Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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China in World History
(1,508 words)

The Chinese Empire was the longest-lasting civilization in world history and has the longest tradition of historical documentation (historiography, pre-modern). In addition, China is a highly developed and complex world civilization. This makes it an ideal benchmark for the West to compare itself with. Leibniz already referred to China as the "Europe of the East".

The first studies on Chinese history in the scholarly Europe of the 17th and 18th centuries were the numerous Jesuit publications. At the height of their mission to China, some of these Je…

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Pigulla, Andreas, “China in World History”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 29 November 2023 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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