Cultural history from the Yuan through the Ming

Authored by: Kenneth J. Hammond

Routledge Handbook of Imperial Chinese History

Print publication date:  October  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138847286
eBook ISBN: 9781315726878
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315726878-23

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Abstract

The cultural history of the Ming dynasty unfolds along a trajectory of revival and development, first in the reassertion of cultural hegemony by the Chinese literati elite in the wake of the fall of the Mongol Yuan dynasty, and then through a dialectic of transformation and persistence between the traditional concerns of literati intellectual and aesthetic production and the emergence of new modes of thought and artistic expression in the context of rapid expansion of the commercial economy and the social dynamism to which this contributed. Art, literature and thought all underwent significant changes in complex and sometimes contradictory movements. Toward the end of the dynasty, the intellectual and cultural sphere was further affected by the beginning of the period of ongoing contact and interaction between Europe and China, which brought ideas and information from Europe into sometimes fruitful interplay with established Chinese understandings and practices.

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