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New Topic: Spring Autumn and Warring States Topic

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  Quote poirot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: New Topic: Spring Autumn and Warring States Topic
    Posted: 16-Nov-2005 at 21:45
In an attempt to increase the scholarship and quality of discussion in the Asian History Forum, I encourage everyone to stard new, meaningful, and intellectually interesting topics that can spur debates on the basis of scholarly exchange of information and ideas.  With that in mind, I am going to start a new topic:
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  Quote poirot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Nov-2005 at 21:54

I have always been wondering about the apparent lack of historical recordings of the Spring Autumn and Warring States period between 450 B.C. and 350 B.C. 

I read the Chronocles of the Eastern Chou and noticed a gap between the end of the Spring and Autumn, and the beginning of the Warring States.  There is a period of about a century, from the suicide of the last Wu King to the splitting up of the Dukedom of Jin, that lacks detailed records.

I have always been intrigued by this, because this was an extraordinary period.  This missing century marks the decisive shift from the Spring and Autumn Period into the Warring States Period.  A large number of the small dukedoms that existed during the Spring and Autumn Period disappeared during this time, and many of the schools of philosophy that followed the likes of Confucius and Laozi began to flourish at this time.

Thus, this missing period should actually be the most dynamic period in pre-Qin history, marking a decisive shift in the political, economic, and social makeup of the pre-Qin world.  Then again, why do we not have more accurate and detailed knowledge of this period?

We know plenty of details about the dukes during the Spring and Autumn Period, and we know plently of details of the Warring States Period starting from the 300s B.C.  We know about the Dukes of Jin; we know about Shang Yang.  Yet, we seem to know or care little about the transitionary period between the Spring and Autumn and Warring States Periods.

One of my assertions is the following:

The period from 450 B.C. to 350 B.C. marked such a significant change in politics and society that some of the elements that defined the period proved to be detrimental to future rulers.  The period had been quietly played down and even expurgated from history, during the book burning movements of the Qin Dynasty.  Thus, most records (aside from Chunqiu, Zuo Zhuan) have been lost forever.

 



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  Quote MengTzu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Nov-2005 at 14:05

Did the Shiji treat of this "missing" period?

Good luck starting an academic thread.  The Asian forum, regretably, probably has less academic sophistication than the AE Tavern.



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  Quote poirot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Nov-2005 at 15:15

I am not so sure about the Shiji, but again, the Shiji is categorized not chronologically, but based on individual chronicles.  And I believe there is a gap about the chronicles of figures between the 450-350 BC.  The Shiji treats, with detal, characters such as the Dukes of Qi and Jin during the Spring and Autumn era, as well as historical figures such as Shang Yang, Su Qin, and Zhang Yi from the Warring States era. 

I pose a question for you MengTzu:

Can you name one major historical figure from 450-350 B.C. who has been chronicled in detail like Su Qin, Zhang Yi, and Sun Bin?



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  Quote Omnipotence Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Nov-2005 at 18:54
It's interesting that Suntzu wasn't mentioned much in Warring States historical sources. Only in historical articles mentioned at later times, such as the Han, was he mentioned.
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  Quote poirot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Nov-2005 at 23:43
Omnipotence, can you pull out some sources?  I am very interested
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  Quote snowybeagle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Nov-2005 at 13:16
Originally posted by poirot

I have always been wondering about the apparent lack of historical recordings of the Spring Autumn and Warring States period between 450 B.C. and 350 B.C. 

I read the Chronocles of the Eastern Chou and noticed a gap between the end of the Spring and Autumn, and the beginning of the Warring States.  There is a period of about a century, from the suicide of the last Wu King to the splitting up of the Dukedom of Jin, that lacks detailed records.

Are you sure you got the dates right?

The State of Wu () was destroyed in 473BC, or 475BC.

, a rather unusual account of an outlaw by the name of Dao Tuo who roamed fearlessly with his band of warriors, took place circa 470BC. According to MengZi's accounts ׯӡš, Confucious personally went to plead with the outlaw and reformed him, though this might not be true given the master was supposed to pass away in 479BC, but his disciples continued his legacy, though some took different paths.

One of the most colourful figures of the era, Wu Qi (), lived from 440BC to 381BC. His career began circa 421BC.

During the reign of King Kao of Zhou (ܿ) from 441BC to 426BC, he foolishedly partitioned the already small territories of the kingdom further, making his younger brother duke of Western Zhou.

455BC ҷ֕x (1) : Destruction of the major Zhi clan of Jin state, turfs divided by Zhao, Wei and Han clans.

438BC ҷ֕x (2) : Zhao, Wei and Han leaders recognised as feudal lords by the Zhou king.

403BC ҷ֕x (3) : The tripartite division of the superstate of Jin (x ) completed.

Prior to that, there was a number of accounts of how various vassal clans of Jin began to expand and assert themselves, at first against each other, then at the expense of their lord.

386BC ϴR - the founding ruling clan (Jiang) of the State of Qi replaced by the clan of Tian, which was an offshoot of the ruling clan of the defunct State of Chen.

356BC ׃ - Legalistic reforms by Yang in the State of Qin.

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  Quote poirot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Nov-2005 at 19:13

Snowbeagle, I think you are right, I did mistakenly put the splitting of the Dukedom of Jin 50 years later than it should have.  However, that does not change the fact that relatively less details have been written about this time period.

Yes, Wu Qi was a colorful figure, but can you name more characters?

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  Quote Beijingguy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Nov-2005 at 23:41

agreed, Qin wants itself to be the model, and maintenance of those richness in records could not only defy qin's current policy, also could evoke those old nobles of former kingdoms to revolt.

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  Quote snowybeagle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Nov-2005 at 11:54

Originally posted by poirot

Snowbeagle, I think you are right, I did mistakenly put the splitting of the Dukedom of Jin 50 years later than it should have.  However, that does not change the fact that relatively less details have been written about this time period. Yes, Wu Qi was a colorful figure, but can you name more characters?

Uhm, could you cite the *corrected* period which you're thinking of ...?

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  Quote snowybeagle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Nov-2005 at 02:13

Originally posted by poirot

Yes, Wu Qi was a colorful figure, but can you name more characters?

Uhm, his contemporary Sima Rangju who professed to be Wu Qi's inferior?

Tian Wen (not to be confused with Lord MengChang of the State of Qi) who was appointed premier upon the death of Marquis Wen of Wei to assist the successor, historically known as Marquis Wu of Wei. Wu Qi was a little put out at not being made premier, but Tian Wen correctly pointed out that for all Wu Qi's superior capabilities in the military, civil administration and securing the borders of the state, the prevailing situation of having a new young ruler made respected the Wei native noble Tian Wen a far more suitable person to act as regent/premier in order to maintain stability.

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  Quote Omnipotence Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Nov-2005 at 16:09

"Omnipotence, can you pull out some sources?  I am very interested"

 

Well, I can't really prove to you that historical sources during the Warring States DON't mention Suntzu, unless I copy every historical source of the time period to this forum, which i can't do . However, I got the information at 3kingdoms forum at the world history section(and the "Is Suntzu overrated" thread). You can look there. 

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