This article explores textual, paleographic, and archeological evidence for the “Long Wall” of Qi, arguably one of the earliest long walls erected on Chinese soil. It analyzes the possible dates of the Wall's constructions, its route, its defensive role, and its relation to military, political, economic, and administrative developments of the Warring States period (453-221 Bce). I argue that the Long Wall played a significant role in Qi's military strategy in the fifth and fourth centuries Bce, bolstering its defensive capabilities. In the long term, however, the Wall might have inadvertently hindered Qi's southward expansion, placing it in a disadvantageous position versus its rivals.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (grant No. 240/15) and by the Michael William Lip-son Chair in Chinese Studies. I am grateful to Robin D. S. Yates, Chen Minzhen, and the reviewers of this article for their comments and suggestions and to Gideon Shelach for his assistance with the archeological data.
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