Chapter 6 The Growth of Asian Civilizations 500 b.c.–a.d. 550


Section 4 Imperial China

By the 200s b.c., the Chinese people had endured five hundred years of warfare and instability. Centuries of fierce fighting among local warlords resulted in the rise of one noble family, the Qin, to rule over all others. The Qin dynasty established a pattern of strong centralized government, a pattern which influenced China for centuries afterward. The complex bureaucracy put in place during the Qin dynasty allowed a remarkable amount of continuity in Chinese civilization despite the rise and fall of later dynasties.

The Qin Dynasty

By the early 300s b.c. the Qin state, on China's western border, had become one of the dominant powers of China. Adopting Legalist ideas, the king of Qin created a strong state with a centralized bureaucracy financed by a direct tax on the peasantry. One by one, he defeated the other Chinese kingdoms, until by 221 b.c. he had unified the entire country under one rule.[97] As one early Chinese historian put it, "As a silkworm devours a mulberry leaf, so Qin swallowed up the kingdoms of the Empire."[98] With unification complete, the king of Qin assumed a new title - Shi Huangdi - meaning "first emperor." As the new emperor put an end to the previous scourge of warfare among the Warring States, at first the unification of China as an empire seemed to provide greater security for all the peoples of the former kingdoms. Soon, however, the increasingly oppressive rule of the Qin emperor would sow the seeds of its own destruction by creating an even greater sense of insecurity in the lives of all his newly united people.

The first emperor. From his capital at Xianyang, in western China, Shi Huangdi ruled a larger area than did either of the preceding dynasties and controlled it more firmly. Although the Qin empire lasted only 15 years, it produced many lasting changes in Chinese life. This Qin dynasty, from which the Western name for China comes, standardized weights, measures, and coinage. In addition, the Qin established a uniform system of writing.[100]

            Shi Huangdi applied Legalist concepts to government. To control his nobles, he abolished all feudal land holdings and forced the aristocratic families to move to the capital.[101] He divided China into military districts ruled by governors directly responsible to him, who exercised stern authority.[102] The Code of Qin replaced conflicting local laws with a uniform legal system. Shi Huangdi also implemented a single tax system throughout the country, ending chaos in tax collecting.           

            Not content with ruling northern China, Shi Huangdi sent his armies far to the south. His armies conquered large parts of southern China, penetrating as far as the Xi Jiang River delta on the South China Sea. The armies also pushed back the less-civilized peoples to the northwest.

            To strengthen the unity and security of the empire, Shi Huangdi undertook massive public works. He built roads, bridges, and canals to move troops and supplies more easily.[103] To guard against nomadic invasions from the north and west, Shi Huangdi built a long defensive wall in 214 b.c. to separate Chinese civilization from other peoples.[104] Later rulers would extend this wall, until by the 1500s[105] it extended nearly 2,000 miles and became known as the Great Wall of China.[106]

Qin autocracy. The Qin maintained order in the empire by establishing an autocracy in which the emperor held total power. Under the influence of his Grand Councilor, the Legalist scholar Li Si, Shi Huangdi became convinced that just as there was to be only one emperor, one empire, and one culture in China, so must there also be only one system of thought. Allowing scholars to investigate and discuss problems freely would inevitably lead to different ideas about how to run the empire, and thus potentially to challenges to imperial authority. As Li Si put it:

“There are those who unofficially propagate teachings directed against imperial decrees and orders. . . . All persons possessing works of literature and discussions of the philosophers should destroy them. Those who have not destroyed them. . . are to be branded and work as convicts.”[108]

He began his attack on scholars by burning books, including Confucian classics of Chinese literature, that deviated from official Legalist doctrine. When some scholars failed to curb their views, Shi Huangdi had 460 of them executed.

            The Qin believed in harshly punishing groups of people for an individual's wrongdoing. When someone broke the law, not only was his or her entire family held responsible, but often groups of five or more families were held accountable for that individual's misdeeds. Therefore, the best protection for everyone was to inform on all wrongdoers immediately. Because people were required to inform on their relatives and neighbors, however, many people grew to resent Qin authority.[110]

            Despite the initial benefits of unification, discontent spread quickly under Qin rule. The aristocrats had lost their land and power; the peasantry suffered increasingly heavy taxation and excessive burdens of forced labor. As the general insecurity index rose once again, people eventually found the Qin regime and its Legalist philosophy intolerable. When Shi Huangdi himself died in 210 b.c., Li Si and other Legalist advisors conspired to maintain their control of the government by preventing the eldest son of the emperor, a strong-willed young man with ideas of his own, from assuming power. Instead they placed a weaker, more pliable younger son on the throne. Without a strong ruler willing to use whatever force might be necessary to keep power, however, and with a disputed succession, rebellions soon broke out against the Qin government.



