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Sanctioned Violence in Early China
Sanctioned Violence in Early China
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Mark Edward Lewis - Author
SUNY series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture
N/A
Hardcover - 382 pages
Release Date: August 1989
ISBN10: 0-7914-0076-X
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-0076-0

Out of Print
Price: $33.95 
Paperback - 382 pages
Release Date: August 1989
ISBN10: 0-7914-0077-8
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-0077-7

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

This book provides new insight into the creation of the Chinese empire by examining the changing forms of permitted violence--warfare, hunting, sacrifice, punishments, and vengeance. It analyzes the interlinked evolution of these violent practices to reveal changes in the nature of political authority, in the basic units of social organization, and in the fundamental commitments of the ruling elite. The work offers a new interpretation of the changes that underlay the transformation of the Chinese polity from a league of city states dominated by aristocratic lineages to a unified, territorial state controlled by a supreme autocrat and his agents. In addition, it shows how a new pattern of violence was rationalized and how the Chinese of the period incorporated their ideas about violence into the myths and proto-scientific theories that provided historical and natural prototypes for the imperial state.

"The interpretation of warfare is rich in providing a coherent statement on a subject poorly understood by Westerners. This book is a substantial and highly original piece of work." -- Roger T. Ames

"What I like most about the book is the author's mastery of the essential primary and secondary sources, and that he has marshalled these to discuss an essential theme in ancient Chinese history. The author's knowledge of the anecdotal literature is extremely good and impressive. I also like the fact that he is using materials ignored by earlier scholars as well as newly-excavated manuscripts." -- Jeffrey Riegel

Mark Edward Lewis is University Lecturer in Chinese Studies at the University of Cambridge.


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Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction

The Social Uses of Violence
Sanctioned Violence and the Warring States Transition

1. The Warrior Aristocracy

Warfare and Sacrifice
The Segmentary Aristocracy
Warfare and Honor
Blood Covenants
Conclusion

2. The Warring State

Warfare and the Warring State
Oaths and Sacrifice
Vengeance and Collective Punishments
Conclusion

3. The Art of Command

The Commander and Texts
The Commander and the Army
The Commander and Battle
The Commander and the Ruler
Conclusion

4. Cosmic Violence

The Calendar of Violence
Cosmic Kickball
Imperial Hunts and Animal Combats
Feats of Strength and sorcery
Conclusion

5. The Social History of Violence

The Myths of the Sage-Kings
The Yellow Emperor and his Adversaries
The Myths and the New Year Festivals
The Violence of Beasts and Men
Myths of Sacrifice and Heaven's Mandate
Conclusion

6. The Natural Philosophy of Violence

Qi in Man and Nature
Qi and Violence
The Sage Commander
The Socialization of Qi
Conclusion

Conclusion

Notes

Works Cited

Index



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