In Chinese sovereignty and peerage, the nobility of China, was an important feature of the traditional social and political organization of Imperial China. While the concepts of hereditary sovereign and peerage titles and noble families were featured as early as the semi-mythical, early historical period, a settled system of nobility was established from the Zhou dynasty. In the subsequent millennia, this system was maintained in form, with some changes and additions, although the content evolved; the last, well-developed system of noble titles was established under the Qing dynasty. The AD-1911 republican Xinhai Revolution saw the dissolution of the official imperial system although the new Republic of China government maintained noble titles like the Duke Yansheng. Though some noble families maintained their titles and dignity for a time, new political and economic circumstances forced their decline. Today, the nobility as a class is entirely dissipated in China, only a few maintain any pretense or claim to noble titles, which are universally unrecognized.
Elevation and degradation of rank might occur posthumously, posthumous elevation was sometimes a consideration. The apex of the nobility is the sovereign; the title of the sovereign has changed over time, together with the connotations of the respective titles. In Chinese history are 3 levels of supreme and independent sovereignty or high autonomous sovereignty above the next lower category of ranks, the aristocracy who recognized the overlordship of a higher sovereign or ruled a semi-independent, tributary, or independent realm of self-recognized insufficient importance in size, power, or influence to claim a sovereign title, such as a Duchy which in Western terms would be called a Duchy, Principality, or some level of Chiefdom; the broadest sovereign is. An emperor might tolerate subsovereigns or tributary rulers styled kings; as a title of nobility, Ba Wang, recognized overlordship of several subordinate kings while refraining from claiming the title of emperor within the imperium of the Chinese subcontinent, such as its borders were considered from era to era.
Sovereigns holding the title of king of an individual state within and without the shifting borders of the Chinese imperium might be independent heads of foreign nations, such as the King of Korea who might, in some cases, be subordinate to foreign emperors just as territorial or tribal sovereign Mongol khans might be subject to one of several Khagans or Great khans. Confusingly, some Chinese emperors styled many or all close male relatives of certain kinds such as brothers, uncles, or nephews as wang, a term for king, using it as a courtesy title. However, Chinese histories since ancient works such as Shiji were fairly liberal in terming local tribal chiefs as "king" of a particular territory ranging from vast to tiny, using convenient terms of the form "" + "" such as Changshawang, "King of Changsha", recognized as a kingdom but was a smaller part of Chu state or just a county of the Sui dynasty state, or phrases such as Yiwang, "Yi Foreign king," while in other cases or by other authors other terms such as, "native chief" might be used for the same office.
The downward extensibility of terms for "king" in more casual usage influences other allusive uses of these terms. In modern colloquial Chinese the term "king" is sometimes used as loosely as in English, for such non-literal terms as mien da wang, "great king of noodles" for a pasta-lover, where an English-speaker might use such terms as. Family members of individual sovereigns were born to titles or granted specific titles by the sovereign according to family tree proximity, including blood relatives and in-laws and adoptees of predecessors and older generations of the sovereign; the parents of a new dynasty-founding sovereign would become elevated with sovereign or ruling family ranks if this was a posthumous act at the time of the dynasty-founding sovereign's accession. Titles translated in English as "prince" and "princess" were immediate or recent descendants of sovereigns, with increasing distance at birth from an ancestral sovereign in succeeding generations resulting in degradations of the particular grade of prince or princess and degradation of posterity's ranks as a whole below that of prince and princess.
Sovereigns of smaller states are styled with lesser titles of aristocracy such as Duke of a Duchy or Marquis rather than as hereditary sovereign Princes who do not ascend to kingship as in the European case of the Principality of Monaco, dynasties which gained or lost significant territory might change the titles of successive rulers from sovereign to aristocratic titles or vice versa, either by self-designation of the ruler or through imposed entitlement from a conquering state. For example, when Shu's kings were conquered by Qin, its Kaiming rulers became Marquises such as Marquis Hui of Shu who attempted a rebellion against Qin overlords in 301 BC. Although formally Tianzi, "The Son of Heaven," the power of the Chinese
Standard Chinese known as Modern Standard Mandarin, Standard Mandarin, Modern Standard Mandarin Chinese, or Mandarin, is a standard variety of Chinese, the sole official language of China, the de facto official language of Taiwan and one of the four official languages of Singapore. Its pronunciation is based on the Beijing dialect, its vocabulary on the Mandarin dialects, its grammar is based on written vernacular Chinese. Like other varieties of Chinese, Standard Chinese is a tonal language with topic-prominent organization and subject–verb–object word order, it has more initial consonants but final consonants and tones than southern varieties. Standard Chinese is an analytic language, though with many compound words. There are two standardised forms of the language, namely Putonghua in Mainland China and Guoyu in Taiwan. Aside from a number of differences in pronunciation and vocabulary, Putonghua is written using simplified Chinese characters, Guoyu is written using traditional Chinese characters.
