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Questions tagged [medieval-china]

Questions about China after the fall of the Han Dynasty (A.D. 220) and prior to the early modern period.

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What are some Chinese sources testifying the extreme weather events of 535-536 CE?

The Wikipedia page Extreme weather events of 535–536 lists under "Documentary evidence" that: Low temperatures, even snow during the summer (snow reportedly fell in August in China during the ...
6
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1answer
124 views

Was 'Jade Mirror of the Four Unknowns' published in 1303, and how do we know?

Wikipedia gives the date for Chinese mathematician Zhu Shijie's Jade Mirror of the Four Unknowns (四元玉鉴, Siyuan yujian) as 1303, citing Elman, Benjamin A. (2005). On their own terms science in China, ...
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345 views

Why did the Mongols outlaw intermarriage between the Mongols and the Chinese and forbid the Chinese from learning the Mongolian language?

When the Mongols invaded China and established the Yuan dynasty, why did they outlaw intermarriage and forbid the Chinese from learning the Mongolian language? I am reading this from a textbook for ...
16
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2answers
484 views

Were Mongol or Chinese cavalry charges among the largest in history?

In 1683 at the Battle of Vienna, 20,000 Polish, German and Austrian cavalry charged the Ottoman lines in what Wikipedia says is the largest cavalry charge in history. Other references are more ...
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11answers
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Why did Europeans (and not people in other regions) dominate oceans?

Having a brief look at civilization history, I find that Europeans have a significant dominance over other regions when it comes to sailing. This becomes more obvious after the 15th century when ...
3
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0answers
93 views

How far would the average Silk Road caravan travel during the early reign of Justinian?

So what I am asking is not the total travel distance that the Caravan would travel in a lifetime; instead I am asking how far they would tend to go one-way on a two-way trip and how long that trek ...
2
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2answers
283 views

Did Song troops spread black beans on the ground as a means to defeat the superior Jin cavalry? If so, in which battle?

According to this page on the website Changing Minds, When the superior Jin cavalry were attacking, the inferior Song troops scattered black beans on the ground which the cavalry horses stopped ...
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2answers
426 views

Was the Korean King Chungnyeol instrumental in persuading Kublai Khan to invade Japan?

The Mongol invasions of Japan were costly failures. According to Wikipedia, the Korean King Chungnyeol (by this time a vassal of the Mongols) was ...known as the fixer who instigated Mongol ...
5
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2answers
338 views

Scholar-farmer-artisan-merchant social ordering in ancient/medieval China

The phrase scholar-farmer-artisan-merchant (士農工商, shi-nong-gong-shang) is well-known in China and other Confucian countries. These were the four broad classes of people in ancient/medieval China. The ...
2
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1answer
234 views

The history of toys: Who invented the first porcelain dolls?

I've been reading about the history of toys online, as part of a personal project. One thing that surprised me was that every article I've found lists porcelain toys as having been invented by ...
7
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1answer
147 views

Where does the phrase “behind the wind” come from?

In Millennium: A History of the Last Thousand Years, chapter 4 ("The World Behind the Wind"), the second-to-last sentence: On the evidence of the events of the fifteenth century, in the world east ...
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3answers
469 views

Why have eunuchs been so influential in Chinese history?

Throughout the history of China, eunuchs amassed power, destabilised dynasties, and commanded armies. They were a major cause in the decline of the Han, Tang and other dynasties. What customs or ...
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0answers
196 views

What's the historical basis for Water Margin / 108 Heroes of Liangshan?

Chronicle of the Water Margin (alternatively known as Outlaws of the Marsh and All Men are Brothers), one of the Four Great Famous Works of Chinese literature, is a novel attributed to Shi Nai'an (施耐庵,...
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3answers
333 views

Are there any influences of sinification in modern times? [closed]

Sinification is the process of changing a civilization into a Chinese style. It was very prevalent in Korean civilization, a bit less in Japan, and very little in Vietnam. Are there still any ...
2
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1answer
238 views

Why Khalkh mongols didn't support Dzungars in fight against China?

Khalkha Mongol Khans fought for China against the Dzungars. What was the reason for that? Why did the Dzungars become enemies of the Khalkh Mongols? Dzungar Genocide Dzungar Tsing Wars
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0answers
119 views

Why were the Mongols so victorious? [duplicate]

I read that the Mongol Empire conquered and unified China. My question is... how were the Mongols able to conquer so much when China's population almost certainly was larger during that time period? ...
3
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1answer
221 views

Why haven't bankers gained as much power in China as the Medici got in Europe during their height? [closed]

While the monotheist religions had bans on loaning money, Buddhism doesn't. Why didn't bankers manage to consolidate power in China during the Middle Ages?
3
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1answer
312 views

Did Western China have special-named martial arts during Islamic era?

