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When, in 1813, about the time of the battle of Leipzig,
patriotic cares preyed upon his soul, Germany's great
poet, Goethe, took refuge in the history of China. The
novelty of the study and the very diversity of the subject
had, we may conclude from his own words,^ a salutary
effect on his mind.
The century, or nearly so, which has elapsed since the
time when Chinese subjects were the Ultima Thule in that
wide range of scientific industry characteristic of one of
the world's most universal minds has wrought a wonderful
change in public interest.
Political events have brought China to the front ; and
the Western world is now more than ever bent on studying
the civilization of that once-neglected empire—unfortunately
often with ill success. It is the universal
complaint among Westerners—and those who have had
the longest experience in studying Orientals are the most
ready to admit the fact—that we shall scarcely ever become
as familiar with the Chinese as we are with nations
nearer to ourselves in race and culture. This complaint
will probably never cease to be justified, but it may be
considerably attenuated.
Students wishing to know something about China often
believe they have done enough if they have read a book
of modern travel or one on recent politics. They resemble
the amateur traveler in Italy who thinks he may
learn to know the country without troubling himself
about the history of Rome. Having started at the wrong
end, as it were, they will never realize that many of the
oddities and puzzles encountered in the attempt to understand
the modern Chinese disappear if we can trace their
historical origin and development. In this respect the
China of to-day is unique as compared with all other
countries. No other people in the world is so closely
connected with its ancient history as the Chinese, and of
this the earliest part, with that classical Chou dynasty,
the constitutional period of all Chinese culture, has
created standards which have become dominant in all
development down to our own times, not only in China
herself, but to a certain extent throughout the Far East,
especially in Corea and Japan. The ancient history of
China in this respect holds a position in the extreme East
similar to that of Greece and Rome in the West.
Such considerations had induced the author to prepare
lectures on the subject addressed to such university
students as did not intend to become specialists in the
language and literature of China. This necessitated the
elimination from them of the purely philological element.
On the other hand, the present state of research in subjects
of Chinese history and culture called for the insertion
of results which might have necessitated much deeper
argumentation in matters of detail than the chief object
in view would justify. The author has, therefore, endeavored
to steer a middle course by referring students
to the foreign literature, leaving it to them to extend their
knowledge by studying these sources. It should be
understood, however, that merely a selection from the
enormous material existing in the shape of translations,
monographs, and comprehensive works is here presented.
A complete bibliography of the foreign literature will be
found in Henri Cordier's "Bibliotheca Sinica: Dictionnaire
bibliographique des ouvrages relatifs h I'empire
chinois" (2d edition, Paris, 1904, under the head of
" Histoire " ; some of the collateral subjects, such as
archaeology, art, etc., being dealt with in other sections
of the work). The Sinological reader may dispense with
a whole library of works constituting the native sources
of our subject by referring to that huge collection of
historical extracts, the I-sht, in 160 books compiled by
Ma Su and published in 1670—a veritable mine of information
and a monument of methodical treatment reminding
one of Kaspar Zeuss's unique work " Die Deutschen
und die Nachbarstamme." (Cf. Wylie, " Notes on Chinese
Literature," Shanghai, 1867, p. 23.)

To my students is due my thanks for having listened
to these Lectures with never-failing interest during four
consecutive academic years, —a source of much encouragement
to the lecturer, considering that the course lay
through paths so very far from the beaten track. Their
publication as a text-book for students and as a work
of reference for general readers is due to the liberality of
the Trustees, Dr. Nicholas ^Murray Butler, President of
Columbia University, ex officio President, and Professor
William H. Carpenter, Secretary, of the Columbia University
Press, and the cooperation of the Norwood
Press. I have also to thank Mr. Albert Porter of
Livingston, Staten Island, N.Y., for the conscientious
manner in which he has revised the manuscript for the press.

Columbia Uniyersity in the City
OF New York, March, 1907.

Table of Contents
Prefack vii
Instbuctions for Reading Chinese Words. . . . xv

Mythological and Legendary 1-26
§ 1. The Fabulous Cosmogony: Fan-ku, etc.— § 2. Fu-hi
(2852-2738 B.C.).— § 3. Shon-uung (2737-2705 b.c.).—
§4. Huang-ti (2704-2595 b.c).— § 5. Supposed introduction
of a foreign civilization under Huang-tL—
§ 6. Further deeds of Huang-ti. — § 7. Shau-hau (2594-
2511 B.C.).—§ 8. Chuan-hu (2510-2433 b.c.). — § 9. Tik'u
(2432-2363 b.c.).— § 10. Ti-chi (2362-2358 B.C.).

