The History of Chinese Literature
1. Shang Dynasty (about 1700-1050 BC)
Development of Chinese Writing
* Historical record and archaeological evidence are present in this era.
* Hieroglyphic writing system later evolved into ideographic and partly-phonetic Chinese characters.
2. Zhou Dynasty (1045-255 BC)
Basic Philosophical and Religious Literature
* The great literary works of philosophy and religion that became the basis for Chinese religious and social belief stem from what is called the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476) and the Warring States Period (475-221).
* Taoism, Confucian literature, and other prominent religious and philosophical schools all emerged during these two periods or the so called “One Hundred Schools of Thought.”
* They say that most of the philosophical and religious works of that time were destroyed. If there were great fictional books created, they have been lost.
3. Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC)
Literary Disaster and Legalism
* A big philosophical and religious school then was called Mohism.
* An early form of Buddhism was also established in China at that time.
* The emperor wanted to reduce and destroy the “One Hundred Schools of Thought”
* So the “Book Burning and Burial of Scholars” was a literary disaster.
* The Qin Dynasty standardized the written Classical Language.
* The Qin Emperor favored a philosophical school that was called Legalism (法家).
4. Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD)
Scientific and Historical Texts
* Confucian texts were rewritten and republished. Confucianism was mixed with the Legalism philosophy of Li Si.
* Sima Qian wrote Historical Records that is a major history concerning the overall history of China from before the Shang Dynasty until the Han Dynasty.
* The Han Dynasty era was one of the two main hotspot eras for scientific and technical advance.
* Two or three mathematical texts showing advanced... [continues]
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