Qin Shi Huang
Qin Shi Huang was the founder of the Qin dynasty and was the first emperor of a unified China. He was born a prince of the state of Qin, he became Zheng, the King of Qin when he was thirteen China's first emperor when he was 38 after the Qin had conquered all of the other Warring States and unified all of China in 221 BC. Rather than maintain the title of "king" borne by the previous Shang and Zhou rulers, he ruled as the First Emperor of the Qin dynasty from 220 to 210 BC, his self-invented title "emperor", as indicated by his use of the word "First", would continue to be borne by Chinese rulers for the next two millennia. During his reign, his generals expanded the size of the Chinese state: campaigns south of Chu permanently added the Yue lands of Hunan and Guangdong to the Chinese cultural orbit. Qin Shi Huang worked with his minister Li Si to enact major economic and political reforms aimed at the standardization of the diverse practices of the earlier Chinese states, he is traditionally said to have banned and burned many books and executed scholars, though a closer examination renders the account doubtful.
His public works projects included the unification of diverse state walls into a single Great Wall of China and a massive new national road system, as well as the city-sized mausoleum guarded by the life-sized Terracotta Army. He ruled until his death in 210 BC during his fourth tour of Eastern China, his achievements made him one of the most respected and influential individuals in world history, a legacy among the Chinese. Modern Chinese sources give the personal name of Qin Shi Huang as Ying Zheng, with Ying taken as the surname and Zheng the given name. In ancient China however the naming convention differed, Zhao may be used as the surname. Unlike modern Chinese names, the nobles of ancient China had two distinct surnames: the ancestral name comprised a larger group descended from a prominent ancestor said to have lived during the time of the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors of Chinese legend, the clan name comprised a smaller group that showed a branch's current fief or recent title.
The ancient practice was to list men's names separately—Sima Qian's "Basic Annals of the First Emperor of Qin" introduces him as "given the name Zheng and the surname Zhao"—or to combine the clan surname with the personal name: Sima's account of Chu describes the sixteenth year of the reign of King Kaolie as "the time when Zhao Zheng was enthroned as King of Qin". However, since modern Chinese surnames use the same character as the old ancestral names, it is much more common in modern Chinese sources to see the emperor's personal name written as Ying Zheng, using the ancestral name of the Ying family; the rulers of Qin had styled themselves kings from the time of King Huiwen in 325 BC. Upon his ascension, Zheng became known as King Zheng of Qin; this title made him the nominal equal of the rulers of Shang and of Zhou, the last of whose kings had been deposed by King Zhaoxiang of Qin in 256 BC. Following the surrender of Qi in 221 BC, King Zheng had reunited all of the lands of the former Kingdom of Zhou.
Rather than maintain his rank as king, however, he created a new title of huángdì for himself. This new title combined two titles—huáng of the mythical Three Sovereigns and the dì of the legendary Five Emperors of Chinese prehistory; the title was intended to appropriate some of the prestige of the Yellow Emperor, whose cult was popular in the Warring States period and, considered to be a founder of the Chinese people. King Zheng chose the new regnal name of First Emperor on the understanding that his successors would be successively titled the "Second Emperor", "Third Emperor", so on through the generations; the new title carried religious overtones. For that reason, Sinologists—starting with Peter Boodberg or Edward Schafer—sometimes translate it as "thearch" and the First Emperor as the First Thearch; the First Emperor intended that his realm would remain intact through the ages but, following its overthrow and replacement by Han after his death, it became customary to prefix his title with Qin.
Thus: 秦, Qín or Ch‘in, "of Qin" 始, Shǐ or Shih, "first" 皇帝, Huángdì or Huang-ti, "emperor", a new term coined from 皇, Huáng or Huang "shining" or "splendid" and most applied "as an epithet of Heaven", the high god of the Zhou 帝, Dì or Ti, the high god of the Shang composed of their divine ancestors, used by the Zhou as a title of the legendary Five Emperors the Yellow EmperorAs early as Sima Qian, it was common to shorten the resulting four-character Qin Shi Huangdi to 秦始皇, variously transcribed as Qin Shihuang or Qin Shi Huang. Following his elevation as emperor, both Zheng's personal name 政 and its homophone 正 became taboo; the First Emperor arrogated the first-person Chinese pronoun 朕 for his exclusive use and in 212 BC began calling himself The Immortal. Others were to address him as "Your Majesty" in person and "Your Highness"
The Han dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms period. Spanning over four centuries, the Han period is considered a golden age in Chinese history. To this day, China's majority ethnic group refers to themselves as the "Han Chinese" and the Chinese script is referred to as "Han characters", it was founded by the rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han, interrupted by the Xin dynasty of the former regent Wang Mang. This interregnum separates the Han dynasty into two periods: the Western Han or Former Han and the Eastern Han or Later Han; the emperor was at the pinnacle of Han society. He presided over the Han government but shared power with both the nobility and appointed ministers who came from the scholarly gentry class; the Han Empire was divided into areas directly controlled by the central government using an innovation inherited from the Qin known as commanderies, a number of semi-autonomous kingdoms.
