What you'll learn

  • How the dynasties of north and south were reunified under the Sui and Tang.
  • How to analyze China’s first multi-ethnic empire and its foreign relations.
  • How to compose and analyze poetry and calligraphy.
  • How to understand a romantic story as both history and literature.

Course description

By the Tang period, China was divided into northern and southern dynasties with different rulers and political systems. The north was conquered by relatively unsophisticated barbarians, but in the south, the aristocratic families established a refined appreciation of writing and literature.

In this course, the third in a large collection covering all of Chinese history, you’ll learn about the Cosmopolitan Tang and the reemergence of great aristocratic clans. You’ll discover how these clans formed a kind of state aristocracy that dominated Tang government and society. 

This period — a product of the Medieval period, and of the development of Buddhism and Daoism — gave the world a model for modern statehood the great cosmopolitan empire that defined it is among the highest achievements in Medieval culture. Join us to discover those achievements through readings of classical Chinese poetry and a review of the ancient art of calligraphy.

Faculty

  • Portrait of Peter K. Bol
    Charles H. Carswell Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University
  • T. M. Chang Professor of China Studies

Associated Schools

  • Harvard Faculty of Arts & Sciences

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