Branches of Heaven


Book Details

Author  John W. Chaffee
Publisher  Harvard University Asia Center
Publication Date   November 15, 1999
ISBN  0674080491
Pages  350

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By the end of the Sung dynasty (960-1279), known descendants of the three Chao brothers who had founded the dynasty numbered over 20,000. Unlike the rulers of many other Chinese dynasties, however, the Sung emperors were not plagued by challenges to their rule from their relatives. So successful was Sung policy on the imperial clan that it would serve as a model for the subsequent Ming and Ch'ing dynasties. How the Sung created a social and political asset in the imperial clan while neutralizing it as a potential threat is the story of this book. This study of the imperial clan as an institution analyzes the history, its political tile and the lifestyle of its members, focusing on their residence patterns, marriages and occupations.

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