This is What it was like Growing up in Ancient China
This is What it was like Growing up in Ancient China

This is What it was like Growing up in Ancient China

Larry Holzwarth - December 29, 2018

To most of the western world, China has always been a mystery, a teeming mass of people in crowded cities, threatening to expand over its borders impelled by its own growth. In fact, while the Han Chinese are the majority of the population, there are over fifty officially recognized ethnic groups establishing a vibrant minority since ancient times. The combination of cultures and traditions evolved over the centuries, with each ethnicity developing their own practices, including the means by which their children were raised and schooled. Chinese Muslim traditions expanded in some regions, Buddhist in others, and Christian communities were established along the Russian borders after contact with the Eastern Orthodox Church.

This is What it was like Growing up in Ancient China
The Chinese region of Xinjiang contains a large population of ethnic Uyghurs, a Turkic people who are largely Muslim. MMoA

In ancient China the overwhelming majority of people were peasant farmers, living in small communities and working family farms. Life was necessarily harsh, and for children education was limited. Only the sons of wealthy families, living primarily in cities, were formally schooled. The father was the master of the house in Chinese families, and the children were taught from an early age that respect for their elders, particularly elder relatives, was paramount. It was common for three generations of a family to live together in the same dwelling, sometimes more. The eldest male was dominant; women were considered subservient to men, and daughters considered less valuable to the family than sons.

Here are some examples of the harshness of daily life when growing up in ancient China and among its many diverse peoples and dynasties.

This is What it was like Growing up in Ancient China
A 1770 rendition of Confucius, philosopher and writer, who dominated Chinese thought and life for centuries. Wikimedia

1. The teachings of Confucius dominated Chinese society

The Chinese philosopher Confucius established teachings which were the basis of society in China, including the structure of the family and the role within of each of its members. Confucius, who lived five centuries before the Common Era, placed an emphasis on morality of individuals and authorities, which began as children, who were instilled with the requirement to submit to their parents, and in particular to their father. The concept of filial piety was directed to the eldest male in a household, who was the highest authority, and bowing to his will was the basis of Chinese society. If the father was absent, the eldest son played the leading role.

This by nature made the role of women subservient, mothers were required to obey the whims of their sons, should the eldest male support them, and daughters were little more than chattel. A father frustrated by his wife’s inability to produce male children was allowed under Chinese society to abandon the family if he so chose and remarry in an attempt to acquire male heirs. The abuse of children did not mitigate their societal obligation to return respect and obedience to their father, or to the eldest brother if the father was absent. The role of the male to command extended upwards throughout Chinese society to the head of the ruling dynasty, and respect to the male authority was the cornerstone upon which Chinese law and customs were built.

This is What it was like Growing up in Ancient China
Wealthy Chinese often grew long fingernails to demonstrate they did not have to work with their hands. Wikimedia

2. Long fingernails became a sign of the idle rich, who did not have to work with their hands

The majority of the Chinese population lived in rural areas, and were viewed as existing to support the wealthy minority who lived in cities and towns. Often the daughters of the rural poor, with their families unable to feed and clothe them, were sold into slavery to the wealthy, to serve as house servants, concubines, and other roles. The wealthy males of Chinese society often grew their fingernails to outrageous lengths, as depicted in much of ancient Chinese art, as a sign that their life did not require them to use their hands for the demeaning practice of labor. The poorer classes of rural farmers were regarded with the respect due them as providers of food for the table, but they had little to no chance of elevating themselves out of the circumstances into which they were born.

The working of farms was back breaking labor, with nearly all of the work accomplished by hand, as animal power for labor was scarce. In southern China the most common crop was rice, and long days of work in the rice paddies was the basis of life from the earliest days of childhood through the last days of old age. Those no longer able to work were treated with the reverence due them in respect to their seniority, but all capable of labor were required to perform their duties. In northern China the primary crop was wheat, also planted and harvested largely by hand. Families which grew too large to support themselves often sold younger male children to the wealthy as well, after they were made eunuchs, to serve as personal slaves in the houses of the often idle rich.

