Spring and Autumn period
The Spring and Autumn period was a period in Chinese history from 771 to 476 BC which corresponds to the first half of the Eastern Zhou Period. The period's name derives from the Spring and Autumn Annals, a chronicle of the state of Lu between 722 and 479 BC, which tradition associates with Confucius. During this period, the Zhou royal authority over the various feudal states started to decline, as more and more dukes and marquesses obtained de facto regional autonomy, defying the king's court in Luoyi, waging wars amongst themselves; the gradual Partition of Jin, one of the most powerful states, marked the end of the Spring and Autumn period, the beginning of the Warring States period. In 771 BC, the Quanrong invasion destroyed the Western Zhou and its capital Haojing, forcing the Zhou king to flee to the eastern capital Luoyi; the event ushered in the Eastern Zhou dynasty, divided into the Spring and Autumn and the Warring States periods. During the Spring and Autumn period, China's feudal system of fengjian became irrelevant.
The Zhou court, having lost its homeland in the Guanzhong region, held nominal power, but had real control over only a small royal demesne centered on Luoyi. During the early part of the Zhou dynasty period, royal relatives and generals had been given control over fiefdoms in an effort to maintain Zhou authority over vast territory; as the power of the Zhou kings waned, these fiefdoms became independent states. The most important states came together in regular conferences where they decided important matters, such as military expeditions against foreign groups or against offending nobles. During these conferences one vassal ruler was sometimes declared hegemon; as the era continued and more powerful states annexed or claimed suzerainty over smaller ones. By the 6th century BC most small states had disappeared and just a few large and powerful principalities dominated China; some southern states, such as Chu and Wu, claimed independence from the Zhou, who undertook wars against some of them. Amid the interstate power struggles, internal conflict was rife: six élite landholding families waged war on each other inside Jin, political enemies set about eliminating the Chen family in Qi, the legitimacy of the rulers was challenged in civil wars by various royal family members in Qin and Chu.
Once all these powerful rulers had established themselves within their respective dominions, the bloodshed focused more on interstate conflict in the Warring States period, which began in 403 BC when the three remaining élite families in Jin – Zhao and Han – partitioned the state. After the Zhou capital was sacked by the Marquess of Shen and the Quanrong barbarians, the Zhou moved the capital east from the now desolated Zongzhou in Haojing near modern Xi'an to Wangcheng in the Yellow River Valley; the Zhou royalty was closer to its main supporters Jin, Zheng. In Chengzhou, Prince Yijiu was crowned by his supporters as King Ping. However, with the Zhou domain reduced to Chengzhou and nearby areas, the court could no longer support the six army groups it had in the past; the Zhou court would never regain its original authority. Though the king de jure retained the Mandate of Heaven, the title held little actual power. With the decline of Zhou power, the Yellow River drainage basin was divided into hundreds of small, autonomous states, most of them consisting of a single city, though a handful of multi-city states those on the periphery, had power and opportunity to expand outward.
A total of 148 states are mentioned in the chronicles for this period, 128 of which were absorbed by the four largest states by the end of the period. Shortly after the royal family's move to Chengzhou, a hierarchical alliance system arose where the Zhou king would give the title of hegemon to the leader of the state with the most powerful military; this political framework retained the fēngjiàn power structure, though interstate and intrastate conflict led to disregard for feudal customs, respect for the Ji family, solidarity with other Zhou peoples. The king's prestige legitimized the military leaders of the states, helped mobilize collective defense of Zhou territory against "barbarians". Over the next two centuries, the four most powerful states—Qin, Jin, Qi and Chu—struggled for power; these multi-city states used the pretext of aid and protection to intervene and gain suzerainty over the smaller states. During this rapid expansion, interstate relations alternated between low-level warfare and complex diplomacy.
