Six Dynasties

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Six Dynasties

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1belleyang Första inlägget
dec 11, 2006, 6:43 pm

Can someone recommend a good book in English on the Sixth Dynasties? Thank you. Wu, Eastern Jin, Song, Qi, Liang, Chen. Belle Yang

dec 12, 2006, 8:31 am

belleyang >1 belleyang:

Welcome to what has been a rather slow forum. Perhaps your arrival will liven things a bit.

Offhand we couldn't think of a good book on the six dynasties, and a few minutes Googling didn't turn one up. The period seems not to have attracted much interest from general historians. There are of course interesting developments there for specialists, for example in religion, in pottery and in calligraphy. It seems you can read classical Chinese, so you have the option of reading the dynastic histories, but as of course you know, they are organized into individual biographies and topical essays rather then the chronological report of events that modern readers might prefer. Perhaps some day you will write the definitive history of the six dynasties.

Redigerat: dec 13, 2006, 3:27 am

I can't think of any general history of the Six Dynasties; a real shame considering what a fascinating period it is.

Some essays by Balazs in Chinese Civilization and Bureaucracy covers this period as does Richard B. Mather's book The poet Shen Yüeh (441-513) : the reticent marquis. Donald Holzman has also published a collection of papers on this period. These works are mostly concerned with the literary arts.

For art I can think of Art of the Six Dynasties by Juliano, Contemplating the Ancients by Spiro and parts of Monumentality by Wu Hung.

For a good overview but basically limited to English language sources, you might want to try the bibliography of the Early Medieval China Group at

I hope some of this helps.