The Han Dynasty

After the fall of the Qin dynasty, a peasant general named Liu Bang founded the Han dynasty. While the Qin dynasty barely survived the death of its first emperor, the Han dynasty stayed in power for 400 years, ruling over a prosperous state larger than the Roman Empire.[111]   

The civil service system. When Liu Bang seized power, he wanted to maintain the authority of the Qin state, without incurring the hostility of the Chinese people that Qin autocracy had raised. He believed that it was important to achieve a balance of yin and yang in imperial government. Liu Bang retained the administrative structure that the Qin had built, but softened it by bringing Confucian ethics into government. Liu Bang was not well educated, so he invited scholars to advise him.[112] Thus began the strong Confucian influence over the Chinese government that persisted for centuries afterward.

            During the reign of the strongest Han ruler, Wudi (140–87 b.c.),[113] this informal collection of wise advisors became an organized civil service. The efficiency of the civil service was also improved by the introduction of an examination system. Although government officials were still recommended on the basis of family connections, they also began to undergo competitive examinations before being appointed to government posts.

            The highest government officials prepared for these exams at the imperial university, established in Chang'an[114] in 124 b.c..[115] Students learned the Confucian Five Classics: the Book of Poetry, the Book of History, the Book of Divination, the Spring and Autumn Annals, and the Book of Rites.[116] The civil service exams tested candidates on their knowledge of the Five Classics, which were believed to offer great insights into the art of government.[117] As a result of these competitive examinations, many of the best scholars became government officials. Known as mandarins, they controlled the government bureaucracy. In theory anyone could take the examinations, and it was possible for a poor boy to rise to great heights in the civil service. In general, however, few peasants could afford an expensive education, so it was mainly the sons of wealthy landowning families who became civil servants.

Imperial expansion. During Wudi's energetic reign, the Han Empire expanded at a rapid rate. As drying climatic conditions in Central Asia caused the steppe nomads to go on the move looking for water and pasturage for their animals, Chinese armies marched northward into Manchuria and Korea, and troops penetrated southward into Vietnam.[118] Wudi's greatest challenge, however, was the Xiongnu, a tribal confederation of nomads who lived in the steppe to the northwest. The Xiongnu, who were probably related to the Huns that later invaded the Roman Empire,[119] periodically raided northern China, and they made it impossible for the Chinese to control the lucrative trade with western Asia.[120]

            Wudi used three tactics to subdue the Xiongnu—military force, diplomacy, and appeasement. First, in a long ten-year war his huge army finally destroyed Xiongnu power south of the Gobi Desert.[121] Second, Wudi attempted to build alliances with the Xiongnu's other enemies to protect China's frontier. Finally, he resorted to a policy of "peace and kinship," entertaining nomadic chieftains and giving them lavish gifts, sometimes including imperial princesses as wives. The nomadic Xiongnu soon learned that if they would play the game of appearing to accept the authority of the Han emperor, they could profit enormously - while still remaining essentially free in their own steppelands.[122]

            The conflict with the Xiongnu continued after Wudi's death. As Chinese armies moved beyond the empire's borders in an effort to conquer the nomads, their campaigns gradually extended Han military strength more than 2,000 miles—farther from their capital than the furthest Roman legions had been from Rome.[123]

            To maintain this vast empire, the Han government heavily taxed the peasants in northern China.[124] Many peasants fled from this heavy tax burden by migrating south or moving to the estates of great landowners, whose rents were lower than the taxes. To make up for the shortfall, those peasants who stayed behind in northern China had to pay even higher taxes. Eventually, this inspired  them to revolt against the Han government.[125] 

            In the 100s ad, other groups also rose in rebellion. Aristocratic families, university students, and Daoist religious leaders all challenged imperial authority, seriously weakening the empire.[126] Gradually, the empire began to divide into three parts. In the north, the last Han emperor was overthrown in 220 ad by Cao Pi, who founded a new dynasty called the Wei.[127] New kingdoms were also established in the west and south, and China entered a turbulent and disunited era.[128]

The Consolidation of Chinese Civilization

Under the centralized rule of the Qin and Han dynasties, Chinese culture flourished. Traditional elements of Chinese society, such as the emphasis on the family as the center of life, combined with new economic and technological developments to produce a civilization of great sophistication and brilliance.

Family and social life. Chinese society rested on the Confucian principle that the family was central to the welfare of the state. The values that governed family life—reverence for one's family, respect for age as a source of wisdom, and acceptance of the decisions made by one's superiors within the family hierarchy—governed national life as well as Chinese social and cultural life.