Duke Yin of Lu ascended the throne in 722 BC. From this year on the state of Lu kept an official chronicle, the Spring and Autumn Annals, which along with its commentaries is the standard source for the Spring and Autumn period. Corresponding chronicles are known to have existed in other states as well, but all but the Lu chronicle have been lost. In 717 BC, Duke Zhuang of Zheng went to the capital for an audience with King Huan. During the encounter the duke felt he was not trea
Han was an ancient Chinese state during the Warring States period of ancient China. It is conventionally romanized by scholars as Hann to distinguish it from the Han Dynasty, it was located in central China in a region south and east of Luoyang, the capital of the Eastern Zhou. It was ruled by a royal family who were former ministers in the state of Jin that had gained power from the Jin royal family until they were able to divide Jin into the three new states of Han and Zhao with the assistance of two other ministerial families; the state of Han was small and located in a unprofitable region. Its territory directly blocked the passage of the state of Qin into the North China Plain.. Although Han had attempted to reform its governance these reforms were not enough to defend itself and it was the first of the seven warring states to be conquered by Qin in 230 BC. Qin invasion of Han's Shangdang Commandery in 260 BC was the bloodiest battle of the Warring States period with the supposed death of 400 000 soldiers.
According to chapter 45 of the Records of the Grand Historian, the royal family of Han was a cadet branch of the royal family of the state of Jin. The founder of the Han clan Wuzi of Han was the uncle of Duke Wu of Jin. Members of the family were granted Hanyuan. During the Spring and Autumn period, members of the Han family gained more and more influence and power within Jin. In 403 BC, Jing of Han, along with Wen of Wei and Lie of Zhao partitioned Jin among themselves. In Chinese history, this Partition of Jin is the event which marks the end of the Spring and Autumn period and the beginning of the Warring States. Subsequently, Han was an independent polity. King Lie recognized the new states in 403 BC and elevated the rulers to 侯. Han's highest point occurred under the rule of Marquess Xi. Xi implemented his Legalist policies; these reforms strengthened its military capability. Under King Xuanhui, Han declared itself an independent kingdom. However, Han was disadvantaged in the competition of the Warring States because Jin's partition had left it surrounded on all sides by other strong states – Chu to the south, Qi to the east, Qin to the west, Wei to the north.
It was the smallest of the seven states and, without any easy way to expand its own territory and resources, it was bullied militarily by its more powerful neighbors. During its steady decline, Han lost the power to defend its territory and had to request military assistance from other states; the contest between Wei and Qi over control of Han resulted in the Battle of Maling, which established Qi as the pre-eminent state in the east. In 260 BC, Qin's invasion of Han led to Zhao the Battle of Changping. During the late years of the era, in an attempt to drain Qin's resources in an expensive public works project, the state of Han sent the civil engineer Zheng Guo to Qin to persuade them to build a canal; the scheme, while expensive, backfired spectacularly when it was completed: the irrigation abilities of the new Zhengguo Canal far outweighed its cost and gave Qin the agricultural and economic means to dominate the other six states. Han was the first to fall, in 230 BC. In 226 BC, former nobility of the Han launched a failed rebellion in former capital Xinzheng, King An, the last king of Han, was put to death the same year.
Han Xin was made "King of Han" by Liu Bang after the establishment of the Han dynasty. He was removed to Taiyuan Commandery and the territory of the kingdom of Dai, where he defected to the Xiongnu and led raids against the Han Dynasty until his death. Before the state of Qin unified China in 221 BC, each region had their own unique customs and culture, although they were all dominated by an upper class that shared a common culture. In the Yu Gong, a section of the Book of Documents, most composed in the 4th century BC, the author describes a China, divided into nine regions, each with its own distinctive peoples and products; the core theme of this section is that these nine regions are unified into one state by the travels of the eponymous sage, Yu the Great and by sending each region's unique goods to the capital as tribute. Other texts discussed these regional variations in culture and physical environments. One of these texts was Wuzi, a Warring States military treatise written in response to a query by Marquis Wu of Wei on how to cope with the other states.
