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a record of the words and acts of the central Chinese thinker and philosopher Confucius and his disciples

The art of war

A guide, written in the middle of the 5th century B.C.E., on how one can carry a successful war campaign. Sun Tzu, its author, suggest alternatives to fighting and how one can win war without warfare.

Ban Zhao

one of the best known women who achieved a position of status in Han China. A Confucian scholar and writer who wrote poems and essays and the history of the Han dynasty. Also the writer who wrote "Lessons for Women", made women to be humble and obediant but also industrious

Book of Changes

book that talks about how everything is made of yin and yang

Book of Documents

Zhou dynasty text that Confucius interpreted and revived that contains political speeches and documents from the early han dynasty

Book of songs

Ancient Chinese (Zhou) classic, also known as the Book of Poetry, and the Book of Odes. Collection of verses on light and serious themes. 311 poems complied and edited after 600 BCE. Some poems reflect conditions of the early Zhou dynasty, some have political implications because they recorded the illustrious deeds of heroic figures and ancient sage-kings, and others were hymns sung at ritual observances. Also about life, love, family, nature, daily life.


Chinese philosopher, administrator, and moralist. His social and moral teachings, collected in the Analects , tried to replace former religious observances, founder of Confucianism


Chinese School of Thought: Daoists believe that the world is always changing and is devoid of absolute morality or meaning. They accept the world as they find it, avoid futile struggles, and deviate as little as possible from the Dao, or 'path' of nature.


the high god in Shang religion


castrated males used within households of Chinese emperors, usually to guard his concubines; became a political counterbalance to powerful marital relatives during later Han rule.

filial piety

in Confucian thought, one of the virtues to be cultivated, a love and respect for one's parents and ancestors

Four cardinal principles

ideas asserted by Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping that all policies should be judged by whether they uphold the social road, dictatorship of the proletariat, leadership of the Communist Party, and Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought.

Fu Hao

a Chinese king's wife who led troops to war. Her tomb contained records of her time and life

Great Wall

a fortification 1,500 miles long built across northern China in the 3rd century BC

Guan Zhong

the war genius behind the rise of the Qin


The book of the teachings of Guan Zhong

Han Feizi

A student of the Confucian scholar Xunzi, a systematic Legalist theorist. Served as an advisor at the Qin court, but fell to ambitious men who made him take poison.

Hsia dynasty

first Chinese dynasty; not enough evidence of its existence to know it existed for a fact


a term created by Confucius to describe his ideal human. Often translated as "gentleman" or "superior person" the junzi literally means "ruler's son". Despite its literal meaning, any righteous man willing to improve himself can become a junzi.


the "Old Master" who encouraged people to give up worldly desires in favor of nature; he founded Taoism (Daoism)


Chinese philosophy believed that people were evil by nature and that only strict laws and harsh punishments would make society better.


a fine-grained unstratified accumulation of clay and silt deposited by the wind


a form of writing that represents the meaning of words and concepts with pictures or signs; contrasts with writing systems that represent speech sounds

Mandate of Heaven

a political theory of ancient China in which those in power were given the right to rule from a divine source

Mandarin Chinese

the dialect of Chinese spoken in Beijing and adopted as the official language for all of China

Middle Kingdom

refers to China because the people believed that their land stood between heaven and earth.


Challenged Confucius ideas, believed in "concern for everyone" or "universal love", people should be hired for ability instead of birth.

Oracle Bones

animal bones carved with written characters which were used for telling the future


a sytem of social organization built around authority and power of fathers


A people and state in the Wei Valley of eastern China that conquered rival states and created the first Chinese empire (221-206 B.C.E.). The Qin ruler, Shi Huangdi, standardized many features of Chinese society and enslaved subjects. (163)


The Confucian virtue of ____ ("benevolence" or "humaneness") means that a person will always do what is right, regardless of the consequences.

Shi Huangdi

Founder of the short-lived Qin dynasty and creator of the Chinese Empire (r. 221-210 B.C.E.). He is remembered for his ruthless conquests of rival states and standardization. (163)

Spring and Autumn Annals

Confucius reported major events that occurred in the state of Lu between 722 BC and 481 BC


author of the art of war

Tao Te-ching

wrote the Laozi of Legalism


a mask which is a combination of different animals. A symbol of all the beings in the world

Warring States

After the political initiative had passed from the Zhou kings to their subordinates, and the royal court never regained authority. Territorial princes ignored the centeral government and used their resources to build, strengthen, and expand their own states. Fought ferociously with one another in hopes of establishing themselves as leaders of a new political order. Fights so violent its got it's name. Ended the Zhou dynasty when the last king abdicated his position under pressure.


follower of Confucius; stressed that humans were inherently lazy and evil and required an authoritarian government., Believed humans selfishly pursued their own interests, no matter what effects their actions had on others, resisted making any contribution voluntarily to the larger society. Legalist and confucian ideas.


the bright positive masculine principle in Chinese dualistic cosmology


the dark negative feminine principle in Chinese dualistic cosmology


The people and dynasty that took over the dominant position in north China from the Shang and created the concept of the Mandate of Heaven to justify their rule. Remembered as prosperous era in Chinese History. (p. 61)

Zhou Wen Wang

founder of zhou dynasty


The author of a book of the same name. Shared many of the central ideas of the Laozi, such as the usefulness of the useless and the relativity of ordinary distinctions., ca. 369-286 BCE. great teacher of Daoism after Laozi one of the main contributors in Doaism; used stories and humour to promote a philosophy of freedom from social constraints and conditioning that could lead one back to an original undistorted state of being

Zuo Commentary

a book written by Guan Zhong telling his king about millitary strategy


The system of ethics, education, and statesmanship taught by Confucius and his disciples, stressing love for humanity, ancestor worship, reverence for parents, and harmony in thought and conduct.


Chinese School of Thought: Daoists believe that the world is always changing and is devoid of absolute morality or meaning. They accept the world as they find it, avoid futile struggles, and deviate as little as possible from the Dao, or 'path' of nature.


In China, a political philosophy that emphasized the unruliness of human nature and justified state coercion and control. The Qin ruling class invoked it to validate the authoritarian nature of their regime. (p.52)


A belief that universal love will end social problems and that partiality is the source of all problems

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