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Universal History (Chinese perspective)

(1,769 words)

Author(s): Mittag, Achim
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…

Historiography, pre-modern

(3,511 words)

Author(s): Mittag, Achim
Since time immemorial, history has played a central role for China's self-conception. Constant references to the past and the citation of historical examples have not only defined communication among the educated public in pre-modern China but also intellectual debates from the late 19th century to the present concerning the modernization of China and the preservation of its cultural identity. This historical orientation which is characteristic of the Chinese written tradition has produced abund…