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Book of Changes

Example of Zhou literature, this book serves as a manual of diviners.

Book of History

A book detailing the history of the Zhou dynasty.

Book of Rites

Zhou book explaining the rules of etiquette and rituals required of aristocrats in China under the Zhou dynasty.

Book of Songs

One of the Five Zhou Classics, preserves the earliest Chinese poems; they deal with political themes, ritual, and romance.


Bronze was monopolized by the state in China during Shang Dynasty; it was a measure of wealth for the nobility

Chang Jiang

the longest river in Asia, flowing about 3,400 miles from central China to the Yellow Sea, also known as the Yangzi River


military technology spread to China by steppe nomads


Western name for the Chinese philosopher Kongzi. His doctrine of duty and public service were encouraged by the Han Empire.

feudal system

system of loyalties in which nobles are granted land in exchange for loyalty and military service

flood control

a significant problem for the Chinese state; attributed to the legendary sage-king, Yu


a significant part of military power in China; steppe nomads were the sources of horses for the Chinese state

Huang He

stretches across China for roughly 2,900 miles. Also known as the Yellow River; provides yellow silt called loess


pictographic characters grouped together to create new concepts; typical of Chinese writing


material which broke the Shang monopoly on weapons; the Zhou found it difficult to control

Mandate of Heaven

Chinese religious and political ideology developed by the Zhou, according to which it was the prerogative of Heaven, the chief deity, to grant power to the ruler of China and to take away that power if the ruler failed to conduct himself justly and in the best interests of his subjects.


Earliest Chinese dynasty for which we have written records; ancestor worship, divination by means of oracle bones, and the use of bronze vessels for ritual purposes were major elements of Shang culture.


the legendary early Chinese sage-king who ordered the four seasons and who established uniform weights, measures, and units of time was?

veneration of ancestors

respect for deceased family members; Chinese believed that their ancestors would harm them if they were not respected

Warring States period

time of warfare between regional lords following the decline of the Zhou dynasty


Scratches on oracle bones during the Shang dynasty are earliest examples


Early chinese dynasty that is known mainly from legend. Founded by legendary King Yu, a hero of flood control.


Early Neolithic Society based on farming near the Yellow River


Legendary sage-king who influenced the larger Xia society through his virtue


Legendary Xia dynasty founder and a hero of flood control


Dynasty that took over from the Shang. Created the concept of the Mandate of Heaven to legitimize their rule. Seen by Confucius as the golden age of Chinese history.


"Yellow Emperor" and sage-king; he gets credit for inventing writing, silk, bamboo, and the calendar

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