Colonialism in the time of globalization

The Western Zhou Yan state revisited

Authored by: Yitzchak Jaffe

The Routledge Handbook of Archaeology and Globalization

Print publication date:  November  2016
Online publication date:  November  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415841306
eBook ISBN: 9781315449005
Adobe ISBN:


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In traditional Chinese historiography, the Zhou (1046–221 bce) were the third royal dynasty in the ancient dynastic sequence, preceded by the Shang and Xia dynasties (2100–1046 bce). The Western Zhou (1046–771 bce) ruled for just under 300 years, but their legacy and importance in Chinese historiography and political philosophy cannot be overstated. The Zhou are credited with greatly expanding the geographical territory of the Shang, establishing the ideal norms of social and political behaviour, and creating many aspects that we now associate with Chinese culture. Many of the archetypical Chinese political and social institutions, as well as key concepts and ideas, are understood to have originated and developed during this period. Confucius alluded more than once to the Zhou and their courtly rituals as paragons of moral conduct and virtuous leadership (e.g. Analects 3.14, 7.5, 9.5).

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