This is What it was like Growing up in Ancient China
Most marriages in Ancient China were arranged by a third party hired by parents of the bride to be. Wikimedia

3. It wasn’t allowed for people to marry out of one’s social class

Upward mobility by resorting to the altar was not allowed in ancient Chinese society, most marriages were arranged by parents, to dispose of often unwanted daughters. The parents hired professional matchmakers to create suitable arrangements. Daughters were considered to be of marriageable age when they were in their early to mid-teens, while young men were usually twice the age of their bride to be. The new wife was literally married into the home of her husband, where her husband’s parents also resided, and was subservient to her husband and his parents. Essentially her relationship with her own parents was over. An unmarried woman of marriageable age was considered a pariah in Chinese society, which brought shame upon her parents, one of the worst transgressions of Chinese life.

In poor Chinese society marital fidelity was considered important, though more important for the woman than it was for the husband. In wealthy circles, which followed similar practices regarding husband and wife finding each other, an unfaithful husband was not only tolerated, it was often expected. The married woman (and the children of a marriage) was considered to be property, owned by the husband and father. From her wedding day onward, her role was to serve her husband, raise their children, and above all demonstrate her respect for the senior male in the house in which she resided, as well as comply with the whims and directions she received from her husband’s mother, her new mother-in-law.

This is What it was like Growing up in Ancient China
A drawing of an ancient Chinese government building in Beijing, then called Peking, from a 1913 study of ancient China. Wikimedia

4. Education was limited to the sons of the wealthy

Only the male children of wealthy citizens were afforded any form of schooling, and what they received was limited by the resources of the community in which they resided. The poor were kept in the place in society which they were born into by denying them the opportunity to become anything else. Education was primarily the teaching of the philosophy and writings of Confucius, which served for the most part as the basis of Chinese law. Calligraphy was another skill taught in school, and the combination enabled the wealthy students to obtain the knowledge necessary to enter the civil service of the government bureaucracy, which was through passing written examinations. Around 200 BCE Chinese society began to embrace a wider education.

With the expansion of educational opportunities the sons of commoners such as merchants and traders could compete for civil service jobs, giving them a degree of social mobility previously denied them, but few in the rural areas received any education at all, and they continued to be limited to living the life into which they had been born. Those taking the exams faced stiff competition, and they were administered at several levels of the dynastic government before they led to an actual job. The exams were taken over a period of several days, and if evidence of cheating on them arose the miscreant could be punished severely, up to and including the death penalty. Those fortunate enough to pass the exams helped create the structure of ancient Chinese government, science, art, and society for centuries.

This is What it was like Growing up in Ancient China
A shoe designed to be worn on a foot deformed by the practice of binding. Wikimedia

5. The ancient practice of foot binding was in use into the twentieth century

Beginning in ancient times and continuing into Chinese society of the twentieth century, women were considered to be more attractive if they had small, even tiny feet. Although physical attraction was not a consideration when arranging marriages, it likely contributed to the relationship between husbands and wives, and between masters and concubines. In order to achieve small feet, young girls – often as young as five years of age – had their feet bound to discourage their growth. The feet were bound with straps which curled the toes downward and back toward the soles, so tightly that the toes were broken, and remained in place facing backwards, kept in position for years.

The broken toes were thus prevented from growing, and the young girl was forced to walk on them as she endured the pain of the broken bones and the pressure exerted unnaturally upon the soles of her feet. The child was forced to hobble about, restricted to work within the home, developing both a distinctive style of walking and pleasingly smaller feet. Binding as practiced in ancient China was a serious matter, with any attempt to ease the constant pain by loosening the bindings a reason for administering corporal punishment. Foot binding of young girls in China remained a practice from the days of the ancient Chinese into the twentieth century before it was banned. The admiration of small feet on women remains an aspect of Chinese culture in some areas to this day.

This is What it was like Growing up in Ancient China
Although the Chinese studied medicine and anatomy – such as this anatomy of the lung – childhood mortality rates were high, particularly for girls. Wikimedia

6. Girls had a much higher mortality rate than did boys

In all ancient cultures, and indeed well into the twentieth century around the world, the chances of surviving into adulthood were problematic. Illnesses such as measles, mumps, smallpox, scarlet fever, typhoid, cholera, and many more claimed young lives. The flu was a common cause of death, as was infection from wounds not treated sanitarily. Working conditions could be and often were deadly, and poor nutrition, always a scourge of the poor, led to ill health and early deaths. The value placed on male children in Chinese society over that of females also contributed to a high rate of death among Chinese girls, since they were considered – literally and figuratively – to be property, as disposable as any other form of property at the whim of the owner.