            The family, not the individual, was the most important unit in Chinese society. The family was ruled by the father, who arranged his children's and his grandchildren's marriages, decided how his sons would be educated, and even chose his sons' careers. Women were supposed to be subservient to men. According to Confucian doctrine, any attempt to achieve equality between men and women would result in social disharmony. Therefore, women did not own property or receive a Confucian education.[129]  Women could achieve a certain amount of power within the family, however, because of the reverence that traditional Chinese society held for mothers and mothers-in-law.[130] 

            As in every age, of course, there were some women who achieved positions of authority despite such social restrictions. For example, an educated woman named Ban Zhao served as the imperial historian of the Han court in the first century ad. In Lessons for Women, Ban Zhao described the complementary nature of the ideal relationship between men and women:

“As Yin and Yang are not of the same nature, so man and woman have different characteristics. . . .  Man is honored for strength; a woman is beautiful on account of her gentleness. . .  The correct relationship between husband and wife is based upon harmony, and. . . love is grounded in proper union. . . .”[131]

The economy. During the Qin and Han periods, the family also remained the primary economic unit. Despite the growth of towns and cities, most Chinese families continued to live as peasant farmers in small villages.[132] Not only did they face the challenge of raising enough food to survive, but they also had to fulfill the government's demands for taxes and labor. For about one month each year, they left their farms and worked on roads, canals, or other local construction projects.

            Under the Han dynasty, the government enacted a policy designed to help peasant farmers by stabilizing the price of farm products. In years when harvests were good and plentiful, the government itself would purchase much of the surplus and store it in state granaries. Then, in years when harvests were poor, the state would sell the stored surpluses in order to prevent famine and high prices, a policy known as leveling.[133]

            Although trade was less important to China than farming, its role in the economy gradually increased. The Qin policy of standardizing the currency and weights and measures stimulated commerce. Much of the trade was controlled by the state with profits going into the imperial treasury:

“The furs of sables, marmots, foxes and badgers, colored rugs and decorated carpets fill the imperial treasury, while jade and auspicious stones, corals and crystals, become national treasures. That is to say, foreign products keep flowing in, while our wealth is not dissipated. . . . National wealth not being dispersed abroad, the people enjoy abundance.”[134]

In addition, once the Han dynasty gained control over much of Central Asia, trade prospered along a number of routes that collectively became known as the Silk Road.[135] Chinese merchants sold silk to Parthian middlemen on China's western frontier. The Parthians in turn sold the silk to Romans.[136]

Science and technology. Although education was reserved for a privileged few in China, the Qin and Han periods saw dramatic developments in the fields of science and technology. In astronomy, for example, Han scientists calculated the length of the year with great accuracy. In 28 b.c. Chinese astronomers first observed sunspots, which Europeans did not discover until the ad 1600s.[137] Sometime before ad 100, the Chinese also built special instruments to observe the movement of planets.[138] Other scientific achievements included the invention of a primitive seismograph that registered even faint earthquakes.[139]

            One of the most important Chinese inventions was paper. First created in the ad 100s, the use of paper had spread throughout Asia by ad 700 and also to Europe, where it replaced papyrus as the main writing material. The Chinese also invented the sundial, the water clock, and wood-block printing.

            By the 400s b.c., the Chinese were using acupuncture to treat illnesses.[140] Doctors using acupuncture insert needles into certain spots on the body that are believed to be connected to internal organs through a network of channels.[141] Its development stemmed from the Daoist belief that good health depends on the movement of a life-force energy through the body and that illness or pain results when something interferes with that movement.

              Many stable elements of later Chinese civilization developed during the Qin and Han dynasties. Government developed into a complex bureaucracy guided by Confucian ethics, while among the people, the belief of the importance of groups over individuals became firmly entrenched. Chinese technology became quite advanced, while its armies built an empire that rivaled Rome. During the Qin and Han dynasties, China achieved a brilliant civilization and established many forms that would influence China for centuries.

Political Disintegration and the Rise of Buddhism

After the collapse of the Han dynasty, China's political and economic organization began to fall apart. The nomadic tribes living along the frontier swarmed into northern China, sacking cities and killing people, much as Germanic nomads were doing to the Roman Empire at the same time.[142] By the a.d. 300s, competition between kingdoms became fierce.  In the north, 16 kingdoms fought for control, while in the south, a series of weak Chinese kingdoms rose and fell along the Yangzi River.[143]

            Eventually, the northern nomads settled down, established kingdoms, and adopted the Chinese way of life. They also encouraged the growth of Buddhism, which first entered China from India during Han times.[144] Buddhism's promise of spiritual salvation gave comfort to many Chinese during a time of chaos and instability. As a result, Buddhism soon spread throughout China.


