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Han Dynasty

(969 words)

Author(s): Jansen, Thomas
It was with the establishment of the Han dynasty that a man of peasant origin ascended the imperial throne for the first time ever. In the civil war following the demise of the Qin dynasty, Liu Bang (posthumous honorary name: Han Gaodi, reigned 206-195 BCE) had defeated his rival Xiang Yu (232-202 BCE), a descendant of the old aristocracy. The lacking legitimacy of Liu Bang's reign, as well as the potential for resistance against the imperial centralism introduced by the Qin, determined the prag…

Periods of Division

(1,026 words)

Author(s): Jansen, Thomas
The Chinese unitary state as the embodiment of a cosmologically founded order was a political ideal which, in principle, was not questioned during the period between the foundation of the empire by the Qin dynasty and the end of the imperial era. Nonetheless, the empire repeatedly fell apart during times of weak central power, strong centrifugal forces, and/or foreign attacks. The first division occurred directly after the demise of the Han dynasty, when three independent kingdoms were able to e…

Qin Dynasty

(768 words)

Author(s): Jansen, Thomas
With the founding of the Qin dynasty a centrally administered empire which was to exist for more than two millennia, until 1911, replaced the plurality of states of the Eastern Zhou. In 221 BCE the last rival in the power struggles between the states, the State of Qu, had been conquered by the Qin. Its ruler, King Zheng (259 - 210 BCE; reign: 247 - 210 BCE) took the title of huangdi, the conventionally used appellation for "emperor," and had himself proclaimed the "first emperor of the Qin" (Qin Shihuang). The reasons for the successful unification of the empire th…

Zhu Xi

(171 words)

Author(s): Jansen, Thomas
[English Version] (Chu Hsi; 18.10.1130 Youxi, Provinz Fujian – 23.4.1200 Jianyang, Provinz Fujian), chinesischer Philosoph und bedeutendster Vertreter des Neo- Konfuzianismus (: I.,4.). Obwohl er jung die Beamtenexamina bestand (jinshi 1148), widmete Zhu sich zumeist unabhängigen Studien. Hauptgedanke seiner Philos., eine Synthese aus Gedanken seiner neokonfuzianischen Vorgänger sowie daoistischen und buddhistischen Einflüssen, ist die metaphysisch begründete Einheit allen Seins durch ein transzen…

Chu Hsi

(177 words)

Author(s): Jansen, Thomas
[German Version] (Zhu Xi; Oct 18, 1130, Youxi, Fujian province – Apr 23, 1200, Jianyang, Fujian province), Chinese philosopher and the most important representative of neo-Confucianism (I, 4). Although he passed the civil service examination as a young man ( jinshi 1148), Chu devoted himself mostly to independent studies. The major concept in his philosophy, a synthesis of ideas from his neo-Confucian predecessors and Taoist and Buddhist influences, is the metaphysically-based unity of all being through a transcendent principle of order ( li) which is simultaneously im…


(1,110 words)

Author(s): Reiter, Florian C. | Jansen, Thomas | Wagner, Rudolf G.
[English Version] I. Daoismus T. bedeutet »Großer Frieden«, »Allg. Wohlfahrt« und »Universalharmonie«. Das »Buch der Universalharmonie« (T. jing) zeigt die Ideologie der militärisch organisierten T.-Bewegung (2.Jh. n.Chr.) unter Führung der selbsternannten »Generäle« Zhang Jue (gest.184) und seiner beiden Brüder. Der vergöttlichte Lao Zi (Taishang Laojun) soll den urspr. Titel »T. qingling shu« einem Gan (oder Yü) Ji in Shandong (Langye) eröffnet haben. Kriege zum Ende der Han-Dynastie, Nöte der Be…


(1,345 words)

Author(s): Reiter, Florian C. | Jansen, Thomas | Wagner, Rudolf G.
[German Version] I. Taoism Taiping signifies “Great Peace,” “General Prosperity,” and “Universal Harmony.” The Book of Universal Harmony ( Taiping Jing) reflects the ideology of the militarily organized Taiping movement (2nd cent. ce) under the leadership of the self-appointed “generals” Zhang ¶ Jue (or Zhang Jiao; d. 184) and his two brothers. The deified Lao Tsu (Taishang Laojun) is said to have revealed the original title Taiping qingling shu to a certain Gan (or Yu) Ji in Shandong (Langye). The wars of the late Han Dynasty, the hardships suffered by the popu…