Because girls were considered to be of lesser value, and because their upkeep could be a burden on the master of the house, they could be disposed of by killing them, usually by drowning them shortly after their birth. The practice was both accepted and condoned in society at all levels. The decision to dispose of the female infant was one made by the master of the house, not necessarily the father of the child. It could be made by his own father, under whose roof the family resided. Often the newborn girl was just abandoned, left alone at a remote site outside of the village or community into which it had recently been born. It was permissible, though evidently rare, for another family to claim the infant and take it into their home, perhaps for the purpose of selling it into slavery at a later age.

This is What it was like Growing up in Ancient China
A European view of China from the 1840s, which accompanied an article describing that nation’s “ancient ways”. Wikimedia

7. Chinese slaves were subjected to barbarous conditions both during their master’s life and after his death

Slavery was a widespread practice in China, with unwanted children sold to wealthy families as slaves. Males sold as slaves were first made eunuchs. Some slaves were captive enemies or prisoners of war. The slaves worked in both the fields under the hands of masters and in the homes and businesses of the wealthy. When in a home, a slave was subject to severe discipline up to and including summary execution for such trespasses as entering a room unbidden, or failing to enter quickly enough in the event he or she was bidden. Slaves had no rights, no legal protections, and no social standing, though the number of slaves held by a given master enhanced his social standing.

During the time of the earliest recorded histories of ancient China, more than 1,000 years BCE, slaves followed their master into the afterlife, where they were believed to continue in his service. Following the master’s funeral rites his slaves were buried alive, as were his concubines. During the possibly most famous of all the ancient Chinese dynasties – the Ming Dynasty – efforts to control and limit slavery began. More than another thousand years later it continued to be practiced in China, both in cities and in the remote areas of the sprawling nation. Slavery continued to be practiced in China with relative openness up until the Second World War, and there were reports of slavery practiced on the black market in the late twentieth century.

This is What it was like Growing up in Ancient China
Chinese courts were swift and the punishments meted out often severe throughout the dynastic period. Wikimedia

8. Chinese punishment for criminal behavior was harsh and swift

As with all of the ancient civilizations, a criminal element emerged in China, and authorities both local and national enacted policies and procedures for dealing with it. Those suspected of committing crimes could be induced into providing the authorities with a confession through the use of torture, and several ingeniously cruel methods of conducting it were developed. The ancient Chinese also used torture against prisoners of war. Children were subject to various tortures or maiming as well as adults, the binding of girls’ feet being just one example. It was common among the urban poor to castrate males at birth, similar to the idea of circumcision in the west, in order that they may serve as eunuchs in the homes and palaces of the wealthy.

Judges often ordered torture during the course of a trial, conducted within the courtroom, using a variety of methods including twisting the victim’s arm around an upright pole in an agonizing manner while officers of the court beat the victim with whips or poles. A victim which persisted in a plea of not guilty to whatever crime he was charged with merely increased the severity of the beating until he collapsed. Few prevailed in court. Sentences for the guilty included maiming, restraining in collars and stocks, beatings, ritual executions, or exile to remote areas of the empire, enslaved for the remainder of his life.

This is What it was like Growing up in Ancient China
During the Tang Dynasty (as well as other periods of Chinese history) women were views and treated as commodities by the law and social norms. Wikimedia

9. Women were considered a commodity during the Tang Dynasty

During the Tang Dynasty (seventh to tenth centuries CE) the role of women in Chinese society changed in many ways. Legally a man could have but one wife at a time, and wives were not supposed to be sold into slavery, but in practice both wives and daughters were sold into brothels, where the girls took the name of the madam as theirs. In addition, under the law, a man could retain a wife and as many concubines as his finances would allow. Young girls sold as concubines were trained in several areas, such as reading of poetry and developing conversational skills, and performed services as courtesans which were similar to those of the geishas of Japan. Courtesans remained the property of the brothel’s madam unless they were released, or through marriage to a customer.

Because the courtesans were required to converse intelligently with customers, perform songs, and read poetry, the education of women became a matter of good business. During the Tang Dynasty, young girls saw opportunities open up for them which had been denied to those of earlier generations. Young women developed skills in weaving, considered an art form as well as a business. Women became street artists and storytellers, relating their stories through acting them out. Both Buddhist convents and Taoist priestesses emerged. Women began to work as assistants to government functionaries, serving as secretaries within the bureaucracy, though not as civil servants themselves. Tang households often paid their taxes in the form of bolts of silk, paid by the male master of the house from silk woven by its women.

