Essay on Chinese Dynasties

3137 Words 13 Pages
Chinese Dynasties: 1. Shang: Also called Yin, dynasty that was China's earliest historically verifiable state 1766 B.C. to 1122 B.C. A. Reason's for Rise: Unlike the early accounts of history by the Chinese, there is archaeological evidence of the Shang, who built their cities in northern China around the eastern parts of the Yellow River. For this reason they are called the Yellow River civilization. They were a bronze age people; bronze-working seems to have entered China around 2000 BC (about one thousand years after its invention in Mesopotamia). B. Territorial Location & size at height of power (map): The Shang ruled the area from the North China Plain northward into present-day Shantung Province and westward to the tip of Honan …show more content…
Shang-Ti also regulated human affairs as well as ruling over the material universe. This dual function would, in the Chou dynasty, be attributed to a more abstract figure, "t'ien," or "Heaven." The Shang also believed that their ancestors dwelled in heaven after their death and continued to show an interest in their familiy and descendants. The obligations within the family included, therefore, the ancestors. Failing in one's duties to the ancestors could bring all sorts of disaster on a family. All of these divine and semi-divine figures, from Shang-Ti to a family's ancestors, were sacrificed to. However, we know little of the nature or the frequency of these sacrifices. We do know, however, that in the Chou dynasty only the king could sacrifice to Shang-Ti; it is highly likely that Shang-Ti was the "local god" of the Shang kings who was subsequently elevated in order to elevate the Shang themselves. The one disturbing fact of Shang sacrifice is that it certainly involved humans; slaves and prisoners of war were often sacrificed by the hundreds when a king died. Lesser numbers were sacrificed at the founding of a palace or temple. F. Major reasons for decline and fall: 2. Chou: dynasty (1122-221 B.C.) that ruled ancient china from almost a thousand years establishing a distinctive political and cultural characteristics which would be identified with China for the next 2,000 years. A. Reason's for Rise: B. Territorial Location & size