These kingdoms lost all vestiges of their independence following the Rebellion of the Seven States. From the reign of Emperor Wu onward, the Chinese court sponsored Confucianism in education and court politics, synthesized with the cosmology of scholars such as Dong Zhongshu; this policy endured until the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1911 AD. The Han dynasty saw an age of economic prosperity and witnessed a significant growth of the money economy first established during the Zhou dynasty; the coinage issued by the central government mint in 119 BC remained the standard coinage of China until the Tang dynasty. The period saw a number of limited institutional innovations. To finance its military campaigns and the settlement of newly conquered frontier territories, the Han government nationalized the private salt and iron industries in 117 BC, but these government monopolies were repealed during the Eastern Han dynasty. Science and technology during the Han period saw significant advances, including the process of papermaking, the nautical steering ship rudder, the use of negative numbers in mathematics, the raised-relief map, the hydraulic-powered armillary sphere for astronomy, a seismometer employing an inverted pendulum that could be used to discern the cardinal direction of distant earthquakes.
The Xiongnu, a nomadic steppe confederation, defeated the Han in 200 BC and forced the Han to submit as a de facto inferior and vassal partner, but continued their military raids on the Han borders. Emperor Wu launched several military campaigns against them; the ultimate Han victory in these wars forced the Xiongnu to accept vassal status as Han tributaries. These campaigns expanded Han sovereignty into the Tarim Basin of Central Asia, divided the Xiongnu into two separate confederations, helped establish the vast trade network known as the Silk Road, which reached as far as the Mediterranean world; the territories north of Han's borders were overrun by the nomadic Xianbei confederation. Emperor Wu launched successful military expeditions in the south, annexing Nanyue in 111 BC and Dian in 109 BC, in the Korean Peninsula where the Xuantu and Lelang Commanderies were established in 108 BC. After 92 AD, the palace eunuchs involved themselves in court politics, engaging in violent power struggles between the various consort clans of the empresses and empresses dowager, causing the Han's ultimate downfall.
Imperial authority was seriously challenged by large Daoist religious societies which instigated the Yellow Turban Rebellion and the Five Pecks of Rice Rebellion. Following the death of Emperor Ling, the palace eunuchs suffered wholesale massacre by military officers, allowing members of the aristocracy and military governors to become warlords and divide the empire; when Cao Pi, King of Wei, usurped the throne from Emperor Xian, the Han dynasty ceased to exist. According to the Records of the Grand Historian, after the collapse of the Qin dynasty the hegemon Xiang Yu appointed Liu Bang as prince of the small fief of Hanzhong, named after its location on the Han River. Following Liu Bang's victory in the Chu–Han Contention, the resulting Han dynasty was named after the Hanzhong fief. China's first imperial dynasty was the Qin dynasty; the Qin unified the Chinese Warring States by conquest, but their empire became unstable after the death of the first emperor Qin Shi Huang. Within four years, the dynasty's authority had collapsed in the face of rebellion.
