Historiography, thought, and intellectual development during the springs and autumns period

Yuri Pines*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

This chapter explores the historiography and political thought of the Springs and Autumns period. It analyzes major historical texts from the period-the Springs and Autumns Annals (Chunqiu) and the Zuo zhuan-addressing their nature, audience, and (especially in the case of the Zuo zhuan) the nature of their primary sources. The multiplicity of genres in the Springs and Autumns period historiography is contrasted with the proliferation of didactic anecdotes as major building blocks of historical knowledge during the subsequent Warring States period. The second part of the chapter explores major aspects of the Springs and Autumns period’s political thought as reflected in the Zuo zhuan. The marked aristocratic nature of this thought is contrasted with major trends of the subsequent Warring States period. The discussion focuses on the views of multistate order, concepts of rulership and ruler-minister relations, and views of social hierarchy and the importance of the ritual system.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Early China
PublisherOxford University Press
Pages512-527
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780199328369
DOIs
StatePublished - 10 Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Oxford University Press 2020.

Keywords

  • Hierarchy
  • Historiography
  • Ministers
  • Multistate order
  • Ritual
  • Ruler
  • Scribes
  • Spring and autumn annals (chunqiu)
  • Unity
  • Zuo zhuan

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