Section 4 Review

IDENTIFY and explain the significance of the following:

Shi Huangdi


civil service

Five Classics





Silk Road

LOCATE and explain the importance of the following:

Gobi Desert
Great Wall of China

Xi Jiang River



Chapter 6 Review





Five Classics

Four Noble Truths


yin and yang

1.      according to ancient Chinese belief, complementary forces that must be kept in balance[145]


2.      the major Confucian texts that all government officials were required to know[146]


3.      according to early Indian religious teachings, the moral duty that people must fulfill during their lifetime[147]


4.      the belief in nonviolence that is of utmost importance to Jainists[148]


5.      teachings of the Buddha, which proclaims that all sorrow in life is caused by desire, and that if people renounce desire and follow the Eightfold Path, they may achieve nirvana[149]


List the following events in their correct chronological order:

1.            Siddhartha Gautama achieves enlightenment.  

2.            The Han Dynasty is founded.  

3.            The Zhou capital is destroyed. 

4.            The Qin Dynasty rules northern China

5.            Chandragupta Maurya founds first Indian Empire.


1.      What are the central beliefs of Hinduism?[151]


2.      Which period is considered to be India's classical age?  Why?[152]


3.      What did Confucius teach?[153]


4.      How did Daoism react against Confucianism?[154]


5.      How did Legalist philosophy influence the Qin empire?[155]


6.      In what ways were Hinduism and Buddhism similar and dissimilar? [156]


7.      Why was the Han dynasty able to maintain power for 400 years, while the Qin dynasty endured little longer than the lifetime of its first emperor?[157]


Literature Excerpt

The Bhagavad Gita

At the heart of the Hindu religion is the story of Prince Arjuna and his dialogue with the god Krishna (another name for Vishnu) on the field of battle. Arjuna was deeply troubled with the thought of having to fight a battle against his own cousins, who had wronged his family. As the time of battle drew closer, Arjuna became more dejected and asked his chariot driver Krishna (the god in disguise) what to do. Krishna's answer and their continuing conversation make up the text known as the Bhagavad Gita, or "Song of the Lord."[158] Krishna tells Arjuna that he must follow his sacred duty in life or dharma, by living up to the expectations of his social class. For Arjuna that means being the most courageous warrior he can be.


"Krishna, I see my kinsmen

gathered here, wanting war.


My limbs sink,

my mouth is parched,

my body trembles,

the hair bristles on my flesh


The magic bow slips

from my hand, my skin burns,

I cannot stand still,

my mind reels.


I see omens of chaos,

Krishna; I see no good

in killing my kinsmen

in battle. . .[159]


Krishna replies:


"Why this cowardice

in time of crisis, Arjuna?

The coward is ignoble, shameful,

foreign to the ways of heaven.


Don't yield to impotence!

It is unnatural in you!

Banish this petty weakness from your heart.

Rise to the fight, Arjuna! . . .[160]


Look to your own duty;

do not tremble before it;

nothing is better for a warrior

than a battle of sacred duty.


The doors of heaven open

for warriors who rejoice

to have a battle like this

thrust on them by chance.


If you fail to wage this war

of sacred duty,

you will abandon your own duty

and fame only to gain evil.


People will tell

of your undying shame,

and for a man of honor

shame is worse than death."[161]


The Bhagavad Gita is part of the Mahabharata, an ancient Indian epic, and an important source of Hindu thought.[162] In the dialogue, Krishna also tells Arjuna that he can only fulfill his duty in life by being completely devoted to Krishna.[163] Over the centuries and still today, these two basic ideas, dharma and devotion to god are the most important beliefs of Hindus. 


History and Art


Religion has always played an important part in the creation of Indian art. Paintings and sculptures of the three main gods of the Hindu faith, Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva, fill numerous temples across India. Among the most spectacular works of Hindu art are the many depictions of the god Siva, the Destroyer. Sculpture of Siva reached its height in India around the tenth century.[164] One of the most common images of Siva is as the Nataraja (Lord of the Dance).[165] Like most works of Hindu art, the bronze statue pictured here is meant to symbolize religious teachings.[166] The circle of flame surrounding the god represents the continuous creation and destruction of the universe. Likewise the drum held in one of Siva's hands is a symbol for the creation of the universe, and the fire in another of his hands stands for its destruction.  The sculpture also conveys the ideas of Siva's power over death, represented by his standing on the body of a demon, and Siva's guidance in life, shown by the hand pointing downward, telling worshippers that they should have no fear.[167] Through its symbolism, the statue of Siva the Nataraja represents a basic idea of Hinduism; things that seem contradictory---birth and death, creation and destruction---are merely part of one ongoing universe.