Two former rebel leaders, Xiang Yu of Chu and Liu Bang of Han, engaged in a war to decide who would become hegemon of China, which had fissured into 18 kingdoms, each claiming allegiance to either Xiang Yu or Liu Bang. Although Xiang Yu proved to be a capable commander, Liu Bang defeated him at Battle of Gaixia, in modern-day Anhui. Liu Bang assumed the title "emperor" at the urging of his followers and is known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu. Chang'an was chosen as the new capital of the reunified empire under Han. At the beginning of the Western Han known as the Former Han dynasty, thirteen centrally controlled commanderies—including the capital region—existed in the western third of the empire, while the eastern two-thirds were divided into ten semi-autonomous kingdoms. To placate his prominent commanders from the war with Chu, Emperor Gaozu enfeoffed some of them as kings. By 157 BC, the Han court h
Zhou dynasty (690–705)
The Wu Zhou called the Second Zhou dynasty or Restored Zhou dynasty, was a Chinese dynasty implemented and proclaimed by Wu Zetian in 690 CE, when she proclaimed herself huangdi. The dynasty interrupted the Tang dynasty until its abolition in 705, the Wu Zetian abdicated, Tang rule under her grandson Emperor Xuanzong of Tang was restored, Wu died. Historians view this Zhou dynasty as an interregnum rather than a true dynasty because it failed to establish a succession, its sole ruler was Wu Zhao. Wu named her dynasty from whom she believed herself to be descended. Before her coronation, Wu Zhao, was acting as de facto regent for her husband, Emperor Gaozong, or her sons, giving her a head-start in accomplishing her aims which she consolidated as huangdi of Zhou. once she became ruler in name also. Beginning in 655, Wu began to preside over court meetings in the name of the emperor. After Gaozong's death, she ruled in name of her sons, who ruled as puppet emperors. In 690, she deposed her son, Emperor Ruizong, declared herself Huangdi of her Zhou Dynasty.
The dynasty's capital was Shendu. Despite Wu's infamous rise to power, there is evidence that suggests women were granted more privileges during her reign, China was in a state of great prosperity during her rule; the dynasty's state religions were Buddhism and Daoism, both of which Wu Zetian exploited for self-promoting propaganda. The monk Xue Huaiyi claimed to have found a document predicting the reign of a woman of great merit who would become universal ruler In support of her imperial ambitions, Wu Zetian proclaimed herself "Sage Mother", having statues of Laozi's mother as "Sage Mother" placed in Daoist templesWu Zetian became a active supporter of Buddhism, she claimed to be an incarnation of Maitreya, writing a document called the Great Cloud Sutra, which prophesied that a female emperor would eradicate illness and disaster from the world, she sought the support of the Buddhist clergy to this end. In 673 Wu provided 20,000 cash for a gigantic statue of Maitreya at Longmen Grottoes. Unlike her predecessor's dynasty, Wu Zetian selected people in her government based on their skills, not on their status.
The Buddhist clergy created a document called Commentary on the Meaning of the Prophecy about Shenhuang, which predicted a female Chakravartin who would rule the Jambudvipa as the reincarnation of Vimalaprabha. This document was presented to Wu Zetian two months before the proclamation of the Zhou Dynasty. Various other documents were written such as The Great Spell of Unsullied Pure Light predicting the rise of a female monarch, of which Wu Zetian ordered 100,000 copies be printed and distributed. Traditionalist Chinese historiography considers the dynasty as a period of the Tang dynasty, as Wu was the former empress consort of a Tang emperor and was buried in Qianling Mausoleum, a Tang royal mausoleum. Furthermore, Wu Zetian was the only emperor of Zhou China, which does not fit the concept of a dynasty. There were, other dynasties of a similar length, such as the Xin dynasty, or much shorter in length, such as the Shun dynasty. Wu Zetian's rule was long seen as a period of great tyranny, though in more recent decades this seems to have lessened or reversed, as the appearance of Wu Zetian in countless Chinese works of fiction seems to depict her as a wise ruler.
Her reign began and continued with extensive violence, combined with the use of secret police and a network of informers. The debate about Wu's use of violence and coercion is more as to how some of it may have been exaggerated and how much of it was necessary for her own survival given the animosity of the clans of old nobility of the northern China plain that adamantly opposed her, together with a social and political system which found a woman of her accomplishments to be anathema on the basis of gender; the "Zhou dynasty" or reign of Wu Zetian had many achievements both in a broader historical sense as well as in contrast to the reigns of Zhongzong and Ruizong whose reigns bracketed hers, in contrast to her weak and sickly husband Emperor Gaozong of Tang. Wu's reign resulted in a greater level of Chinese imperial power both internally; this was accomplished along with diminishing the power of the old official class, drawn from the traditionally powerful clans, thus changing the dynamics of power in China.