Many characters are identical between the two systems. In Chinese, the standard variety is known as: 普通话 in the People's Republic of China, as well as Hong Kong and Macau. Standard Chinese is commonly referred to by generic names for "Chinese", notably 中文. In total, there have been known over 20 various names for the language; the term Guoyu had been used by non-Han rulers of China to refer to their languages, but in 1909 the Qing education ministry applied it to Mandarin, a lingua franca based on northern Chinese varieties, proclaiming it as the new "national language". The name Putonghua has a long, albeit unofficial, history, it was used as early as 1906 in writings by Zhu Wenxiong to differentiate a modern, standard Chinese from classical Chinese and other varieties of Chinese. For some linguists of the early 20th century, the Putonghua, or "common tongue/speech", was conceptually different from the Guoyu, or "national language"; the former was a national prestige variety. Based on common understandings of the time, the two were, in fact, different.
Guoyu was understood as formal vernacular Chinese, close to classical Chinese. By contrast, Putonghua was called "the common speech of the modern man", the spoken language adopted as a national lingua franca by conventional usage; the use of the term Putonghua by left-leaning intellectuals such as Qu Qiubai and Lu Xun influenced the People's Republic of China government to adopt that term to describe Mandarin in 1956. Prior to this, the government used both terms interchangeably. In Taiwan, Guoyu continues to be the official term for Standard Chinese; the term Guoyu however, is less used in the PRC, because declaring a Beijing dialect-based standard to be the national language would be deemed unfair to speakers of other varieties and to the ethnic minorities. The term Putonghua, on the contrary, implies nothing more than the notion of a lingua franca. During the government of a pro-Taiwan independence coalition, Taiwan officials promoted a different reading of Guoyu as all of the "national languages", meaning Hokkien and Formosan as well as Standard Chinese.
Huayu, or "language of the Chinese nation" simply meant "Chinese language", was used in overseas communities to contrast Chinese with foreign languages. Over time, the desire to standardise the variety of Chinese spoken in these communities led to the adoption of the name "Huayu" to refer to Mandarin; this name avoids choosing a side between the alternative names of Putonghua and Guoyu, which came to have political significance after their usages diverged along political lines between the PRC and the ROC. It incorporates the notion that Mandarin is not the national or common language of the areas in which overseas Chinese live. Hanyu, or "language of the Han people", is another umbrella term used for Chinese. However, it has confusingly two different meanings: Standard Chinese; this term, as well as Hànzú, is a modern concept. A related concept is Hànzì; the term "Mandarin" is a translation of Guānhuà, which referred to the lingua franca of the late Chinese empire. The Chinese term is obsolete as a name for the standard language, but is used by linguists to refer to the major group of Mandarin dialects spoken natively across most of northern and southwestern China.
In English, "Mandarin" may refer to the standard language, the dialect group as a whole, or to historic forms such as the late Imperial lingua franca. The name "Modern Standard Mandarin" is sometimes used by linguists who wish to distinguish the current state of the shared language from other northern and historic dialects; the Chinese have different languages in different provinces, to such an extent
The Huai River romanized as the Hwai, is a major river in China. It is located about midway between the Yellow River and Yangtze, the two largest rivers in China, like them runs from west to east. Draining directly into the Yellow Sea, floods have changed the course of the river such that it is now a major tributary of the Yangtze; the Huai is notoriously vulnerable to flooding. The Huai River–Qin Mountains line is regarded as the geographical dividing line between Northern and southern China; this line approximates the 800 mm isohyet in China. It reflects the boundary established in 1142 by the Treaty of Shaoxing between the Jin dynasty in North China and the Southern Song in South China; the Huai River is 1,110 kilometres long with a drainage area of 174,000 square kilometres. The Huai River originates in Tongbai Mountain in Henan province, it flows through southern Henan, northern Anhui, northern Jiangsu, entering the Yangtze River at Jiangdu, Yangzhou. The Huai River entered the Yellow Sea at Yunti Pass through a broad and level lower course.
It was long used to irrigate the surrounding farmlands, was the centre of an extensive network of canals and tributaries. Beginning in 1194, the Yellow River to the north changed its course southwards to run into the Huai River; the resulting silting was so heavy that after the Yellow River changed back to its northerly course for the most recent time in 1897, the geography of the Huai River basin was changed by the creation of new high lands and the built-up silt of the Yellow River's historical southern course. As a result, water from the midsection of the river could not flow into the lower section, while water in the lower section could not find an outlet to the sea; the problem worsened in the Second World War, when the Chiang Kai-shek government, in an attempt to check the pace of the Japanese invasion, flooded the lower Huai basin by opening the Yellow River's southern levee. The main stem of the Yellow River flowed through the levee breach for the next nine years, further disrupting the Huai river system.
