is "non modern", in particular before 20th century.
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#3 Wujiang

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 12:49 AM

Although I subscribe with what G_Z said, I also commonly use the definition of 'ancient' as pre-221 BCE. After that, I call it 'Imperial China'
Then again, I also consider everying before 1911 as being 'Imperial China' also
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#4 Guest_allat_*

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 02:14 PM

Ok - here's my take - and Chinese may consider that I have a lot of nerve, since I hardly know the history of China. But I'm going to give it a shot - from an outsider's point.

So, like any other country, we're starting at the "core" - the Original People. As all peoples, started out as Tribals. Perhaps they joined in a Confederacy, such as the Iroquois in New York, or not, maybe it was through inter-marriage and alliance with other tribes.

Skip millenia. Eventually, the peripheral Tribes were so intermingled that it was one so large, that it expanded. Still there were tribes around not part of the "Core." Peoples.

Of course, the Core People had another name for themselves, but a name like "The People". Because we, as humans, look at the world from the Self looking out, all others were "The Other."

Contrary to what anthropologists claim, because worldwide - today it's a Patriarchal system, - women were equal in all ways - and respected. At this point in time, both genders worked together - toward a common goal. Childcare was communal, and there was no lack of self-esteem in children.

Skip Millenia.

Around 11, 000 B.C. there seems to be some time of upheaval of the weather at least in Europe. Is there any record - geological record of such in China?

Early Neolithic times = people were tramping back and forth all over the continent. Continent included what we consider Europe - it's observable that it's part of Asia.

Later Neolithic - we get to the - is it the Xin Dynasty? Do I have it right? That legendary Dynasty?

Was that time - is is known whether the "Core" People were a tribe or not? Still these People are settled now and in a Northeast Coastal Area, by two big rivers, good for trade, upriver and down, in canoes.

Now we get to the Shang Dynasty.

THERE - THERE IS THE POINT WHERE THEY CORE PEOPLE LOOK AT THEMSELVES AS A HOMOGENOUS BEING.

There are cities - and complicated bronze artifacts are being made.

And in reading history, - we note that these "Core" People are looking around them and seeing Tribals, Tribals who were surrounding them - all around their city.

WHO STILL HAVE EQUALITY BETWEEN THE GENDERS. AND THESE TRIBAL PEOPLE - OUTSIDERS - have women warriors. We can see that women have power, not only are they wielding weapons, but because the communication between the "DEAD" AND THE "LIVING"- pretty risky stuff - is being done by women, especially a group of women - a lineage called Fu Hao. Risky stuff - because not only is it scary - you don't know what you're calling to you - good or ill.

For those here that don't consider themselves "believing"- try living in the countryside - in woodlands and farms - without electric lights. And listen to the sounds all around you at night. And get a feeling from it. I've done it - and can tell you, it's very scary - and awesome. Ya gotta hitch up your pants, stand firm on two legs and get your courage to the sticking point. Talk about Bigfoot! HA!

To do this Foretelling - "Oracling" work - you have go to know what you're doing - and be quick witted to turn an augery one way or the other. And out of the possible - billions of futures - the lines to pick of a future, you have to get hold of the most, possiible one. One has to read A FUTURE. Not the Future, but A FUTURE. And then bend it to your way.

And we see that one of these women, from The "Other" came over and decided to align herself with a Shang King. This woman was pretty powerful in her own right, and did not need to borrow power from the Shangs.

We don't know what her real name was, the Shangs just recorded a title, and took it upon themselves to give her a Shang title of nobility, when she "died."

You know that Tribals give equality to women, but when they're settled, equality goes down the drain.


Going to the timeline of Confucius - I don't like him much, and I don't know what he was thinking of. The Empire didn't need him to give pointers on how to behave with family. Everyone then and now knew/knows how to deal with family and society. Love is automatically there. And as to behaving with others, you learn that too, through rubbing elbows with them. Unfortunately, one person - with a hangup about women - can change an entire society. Who knows whether a woman gave him the cold shoulder, and he took it out on the rest?

So eventually two Empires arose - the Roman and the Chinese.

Now, the Romans. They were violent and bloodthirsty and snobbish. Everybody else was a "Barbarian." Yet, they couldn't adopt this attitude with the Han Empire, which was pretty well "up" there." And they were on the way to a Peaceful Trade Agreement - before the downfall of the Romans.

The Romans hardly ever invented anything, but always "borrowed" from other Peoples, and changing it their way. Even the aqueducts invention were taken from Persian systems already working. ANd the famous Vias, were mearly improvements on ancient roads already there. But the Romans took the credit.

Unfortunately. they would have survived if only they had "ditched" their attitude of superiority. If only they had entered into mutually reciprocal treaties with the "Tribals moving into Europe, because historians and archeologists are now discovering that the "Barbarians" weren't really that.

And there's been trade back and forth with Asia since before Yeshua ben Joseph. And we can see that the
various Dynasties were quite willing to deal in trade with Europe, unfortunately, these records were lost or hidden - perhaps because of the Fall of the Romans or because of the ascendancy of christianity - which always wanted the power to control, as well, as the rise of Islam, which stood between the two "continents.

But ever since Marco Polo - there's been a rivalry, and especially on the part of Europe to be the top. And in the eyes of Europe, "The Other" has been considered inferior. Anybody that looks different.
And history informs that this was the plan of Cristofero Colombo. The Europeans knew very well of the existence of the Asian Empires ( Bharat and the Middle Kingdoms).

The world outside the Middle Kingdoms looked at them, calling them "the legendary Cathay."

The premise was always stealing the riches of The Other" one way or the other - with the least coinage involved. And this is exactly what happened, when the Europeans fell on that Middle Kingdom - and started calling the people Chinese, and in re. to the immigrants to the American West, they people here, were calling them "Celestials."

Finally, we come to today.

The "Core" People have expanded and conquered others, and it must be understood, that this is necessary, not only to protect the original core of the former Empire or else, they will be gnawing at the Chinese borders like before - as the MOngols were and the Manchus, and the Persians and Russia- but because it was the beginning of advancement for China. Mao and the PRC, have forced unification into a country, but the peripheral people still not consider themselves Chinese.

Calling them Chinese, and giving them a passport, and making them learn Mandarin, is not going to make them Chinese.

It's still a forced system, It's been violent and unjust no matter what the Original People say, and how much they may protest, that it's not so. There's hasn't been assimilation yet. And as long as the PRC still continues to deny freedom of Speech and Freedom to Practice HOw One Worships, and long as the PRC still continues to round up people and put them in Prison Camps ( 30 more have just been opened-) it is evidence that there is a real problem there- but it's swept under the rug by the average Chinese-- so will disunification- it's called-still this separation continue. As you can see that the Hmong still see themselves as Hmong, the Tibetans still consider themselves Tibetans, etc.



I suppose being Chinese is a state of mind. And it is HOW one sees themselves as.

And then, there is the serious problem of female infants. Just as the Peripheral people have got to change to see themselves as part of the Nation of China, so do the Core People have got to change the idea of one gender being more important than the other.

As to the problems in China, yes, we've got them here, and then some. Admittedly, the day of the Americans is done - we've got war -- the economy and all that- all and Condo-sleeza Rice and Co. is trying to pick a war on another front - hopefully, not China.

If this happens, the Chinese soldier boys - who are in the gender MAJORITY there - can come over here - there are no men in China than women - and we, women will welcome them with open arms. Since as you know - here, there are 3-4 women for every man. Competition will be strong. Short guys, tall guys, young guys.





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Edited by allat, 04 April 2006 - 07:35 PM.





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