Geography and History

The Silk Road

In 1933 Swedish explorer Swen Hedin set out on an expedition traveling along the ancient route of the Silk Road through central Asia. Hedin relates the beauty and the danger of his trip as he describes one evening's travel:

"The valley became wilder and wilder, with steep cliffs and delightful views. The evening light on the mountains was magnificent; the peaks shone out a brilliant orange as we serpentined [snaked] sharply along that extraordinary road, which was certainly not made for cars. . . We crossed a side valley by a bridge and climbed again on a narrow, dangerous winding cliff road, sloping steeply towards the precipice. We wondered all the time how long we should be able to keep the cars on an even keel. One error, and we should have dashed down the slope and been crushed to a pulp."[168]

The trip along the 9,000 mile[169] (14, 400 km.) caravan route known as the Silk Road was no less dangerous for merchants and travelers in ancient times. People moving along the Silk Road had to fear freezing to death in sudden blizzards in the mountains, dying of thirst or becoming delirious in the heat of the desert, and falling victim to marauding bands of robbers. So why were people willing to risk their lives and everything they owned to travel the Silk Road? The story begins many centuries ago, in the legends of ancient China.

            Chinese texts relate the story of Lei-tau, a woman in the court of the mythical emperor Huangdi, who reigned centuries before the rise of the Han. The story goes that one day Lei-tau was sitting quietly watching a worm of the mulberry tree spin its cocoon, when she came up with the idea that the thread produced by the worm could be spun into cloth. The fine cloth Lei-tau is said to have produced was the first silk.[170] By the first century A.D., under the reign of the Hans, silk had become the most important product in Chinese society. Silk was a common cloth in China, used for garments, banners, and even for water-tight containers.[171] But more importantly, silk was China's most valuable export, because it was considered almost priceless in many parts of the world.

            The traditional process for making raw silk has changed little since ancient times. Young silkworms must be kept in a constant warm temperature and must be fed every half hour on a diet of fresh, finely chopped mulberry leaves. The worms cannot be exposed to loud noises or strong smells. When the worms are ready to form their cocoons, they are placed on trays covered in straw. Once the cocoons are almost completed, they are thrown into boiling water, which kills the worms and removes the gum from the thread. The worms cannot be allowed to hatch, because the thread is useless if it is broken. They boiled cocoons are next carefully unraveled and the threads of several cocoons joined together. The thread is now ready to by spun into silk cloth.[172] In Han China the production of silk, which was vitally important to the survival of the household, was almost completely the responsibility of women. If a woman was skillful at her trade, the family could prosper; if not, the family could face serious financial problems.[173]

            The process of making silk was a carefully guarded secret by the Chinese. People smuggling the eggs of silkworms out of the empire could face the death penalty. Since silk was only available in China, people in far-off kingdoms were willing to pay high prices to obtain the precious material. It is believed that silk was first seen in Rome around 40 B.C., when it was used for the tents of the emperor. Within only a few years, silk clothes became so popular in Rome that the Senate had to ban men from wearing them, because so much gold was flowing out of the empire to pay for silk.[174]

            In order for silk to reach Rome, it had to travel across Asia and pass through many hands. The Silk Road began at Chang-an in western China. Silk cloth was brought to the city from Shandung and Hangchow, major silk producing regions.[175] From Chang-an the silk, and also other goods, such as precious stones, furs, and cinnamon,[176] began the overland trek in large camel caravans. In the first century A.D. one large caravan left Chang-an every month.[177] The goods then passed through a series of middlemen, from the Kushans to the Persians, to the Parthians, to the Greek and Jewish merchants in the eastern Mediterranean. There the goods were often traded for gold and silver headed ultimately for China. Jews were an important link in the silk trade, because they were expert weavers and dyers. Jewish artisans produced many of the fine garments so prized by the Romans.[178]

            Not only goods, but also ideas traveled along the Silk Road. Buddhism came to China in the first century A.D. through missionaries traveling over the Silk Road. Within the next few hundred years, Buddhist pilgrims from China traveled the Silk Road to India, bringing Chinese artistic influence with them.[179] In the seventh and eighth centuries, a new religion, Islam, also was transmitted by the Silk Road to western China where many people adopted it.[180] Ambassadors regularly traveled among the various kingdoms of central Asia along the Silk Road. In A.D. 166 Roman emperor Antoninus Pius sent an envoy to the Han court to discuss trade.[181] Chinese ambassadors as well traveled west to visit the royal courts of the Asian empires.