This is What it was like Growing up in Ancient China
Song Dynasty emperor Song Taizu oversaw some changes in the way that women and girls were viewed in China. Wikimedia

10. The rise of neo-Confucianism during the Song dynasty restricted women and girls

From the onset of the Song Dynasty (960 – 1269 CE) the rights of women and girls in Chinese society grew more restricted. Essentially neo-Confucian beliefs supplanted the achievements which had been made by women, and they were further diminished in Chinese life. Chastity became a virtue preached by male philosophers toward women, and it became taboo for a widow to remarry, with remaining faithful to her late husband taking priority over even financial concerns. It was believed that a poor widow was better off dying in poverty than marrying again and thus betraying her late husband. It also became taboo for women to discuss men or the affairs of men whenever they were outside of the home.

It was in the Song Dynasty that the practice of binding of girls’ feet began and expanded across China, which had an obvious deleterious effect on women dancing and performing street acts of stories, as they had in earlier days. Singing and the reading of poetry soon declined as well. Leading philosophers of the dynasty developed the belief that women were inferior to men in all ways, and should be largely kept separate from them. Women became the inner (yin) and men the outer (yang) and women were believed to be made to remain indoors, within their home, not to come out unless with their father or husband from the age of ten.

This is What it was like Growing up in Ancient China
Taoist art by Fan Kuan entitled Sitting Alone by a Stream, indicating the need to flow with the universal spirit. Wikimedia

11. Ancient China was subject to the philosophy of Confucius and the religion of Taoism

Confucianism – the following of the philosophy of Confucius – was widespread in China, but was not a religion as much as it was an ethical system. Taoism is a religion which recognized many gods and goddesses. Its followers believed that there is a natural flow which is universal, and that it is necessary to allow oneself to accept it unresistingly, essentially simply going along with the flow. In addition to worshiping the many different gods and goddesses the Chinese worshiped their own ancestors, to the point of households containing shrines at which prayers and offerings were made to the dead of their family, in the belief that from the afterlife the dead could assist the living.

During the dynastic periods it was accepted that the emperor was selected by the universal force which governed all things, and thus religion and government were conjoined. The Chinese believed that the emperor, to comply with the Tao (the way), was meant to be benevolent in his dealings with his subjects, and that natural disasters were an indication from the universe that all was not as it should be. Too many natural disasters were an indication revolution was needed. Despite the focus on benevolence and acceptance, warfare was common across the lands which comprise modern China and with its neighbors, based on ethnic, religious, and political disputes. Numerous weapons, including explosives, the crossbow, and a manual of military tactics called The Art of War, emerged during the dynastic period, evidence that the belief in a benevolent universe did not extend to international disputes.

This is What it was like Growing up in Ancient China
Ancient Chinese merchants were regarded as the bottom of the social class system, even below rural peasants. Wikimedia

12. Merchants in ancient China were held in contempt at the bottom of society

In ancient and early dynastic China the social classes were clearly defined. Despite peasants being the largest social class in terms of population, they were held in regard by the other four distinct classes as they were mostly farmers or laborers which produced items of use for the remainder of the people. Merchants did not produce anything, they merely acted as middlemen for a profit, and occupied the bottom of the societal pyramid. Because occupations were for the most part hereditary, the son of a merchant was likely to be doomed to a life at the bottom of the pile, unless he was fortunate enough to obtain a civil service position. Merchants included those who sold goods and services, loaned money, or were breeders of animals.

Because of their low social status, merchants were not allowed to ride in carriages when they moved about the streets, nor were they allowed to wear silk. Although it was possible to attain wealth through trading and money lending, the government ensured that the wealth accrued did not equate to power through heavy taxation of merchants. Taxes were levied by the emperor on a sliding scale. Merchants were also subject to conscription into the army at the whim of the emperor. Members of the merchant class were not allowed to marry out of their class, though the daughters of merchants could become concubines of the upper classes. Traders outside of the cities were able to avoid some of the restrictions on their class, their wealth buying influence with corrupt officials.

