Read full document

Chinese Literature

By | Feb. 2013
Page 1 of 7
Chinese Literature

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 mathematics...

Rate this document

What do you think about the quality of this document?

Share this document

Let your classmates know about this document and more at