            Today ships, trains, trucks, and airplanes have made international trade and contacts a common part of everyday life. There was a time, however, when the dangerous camel paths known as the Silk Road provided the most important link between the great civilizations of the ancient world.



Although there is some belief that the use of acupuncture, treatment of health problems with needles, extends as far back as 7,000 years, to the Neolithic times,[182] tradition indicates that the first written evidence of its use is found in The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine, believed to have been written down in the third or fourth century b.c.[183] It wasn't until about the tenth century a.d. of Western history though, that traditional Chinese medicine began to find its way into foreign lands, and it was much later, in 1929, that a French consul in China translated a Chinese text, which carried the practice of acupuncture to France.[184] During the mid-1800s Chinese immigrants took their medical practice with them to the United States. Slowly, but surely, knowledge of an ancient form of treating ailments was spreading across the world.

            The practice of acupuncture consists of an understanding and belief in the influence on the body by two opposing but complementary principles—yin and yang— whose balance affects everything in the universe. The two forces create an energy known as qi (CHEE)—which Westerners associate with the thought of vitality or life force. Traditional Chinese medicine teaches that many disorders of the body are the result of an excess or deficiency of qi. Qi, as the life force, thereby affects the entire body, and Chinese medicine, rather than locating a specific problem and isolating it for treatment, considers the entire body to be out of balance or in disharmony. The treatment is applied by inserting extremely slender, sterile, stainless-steel needles into certain points on the body. The pressure of the needles affects the flows of qi and results in healing effects. Frequently herbs are also administered as part of the treatment.

            Today in the United States and other Western countries, many people seem to have been successfully treated with acupuncture for such medical problems as allergies, chronic pain, drug and alcohol addictions, and migraine headaches. Acupuncture has also been used for thousands of years in China as an anesthetic during surgery, typically for head and neck operations. While there is much skepticism regarding this treatment that seems so foreign to physicians and patients of Western medicine, there are also many true believers.

            Currently in the United States there are about 3,000 medical doctors and osteopaths (practitioners who believe that ailments can be treated by manipulation of body parts and therapeutic measures) and 7,000 nonphysicians who treat health problems with traditional Eastern techniques. Animals, too, receive acupuncture treatments from the approximately 200 veterinarians who are members of the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society.[185] As the debate continues over the benefits of this ancient medical practice, several Western research groups are attempting to validate the many claims of success with acupuncture. Rigorous studies are being performed, which may someday confirm acupuncture as an established form of treatment for many of our health problems.[186]



Andrea, Alfred J. and James H. Overfield. The Human Record: Sources of Global History, Volume I: To 1700. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1990.


Basham, A.L. The Wonder that Was India. New York: Taplinger, 1967.


Baskin, Wade, ed. Classics in Chinese Philosophy. Totowa, NJ: Littlefield, Adams & Co., 1974.


Clark, James I. India, Revised Edition. Evanston, IL: McDougal, Littel & Company, 1983.


Cotterell, Arthur. China: A Cultural History. New York: Meridian Books, 1988. (in-house)


Creel, Herrlee G. Chinese Thought: From Confucius to Mao Tse-Tung. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1953.


Fairbank, John King. China: A New History. Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1992.



Fairbank, John K., Edwin O. Reischauer, and Albert M. Craig. East Asia: Tradition & Transformation. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1978.


Fitzgerald, Charles P. "History and Civilization," in China: The Land and the People. New York: Crown, 1980.


Gerber, William, ed. The Mind of India. New York: Macmillan, 1967.


Goodrich, L. Carrington. A Short History of the Chinese People, 3rd Edition. New York: Harper & Row, 1963.


O'Neill, Hugh B. Companion to Chinese History. New York: Facts on File Publications, 1987. (in-house)


Roberts, J.M. History of the World. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993. (in-house)


Schulberg, Lucille. Historic India. New York: Time-Life Books, 1968.


Toynbee, Arnold, ed. Half the World: The History of China and Japan. London: Thames and Hudson, 1973.


Wolpert, Stanley. A New History of India .New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1977. (in-house)


Yap, Yong and Arthur Cotterell. The Early Civilization of China. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1975. (in-house)


[1]Fa-hsien in Wade-Giles.

[2]Goodrich, 90-91.

[3]Andrea/Overfield, 164-165.

[4]Clark, 14.

[5]Wolpert, 32.

[6]Clark, 15.  Clark spells the word "Brahmin's" which is inconsistent with our spelling and with his own.