Wu Zetian enhanced the prestige and effectiveness of the civil service recruitment tests, filling government positions by skills demonstrated in written examinations, opening them up to men of all classes. She followed this with increased salaries. Wu issued Acts of Grace and other decrees of relief for the commons, funded religious activities. However, toward the end of her reign she lost popular support due to the influence of the two young Zhang brothers she took as lovers and the resulting corruption in government; when her court officials intervened, they killed the Zhang brothers, Wu Zetian abdicated the next day, the so-called Zhou dynasty fizzled to an end with the restoration of the Tang. Some of Wu Zetian's achievements have left their mark on history, such as the emphasis in subsequent Chinese history on merit-based examinations, as well as extent monuments, including huge parts of Longmen Grottoes. Wu Zetian was an author and poet, with many surviving works, including sixty-one essays under her name recorded in the Quan Tangwen "Collected Tang Essays" and forty-six poems collec
An heir apparent or heiress apparent is a person, first in a line of succession and cannot be displaced from inheriting by the birth of another person. An heir presumptive, by contrast, is someone, first in line to inherit a title but who can be displaced by the birth of a more eligible heir. Today these terms most describe heirs to hereditary titles or offices when only inheritable by a single person. Most monarchies refer to the heir apparent of their thrones with the descriptive term of crown prince but these heirs may be accorded with a more specific substantive title, such as Prince of Orange in the Netherlands, Duke of Brabant in Belgium, Prince of Asturias in Spain, or Prince of Wales in the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms. In France the title was le Dauphin, in Imperial Russia; the term is used metaphorically to indicate an "anointed" successor to any position of power, e.g. a political or corporate leader. This article describes the term heir apparent in a hereditary system regulated by laws of primogeniture—as opposed to cases where a monarch has a say in naming the heir.
In a hereditary system governed by some form of primogeniture, an heir apparent is identifiable as the person whose position as first in the line of succession to a title or office is secure, regardless of future births. An heir presumptive, by contrast, can always be "bumped down" in the succession by the birth of somebody more related in a legal sense to the current title-holder; the clearest example occurs in the case of a holder of a hereditary title, one that can only be inherited by a single person, with no children. If at any time he were to produce children, they rank ahead of whatever more "distant" relative had been heir presumptive. Many legal systems assume childbirth is always possible regardless of health. In such circumstances a person may be, in a practical sense, the heir apparent but still speaking, heir presumptive. Indeed, when Queen Victoria succeeded her uncle King William IV, the wording of the proclamation gave as a caveat:...saving the rights of any issue of his late Majesty King William IV, which may be born of his late Majesty's consort.
This provided for the possibility that William's wife, Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, was pregnant at the moment of his death, since such a posthumous child, regardless of its sex, would have displaced Victoria from the throne. Adelaide was 44 at the time, so pregnancy was possible if unlikely. Daughters may inherit titles that descend according to male-preference primogeniture, but only in default of sons; that is, both female and male offspring have the right to a place somewhere in the order of succession, but when it comes to what that place is, a female will rank behind her brothers regardless of their ages or her age. Thus even an only daughter will not be heir apparent, since at any time a brother might be born who, though younger, would assume that position. Hence, she is an heir presumptive. For example, Queen Elizabeth II was heir presumptive during the reign of her father, King George VI, because at any stage up to his death, George could have fathered a legitimate son. In a system of absolute primogeniture that disregards gender, female heirs apparent occur.
As succession to titles, positions, or offices in the past most favoured males than females, females considered to be an heir apparent were rare. Absolute primogeniture was not practised by any modern monarchy for succession to their thrones until the late twentieth century with Sweden being the first to adopt absolute primogeniture in 1980 and other Western European monarchies following suit. Since the adoption of absolute primogeniture by contemporary Western European monarchies, examples of female heirs apparent include: Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Princess Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands, Princess Elisabeth of Belgium. Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway is heir apparent to her father, Victoria herself has a female heir apparent in her oldest child, Princess Estelle. Victoria was not heir apparent from birth, but gained the status in 1980 following a change in the Swedish Act of Succession, her younger brother Carl Philip was thus heir apparent for a few months. In 2015, pursuant to the 2011 Perth Agreement, the Commonwealth realms changed the rules of succession to the 16 thrones of Elizabeth II to absolute primogeniture, except for male heirs born before the Perth Agreement.
The effects are not to be felt for many years. But in legal systems that apply male-preference primogeniture, female heirs apparent are by no means impossible: if a male heir apparent dies leaving no sons but at least one daughter the eldest daughter would replace her father as heir apparent to whatever throne or title is concerned, but only when it has become clear that the widow of the deceased is not pregnant; as the representative of her father's line she would assume a place ahead of any more distant relatives. Such a situation has not to date occurred with the British throne.