Wu Qi, the author of the work, declared that the government and nature of the people were linked to the physical environment and territory they live in. Han Fei, a Legalist philosopher Zhang Liang, a major figure in the early Han dynasty Zheng Guo, the hydraulic engineer who designed the Zhengguo Canal for Qin Han is represented by the star 35 Capricorni in the "Twelve States" asterism, part of the "Girl" lunar mansion in the "Black Turtle" symbol. Han is represented by the star Zeta Ophiuchi in the "Right Wall" asterism, part of the "Heavenly Market" enclosure. Chinese nobility Sima Qian. Records of the Grand Historian, Ch. 45 Zizhi Tongjian Volumes 1-6
Seal script is an ancient style of writing Chinese characters, common throughout the latter half of the 1st millennium BCE. It evolved organically out of the Zhou dynasty script; the Qin variant of seal script became the standard, was adopted as the formal script for all of China during the Qin dynasty. It was still used for decorative engraving and seals in the Han dynasty; the literal translation of the Chinese name for seal script, 篆書, is decorative engraving script, a name coined during the Han dynasty, which reflects the then-reduced role of the script for the writing of ceremonial inscriptions. The general term seal script can be used to refer to several types of seal script, including the Large or Great Seal script and the lesser or Small Seal Script. Most without any other clarifying terminology, it refers to the latter of these; the term Large Seal script itself can cover a broad variety of scripts, including a variation of Qin writing earlier than the small seal characters, but the earlier Western Zhou forms, or oracle bone characters as well.
Since the term is an imprecise one, not referring to any specific historical script and not used with any consensus in meaning, modern scholars tend to avoid it, when referring to seal script mean the seal script of the Qin system, that is, the lineage which evolved in the state of Qin during the Spring and Autumn and Warring States period and, standardized under the First Emperor. There were several different variants of seal script which developed independently in each kingdom during the Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods. One of these, the "bird-worm" seal script, is named for its intricate decorations on the defining strokes, was used in the Kingdoms of Wu, Yue, it was found on several artifacts including the Sword of Goujian. This seal script variant is difficult to read; as a southern state, Chu was close to the Wu-Yue influences. Chu produced broad bronze swords that were not as intricate. Chu used the bird-worm style, borrowed by the Wu and Yue states; the script of the Qin system had evolved organically from the Zhou script starting in the Spring and Autumn period.
Beginning around the Warring States period, it became vertically elongated with a regular appearance. This was the period of maturation of Small Seal script, it was systematized by prime minister Li Si during the reign of the First Emperor of China Qin Shi Huang through elimination of most variant structures, was imposed as the nationwide standard. Through Chinese commentaries, it is known that Li Si compiled the Cangjiepian, a partially-extant wordbook listing some 3,300 Chinese characters in small seal script, their form is characterized by being more squarish. In the popular history of Chinese characters, the Small Seal script is traditionally considered to be the ancestor of the clerical script, which in turn gave rise to all of the other scripts in use today. However, recent archaeological discoveries and scholarship have led some scholars to conclude that the direct ancestor of clerical script was proto-clerical script, which in turn evolved out of the little-known vulgar or popular writing of the late Warring States to Qin period.
The first known character dictionary was the 3rd century BC Erya and bibliographed by Liu Xiang and his son Liu Xin. It is no longer extant. Not long after, the Shuowen Jiezi, the lifework of Xu Shen, was written, its 9,353 entries reproduce the standardized small-seal script variant for each entry, for some entries other pre-Han variants from the late Zhou era. Entries are categorized under 540 section headers, it has been anticipated. Codepoints U+31400 to U+33D1F have been tentatively allocated. Old Texts'Phags-pa Chén Zhāoróng 秦系文字研究﹕从漢字史的角度考察. Academia Sinica, Institute of History and Philology Monograph. ISBN 957-671-995-X Qin Yun Song, Big Seal Script Banner Script translation Richard Sears on seal script
Chinese surnames are used by Han Chinese and Sinicized ethnic groups in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore, Philippines and among overseas Chinese communities. In ancient times two types of surnames existed, namely xing or clan names, shi or lineage names. Chinese family names are patrilineal. Women do not change their surnames upon marriage, except in places with more Western influences such as Hong Kong. Traditionally Chinese surnames have been exogamous; the colloquial expressions laobaixing and bǎixìng are used in Chinese to mean "ordinary folks", "the people", or "commoners". Prior to the Warring States period, only the ruling families and the aristocratic elite had surnames. There was a difference between clan names or xing and lineage names or shi. Xing were surnames held by the noble clans, they are composed of a nü radical, taken by some as evidence they originated from matriarchal societies based on maternal lineages. Another hypothesis has been proposed by sinologist Léon Vandermeersch upon observation of the evolution of characters in oracular scripture from the Shang dynasty through the Zhou.