Islam brought by Prophet Mohammad had reached (parts of) Central Asia in less than 50 years after his death. Central Asia, especially China, is nowadays famous of its martial arts. Even in some muslim ...
15
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7answers
2k views

Why some sections of Great Wall of China seem to be bidirectional?

Official historiography says that Great Wall of China is built "across the historical northern borders of China to protect the Chinese states and empires against the raids and invasions of the various ...
11
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1answer
240 views

Why didn't Emperor Gaozu of Tang let Crown Prince Li Jiancheng command battles more often?

When Emperor Gaozhu of Tang (唐高祖) was reigning, there were a number of battles that were helmed by his second son, Li Shimin(李世民) instead of the crown prince Li Jiancheng(太子李建成), such as: The ...
6
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2answers
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How heavy was the taxation in Ming China?

I often read that the Ming dynasty taxed heavily, and that this is one of the reasons it failed. For example, this says that: "Corruptive officials levied heavy taxes on peasants, triggering ...
11
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1answer
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Did Hongwu Emperor flay 5000 women, and why?

On Wikipedia, there is a snippet that reads: The Hongwu Emperor flayed many servants, officials and rebels.[5][6] In 1396 he ordered the flaying of 5000 women.[7] The problem is that the second ...
12
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1answer
3k views

Why did the Ming Dynasty Treasure Fleet Voyages end?

Have we come to know more reasons, on why the Treasure Fleet Voyages of the Ming Dynasty ceased, other than eunuch-to-civil power shift? Wikipedia says However, in 1433, the voyages ceased and ...
6
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4answers
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Why was East Asia more religiously tolerant than Europe in medieval time?

In medieval time, different religions coexisted in China, Japan and Korea, but only Christianity was allowed in Europe. What factors made medieval East Asia more religiously tolerant than medieval ...
3
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2answers
346 views

Did the Yuan Dynasty ever occupy Hainan?

And if so who occupied Hainan before them and after them?
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2answers
6k views

How was security on the Silk Road between China and the West maintained?

From the 2nd century BC to the beginning of the 15th century the Silk Road (or more correctly roads, as there were alternative routes) was the primary trade route between China and the West. One ...
3
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1answer
138 views

Was the Kara-Khanid Khanate founded by Karluks or Uyghurs?

I've seen both the Karluks and the Uyghurs referred as the founders of the Kara-Khanid Khanate (sometimes in the same source). Is there a consensus about the matter or am I missing something?
4
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1answer
113 views

What was the purpose of military prefectures in Song?

The Song dynasty administrative system is really hard to understand (at least for me), and I have many questions about it. Here I'll concentrate on the military prefectures. It's well documented the ...
6
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1answer
257 views

How was the political landscape of Tibet during the era of fragmentation?

When reading about the end of the Tibetan empire, information about the political situation of the area is scarce (most authors focus a lot on the religion). Basically, who was de facto or de jure in ...
4
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1answer
242 views

What were the Jurchen tribes/confederations in the 11th-12th centuries?

I couldn't find anything about them other than vague geographical localization. Basically, I'm looking for the highest tribal organizations (no need to cite every single clan), akin to the five Mongol ...
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4answers
1k views

What are the oldest primary sources of recorded history in China?

There is for instance Sima Qian, according to Wikipedia the first Chinese historian, who wrote the Shiji (Records of the Grand Historian) in 109 BCE. But does this primary source still exist, or do ...
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1answer
127 views

What ideas diffused into China via the trade route established by emperor Han Wudi with the area around Persia? [closed]

China was relatively isolated in the far east, but suddenly the situation changed as emperor Han Wudi, famous for his vital foreign politics established economic relations with Bactria and Iran.
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1answer
5k views

How were Chinese Dynasties named?

What were the rules or conventions for choosing the name of a new dynasty chosen? Was there a single method for naming all of the Chinese dynasties?
5
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1answer
4k views

Did Marco Polo write about or bring back fireworks from his travels?

I have read a lot of anecdotal accounts claiming that Marco Polo was "impressed" with fireworks he saw in Cathay, and other stories that he "brought back fire crackers" or "introduced gunpowder" to ...
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0answers
914 views

What weapons did Yue Fei used against the Jin Cavalry

One of my Chinese friends said that the Jin troops rode 5 horse at once and charged as a very heavy cathaprac. Yue Fei used a special halberd and cut off the horses legs. The riders fell off their ...