Date of Award

2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group

East Asian Languages & Civilizations

First Advisor

Victor H. Mair

Abstract

NORTHERN SONG REFLECTIONS ON THE TANG

Jeffrey Rice

Victor Mair

In the mid-eleventh century Chinese intellectuals argued about history, and left their competing narratives to us in print. They contested how history should be written, and what relevant lessons ought to be adapted to the changing society of Song 宋 (960-1279) dynasty China. They were particularly concerned with the history of the long-lasting Tang 唐 (618-907) dynasty. They revised the official history of the Tang on a variety of levels: they used primary sources differently to analyze evidence, developed a new literary language to write historical prose, employed editorial critiques differently to draw political morals by analogy to historical events, and harnessed new print technology to disseminate their views to a wider audience. This dissertation analyzes the revisions to the history of the Tang produced in the eleventh century on each of these levels: historiography, linguistics, politics, and print culture. These elements all functioned to reinvent the ancient ideal of the Confucian scholar in terms that advanced the interests of the burgeoning class of literati officials in Northern Song China.

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