Origins and spread[ edit ] Genetics of the Justinian plague strain[ edit ] Genetic studies of modern and ancient Yersinia pestis DNA suggest an origin for Justinian plague in Central Asia. The most basal existing strains of the Yersinia pestis species as a whole are found in QinghaiChina.
To begin, ask your class to describe their impressions of what Chinese art is—most likely, their response will be a narrow version that has been digested and transformed by Western culture. China is an immense geographical region whose borders have grown and shrunk over the centuries, containing a diverse group of ethnicities, religions, historical ruling parties, time zones, and ecological environments.
Yet, the broad scope of this topic can be divided into three areas of artistic expression, including works of art created for burial practices, Buddhism, and the courtly cultural elite. At the start of the lesson, review the basic tenets of the three major worlds of thought that influenced Chinese culture during this period: Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism Since their conceptions, the philosophical systems of Confucianism and Daoism have worked hand in hand with Chinese culture.
Confucianism developed during the Zhou dynasty, in which Confucius was born c. It is also a conservative and hierarchical system, which places men over women, and the ruling class over peasants, without any chance for upward social mobility. All natural phenomena can be explained by the yin and yang, opposing forces in nature that blend together in perfect harmony.
The yin is female, soft, slow, cold, etc. During the Han dynasty BCE CEDaoism began to incorporate magical rites to help reach followers reach immortality; deities also play a role in these rites and have eventually become part of Chinese popular culture.
Buddhism came to China in 65 ce. Because Chinese culture already had established concepts of the afterlife, these new ideas were not readily accepted. The influence of foreign rulers was needed to bring Buddhism into cultural prominence.
Background Reading Colossal Buddha, cave 20, Yungang, c. This text treats the art of China in a more or less chronological manner, which can be quite helpful for the undergraduate student new to the subject. This text, however, lacks some of the most famous images in Chinese art.
The Khan Academy is an excellent reference for Chinese art starting from the Qin dynasty. The Princeton University Art Museum has excellent resources for educators and the China Institute has an arts and culture section on their website.
It illustrates how the garden is microcosm of the Chinese worldview, who owned the garden and who visited the garden. It is worth viewing even though the Chinese Garden at the Metropolitan is modeled after a Ming dynasty CE garden, therefore it falls outside of the timelines of this lecture.
Content Suggestions The following list includes Chinese art within the contexts of the tomb, Buddhism, and art of the courtly elite within an hour and fifteen minute session: The earthenware Funerary Jar, decorated with slip, is one such example found in the context of a tomb.
Scholars know that Neolithic earthenware pottery was used for daily life and funerary purposes, but beyond that, not much information about this jar or its culture exists. Scholars do not know how it was intended to serve the deceased in the afterlife.
Seventh & Eighth Century During this time, Japanese style was almost entirely reproduced from Chinese culture from the clothes to hairstyles and even tomb art. Japanese was still exploring its own identity, and they coveted the Chinese court clothing style. The Plague of Justinian (–) was a pandemic that afflicted the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, especially its capital Constantinople, the Sasanian Empire, and port cities around the entire Mediterranean Sea. The first Japanese texts: 8th century A powerful influence reaching Japan from China (along with Buddhism, the bureaucracy of Confucianism and even the game of go) .
Bronze vessels, produced during the Bronze Age after the Neolithic period, characterize the Shang period c. The Shang kingdom was a single political entity ruled from a sequence of capitals in the present-day Henan province. Although it was surrounded by rival states, Shang culture spread beyond the Shang kingdom.
The site of Anyang was the center of Shang ritual culture from BCE until the end of the dynasty in c. Here, bronze was used for weapons, chariot fittings, horse trappings, and for vessels. Bronze vessels were used during special banquets in order to honor deceased members of high society—in addition to human and animal sacrifices.
Therefore, all of the deceased needs were met in the afterlife.
Nobles performed these sacrifices and rituals to insure their success by appeasing their deceased ancestors. The making of bronze vessels suggests a stratified society and urban centers of production. A good interactive site explains how bronze vessels from the Princeton University Art Museum were made.
The Yu is a bronze wine vessel that was used during great banquets of lavish food and drink to honor ancestors. Shang dynasty bronzes, covered completely with decoration, utilize many zoomorphic motifs with surfaces that usually display horror vacui.
It is a full-face mask that can be divided down the nose, with both sides depicting one-legged, bird like creatures. The exact meaning of the taotie is unknown, but because it appears so often on early Chinese vessels, it is apparently an auspicious motif.
The first emperor of China, Emperor Qin reigned BCEwas the first to unite the empire and the first to give himself the title of Imperial Sovereign.
He was anti-Confucian and is thought to have burned its books and killed its scholars via live burial. He also standardized weights, measures, and writing systems, built roads to move his massive armies, and started building the Great Wall.
Since then, a thousand terracotta soldiers have been uncovered in military formations, with seven thousand soldiers estimated in total.By the late seventh century and early eighth century, Buddhism had reached its highest point in China.
With Buddhism reaching its peak, entire walls of the caves were devoted to historical and legendary events, which allowed pilgrims to learn and practice the religion.
Dimensions: inches tall and 5 inches wide Provenance: private New England Collection History of Tang's Court Ladies: This stately and graceful figure date this sculpture of a court attendant to the seventh- eighth century, a peak of Tang-dynasty funerary art.
Christianity in the 8th century was much affected by the rise of Islam in the Middle East. By the late 8th century, the Muslim empire had conquered all of Persia and parts of the Eastern Roman territory including Egypt, Palestine, and Syria. Suddenly parts of the Christian world were under Muslim rule.
Drawing from the Chinese and Confucianism, the Japanese have established new laws – the Taiho Code. The emperor is seen as having supreme moral authority and as a benevolent ruler.
The emperor is seen as having supreme moral authority and as a benevolent ruler. Mid 8th century – papermaking introduced from China to Arabs. Iron horseshoes came into common use around Pattadakal, Chalukya architecture. The Chinese Buddhist monk Yi Xing applies a clockwork escapement mechanism to operate and rotate his astronomical celestial globe.
The first European triangular harp designed by the Picts of Scotland. Three of China's most famous poets - Wang Wei, Li Po and Tu Fu - are contemporaries during the T'ang dynasty Go to Li Po (–62) in The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions (1 rev ed.).