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Title: Divination, Mythology and Monarchy in Han China
Author: Loewe, Michael
Publisher: Cambridge University Press; Publication Date: 1994
Hardcover; ISBN: 9780521454667
Volumes: 1; Pages: 375
List Price in Cloth: $130.00 Our price: $130.00
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The four centuries of the Han dynasties from 206 B.C. to A.D. 220 witnessed major developments in the ideas of sovereignty. Michael Loewe traces these changes along with some of their religious aspects, including the techniques used by emperors and others to forecast the future or to divine the present. Both mythology and the tradition of learning affected the growth of the imperial ideal that, despite its failings, was of major importance both for the Han and China's subsequent dynasties.ContentsIntroduction: the history of the early empires1. Man and beast: the hybrid in early Chinese art and literature2. Water, earth and fire: the symbols of the Han dynasty3. The Han view of comets4. The authority of the emperors of Ch'in and Han5. The term K'an-yu and the choice of the moment6. Imperial sovereignty: Tung Chung-shu's contribution and his predecessors7. The cult of the dragon and the invocation for rain8. Divination by shells, bones and stalks during the Han period9. The oracles of the clouds and winds10. The Almanacs (Jih-shu) from Shui-hu-ti: a preliminary survey11. The Cheh-ti games: a re-enactment of the battle between Ch'ih-yu and Hsan-yan? 12. The failure of the Confucian ethic in Later Han times13. The imperial tombs of the Former Han dynasty and their shrines.