[7]Wolpert, 44.

[8]Wolpert, 44.

[9]Wolpert, 44.

[10]Wolpert, 48.

[11]Wolpert, 38.

[12]Roberts, 340.

[13]Wolpert, 81.

[14]Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 8, p. 937.

[15]Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 8, p. 937.

[16]Clark, 18.

[17]Wolpert, 52, or Clark, 18.

[18]Wolpert, 52.

[19]Andrea/Overfield, 77.

[20]Clark, 18 or Wolpert, 53.

[21]Wolpert, 53.

[22]Wolpert, 49.

[23]Clark, 19.

[24]Clark, 19.

[25]Wolpert, 49.

[26]Wolpert, 52.

[27]Wolpert, 51 and Clark, 19.

[28]Andrea/Overfield, 82.

[29]Clark, 19.

[30]Wolpert, 49.

[31]Roberts, History of the World, 101.

[32]Wolpert, 55.

[33]Bimbisara became king around 540 BC.  Wolpert, 49.

[34]Wolpert, 49.

[35]Wolpert, 49.

[36]Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 9, p. 350.

[37]Wolpert, 55.

[38]Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 9, p. 834.

[39]Wolpert, 56.

[40]Wolpert, 55.

[41]Wolpert, 56.

[42]Roberts, 337.

[43]Wolpert, 58.

[44]Wolpert, 58.

[45]Wolpert, 59.

[46]Wolpert, 59.

[47]Wolpert, 60.

[48]Wolpert. 61.

[49]Wolpert, 61.

[50]Wolpert, 62.

[51]Andrea/Overfield, 156.

[52]Roberts, 339.

[53]Andrea/Overfield, 157.

[54]Roberts, 339.

[55]Wolpert, 67.

[56]Wolpert, 68-69.

[57]Roberts, 341, and Wolpert, 75. ANNO: The first were Scythians, nomads from Central Asia who were displaced from their normal territories by yet another group of migrating nomadic warriors, the Kushans. From the west too, the Pahlavas, a Persian people, invaded northern India.

[58]Roberts, 342.

[59]All taken from Wolpert, chapters 6 and 7.

[60]Andrea/Overfield, 159.

[61]Andrea/Overfield, 160.

[62]Andrea/Overfield, 162.

[63]Andrea/Overfield, 161.

[64]Schulberg, 121.

[65]Roberts, 342, or Wolpert, 88.

[66]Roberts, 343, or Wolpert, 89.

[67]Wolpert, 89.

[68]Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 9, p. 360.

[69]Roberts, 343.

[70]Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 9, p. 360.

[71]Wolpert, p. ?

[72]Basham, 206.

[73]Fairbank, 49.

[74]Fairbank, 49.

[75]Cotterell, 41.

[76]Sources cite different specific dates:  771-403 BC (Robert, 109 and Andrea/Overfield, 93), 771-484 BC (O'Neill, 295), 722-481 BC (FRC, 34 and Fairbank, 49--both authored by the same Fairbank), or 770-481 BC (Cotterell, 5)

[77]O'Neill, 295.

[78]Cotterell, 42.

[79]O'Neill, 295.

[80]FRC, 39.

[81]FRC, 38.

[82]FRC, 38.

[83]FRC, 40.

[84]Fairbank, 19.

[85]FRC, 44.

[86]FRC, 44.

[87]Roberts, 114.

[88]FRC, 42.

[89]Fairbank, 52.  The saying in Chinese is more fun—"jun jun chen chen fu fu zi zi."

[90]Fairbank, 52-53.

[91]FRC, 47-48.

[92]Andrea/Overfield, 96.

[93]Creel, p. 105.

[94]Roberts, 114.

[95]FRC, 53.

[96]Creel, p. 149.

[97]Roberts, 353.

[98]Fitzgerald, p. 162.

[99]Fairbank, 55.

[100]Fairbank, 56.

[101]Cotterell, 87.

[102]Fairbank, 55.

[103]Cotterell, 87.

[104]Cotterell, 61.

[105]Fairbank, 57.

[106]Cotterell, 61.  O'Neill claims the wall is 3750  miles long and was consolidated during the Qin dynasty.

[107]Fairbank, 56.

[108]Cotterell, 87.

[109]Fairbank, 56.

[110]Fairbank, 55.

[111]Fairbank, 2.

[112]Yap/Cotterell, 79.

[113]Fairbank, 61.

[114]NOTE:  This is a Wade-Giles spelling; I couldn't find the Pinyin equivalent.

[115]Cotterell, 99.

[116]Cotterell, 99.

