The legend of the Daoist master of Mount Redpine who could turn stones into sheep had fascinated China for centuries. Sometime in the 1200s, one man ventured up the mountain to see if he was still there.
Pre-modern Chinese pillows were made of hard materials like ceramics and possessed a surprising range of functions beyond simply acting as a headrest.
This week’s guest on the Medieval Grad Podcast is Soojung Han, a PhD candidate in East Asian studies at Princeton University. Soojung Han talks with Lucie Laumonier about the Shatuo Turks who rose to power in the ninth century, after the fall of the Tang dynasty.
If poison was medicinal, then what was medicine?
What to do on those nights where no matter how hard you try, you just can’t fall asleep? For the literati of pre-modern China there was at least one possible answer: write a poem about it.
It is commonly believed that newspapers first emerged in Europe in the early 1600s. However, there is much evidence to show that publications that could rightfully be called newspapers were thriving centuries earlier in medieval China.
Examines the life of a prematurely deceased 20-year through her epitaph, created in China in the year 518 CE, and discover how the craftsmanship and aesthetic are passed on in modern Chinese culture with a veteran tombstone engraver.
From the years 1368 to 1644, China was ruled by the Ming Dynasty. It was an era of new heights, especially in the fields of art and literature. Try these 10 questions to see how much you know about this period.
The researchers conducted an investigation of 449 tile ends with lotus patterns from various periods during the Tang dynasty that had been recovered from the Ximing Temple.
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.