Systematic Sinology Course: History of Chinese Civilization

With the ancient as a mirror, we can know the rise and fall. You may wish to stop here, look back at the prosperity and decline of China for thousands of years, think about the changes in regimes and the changing circumstances, savor the twists and turns of the story, the joys and sorrows, travel through the walls of time and space, and have an intimate conversation with the past...

Total hours: 40

1. The nature, purpose and tasks of the course

This course aims to trace the origin and evolution of Chinese culture to give listeners knowledge of the process of Chinese civilization and cultural background, such as Chinese mythology and culture, the origin and evolution of characters, the development and evolution of the history of Chinese thought, and the origin and evolution of Chinese religion. A systematic understanding helps students improve their knowledge of Chinese culture and civilization advancement, understand the source of Chinese culture, enhance the cultural and economic spiritual heritage of language learning, improve students’ humanistic spiritual quality, expand their horizons, and learn from the splendid oriental culture.

2. Basic requirements for course teaching

1. Through the study of this course, students can have a holistic and systematic understanding of early Chinese civilization.

2. The allusion idioms from ancient Chinese myths, pre-Qin classics and post-Han classics can basically grasp the ins and outs and modern Chinese translation.

3. To prepare listeners for basic foreign language translation and introduction of representative Chinese classics in their future studies.

4. Be able to conduct in-depth further research on some related topics to make academic preparations.

5. To be able to integrate mentality knowledge component into a culturally marked business practice with Chinese in a global surrounding

3. Basic content of course

Lecture contentLecture plan

Week 1: Introduction
1.1 Feel the Chinese civilization
1.2 The purpose and attitude of learning Chinese history
1.3 Original history and written history
1.4 The structure and pattern of Chinese history
1.5 Classics and reading
Week 2: Early China2.1 Introduction to Neolithic Culture
2.2 Taosi culture
2.3 Erlitou Culture
2.4 History of Shang and Zhou Dynasties
Week 3: Spring and Autumn and Warring States Period3.1 The historical trend of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty
3.2 Several major countries in the Spring and Autumn Period
3.3 Changes at the turn of the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period
Week 4: The establishment of the Qin and Han empires (Part 1)4.1 History of Qin
4.2 The system of the Qin Empire
4.3 The establishment and demise of the legitimacy of Qin’s rule
Week 5: The establishment of the Qin and Han empires (part 2)5.1 The establishment and capital of Han
5.2 The rule of the early Han Dynasty
5.3 Han Wudi’s centralization and expansion of territories
5.4 Crisis in the Han Wudi Period and Zhaoxuan Zhongxing
5.5 Wang Mang’s Retro Reform
Week 6: Eastern Han Dynasty6.1 Institutional Construction in the Early Eastern Han Dynasty
6.2 Economic recovery in the early Eastern Han Dynasty
6.3 Alternate powers between relatives and eunuchs
6.4 Aristocratic families and Qingliu celebrities
6.5 National relations and foreign exchanges

Week 7: Three Kingdoms and Western Jin Dynasty
7.1 The formation of the confrontation between the three countries
7.2 Demographic issues
7.3 Cao Wei Politics and Wei Jin Zen Dynasty
7.4 The short-term unification and demise of the Western Jin Dynasty
Week 8: Eastern Jin and Southern Dynasties8.1 Yongjia Nandu and the founding of the Eastern Jin Dynasty
8.2 Eastern Jin Dynasty Politics
8.3 Overview of the Southern Dynasties and the rise and fall of the Liu Song Dynasty
8.4 The revival of Song Qi imperial power politics
8.5 Emperor Wu of Liang and his era
Week 9: Sixteen Kingdoms and Northern Dynasties9.1 The surrounding situation during the Han and Wei Dynasties
9.2 Overview of the rise and fall of the sixteen countries
9.3 The Northern Wei Dynasty established by Tuoba Xianbei
9.4 Huayi Relationship, Inner Asia and Huaxiaization
9.5 The Civilized Queen Mother and Emperor Xiaowen’s Reform
9.6 Eastern Wei and Northern Qi
9.7 Western Wei and Northern Zhou Dynasty
Week 10: Short-term reunification of the Sui Dynasty10.1 The historical characteristics of the Sui and Tang Dynasties and the establishment of the Sui Dynasty
10.2 The Sui Dynasty System
10.3 Socio-economic policies of the Sui Dynasty
Week 11: The evolution of the political situation in the early Tang Dynasty11.1 The establishment and unification of the Tang Dynasty
11.2 Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty and the Reign of Zhenguan
11.3 Times of Emperor Gaozong and Wu Zetian
11.4 Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty and the reign of Kaiyuan
11.5 Summary
Week 12: The system and its changes in the early Tang Dynasty12.1 Political system
12.2 Legal system
12.3 Official position system
12.4 Education and election system
12.5 Changes in the military system
12.6 Changes in the land taxation system
Week 13: The ruling crisis in the late Tang Dynasty and its countermeasures13.1 The Anshi Rebellion and the formation of the separatist regime in the late Tang Dynasty and the central countermeasures
13.2 Contradictions and struggles within the ruling group in the late Tang Dynasty
13.3 The financial dilemma in the late Tang Dynasty and the emergence of the two tax laws
13.4 The social and economic development of the south in the late Tang Dynasty and the shift of the national economic center of gravity to the south
Week 14: The rise and fall of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms14.1 The historical clues of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms
14.2 The historical characteristics of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms
14.3 The political economy and culture of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms
Week 15: Overview of the history of Liao, Song, Xia, and Jin15.1 Historical clues and characteristics of Liao, Song and Xiajin
15.2 Historical clues of the Northern Song Dynasty
15.3 Historical clues of the Southern Song Dynasty
15.4 The historical characteristics of the Song Dynasty
15.5 The strengthening of the authoritarian centralization system in the Northern Song Dynasty (1)
15.6 The strengthening of the authoritarian centralization system in the Northern Song Dynasty (2)
15.7 Production relations and economic development in the Northern Song Dynasty
Week 16: Politics and Economy in Liao and Xixia16.1 Historical clues and characteristics of the Liao Dynasty
16.2 Political System and Economic Culture of Liao Dynasty
16.3 Overview of Xixia History
16.4 Xixia’s political economy and culture
Week 17: The confrontation between Song and Jin and the economic center of gravity shifted south17.1 Historical clues and characteristics of the Jin Dynasty
17.2 The politics and economy of the Jin Dynasty
17.3 The completion of the southward shift of the economic center of gravity in the Southern Song Dynasty
Week 18: Yuan Dynasty18.1 Genghis Khan and Greater Mongolia
18.2 The rule of the Yuan Dynasty
18.3 The Decline and Fall of Yuan Dynasty
Week 19: Ming History19.1 The establishment of the Ming Dynasty and the rule of Ming Taizu and Ming Chengzu
19.2 The rule of the mid-Ming Dynasty
19.3 The intensification of contradictions at the end of the Ming Dynasty and the demise of the Ming Dynasty
Week 20: Qing History20.1 The rise of Nurhachi and the Ming and Qing Dynasties
20.2 The heyday of the Qing Dynasty and the decline during the Jiadao period

We invite students from European universities, Sinologists, entrepreneurs working with China, art historians, cultural experts, doctors and scientists, lawyers and everyone who is interested in the world of China on the path of continuous civilizational processes.

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