The result of these changes was that water from the Huai River pooled up into Lake Hongze, ran southwards towards the Yangtze River. Major and minor floods occurred with the area suffering droughts in between floods. In the 450 years to 1950, the Huai River saw, on average, 94 major floods per century. Attempts to solve the Huai River's problems have focussed on building outlets for the Huai River into the Yangtze River and the sea; the major part of the river's flow enters the Yangtze River via Lake Hongze. The North Jiangsu Main Irrigation Canal diverts some of its water along its old historical course to the sea, is planned to be upgraded with a new parallel channel. Several former tributaries carry some water to the sea. Huai River
King Cheng of Zhou
King Cheng of Zhou or King Ch'eng of Chou was the second king of the Chinese Zhou Dynasty. The dates of his reign are 1042-1021 BCE or 1042/35-1006 BCE, his parents were King Wu of Queen Yi Jiang. King Cheng was young, his uncle, Duke of Zhou, fearing that Shang forces might rise again under the possible weak rule of a young ruler, became the regent and supervised government affairs for several years. Duke of Zhou established the eastern capital at Luoyang, defeated a rebellion by Cheng’s uncles Cai Shu, Guan Shu and Huo Shu. King Cheng stabilized Zhou Dynasty’s border by defeating several barbarian tribes along with the Duke of Zhou. Family tree of ancient Chinese emperors
Stone Drums of Qin
The Stone Drums of Qín or Qin Shi Gu are ten granite boulders bearing the oldest known "stone" inscriptions in ancient Chinese. Because these inscribed stones are shaped like drums, they have been known as the Stone Drums of Qin since at least the 7th century, their fame is because they are the oldest known stone inscriptions in China, making them a priceless treasure for epigraphers. The stone drums are now kept in the Palace Beijing, they vary in height from 73 cm to 87.5 cm, from 56 to 80.1 cm in diameter. The Stone Drums weigh about 400 kg. each. The ancient inscriptions on them are arranged in accordance with each stone's size and proportions, the largest stone bearing fifteen lines of five characters each, a smaller one with nine lines of eight graphs each, neatly arranged as if in a grid; the contents are four-character rhymed verse in the style of the poems of the Classic of Poetry, a few lines of which they paraphrase. The contents commemorate royal hunting and fishing activities. Thought to bear about 700 characters in all, the Stone Drums were damaged by the time they are mentioned in the Tang dynasty poetry of Du Fu.
The drums had only 501 graphs by the Song dynasty. They have been further damaged through rough handling and repeated rubbings in the years since, one was converted into a mortar, destroying a third of it. A mere 272 characters are visible on the stones today. In the best rubbing, only 470 of the 501 characters are legible, or about 68%. Among recognizable graphs, scores of them are used in ways unattested elsewhere, leading to great difficulty and disagreement in their interpretation, a situation common to Zhou dynasty inscriptions; the Stone Drums are mentioned in the 7th century, may have been found within the preceding century. There exists no record of their actual discovery, so the date and location thereof are unsettled, are a matter of extensive scholarly controversy. Wagner speculates that the original location of the drums’ discovery may have been the Qin royal tombs or an associated ritual complex in Fengxiang County, Shaanxi Province, but mentions another relevant location: a mountain named Shígǔshān, or Stone Drum Mt. in Chéncāng, about 25 km.
SW of Yong, the Qín capital from 677 to 383 BCE. Yong’s city walls have been found in Fengxiang, the Qín royal tombs lie about 11 km. to the south. Like their discovery, the details of their origin have long been subject to debate. While most now agree that they were made at the behest of a Duke of the state of Qin, the century of their creation is still uncertain. Chén Zhāoróng points out that the style of the Stone Drums script is close to that of the inscriptions on both the Qín Gōng guĭ and a stone qìng, both belonging to Duke Jing of Qin, who ruled from 576 to 537 BCE, she states that it is likely that these artifacts date to the same period, thus dates the Stone Drums to the late Spring and Autumn period. The Stone Drums of Ch'in by Gilbert L. Mattos, 1988
King Wen of Zhou
King Wen of Zhou was count of Zhou during the late Shang dynasty in ancient China. Although it was his son Wu who conquered the Shang following the Battle of Muye, Count Wen was posthumously honored as the founder of the Zhou dynasty and titled King. A large number of the hymns of the Classic of Poetry are praises to the legacy of King Wen; some consider him the first epic hero of Chinese history. Born Ji Chang, Wen was the son of Tairen and Ji Jili, the count of a small state along the Wei River in present-day Shaanxi. Jili was betrayed and executed by the Shang king Wen Ding in the late 12th century BC, leaving the young Chang as the count of Zhou. Wen married Taisi and fathered ten sons and one daughter by her, plus at least another eight sons with concubines. At one point, King Zhou of Shang, fearing Wen's growing power, imprisoned him in Youli after he was slandered by the Marquis of Chong, his eldest son, Bo Yikao, went to King Zhou to plead for his freedom, but was executed in a rage by lingchi and made into meat cakes which were fed to his father in Youli.