The "female" radical seems to appear at the Zhou period next to Shang sinograms indicating an ethnic group or a tribe. This combination seems to designate a female and could mean "lady of such or such clan"; the structure of the xing sinogram could reflect the fact that in the royal court of Zhou, at least in the beginning, only females were called by their birth clan name, while the men were designated by their title or fief. Prior to the Qin dynasty China was a fengjian society; as fiefdoms were divided and subdivided among descendants, so additional sub-surnames known as shi were created to distinguish between noble lineages according to seniority, though in theory they shared the same ancestor. In this way, a nobleman would hold a xing; the difference between xing and shi was blurring for women since the Spring and Autumn period. After the states of China were unified by Qin Shi Huang in 221 BC, surnames spread to the lower classes. Many shi surnames survive to the present day. According to Kiang Kang-Hu, there are 18 sources from which Chinese surnames may be derived, while others suggested at least 24.
These may be names associated with a ruling dynasty such as the various titles and names of rulers and dynasty, or they may be place names of various territories, towns and specific locations, the title of official posts or occupations, or names of objects, or they may be derived from the names of family members or clans, in a few cases, names of contempt given by a ruler. The following are some of the common sources: Xing: These were reserved for the central lineage of the royal family, with collateral lineages taking their own shi; the traditional description was what were known as the "Eight Great Xings of High Antiquity", namely Jiāng, Jī, Yáo, Yíng, Sì, Yún, Guī and Rèn, though some sources quote Jí as the last one instead of Rèn. Of these xings, only Jiang and Yao have survived in their original form to modern days as occurring surnames. Royal decree by the Emperor, such as Kuang. State name: Many nobles and commoners took the name of their state, either to show their continuing allegiance or as a matter of national and ethnic identity.
These are some of the most common Chinese surnames. Name of a fief or place of origin: Fiefdoms were granted to collateral branches of the aristocracy and it was natural as part of the process of sub-surnaming for their names to be used. An example is Marquis of Ouyangting, whose descendants took the surname Ouyang. There are some two hundred examples of this identified of two-character surnames, but few have survived to the present. Names of an ancestor: Like the previous example, this was a common origin with close to 500 or 600 examples, 200 of which are two-character surnames. An ancestor's courtesy name would be used. For example, Yuan Taotu took the second character of his grandfather's courtesy name Boyuan as his surname. Sometimes titles granted to ancestors could be taken as surnames. Seniority within the family: In ancient usage, the characters of meng, shu and ji were used to denote the first, second and fourth eldest sons in a family; these were sometimes adopted as surnames. Of these, Meng is the best known.
Occupation From official positions, such as Shǐ, Jí, Líng, Cāng, Kù, Jiàn, Shàngguān, Tàishǐ, Zhōngháng, Yuèzhèng, in the case of Shang's "Five Officials", namely Sīmǎ, Sītú, Sīkōng, Sīshì and Sīkòu.
Old Chinese phonology
Scholars have attempted to reconstruct the phonology of Old Chinese from documentary evidence. Although the writing system does not describe sounds directly, shared phonetic components of the most ancient Chinese characters are believed to link words that were pronounced at that time; the oldest surviving Chinese verse, in the Classic of Poetry, shows which words rhymed in that period. Scholars have compared these bodies of contemporary evidence with the much Middle Chinese reading pronunciations listed in the Qieyun rime dictionary published in 601 AD, though this falls short of a phonemic analysis. Supplementary evidence has been drawn from cognates in other Sino-Tibetan languages and in Min Chinese, which split off before the Middle Chinese period, Chinese transcriptions of foreign names, early borrowings from and by neighbouring languages such as Hmong–Mien and Tocharian languages. Although many details are disputed, most recent reconstructions agree on the basic structure, it is agreed that Old Chinese differed from Middle Chinese in lacking retroflex and palatal obstruents but having initial consonant clusters of some sort, in having voiceless sonorants.
