If you, like many at this time of year, have resolved to give up alcohol, then it might be a comfort to remember you are not the first in history to have attempted this. As Song dynasty writer Liu Xueji found, then as today, peer pressure and social obligations can test one’s resolve to cut back on wine.
Pilgrimage, alms begging, and journeys to obtain scriptures or relics: life on the road was a reality for many monks in medieval China. So what kind of things did they take with them, according to popular depictions?
Court intrigue and poison plots were rife, policy swung from one direction to the other, and geopolitical relations were put under severe strain.
The headstrong and ambitious ruler of an underdog state, Jingzong’s bold military and civil policies reached into almost every aspect of Xia life.
It takes place within a community of rural “cave-dwellers,” features magical fish bones, presents a prince who is both violent and greedy, and stars a heroine who is much more disobedient and ambitious than the European version.
How do imperial societies talk about barbarian or ethnic groups?
How did people look after their books and libraries in medieval China?
Written in 14th century China, Romance of the Three Kingdoms can best be described as a historical novel. This week on The Medieval Podcast, Danièle is joined by Peter Konieczny to talk about this famous work of warriors, generals and rulers.
What was it like to have this famous general as a father?
During the Northern Song period, the best regions for horse breeding had been snapped up by powerful steppe empires. So the Chinese state had to turn to other means to obtain good horses, coming up with a variety of innovative and ambitious schemes in the process.
A portrait of Yeh-lu, Genghis Khan’s Chinese chancellor, the greatest statesman of the Mongol Empire.
A new column by Elizabeth Smithrosser will be looking at China in the Middle Ages. In her first post she looks at a very tasty treat dating back to the Tang dynasty.
With toilet paper, or rather the sometimes frenzied demand for toilet paper, being in the news recently, it is a good time to look at the medieval origins of this very useful product.
A noblewoman from Imperial China enjoyed playing polo on donkeys so much she had her steeds buried with her so she could keep doing it in the afterlife, archaeologists found.
How did the armies of the Abbasid Caliphate and the Tang Dynasty, two empires that were worlds apart, meet in Central Asia?
This study investigates the origin and development of Tang blue-and-white porcelain.
This paper will briefly discuss the nature of the Mongol armies and some of their successes before exploring their shortcomings in a select number of regions
Eight videos to track how China’s borders and states changed during the medieval period.
Queen, landed lady, priestess – all these are but some of the roles that this powerful lady played in life. Thanks to the oracle bone inscriptions, we can piece together Fu Hao’s life and career
In short, the Official Capital Ship policy is implemented from 1284‐1285 (6 months), 1298‐1303 (6 years),
and 1314‐1320 (7 years). It lasted 14 years in total over three periods with intervals in between.
China suffered a major internal political upheaval between 755 and 763 when General An Lushan led a rebellion against the Tang emperor.
Romance of the Three Kingdoms, the 14th-century historical epic, is one of the most widely read works in China. For people who cannot read the original Chinese text, several English translations are available. Here is a guide to your options.
The emergence of nature tourism in early medieval China can be attributed to four major factors, including transformation of value orientations, seeking longevity, interest in suburbs and population migration.
Centuries ago, a ship sank in the Java Sea off the coast of Indonesia. The wooden hull disintegrated over time, leaving only a treasure trove of cargo.