This is What it was like Growing up in Ancient China
Ancient Chinese artisans created pottery, furniture, utensils, and other items for the use of the people. Wikimedia

13. The artisans were a class above merchants, though usually poorer

The artisans were considered to be socially above the merchants in Chinese society, though they typically were paid for commissioned works and made less money than all classes other than the peasants. Artisans made products such as furniture and outbuildings, working as carpenters and woodworkers. They also created pottery, cooking pots, products from bamboo, products from iron, products from paper, pens for calligraphers, and essentially were the industrial base for the Chinese people. Though they were selling their services, it was for the purpose of benefits being realized by their customers rather than themselves, which elevated them above the merchant class in the eyes of Chinese society.

As with the other classes, the general rule and way of life was that the son of a carpenter became a carpenter, the son of a painter learned to paint, and the son of a potter learned the art of pottery from childhood, to practice it as an adult. Artisans too were subject to conscription, but not as readily as peasants and merchants, since there were fewer of them than of the former and the services they provided were beneficial and often essential to the rest of the community. Artisans also made the weapons which armed the professional warriors and in times of warfare the peasant army, often under supervision of the civil servants who held sway in their community.

This is What it was like Growing up in Ancient China
China’s Great Wall was completed by joining several shorter walls which had been built over the centuries. Wikimedia

14. Building Chinese infrastructure required forced labor

The emperors of China’s long dynastic period built a large and self-sustaining infrastructure to help strengthen and unify their empire, including dams and canals, roads and bridges, fortifications which included the Great Wall (which was completed by connecting several smaller walls built by feudal leaders), irrigation systems, and fortified cities. They also built imperial palaces for their residences in multiple cities and temples to various gods, parks and gardens, and other places of resort for the moneyed classes of the civil servants and their own families. All of the construction was performed by forced labor, some by captive slaves and prisoners of war.

The rest were conscripted from the lower classes, though they were compensated for their work. Peasants, being the largest class of Chinese society, were the most frequently conscripted for forced labor, and were paid in either coin or food rations. Labor on all projects was long and hard, and often dangerous for the workers. The emperors of the Qin Dynasty (the first great Chinese empire, though it lasted only about 15 years) used forced labor under the supervision of prelates and warriors to complete various government projects, and harsh punishments awaited laborers who did not complete their allotted work on schedule. Working on what were essentially government projects was often a death sentence, as poor food, dangerous working conditions, and the abuse of workers through beatings and other motivational tools took their toll.

This is What it was like Growing up in Ancient China
The Da Yu Ding inscriptions included charges of excess against preceding governments. Wikimedia

15. The Five Punishments of Ancient China

For nearly 1,000 years the five punishments for slaves evolved across several Chinese dynasties, until about the time of the beginning of the Western Han. The five punishments had by then become applicable to all Chinese men, and included the death penalty, which could be applied for several crimes and which could be executed in a variety of ways. The remaining four punishments were intended to mark the person upon whom the penalty was applied. The most minor was the tattooing of the nature of the crime committed upon the forehead of the guilty. It was used as punishment for a wide variety of crimes, and marked the criminal as such for the rest of their life.

Next was the removal of the criminal’s nose. The third was the forced amputation of either or both feet, which according to some also included the removal of the kneecap. Fourth was sentencing the criminal to work in the emperor’s palace as a eunuch, which required the emasculation of the criminal via castration. The sentence could be given for the crime of adultery, promiscuity, or licentiousness, despite Chinese society recognizing a man’s right to keep concubines. When the maximum penalty was assigned, death was brought about in several ways, including the victim’s body being torn apart by chariots, beheading, boiling in water or oil, and by inflicting numerous slices which led to the victim dying from slowly bleeding to death (death from a thousand cuts).

This is What it was like Growing up in Ancient China
As Buddhism took hold in China many of the methods of punishment from earlier times were modified. Wikimedia

16. The Five Punishments were modified during the Western Han Dynasty

During the Western Han Dynasty the five punishments practiced by preceding dynastic rulers were modified to make some of them more humane, at least in the eyes of the emperors and their courts. Tattooing was abolished, as was the practice of amputating limbs. Beating became a preferred means of punishment for what were considered crimes of a less severe nature, with the number of strokes to be delivered determined by the law. The beatings known as Chi were administered with bamboo poles upon the buttocks, though they could be avoided by paying a fine which corresponded to the number of prescribed strokes. More severe beatings were called Zhang, and were administered with a heavier cane upon the victim’s back.