Most recent reconstructions posit consonant clusters at the end of the syllable, developing into tone distinctions in Middle Chinese. Although many details are still disputed, recent formulations are in substantial agreement on the core issues. For example, the Old Chinese initial consonants recognized by Li Fang-Kuei and William Baxter are given below, with Baxter's additions given in parentheses: Most scholars reconstruct clusters of *s- with other consonants, other clusters as well, but this area remains unsettled. In recent reconstructions, such as the accepted system of Baxter, the rest of the Old Chinese syllable consists of an optional medial *-r-, an optional medial *-j- or some other representation of a distinction between "type-A" and "type-B" syllables, one of six vowels:an optional coda, which could be a glide *-j or *-w, a nasal *-m, *-n or *-ŋ, or a stop *-p, *-t, *-k or *-kʷ, an optional post-coda *-ʔ or *-s. In such systems, Old Chinese has no tones; the primary sources of evidence for the reconstruction of the Old Chinese initials are medieval rhyme dictionaries and phonetic clues in the Chinese script.
The reconstruction of Old Chinese starts from "Early Middle Chinese", the phonological system of the Qieyun, a rhyme dictionary published in 601, with many revisions and expansions over the following centuries. According to its preface, the Qieyun did not record a single contemporary dialect, but set out to codify the pronunciations of characters to be used when reading the classics, incorporating distinctions made in different parts of China at the time; these dictionaries indicated pronunciation using the fanqie method, dividing a syllable into an initial consonant and the rest, called the final. Rhyme tables from the Song dynasty contain a sophisticated feature analysis of the Qieyun initials and finals, though not a full phonemic analysis. Moreover, they were influenced by the different pronunciations of that period. Scholars have attempted to determine the phonetic content of the various distinctions by examining pronunciations in modern varieties and loans in Japanese and Vietnamese, but many details regarding the finals are still disputed.
The Qieyun distinguishes the following initials, each traditionally named with an exemplary word and classified according to the rhyme table analysis: By studying sound glosses given by Eastern Han authors, the Qing philologist Qian Daxin discovered that the Middle Chinese dental and retroflex stop series were not distinguished at that time. The resulting inventory of 32 initials is still used by some scholars within China, such as He Jiuying. Early in the 20th century, Huang Kan identified 19 Middle Chinese initials that occurred with a wide range of finals, calling them the "original ancient initials", from which the other initials were secondary developments: Although the Chinese writing system is not alphabetic, comparison of words whose characters share a phonetic element yields much information about pronunciation; the characters in a phonetic series are still pronounced alike, as in the character 中, adapted to write the words chōng and zhōng. In other cases the words in a phonetic series have different sounds in any known variety of Chinese, but are assumed to have been similar at the time the characters were chosen.
A key principle, first proposed by the Swedish sinologist Bernhard Karlgren, holds that the initials of words written with the same phonetic component had a common point of articulation in Old Chinese. For example, since Middle Chinese dentals and retroflex stops occur together in phonetic series, they are traced to a single Old Chinese dental series, with the retroflex stops conditioned by an Old Chinese medial *-r-; the Middle Chinese dental sibilants and retroflex sibilants occur interchangeably in phonetic series, are traced to a single Old Chinese sibilant series, with the retroflex sibilants conditioned by the Old Chinese medial *-r-. However, there are several cases where quite different Middle Chinese initials appear together in a phonetic series. Karlgren and subsequent workers have proposed either additional Old Chinese consonants or initial consonant clusters in such cases. For example, the Middle Chinese palatal sibilants appear in two distinct kinds of series, with dentals and with velars: 周 tśjəu'cycle.
Kaifeng, known by several names, is a prefecture-level city in east-central Henan province, China. It is one of the Eight Ancient Capitals of China, for being the capital seven times in history, is most famous for being the capital of China in the Northern Song dynasty. There are about 5 million people living in its metropolitan area. Located along the southern bank of the Yellow River, it borders the provincial capital of Zhengzhou to the west, Xinxiang to the northwest, Shangqiu to the east, Zhoukou to the southeast, Xuchang to the southwest, Heze of Shandong to the northeast; the postal romanization for the city is "Kaifeng". Its official one-character abbreviation in Chinese is 汴, it has been known as Dàliáng Biànliáng Biànzhōu Nánjīng Dōngjīng Biànjīng The name "Kaifeng" first appeared as the area's name after the Qin's conquest of China in the second century BC and means "expand the borders" and figuratively "hidden" and "vengeance". Its name was Qifeng, but the syllable qi was changed to the synonymous kai （/*Nə-ʰˤəj/, /*ʰˤəj/） to avoid the naming taboo of Liu Qi.