However, many officials - namely and notably San Yisheng and Hong Yao - respected Wen for his honorable governance and gave King Zhou so many gifts – including gold and women – that he released Wen, bestowed him his personal weapons and invested him with the special rank of Count of the West. In retribution, Wen offered a piece of his land in Western Luo to King Zhou, who in turn allowed Wen to make one last request, he requested that the Burning Pillar punishment be abolished, so it was. Subsequently, upon returning home Wen secretly began to plot to overthrow King Zhou. In his first year as Count of the West, he settled a land dispute between the states of Yu and Rui, earning greater recognition among the nobles, it is by this point that some nobles began calling him "king". The following year, Wen found Jiang Ziya fishing in the Pan River and hired him as a military counsellor, he repelled an invasion of the Quanrong barbarians and occupied a portion of their land. The following year, he campaigned against Mixu, a state whose chief had been harassing the smaller states of Ruan and Gong, thus annexing the three of them.
The following year, he attacked Li, a puppet of Shang, the year latter he attacked E, a rebel state opposed to Shang, conquering both. The following year he attacked Chong, home of Hu, Marquis of Chong, his arch-enemy, defeated it, gaining access to the Ford of Meng through which he could cross his army to attack Shang. By he had obtained about two thirds of the whole kingdom either as direct possessions or sworn allies; that same year he moved his capital city one hundred kilometers east from Mount Qi to Feng, placing the Shang under imminent threat. The following year, the Count of the West died before he could cross the Ford to accomplish his end. Four years from this, his second son, known as King Wu, followed his footsteps and crushed the Shang at Muye, founding the Zhou dynasty; the name "Wen" means "the Cultured" or "the Civilizing" and was made into an official royal name by King Wu in honor of his father. Many of the older odes from the Classic of Poetry are hymns in praise of King Wen.
King Wen is credited with having stacked the eight trigrams in their various permutations to create the sixty-four hexagrams of the I Ching. He is said to have written the judgments which are appended to each hexagram; the most used sequence of the 64 hexagrams is attributed to him and is referred to as the King Wen sequence. In 196 BC, Han Gaozu gave King Wen the title "Greatest of All Kings". Family tree of ancient Chinese emperors Ci Hai Bian Ji Wei Yuan Hui. Shanghai Ci Shu Chu Ban She, 1979 Wu, K. C; the Chinese Heritage. Crown Publishers, 1982. ISBN 0-517-54475-X
King Wu of Zhou
King Wu of Zhou was the first king of the Zhou dynasty of ancient China. The chronology of his reign is disputed but is thought to have begun around 1046 BC and ended three years in 1043 BC. King Wu's ancestral name was given name Fa, he was the second son of King Wen of Queen Taisi. In most accounts, his older brother Bo Yikao was said to have predeceased his father at the hands of King Zhou, the last king of the Shang dynasty. Upon his succession, Fa worked with his father-in-law Jiang Ziya to accomplish an unfinished task: overthrowing the Shang dynasty. In 1048 BC, Fa met with more than 800 dukes, he constructed an ancestral tablet naming his father Chang King Wen and placed it on a chariot in the middle of the host. In 1046 BC, King Wu took advantage of Shang disunity to launch an attack along with many neighboring dukes; the Battle of Muye destroyed Shang's forces and King Zhou of Shang set his palace on fire, dying within. King Wu – the name means "Martial" – followed his victory by establishing many feudal states under his 16 younger brothers and clans allied by marriage, but his death three years provoked several rebellions against his young heir King Cheng and the regent Duke of Zhou from three of his brothers.
A burial mound in Zhouling town, Shaanxi was once thought to be King Wu's tomb. It was fitted with a headstone bearing Wu's name in the Qing dynasty. Modern archeology has since concluded that the tomb is not old enough to be from the Zhou dynasty, is more to be that of a Han dynasty royal; the true location of King Wu's tomb remains unknown, but is to be in the Xianyang-Xi'an area. Wu is considered one of the great heroes of China, together with Yu the Great. Family tree of ancient Chinese emperors