More notes at http://tanguay.info/learntracker
C O U R S E 
Chinese Thought: Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Science
Edward Slingerland, University of British Columbia
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
The Golden Age of the Western Zhou (1046–771 BCE)
Notes taken on December 22, 2014 by Edward Tanguay
Zhou dynasty [joh]
followed the Shang dynasty
preceded the Qin dynasty
1046–256 BCE
"The Western Zhou": 1046-771 BCE
looked backed to as a Golden Age
China was settled
the world was the way it needed to be
Confucius (551–479 BC) used the Western Zhou as a blueprint of what China should be
we know a lot more about the Zhou than we do about the Shang
thousands of bronze inscriptions
as with the Shang but much longer
precisely datable
know when they were buried
essentially texts that were cast in bronze
zun vessel inscription
records the words of King Cheng upon establishing his capital
so we can corroborate what we get from written sources with these artifacts we are digging out of the ground which have historical text on them
transmitted texts
texts that have been passed down historically
less reliable because we don't know exactly when they are from
but more detailed and extensive
1. Book of Documents (Book of History)
collection of speeches
historical records
about Western Zhou
some are clearly later forgeries from the Han dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD) and later
2. Book of Odes (Book of Songs)
folk songs
racy folk poetry that the Confucians are going to have to deal with later on
poetesses wanting to meet their lovers out in the bushes
solemn state hymns
accounts of rituals
most of quite old based on linguistic evidence
choice of words
the beauty of these texts is we have many of them
more information
but less reliable
copied throughout the ages
major figures
King Wen (1152–1056 BC)
the cultured king
honored as the founder of the Zhou dynasty
in trying to reform the evil King Zhou of the Shang dynasty, he became a perfect paragon of virtue and cultured correctness
he didn't take up arms against the king, it was his son Wu who conquered the Shang following the Battle of Muye
large number of the hymns of the Classic of Poetry are praises to the legacy of King Wen
the first epic hero of Chinese history
King Wu
the martial king
saw his father try to reform the evil King Zhow
it didn't work so he took up arms
seen as the actual founder of the Zhou dynasty since he was the one who defeated the Shang
then his father was postumously declared the first king of the Zhou dynasty
Duke of Zhou
a member of the Zhou Dynasty who played a major role in consolidating the kingdom established by his elder brother King Wu
when King Wu died, King Cheng was too young to take over the kingship, so the Duke of Zhou acted as capable and loyal regent for his young nephew King Cheng by e.g. successfully suppressing a number of rebellions and placating the Shang nobility with titles and positions
a Chinese culture hero credited with writing the I Ching and the Book of Poetry, establishing the Rites of Zhou, and creating the yayue of Chinese classical music
a paragon of loyalty and wisdom
as soon as King Cheng was old enough to take over, he graciously gave the throne to the son of his brother
in Chinese culture he is seen as the symbol of what a wise ruler and minister should be
Zhou military expansion
homeland was where the Wei River continues on from the Yellow River
fought their way to the east and took over the Shang
their goal was the Anyang, the capital of the Chang
1045 BCE decisive battle happened at Muye
take over the Yellow River valley
this story gets corroborated by the archeological record
Li gui [lee GWAY] vessel
made by Li, a follower of King Wu [oo]
records how King Wu performed a divination, then crushed King Zhow of the Shang
religious continuity
although the Zhou conquered the Shang, they were very v to identify with them politically and religiously
left their structures in tact and just took over their cities
took over religious systems
Zhou retained Shang Di
tian [twen]
is a supreme god and sky deity in China's traditional religions
standard translation is "Heaven", the "Universe", the "Great All".
tien is often drawn as a large person
an anthropomorphic being
it's often translated as the sky, but it's not a place
it's not a place you go to after you die like the Christian heaven
it's heaven as a being, an anthropomorphic being who is up there somewhere striding around in a very vague way
we never directly see heaven, it doesn't speak or communicate
but heaven's up there having some kind of effect on the world
when the Zhou conquered the Shang, they were very keen on claiming a continuity with the Shang religious system
so in the same way Shangdi was, Tien becomes the supreme being in charge of everything that humans can't control
the Zhou took over the Yellow River Valley
but maintained their key cities of power in the west
but controlled the whole central plain area
established their kins people and important generals as rules in these various areas, colonies and states which made up the former realm of the Shang
these states will become independent states in the Eastern Zhou Period
power devolved to feudal lords who
paid them tribute
paid donations to the king
could be called up into battle
was a bit different
was more of a centralized state because of signs of a tighter control than feudalism in Western Europe
king had representatives in the courts of these state rulers
beginnings of centralized bureaucracy
we don't get a fully centralized state until the Qin dynasty (211-206 BCE)
771 BCE: end of Western Zhou dynasty
King You [yoh] (781-771 BCE)
killed by vassals allied with non-Zhou tribes
son King Ping (770-720 BCE)
force to flee east to Chengzhou, present-day Luoyang
moved the capital
marks the beginning of the Eastern Zhou
Confucius and others look back to the Western Zhou as a golden age of harmony, peace and wise rulership
once the capital was sacked and king was forced to move east and set up a new capital, things go downhill fairly rapidly
the regional lords are now becoming more and more de facto, independent rulers
the colonies and domains become independent states
these lesser rulers began to take on prerogatives that only the Zhou kings were allowed to have
in the later part of the Eastern Zhou period, they even begin to adopt the name "wang" or "king" for themselves
something that horrified Confucius
Eastern Zhou (771-221 BCE)
Spring and Autumn (770-481 BCE)
covered by the court history of the state of Lu
the beginning of the dissolution of China
the rise of the independent states
Confucius (551-479 BCE)
Warring States (481-221 BCE)
begins when the Zhou kings officially recognize the partitions of the state of Jin
Jin was being carved up by rival ministers
they conceded that they had three independent states and thus were in the "warring states period"
this is where "all the action is happening philosophically"
eventually a state in the West comes and swallows up all the other states and unifies China
independent states that are fighting for their lives
changes sociologically
a whole new class of freelance intellectuals