The Confucian Legends 27-44
§ 11. Yau (2357-2258 B.C.).— § 12. Shun (2258-2206 B.C.).—
§ 13. The Hia dynasty (2205-1766 B.C.).— § 14. Yii, or
Ta-yii (2205-2198 B.C.).—§ 15. Yu's successors (2197-1766 B.C.).

The Shang, or Yin, Dynasty (1766-1122 b.c.) . . 45-91
§ 16. Ch'bng-t'ang (1766-1754 B.C.). — §17. Ch'ong-t'ang's
successors.—§ 18. Chdu-sin. — § 19. Won-wang, Duke of
Chdu.—§ 20. Wu-wang and the fall of the Shang dynasty.
— § 21. Culture of the Shang period.

The Chou Dynasty (1122-249 b.c.) .... 93-328

From Wu-wang to K'ang-wang: the Period op Imperial
Authority 93-139
§22. Wu-wang as King of Chdu (1122-1116 B.C.).—
§23. Ch'ong-wang (1115-1079 b.c.).— § 24. The "Chduli."—
§ 25. Origin of the mariner's compass in China.—
§ 26. Ch'ong-wang's reign continued. —§ 27. K'ang-wang
(1078-1053 B.C.).

Gradual Decline of Central Power .... 141-197
§ 28. Chau-wang (1052-1002 b.c.). —§ 29. Mu-wang (1001-
947 B.C.). — § 30. Kung-wang (946-935 B.C.).— § 31. Iwang
(934-910 B.C.).— § 32. Hiau-wang (909-895 b.c). — § 33. I-wang (894-879 B.C.).— § 34. Li-wang (878-
842 B.C.).— § 35. The Kung-ho period (841-828 B.C.).—
§ 36. Suan-wang (827-782 b.c.).— § 37. Yu-wang (781-
771 B.C.). — § 38. Fing-wang (770-720 B.C.).— § 39. Geography
of the Ch'un-ts'iu period (722-481 B.C.).
§40. Huan-wang (719-697 B.C.).

The Century of the « Five Leaders " (685-591 b.c.) . 199-223
§41. Chuang-wang (696-682 B.C.). — § 42. Hi-wang (681- i
677 B.C.). — § 43. Hui-wang (676-652 b.c). — § 44. Siang- 1
wang (651-619 b.c).— § 45. K'ing-wang (618-613 b.c).
— §46. K'uang-wang (612-607 B.C.). — § 47. Ting-wang
(606-586 B.C.).

The Age of Lau-tzi asd Confucius .... 225-257
§48. Kien-wang (585-572 B.C.)- — § 49. Ling-wang (571-
545 B.C.).— § 50. King-wang, the elder (544-520 B.C.).
§ 51. King-wang, the younger (519-476 B.C.).

The Contending States 259-328
§ 52. Yiian-wang (475-469 B.C.). — § 53. Chon-ting-wang
(468-441 B.C.). — § 54. K'au-wang (440-426 B.C.).
§ 55. Wei-li6-wang (425-402 B.C.).—§56. An-wang (401-
376 B.C.). — § 57. Lie-wang (375-369 b.c.).— § 58. Hi^nwang
(368-321 b.c). —§ 59. The philosophers Yang Chu
and Mo Ti. —§ 60. Mencius. — § 61. Chuang-tzi.
§ 62. Minor Philosophers. — § 63. Su Ts'in and Chang I. — § 64. Shon-tsing-wang (.320-:il5 b.c.). — § 6.5. Nanwang
(314-256 B.C.). — § 66. The "Four Nobles."—
§ 67. The leadership of Ts'in (256-221 B.C.).

APPENDIX: Chronological Tables .... 329-348
INDEX 349-383
Sketch Map of China dxjbing the Ch6u Dtnastt . 360


Reader's need not trouble too much about the pronunciation
of the Chinese words occurring in this volume.
They should regard them as mere symbols for certain
Chinese characters transcribed in the Mandarin dialect.
Since the sounds attached to the characters of the Chinese
written language vary considerably in the several provinces,
and even in the Mandarin dialect itself, it should
be understood that merely an approximation of the true
sounds as heard in the north of China is aimed at. The
phonetic principles on which sounds are here described
correspond in spirit to those adopted by the Royal Geographical
Society of London ^ and the United States Board
on Geographic Names.^ According to these principles,
vowels are to be pronounced as in Italian and on the
continent of Europe generally, and consonants as in English.
But for the special purpose of rendering Chinese
sounds certain rules involving some slight modifications
are here given.
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