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Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms

Edited by Peter Lorge

Publication Year: 2011

The period of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms (907-960) has long been treated as an anomaly in the history of China, an age of great disunity between the empires of the Tang and the Song dynasties. Breaking with previous scholarship on China's middle period, this edited volume presents individual studies that focus on the art, culture, and politics of the interregnum, challenging underlying assumptions about the unitary nature of dynastic culture and its value as a category of historical analysis. It understands these decades as a time of important transition in which the incipient cultural shifts of the mature Tang dynasty turned into the foundations of Song society. Consequently it highlights the complex narrative processes that gave birth to Song culture.

Published by: Chinese University Press

Title Page

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p. 1-1

Copyright

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p. 2-2

Dedication

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pp. 3-4

List of Contributors

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pp. 5-6

Contents

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pp. vii-x

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Introduction

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pp. 1-14

There are two general approaches to discussing the history of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms (Wudai Shiguo 五代十國). The first, adopted by traditional historians and carried over into most contemporary practice, is to see the period as a break, an interregnum of disunity between the large, unified empires of the Tang 唐 and Song 宋 dynasties. ...

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Who Wants to Be an Emperor? Zhao Dejun 趙 德 鈞, Youzhou 幽 州 and the Liao 遼

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pp. 15-46

By the time the Tang 唐 (618–907) fell, a regionalised political system comprising multiple, coexisting regimes had been the norm for five of the six and a half centuries since the fall of the the Eastern Han 東漢 (25–220).1 While it was certainly not the case that just anyone could found their own polity or take one over, ...

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Scoundrels, Rogues, and Refugees: The Founders of the Ten Kingdoms in the Late Ninth Century

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pp. 47-78

The following is an inquiry into the social origins of the founders of the several late ninth and early tenth-century polities of south China known in Chinese historiography collectively, if erroneously, as the Ten Kingdoms.1 The topic was initially inspired by an unpublished essay written many years ago by the late Robert Somers, ...

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Han Xizai (902–970): An Eccentric Life in Exciting Times

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pp. 79-100

One of the best-known pictures in the collection of the Palace Museum in Beijing is Han Xizai yeyantu 韓熙載夜宴圖 (Night revels of Han Xizai) which depicts the nightly entertainments of Han Xizai 韓熙載 (902–970), who lived most of his life at the Southern Tang 南唐 (937–975) court. ...

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Lessons from Paintings at the Periphery: The Murals from Baoshan Tomb 2 and Five Dynasties Art History

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pp. 101-124

What do we know about painting during the period of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms? If we follow a recent treatment, we would recognize the period as “brief but artistically fertile,” and, according to this account, the artistic richness was the result primarily of artists working in three regions, ...

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“The Usurper’s Empty Names”: Spatial Organization and State Power in the Tang-Song Transition

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pp. 125-166

Geographer Joseph Whitney has observed in China: Area, Administration and Nation Building, that the way that the Chinese state has organized its rule geographically is the way that its “ideology … [is] translated into spatial organization.”2 From its inception, the evolving political practices of the Chinese empire were reflected in changing geographical arrangements. ...

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Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed: Local Style in the Architecture of Tenth-Century China

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pp. 167-222

This paper will argue that provincial architecture constructed in medieval China was largely conservative, holding to local styles identifiable from the tenth century even after the territories in which they originated were absorbed into larger empires. Rather than a single architectural style being systematically disseminated across the territories ...

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The End of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms

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pp. 223-242

In conventional Chinese historiography, the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period ended with the founding of the Song dynasty in 960. This dating has also proven convenient for contemporary scholars when simplifying the record of Chinese dynasties. ...

Chronology of Dynasties, Kingdoms and States

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pp. 243-244

Index

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pp. 245-252


E-ISBN-13: 9789629969264
Print-ISBN-13: 9789629964184

Page Count: 264
Illustrations: N
Publication Year: 2011

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Subject Headings

  • China -- History -- Five dynasties and the Ten kingdoms, 907-979.
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