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|Additional Physical Format:||Online version:
Holcombe, Charles, 1956-
In the shadow of the Han.
Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press, c1994
|Material Type:||Government publication, State or province government publication|
|All Authors / Contributors:||
|Description:||xi, 238 p. : map ; 25 cm.|
|Contents:||1. Introduction: Reimagining China --
2. Refugee State: A Brief Chronicle of the Eastern Chin --
3. The Socioeconomic Order --
4. The Institutional Machinery of Literati Ascendance --
5. Literati Culture --
6. "True Man": The Power of a Cultural Ideal --
7. Epilogue: Imperial Restoration.
In this groundbreaking history, Charles Holcombe examines the conditions that produced the literati and shaped their activities during the first of the Southern dynasties, with particular attention to the life and thought of the fourth-century monk Chih Tun (314-366).
The security of the literati's positions in the state, as well as the cooptation process through which they rose to office, encouraged them to neglect the details of actual administrative service and concentrate instead upon peer recognition through the refinement of social graces and through literary, artistic, and philosophical achievements. While the empire hung poised on the brink of ruin, fourth-century literati engaged in round after round of abstruse discussion concerning the ultimate meaning of existence. Their seemingly impractical dalliances blossomed, however, into an age of intellectual and cultural creativity second only to the Warring States period of the late classical era. The Southern dynasties even witnessed significant commercialization and economic growth. Far from the dark ages that their political disunity might imply, China's Southern dynasties reveal themselves to have been great eras of an unexpected kind.
In the Shadow of the Han explores some of the implications of this distinctive Southern dynasty culture.