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Ancient Chinese


Pavel M


Geographical location of ancient China
To the North-East of India, behind the high mountains of the Himalayas, is China.
The ancient Chinese called their country "celestial Empire" or "Middle Kingdom",
because they believed that it lies in the middle of four seas: Eastern, southern,
Sandy and Rocky. The sandy sea was called the harsh and arid Gobi desert, and
the Rocky sea —Tibet, a mountainous region beyond the Himalayas..
Photo: 1) Gobi Desert. (2) Tibet


The first States.
The beginning of ancient Chinese civilization Dating back to the turn of III—II
Millennium BC, Then in the valley of the yellow river was born the first
protogorodskoy culture. Although the ancient Chinese civilization is among the
"river", as the ancient Egyptian or Mesopotamian, the local population began to
build irrigation structures much later-only in the I Millennium BC seals City-state
here, too, arose later-in the II Millennium BC.
Photo: river Хуанхэ


Photo: a bell, a pot and a figurine of a tiger era of the Shang


Zhou dynasty (XI century — 221 BC).)
The reign of the Zhou dynasty covers the period from XI century BC to 221 BC,
when China was United into a single state by Emperor Qin Shi Huang. The rulers
of the Zhou dynasty overthrew the Shang dynasty and brutally dealt with it under
the pretext of fighting corruption. The rulers of the Zhou dynasty not only
preserved the achievements of the Shang system, but also implemented a number
of important innovations. For the effective management of its huge territory was
established feudal structure, the Supreme head of which was the Emperor. The
capital of the Zhou dynasty was the city of Hao, which was not far from the place
where the city of XI'an is now located.


During the Eastern Zhou dynasty, Confucianism and Taoism developed.
This time in the literature it is often characterized as a period of contention of
a hundred schools of thought. The greatest success in the competition was
achieved by the so-called school of lawyers, which advocated a welldeveloped system of law, primarily for the General observance of legal
norms, which was aimed at economic and military strengthening of the state
and the weakening of feudal privileges.


Qin dynasty (221-206 BC).)The first Emperor of the Qin dynasty, Qin Shi
Huang, completed the unification of disparate States into a single
centralized Empire in 221 BC. The capital of the Empire was Xianyang city,
located West of the current city of XI'an. The country was divided into
prefectures headed by appointed officials. To combat the raids of the
Northern tribes, the Emperor approved the project of connecting the already
existing sections of the protective wall into a single powerful Great wall (the
predecessor of the Chinese wall, which has survived to this day). It is
believed that this wall was built at the same time by 300 thousand people.


This period also includes Terracotta statues that were buried together with the first
Emperor of the Qin dynasty — Qin Shi Huang.These statues were probably meant to
give him the opportunity to satisfy his overbearing ambitions in the other world, just as
he did during his lifetime. Although instead of real soldiers against common traditions,
along with the Emperor were buried their clay up what some experts regarded as a
very progressive step, one should not forget that in addition to the statues of warriors
with Sinem was buried according to various estimates, up to 70 thousand workers
with their families and these people, unlike the soldiers, was very real.The army of
clay warriors buried in battle formation in parallel vaults, 1.5 kilometers East of the
tomb of the Emperor himself.


Han dynasty (206 BC-220 ad)
The leader of the rebels Liu Bang in 206 BC
proclaimed himself the first Emperor of the new dynasty — Han. By the name
of this dynasty, the Chinese began to be called Han (the Chinese call
The capital of the Western Han dynasty (206 BC — 8 ad) was the city of
Chang'an (now XI'an). Then, after the short-term reign of the Qin dynasty
followed the era of the Eastern Han dynasty (23-220 ad) with its capital in
Confucianism became the state religion. Representatives of the
ruling classes devoted their leisure time to drawing and other arts. There were
many philosophical and historical works. One of the most important
discoveries of the Han dynasty was the invention of paper.


The life of the peasantsThe lives of ordinary people in ancient China
were hard. The wars that devastated the country were constantly
waged. Settlements officials went with the guards and collect taxes.
Peasants who couldn't pay off, gave in slavery. But in lean years it
happened that the peasants themselves sold into slavery their
children. Farmers had to build dams around the fields, dig channels.
They were forced to build the Great wall of China.


The life of a slaveIn ancient China, as in all countries of the ancient world,
slave labor was widespread. In the ancient Chinese books recorded the
duties of a slave.A slave must perform a hundred services. Get up early,
sweep the house, wash the dishes, do all the work in the house: hollow
out the mortar, knit brooms, cut wooden bowls, weave sandals. If in the
house guests, the slave has to prepare a festive dinner, carry water, heat
the furnace, and also cut firewood, hunt deer, catch fish and turtles, shoot
wild geese. There is a slave can only beans, and drink only water. If he
wants wine, he can only dip his lips in the Cup, but not swallow. "Redoing
all the work, let him to stay still italjet in a mortar a hundred litres of grain.
At midnight, when all the work is done, let him wash clothes."The slave
could be bought, sold and killed with impunity.


The civilization which has developed in Ancient China has appeared one of the most
Viable and distinctive. In addition to many inventions (paper, compass, silk), it gave
the world outstanding philosophical and ethical teachings, Which for millennia
determined the subsequent spiritual development of all East Asia.
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