The prefecture-level city of Kaifeng administers five districts and four counties: Gulou District Longting District Yuwangtai District Xiangfu District Shunhe Hui District Weishi County Qi County Tongxu County Lankao County Kaifeng is one of the Eight Ancient Capitals of China. As with Beijing, there have been many reconstructions during its history. In 364 BC during the Warring States period, the State of Wei founded a city called Daliang as its capital in this area. During this period, the first of many canals in the area was constructed linking a local river to the Yellow River; when the State of Wei was conquered by the State of Qin, Kaifeng was destroyed and abandoned except for a mid-sized market town, which remained in place. Early in the 7th century, Kaifeng was transformed into a major commercial hub when it was connected to the Grand Canal as well as through the construction of a canal running to western Shandong. In 781 during the Tang dynasty, a new city was named Bian. Bian was the capital of the Later Jin, Later Han, Later Zhou of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period.
The Song dynasty made Bian its capital when it overthrew the Later Zhou in 960. Shortly afterwards, the city underwent further expansion. During the Song, when it was known as Dongjing or Bianjing, Kaifeng was the capital, with a population of over 400,000 living both inside and outside the city wall. Typhus was an acute problem in the city; the historian Jacques Gernet provides a lively picture of life in this period in his Daily Life in China on the Eve of the Mongol Invasion, 1250-1276, which draws on Dongjing Meng Hua Lu, a nostalgic memoir of the city of Kaifeng. In 1049, the Youguosi Pagoda – or Iron Pagoda as it is called today – was constructed measuring 54.7 metres in height. It has survived the vicissitudes of war and floods to become the oldest landmark in this ancient city. Another Song-dynasty pagoda, Po Tower, dating from 974, has been destroyed. Another well-known sight was the astronomical clock tower of the engineer and statesman Su Song, it was crowned with a rotating armillary sphere, hydraulically-powered, yet it incorporated an escapement mechanism two hundred years before they were found in the clockworks of Europe and featured the first known endless power-transmitting chain drive.
Kaifeng reached its peak importance in the 11th century when it was a commercial and industrial center at the intersection of four major canals. During this time, the city was surrounded by three rings of city walls and had a population of between 600,000 and 700,000, it is believed that Kaifeng was the largest city in the world from 1013 to 1127. This period ended in 1127, it subsequently came under the rule of the Jurchen Jin dynasty, which had conquered most of North China during the Jin–Song Wars. While it remained an important administrative center, only the city area inside the inner city wall of the early Song remained settled and the two outer rings were abandoned. One major problem associated with Kaifeng as the imperial capital of the Song was its location. While it was conveniently situated along the Grand Canal for logistic supply, Kaifeng was militarily vulnerable due to its position on the floodplains of the Yellow River. Kaifeng was reconstructed during this time; the Jurchen kept their main capital further north until 1214 when they were forced to move the imperial court southwards to Kaifeng in order to flee from the onslaught of the Mongols.
In 1232 they succumbed to the combined Song forces in the Mongol siege of Kaifeng. The Mongols captured the city, in 1279 they conquered all of China. At the beginning of the Ming dynasty in 1368, Kaifeng was made the capital of Henan province. In 1642, Kaifeng was flooded by the Ming army with water from the Yellow River to prevent the peasant rebel Li Zicheng from taking over. After this disaster, the city was abandoned again. In 1662, during the reign of the Kangxi Emperor in the Qing dynasty, Kaifeng was rebuilt. However, further flooding occurred in 1841 followed by another reconstruction in 1843, which produced the contemporary Kaifeng as it stands today. On 6 June 1938, the city was occupied by the invading Japanese Imperial Army. Kaifeng is also
Shandong is a coastal province of the People's Republic of China, is part of the East China region. Shandong has played a major role in Chinese history since the beginning of Chinese civilization along the lower reaches of the Yellow River, it has served as a pivotal cultural and religious center for Taoism, Chinese Buddhism, Confucianism. Shandong's Mount Tai is the most revered mountain of Taoism and one of the world's sites with the longest history of continuous religious worship; the Buddhist temples in the mountains to the south of the provincial capital of Jinan were once among the foremost Buddhist sites in China. The city of Qufu is the birthplace of Confucius, was established as the center of Confucianism. Shandong's location at the intersection of ancient as well as modern north–south and east–west trading routes have helped to establish it as an economic center. After a period of political instability and economic hardship that began in the late 19th century, Shandong has emerged as one of the most populous and most affluent provinces in the People's Republic of China with a GDP of CNY¥5.942 trillion in 2014, or USD$967 billion, making it China's third wealthiest province.