The Song dynasty was an era of Chinese history that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song following his usurpation of the throne of the Later Zhou, ending the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period; the Song came into conflict with the contemporary Liao and Western Xia dynasties in the north. It was conquered by the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty; the Song government was the first in world history to issue banknotes or true paper money nationally and the first Chinese government to establish a permanent standing navy. This dynasty saw the first known use of gunpowder, as well as the first discernment of true north using a compass; the Song dynasty is divided into two distinct periods and Southern. During the Northern Song, the Song capital was in the northern city of Bianjing and the dynasty controlled most of what is now Eastern China; the Southern Song refers to the period after the Song lost control of its northern half to the Jurchen-led Jin dynasty in the Jin–Song Wars.
During this time, the Song court retreated south of the Yangtze and established its capital at Lin'an. Although the Song dynasty had lost control of the traditional "birthplace of Chinese civilization" along the Yellow River, the Song economy was still strong, as the Southern Song Empire contained a large population and productive agricultural land; the Southern Song dynasty bolstered its naval strength to defend its waters and land borders and to conduct maritime missions abroad. To repel the Jin, the Mongols, the Song developed revolutionary new military technology augmented by the use of gunpowder. In 1234, the Jin dynasty was conquered by the Mongols, who took control of northern China, maintaining uneasy relations with the Southern Song. Möngke Khan, the fourth Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, died in 1259 while besieging the mountain castle Diaoyucheng, Chongqing, his younger brother Kublai Khan was proclaimed the new Great Khan, though his claim was only recognized by the Mongols in the west.
In 1271, Kublai Khan was proclaimed the Emperor of China. After two decades of sporadic warfare, Kublai Khan's armies conquered the Song dynasty in 1279; the Mongol invasion led to a reunification under the Yuan dynasty. The population of China doubled in size during the 10th and 11th centuries; this growth was made possible by expanded rice cultivation in central and southern Song, the use of early-ripening rice from south-east and southern Asia, the production of widespread food surpluses. The Northern Song census recorded double of the Han and Tang dynasties, it is estimated that the Northern Song had a population of some 120 million people, 200 million by the time of the Ming dynasty. This dramatic increase of population fomented an economic revolution in pre-modern China; the expansion of the population, growth of cities, the emergence of a national economy led to the gradual withdrawal of the central government from direct involvement in economic affairs. The lower gentry assumed a larger role in local affairs.
Appointed officials in county and provincial centers relied upon the scholarly gentry for their services and local supervision. Social life during the Song was vibrant. Citizens gathered to view and trade precious artworks, the populace intermingled at public festivals and private clubs, cities had lively entertainment quarters; the spread of literature and knowledge was enhanced by the rapid expansion of woodblock printing and the 11th-century invention of movable-type printing. Technology, philosophy and engineering flourished over the course of the Song. Philosophers such as Cheng Yi and Zhu Xi reinvigorated Confucianism with new commentary, infused with Buddhist ideals, emphasized a new organization of classic texts that brought out the core doctrine of Neo-Confucianism. Although the institution of the civil service examinations had existed since the Sui dynasty, it became much more prominent in the Song period; the officials who gained power by succeeding in the exams became a leading factor in the shift from a military-aristocratic elite to a bureaucratic elite.
After usurping the throne of the Later Zhou dynasty, Emperor Taizu of Song spent sixteen years conquering the rest of China, reuniting much of the territory that had once belonged to the Han and Tang empires and ending the upheaval of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. In Kaifeng, he established a strong central government over the empire; the establishment of this capital marked the start of the Northern Song period. He ensured administrative stability by promoting the civil service examination system of drafting state bureaucrats by skill and merit and promoted projects that ensured efficiency in communication throughout the empire. In one such project, cartographers created detailed maps of each province and city that were collected in a large atlas. Emperor Taizu promoted groundbreaking scientific and technological innovations by supporting such works as the astronomical clock tower designed and built by the engineer Zhang Sixun; the Song court maintained diplomatic relations with Chola India, the Fatimid Caliphate of Egypt, the Kara-Khanid Khanate of Central Asia, the Goryeo kingdom in Korea, other countries that were trade partners with Japan.
