Long before the civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome, China was already a vast empire, protected from the nomads of the Asian steppes by its famous Great Wall, and with rich and distinctive traditions in the arts, technology, and philosophy. Drawing on the latest discoveries by historians and archaeologists, this richly illustrated volume focuses on the outstanding achievements of ancient China. Spectacular artistic highlights include the glorious bronze cauldrons of the Shang dynasty, Buddhist cave paintings depicting daily life, and the Terracotta Army—the extraordinary legion of clay soldiers fashioned to protect the First Emperor in the afterlife. Tracing the succession of dynasties from c.2000 BC to the end of the great Tang empire in the 10th century AD, Ancient China offers fascinating insights into key themes of Chinese life, society, and culture, including mythology, literature, music, calligraphy, Taoism, Buddhism, medicine, cooking, and the silk trade. Edward L. Shaughnessy is Professor of Early China at the University of Chicago. His books include The Cambridge History of Ancient China.
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