The modification introduced the concept of penal servitude, often as a laborer in a government project such as the building of dams and fortifications, and the length of time assigned was determined by the severity of the crime and the whim of the judge. Known as Tu, up to three years of penal servitude could be given, accompanied with a prescribed number of beatings in the manner of Zhang. The final punishment other than death was exile, to a remote location within the empire, also accompanied with a beating. An exile could be sent to one of three differing distances away from his home (to a maximum of just over 900 miles).

This is What it was like Growing up in Ancient China
A wall painting of both men and women circa the Han Dynasty. Wikimedia

17. Women had their own scale of punishments in ancient China

For women who committed the same crimes as men a different scale of punishments evolved, and the manner in which they were carried out differed as well. All were forms of torture, and though women could be sentenced to death they were not ordinarily subject to public execution and humiliation. When women were sentenced to death they were required to take their own lives in a forced suicide, the manner of which was up to the offender and completed in private, after which it was confirmed by the prelate. In that manner the Chinese avoided the societal taboo of killing a woman, which was not because women were considered sacred, but because all women were the property of someone. Even a widow was the property of her late husband.

The mildest form of punishment for transgressing women was being forced to grind grain for a predetermined period of time, or a predetermined amount of grain. Since grinding of grain was by hand it was hard labor. More serious offenses led to the individual fingers of the hands being pressed between wooden planks or sticks to inflict pain, a process repeated several times until the sentence was deemed to be complete. Fourth was a beating upon the back, using heavy wooden bars, with the number of blows determined by the judge. The punishment for behaviors for which men faced the rest of their lives as eunuchs was for women what is now known as solitary confinement, for a length of time ordered by the judge.

This is What it was like Growing up in Ancient China
A collection of oriental coins including from ancient China, where copper coins were needed to evade corporal and capital punishments. Wikimedia

18. The ancient Chinese could buy their way out of even the death penalty

All of the prescribed sentences in ancient Chinese society could be avoided through the payment of fees to the court, which ultimately went to the emperor. The payment was cash in the form of copper coins. Even the death penalty could be averted by the payment of a fine in copper. That even capital crimes could be resolved by the transfer of the equivalent of hard currency is a clear indication of the lack of hard cash at all levels of Chinese society. The amount of the fines charged to avoid corporal and capital punishment varied with each crime, and changed over the years. Thus in ancient China, wealthy criminals escaped the courts and the consequences of their crimes far more readily than the poor.

Even for the wealthier Chinese, the amounts of the fines were huge for the day, and the majority of those convicted from all classes suffered the physical punishments, rather than the financial. It was a harsh and brutal life. A child born into Chinese society entered into it unaware that he or she was limited by circumstances over what could be accomplished during life, and many lived their entire lives within a few hundred feet of the place where they had been born, dying many years later as a venerated elder, to be worshiped by succeeding generations in the same house for centuries. In many Chinese families, they remain venerated today, despite the many changes to China and its people.

 

Where do we find this stuff? Here are our sources:

“Confucius”. Melvyn Bragg, In Our Time, BBC Online. November 1, 2001.

“Daily Life in Ancient China”. Emily Mark, Ancient History Encyclopedia. April 27, 2016

“Marriage in Ancient China”. Ray Erwin Baber, The Journal of Educational Sociology. November, 1934

“Ancient China’s Education System”. Julie Kromenacker, Prezi. November 25, 2014

“Why Footbinding Persisted in China for a Millennium”. Amanda Foreman, Smithsonian Magazine. February, 2015

“China’s long history of female infanticide”. The Times of India, June 14, 2016

“Ancient China”. Anne Kinney, Children and Youth in History. Online

“Archaeologists have found proof that an ancient Chinese dynasty used foreign slaves”. Ilaria Maria Sala, Quartz. June 22, 2017. Online

“China: A History”. John Keay. 2009

“The Early Chinese Empires: Qin and Han”. Mark Edward Lewis. 2010

“Ancient China Law”. Alyce Miles, Prezi. October 3, 2013

“Life in a Golden Age: The Status of Women in China’s Tang Dynasty”. Alexis Rapozo. 2016. Online

“The Story of China: Women in the Song”. Public Broadcasting System, Learning Media. Online

“Reconciling Taoism and Confucianism”. Shawn Ford, Horizons Magazine. 1998

“Confucius and the Scholars”. Charlotte Allen, The Atlantic. April 1999

“The Great Wall of China is Under Siege”. Brook Larmer, Smithsonian Magazine. August, 2008

“Crime and Punishment in Ancient China and its Relevance Today”. X. Zhang, et al. November, 2017

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