Chinese records mention an embassy from the ruler of "Fu lin", Michael VII Doukas, its arrival in 1081. However, China's closest neighbouring states had the greatest impact on its domestic and foreign policy. From its
Chinese art is visual art that, whether ancient or modern, originated in or is practiced in China or by Chinese artists. The Chinese art in the Republic of China and that of overseas Chinese can be considered part of Chinese art where it is based in or draws on Chinese heritage and Chinese culture. Early "stone age art" dates back to 10,000 BC consisting of simple pottery and sculptures. After this early period Chinese art, like Chinese history, is classified by the succession of ruling dynasties of Chinese emperors, most of which lasted several hundred years. Chinese art has arguably the oldest continuous tradition in the world, is marked by an unusual degree of continuity within, consciousness of, that tradition, lacking an equivalent to the Western collapse and gradual recovery of classical styles; the media that have been classified in the West since the Renaissance as the decorative arts are important in Chinese art, much of the finest work was produced in large workshops or factories by unknown artists in Chinese ceramics.
Much of the best work in ceramics, carved lacquer, other techniques was produced over a long period by the various Imperial factories or workshops, which as well as being used by the court was distributed internally and abroad on a huge scale to demonstrate the wealth and power of the Emperors. In contrast, the tradition of ink wash painting, practiced by scholar-officials and court painters of landscapes and birds, developed aesthetic values depending on the individual imagination of and objective observation by the artist that are similar to those of the West, but long pre-dated their development there. After contacts with Western art became important from the 19th century onwards, in recent decades China has participated with increasing success in worldwide contemporary art. Traditional Chinese painting involves the same techniques as Chinese calligraphy and is done with a brush dipped in black or colored ink; as with calligraphy, the most popular materials on which paintings are made of silk.
The finished work can be mounted on scrolls, such as hanging handscrolls. Traditional painting can be done on album sheets, lacquerware, folding screens, other media; the two main techniques in Chinese painting are: Gong-bi, meaning "meticulous", uses detailed brushstrokes that delimits details precisely. It is highly coloured and depicts figural or narrative subjects, it is practised by artists working for the royal court or in independent workshops. Bird-and-flower paintings were in this style. Ink and wash painting, in Chinese Shui-mo or loosely termed watercolour or brush painting, known as "literati painting", as it was one of the "Four Arts" of the Chinese Scholar-official class. In theory this was an art practised by gentlemen, a distinction that begins to be made in writings on art from the Song dynasty, though in fact the careers of leading exponents could benefit considerably; this style is referred to as "xie yi" or freehand style. Artists from the Han to the Tang dynasties painted the human figure.
Much of what is known of early Chinese figure painting comes from burial sites, where paintings were preserved on silk banners, lacquered objects, tomb walls. Many early tomb paintings were meant to help their souls get to paradise. Others illustrated the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius, or showed scenes of daily life. Most Chinese portraits showed a formal full-length frontal view, were used in the family in ancestor veneration. Imperial portraits were more flexible, but were not seen outside the court, portraiture formed no part of Imperial propaganda, as in other cultures. Many critics consider landscape to be the highest form of Chinese painting; the time from the Five Dynasties period to the Northern Song period is known as the "Great age of Chinese landscape". In the north, artists such as Jing Hao, Li Cheng, Fan Kuan, Guo Xi painted pictures of towering mountains, using strong black lines, ink wash, sharp, dotted brushstrokes to suggest rough rocks. In the south, Dong Yuan and other artists painted the rolling hills and rivers of their native countryside in peaceful scenes done with softer, rubbed brushwork.
These two kinds of scenes and techniques became the classical styles of Chinese landscape painting. Chinese ritual bronzes from the Shang and Western Zhou dynasties come from a period of over a thousand years from c. 1500, have exerted a continuing influence over Chinese art. They are cast with complex patterned and zoomorphic decoration, but avoid the human figure, unlike the huge figures only discovered at Sanxingdui; the spectacular Terracotta Army was assembled for the tomb of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of a unified China from 221–210 BC, as a grand imperial version of the figures long placed in tombs to enable the deceased to enjoy the same lifestyle in the afterlife as when alive, replacing actual sacrifices of early periods. Smaller figures in pottery or wood were placed in tombs for many centuries afterwards, reaching a peak of quality in the Tang dynasty. Native Chinese religions do not use cult images of deities, or represent them, large religious sculpture is nearly all Buddhist, dating from the 4th to the 14th century, using Greco-Buddhist models arriving via the Silk Road.
Buddhism is the context of all large portrait sculpture. Imperial tombs have spectacular avenues of appro