Individually, the two Chinese characters in the name "Shandong" mean "mountain" and "east". Shandong could hence be translated as "east of the mountains" and refers to the province's location to the east of the Taihang Mountains. A common nickname for Shandong is Qílǔ, after the States of Qi and Lu that existed in the area during the Spring and Autumn period. Whereas the State of Qi was a major power of its era, the State of Lu played only a minor role in the politics of its time. Lu, became renowned for being the home of Confucius and hence its cultural influence came to eclipse that of the State of Qi; the cultural dominance of the State of Lu heritage is reflected in the official abbreviation for Shandong, "鲁". English speakers in the 19th century called the province Shan-tung; the province is on the eastern edge of the North China Plain and in the lower reaches of the Yellow River, extends out to sea as the Shandong Peninsula. Shandong borders the Bohai Sea to the north, Hebei to the northwest, Henan to the west, Jiangsu to the south, the Yellow Sea to the southeast.
With its location on the eastern edge of the North China Plain, Shandong was home to a succession of Neolithic cultures for millennia, including the Houli culture, the Beixin culture, the Dawenkou culture, the Longshan culture, the Yueshi culture. The earliest dynasties exerted varying degrees of control over western Shandong, while eastern Shandong was inhabited by the Dongyi peoples who were considered "barbarians". Over subsequent centuries, the Dongyi were sinicized. During the Spring and Autumn period and the Warring States period, regional states became powerful. At this time, Shandong was home to two major states: the state of Qi at Linzi and the state of Lu at Qufu. Lu is noted for being the home of Confucius; the state was, comparatively small, succumbed to the larger state of Chu from the south. The state of Qi, on the other hand, was a major power throughout the period. Cities it ruled included Jimo and Ju; the Qin dynasty conquered Qi and founded the first centralized Chinese state in 221 BCE.
The Han dynasty that followed created a number of commanderies supervised by two regions in what is now modern Shandong: Qingzhou in the north and Yanzhou in the south. During the division of the Three Kingdoms, Shandong belonged to the Cao Wei, which ruled over northern China. After the Three Kingdoms period, a brief period of unity under the Western Jin dynasty gave way to invasions by nomadic peoples from the north. Northern China, including Shandong, was overrun. Over the next century or so Shandong changed hands several times, falling to the Later Zhao Former Yan Former Qin Later Yan Southern Yan the Liu Song dynasty, the Northern Wei dynasty, the first of the Northern dynasties during the Northern and Southern dynasties Period. Shandong stayed with the Northern dynasties for the rest of this period. In 412 CE, the Chinese Buddhist monk Faxian landed at Laoshan, on the southern edge of the Shandong peninsula, proceeded to Qingzhou to edit and translate the scriptures he had brought back from India.
The Sui dynasty reestablished unity in 589, the Tang dynasty presided over the next golden age of China. For the earlier part of this period Shandong was ruled as part of Henan Circuit, one of the circuits. On China splintered into warlord factions, resulting in the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. Shandong was part of all based in the north; the Song dynasty reunified China in the late tenth century. The classic novel Water Margin was based on folk tales of outlaw bands active in Shandong during the Song dynasty. In 1996, the discovery of over two hundred buried Buddhist statues at Qingzhou was hailed as a major archaeological find; the statues included early examples of painted figures, are thought to have been buried due to Emperor Huizong's repression of Buddhism. The Song dynasty was forced to cede northern China to the Jurchen Jin dynasty in 1142. Shandong was administered by the Jin as Shandong East Circuit and Shandong West Circuit – the first use of its current name; the modern provinc