HILD10 Midterm

HILD10 Midterm - Questions may include or be similar to the following 1 What was the earliest historical mainland Kings power called and what was

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Questions may include or be similar to the following. 1. What was the earliest historical mainland King’s power called and what was it based on? What sources do we have for this period? (c. 1500 BC - 1045 BC) The king of the Shang ruled based on his de, or his power to talk to gods and ancestors and do spiritual work. This was inscribed in oracle bones where the king has ceremonies where he asks his ancestors and gods a yes or no question regarding current problems, such as war, harvests, etc., and notes the answer on two oracle bones. Then they compare the cracks on each to see if the answer to the question was a yes or no. Then afterwards, the question and results were inscribed onto the bones as well. The king and his royal family are the only ones that could attend and carry out ceremonies like these where they seek help from their ancestors and make sacrifices of animals or people. “De,” acquired by acquiring the throne, by regularly sending out armies of men on campaigns. Only the king was allowed to act as the high priest, the person best qualified to offer sacrifices to the royal ancestors and high god, “di.” 2. Discuss the Mandate of Heaven and its invention and promotion. (c. 1045 BC +) The Mandate of Heaven means that Heaven selects a virtuous man to rule. The king has to listen to the people around him, do the proper sacrifices, and look after his people. But when the king becomes wicked or too extravagant, then the people have the right to rebel and replace him with another virtuous man. This concept was invented by the Zhou after they had conquered the Shang. They needed something to legitimize their right to rule and also they needed something to top the Shang gods for the Zhou cannot completely ignore the Shang gods for the Shang people would be furious for they have strong beliefs towards them. Creel thinks that the Mandate of Heaven was just a propaganda tactic thought up by the Zhou. The Shang had many primary sources destroyed and when the Zhou came to power, all these documents talking about the Mandate of Heaven and how the Shang followed the Mandate of Heaven by defeating the Xia since the rulers of Xia were evil, thus creating the effect that the Shang had believed in this concept before the Zhou came to power. However, the way that the “new” history was written was different in language and culture. The Shang usually wrote on durable material, such as bones and vessels, while Northern China wrote on expensive materials, such as silk, bamboo, and wood. In order to justify the Zhou’s own actions of taking over the long ruling Shang, they needed to legitimize themselves so the Zhou claimed that the Shang had abandoned the Mandate of Heaven and thus the Zhou’s de, virtue, drew everyone to their rule. Invented by the Zhou Dynasty.
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This note was uploaded on 04/04/2010 for the course HILD 628717 taught by Professor Schneewind during the Fall '08 term at UCSD.

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HILD10 Midterm - Questions may include or be similar to the following 1 What was the earliest historical mainland Kings power called and what was

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