[117]Fairbank, 66.

[118]Fairbank, 61.

[119]O'Neill, 120.

[120]FRC, 63.

[121]FRC, 63.

[122]Fairbank, 61.

[123]FRC, 65.

[124]FRC, 78.

[125]FRC, 78.

[126]FRC, 78-79.

[127]Cotterell, 127.

[128]FRC, 79 and Cotterell , 127.

[129]O'Neill, 89.  All real property was divided among male heirs only.

[130]Andrea/Overfield, 149.

[131]Andrea/Overfield, 152-53.

[132]Yap/Cotterell, 97.  Most people worked in agriculture, and about 1/10 were urban dwellers.  Yap/Cotterell, 105: most small farmers could not take advantage of labor-saving devices, such as improved ploughshares or animal-powered grain-milling; they had to rely on ancient labor-intensive methods.

[133]Cotterell, 109-110.

[134]from Discourses on Salt and Iron, translated by EM Gale, from Goodrich, 41.

[135]O'Neill, 288.

[136]O'Neill, 288.

[137]Goodrich, 47.6.

[138]Cotterell, 120.

[139]Cotterell, 120.

[140]O'Neill, 2.

[141]O'Neill, 2.

[142]FRC, 81.

[143]Fairbank, 73.

[144]FRC, 90.

[145]yin and yang

[146]Five Classics



[149]Four Noble Truths

[150] 3, 5, 1, 4, 2

[151]Reincarnation (process of souls being reborn into the forms of other creatures), dharma (the moral duty a person must fulfill in order to be reborn at a higher level), and karma (the moral consequences of the actions a person has taken during his/her lifetime).

[152]During the Gupta Empire, political unity was achieved in which Hindu culture bloomed—art, architecture, and literature flourished.

[153]Confucius taught a system of ethics and values that would restore social harmony and political stability in China. Confucius believed that all people should know their proper places in society and fulfill their duties accordingly.  He advocated respect for traditional culture and strong adherence to the principal of order.

[154]In part, Daoism was a reaction against the social and moral conformity of Confucianism and against the power struggles of the Era of Warring States. Daoists emphasized the independence of each individual, as opposed to the dependence of the individual on the groups to which he/she belonged.

[155]By putting Legalist principles into practice, the Qin dynasty was able to maintqain order over a large empire.  However, that strict authority created much resentment among the Chinese people, and the Qin dynasty fell soon after the death of its first emperor.

[156]Both believe in reincarnation, dharma, and karma.  Hindus believed in the caste system and inherited virtue, the sacred nature of the Vedas, the rights of priests to be wealthy.  Buddhists, on the other hand, did not.

[157]The Han built upon the administrative structure that the Qin developed, but they softened the harshness of the Qin's Legalist doctrine by incorporating Confucian ethics into government.

[158]  The  Bhagavad Gita, translated by Barbara Stoler Miller, p. 1.

[159]  Ibid., pp. 24--25.

[160]  Ibid., p. 29.

[161]  Ibid., p. 34.

[162]  Ibid., p. 2.

[163]  Ibid., p. 9.

[164]  Gardner's Art through the Ages, p. 438.

[165]  Ibid.

[166]   Diana Eck. Darsan: Seeing the Divine Image in India, p. 41.

[167]  Ibid. p. 41.

[168]  The Silk Road. Swen Hedin. 1938, p. 273.

[169]  Silk Road to Sinkiang. Iqbal m. Shafi. 1988, p. 15.

[170]  The Silk Road. Luce Boulnois. 1966, p. 17.

[171]  Boulnois, pp. 21--22.

[172]  Boulnois, pp. 20--22.

[173]  Boulnois, p. 21.

[174]  Boulnois, pp. 9--10.

[175]  Shafi, p. 15.

[176]  Shafi, p. 15.

[177]  Shafi, p. 15.

[178]  Boulnois, p. 88.

[179]  Shafi, pp. 15--16.

[180]  Shafi, p. 18.

[181]  Boulnois, p. 71.

[182]Guenter B. Risse, M.D., Ph.D, ed., Modern China and Traditional Chinese Medicine: A Symposium Held at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (Springfield, Ill.: Charles C. Thomas, 1973), 13.


[184]Harriet Beinfield, L. Ac. and Efrem Korngold, L.Ac., O.M.D, Between Heaven and Earth: A Guide to Chinese Medicine (New York: Ballantine Books, 1991), 11–12.

[185]Dave Kendall, "Acupuncture Wins  the  West" Mother Earth News(May-June 1989) 117:42.

[186]"Acupuncture" Consumer Reports , 59:1 (January 1993), 4.