Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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Universal History (Chinese perspective)
(1,769 words)

Traditional Chinese historiography (historiography, pre-modern) was not unfamiliar with a universal historical perspective. One of its categorical requirements was the world view already formulated in a nutshell in the early Zhou dynasty according to which the Chinese ruler as Son of Heaven (tianzi) was placed over "everything under heaven" ( tianxia ). Against the background of the consolidation of this idea of rulership and after the establishment of the unified empire under the Qin and Han dynasties, the position of the "scribe" and "chronicler" (shi) underwent increasing sp…

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Mittag, Achim, “Universal History (Chinese perspective)”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 28 November 2023 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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